Shape Your Future

American University’s College of Arts and Sciences offers more than 50 graduate degrees and certificates in the humanities, arts, sciences, and social sciences. Each program reflects our philosophy that a combination of academic training and real-world professional experience is the best preparation for success as a leader in your field.

Master's Degrees

American University offers an online Masters in Economics with a specialization in applied economics to give you the knowledge, credentials and analytical and communication skills to make a difference in your career—and in the world.

Our master's degree in Art History builds foundational professional skills in analysis, research, and writing about art. Students work closely with faculty mentors to develop an individualized course of study in a wide range of historical periods, cultures, and media

The MA in Arts Management program excels in providing students a decision making context for the jobs of the future through an understanding of cultural policy, international arts management issues, and organizational dynamics. The master's program prepares students to become effective advocates for the arts and to succeed in a wide range of administrative, managerial, and leadership positions.

The MA in audio technology at American University focuses on both the art and science of music technology to prepare students for a variety of careers in the industry. Students take courses in critical listening, sound synthesis, music production and mixing, digital instrument design, post-production, and film scoring. 

As a student in the Audio Technology Program, you’ll have the opportunity to explore the areas that interest you most, from sound design to music production.

The MS in Biology is a research degree that prepares students for a variety of careers in the life sciences and may also serve as an intermediate degree for those intending to pursue further graduate study. Graduate students have the opportunity to gain experience in scientific methods and experimental design in the laboratory and in the field.

The MA in Biology is a nonthesis degree for students seeking various life science professions, as additional training for students seeking admission to professional schools, or as an intermediate degree for those intending to pursue further graduate study.

Please see also Professional Science Masters in Biotechnology.

The MS in Chemistry focuses on developing the skills necessary for students to conduct specialized laboratory research in preparation for careers in highly-competitive chemical and biological industries. An MS in chemistry prepares students for careers in various areas of research, development, education, and administration, or for further study at the doctoral level. Graduate students can focus on courses in analytical and inorganic chemistry, biochemistry, or organic chemistry.

For more than 30 years, writers have come to American University to develop their work and exchange ideas in the District’s only creative writing MFA program. Our graduate workshops provide a rigorous yet supportive environment where students explore a range of approaches to the art and craft of fiction, nonfiction, and poetry. 

As an MFA student at American, you are free to pursue a single genre or explore several. You will acquire a deeper understanding of your own work and hone your skills in a collaborative setting.

Our MA in Economics is an applied, policy-oriented program designed to ensure that our graduates make an impact by developing these three critical skills: 

•Use economic theory to explain outcomes and make informed predictions 

•Analyze data to rigorously answer questions, such as how specific policies will affect markets 

•Convey economic concepts and findings to a wide audience.

Our MEd in Education Policy and Leadership is built on foundations in the fields of policy, leadership, law, economics, and research so that the students who enter the program with a passionate desire to shape the future of education have the tools to do so. Students can choose from two tracks: Policy Studies and Teacher Leadership.

With advanced coursework in climate modeling, conservation, and the statistics necessary to inform science-based policy, our degree in environmental science teaches students how to confront the most pressing environmental challenges facing the world today.

Our MA in Ethics, Peace, and Global Affairs (EPGA) offers an ethical response to some of the world’s most pressing problems. This interdisciplinary program prepares students broadly in the practical application of ethical theory and policy analysis to complex issues in global affairs.

As the only program of its kind in the United States, the Master of Arts in Game Design drives students to stretch their capacities as designers, developers, consumers, and game administrators and apply that to their unique field of interest. Students bring to the program their own experiences—whether in politics, science, art, history, marketing, or international studies—and can choose from multidisciplinary courses across our schools of communication, business, and arts.

Health promotion is the science and art of helping people, organizations, and communities change lifestyle behaviors to move toward a state of improved health, resulting in decreases in chronic disease and health care costs. The Health Promotion Management Program is for individuals dedicated to assuming leadership positions within the health promotion industry.

The Master of Arts in History will prepare you to pursue a doctorate or a career in education, public service, and many other fields. In this program, you will develop a deeper understanding of how historians investigate and interpret the past while you explore the past with your own original research. In producing your own scholarship, you will sharpen your analytical skills, hone your research interests, and refine your writing and interpretation skills.

While similarly structured to our MA in Economics, this interdisciplinary degree, which combines the expertise of the College of Arts and Sciences with the renowned of the School of International Service, focuses on global trade and finance and gives you an in-depth understanding of the actors and institutions shaping international trade and financial developments and policies. 

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Our multi-disciplinary MA in International Training and Education (ITEP) is the only graduate program in the field of international education with a focus on cross-cultural and global training and program design. This preparation of skilled practitioners in training and facilitation in diverse, cross-cultural, and global contexts is in high demand by employers.

The MA in Literature at American University offers students challenging courses in a wide variety of areas. Faculty are outstanding scholars who are deeply engaged in their fields of intellectual inquiry. In graduate seminars and other courses with unique—often interdisciplinary—topics, students develop intellectual confidence and strengthen their skills in critical reading and analytical writing.

American University’s Master of Arts in Mathematics program is an excellent way to further your mathematical education, prepare for further graduate study, and gain expertise to advance your career. In addition to the general mathematics track, our program also offers an information science and security track, which combines courses in applied mathematics, data science, and information technology for a unique education experience. You can design a plan of study that matches your personal and professional interests and choose courses that enhance your knowledge and your appeal to potential employers.

The MS in Nutrition Education from American University is a unique graduate program that focuses on both the science of nutrition as well as the educational strategies necessary to impact behavior change at the individual, community, and population level. The advanced degree gives you the knowledge and skills to turn your passion into a life-long career in nutrition education helping better the lives of others while strengthening the community around you.

Offered on campus and online

The philosophy master’s degree program offers a rigorous education focused on close reading and engagement with primary texts, while providing remarkable opportunities to put that training to work, both in and outside the classroom. Graduate level classes focus on the application of philosophy to issues concerning biomedicine, environmental protection, human rights, media, business, and race relations. Students can choose from two tracks: philosophy and social policy or the history of philosophy.

The psychology master's degree program provides students with classroom and laboratory experience that prepares them to work in specialized research and applied fields within psychology and/or enter into clinical, experimental, and neuroscience doctoral programs.

The MA in Public Anthropology prepares students for careers in public service, community organizing, and social advocacy. 

Our program offers two different tracks: cultural/social anthropology and archaeology. Within each track you can gain expertise in biological and linguistic anthropology as well. No matter which option you choose, you’ll have the opportunity to combine classroom and experiential learning as they relate to your career plans and goals.

American University's MA in Public History prepares students to practice history, collaborating with communities and cultural institutions to document and interpret both local and national histories.

Our MA in Sociology Research and Practice is built around a core of courses that provide hands-on experience in all phases of the sociological research process. The core of the program: 

• Teaches methods of doing research about health and society 

• Engages students in a research project focused on issues in Washington, DC 

• Builds students’ data analysis capacity — both qualitative and quantitative 

• Hones students’ ability to present results of research to various audiences.

The MA in Spanish and Latin American Studies at American University offers customized tracks to allow students to gain an interdisciplinary understanding of Latin America and the Caribbean, as well as expertise in translation, linguistics, and/or Spanish language teaching.

At American University, we firmly believe that every student deserves a top-quality education. Within our MA in Special Education: Learning Disabilities program, students have the opportunity to learn the skills to turn that shared belief into action. With an in-depth focus on students with learning disabilities, the special education program curriculum prepares passionate future teachers to become the types of educators who have the flexibility, creativity, and broad pedagogical grounding to turn learning differences into learning strengths.

Our degree in statistics has two tracks: mathematical statistics for those intending to pursue a doctorate and applied statistics for those who want a terminal degree. We prepare you to use statistics to affect meaningful change in various research areas including evolutionary biology, computational, genocide, and more.

American University’s studio art master of fine arts program prepares students for lives as independent creative artists. The primary goal of the two-year program is to facilitate the transition from student to contributing, exhibiting artist, and instructor.

Designed for individuals with a bachelor's degree and interest in a teaching license, the Master of Arts in Teaching offers students access to cutting-edge research, innovative partnerships with educational organizations in Washington, DC, and a progressive curriculum with on-campus or online options.

The TESOL master's program prepares students for teaching both domestically and abroad in higher and adult education, in private language schools, and in K-12 settings, where state certification is not required.

Professional Science Master's

Prepare for a rewarding career as a biostatistician in the medical and health sciences, pharmaceutical industries and international health services with our one-of-a-kind PSM program that offers health policy, computational, and management tracks.

The Professional Science Master's program in Biotechnology at American University provides a unique opportunity to learn cutting edge biotechnology skills while developing an entrepreneurial and business management portfolio.

Offered jointly between the College of Arts and Sciences and the Kogod School of Business, the program's unique integration of innovation and business training with advanced science coursework will position you to become a technology leader.

Learn how to use mathematics to understand and predict behavior and events with our two-year interdisciplinary program. To ensure your success, the degree combines rigorous training in mathematics with coursework in management and professional skills.

Doctoral Degrees

The PhD degree program in anthropology provides opportunities for doctoral-level training in urban anthropology; ethnicity; the anthropology of work; the anthropology of development; language, culture and cognition; gender and culture; cross-cultural quantitative analysis; and historic and public archaeology.

The PhD in Behavior, Cognition, and Neuroscience (BCaN) program provides a rigorous and flexible graduate education where students receive in-depth training in a largely apprenticeship style. This is the degree of choice for students interested in applying biological and molecular principles to behavior with a broad-based neuroscience curriculum and specialized research training in the biology of behavior (e.g., drug addiction, cognitive processing, and cognitive neuroscience).

The Clinical Psychology PhD Program is committed to educating students in clinical science, with rigorous training in both research and applied clinical work. Fully accredited by the American Psychological Association Committee on Accreditation (CoA) since 1972, the doctoral program reflects the scientist-practitioner model of training. We provide students with the skills to pursue careers in academics, research, and clinical practice.

Offering a combination of rigorous technical training and a focus on policy-relevant research, our PhD in Economics will prepare you for careers in academics, scholarship, research, and government policy. Our students master economic theory and applied field knowledge. Then, through the dissertation-writing process, they develop the ability to formulate and empirically answer economic questions. This valuable skill set is the key to our graduates’ success.

AU’s PhD in History will prepare you for a career as an educator, researcher, analyst, and writer working in academia, public and institutional history, and other fields requiring investigative and analytical skills. In this program, you will develop a deeper understanding of how historians investigate and interpret the past while you explore the past with your own original research.

Graduate Certificates

The Certificate in Applied Microeconomics prepares you to analyze data, apply your analysis to economic policy, and translate its meaning for a wide audience. The meld of theory, econometrics and practical application coursework will enable you to solve real-world challenges in private industries, governmental organizations, and non-profits.

The Certificate in Applied Statistics is designed for individuals who wish to augment or begin studies in applied statistics. Students are trained in the collection, organization, analysis, interpretation, and presentation of numerical data.


Open to students with a bachelor's degree or equivalent from an accredited institution. Applicants must have completed nine or more courses in theatre, dance, music, or visual arts, one third of which should be advanced work or equivalent training.

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Our Certificate in Data Sciences is your key to a lucrative career in data science. In just four classes, you'll gain the core technical proficiencies needed to transform data into decisions and position yourself for advancement in any industry. Courses can be applied to certain master's degrees.

The Certificate in Environmental Assessment is designed to provide quantitative analysis tools to working professionals. Coursework includes geographic information systems (GIS), statistical methods, and risk assessment as applied to environmental systems.

The Certificate in Gender Analysis in Economics is focused on the application of gender analysis to different fields of economics, including microeconomics, macroeconomics, labor economics, public finance, development, and international trade and investment, among others. It prepares graduate students and professionals for careers in higher education, domestic and international research institutions, and government agencies that require economic analysis from a gendered perspective.

American University's Certificate in International Arts Management is your connection to a bigger impact, more rewarding work, and a vibrant network of professionals and thought leaders in global cultural initiatives.

In a single academic year, the certificate will ground you in theory and prepare you for action in a full spectrum of management and leadership positions in the arts.

The Certificate in Nutrition education is designed for students who have earned a bachelor's degree and are interested in expanding their work to include nutrition education or for professionals who are involved with creating programs and implementing policy to address the obesity epidemic.

American University's Postbaccalaureate Premedical Program offers premedical coursework taught by outstanding professors in small classroom settings, as well as in-depth one-on-one advising, and a supportive atmosphere to help you on your way.

The Psychobiology of Healing Certificate program provides a thorough understanding of the science of healing and the therapeutic mechanisms that elicit healing responses. Through understanding the application of scientific method to the evaluation of integrative healing strategies, students will be prepared to design clinical trials, evaluate the scientific data from these trials, and discern the clinical potential of healing methodologies.
The Certificate in Public Anthropology program is designed for individuals seeking to address issues of economic freedom, human rights, and social justice through a public anthropology lens. Students can build competency in the field of public anthropology while working full-time without the commitment of a full graduate degree program.

The Certificate in Public Sociology engages students in the process of developing sociological knowledge in a usable and communicable form for purposes of public discourse and application by groups, communities, movements, and policy formation at any level of government. The program of study starts students on a path to careers in grassroots organizing, community based non-profits, government agencies, research, and advocacy organizations.

The Social Research Certificate introduces students to qualitative and quantitative methods used by social scientists. Students have opportunities to apply the skills learned in substantive classes in sociology and the social determinants of health inequality. The skills learned in the program will support careers in market research, management, program evaluation, and nonprofit advocacy.

The graduate translation certificates provide students with an introduction to the methods, problems, technology, and theory of translation of the written word. The emphasis is on general translation into English, but we also provide secondary training in reverse translation, and use texts from the fields of business, politics, technology, medicine, and literature.

Translation Certificates:

  • French Translation
  • Russian Translation
  • Spanish Translation

American University's Certificate in technology in Arts Management is your connection to a bigger impact, more rewarding work, and a vibrant network of professionals and thought leaders in technology and cultural management. In a single year, the certificate will ground you in theory and prepare you for action in a full spectrum of management positions that apply, adapt, and develop technology strategies and solutions for the arts.

The Graduate Certificate in TESOL is open to individuals from any academic discipline interested in teaching English to speakers of other languages. This program provides a sound theoretical foundation combined with the practical classroom experience necessary to pursue teaching opportunities in the United States or abroad.

The Graduate Certificate in Women’s, Gender, and Sexuality Studies offers advanced interdisciplinary training in intersectional feminist theory and research methods. Through challenging coursework within a vibrant intellectual community, students infuse their own studies with critical feminist scholarship and enhance their professional credentials with specialized expertise.

Executive Education Program

Held at the American University campus, the three-, five-, or ten-day program includes day-long courses in arts management and private meetings with leaders in arts management organizations and government in Washington, DC. Participants will earn a Certificate in Arts Management Executive Education from American University.