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Washington Semester Program FAQs - Application Process

What is a "member school"?

American University has agreements with hundreds of colleges and universities around the world that spell out important details for their students attending the Washington Semester Program such as tuition rates, transfer of academic credits, required courses, and so on.

Applicants from overseas member universities or institutions are eligible for a J-1 exchange visitor visa.  

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How Can I find out if my university/college is a member?

Use our Member School Database to find your school.

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Can I still attend if my home institution is not a Washington Semester Program member school?

We welcome applications from US-based students attending schools outside of our member network. Additional details on the application process for students from member and non-member schools can be found here:
US-based students

Universities outside of the US not currently in our member network are not eligible for immigration support from American University and therefore we cannot accept applications from students attending a non-partner international institution. Please contact with questions.

All applicants: You should have completed a minimum equivalent of three semesters before joining the Washington Semester Program. Second semester of your sophomore year is the earliest you may enroll in the program. Most students are juniors or seniors. Many overseas students enroll in the program in their third, fourth or fifth year of higher education.

Successful applicants have a minimum 2.5 GPA (or overseas equivalent). You will be expected to mail an official transcript from your home university as a part of the application.

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How can I apply?

You can apply online.

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What are the application requirements?

US-based applicants must submit:

  • A completed online application
  • A transcript from your university (We will accept unofficial transcripts pending official transcripts)
    • Upload to online application documents under the Submitted Requirements section. Please note that you will only have access to this section after you have submitted your online application.
    • Mail to the Enrollment office:
      • via USPS:
        School of Professional & Extended Studies
        Office of Enrollment
        4400 Massachusetts Avenue NW
        Washington, DC 20016-8124

      • via courier service (DHL, UPS, FedEX, etc.)
        School of Professional & Extended Studies
        Office of Enrollment
        3201 New Mexico Avenue, NW
        STE - B1
        Washington, DC 20016-8124
      • via fax: +1 (202) 885-3991
  • Approval from your school representative (if applicable) that can be submitted online or by email

International applicants must submit:

  • An online application
  • Official Transcript/ Record of Grades from your college/ university (Translated to English)
  • Nomination/ Letter of Recommendation from a Professor or Administrator from your university, or a job/ internship supervisor (in English)
  • Proof of English Proficiency – our admissions office accepts:
    • Teaching English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL):
      •  iBT: 80+ (minimum score of 18 on the listening and speaking sections);
      • PBT: 550+
    • International English Language Testing System (IELTS): 6.5+;
    • Pearson’s Test of English (PTE): 59+;
    • Common European Framework (CEF): B-2 Level or Higher
    • Students with TOEFL below 80, or IELTS below 6.5, will be considered for the semester long, International Gateway Program as a condition to their Washington Semester Program admission.

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What are the minimum acceptance criteria?

You must be at least a second-semester sophomore and have a cumulative GPA of 2.5. Speak with your school representative about any additional requirements for admission set by your institution.

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I have started the application process, but have not received the verification email. What do I do?

Make sure that you have submitted everything correctly through the application portal. If everything is correct, contact us at or +1-202-895-4900 and our staff will assist you.

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