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How do I apply to AU?

Prospective students can apply online either the Common Application or Coalition Application. In addition to submitting a completed application, there are several components the Admissions Committee requires that help us evaluate you as a candidate for admission. Leer en español.

Application Checklist

  • Complete the Common Application (including the application essay) or the Coalition Application .

  • Transmit your test results. AU requires official scores from the SAT I or the ACT (without writing) from freshman applicants who are attending high school in the United States or who have been home schooled.
  • Ask a school official to complete the Secondary School Report and letters of recommendation. Freshman applicants should include one letter of recommendation from a teacher, as well as one from the college guidance counselor, written on school letterhead or the recommendation forms provided by the application. Please make sure your name and date of birth are included on each recommendation. Be sure to provide your counselor or teacher with a stamped envelope addressed to AU.

  • Pay the nonrefundable application fee. Using a credit card or e-check, pay the $70 application fee required for all applications. If payment of the application fee would cause your family undue hardship, fee waivers are available (U.S. citizens and permanent residents only).

  • Send your application materials. Send all supporting documents to the following address: American University, Undergraduate Admissions, 4400 Massachusetts Avenue, NW, Washington, DC 20016-8001.

  • Send your Mid-Year Report. Have your school counselor complete, sign and submit the Mid-Year Report along with your official mid-year grades as soon as they become available.

Minimum Admissions Requirements

Freshman applicants who follow the U.S. educational system should have completed at least 16 college preparatory secondary school units. We require that you have 4 units in English, 3 units in academic mathematics, including the equivalent of 2 units in algebra and 1 unit of geometry, at least 2 units of laboratory science, at least 2 units of social science and 2 units of foreign language. Successful candidates for admission have usually completed a rigorous college preparatory course of study that goes beyond the minimum requirements above.

English Proficiency

AU requires strong English language skills. All applicants (including US citizens) whose first language is not English can prove English proficiency by one of the following:

  • TOEFL (Test of English as a Foreign Language) - TOEFL code 5007
    • Internet based test (iBT) score of 80 or higher. Sub-scores for each section of the TOEFL should be 20 or higher. To be considered competitive, a 90 TOEFL iBT score or above is recommended.
    • Paper-based test score of 550 or higher
  • IELTS (International English Language Testing System)
    • Composite score of 6.5 or higher. (Sub-scores for each section of the IELTS should be 6.0 or higher.)
  • Pearson Test of English (PTE)
    • Score of 53 or higher
  • SAT Critical Reading score of 530 or higher

For international freshmen applicants who require an F or J visa:
TOEFL/IELTS is not required of non-native English speakers who are educated in US or IB secondary schools inside or outside the US, or in countries where English is the native language, for at least 4 consecutive years (grades 9, 10, 11 and 12 or equivalent) where English is the only medium of instruction and no ESL courses have been taken. English speaking countries include: UK, Ireland, Scotland, Australia, New Zealand, and Canada (except Quebec).

Please Note:

  • Once submitted, your application and other documents and materials become the property of AU and cannot be returned.
  • Students who will be receiving any scholarship and/or financial aid award will be notified with the letter of admission.
  • You will be admitted only for the semester indicated in your letter of admission. If you are unable to enroll for that semester, you must request a deferral.

Admissions decisions

Once you submit your application, what happens next? You will receive one of the following decisions:

Fall admissions is familiar to most students and means you will begin as a degree-seeking student in the fall semester for which you applied.

We also admit students to AU for the spring semester with the option to participate in the Mentorship Program. Students who participate in the Mentorship Program begin in the fall semester as non-degree students at AU and matriculate in spring as degree-seeking students, transferring in those fall credits.
The Mentorship Program has two options: an on-campus experience that includes an internship in Washington, DC or Mentorship in England, which is a first-semester study abroad experience.

We offer a limited number of students a waitlist decision each year. If space becomes available in the fall class and you sign up to remain on the waitlist, we will notify you in May if we’re able to offer you admission. But we do suggest that students deposit at another institution to secure a spot somewhere for the fall.

Each year, we have to deny a number of students due to the high level of talent in our applicant pool. But if you have your heart set on attending AU, we encourage you to consider transferring after at least one year at another college.

AU Code Numbers

SAT I & SAT II: 5007

ACT: 0648

AP: 5007

TOEFL: 5007