The College of Arts and Sciences uses a rolling admissions process, though some graduate programs have set deadlines. Please check the requirements chart to see if the program you are applying to has a set deadline. If you are requesting to be considered for a merit award, the priority deadline is February 1 unless otherwise specified.
Create and Submit Application
Once you have created your account, you can start your online application. The online application is divided into the following sections:
Academics (institutions attended)
Plans (your intended academic program and concentration)
Certification & Signature
You can access these sections by using the navigation links to the left of your application (see below).
Listing Institutions Attended:In order to upload transcripts, you must fill out the Institutions Attended field in the Academics section of the online application.
*Note: You can only upload supplemental documents after you have submitted the online application and paid the application fee.For directions on submitting supplemental documents, click here.
Accessing a saved application:Our system will automatically save any application that you have started. To access a saved application, click on the My Account tab on your profile page (see below).
Pay Application Fee
Once you have submitted your application, you will immediately be directed to the Application Payment screen. The application fee is $55, payable by credit or debit card. We accept Visa, Discover, and Mastercard.
Note that you cannot submit your application until you have paid your application fee. You can reenter the application form through the My Account tab on your profile page.
Submit Supplemental Documents
After you have completed your application and paid your application fee, you can begin uploading your supplemental documents.
The following documents must be uploaded by the applicant:
*Note: Writing samples, test scores, and portfolios are only required for a limited number of programs. Please check theRequirements pagefor more information on program-specific requirements.
After paying the application fee, upload your documents by scrolling to the bottom ofyour profile pageand clicking the Submit Supplemental Items link (see below).
This will take you to the Supplemental Items Listing page, where you will be able to upload your supplemental documents and check that status of documents that are missing or have been received (see below).
Statement of Purpose
A successful statement will illustrate a candidate's goals, highlight their research interests, and explain how their experience is relevant to the academic research conducted by faculty in their program of interest. Please try to limit your statement of purpose to 500-1,000 words (250-500 for certificate applications). Your Statement of Purpose can be uploaded on the Supplemental Items Listing page.
All applications require transcripts from degree-seeking college institutions. AU standards ask for a minimum 3.0 GPA for undergraduate work.
A transcript uploaded by a student is considered "unofficial." Departments use these during their review period.
Official transcripts are required only after the applicant has accepted admission to American University. Official transcripts must be sent and received by a university representative and should confirm the earned degree when applicable.
International transcripts will need to be evaluated and show equivalency of the U.S. 4-year degree.
Your Unofficial Transcripts can be uploaded on the Supplemental Items Listing page.
The résumé should list a candidate's relevant work experience, internships, research, awards, and/or publications, as well as educational history. A curriculum vitae (CV) is also accepted.
Your résumé can be uploaded on the Supplemental Items Listing page.
Writing samples are only required for a limited number of programs. Please check the Requirements page for more information on program-specific requirements.
Your writing sample can be uploaded on the Supplemental Items Listing page.
Creative Writing: Please submit 25 pages of prose or 15 pages of poetry. Your portfolio can be uploaded on the Supplemental Items Listing page.
Audio Technology: Submit three samples of your best work. Portfolio can consist of audio production work, sound design for film or audio processing software, and source code. Include a half-page PDF document containing descriptions of the three samples. Please submit your portfolio to Jonathan Harper at email@example.com.
Studio Art: Portfolio Submission: Please limit your portfolio to 20 images and submit it to Slideroom. Instructions for the formatting of materials are provided at the Slideroom website. A ten dollar fee will be collected by Slideroom for the uploading of your portfolio materials.
Letters of Recommendation
Master's programs and the PhD program in Economics require two letters of recommendation. All other PhD programs require three letters of recommendation. Recommenders will evaluate a candidate based on academic performance, motivation for program of study, intellectual capacity and/or research and writing ability.
Recommendation letters can be uploaded only after the application has been submitted and the fee paid.
To upload letters of recommendation, go the Recommendation Requests section of the Supplemental Items Listing page and click Start (see below).
Fill out the Recommendation Request form to send your recommender a notification so that they can submit their letter. Repeat this process for every letter of recommendation that you need to submit. If you experience any errors with the Recommendation Request form or if you need to submit a new request to a new recommender, contact firstname.lastname@example.org.
Test Scores: General Record Examination (GRE)
The GRE is required for all PhD programs and most Master's programs. They are not required for Graduate Certificates. GRE scores must be taken within five years of applying. There are no universal score requirements for the College of Arts and Sciences. To submit GREs, use school code: 5007 (no department code). GRE scores can take up to six week to arrive after the test date.
Language Proficiency Tests: TOEFL
For international students whose first language is not English, American University requires a total TOEFL score of 100. TOEFL must be taken within two years of applying. To submit TOEFL, use school code: 5007 (no department code). TOEFL scores can take up to six weeks to arrive after the test date.
Passing scores by DC standard on PRAXIS CORE exam required for all MA teaching degrees and MA special education, including certificates. The DC teacher licensing agency sets passing scores as: Reading 156, Writing 162, and Math 150. To submit PRAXIS, use school code: 5007 (no department code). PRAXIS scores can take up to six weeks to arrive after the test date.
Other Test Types
To submit other test types, send a legible screen shot of your score report to email@example.com.
Email and Mailing Addresses for Supporting Documents
(Note: Do not send questions to this email address. If you have any questions about the application process, please direct them to firstname.lastname@example.org).
Postal mail address:
CAS Graduate Admissions
Office of Enrollment
4400 Massachusetts Avenue, NW
Washington, DC 20016-8081
Express, Courier, Overnight (Express Mail, Fed Ex, UPS, DHL, etc.):
CAS Graduate Admissions
Office of Enrollment
3201 New Mexico Avenue, NW
Washington, DC 20016-8081
Minimum Requirements for Admission
Minimum requirements include the following:
A bachelor's degree (or its equivalent) earned at an accredited college or university.
A 3.0 (on a 4.0 scale) or better cumulative grade point average (GPA) calculated on the last 60 credit hours of course work completed in your undergraduate program and available at the time of application for admission.
A 3.0 (on a 4.0 scale) or better GPA in all relevant graduate work for which a grade has been awarded.
GRE Exam scores for all programs except the MFA in creative writing, MFA in studio art, the MA in audio technology, and the certificate programs.
Praxis I Exam scores for all certificate programs in teaching.
For international students whose native language is not English and who do not possess an undergraduate or graduate degree from an accredited U.S. institution: applicants need TOEFL test scores of at least 100 [95 for the online Teaching English as a Foreign Language (TEFL) program], a Pearson Test of English score of at least 68, or a minimum IELTS score of 7.
An applicant for graduate study may be admitted without reference to the undergraduate average provided that he or she has maintained either a 3.3 cumulative grade point average in a master's degree program completed at an accredited institution; or has maintained a 3.5 cumulative grade point average in the last 12 credit hours which are part of a master's or doctoral degree program still in progress at the time he or she applies; or in graduate work taken in nondegree status at American University and applicable to the degree program for which he or she is applying.