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    Apr 15, 2024  
American University Catalog 2022-2023 
American University Catalog 2022-2023 [ARCHIVED CATALOG]

Undergraduate Admission Requirements

To request application forms or for more information: phone: 202-885-6000 e-mail: web:

First-year applicants may apply using either the Common Application or the Coalition Application. Transfer applicants may apply using the Common Application.

Applicants are responsible for requesting that letters of recommendation, official transcripts, test scores, and other required items be sent directly to the Admissions Office. American University’s SAT and TOEFL code is 5007, and the ACT code is 0648.

International applicants should refer to for additional instructions.

American University requires all applicants whose first language is not English, regardless of citizenship, to demonstrate English-language proficiency. For more information, see English Language Requirements for first-year applicants: or English Language Requirements for transfer applicants:

First-Year Admission Requirements

To be considered for admission, applicants should:

  • Have graduated from a secondary school with at least 16 academic units, including at least four units in English, three units in college preparatory mathematics (including the equivalent of two units in algebra and one unit of geometry), two units in foreign language(s), two units in lab science, and two units in social sciences. Students who do not fulfill these course requirements may qualify for an exemption. Students not meeting these requirements are encouraged to contact the Office of Undergraduate Admissions for more information.
  • Applicants who hold General Education Diplomas (GEDs) may be admitted on the basis of satisfactory performance on SAT, ACT, and other such tests and transcripts.
  • Have a minimum academic average of above C.
  • Submit the results of either the SAT, the ACT, or choose the option to apply without standardized testing at the time of application. Prospective students interested in applying without standardized testing should refer to for more information.

Transfer Admission Requirements

Students who wish to be considered for transfer admission must be in good academic and social standing at all schools currently attending or previously attended. All applicants with a cumulative grade point average of at least 2.00 on a 4.00 scale from all schools attended will be considered. However, competitive applicants will present a grade point average above 2.50.

Applicants to individual schools should have maintained a cumulative minimum grade point average (on a 4.00 scale) from all schools attended as follows:
Kogod School of Business 2.75
School of Communication 2.50
School of International Service 3.00
School of Education 2.70
College of Arts and Sciences 2.00
School of Public Affairs 2.50

Transfer applicants must request each collegiate institution previously attended to send an official transcript of all work completed directly to the Admissions Office. Attendance at all institutions must be reported whether or not credit was earned and whether or not transfer credit is desired. Failure to report all previous academic work will be considered sufficient cause for rejection of an application or for dismissal from the university.

Transfer applicants with fewer than 24 credit hours completed at the time of application should also submit the final secondary school record.

General Admission Information

Deadlines for Admissions Applications

First-Year Application Deadlines

Fall Semester Early Decision: November 15 for ED I
Fall Semester Early Decision: January 15 for ED II
Fall Semester Regular Decision: January 15
Spring Semester for students outside the US: September 1
Spring Semester for students inside the US: October 1

Transfer Application Deadlines

Fall Semester: May 1
Spring Semester: October 1

Admission to Special Academic Programs

American University offers several special programs for high-achieving students, each serving a particular population with a specific mission. These programs offer living-learning experiences and small classes with dynamic professors who use Washington as their lab. Because students cannot have two living-learning experiences at one time, students can only participate in one program.

The AU Honors Program, the Frederick Douglass Distinguished Scholars Program, the Sakura Scholars Program, the Community-Based Research Scholars Program, the AU Teaching Fellows Program, and the Three-Year Scholars Programs (Global Scholars, Public Health Scholars, and Policy, Politics, and Law Scholars) each require a separate application. Admission is based on a strong high school record as well as demonstrated commitment to the mission of the particular program. Admission to these programs is highly competitive, and the academic qualifications of each student are carefully considered. The AU Honors Program is capped at 80 entering students; the Frederick Douglass Distinguished Scholars Program, at five; the Sakura Scholars Program at 15; the Community-Based Research Scholars Program at 40; and the Three-Year Scholars Programs each at 25.

The top applicants for admission to the university will be considered for these programs and will be notified of this decision along with their admission letter.  

Notice of Admission

Early Decision round I (ED I) applicants are notified of the decision by December 31; at that time ED I applicants may be admitted, denied admission, or deferred until the general admission date of April 1. Early Decision round II (ED II) applicants are notified of the decision by February 15; at that time ED II applicants may be admitted, denied admission, or deferred until the general admission date of April 1.

Regular Decision first-year applicants whose applications and supporting documents have been received by the Admissions Office by January 15 are notified of the decision on their applications by April 1.

Transfer applicants to the fall semester who apply by May 1 will be notified by July 1. Transfer applicants to the spring semester who apply by October 1 will be notified by December 1.

Full-time undergraduates are required to pay a nonrefundable tuition deposit to reserve a place in the class.

Complete detailed instructions for replying to the admission offer are provided with the notice of acceptance.

Early Admission

American University offers the opportunity for admission a year earlier than normal to first-year applicants whose ability, academic achievement, and general maturity indicate that they are ready to begin collegiate work.

Applicants for early admission must meet the minimum admission requirements for first-year admission. Applicants are considered on their own merit. However, the major factors important to evaluation are:

  • the secondary school record, with special reference to grades achieved and the pattern of courses taken;
  • performance on the Scholastic Assessment Test I (SAT I) or the American College Test (ACT);
  • the recommendation of the secondary school principal or counselor and two teacher recommendations;
  • a letter from the applicant stating the reasons for seeking early admission; and
  • possibly, an interview with a screening committee.

Early Decision

First-year applicants whose first choice is American University are encouraged to apply as Early Decision candidates. Students admitted under the binding Early Decision plan learn of their admission early and receive first consideration for scholarships, financial aid, housing, and registration. The university, in turn, is assured that these students will enroll if admitted.

The university offers two Early Decision (ED) options. The deadline for applying for EDI is November 15 with notification by December 31. The deadline for ED II is January 15 with notification by February 15. All documents, including the $75 application fee, must be on file with the Admissions Office by the respective deadlines. Early Decision applicants may initiate applications to other schools before notification, but if they are admitted to American University as Early Decision candidates, they must submit a tuition prepayment by January 15 for ED I or March 1 for ED II and withdraw all applications to other colleges and universities as Early Decision is a binding agreement.

Early Decision applicants are evaluated by the same criteria as all other first-year applicants. They may be admitted to the university in December (or February for ED II), denied admission, or have their application deferred until the Regular Decision notification date of April 1. Students deferred until April are released from the commitment to attend if admitted.

Learning Services Program

American University offers a structured program for entering first-year students with learning disabilities who are seeking additional support. Students interested in the Learning Services Program must identify themselves in the regular admissions process and submit a supplementary application to the program at the time they apply to the university. Further information is available from the Academic Support and Access Center at 202-885-3360 or

Admission from Nondegree Status

Enrollment as a nondegree student does not guarantee acceptance into a degree program. If admitted into an American University degree program, nondegree students may apply no more than 60 nondegree American University credits to their degree program.

Admission for Part-time Study

An undergraduate student enrolled in fewer than 12 credit hours is considered a part-time student. Part-time degree applicants are required to meet the same standards for admission as full-time first-year or transfer applicants. Part-time study is not available for students who will require an F-1 visa.

Applicants considering part-time study in a degree program are cautioned that they may be unable to complete the necessary course work for some degree programs by attending evening classes only. Before applying they should consult with the department of their proposed major to ascertain whether the required courses will be available to them.


An undergraduate student whose studies at the university are interrupted for any reason for a period of one semester (excluding the summer sessions) must submit a formal application for readmission and a reapplication fee to the Admissions Office at least two months before the beginning of the semester or summer session for which the student wishes to be readmitted, unless written permission to study at another collegiate institution was secured in advance or the student has been granted an official temporary leave.

Students who were in good standing when they left the university and who have maintained a satisfactory grade point average at another school are virtually assured readmission. It is to a student’s advantage to apply for readmission as early as possible so that they may register during the advance registration period.

A student who is readmitted is subject to the academic requirements and regulations in effect at the time of readmission. For more information about our readmission process, please visit: