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    Mar 24, 2023  
American University Catalog 2022-2023 
American University Catalog 2022-2023

SPA Honors

Available through the School of Public Affairs , the SPA Honors program provides SPA students with outstanding academic records the opportunity to earn school-based honors. SPA students in this highly selective honors program take rigorous courses in public affairs; conduct a semester-long original research project mentored by two faculty members; and participate in SPA Honors program activities.

Admission to the Program

Eligible SPA undergraduates are invited to apply any time starting from their second semester at AU, if they are on track to have thirty credit hours earned at AU by the end of that semester, through early in the second semester of sophomore year.

To apply, a student must be on track to complete at least 30 credit hours at AU by the end of the semester in which they are applying (exclusive of AP credit hours), or have completed at least 45 credit hours with a minimum of 15 credit hours completed at American University; have at least four semesters remaining; and have a minimum 3.67 cumulative GPA.

Students seeking admission must submit a statement of interest, a research-based writing sample, and a recommendation from a professor who can attest to the student’s outstanding academic performance, engagement in public affairs-related work, and/or other qualifications that qualify the student for admission into the SPA Honors program. 

To maintain matriculation in the SPA Honors Program, a student must have successfully completed GOVT-310 Introduction to Political Research (3) ) or JLC-280 Introduction to Justice Research (3) , by the end of their first semester in the SPA Honors Program.

Program Requirements

Course Requirements

Honors Colloquium (3 credit hours)

SPA Coursework with Supplement (3 credit hours)

  • 3 credit hours in SPA coursework at or above 400-level with approved honors supplement

Honors Colloquium or Coursework with Supplement (3 credit hours)

Complete 3 credit hours from the following, or SPA coursework at or above 400-level with approved honors supplement:

Capstone (3 credit hours)