The American University usually referred to using the acronym ‘AU’ or the sobriquet ‘American’ is located in Washington D.C. The AU is a private research university with its main campus spanning 90 acres (36 ha) near Ward Circle, a residential area in the northwest of the District. In 1893, American was chartered by the U.S. Congress in 1893 at the instance of Methodist bishop John Fletcher Hurst, who sought to create an institution that would engender public service, internationalism, and pragmatic idealism. AU had its ground breaking ceremony in 1902, opened in 1914, and admitted its first undergraduates in 1925.

American University has eight schools and colleges: the School of International Service, College of Arts and Sciences, School of Business, School of Communication, School of Professional and Extended Studies, School of Public Affairs, School of Education, and the Washington College of Law (WCL). It has over 160 programs, including 71 bachelor’s degrees, 87 master’s degrees, and 10 doctoral degrees, plus J.D., LL.M., and S.J.D programs; individualized interdisciplinary programs are also available at the bachelor’s level. AU’s student body numbers over 13,000 and represents all 50 U.S. states and 141 countries; around a fifth of students are international.



All colleges in the United States are required to determine a standard cost of attendance (COA) for students. American University’s COA is comprehensive and includes anticipated costs for tuition, fees, housing, meals, books, transportation, and personal expenses for the upcoming academic year.

American University offers a comprehensive financial aid program based on recognition of both academic excellence and demonstrated financial need. AU works with students and their families to supplement their financial resources and make an AU education possible.

All admitted students, regardless of nationality, are considered for academic/merit scholarships for which they are eligible. In general, admitted students awarded scholarships have excellent academic credentials and exhibit exceptional leadership skills.

Most merit-based scholarships do not require an application for financial aid. However, we strongly encourage merit award candidates to complete the forms required for need-based aid, if they believe that they may need financial aid in addition to their merit award. Merit award recipients who have applied for need-based financial aid will be considered for any need-based aid for which they qualify beyond the amount of the merit award.

American University’s merit awards for international students are partial, not full, scholarships. They are highly competitive and based on a combination of outstanding academic achievement, excellent communication skills in English, leadership, volunteerism, and community service. No need-based financial aid is available to international students (non-U.S. citizens). No separate application form or process is needed to be considered for AU merit scholarships.


For the 2018-2019 academic year, scholarships ranged from U.S.$8,000 to U.S.$20,000 per academic year. They are renewable for all four years of study based on successful continued academic performance.


You do not have to submit a separate application for AU merit scholarships. All qualified first-year applicants who submit complete application packets by January 15th are automatically considered for eligibility for our partial scholarships. First-year applicants will be notified of any merit awards with their admission letter that is sent in the spring.

AU merit scholarships are offered only at the time of admission. There are no further opportunities to apply for AU merit scholarships once you have begun your studies.

Consequently, this therefore means that to meet fundamental eligibility/selection criteria, you have to start your application as an international student to a course of your choice.

You can start your application for admission to any course of your choice online using the Common Application portal accessible here:
OR alternatively, using the Coalition Application website portal accessible here:

Your file will not be reviewed until all of the materials listed out in the section “Necessary Application Documentation” have been received by the International Admissions Office.



Your file will not be reviewed until all of the materials listed out below have been received by the International Admissions Office, viz:

  • Completed application, including essay and CV/Resume
  • Application fee of U.S. $75
  • Common or Coalition Application AU Writing Supplement (optional, but recommended)
  • Academic records for grades 9-12 with official transcripts and certified English translations (if applicable), for each secondary institution attended
  • Two academic letters of recommendation
  • Demonstrated English proficiency
  • Completed AU Certification of Finances (AU CFIS) form showing at least U.S.$66,717 for first year of study and living expenses*
  • Bank letter showing at least U.S.$66,717 for first year of study and living expenses
  • Copy of your passport information page*
  • Interruption of Studies Statement if you have already graduated from secondary school at the time of application.

* Only required from students who need a student visa (F or J). Financial documents showing less than U.S.$66,717 will not be accepted. All financial documents must be dated within the past three months to be considered valid. For sample bank letters, the AU CFIS and Transfer-in forms, and AU cost guide, the samples can be accessed here:
No SAT or ACT Needed! AU does not evaluate SAT or ACT scores for students (including U.S. citizens) graduating from secondary schools outside the United States.


Complete the application carefully. Please make sure to include your full name exactly as it appears in the machine-readable section of your passport (check the bottom of your passport page). The first three letters stand for your country of citizenship. Omit those three letters when completing the admission application form. Also include date of birth, complete educational history, country of birth, citizenship, current mailing address and a permanent address outside of the United States, even if you currently live or study in the United States.


Please have your academic records from each secondary school you attended for the U.S. equivalent of 9th, 10th, 11th and 12th grades sent directly from those schools to American University in sealed envelopes. These records should be submitted in their original language and accompanied by notarized English translations if applicable. Include any examination results such as IB, GCSE, GCE, Bagrut, French Baccalaureate, CAPE Units One and Two, Abitur, Attestat or Secondary School Leaving Certificates.

Certain exam results such as, but not limited to, IB, WAEC, GCE, GCSE and CAPE must come directly to our office from the examination board or authority.


Two letters are required. One must come from a teacher; the second letter may be written by your school’s university counselor, your principal or headmaster or another teacher. These letters are confidential. Each letter must be in English. Please have your reference sign or place a school stamp across the sealed flap of the envelope.


AU requires strong English language skills. All freshmen applicants (including U.S. citizens) can prove English proficiency by one of the following:

Via curriculum:

  • Four years of study (grades 9, 10, 11, and 12 or equivalent) in U.S.-accredited or IB, CXC or UK curricula (inside or outside the U.S.), where English is the only medium of instruction AND no ESL courses have been taken;
  • Four years of study (grades 9, 10, 11 and 12 or equivalent) in selected English-speaking countries* or in the educational systems of these countries* (regardless of location) 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).

Or via testing:

  • 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 (taken on or prior to May 31, 2017), or all paper-based test sub-sc]ores of 20 or higher (taken after May 31, 2017).
  • 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 (taken before 3/1/2016), or SAT Reading Test sub-score of 29 or higher (taken after 3/1/2016).
  • ACT English score of 23 or higher.

Important: Though English proficiency may be met in one of the above ways, the Office of Admissions may request additional documentation if deemed necessary.

For native speakers of English from the U.S., UK, Ireland, Scotland, Australia, New Zealand, and Canada (ex]cept Quebec) who list English as their first language on the Common Application, proof of English proficiency is not required, but may be requested.


Applicants who require a student or exchange visitor visa (F or J) must submit to International Admissions the American University, Washington, DC AU CFIS form (completed by applicant and parent) and a letter issued by a bank showing proof of at least U.S.$66,717 for your first year of studies and living expenses. All financial documents must be dated within the past three months to be considered valid and must be submitted by the application deadline date.

Application packets without the AU CFIS form and bank letter will be considered incomplete and will not be reviewed.

Please visit the International Student & Scholar Service’s guide on financial documents for the AU Cost Guide, sample bank letters, and Transfer-In forms. This guide can be accessed here:


Students may be eligible to receive advanced credit for exams passed during secondary school. If you took IB, A Level, AP, the OIB English, or CAPE Unit Two exams while in school, please visit Credit by Exam page for full details on AU exam policies.


If you have already graduated from secondary school at the time of application, please submit a short statement describing your activities since graduation.


Fall Admission: 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.


Spring Admission: AU also admits students 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.


Waitlist: AU offers 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.

Deny: Each year, AU denies a large 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.


Important: Please use a courier service (and keep your tracking number) to send your complete application packet to:

Undergraduate Admissions
Office of Enrollment
4801 Massachusetts Ave., NW STE-218
Washington, DC 20016-8001
Tel: +1-202-885-6000

Important: Alternatively, you can submit your Bank Letter, AU CFIS form, and TOEFL/IELTS official score report via fax to +1-202-885-1025. There is no need to mail hard copies if you choose to fax your documents.

Questions? Contact


Financial Planning Advice for International Undergraduate Students:

Getting started with the admissions application process for international students:

Resources for First Year Prospective International Applicants:


Your application and all supporting documents must be received by the respective application deadline.

If you plan to begin your studies in August (fall semester):

Early Decision I (ED I): November 15
Early Decision II (ED II): January 15
Regular Decision (RD): January 15

If you plan to begin your studies in January (spring semester):
All spring applicants October 1

For students living outside the United States, we strongly recommend September 1.



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