An official transcript is printed on security paper with the AU seal and the Registrar's signature, and should be used for official transactions including applications to graduate school, some employment opportunities, or security clearances. Official transcripts also carry the date of issue, and when issued to students carry the notation, "Issued Directly to Student."
The transcript key is on the back of the official transcript. Information about reading AU transcripts prior to 1978 (transcript key) may be found by following this link.
Request an official transcript
Currently enrolled students may request an official transcript through a direct link on their portal. Current and former students may also bring a completed transcript request form to AU Central in Asbury 201 or they may fax the form to (202) 885-1016. The form may also be mailed to:
Office of the University Registrar Attn: Student Services 4400 Massachusetts Avenue, NW Washington, DC 20016-8064
Pick-up requests for official transcripts should be indicated on the portal request or on the form. Pick-up requests submitted by 10 AM on weekdays will be ready after 3 PM on the same day. Requests submitted after 10 AM will be available for pick-up the next business day after 3 PM at AU Central.
Transcripts are normally processed within 24 hours. For requests that transcripts be mailed, please allow an additional three to five business days for the US mail (USPS) delivery for domestic addresses or five to ten business days for international addresses.
An internal academic record is an uncertified copy of a student's academic record. It is an internal AU record with more information recorded than the official transcript, but may be printed by the student. It does not carry the Registrar's official seal or signature.
The internal academic record provides students with a place to view current GPAs, completed courses, and courses in which they are currently enrolled. These records are helpful for internal purposes, such as applying for an internship, showing courses a student has taken, applying for a research grant, or as proof of meeting a minimum GPA requirement.
Current students may obtain internal academic records at any time through this direct link on the portal, myau.american.edu.
Grading System (Fall 2012 Forward)
Quality Points (QP)
F (Academic Fail)
FX (Administrative Fail in Course for Grade)
ZX (Administrative Fail in Pass/Fail Course)
FZ (Academic Fail in Pass/Fail Course)
Academic Fail: Academic Fail indicates the student's continued enrollment in the course and he or she did not satisfy the instructor's summative requirements for passing the course.
Administrative Fail: Administrative fail is assigned by the instructor in lieu of a grade of F when a student never attended or ceased attending the class, rendering an assessment of academic performance impossible. Instructors will be asked to provide the last date of attendance.
Additional Posting Symbols for Grades in Courses
R = Follows grade entry indicating course has been repeated
N = No grade or invalid grade submitted (assigned by the academic unit or appropriate administrative officer when an expected final grade has not been received before the grade posting deadline. The academic unit and the registrar are expected to secure an appropriate final grade within one semester.)
IP = Course in progress
To calculate the cumulative grade point average, divide the sum of the quality points by the sum of semester hours. The graduate cumulative grade point average contains only graduate-level courses.
Grading System (1978-Summer 2012)
Note: There is no official percentile equivalent for grads at American University.
Quality Points (QP)
X (Failure: administrative penalty)
* The 3-point system was used prior to Fall 1970.
Grades not calculated in the grade point average:
No grade reported or invalid grade
Withdrawal (after first two weeks of semester)**
Fail on pass/fail option
Administrative withdrawal from audit
Fail (administrative penalty) on pass/fail option
*Incompletes: Before Fall 1980, an Incomplete could stand as a permanent grade. Effective Fall 1980, an Incomplete may no longer stand as a permanent grade. The Incomplete Contract between student and instructor includes a default grade specified by the instructor; this grade is recorded as the final grade should the student fail to submit the outstanding work by the end of the following semester.
**Pass: indicates a quality of performance no less than C for undergraduates or B for graduate students on a conventional grading scale.
Repeated course (follows the grade). Reinstated Fall 2012
No grade reported (on pass/fail option)
Grading System Between Fall 1970 and Fall 1978
Transcripts include undergraduate courses taken under the course unit system. Total all the course units and multiply by four, and then add to the total number of semester hours:
GPA = quality points divided by semester hours + (course units x 4)
Grading System Before Fall 1970
A 3-point grading scale was used. Also all work attempted (as distinct from satisfactorily completed) was included in the calculation as "hours attempted." To combine the 3-point and 4-point systems, the following formula is used: