You are here: American University School of Public Affairs Admissions Graduate Admission Requirements

Admission Deadlines

Please note that the GRE requirement for all SPA master’s degree (on-campus and online) and certificate programs is optional.* Official GRE test scores will continue to be required for all SPA Ph.D. programs, no exceptions.   

*Optional means an applicant may submit an official standardized test score (GRE) for consideration in an effort to strengthen their file. If you wish to include a GRE test score as part of your master’s degree or certificate application, please email spaapp@american.edu. SPA’s admission team will hold your file until the score is available and uploaded prior to advancing it for admission consideration.  

SPA encourages all master’s degree (on-campus only) applicants to register for an application coaching session to help improve the quality of their file.

SPA and the School of Communication (SOC) have paused admissions for the M.A. in Political Communication for Spring 2022. SPA and SOC continues to welcome applications for Fall 2022. Questions may be directed to spagrad@american.edu.

Application Deadlines

Fall Admission

Mailing address options for official transcripts
Domestic Applicants International Applicants*

February 15 - Priority deadline for first round consideration for Fall merit awards.  

February 15 - Priority deadline for first round consideration for Fall merit awards.

May 1 - Final deadline for international master's applicants

Spring Admission

Domestic Applicants International Applicants*

November 1 - Priority deadline for first round consideration for Spring merit awards.  

October 15 - Final deadline for international master's applicants.

November 1 - Priority deadline for first round consideration for Spring merit awards.

After the posted deadlines, applications will be accepted and reviewed on a rolling basis until the respective term or degree program is full. If you are interested in merit aid consideration, we strongly encourage you to submit your application before the priority deadline.

BA/MA combined programs are open to current AU undergraduate students only.

*The final international student deadlines refer to applicants who require a new F-1 or J-1 visa. Current international students at another academic institution in the U.S. on an F-1 or J-1 visa can be admitted after these dates and will transfer their SEVIS record to American University. For more information on the SEVIS transfer-in process and/or international student deadlines, contact spaapp@american.edu.

June 1
Priority deadline for Key Executive Leadership MPA merit award consideration, fall admission
November 1
Priority deadline for Key Executive Leadership MPA merit award consideration, spring admission

After the posted deadlines, applications will be accepted and reviewed on a rolling basis until the respective term or degree program is full. If you are interested in merit aid consideration, we strongly encourage you to submit your application before the priority deadline.

Executive programs have different application procedures-the websites for each program will tell you more.

January 10, 2022*
Fall Deadline (Fall Admission ONLY)

Since the dual degree programs require applications to both the School of Public Affairs and the Washington College of Law, the admission requirements for both schools must be met, including the application deadlines. Please refer to WCL Admissions for their priority deadlines. Please click here for SPA priority deadlines.

Apply Now

Start or continue your application for a School of Public Affairs graduate program

Apply Now

Still Have Questions?

Please contact the Office of Graduate Admissions (OGA) at 202-885-6230 or spaapp@american.edu. We're here to help!