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Welcome to the School of Public Affairs Pursue Your Higher Purpose with SPA

Front of Kerwin Hall

Congratulations on your admission to one of the nation’s top schools for Public Affairs! We are inspired by your commitment to a profession that is devoted to solving some of the greatest challenges facing this generation and generations to come. We invite you to take a moment to reflect on and celebrate all your efforts and achievements that have brought you to this next phase of your academic and professional journey. And we are so happy to welcome you to the SPA graduate student community!

Admitted Student Checklists

As you consider your SPA graduate admissions offer, please take the following steps:

Create your myAU portal account. You will need your AU ID number, which can be found on the top left side of your admission letter, under your address. Note: Creating this account does not mean that you accept the offer of admission. What it provides is additional information that will enable you to access helpful resources to assist you in making your decision to say YES2SPA!

Submit your Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) if you wish to apply for Federal student Loans. American University's FAFSA code is 001434. The Office of Financial Aid (OFA) at American University will review this information and will notify you of your eligibility. Questions may be directed to

Engage in SPA’s upcoming virtual events (see sidebar for schedule and details).

Identify your Graduate Advisor so that you can collaborate on creating an academic plan that optimizes your interests and course of study.

Say YES2SPA by remitting your nonrefundable deposit of $250 US dollars. (Deposit is not required until the date specified in SPA’s admission letter and will be credited to your student account when you begin your graduate program.)

Email your official undergraduate e-transcript confirming your successful completion of a Bachelor's degree before the first day of the semester to GraduateAdmissionsDocuments@american.eduPlease refer to SPA's FAQ(s) 


✓ Connect and follow us on social media. Follow us on Twitter, Instagram, and Facebook.

✓ Visit American University's Off-Campus Housing site, which offers access to living options in the area and helps you develop a student profile in an effort to identify potential roommates. Questions may be directed to

Important Reminders

  1. Stay in touch...we are here to support you!
  2. Use your AU email account only and always! All correspondence will now only be sent to your "" account. Please regularly monitor your inbox.
  3. Explore the portal. It contains a wealth of information that will inform and support your student life on campus.

SPA’s Spring 2022 class is open and welcomes your YES2SPA! Please refer to the response dates on your admission letter for the deadline to respond. Please be mindful that merit aid decisions are made separately from admissions decisions. Merit aid notifications will begin November 1 and will continue until early January 2022.

In order to confirm:

  • Pay the non-refundable enrollment deposit. (The deposit holds your place in the incoming class, enables you to register for your courses, and will be applied to your student account).
  • Questions: 

All SPA admitted students are strongly encouraged to register and attend a virtual SPA Post-Admission Workshop (PAW).* The monthly sessions are led by Jennifer Forney, Assistant Dean of Graduate Enrollment, who will explain next steps following the exciting news of your admission to one of our graduate programs.** Agenda items include: financial and merit aid; advising and course enrollment; and engagement opportunities like major events, campus visits, and topical, virtual sessions. Please don’t miss the chance to know what to expect in the important weeks ahead as you enter the decision-making stage of accepting your admissions offer and joining our community with a YES2SPA!

*Admitted students that cannot attend an upcoming PAW should consider scheduling a telephone conversation with the assistant dean. Please reach out to to schedule.
**Post-Admission Workshops are intended for admitted students to SPA’s array of on-campus master’s degrees.

Register for the October 29th PAW.
Register for the November 30th PAW.
Register for the December 20th PAW.

You are invited to “Meet Your Graduate Advisor” in order to learn more about SPA’s robust curriculum, range of concentrations, track, and course options. Your graduate advisor is an important resource for helping you pursue your advanced skill set to support your professional aspirations. Please also be sure to ask about our SPA Analytics and Management Institute (SAMI) during the session so you can learn about the opportunity to add free and/or 1-credit hour skill-based courses to your academic plan.

Register here for the MPA Meet Your Graduate Advisor Session

Register here for the JLC and THSP Meet Your Graduate Advisor Session

Register here for the Political Science, Political Communication, and Data Science Meet Your Graduate Advisor Session

Registration for the MPP Meet Your Graduate Advisor Session is forthcoming.

The School of Public Affairs (SPA) will host virtual Fall Preview Day on Friday, November 5, 2021. SPA's Fall Preview Day offers both prospective Spring 2022 and Fall 2022 master's students an opportunity to explore academic fit, engage with select faculty, current students, and staff, and to learn more about the excitement of going to school, working, and living in Washington, D.C. The SPA Fall 2021 Preview Day agenda will include faculty current issue talks, a career services and professional outcomes presentation, current student/alumni panel, as well as a session devoted to the application process and SPA's merit aid strategy. The experience is sure to enable students the privilege to envision themselves as part of the robust AU and SPA communities. 

All Spring 2022 and Fall 2022 prospective graduate students are invited to attend. More details including a formal invitation and detailed itinerary will be extended to prospective students closer to the event date. 

All admitted Spring 2022 SPA international students are invited to join Cris Dinu, SPA’s Assistant Director of International Graduate Student Development, and Fatmira Hoxha, Assistant Director, AU’s International Student & Scholar Services to learn more about important next steps in preparing to become a student at American University and the School of Public Affairs.

Topics include:

  • Class Enrollment for Spring 2022
  • Immigration Paperwork
  • Upcoming Initiatives
  • SPA Reminders
  • International student resources

Register now to reserve your spot.

Spring 2022 new student registration began on November 14, 2021. Contact your Graduate Advisor to register for Spring classes.

This important virtual session hosted by the School of Public Affairs and joined by American University’s Office of Financial Aid (OFA) and AU Central (Student Accounts & Billing) will cover information related to Federal and Grad Plus loans, AU Billing Plans, and levering various financial sources to finance your graduate degree. The session will also host a live question and answer session.

Register for the Financing a Graduate Degree session.

Please mark your calendars for SPA’s new student orientation. The event should be considered mandatory for all on-campus master’s and graduate certificate students as it offers important information about academic policies, support services, as well as the opportunity to meet your respective department and peer network. An official invitation with additional detail will be extended closer to the orientation date.

Your pursuit of an advanced skillset and profession with a Higher Purpose officially begins!