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Graduate Admissions

Supplemental Documents

Supplemental documents required to complete an admission application vary by program. Below is a description of the various supplemental items that may be required to apply to a graduate program. Refer to the Admission Application Requirements page and select a program of interest for a specific listing of the required documents and application deadlines.


Statement of Purpose

A successful statement will illustrate a candidate's goals, highlight their research interests, and explain how their experience is relevant to the academic research conducted by faculty in their program of interest. Please try to limit your statement of purpose to 500-1,000 words (250-500 for certificate applications). Your statement of purpose can be uploaded on the Supplemental Items Listing page.


Standardized Test Scores

General Record Examination (GRE)

The GRE is required for all PhD programs and most Master's programs. They are not required for Graduate Certificates. GRE scores must be taken within five years of applying. There are no universal score requirements for the College of Arts and Sciences. To submit GREs, use school code: 5007 (no department code). GRE scores can take up to six week to arrive after the test date.

Language Proficiency Tests 

For international students whose first language is not English, American University requires a total TOEFL score of 100. TOEFL must be taken within two years of applying. 

To submit TOEFL, use school code: 5007 (no department code). TOEFL scores can take up to six weeks to arrive after the test date.


Passing scores by DC standard on PRAXIS CORE exam required for all MA teaching degrees and MA special education, including certificates. The DC teacher licensing agency sets passing scores as: Reading 156, Writing 162, and Math 150. To submit PRAXIS, use school code: 5007 (no department code). PRAXIS scores can take up to six weeks to arrive after the test date.

Other Test Types

To submit other test types, send a legible screen shot of your score report to



All applications require transcripts from degree-seeking college institutions. AU standards ask for a minimum 3.0 GPA for undergraduate work. 

A transcript uploaded by a student is considered "unofficial." Departments use these during their review period. 

Official transcripts are required only after the applicant has accepted admission to American University. Official transcripts must be sent and received by a university representative and should confirm the earned degree when applicable. 

International transcripts will need to be evaluated and show equivalency of the U.S. 4-year degree. Please include a WES evaluation with your transcript.

Your Unofficial Transcripts can be uploaded on the Supplemental Items Listing page.


Letters of Recommendation 

Master's programs and the PhD program in Economics require two letters of recommendation. All other PhD programs require three letters of recommendation. Recommenders will evaluate a candidate based on academic performance, motivation for program of study, intellectual capacity and/or research and writing ability.



The résumé should list a candidate's relevant work experience, internships, research, awards, and/or publications, as well as educational history. A curriculum vitae (CV) is also accepted. 

Your résumé can be uploaded on the Supplemental Items Listing page.