Admission Requirements – American University
Freshman Application Checklist
- Complete the Common Application in its entirety.
- Complete the Common Application Writing Supplement.
- Transmit your test results. AU requires official scores from the SAT I or the ACT (with writing) from freshman applicants who are attending high school in the United States or who have been home schooled.
- Please note: International and US Global Nomad (US citizen) students graduating high school outside the US are not required to submit SAT I or ACT. Full details can be found here.
- Students applying under the Test Optional Plan are not required to submit test scores. See our Test Optional Plan page for complete details.
- Ask a school official to complete the Secondary School Report and letters of recommendation. Freshman applicants should include one (1) letter of recommendation from a teacher, as well as one (1) from the college guidance counselor, written on school letterhead or the recommendation forms provided by the application. Please make sure your name and Social Security number (or date of birth) are included on each recommendation. Be sure to provide your counselor or teacher with a stamped envelope addressed to AU.
- Pay the nonrefundable application fee. Using a credit card or e-check, pay the $70 application fee required for all applications. If payment of the application fee would cause your family undue hardship, fee waivers are available (U.S. citizens and permanent residents only).
- Send your application materials. Send all supporting documents to the following address: American University, Undergraduate Admissions, 4400 Massachusetts Avenue, NW, Washington, DC 20016-8001.
- Send your Mid-Year Report. Have your school counselor complete, sign and submit the Mid-Year Report along with your official mid-year grades as soon as they become available.
Minimum Admissions Requirements
Freshman applicants who follow the U.S. educational system should have completed at least 16 college preparatory secondary school units. We require that you have 4 units in English, 3 units in academic mathematics, including the equivalent of 2 units in algebra and 1 unit of geometry, at least 2 units of laboratory science, at least 2 units of social science and 2 units of foreign language. Successful candidates for admission have usually completed a rigorous college preparatory course of study that goes beyond the minimum requirements above.
AU requires strong English language skills. All applicants (including US citizens) whose first language is not English can prove English proficiency by one of the following:
- TOEFL (Test of English as a Foreign Language) – TOEFL code 5007
- Paper-based test score of 550 or higher
- 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
- For students in the DC area: KANSAS AEC Test of English Proficiency, administered by AU: Band 2 or higher.
*To be considered competitive, a 90 iBT score or above is recommended. Sub-scores for each section of the TOEFL should be 20 or higher.
NOTE: For international freshmen applicants who require an F or J visa:
TOEFL/IELTS is not required of non-native English speakers who are educated in US or IB secondary schools inside or outside the US, or in countries (*) where English is the native language, for at least 4 consecutive years (grades 9, 10, 11 and 12 or equivalent) 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).
- Once submitted, your application and other documents and materials become the property of AU and cannot be returned.
- Students who are invited to join the University Honors Program or who will be receiving any scholarship and/or financial aid award will be notified with the letter of admission.
- You will be admitted only for the semester indicated in your letter of admission. If you are unable to enroll for that semester, you must request a deferral for up to one year by writing a letter to the director of admissions.