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

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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!

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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 Fall 2024 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 February 15 and will continue until April 15, 2024.

In order to confirm:

  • Pay the non-refundable enrollment deposit (directions attached to your SPA admissions letter). The deposit holds your place in the incoming class, enables you to register for your courses, and will be applied to your student account as a credit toward tuition.
  • 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.

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

All admitted, deposited, and enrolled Fall 2024 SPA international students are invited to join Cris Dinu, SPA’s Assistant Director, International Graduate Student Development, Nicole Powers, Assistant Director, AU’s International Student & Scholar Services (ISSS), and Jennifer Forney, Assistant Dean, Graduate Enrollment to learn more about important next steps in preparing to become a student at American University and the School of Public Affairs (SPA).

Topics include:

  • Class Enrollment for Fall 2024
  • Immigration Paperwork
  • Upcoming Initiatives
  • SPA Reminders
  • International student resources

Instructions for accessing the virtual session will be emailed to all registrants the day prior. Register now to reserve your spot. The virtual session is intended for all admitted, deposited, and enrolled international (F-1/J-1) students.

Register-Wednesday, March 27; 10:00am

The School of Public Affairs (SPA) will host two Spring Engagement Day events for admitted students for Fall 2024.

SPA will host a full visit day experience on-campus on Friday, April 5, 2024. Students will also be invited to visit classes on the evening prior, Thursday, April 4, 2024.

SPA will also host an afternoon visit day experience online on Wednesday, April 10, 2024. (The agendas will be comparable in an effort to accommodate students unable to join the on-campus event).

SPA's Spring Engagement Day(s) offer Fall 2024 admitted master's students an opportunity to further explore SPA's academic programs and associated research institutes and centers, engage with select faculty, current students, alumni, staff, and their future peer network, as well as experience the beautiful American University (AU) campus and the excitement of Washington, D.C. The experience is sure to enable students the opportunity to envision themselves as part of the welcoming, diverse and inclusive AU and SPA communities.

The SPA Spring Engagement Day visit agenda(s) will include faculty current issue talks, departmental meetings with Chairs, Program Directors, and Academic Advisors, a career services and professional outcomes presentation, current student/alumni panel, as well as a session devoted to SPA's merit aid strategy.

All Fall 2024 admitted graduate (master's and certificate) students to SPA are invited to attend. More details including a detailed itinerary and logistics will be offered to registered guests closer to the event.

After you submit your enrollment deposit, new graduate students may begin the exciting journey of designing their academic plans and registering for courses. Your graduate advisor will reach out soon to schedule an academic planning session!

The School of Public Affairs (SPA) will host SPA JumpStart that will offer a robust agenda spanning two days on the beautiful American University (AU) campus. The agenda will be designed to cater to all of SPA's on-campus master's degrees and graduate certificates and will "JumpStart" new students' academic, professional, and social engagement in graduate student life. The agenda will offer career development panels and workshops, a sampler SPA Analytics and Management Institute (SAMI) class, campus resource fair, housing bus tour, current student/alumni panel as well as an exciting special event followed by a social reception.

SPA's JumpStart offers Spring 2024 and Fall 2024 enrolled master's and graduate certificate students an opportunity to further engage with: SPA faculty, staff, and current as well as incoming students; campus and community resources; and their new Washington, D.C. home. The experience is sure to JUMPSTART new students' academic and professional pursuits!

All Spring 2024 and Fall 2024 enrolled SPA master's and graduate certificate students are strongly encouraged to make plans to attend. More details* including a detailed itinerary and logistics will be offered to registered students closer to the event.

*NEW: Enrolled students for SPA JumpStart will be offered the opportunity to stay on-campus for the duration of the event.


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 invitation with additional detail will be extended closer to the orientation date.

Your academic and professiona journey begins as you realize your purpose!

Join AU's Office of Financial Aid to learn about opportunities for federal funding. Note that this webinar is for U.S. students. To learn more about scholarships, contact your program to learn more as those funds are awarded directly through your school.

Join admissions representatives to learn about resources available to graduate students to find housing in the Washington, DC area while you study at AU.

An opportunity for graduate students who have been admitted to a program at AU to hear from our International Student Scholar Services (ISSS) office about visa requirements and support available on campus.

Join the Veterans Services Office to learn about (or get a refresher on) the resources available to U.S. active duty, veterans, and U.S. military-affiliated students.