American University: Online

About American University

American University (AU) is an accredited, private, not-for-profit university. Located in Washington, DC, American University was chartered by Congress in 1893 and founded by John Fletcher Hurst, a respected Methodist Bishop. A few years later, in 1902, the McKinley Building cornerstone was laid by President Theodore Roosevelt. It took until 1914 for the first twenty -eight students to be admitted. Four of them were female. While things have changed, many presidents and world leaders have continued to leave their footsteps.

About American University

American University Then and Now: American University Online

AU was, and remains, committed to fostering a ‘global outlook, practical idealism and a passion for public service’. Through American University Online, programs are offered that fit the schedules of today’s busy graduate students, anywhere in the world. Look for online Master’s degrees and certificate programs in many fields. These span economics, nutrition, sports management and more.

Mission, Vision and Values

American University is devoted to turning “ideas into action and action into service.” Its mission is to highlight arts and sciences programs, linking program content to modern issues and public affairs. At AU, central values include inter-disciplinary inquiry, diversity, interactive teaching, research and experiential learning.

Enrollment, Attendance, Graduation

Based on Fall 2015 data, over 13,000 students were enrolled at AU. Of these, more than 5,200 were graduate students. Other statistics related to 2015 graduate enrollment are as follows.

  • 45% part-time and 55% full-time i
  • 10% online only, 4% some online, 86% not enrolled in distance education i
  • 1,600 Master’s degrees, and over 525 Doctorate degrees awarded i

Financial Aid

Graduate students enrolled at least half time in an online Master's program may be eligible for federal loans. To apply, students must submit a FAFSA. However, graduate students enrolled in online programs are ineligible for federal work study.

AU Graduate Scholarships: American University may offer graduate scholarships to qualified students. The deadline for most scholarship applications is February 1. These are administered by the academic departments.

Graduate Admission Requirements

The Graduate Admissions process at AU for both campus and online programs is handled by the individual schools. Future students select their program from their school of choice. From there, they can fill out an online application. Each program may have their own requisites. See below for an example.

Admission At-A-Glance: Online MA Economics

  • Bachelor’s degree from a regionally accredited college or university
  • Calculus 1 or CLEP exam
  • GRE test scores
  • Minimum 3.0 GPA
  • TOEFL score of 600 (International students)
  • Phone interview, statement of purpose, 2 letters of recommendation, resume

Need some help? AU regularly offers Virtual Open Houses and Industry Webinars for online graduate programs. These provide useful information about admission requirements and other topics.

Start Dates

Start dates usually match with school semesters. Check academic calendars for details.


In Fall 2015 American University had 800 full-time and over 600 part-time instructional, research and public service faculty members.i In addition, there were more than 700 part-time graduate assistants. In the 2011-12 school year, 94% of faculty held the highest degree in their field. In addition, many AU programs feature adjunct faculty, alumni, guest speakers, industry leaders and politicians.

  • Student-faculty ratio: 12:1
  • Average graduate class size: 17 students
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Why Consider American University?

Whether you are looking for universities in Washington, or quality online graduate programs, AU has a lot to offer. American University was ranked No.66 for Best Value Schools by U.S. News & World Report America’s Best Colleges (2016). It was also ranked No.5 for Top Public Management Administration Program by U.S. News & World Report Best Grad School (2016).

  • No. 3 Best Online Master in Economics Degree Program – (2015)
  • American University is the top producer of Fulbright scholars)
  • AU reports that 92.5% of American University grads with graduate degrees find jobs or continue their studies.

Online Learning Model: “You’ll be online, not alone”

Essential to all online programs are interaction and communication with the instructor and fellow classmates. American University’s online courses are taught by the same faculty members and prestigious guest lecturers who teach on campus. Future online students can expect to ask their instructor questions and discuss the courses as if they were on campus. The difference is they turn in assignments through email, discussion boards, IM, and more.

AU uses Blackboard. Online students have 24/7 access to their courses. Most programs give students the option to log in when they are able. Course materials may include audio-visual parts and textbook readings.

Some professors use Wimba. This is a tool that allows faculty to conduct real-time classes and office hours.

Online Student Experience

Online students may obtain a Student ID and take advantage of all the same resources as on-campus students. This includes dining, retail, athletics, library and numerous other facilities.

Student Support Services

Aside from tech support, American University offers career services, academic advising, research assistance and more. A few highlights follow.

  • American University participates in interlibrary loan
  • Research Centers & institutes
  • Vast online library

Services and Programs for Service Members and Veterans

Per U.S. News and World Report (2016), American University is ranked No.60 Best Colleges for Veterans. For the eighth year, the Corporation for National and Community Service has named American University to the 2014 President’s Higher Education Community Service Honor Roll. Some of the services and programs offered to eligible servicemen and veterans may include the following.

  • Yellow Ribbon Program
  • Recognized student veteran organization
  • Member of Servicemembers Opportunity Colleges
  • Accepts transfer credit for military courses
  • Veterans benefits
  • Financial assistance

American University Accreditation

American University is regionally accredited by the Middle States Association of Colleges and Secondary Schools. It is also recognized by the University Senate of the United Methodist Church.

Is American University Accredited for Specific Programs?

Many of American University’s programs are individually accredited by, or are members of professional organizations. A few examples are listed below.

  • Kogod School of Business: Accredited by the Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business (AACSB International)
  • School of Education: Accredited by the National Association of State Directors of Teacher Education and Certification (Elementary and Secondary)
  • School of Public Affairs: Institutional member of the National Association of Schools of Public Affairs and Administration
  • School of Communication: Accredited by the Accrediting Council on Education in Journalism and Mass Communication

American University Academics and Degree Programs

Can’t commute to American University? Choose a flexible and convenient online masters degree or graduate certificate. Online programs at American University are as challenging as their campus options. Students on both fronts learn from quality faculty that brings a global point of view. Explore an online Master of Public Administration and Policy, or a Master of Arts in Strategic Communication.

Program Highlights: Online Master of Science (MS) in Nutrition Education

Do you hope to empower others to make healthy choices? Earn an online Master of Science in Nutrition Education at American University in as few as 20 months. What are the Admissions Requirements for the MS in Nutrition Education? Future students need to have earned a bachelor’s degree from an accredited college or university. In addition to a 3.0 GPA, students are required to provide the following.

  • Submit GRE tests scores
  • Resume
  • Transcripts
  • Statement of purpose
  • Two letters of recommendation
  • Phone interview

Faculty Are members of the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics. Hold positions as fellows in the American College of Nutrition and are recognized experts featured on CBS News and the Washington Journal

Curriculum: Study both the science of nutrition and how to teach others about diet and lifestyle. Learn about vitamins, minerals and sports nutrition. A sample of courses include: Lifecycle Nutrition, Changing Health and Behavior, Health Communication and Strategies in Weight Control.

Relevant Specializations: Choose from 21 professionally relevant specializations. From applied computer science, and homeland security to financial management and marketing. Or, consider one of their unique degree programs such as an MBA in Management of Engineering and Technology or MBA in Performance Improvement.

Learning OutcomesStudents explore theory, science, and practical ways to apply their knowledge to teach others. Graduates will have studied how to design and launch nutrition education programs in various settings.

  • Use consumer-friendly health writing to advocate for nutrition health
  • Make use of research methods to understand the links between nutrition and disease
  • Develop intervention strategies

Prepare for CertificationThe MS in Nutrition Education may prepare you take the Certified Nutrition Specialist® credential. This requires extra coursework and supervised practice beyond this degree.

Program Highlights: Online Master of Science (MS) in Sports Analytics & Management

Are you seeking skills relevant to sports management? Kick things into high gear with a project-oriented Master of Science in Sports Analytics (MS) and Management. In this 20-month, 30-credit program, students learn about the new and emerging areas that are used in sports-related careers.

What are the Admissions Requirements for the MS in Sports Analytics & Management?

Future students need to have earned a bachelor’s degree from an accredited college or university. No prior sports management is required. However, the program is geared for students with some professional experience. Other than their application, submit the following.

  • Resume
  • Transcripts
  • Statement of purpose
  • Two letters of recommendation
  • Phone Interview


Created by industry professionals, the program was developed in consultation with a council of sports management leaders. Consultants come from the National Basketball Association, ESPN, U.S. Soccer Foundation, National Football League Players Association (NFLPA), Nike, Facebook, Under Armour, and the Sports and Entertainment Marketing Group at JP Morgan Chase & Co.


American University’s MS in Sports Analytics and Management program consists of 10 fully online courses (30 credits), each eight-weeks long. Aside from coursework, students complete a capstone project. Sample courses include the following.

  • Emerging Technology Trends
  • Communication Skills
  • Ethical Issues
  • Consulting Skills
  • Cost-Benefit Analysis
  • Sports Analytics and Social Engagement
  • Digital Media

Learning Outcomes

Graduates may be equipped with ‘next-generation sports management skills.’ Since the program is designed by industry specialists, topics are relevant for today’s workplace. Students could be prepared to pursue opportunities in areas that range from social media and e-sports gaming, to performance data analytics and virtual reality.

Choose a Program at American University

American University offers strong academics, quality faculty, and a long history of educating students. Browse the list of sponsored programs below. When you find one, click on the link or icon. This will give a brief description. From there, request info using the on-page form. Why not get started today?


School Headquarters: American University, 4400 Massachusetts Avenue, NW, Washington, DC, 20016


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