Admissions Overview

American University campus

The American University School of International Service seeks International Relations Online students who are dedicated to service for the global good.

Applications are now being accepted for the following start dates:

September 7, 2015 July 13, 2015 June 15, 2015
January 4, 2016 November 9, 2015 October 12, 2015
May 2, 2016 March 7, 2016 February 8, 2016
August 1, 2016 June 6, 2016 May 9, 2016
September 15, 2016 July 11, 2016 June 16, 2016


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The following information is needed in order for your application to be considered:

  • Completed online application form
  • Statement of purpose
  • $55 application fee
  • Current resume/CV
  • Official transcripts from all academic institutions from which you earned credit
  • Official and current GRE test scores (institution code 0812)
  • TOEFL or IELTS score, if applicable
  • Two letters of recommendation

Academic Background

All applicants to SIS graduate programs must possess a bachelor’s degree from an accredited institution by the date of anticipated enrollment at SIS. Applicants are required to submit transcripts from all institutions attended.


Your resume/CV allows the admissions committee to review your background and previous experiences. We encourage you to be detailed and thorough in preparing your resume and to include internship and volunteer experience in addition to traditional full-time work experiences.

Statement of Purpose

Your statement of purpose should clearly state your reason for undertaking graduate studies in your chosen field, what you expect from the program, and how you can contribute to the program. It should include your research interests and your academic and career objectives. As your statement offers the committee the opportunity to get to know you, discussion of your relevant qualifications and experiences is encouraged. The statement should also demonstrate your composition skills and analytical ability. While there is no minimum or maximum length, we suggest a length of approximately 1,200 words.

Letters of Recommendation

All applicants to SIS graduate programs are required to submit two letters of recommendation to support their application. Letters of recommendation should evaluate your suitability for graduate study in international affairs. It is strongly recommended that at least one of your two letters of recommendation be from an academic source.


You must submit transcripts from all institutions you have attended. Transcripts may be issued electronically or mailed.

Many schools issue transcripts electronically, either through their own web services or through vendors. If this option is available through the institutions you attended, please specify that your transcript(s) be sent to or select American University International Relations Online if listed as an option through a vendor. This will expedite the delivery of your transcript(s) and the completion of your application.

If you wish to mail your transcripts, sealed, official transcripts from U.S. institutions should be sent directly to:

American University
International Relations Online
8201 Corporate Drive
Suite 900
Landover, MD 20785

Students who completed degrees at institutions outside the United States are required to submit a transcript evaluation (and a translation, if applicable) in addition to original transcripts. Please contact your Admissions Counselor for specific information about acceptable transcript evaluation services.

Economics Preparation

It is highly recommended that students have previous microeconomics and macroeconomics coursework prior to enrolling in the program. However, prior economics coursework is not a pre-requisite for admission to the program. Students who have not previously completed approved economics coursework will be required to take SISG-773 Introduction to Economic Theory. Registration and sequencing of this course, if applicable, will be coordinated between the student and academic advising.


Applicants are required to submit standardized test scores, if applicable (see below).

Students Holding a U.S.-Accredited Degree

Applicants who hold an advanced degree (master’s or doctoral) at the time of application are encouraged, but not required, to submit GRE scores.


GRE is required if you hold a bachelor’s degree (or will hold before attending AU) from a university whose language of instruction is English. It is waived if you hold a master’s degree or higher at the time of application.

The SIS institution code for GRE score reporting is 0812. There is no department code.

Applicants who have seven or more years of work experience may be eligible to waive the GRE requirement. Applicants who choose to apply for the GRE waiver will be required to submit an official resume and unofficial transcripts, along with the GRE waiver application.

Students Holding a Degree From a Non-U.S. Institution


International students are an important part of the SIS community. We encourage international students to apply to International Relations Online and add to SIS’ diverse graduate student body. You will be evaluated on an equal basis with U.S. citizens for admission and any merit-based scholarships.

Results of the TOEFL, IELTS, or Pearson Test of English (PTE) are required if your native language is not English. This requirement can be waived if you hold a bachelor’s degree or higher from an accredited university whose language of instruction is English in a country where English is also the official language. In countries where English is one of the official languages, TOEFL may be waived on a case-by-case basis. Please contact us for additional details. Please visit the CIA World Fact Book for country and language profile. SIS accepts the following tests of English language proficiency with these minimum scores:

Minimum Score: 100 (internet-based test)
250 (computer-based test)
600 (paper-based test)

Minimum Score: 7.0

Test: Pearson
Minimum Score: 68

The SIS institution code for TOEFL score reporting is 3313. There is no department code.

Application Fee

The application fee for SIS graduate programs is $55. The application fee is waived for:

  • Active duty members or veterans of the U.S. military
  • Active or Returned Peace Corps, AmeriCorps, Teach for America, and LanguageCorps Volunteers
  • First-generation college students

If the application fee is paid off-line, the check must be sent payable to American University to the following on-campus address:

International Relations Online
Attn: Matthew Meekins
School of International Service
American University
4400 Massachusetts Avenue, NW
Washington, D.C. 200016

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