American University Requirements for Admission

What are American University's admission requirements? While there are a lot of pieces that go into a college application, you should focus on only a few critical things:

  • GPA requirements
  • Testing requirements, including SAT and ACT requirements
  • Application requirements

In this guide we'll cover what you need to get into American University and build a strong application.

School location: Washington, DC


Admissions Rate: 35%

If you want to get in, the first thing to look at is the acceptance rate. This tells you how competitive the school is and how serious their requirements are.

The acceptance rate at American University is 35%. For every 100 applicants, 35 are admitted.

image description

This means the school is very selective. If you meet American University's requirements for GPA, SAT/ACT scores, and other components of the application, you have a great shot at getting in. But if you fall short on GPA or your SAT/ACT scores, you'll have a very low chance of being admitted, even if you meet the other admissions requirements.


American University GPA Requirements

Many schools specify a minimum GPA requirement, but this is often just the bare minimum to submit an application without immediately getting rejected.

The GPA requirement that really matters is the GPA you need for a real chance of getting in. For this, we look at the school's average GPA for its current students.

Average GPA: 3.66

The average GPA at American University is 3.66.

image description

(Most schools use a weighted GPA out of 4.0, though some report an unweighted GPA.

With a GPA of 3.66, American University requires you to be above average in your high school class. You'll need at least a mix of A's and B's, with more A's than B's. You can compensate for a lower GPA with harder classes, like AP or IB classes. This will show that you're able to handle more difficult academics than the average high school student.

If you're currently a junior or senior, your GPA is hard to change in time for college applications. If your GPA is at or below the school average of 3.66, you'll need a higher SAT or ACT score to compensate. This will help you compete effectively against other applicants who have higher GPAs than you.


SAT and ACT Requirements

Each school has different requirements for standardized testing. Most schools require the SAT or ACT, and many also require SAT subject tests.

You must take either the SAT or ACT to submit an application to American University. More importantly, you need to do well to have a strong application.

American University SAT Requirements

Many schools say they have no SAT score cutoff, but the truth is that there is a hidden SAT requirement. This is based on the school's average score.

Average SAT: 1858 (New: 1320)

The average SAT score composite at American University is a 1858 on the old 2400 SAT scale.

On the new 1600 SAT, this corresponds to an average SAT score of 1320.

This score makes American University Moderately Competitive for SAT test scores.

image description

American University SAT Score Analysis (New 1600 SAT)

The 25th percentile New SAT score is 1230, and the 75th percentile New SAT score is 1410. In other words, a 1230 on the New SAT places you below average, while a 1410 will move you up to above average.

Here's the breakdown of new SAT scores by section:

SectionAverage25th Percentile75th Percentile
Math620580670
Reading343237
Writing343236
Composite132012301410

American University SAT Score Analysis (Old 2400 SAT)

The 25th percentile Old SAT score is 1720, and the 75th percentile SAT score is 2010. In other words, a 1720 on the Old SAT places you below average, while a 2010 puts you well above average.

Here's the breakdown of old SAT scores by section:

SectionAverage25th Percentile75th Percentile
Math602560650
Reading635590690
Writing621570670
Composite185817202010

SAT Score Choice Policy

The Score Choice policy at your school is an important part of your testing strategy.

American University has the Score Choice policy of "Highest Section."

This is also known as "superscoring." This means that you can choose which SAT tests you want to send to the school. Of all the scores they receive, your application readers will consider your highest section scores across all SAT test dates you submit.

Click below to learn more about how superscoring critically affects your test strategy.

How does superscoring change your test strategy? (Click to Learn)

For example, say you submit the following 3 test scores:

Section Reading Math Writing Composite
Test 1 700 300 300 1300
Test 2 300 700 300 1300
Test 3 300 300 700 1300
Superscore 700 700 700 2100

Even though the highest total you scored on any one test date was 1300, American University will take your highest section score from all your test dates, then combine them to form your Superscore. You can raise your composite score from 1300 to 2100 in this example.

This is important for your testing strategy. Because you can choose which tests to send in, and American University forms your Superscore, you can take the SAT as many times as you want, then submit only the tests that give you the highest Superscore. Your application readers will only see that one score.

Therefore, if your SAT superscore is currently below a 2010, we strongly recommend that you consider prepping for the SAT and retaking it. You have a very good chance of raising your score, which will significantly boost your chances of getting in.

Even better, because of the Superscore, you can focus all your energy on a single section at a time. If your Reading score is lower than your other sections, prep only for the Reading section, then take the SAT. Then focus on Math for the next test, and so on. This will surely give you the highest Superscore possible.


Exclusive: Want to learn how to improve your SAT score by 160 points? image description

Download our free guide on the top 5 strategies you must be using to improve your score. This guide was written by Harvard graduates and SAT perfect scorers. If you apply the strategies in this guide, you'll study smarter and make huge score improvements.

Get eBook: 5 Tips for 240+ Points

American University ACT Requirements

Just like for the SAT, American University likely doesn't have a hard ACT cutoff, but if you score too low, your application will get tossed in the trash.

Average ACT: 28

The average ACT score at American University is 28. This score makes American University Moderately Competitive for ACT scores.

image description

The 25th percentile ACT score is 26, and the 75th percentile ACT score is 30.

Even though American University likely says they have no minimum ACT requirement, if you apply with a 26 or below, you'll have a very hard time getting in, unless you have something else very impressive in your application. There are so many applicants scoring 28 and above that a 26 will look academically weak.

ACT Score Sending Policy

If you're taking the ACT as opposed to the SAT, you have a huge advantage in how you send scores, and this dramatically affects your testing strategy.

Here it is: when you send ACT scores to colleges, you have absolute control over which tests you send. You could take 10 tests, and only send your highest one. This is unlike the SAT, where many schools require you to send all your tests ever taken.

This means that you have more chances than you think to improve your ACT score. To try to aim for the school's ACT requirement of 30 and above, you should try to take the ACT as many times as you can. When you have the final score that you're happy with, you can then send only that score to all your schools.

ACT Superscore Policy

By and large, most colleges do not superscore the ACT. (Superscore means that the school takes your best section scores from all the test dates you submit, and then combines them into the best possible composite score). Thus, most schools will just take your highest ACT score from a single sitting.

However, in our research, we found that American University does in fact offer an ACT superscore policy. To quote their Admissions Office:

Test Optional Plan Option. Contact school for more information.

Source

Superscoring is powerful to your testing strategy, and you need to make sure you plan your testing accordingly. Of all the scores that American University receives, your application readers will consider your highest section scores across all ACT test dates you submit.

Click below to learn more about how superscoring critically affects your test strategy.

How does superscoring change your test strategy? (Click to Learn)

For example, say you submit the following 4 test scores:

English Math Reading Science Composite
Test 1 32 16 16 16 20
Test 2 16 32 16 16 20
Test 3 16 16 32 16 20
Test 4 16 16 16 32 20
Superscore 32 32 32 32 32

Even though the highest ACT composite you scored on any one test date was 20, American University will take your highest section score from all your test dates, then combine them to form your Superscore. You can raise your composite score from 20 to 32 in this example.

This is important for your testing strategy. Because you can choose which tests to send in, and American University forms your Superscore, you can take the ACT as many times as you want, then submit only the tests that give you the highest Superscore. Your application readers will only see that one score.

Therefore, if your ACT score is currently below a 30, we strongly recommend that you consider prepping for the ACT and retaking it. You have a very good chance of raising your score, which will significantly boost your chances of getting in.

Even better, because of the Superscore, you can focus all your energy on a single section at a time. If your Reading score is lower than your other sections, prep only for the Reading section, then take the ACT. Then focus on Math for the next test, and so on. This will surely give you the highest Superscore possible.


Studying for the ACT instead? Want to learn how to improve your ACT score by 4 points? image description

Download our free guide on the top 5 strategies you must be using to improve your score. This guide was written by Harvard graduates and ACT perfect scorers. If you apply the strategies in this guide, you'll study smarter and make huge score improvements.

Free eBook: 5 Tips to 4+ Points on the ACT

SAT/ACT Writing Section Requirements

Both the SAT and ACT have a Writing section that includes an essay.

American University requires you to take the SAT/ACT Writing section. They'll use this as another factor in their admissions consideration.


SAT Subject Test Requirements

Schools vary in their SAT subject test requirements. Typically, selective schools tend to require them, while most schools in the country do not.

We did not find information that American University requires SAT subject tests, and so most likely it does not. At least 6 months before applying, you should still doublecheck just to make sure, so you have enough time to take the test.



Final Admissions Verdict

image description

Because this school is very selective, strong academic scores are critical to improving your chances of admission. If you're able to score a 2010 SAT or a 30 ACT or above, you'll have a very strong chance at getting in.

For a school as selective as American University, rounding out the rest of your application will also help. We'll cover those details next.

But if you apply with a score below a 2010 SAT or a 30 ACT, you unfortunately have a low chance of getting in. There are just too many other applicants with high SAT/ACT scores and strong applications, and you need to compete against them.



Admissions Calculator

What are your chances of admission at American University?
Chances of admission with these scores:

Here's our custom admissions calculator. Plug in your numbers to see what your chances of getting in are.

Pick your test: Old SAT New SAT ACT

SAT Score
Your GPA
Note: This is only an estimate for the average student, based on data collected from thousands of students. Other factors in your application may come into play, such as extracurriculars and recommendation letters.

How would your chances improve with a better score?

Try to take your current SAT score and add 160 points (or take your ACT score and add 4 points) to the calculator above. See how much your chances improve?

At PrepScholar, we've created the leading online SAT/ACT prep program. We guarantee an improvement of 160 SAT points or 4 ACT points on your score, or your money back.

Here's a summary of why we're so much more effective than other prep programs:

There's a lot more to PrepScholar that makes it the best SAT/ACT prep program. Click to learn more about our program, or sign up for our 5-day free trial to check out PrepScholar for yourself:

SAT Free Signup

Application Requirements

Every school requires an application with the bare essentials - high school transcript and GPA, application form, and other core information. Many schools, as explained above, also require SAT and ACT scores, as well as letters of recommendation, application essays, and interviews. We'll cover the exact requirements of American University here.

Application Requirements Overview

  • Common Application Accepted, supplemental forms required
  • Universal Application Not accepted
  • Electronic Application Available
  • Essay or Personal Statement Required for all freshmen
  • Letters of Recommendation 2
  • Interview Not required
  • Application Fee $70
  • Fee Waiver Available? Available
  • Other Notes

Testing Requirements

  • SAT or ACT Required
  • SAT or ACT Writing Required
  • SAT Subject Tests
  • Scores Due in Office January 15

Coursework Requirements

  • Subject Required Years
  • English 4
  • Math 3
  • Science 3
  • Foreign Language 2
  • Social Studies 2
  • History
  • Electives 3

Deadlines and Early Admissions

  •  
    • Offered? Deadline Notification
  • Regular Admission
    • Yes January 10 April 1
  • Early Action
    • No
  • Early Decision
    • Yes November 10, January 10 December 31, February 15

Admissions Office Information


Other Schools For You

If you're interested in American University, you'll probably be interested in these schools as well. We've divided them into 3 categories depending on how hard they are to get into, relative to American University.


image description

Reach Schools: Harder to Get Into

These schools are more selective and have higher scores than American University. If you improve your SAT score, you'll be competitive for these schools.

School Name Location SAT Avg (1600) SAT Avg (2400) ACT Avg
Boston University Boston, MA 1370 1946 29
Villanova University Villanova, PA 1370 1940 31
Binghamton University Vestal, NY 1360 1929 29
United States Military Academy West Point, NY 1340 1898 28
University of California, Santa Barbara Santa Barbara, CA 1330 1874 27
Stony Brook University Stony Brook, NY 1310 1849 28
University of Texas at Dallas Richardson, TX 1310 1846 28

image description

Same Level: Equally Hard to Get Into

If you're competitive for American University, these schools will offer you a similar chance of admission.

School Name Location SAT Avg (1600) SAT Avg (2400) ACT Avg
University of Massachusetts Amherst Amherst, MA 1290 1226 27
University of Connecticut Storrs, CT 1300 1839 28
Rochester Institute of Technology Rochester, NY 1290 1815 29
Chapman University Orange, CA 1290 1807 27
University of California, Davis Davis, CA 1290 1800 27
Penn State University Park University Park, PA 1270 1786 27
Drexel University Philadelphia, PA 1270 1782 27

image description

Safety Schools: Easier to Get Into

If you're currently competitive for American University, you should have no problem getting into these schools. If American University is currently out of your reach, you might already be competitive for these schools.

School Name Location SAT Avg (1600) SAT Avg (2400) ACT Avg
Syracuse University Syracuse, NY 1270 1775 27
Hofstra University Hempstead, NY 1240 1178 27
Texas Christian University Fort Worth, TX 1260 1762 27
University of California, Irvine Irvine, CA 1250 1754 27
Auburn University Auburn University, AL 1250 1742 27
University of Cincinnati Cincinnati, OH 1230 1726 26
Temple University Philadelphia, PA 1230 1719 26

If You Liked Our Advice...

Visit our blog for free strategy guides on college admissions and test prep.

Our experts have written hundreds of useful articles on improving your SAT score and getting into college. You'll definitely find something useful here.

Visit our blog now.

Subscribe to our newsletter to get FREE strategies and guides sent to your email. Learn how to ace the SAT with exclusive tips and insights that we share with our private newsletter subscribers.

Get Free SAT Tips to Boost Your Score
100% Privacy. No spam ever.


You should definitely follow us on social media. You'll get updates on our latest articles right on your feed. Follow us on all 3 of our social networks:


Twitter and Google+