SPA Combined Programs

Through SPA’s Combined Bachelor’s/Master’s Programs, American University undergraduate students take graduate coursework and earn credit towards both their undergraduate degree and one of SPA’s seven master’s degrees.

Right: Elizabeth Ogunsuyi, BA/MPA 2021
SPA Graduate Student Council President

Program Overview

Our accelerated Combined Programs provide qualified AU undergraduate students across all majors with an opportunity to save time, save money, deepen their expertise, and jumpstart their careers. Through SPA's Combined Program offerings, current undergraduate students with a demonstrated history of academic excellence can apply for admission and significantly reduce their graduate program costs and program duration. 

Who Can Apply?

Current AU undergraduate students should ideally apply for the combined bachelor's/master's program once they have earned 75-90 academic credits. Exceptions to this range are possible depending on individual student circumstances. While we highly encourage first-year students to explore SPA's Combined Program offerings, you must be in your second year at AU to apply. 

Before I Apply:

Before starting your application, you must complete the following:

  • First, speak with your dedicated Undergraduate Advisor about your interest in SPA's Combined Programs.

  • Second, speak with the Combined Programs Liaison & SPA's Recruitment Manager, Vince Chapa at SPACombinedPrograms@american.edu.

  • Third, you will be connected with the appropriate Graduate Advisor for the Combined Program master's degree that you are interested in for an important pre-application meeting. 

How do I Apply?

Start your application here. Please note that your Entry Term on your application is the first semester immediately following your undergraduate graduation. For example, if your undergraduate graduation is in Spring 2023, you apply for Fall 2023.  One benefit of the Combined Program is the streamlined application process:

  1. Online Application for Graduate Admissions
  2. Personal Statement
  3. 2 Letters of Recommendation
  4. Unofficial AU Transcript
  5. Resume or CV
  6. Signed Terms of Agreement*
  7. Application Fee – WAIVED
  8. Official GRE Scores – WAIVED

*You will receive your Terms of Agreement document after your meeting with the Graduate Advisor. 

Learn More Now

Schedule your 1-on-1 informational conversation and personalized application coaching session here

Upcoming Events

Before submitting your application, join us at a Combined Program Informational Session or schedule a 1-on-1 personalized informational conversation with the Combined Program Liaison.

  • Application Coaching Session - Thursday, June 3 at 3:30 PM EST – RSVP Here

  • Combined Program Information Session - Tuesday, June 8 at 12:00 PM EST – RSVP Here

Combined Program Benefits

There are several important reasons why an AU undergraduate student would choose to apply for the combined bachelor's/master's program, such as:

  • Advanced Skill Development
  • Build A Strong Professional Network
  • Accelerate Your Career
  • No Test Scores Required
  • No Application Fee
  • Enrollment Deposit Waiver
  • Save Time & Save Money!

Financing Your Degree

For SPA's Combined Program students, there are typically 3 ways in which they finance their graduate education. During your undergraduate studies, there are no changes to tuition or your financial aid package. Once Combined Program undergraduate students graduate and transition into full graduate students, they will have new financial benefits and responsibilities. Most of SPA's Combined Program graduate students use the following methods to finance their graduate degree:

  1. Personal Funds - Income, Employer Contributions, Military Benefits, Outside Fellowships
  2. Merit Aid Awards - Tuition Remission from the School of Public Affairs
  3. Federal Graduate Student Loans - Direct Unsubsidized Loans & Direct Graduate Plus Loans

Eligible Master's Degrees

Master in Political Communication

MA Political Communication

Learn the essence of politics through the interplay of message content, delivery media, and audience analysis.

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Master in Political Science

MA Political Science

Intellectual curiosity fuels this multidisciplinary program of exploratory, critical thinkers.

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Master of Public Administration

Master of Public Administration

Our program gives you the tools to meet complex public challenges with strong, capable leadership.

Learn more

Master of Public Policy

Master of Public Policy

This program shapes policy analysts and changemakers of the future.

Learn more

MS Justice, Law & Criminology

MS Justice, Law & Criminology

Tackle today’s critically important challenges at the intersection of justice and law.

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MS Terrorism & Homeland Security Policy

MS Terrorism & Homeland Security Policy

From tactical approaches to strategic solutions.

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Data scientist with glasses

MS Data Science

Build your skill set in data science with this shared degree program, offered by SPA and the AU College of Arts and Sciences (CAS).

Learn More