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APUS Facts

Higher Learning Commission Mark of Affiliation



Origins: Flagship school, American Military University,
founded in 1991
Degree Program Levels: Associate, Bachelor's, Master's
Other Programs: Certificate Programs
Course Delivery: 100% online
Current Students: 100,000+


American Public University System (APUS) consists of two online universities: American Public University (APU) and American Military University (AMU).

Our origins reach back to 1991, when James P. Etter, a Marine Corps officer who taught at Marine Corps Base Quantico, retired from active service and launched one of the first 100% online universities, American Military University. AMU was designed to meet the unique educational needs of the military – transient, working adults needing a range of program offerings from traditional courses such as criminal justice to unique courses such as counterterrorism and military intelligence, which are not readily available at most institutions.

In 2002, after ten years of growth and service to thousands of students and hundreds of graduates, AMU expanded into the American Public University System, adding American Public University. APU is designed to extend the system’s outreach to better meet the needs of those interested in public service related programs, such as criminal justice, public safety, national security and other adult learners seeking to advance their education through a robust, online curriculum.

American Public University System has evolved as one of the world's leading private institutions of distance education. Learn more about our Mission, Vision, and Core Values.


APUS, through members American Military University and American Public University, offers more than 190 degrees and certificates. Visit AMU or APU for a complete list of available programs.

Our 10 most popular programs are:

Business AdministrationIntelligence Studies
Criminal JusticePsychology
General StudiesHomeland Security
ManagementTransportation and Logistics Management
Sports and Health Sciences Public Health

Course Delivery: Courses are taught in an online format.


American Public University System is accredited by the Higher Learning Commission (HLC). The HLC accredits degree-granting institutions located in a 19-state region, and is recognized by the U.S. Department of Education (ED), and the Council for Higher Education Accreditation (CHEA).

Higher Learning Commission:, 230 South LaSalle Street, Suite 7-500, Chicago, IL 60604, 800-621-7440


Semesters: Classes start on a monthly basis, unlike traditional universities. Courses start on the first Monday of every month.
Course Length: Courses are offered in an 8-week or a 16-week format.


Student Count


Class Distribution

23% Associate
60% Bachelor's

17% Master's

Adult Learners

Most are working adults

Average Age

33 years

Military Status

73% active-duty military, Guard, Reserve, and veterans; 27% civilian

Prior Learning Experience

Most students have transfer credit from prior learning, other university coursework, or military experience. On average, students transfer:
Undergraduate: 71 semester hours 
Graduate: 7 semester hours

Geographic Distribution

As an online university, we have students who are studying with us in all 50 states and more than 100 countries, wherever there is an Internet connection.


APUS has an open admissions policy and does not require ACT or SAT scores.


1,750+ full time and part-time faculty members. Our professors work from around the world – California, Canada, Austria – where many hold teaching positions at other universities or are active professionals at the National Security Agency, United Nations, the U.S. military, among others.


Undergraduate Tuition$270/credit hour = $810 per 3 credit course
Graduate Tuition$350/credit hour = $1,050 per 3 credit course

Services/Fees That May Apply:
Graduation Fees $100
Graduate Comprehension Exams $250
Learning Tracks COLL099 or COLL599 $50
Technology Fee (per course)* $50
No hidden fees or charges for: 
Course Drop (before the end of week 1 or 2 depending on course length)**$0


Tuition for Military-Affiliated
For our military-affiliated students, we offer a tuition grant which caps our undergraduate tuition at $250/credit hour and graduate tuition at $325/credit hour for U.S. active-duty servicemembers, Guard, Reserve, military spouses and dependents, and veterans.

*Technology fees covered by grants for U.S. active-duty military service members, and for Guard and Reserve personnel when using military tuition assistance.

**There is no fee for course withdraw after the drop date, and the tuition refund schedule is based on the course length and the withdrawal date.

Fees may vary by academic program. For detailed tuition and fees Information, see American Military University, or American Public University



Undergraduates: An APUS Book Grant provides required texts and other reading at no charge to students earning undergraduate academic credit. Students just need to register for courses and submit payment for tuition. Course materials are typically provided in electronic format. If the material is not yet available electronically, or students are stationed overseas, the printed textbooks and other reading matter will be shipped directly to them at no charge.

Graduates: Although graduate students are required to buy their own course materials, the university strives to minimize such costs. Please visit the course materials section of the student handbook for information on how to obtain your course materials.


We have two administrative offices – our headquarters are in Charles Town, WV and supporting administrative offices are in Manassas, VA.

Corporate Offices
111 West Congress Street
Charles Town, WV 25414
Phone: 304-724-3700
Toll Free: 877-468-6268

Administrative Offices
10110 Battleview Parkway, Suite 114
Manassas, VA 20109
Phone: 703-330-5398
Toll Free: 877-468-6268