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).

APUS’ 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 AdministrationInformation Technology Management
Criminal JusticeIntelligence Studies
Emergency and Disaster ManagementManagement
HistorySports and Health Sciences
Homeland SecurityTransportation and Logistics Management

Course Delivery: Courses are taught in an online format.


American Public University System is accredited by the Higher Learning Commission, North Central Association, www.ncahigherlearningcommission.org, 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: Most classes are taught in both an 8-week or a 16-week format.


Student Count


Class Distribution

21% Associate
59% Bachelor's
20% Master's

Adult Learners

Most are working adults

Median Age

32 years

Military Status

53% active duty, from all branches of service. 47% civilian, other military.

Prior Learning/ Experience

Most students have transfer credit from prior learning, other university coursework, or military experience.
On average, students transfer:
Undergraduate: 28 semester hours 
Graduate: 5 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. Browse the APU or AMU faculty directory.


We do not want costs to get in the way of your education. We have streamlined our tuition and fees to make it easy for you to estimate and cover any expenses. For our many military students who use tuition assistance benefits, this often means no or minimal out-of-pocket costs.


Prior to June 2011 course start dates
Undergraduate Tuition$250/credit hour = $750 per 3 credit course

Graduate Tuition

$300/credit hour = $900 per 3 credit course

As of June 2011 course start dates
Undergraduate Tuition$250/credit hour = $750 per 3 credit course
Graduate Tuition$325/credit hour = $975 per 3 credit course

Services/Fees That May Apply:
Transfer Student Fee* $50
Graduation Fees $100
Graduate Challenge/Comprehension Exams $250
Withdrawal Fee (before end of week 2)  $0
Technology Fee (per course) $50
No hidden fees or charges for:
Application Fee$0
Registration Fee$0
Drop Fee before the end of week 2$0

* Transfer Student Fee waived for all Active Duty Military, Guard, and Reserve applicants.
For Detailed Tuition and Fees Information, see American Military University, or American Public University Tuition. 


Undergraduates: An APUS Book Grant automatically provides required texts and other reading at no charge to all undergraduate students who are earning academic credit. Students just need to register for courses and submit payment for tuition. APUS is transitioning to course materials 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, APUS 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