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General Admission Policies

Admissions Identification Verification

To verify the identity of and protect the privacy of APUS students and applicants, identity verification will be required of all students applying for admission to any program type. Applicants and students admitted prior to April 1, 2017 are exempt from this policy (legacy).

Identity can be verified by submitting the following documents:

  • For non-military applicants: a legible color copy of a valid government issued photo ID such as a driver license, state ID or passport.
  • For undergraduate military and veteran applicants: a government issued JST or CCAF; APUS will order the JST on behalf of the student.
  • For graduate military and veteran applicants in the Army, Navy, Marine Corps, or Coast Guard: a JST will be requested on your behalf.
  • For graduate military and veteran applicants in the Air Force: a legible color copy of a valid government issued photo ID is required.
  • For graduates of public safety academies: academy issued documentation of completion of a post-certification program OR a legible color copy of a valid government issued photo ID (driver license, etc.).
  • For international applicants: a legible color copy of a driver license, foreign military ID or passport.

Undergraduate Admission with No Prior College

You must have earned a standard high school diploma or its equivalent, and be at least 14 years of age, in order to enroll in an undergraduate program at APUS (current high school students who meet eligibility requirements may take individual courses before earning their diplomas). We maintain the right to require you to provide supporting documentation if requested.

  • APUS will not accept your high school diploma if it is not recognized by the county or state Board of Education in which the degree granting institution was based, or by an institutional accrediting body.
  • Equivalents such as GED certificates or home schooling as defined by state law in the state in which you were tested are accepted.

Students who have earned a diploma from a school that does not meet APUS admissions standards but who have earned 9 or more hours of college credit may be admitted to APUS on a case by case basis, but may not be eligible for certain forms of financial assistance, such as Federal Student Aid benefits.

New applicants to an undergraduate level program (associate/bachelor/certificate), whose highest level of education is high school diploma or equivalent will be required to submit official or unofficial documentation of a high school diploma or equivalent. Registration will not be permitted until this documentation is received.

The following groups are exempt from providing high school documentation under this policy:

  • Military (Active Duty, Reserve, National Guard)
  • Veterans
  • Public Safety Academy graduates
  • International students
  • Students entering our Undergraduate Individual Courses (Courses for Transfer) program or a NanoCert program
  • Students completing either a degree change or readmission to the University for which high school documentation is already on file

The following items are considered acceptable documentation:

  • Unofficial high school transcript
  • Unofficial GED document
  • Copy of high school diploma
  • Official transcripts from high school/GED

Your admission may be revoked if it is discovered that you do not have an equivalent of a high school diploma that meets these criteria or if you have submitted false information on your application. If this happens, any current registrations will be dropped, your admission status will be denied, and any financial aid funding canceled.

Any instances where we question the validity of the student's HS credential, we will not accept self-certification as documentation.

Military and Veteran Policies

All Military Students and Veterans

APUS requires that all current and prior military students submit a Transfer Credit Application, regardless of previous college experience, in order to maximize your transfer credit. APUS will obtain your Joint Services Transcript on your behalf for evaluation.

All Veteran Students and Those Using VA Benefits

Effective September 22, 2016, most students who are veterans or who use veteran’s benefits to pay for tuition will be required to review, sign and send in a Veteran Student Acknowledgement prior to enrolling for courses. The Acknowledgment serves as affirmation that, in accordance with the Principles of Excellence, the student has been provided information, and the opportunity to ask questions, regarding education benefits that may potentially be available to them. Veterans who are applying to doctoral programs are exempt from this requirement.

One of the criteria for approval of any school for Veterans' training is that it review prior credit and grant credit as appropriate to a VA student's current program. This is found in Title 38, Code of Federal Regulations, Sections 21.4253(d)(3) and 21.4254(C)(4) . In essence, this requires every approved school to have and enforce a policy with regard to transfer courses, credits, and previous experience.

Schools must evaluate prior credit, grant credit as appropriate, notify the student of the evaluation, and shorten the program certified accordingly. Whenever a student initially enrolls at American Public University System or changes programs at American Public University System, a credit evaluation must be completed. Credit evaluations are not completed for doctoral level programs.

All veteran and military students will have a Joint Services Transcript (JST) requested on the student’s behalf. Air Force active duty, reserve, and veterans will need to request an official Community College of the Air Force (CCAF) transcript to be sent to the Charles Town, West Virginia office. Students who are using or plan to use Veterans Benefits at American Public University System must disclose all instances of prior credit received, per VA regulations. The following exclusions apply:

  • Students in a Certificate program will disclose prior credits earned with Admissions Representative to determine if prior credit can be applied to Certificate program.

  • Students in Courses for Transfer program will not have prior credits evaluated until a program of study is declared. Students who have not declared a major cannot be certified for VA benefits beyond their sophomore year and only general education courses can be certified prior to the declaration of a major.

  • Graduate level students with no prior graduate level credits are not required to submit a transcript for credit evaluation.

  • Graduate students applying to doctoral programs are not required to submit transcripts for credit evaluation or the VSA form.

Army Students

If you are an active, reserve or national guard Army student, you will also be required by the Army to create an account in ArmyIgnitED. In order for us to create the required student degree plan, you will need to have your education path approved in ArmyIgnitED and it must match our records. You will also need to submit a Transfer Credit Application, even if you have never taken any prior college courses.

Air Force Students

If you are an active or reserve Air Force student, you will need to submit a Transfer Credit Application and your CCAF transcript to us, even if you have never taken any prior college courses. The Air Force will be requiring this in order for us to create the student agreement you will need to have your TA approved.

Undergraduate Admission with Prior College

You must have earned a standard high school diploma or its equivalent in order to enroll in an undergraduate program at APUS. If you are enrolling in one of our undergraduate degrees, and have also taken some college courses at an accredited university, you will be considered a transfer student and will be required to submit a Transfer Credit (TCE) Application. If you are enrolling in an undergraduate certificate program, you will not be required to submit the TCE Application, but may do so if you believe you have college credit that could apply towards your certificate program here.

Master's and Graduate Certificate Admission

You must have already earned a Bachelor degree or higher in order to enroll in a Masters or Graduate Certificate program at APUS. The degree must have been conferred by an institution whose accreditation is recognized by CHEA. If you have prior graduate credit, you may submit a TCE Application to have credit evaluated toward your degree, but it is not required.

Document Verification

American Public University System (APUS) may verify information that students submit, including information provided in the application for admission. APUS may request additional documentation for purposes of verifying information submitted to it or for other purposes, and students will be required to respond within a deadline to these requests to avoid being denied admission. If APUS determines that information submitted is inaccurate or false or if APUS is unable to verify the accuracy of information submitted, individuals may be denied admission, denied registration in additional courses, and/or expelled from APUS, as applicable.

If an individual is denied admissions or expelled due to inability to verify information on the original student application, they will be unable to register for courses and will be withdrawn from all courses in which they are currently registered. If they have been packaged with financial aid, including Pell Grants and Stafford loans, financial aid may be adjusted based on the percentage of the semester completed. Please refer to the Federal Student Aid section for more information on the Return of Federal Financial Aid Funds process.

Denial of Admission

To protect its character and standards and in furtherance of its mission, APUS reserves the right to deny or revoke admission to any applicant or student for the following reasons:

  • APUS determines that your application or admission forms, documents, or materials contain or appear to contain false, fraudulent, or incomplete statements.
  • APUS determines that you have communicated information to APUS that constitutes a misrepresentation, fraud, or potential fraud with respect to any matter.
  • APUS determines that unresolved discrepancies exist with respect to the applicant’s or student’s application or admission materials or information.
  • APUS determines that information you submitted in support of establishing your identity or previous education is false or if APUS is unable to verify the accuracy of information that you submitted after you have been provided multiple opportunities to supply the requested documentation.
  • APUS determines that the applicant does not meet applicable admissions requirements for a program.
  • APUS determines that denial or revocation of admission is otherwise in the best interests of APUS or the student.

For more information regarding general admission requirements, please contact us at

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