Kogod School of Business

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Admissions Overview

MS in Finance Admissions Requirements for All Applicants

Academic Prerequisites

In addition to meeting the minimum university requirements for graduate study, applicants must have earned an undergraduate bachelor's degree from an accredited institution with a satisfactory grade point average.

Applicants are not required to have completed an undergraduate degree in a field related to the MS in finance program. Applicants currently in an undergraduate program are eligible to apply, though an undergraduate degree must be conferred prior to matriculation to the Kogod graduate program.

The MS in finance program has pre-requisite courses that should be completed prior to applying, or in some cases, may be completed during the first semester of MS enrollment at Kogod.

MS in finance program prerequisites:

  • Applicants must have earned at least an undergraduate bachelor’s degree from an accredited institution.
  • 6 undergraduate credit hours of micro and macroeconomics or 3 graduate credit hours in economics
  • 3 credit hours of statistics
  • 6 undergraduate credit hours of financial accounting or 3 graduate credit hours in accounting

These prerequisites can be waived or substituted with the approval of the Department Chair or Program Director, based on prior education or work experiences (for example, the requirements may be waived for applicants with degrees in economics or engineering)

Applicants whose first language is not English must have a satisfactory score on the Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL), the International English Language Testing System (IELTS), or Duolingo.

Work Experience

Full-time work experience is not required to apply to the MS in finance program.

Current Résumé

A current copy of your résumé is required and must be uploaded in the supplemental items section of the online application. Please include the month and year you started and ended each professional employment. Full-length or long-format résumés are welcome. Applicants DO NOT need to edit their résumé down to a one-page version.

Personal Statement Essay

A statement of purpose of approximately 750 words in length is required for the MS in finance program. The prompt for the personal statement essay is:

Tell us about your decision to pursue a graduate degree at the Kogod School of Business.

Please be sure to answer each of the following:

  • What short-term goals do you intend to achieve one (1) to five (5) years AFTER completing your degree?
  • What long-term goals do you intend to achieve five (5) to ten or more (10+) years AFTER completing your degree?
  • How will this degree help you in achieving these goals?



Letter of Recommendation

The letter of recommendation should be coordinated electronically; however, if this is not possible, recommendations may be submitted by the recommender using the email option listed below. Letters submitted directly by the applicant will not be accepted. Letters of recommendation must be submitted by the recommender.

Email Submission

The recommender can email their recommendation directly to GraduateAdmissionsDocuments@american.edu with the subject line “Kogod Recommendation Enclosed–APPLICANT NAME.”


Transcripts detailing your academic record must be provided beginning with the institution from which you received your bachelor’s degree, along with institutions from which you have earned any other undergraduate or graduate credits, even if a degree was not earned. 

  • Students are required to submit unofficial transcripts from each institution attended regardless of degree completion.  They can typically be downloaded from a university's student portal or through the office of the registrar.
  • Unofficial transcripts must include courses taken and grades received.
  • If your transcript is not in English, we ask that the transcript is translated and evaluated. Our accepted credential evaluation services are CDGDC, ECE, Education USA, and WES.
  • Transcripts are not required for courses taken as part of a study abroad program if the courses are listed on the undergraduate transcript.
  • Transcripts are not required for courses completed for professional development purposes only.
  • Please ensure that your unofficial transcript shows that you have graduated. If your transcript does not show degree completion, please also provide a copy of your diploma. 
  • If your degree is currently in progress, you will need to show degree conferral before matriculation.
  • In the event you are admitted and choose to enroll at Kogod, we will require the submission of official transcripts from all institutions attended.

Official Transcript Submission Guidelines:

  • Official electronic submissions should be sent from your university registrar(s) to Kogod Graduate Admissions at GraduateAdmissionsDocuments@american.edu.
  • Official paper submissions should be mailed from your university registrar(s) directly to Kogod Graduate Admissions.  If the transcript is issued directly to you, it must remain in a sealed envelope. Once a sealed transcript envelope is opened, it is no longer considered official.

You have the following options for mailing your official transcript(s):

US Mail (USPS)
Kogod Graduate Admissions Office of Enrollment
4400 Massachusetts Avenue NW
Washington, DC 20016-8081

Courier Address/Overnight: (FEDEX, UPS, DHL, etc.)
Kogod Graduate Admissions Office of Enrollment
4801 Massachusetts Avenue NW
Suite 218
Washington, DC 20016-8081

  • Official submissions for current and former AU students are not required. We will work with the university registrar to receive an official transcript and confirm degree conferral.
GMAT/GRE Score or GMAT/GRE Waiver Essay

We believe in a holistic application review and consider an entire application when evaluating candidates for admission. We believe that a test score is only one piece of an application and is not the sole indicator of success in our programs. That said, applicants to these programs are strongly encouraged to submit a GMAT/GRE score as part of the application if they feel it is the best representative of their application. Additional funding may be available for applicants who submit scores.

If you are not submitting a GMAT/GRE test score, you must submit a GMAT/GRE Waiver Essay detailing your academic readiness for the quantitative rigor of a graduate business program. This essay must be different from your Personal Statement Essay.

In the GMAT/GRE Waiver Essay please share your success in any of the following areas:

-  Previous undergraduate coursework/degree (mathematics, calculus, economics, statistics, accounting, finance, etc.);
-  Work experience requiring analytical and quantitative skills (research, data projects, budgets, software, etc.);
-  Professional certifications (CPA, CFA, PMP, etc.) and/or an advanced degree; or
-  Other examples from personal experiences (programming language utilization, hobbies, etc.).

For the GMAT/GRE Waiver Essay, we suggest an essay length of approximately 500-750 words.

GMAT/GRE Score Submission Guidelines:

To submit official GMAT or GRE scores, please refer to the reporting codes below. Unofficial GMAT or GRE Scores can be uploaded into the supplemental items section of the application and can be used to move an application forward in the review process.

Please note that once standardized test scores are shared, we are unable to remove them from your application. Scores must be no more than 5 years old.

Kogod GMAT Score Report Code:
MS in Finance: RN4-J4-21

Kogod GRE Score Report Code:
All Programs (5007)

Official test scores are required in the event you are admitted and choose to enroll at Kogod.

Application Fee/Waiver Codes

A non-refundable fee of $100 USD is required.  Applicants will be prompted to pay the fee or submit a waiver code once they submit the first portion of the application. 

Application fee waivers are offered to a variety of applicants, including but not limited to:

  • American University alumni
  • American University employees
  • Active-duty members or veterans of the US military
  • Active or returned Peace Corps, AmeriCorps, or Teach for America volunteers
  • City Year Corps members, staff, and alumni
  • Dual-degree applicants who have already paid an application fee to the School of International Service (SIS) or the Washington College of Law (WCL)
  • Fellowship awardees

A complete list of waivers is available in the application.

Admissions Tip! Attend an online or in-person event and receive a waiver code for the $100 USD application fee.

Enrollment Deposits

If you are admitted to the MS in finance program, a non-refundable enrollment deposit of $500 USD is required to confirm your place in the class. Enrollment deposits are due by the response date in your admit letter.

The $500 USD enrollment deposit is applied to your tuition bill for the first term upon matriculation into the program.

Enrollment deposits are waived for active-duty US military members and veterans, American University employees, or eligible dependents utilizing tuition remission.  If you qualify for a waiver, please contact KogodGrad@american.edu after you have accepted admission and request that we process the waiver.

Unless you qualify for a waiver as described above, you must submit an enrollment deposit.


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