American Public University

Online Master’s Degree Programs at American Public University


American Public University appears in our ranking of the Top 10 Most Affordable Accelerated Master’s in Coaching Online.

American Public University allows students to earn graduate degrees through more than 40 online master’s degree programs. A popular option for military students and veterans is the Master of Arts dual degree in Emergency and Disaster Management and Homeland Security. It takes three years to complete and has start dates at the beginning of each month. Emergency and Disaster Theory, Economics of Disaster, Research Design and Methods, Port Security, and National Transportation Management are some of the program’s required classes. Students can earn a Master of Arts (MA) in Emergency and Disaster Management alone without the homeland security option too.

Other MA programs are available in both Military History and Military Studies. The Military History program takes an in-depth look at the military battles and strategies used over the years. It includes concentrations in the Civil War, World War II, American Revolution, general American military history, and wars since 1945. In the military studies program, students choose concentrations in strategic leadership, irregular warfare, or joint warfare. They can take classes such as Studies in Future War and Air and Space Power. Those who want to learn more or study subjects not discussed in their classes can do independent study projects too.

A Master of Science in Nursing (MSN) is available for nurses who want to work as educators or leaders. Based on whether they choose the leadership or education track, they’ll take Advanced Health Assessment, Health Care Finance, the Business of Health Care, and Leading Nurses into the Future. There is a practicum in the MSN program too. Also available is an RN to MSN program designed for students who only have an associate degree. This program asks for a 500-word statement of purpose and a resume as well as a signed form that shows the student understands the requirements of the program.

Through the university’s MA in Psychology program, students can focus on one specific subject area with a concentration in developmental psychology, general psychology, industrial and organizational psychology or military and trauma psychology. Military and trauma psychology prepares students for working with soldiers diagnosed with post-traumatic stress disorder and those who survived traumatic events. It features courses in Disaster Psychology, Crisis and Emergency Intervention, and Leadership and Change. Students also take a class called Deployment Psychology that looks at what happens to individuals when they’re deployed. Some of the other majors that online graduate students can select include teaching, sports, and health science, sports management, political science, business administration, and athletic development management.

About American Public University

American Public University is a private university and one of the two schools that make up the American Public University System or APUS. To distinguish this campus from the American Military University or AMU, it uses the APU name. Major James P. Etter retired from the United States Marine Corps and came up with an idea for a new college designed for military employees in 1991. It opened two years later with an enrollment of only 18 students. APU was later established to meet the needs of civilian employees who worked for the government or military. This new university received accreditation as a distance education school and could offer programs to students living anywhere in the United States. The two schools have a combined enrollment today of more than 46,000 students, including some who live abroad.

American Public University Accreditation Details

Both APU and AMU have regional accreditation from the Higher Learning Commission (HLC). This is an important type of accreditation because it means that the university can grant students credit when they transfer from another school and award them financial aid packages if they submit the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA). HLC accreditation also allows the university to operate in 19 states. Other accreditation comes from the Accreditation Council for Business Schools and Programs (ACBSP) and the Council on Education for Public Health (CEPH) among other organizations and agencies.

American Public University Application Requirements

The main requirement for enrollment in an APU online graduate degree program is a bachelor’s degree, which must come from a college or university approved by the Council for Higher Education Accreditation (CHEA). Prospective students can go online and use the university’s program finder to select the program that is right for them. They will then apply online through the university’s website, which shouldn’t take more than 20 minutes. An admissions representative will then contact the student and go over the information shared to make sure it’s valid. The representative can also talk with the student about financial aid packages and enrollment steps.

As part of the application process, students need to submit an ID issued by the government. APU will accept driver’s licenses, passports, and other IDs but asks for a color copy. Students in any branch of the military other than the Air Force can provide their military transcripts too. As APU offers 12 start dates each year, students can often begin classes less than one month after they apply. APU representatives will notify students if the university cannot accept their IDs or if it needs any additional information.

Tuition and Financial Aid

At APU, graduate students pay $370 per credit hour in any online degree or certificate program. They pay a $65 technology fee for each class they take too. The university offers grants for students who can prove that they are on active duty status, which drops their costs to $250 per credit hour. Those students can also get waivers that cover the cost of their textbooks. Grants and waivers are also available for the children and spouses of those on active duty, students in a reserve branch of the military, and those in the National Guard.

Both military and traditional students can get financial aid at FAFSA, but they will not get any aid until they complete the FAFSA. Graduate students qualify for unsubsidized student loans and have the choice of making payments on their loans while they’re at the university. APU asks students to sign a virtual promissory note and complete online loan counseling first. Students can use scholarships they get from other organizations and private loans too. American Public University will also accept veterans’ benefits from students in an online master’s degree program such as the GI Bill.