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111 W Congress St
Charles Town, WV 25414
p. 877-468-6268
w. www.apus.edu

American Public University System

American Public University System Rating: 3.9/5 (35 votes)

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American Public University System (APUS), wholly owned by APEI (NASDAQ: APEI), operates through American Military University and American Public University. It serves a community of more than 100,000 adult learners worldwide and offers degree programs in fields ranging from homeland security, military studies, intelligence, and criminal justice to technology, business administration, public health, and liberal arts.

APUS’s mission is to provide quality higher education with an emphasis on educating the nation’s military and public service communities by offering respected, relevant, accessible and affordable, student-focused online programs, which prepare them for service and leadership in a diverse, global society.

Founded in 1991 by a retired Marine Corps officer and instructor, AMU was designed to meet the needs of the military—a very mobile population with extended, irregular schedules and unique educational needs. AMU is the nation’s number one provider of higher education to the U.S. armed forces according to U.S. Department of Defense tuition assistance statistics. In 2002, AMU was reorganized into American Public University System and American Public University was founded to provide access to the same quality, affordable, and relevant education to a broader audience of motivated working adults.

APUS is a three-time recipient of the Sloan Consortium Effective Practice Award and has been recognized for significant contributions to sustainability initiatives. The school is a for-profit institution headquartered in Charles Town, West Virginia with administrative offices in Manassas, Virginia. It is accredited by the Higher Learning Commission (HLC) of the North Central Association of Colleges and Schools (NCA).


Today, APUS offers more than 190 degree and certificate programs in six schools: School of Arts and Humanities, School of Business, School of Education, School of Public Service and Health, School of Science, Technology, Engineering and Math (STEM), and School of Security and Global Technologies. The most popular degree programs are:

  • Associate Degree in General Studies
  • Homeland Security
  • Criminal Justice
  • Management
  • Strategic Intelligence
  • Information Technology Management
  • Sports and Health Management
  • Business Administration
  • Intelligence Studies
  • Psychology

Managing Academics Online

The online programs work best for students who prefer asynchronous education and wish to learn based on their own schedule and in their own environment. Students have the flexibility of completing assignments on their own time according to a predetermined assignment schedule. Courses are offered in 8- or 16-week sessions. During the first week of class, students are expected to login to their classroom, read the course syllabus, and interact on the discussion board with classmates and professors.

The university protects and seeks to improve its academic standards and curriculum relevancy by asking students to complete confidential online class critiques after every term. Students who do not perform well their first term may receive an academic warning. This warning serves as a notice to the students to raise their grade point averages (GPA) above a 2.0 during the next term to avoid academic probation.

Library Resources

The online library contains millions of resources for students. This includes Web-based information literacy skills training, monthly news about library resources, a tutorial department, article and subject databases, and manuscript repositories. APUS makes strong use of interlibrary loan programs and provides students with the resources they need to effectively perform their studies and research, no matter how remote. The library tutorial center also offers collections of select student papers to serve as examples of well-done research and written execution. Papers are routinely submitted for authenticity using leading plagiarism-checking systems such as Turnitin.com.


Some exams administered through classes are proctored. Before a proctored exam, the professor will mail a password to the proctor. The proctor will then monitor the exam process in person as the student completes the test online. Students are responsible for helping to identify a suitable proctor. Non-proctored exams can be taken by the student in private.

Appropriate proctors include college or university administrators, faculty members, superintendents, or principals. Other acceptable options include public librarians, school librarians, and military base education officers. Various professionals may be approved by the university, particularly if none of the aforementioned professionals are available for proctoring. The proctor must have an email address and the ability to provide computer access to the student for up to four hours. If it is not possible to meet these conditions, a proctor may print the exam for the student to complete; monitor the exam, and then mail it to the professor. APUS understands that many students study and take exams under less-than-ideal conditions, and is open to taking appropriate steps that may be needed to ensure an ideal setting for students to take their exams.

Most Popular Fields of Study


Admissions are considered open enrollment. The system seeks to provide education for any person, and especially any member of the military, who wishes to pursue it.

Financial Aid

The financial aid office works with all students to ensure that their education is affordable. Military students using tuition assistance components that are part of their benefits package often end up paying little to nothing out of pocket.

Student Financial Aid Details

Ranks 2066th for the average student loan amount.
Secrets to getting the best scholarships and financial aid in West Virginia.



Of the more than 100,000 enrolled students, approximately 57% are active duty military. Most are continuing education learners who already work in the profession they are studying. Eighty percent of students are male, while 20% are female. The average age of students is 32. The student body is comprised of students from all 50 states and from more than 100 countries.

Clubs and Organizations

The Office of Student and Alumni Affairs promotes and encourages student involvement as an essential component of the student experience. Involvement in recognized organizations can provide a variety of opportunities to explore academic, professional, political, social, cultural, recreational, and community service interests. Those clubs and organizations include Student Veterans of American (SVA), Society of Human Resource Management, International Association of Emergency Managers, and more. There are several academic honor societies, such as Alpha Phi Sigma, Delta Epsilon Tau, Epsilon Pi Phi, Golden Key International Honor Society, Pi Gamma Mu, and Sigma Iota Rho.


The APUS Student Lounge is a website of both private and open discussion forums. Students, alumni, faculty, and staff have personal, professional, and academic conversations in the Student Lounge. The student newsletter is published quarterly. It features current university news and events, including art exhibitions, career fairs and opportunities, and alumni events.

The school also connects with students, prospects, and alumni on their more than 100 social communities.

Student Enrollment Demographics

Student Graduation Demographics


Several distinguished members of the military have attended APUS. United States Air Force officer Nicole Malachowski is a an alumnae. She was the first woman pilot chosen to fly in the USAF Thunderbirds Air Demonstration Unit.


Noted faculty members include Alan Hale, the co-discoverer of the Hale-Bopp Comet; geologist and former astronaut James F. Reilly; and Fox News contributor Dani Babb.

Additional School Information

Professional Development

The Careers Services office fosters relationships with employers to help connect students with careers based on their education and experience. They provide career planning counseling and networking opportunities to current students and alumni. Career Services also offers résumé review service to help students to fine-tune their résumés, highlight their strengths and experiences, and target the careers and employers they want. The Vault Career Library and Focus-2, an interactive online program, help students choose an education plan and career path.

The university holds regular career fairs, both virtual and in-person, helping students, alumni, and prospective employers begin their relationships. The Employer Partnership Program takes these relationships one step further by matching qualified students with mentors and internship supervisors who can guide them as they search for ideal employment. APUS connects its communities of peers through university-affiliated groups on LinkedIn, Facebook, Twitter, Google+, blogs, and other social networking sites.

Honor Code

The system of education depends upon student integrity. Students and faculty members are required to sign and uphold the honor code, which entails accepting responsibility for actions, practicing and promoting academic integrity, showing consideration and respect for all persons, and upholding APUS policies. Solicitation from students is prohibited by APUS. Students cannot sell goods or services to professors, staff, or fellow students. The only exceptions are informational documents about activities or charitable causes.

Most of the terms of the honor code are fairly commonsense and similar to what would be found at any other college or university campus, with one possible exception. The use of obscenities is not allowed in any classroom, online discussion, or other contact with university faculty and staff. This includes the online Student Lounge.

Students may choose to keep their contact information private—a sometimes necessary condition for active members of the military. Any student in this position should request a directory information block. Other students and faculty must respect requests for discretion.

Information Summary

Ranks 19th in West Virginia and 1678th overall
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Demographics – Main Campus and Surrounding Areas

Reported area around or near Charles Town, WV 25414
Surrounding communityFringe town (less than 10 mi. from an urban cluster)
Total Population13,104 (7,271 urban / 5,833 rural)
Households5,265 (2.47 people per house)
Median Household Income$43,363
Families3,567 (2.98 people per family)

Carnegie Foundation Classification

Master's Colleges and Universities (larger programs)
UndergraduateBalanced arts & sciences/professions, some graduate coexistence
GraduatePostbaccalaureate comprehensive
Undergraduate PopulationHigher part-time four-year
EnrollmentHigh undergraduate
Size & SettingLarge four-year, primarily nonresidential

General Characteristics

Title IV EligibilityParticipates in Title IV federal financial aid programs
Highest offeringMaster's degree
Calendar SystemOther academic year
Years of college work requiredN/A
Variable Tuition
Religious AffiliationN/A
Congressional District5402

Special Learning Opportunities

Distance LearningN/A
ROTC — Army / Navy / Air Force  —   /   / 
Study Abroad
Weekend College
Teacher Certification

Student Tuition Costs and Fees

Ranks 4443rd for total cost of attendance
  In District In State Out of State
Effective as of 2014-09-19
FT Undergraduate Tuition $6,000 $6,000 $6,000
FT Undergraduate Required Fees $400 $400 $400
PT Undergraduate per Credit Hour $250 $250 $250
FT Graduate Tuition $5,850 $5,850 $5,850
FT Graduate Required Fees $300 $300 $300
PT Graduate per Credit Hour $325 $325 $325
Total Cost of Attendance — On-Campus $6,400 $6,400 $6,400
Total Cost of Attendance — Off-Campus w/out Family $14,400 $14,400 $14,400
Total Cost of Attendance — Off-Campus with Family $8,320 $8,320 $8,320

Student Tuition Cost History and Trends

Prior year cost comparison
  In District In State Out of State
Published Tuition & Fees $6,000 $6,400 $6,000 $6,400 $6,000 $6,400
  Cost (regardless of residency)
Effective as of 2014-09-19
Books & Supplies N/A(N/C)
On-Campus – Room & Board N/A(N/C)
On-Campus – Other Expenses N/A(N/C)
Off-Campus w/out Family – Room & Board $6,080(N/C)
Off-Campus w/out Family – Other Expenses $1,920(N/C)
Off-Campus with Family – Room & Board $1,920(N/C)

Admission Criteria

 = Required,   = Recommended,   = Neither required nor recommended
Open Admissions
Secondary School GPA / Rank / Record N/A /  N/A /  N/A
College Prep. CompletionN/A
Formal competency demoN/A
Admission test scoresN/A
Other testsN/A

Admission Credits Accepted

Dual Credit
Life Experience
Advanced Placement (AP)

Student Services

Remedial Services
Academic / Career Counseling
PT Cost-defraying Employment
Career Placement
On-Campus Day Care
Library Facility

Student Living

First-time Room / Board Required
Dorm CapacityN/A
Meals per WeekN/A
Room FeeN/A
Board FeeN/A

Most Popular Programs

Student Completion / Graduation Demographics

Total 100 1,250 826 197 81 6,040 348 9,143
Accounting 1 2 1 1 11 2 20
Accounting Technology/Technician and Bookkeeping 2 11 5 1 34 1 57
Aeronautics/Aviation/Aerospace Science and Technology, General 2 3 4 1 1 73 2 89
Asian Studies/Civilization 2 2
Business Administration and Management, General 18 204 93 35 12 711 38 1,152
Business/Commerce, General 8 7 2 1 43 1 63
Child Care Provider/Assistant 2 18 5 1 29 3 58
Child Care and Support Services Management 11 8 1 49 3 73
Computer Programming, Specific Applications 2 2
Computer and Information Sciences, General 3 10 1 8 23
Computer and Information Systems Security/Information Assurance 1 20 14 2 1 114 8 172
Corrections Administration 1 1
Counselor Education/School Counseling and Guidance Services 19 6 41 1 68
Criminal Justice/Law Enforcement Administration 1 1 4 1 7
Criminal Justice/Safety Studies 4 94 67 14 8 393 21 617
Crisis/Emergency/Disaster Management 33 18 4 5 263 14 348
Cultural Studies/Critical Theory and Analysis 1 1 1 24 1 30
Data Modeling/Warehousing and Database Administration 2 2 5
Data Processing and Data Processing Technology/Technician 13 8 25 1 48
Education, General 3 4 1 32 41
Educational Leadership and Administration, General 1 20 21
Educational/Instructional Technology 1 10 1 12
English Language and Literature, General 5 7 1 41 4 59
Environmental Science 2 3 10 3 1 116 3 145
Environmental Studies 2 5 8 2 1 80 4 106
Explosive Ordinance/Bomb Disposal 3 2 1 6 12
Family Systems 1 7 1 5 15
Fire Services Administration 11 9 1 42 1 65
Forensic Science and Technology 6 7 1 1 29 2 48
General Studies 6 144 123 20 11 536 42 909
Hazardous Materials Management and Waste Technology/Technician 1 2 1 4
History, General 12 21 3 4 272 12 329
History, Other 2 6 3 76 6 94
Homeland Security 2 70 50 11 5 355 17 525
Hospitality Administration/Management, General 3 2 3 15 25
Human Development and Family Studies, General
Human Resources Management and Services, Other 10 4 2 1 16 2 37
Humanities/Humanistic Studies 1 1 8 1 12
Information Technology 11 2 2 51 1 69
Information Technology Project Management 1 24 14 4 1 101 10 161
International Relations and Affairs 6 28 22 8 182 15 271
International/Global Studies 13 83 111 41 9 924 49 1,274
Kinesiology and Exercise Science 4 34 19 4 1 120 6 197
Legal Assistant/Paralegal 1 9 7 37 4 59
Legal Studies, General 3 9 11 1 67 4 98
Logistics, Materials, and Supply Chain Management 4 78 32 4 1 134 10 268
Marketing/Marketing Management, General 5 5 1 12 23
Military History 3 5 1 1 105 7 126
Military Technologies and Applied Sciences, Other 1 3 6 2 1 26 1 40
Multi-/Interdisciplinary Studies, Other 1 1
Organizational Behavior Studies 3 2 5
Philosophy 2 3 12 1 19
Political Science and Government, General 3 9 17 3 1 100 9 146
Psychology, General 2 27 22 3 3 157 3 225
Public Administration 27 13 2 2 83 9 141
Public Health, General 8 56 9 2 1 102 4 190
Real Estate 3 2 19 1 28
Registered Nursing/Registered Nurse 1 4 5
Religion/Religious Studies 1 4 2 12 20
Restaurant/Food Services Management 3 4 1 8
Retailing and Retail Operations 1 9 10
Securities Services Administration/Management 1 23 8 3 2 84 6 134
Sociology 1 21 6 1 43 2 76
Speech Communication and Rhetoric 1 3 9 14
Sport and Fitness Administration/Management 1 24 4 1 89 7 131
Terrorism and Counterterrorism Operations 1 4 7 1 36 2 54
Web Page, Digital/Multimedia and Information Resources Design 5 1 1 10 1 20
Web/Multimedia Management and Webmaster 1 4 13 1 20
Word Processing 8 1 1 5 1 16

Faculty Compensation / Salaries

Ranks 3171st for the average full-time faculty salary.
Effective as of 2014-09-20
Tenure system N/A
Average FT Salary $52,637 ($54,167 male / $40,171 female)
Number of FT Faculty 432 (190 male / 242 female)
Number of PT Faculty 2,130
FT Faculty Ratio 0.2 : 1
Total Benefits N/A

Melissa Rhone+

Melissa Rhone earned her Bachelor of Music in Education from the University of Tampa. She resides in the Tampa Bay area and enjoys writing about college, pop culture, and epilepsy awareness.

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