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American Public University System

185 Reviews

Salary Score







76% of 185 students said this degree improved their career prospects
69% of 185 students said they would recommend this school to others
By the OnlineU team | Updated 1/19/2023

American Public University System (APUS) is a public, for-profit institution in Charles Town, WV. It offers over 200 online undergraduate and graduate degrees and certificate programs. Over 38,500 undergraduate students are enrolled in APUS globally, with 100% of students enrolled online. Undergraduate distance learners enroll in APUS online programs — such as business, healthcare administration, English, criminal justice, nursing, human resources, psychology, and computer science — for career preparation, advancement, or preparation for graduate programs. Online classes start monthly and last between eight and sixteen weeks, allowing scheduling flexibility.

Fast Facts

Average Financial Aid: $5,493

Accreditation: American Public University System is acredited by 5 agencies

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Rankings by Salary Score and Affordability

Salary Score for Online Degrees at American Public University System

Certificate Degrees

Business Administration, Management and Operations $9,500 $46,077 92

Associate's Degrees

Liberal Arts and Sciences, General Studies and Humanities $8,465 $45,956 100
Business/Commerce, General $21,625 $45,782 99
Business Administration, Management and Operations $21,098 $40,681 96
Accounting and Related Services $20,006 $38,790 91
Criminal Justice and Corrections $23,369 $35,309 71
Health Professions and Related Clinical Sciences, Other $5,996 $34,395 69
Legal Support Services $24,166 $33,198 63

Bachelor's Degrees

History $30,891 $48,988 100
Health and Physical Education/Fitness $27,350 $47,616 100
International/Global Studies $22,804 $56,758 100
Liberal Arts and Sciences, General Studies and Humanities Not Reported $64,720 100
International Relations and National Security Studies $22,336 $53,980 99
Criminal Justice and Corrections $25,150 $49,354 99
Psychology, General $28,443 $37,948 98
Natural Resources Conservation and Research $25,870 $45,245 97
Political Science and Government $19,304 $46,663 96
Sociology $23,735 $39,082 94
Business Administration, Management and Operations $24,112 $54,183 92
English Language and Literature, General $28,609 $34,898 89
Computer/Information Technology Administration and Management $26,966 $63,468 84
Public Health $31,535 $39,321 82
Registered Nursing, Nursing Administration, Nursing Research and Clinical Nursing $20,269 $74,655 81
Non-Professional General Legal Studies (Undergraduate) $25,523 $41,598 79
Entrepreneurial and Small Business Operations $29,135 $47,334 71
Hospitality Administration/Management $29,006 $40,039 69
Homeland Security $25,172 $51,985 62
Fire Protection $20,090 $61,979 61
Marketing $31,724 $42,993 59
Computer and Information Sciences, General $28,556 $56,355 50
Human Development, Family Studies, and Related Services $32,918 $27,657 34
Accounting and Related Services $33,269 $42,754 25
General Sales, Merchandising and Related Marketing Operations $41,970 $37,227 15

Master's Degrees

Health and Physical Education/Fitness $33,263 $54,121 98
International Relations and National Security Studies $32,196 $72,770 95
History $38,342 $52,904 94
Public Health $48,728 $72,029 91
Criminal Justice and Corrections $35,848 $61,938 77
Non-Professional General Legal Studies (Undergraduate) $41,487 $56,358 76
Public Administration $39,846 $60,442 72
International/Global Studies $29,082 $75,015 69
Natural Resources Conservation and Research $31,535 $53,209 64
Computer/Information Technology Administration and Management $36,768 $85,935 61
Homeland Security $34,177 $66,045 53
Student Counseling and Personnel Services $53,036 $44,277 51
Accounting and Related Services $32,927 $59,339 46
Political Science and Government $39,304 $49,162 45
Business Administration, Management and Operations $34,341 $67,224 44
Psychology, General $38,976 $41,375 37
Education, General $41,012 $45,959 30

FAQs About American Public University System

Is American Public University Legitimate?

Yes, APUS and its online degrees are legitimate. Employers generally respect and accept online degrees as long as accredited institutions confer them. Accreditation is important because it signifies that a school consistently meets high academic standards in delivering quality education. 

All OnlineU schools are institutionally accredited.

APUS is accredited by the Higher Learning Commission, an institutional accreditation agency recognized by the U.S. Department of Education. Some of APU's programs also receive additional programmatic accreditation, such as nursing and public health.

What Is American Public University Known For?

APUS is known for offering programs that are accessible to working adults, military members on active duty, and veterans. 

Since 1991, APUS has become a leader and innovator in providing quality online education, initially targeting active-duty military members. Since then, it's been one of the largest online education providers, with over 200 online programs accessible to students worldwide regardless of military status. APUS embraced the new millennium starting in 1999 when it began offering all its undergraduate programs online, followed by all graduate programs the following year.

Which Degrees at APU Provide the Highest Earnings for Graduates?

Online computer information technology administration and management bachelor's degrees may result in the highest earnings, with a $69,785 annual median salary. Additionally, online fire protection, international global studies, computer and information science, and homeland security bachelor's degrees may result in annual median salaries of $56,900 and higher.

What Is the Difference Between APU and AMU?

The difference between APU and AMU is the student population served. AMU (American Military University) was founded in 1991 as a military-friendly institution with the goal of providing higher education that's more accessible to mobile military personnel. In 2002, AMU reorganized and became part of APU (American Public University) to provide the same flexible education to a broader range of students. 

How Difficult Is It To Get Into APU?

It is not difficult to get into APU due to its open admissions policy. In other words, APU accepts 100% of its applicants. While APU doesn't require submitting entrance exam scores, like the SAT and ACT, it is encouraged. 

What Are the Admission Requirements for APU?

APU admission requirements are minimal compared to many other colleges and universities. Applying requires completing a free online application, submitting proof of high school completion or equivalent, and providing a color copy of a valid state-issued ID or driver's license. Students transferring credits must complete a free online transfer credit application and submit college or military transcripts, as applicable.

Some individual degree programs have additional requirements, such as accounting, nursing, and electrical engineering. An admissions advisor can help determine other documentation that may be required.

Student Reviews

Student Reviews

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Reviewed: 5/30/2023

Degree: Military Science

AMU is an absolute joke. I completed a BA, graduated summa cum laude and could not be more dissatisfied. In the entire course of my studies I never once had a core professor. The course work is horrifically outdated and includes the about me sections of government websites and army field manuals from the 1970's as required course readings. What little substance there is is repeated over and over throughout the entire program which is little more than busy work. I learned absolutely nothing and am... Read More


Reviewed: 5/10/2023

Degree: Business Administration

I started my bachelor's program in electrical engineering back in 2018. I stopped taking classes due to work/life balance in conjunction with somewhat complicated classes. It's not that I didn't understand the material, it's that they stuff so much into such a small amount of time. Not only that, but some of the professors are not easy to get in contact with when you are having problems with lessons. I ended up switching my program to a Bachelor of Business Administration in 2020. From there, I started... Read More

JR Ulrich

Reviewed: 5/7/2023

Degree: Marketing

I have read several of the responses and dont understand what people are complaining about. Overall I think this school is well ran and it's pretty easy to get help, I guess if you know where to look. The instructors could be a little better, you can tell this is a second job for a lot of them, but overall, most of them have doctorates and will work with you in all sorts of ways to help you be successful. Overall, this is a good school, and I was a little surprised by some of the comments. Alot of... Read More

Earl Davis

Reviewed: 5/4/2023

Degree: Business Analytics

Did my bachelors at APU and had an avg experience, mostly just taught myself with little direct instruction from the instructors. Stayed at APU for my masters since I was familiar with the format. Horrible experience! Had some personal emergencies pop up with a 2-month premature baby arrival, wife needing surgery that took her off her feet for a month, and my live in 70-yr mom had two heart surgeries. This all happened within a 30 day span. I appealed to the instructors, but they just kept marking... Read More


Reviewed: 1/28/2023

Degree: Environmental Engineering

This school for being founded by a former military is a shame. I couldn’t even get registered for classes because no one at the school even communicates with you. Once you fill the info online an a recruiter contacts you answers 2 or 3 questions that’s it. You get a couple o emails congratulating you but contact to see if you have questions or concerns about the registration process or no follow up regarding paperwork you sent. You consistently have to chase some one down. All to no avail because... Read More

Robert M

Reviewed: 1/13/2023

Degree: Legal Studies

apu's financial disbursement policies in regards Federal loans and grants for student are some of the worst policies I have ever seen . nobody outside of the school I've talked to has ever heard of the way they handle their disbursements. I say this as a PU has shown a complete double standard for a student who receives fund and one who doesn't receive federal funds And I can prove this in the following scenario which I am currently and have been for the last year experiencing. I am a student who... Read More

Mimi Griffith

Reviewed: 1/7/2023

Degree: Emergency Management

APUS university, the students "learn to write essays or research papers", that is, you do not learn other skills other than that. I did my high bachelor's degree at this university and for me, it was a waste of time and money because they do not prepare you with the skills that are needed for the workplace. In addition, they do not offer you an internship. Also, in this university, the professor is always right and the student is always wrong. Let me explain. Some professors do not answer emails... Read More

Tristen Cook

Reviewed: 10/27/2022

Degree: Criminal Justice

AMU is a great school that offers 100% online degree programs. I transferred to AMU from the University of South Carolina because it was simple and was easier to use my chapter 33 GI Bill benefit without jumping through hoops like at a state school. I was able to learn more on the go with AMU because they provide you with electronic books at no charge. This degree was simple for a working law enforcement professional like myself. I will be getting my MPA from AMU as well.


Reviewed: 8/7/2022

Degree: Supply Chain Management

This school is not for everyone. You will have to research and write a lot of papers on various subjects while attending. The papers are going to be lengthy. You as a student have to be self motivated to accomplish your tasks in order to reach your goal. No one is going to hold your hand while you are in attendance of this learning institution. The classes are condensed down to 8 week classes, and not the standard 12 or 16 weeks that many brick and mortar schools offer. You have to absorb a lot of... Read More

Nathanael Young

Reviewed: 6/12/2022

Degree: Management

I absolutely love this University and highly recommend them to any and everyone. I recently finished up my BA in Management from them and I can honestly say it has had a profound impact on my earning ability. Especially now that I'm transitioning out of the military in to a 80k position because of it. I've been to a number of colleges (4) and I can say beyond a doubt this is the best one. There is no gimmicks or money grabs, just the meat and potatoes of going to school. No drama, all you do is go... Read More