Major James P. Letter founded the American Military University in 1991 to address the educational needs unique to military personnel particularly in providing training in specialized areas not typically offered in other universities. It started its operation in 1993 by offering courses through the transitional correspondence format. When it established the American Public University in 2002 to offer civilian and public service programs, it expanded and the two programs became known as the American Public University System (APUS). Today APUS is a for-profit online learning institution of higher education which maintained its corporate and academic office in Charles Town, West Virginia. Its administrative offices are found in Manassas, Virginia. APUS is owned by the American Public Education, Inc.
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American Public University System is accredited by the Higher Learning Commission of the North Central Association of Colleges and Schools and the Accrediting Commission of the Distance Education and Training Council. It has also obtained accreditations that are program-specific particularly its programs in Business, Emergency and Disaster Management, Management, Sports and Health Sciences, Child and Family Development, and Education. American Military University maintains memberships in numerous organizations including the Advisory Council on Military Education, Association of Former Intelligence Officers, Association of the US Army, Council of Colleges and Military Educators, Defense Activity for Non-Traditional Education Support (DANTES), FBI National Academy Associates, Fraternal Order of Police University, GoArmyEd, International Association of Emergency Managers, Marine Corps Academic Explorer, National Association of Institutions for Military Education Services, and the Servicemembers Opportunity Colleges, among others.
There are seven schools providing the academic programs of the American Public University System including the School of Arts and Humanities, School of Business, School of Education, School of Management, School of Public Safety and Health, School of Security and Global Studies, and School of Science and Technology. The credits earned from the completed programs can be recognized for career-advancement opportunities such as promotion, transfer of assignment, and position qualification standards utilized in the military and federal government. There are more than 87 undergraduate and graduate degree programs offered by APUS.
Associate programs are offered in the areas of Business Administration Communication, Counterterrorism Studies, Criminal Justice, Early Childhood Care and Education, General Studies, History, Hospitality, Management, Military History, Real Estate Studies, Retail Management, Weapons of Mass Destruction Preparedness, Accounting, Computer Application, Database Application Development, Explosive Ordinance Disposal, Fire Science, Paralegal Studies, Public Health, and Web Publishing. Bachelor degree programs form quite a long list of offered areas of study ranging from Accounting to Transportation and Logistics Management either as a Bachelor of Arts or Bachelor of Science Degree. Master’s degree programs consist of Master of Arts, Master of Science, and Master of Education Programs offered in a wide range of study areas. Certificate programs are likewise offered. These programs are ideal for students, seeking shorter programs focused on career development and acquiring knowledge of a specific discipline.
Tuition at American Military University is $250.00 per credit hour for undergraduate programs and $325.00 for graduate programs. Students can obtain financial assistance through federal loans and grants. Military students can avail of the Military Tuition Assistance and Veterans Benefits to help them finance their education. Average cost of course materials ranges from $125.00 to $175.00.
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The combined population of on-campus and online students is more than 100,000, 64% of whom are undergraduates. The AMU Golden Eagles represent American Military University in intercollegiate sports conferences.