Taking the time to pursue a college education while serving in the military or after ETSing can seem like a daunting task. But this doesn’t mean that you can’t also earn a degree. The American Military University is the number one provider of higher education to United States military members and Veterans using their GI Bill benefits.
The Department of State Affairs offers several educational benefits at the American Military University through the GI Bill and the Veteran Readiness and Employment Service (VR&E), Chapter 31.
AMU’s roots are in the military, and they are dedicated to helping current and ex-military reach their goals. Today, we’re giving you the rundown on everything you need to know about the American Military University (AMU) and getting your college journey started. Most importantly, we’re here to help put those college jitters at bay.
More like this: Do I Use My GI Bill for Dependents or Myself? What To Consider
History and Mission of the American Military University
So how did AMU achieve its reputation and retain its 9-time Military Times distinction as the “Best for Vets College?” Let’s go back to the beginning.
A Brief History
AMU was founded in 1991 by retired Marine Corps officer James P. Etter, who was motivated to start a university that offered career-relevant, remote education for mobile members of the military, Veterans, and learners with various needs.
Over the course of 10 years, AMU added undergraduate and graduate programs specifically tailored to leadership role preparation for military roles and post-military careers.
In 2002, AMU was reorganized, and American Public University (APU) was founded and is still dedicated to providing a flexible, affordable, and quality education to students. Today, the American Military University is one of the largest online higher education institutions in the United States.
Today, AMU strives to provide the nation’s military and public service communities with quality higher education.
Accomplishing this goal, AMU offers current, respected, affordable, and accessible in-person and online programs that help prepare students for advancement in leadership and service positions.
AMU strives to provide students with the tools they need to advance the environmental, social, and economic well-being of the world around them. AMU prepares students through its offering of in-class student interfaces, career-relevant degree programs, student internships/partnerships, affordable tuition, and dynamic learning experiences.
American Military University Accreditation
AMU is accredited by the Higher Learning Commission (HLC) and is a part of the American Public University System. HLC-accredited degree-offering institutions across the country are recognized by both the Council for Higher Education Accreditation and the U.S. Department of Education.
Certain academic programs offered by the American Military University have specialized accreditation granted by external industry governing organizations. These specialized accreditation programs include:
- Accreditation Council for Business Schools and Programs
- Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education
- Council on Education for Public Health
- International Fire Service Accreditation Congress
- Health Information Management
AMU is all about flexibility and working to address the needs of students. Accomplishing this goal, AMU offers 200+ online degrees and certificates, making them a leader in higher education.
While AMU largely offers online classes, there are select courses that are offered at the university. Located in Charles Town, West Virginia, AMU’s campus maintains a hometown feel while offering a world-class education. For current and ex-military looking for an intimate community to grow and develop their knowledge with, AMU may be just the college you had in mind.
Want to check out the campus? The American Military University address is 111 W Congress St., Charles Town, WV 25414.
Degrees and Programs
The American Military University has over 200 online degree programs. Here are just some of the programs offered.
AMU offers a number of online associate degree programs:
- Criminal Justice (Associate of Arts)
- Data Science (Associate of Science)
- Military History (Associate of Arts)
- Weapons of Mass Destruction Preparedness (Associate of Arts)
AMU’s online bachelor programs are perfect for those seeking a traditional four-year degree. Some of the programs offered include:
- Business Analytics (Bachelor of Science)
- Computer Science (Bachelor of Science)
- Homeland Security (Bachelor of Arts)
- Space Studies (Bachelor of Science)
AMU also offers a multitude of online master degree programs for those wishing to further their education. Some of the programs offered include:
- Applied Business Analytics (Master of Science)
- Health Information Management (Master of Science)
- Intelligence Studies (Master of Arts)
- Public Administration (Master of Public Administration)
Be sure to check out AMU’s website to learn more about the bachelor and master degree programs offered.
AMU’s doctoral degrees in Global Security and Strategic Intelligence are the first of their kind and are offered online.
AMU has six schools to help prepare students for entry into a variety of disciplines, careers, and industries. The programs offered are designed to help students achieve their goals (professional, academic, and personal).
AMU’s schools include:
- Arts, Humanities & Education
- Dr. Wallace E. Boston School of Business
- Health Sciences
- Science, Technology, Engineering & Math
- Security & Global Studies
- Center for Professional and Continuing Education
Starting your educational journey with the American Military University is easy; just follow these four simple steps.
1. Choose Your Program
Use AMU’s program finder to find a degree or certificate that is right for you.
2. Apply Online
There is no application fee to apply online for bachelors or masters degrees, and applying takes only 10-15 minutes.
3. Complete Admissions Requirements
After submitting your application, be sure to review the undergraduate or graduate admissions e-campus tutorial, and review your financial aid applications.
4. Register for Courses
You’ve made it to the last step — registering for classes! Classes start at the beginning of each month, giving you the flexibility to start at a convenient time in your life or immediately after being admitted.
Undergraduate Admission Requirements
In addition to the required application, you will need to provide:
- Your high school diploma, GED, or expected graduation date if you are still a high school student.
- Transcripts from all schools attended, including any previous college coursework.
- A valid government-issued photo ID.
- A government-issued JST or CCAF transcript for military undergraduate students.
Start the application process today by visiting the American Military University login portal page on their website.
Tuition and Financing
AMU is committed to making education affordable and accessible to current military members and Veterans. Undergraduate tuition is $285/credit hour, and textbooks are provided to students at no cost.
There are no admission fees for undergraduate and master’s programs and no cost for transfer credit evaluation.
As we mentioned earlier, AMU is the #1 provider of higher education for Veterans who wish to use their GI Bill benefit.
While multiple educational benefits are provided to Veterans at AMU, GI Bill benefits remain the main resource. AMU accepts multiple GI and VA education benefits. The programs that AMU uses include:
- The Chapter 33 – Post-9/11 GI Bill
- Montgomery GI Bill – Active Duty (MGI-AD)
- Montgomery GI Bill – Selected Reserve (MGIB-SR)
- Survivors and Dependent Educational Assistance Program (DEA)
Veterans are not the only recipients of benefits, as AMU believes that military spouses and dependents deserve the opportunity to receive an education without the burden of debt, which is why a military tuition grant for military spouses and dependents is offered.
The AMU address for GI Bill forms is 111 W. Congress St., Charles Town, WV 25414. Forms can also be faxed to 1 (877) 480-4236.
Let’s take a look at a couple AMU reviews and student success stories.
Joseph’s passion was military history from a young age. After being diagnosed with cancer, he took a look at his life and decided that he wanted to pursue a bachelor’s in Military History.
While he was deployed, two of his friends attending the American Military University encouraged him to enroll while he was still on active duty. Joseph heeded their advice and developed a love of combining learning with his real-world experiences.
This next American Military University review is by Chanda Chann, who graduated with a BA in Management.
Chanda was born in Cambodia and is a Khmer Rouge camp survivor. She and her mother were rescued and immigrated to the United States when she was 5 years old.
She was the first in her family to earn a college degree and is a military spouse. Chanda and her husband started a small business together, and she has had a successful business career.
While AMU is largely an online university, there are hundreds of national organizations that students can get involved in. Here are just a few:
- Active Minds
- Association for Women in Science
- Homeland Security Network
- International Diplomacy Club
- Military Intelligence Corps Association
- Military Spouses Club
- Student Veterans of America
Start Your College Journey Today
Deciding to pursue a degree is a big commitment, not only financially but also personally. Many active-duty service members and Veterans face challenges earning their degrees.
Fear not because the American Military University is here to help you overcome those hurdles and achieve the education that you have dreamed of.
AMU understands that Veterans earning a degree may have to overcome physiological trauma. The university offers free counseling services and access to organizations that help Veterans overcome mental health issues such as anger, grief, stress, and sleep deprivation that a university setting might trigger.
Interested in attending the American Military University, but have questions about scholarship programs or what it’s like to return to college as a Veteran? Be sure to check some of our other VeteranLife articles.