American Public University System

American Public University System

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American Public University System

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The American Public University System (APUS) is a for-profit, online learning institution of higher education that is composed of the American Military University and the American Public University. APUS maintains corporate and academic offices in Charles Town, West Virginia, administrative offices in Manassas, Virginia, and offers associate, bachelor's, and master's degrees through its two constituent universities. APUS is wholly owned by American Public Education, Inc., a publicly traded corporation ().


The university was founded in 1991 by Major James P. Etter (USMC, retired) as the American Military University (AMU). Operations began in January 1993 with the enrollment of 18 graduate-level students. Initially, the main goal of the university was to meet the unique educational needs of military personnel needing courses in specialized areas, such as counter-terrorism and military intelligence, that were not included in typical university offerings. In the early years, instruction was done through conventional correspondence.

In June 1995, AMU became nationally accredited by the Accrediting Commission of the Distance Education and Training Council (DETC). In January of the following year, the school introduced its first undergraduate programs. In 1998, AMU made the transition from conventional...
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