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George Mason University
2002-03 University Catalog


Graduate Admission Policies

Admission to graduate programs is competitive. The criteria for admission selection differs by program and is established by the departmental faculty. Applicants are evaluated on the strength of their academic backgrounds, the results of standardized examinations (if required by the program), work experience, and any additional evidence of potential success in the program. Annually, departmental faculty determine the number of offers of admission they may extend by the university resources available for their program.

Admission Requirements

For degree status the general university graduate admission requirements are as follows:

  • An earned baccalaureate degree from a regionally accredited institution of higher education

  • A 3.0 GPA (on a 4.0 scale) or better in the last 60 semester hours of baccalaureate study. (For students with post-baccalaureate credits, a separate GPA is calculated for each institution.) Note: The minimum GPA may be higher for some graduate programs. The difficulty of the baccalaureate degree and work experience will be considered in making admissions decisions

Graduate Application Requirements

For full consideration for graduate admission, applicants must submit:

  • A completed Application for Graduate Study

  • A non-refundable application fee

  • The Application for Virginia In-State Tuition Rates, if claiming entitlement to Virginia in-state tuition rates

  • Two official copies of transcripts from each institution attended

  • A goals statement

  • Letters of recommendation as required by the program

  • The official examination scores, i.e. GRE or Graduate Management Admissions Test (GMAT), reported directly from Educational Testing Service, as required by the

  • Any other materials (i.e.: departmental form, portfolio, interview) as specified by the program

  • For international applicants (J-1 and F-1 visas), the International Student Information form and certified bank statement showing that first-year funds are available. Also see Admission of International Students, page 11.

  • For non-native English-speaking applicants, the Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL) with a score of at least 575 on the paper examination, or a 230 on the computer-based TOEFL

Specific departmental admission requirements for degree students are listed in this catalog under the relevant discipline, as well as in the Graduate Program Requirements Chart in the Application for Graduate Study.

Graduate Applications

Available on the Internet
Graduate applications Internet addresses are:

School of Management (available on the web only):

School of Law:

All other graduate programs:

Requesting a Printed Application

We highly encourage you to access the appropriate graduate application on the web to apply for graduate admission. If you would like a paper application sent to you for any program (with the exception of the School of Law and the School of Management), please contact the Office of Admissions, MS 3A4, 4400 University Drive, Fairfax, VA 22030-4444; (703) 993-2400; e-mail:, or fax: (703) 993-2392. For the School of Law and the School of Management, use the contact information below to request a paper application.

Graduate Admissions Processing Centers

The graduate admissions process is decentralized at the university. Applicants are directed to send their applications and support documents directly to the Graduate Admissions Processing Center assigned to their program. Specific mailing instructions are listed in the Application for Graduate Study. Once a graduate application is complete and ready to be evaluated for admission, the graduate application file is sent to the academic department for faculty admissions committee review. An applicant is notified by mail of the admission decision.

Below is a list of the Graduate Admissions Processing Centers with contact information. To check on the status of a graduate application, call the university 4GMU student information system at (703) 993-4468. Any other graduate admission questions may be directed to the specific Graduate Admissions Processing Center assigned to an applicant's program by school, college, or institute.

College of Arts and Sciences (CAS)

College Hall, Room 119, MS 2D2
(703) 993-3699, fax: (703) 993-8714

College of Nursing and Health Science (CNHS)

Robinson Hall, Room A380, MS 5A8
(703) 993-1736, fax: (703) 993-3606

School of Computational Sciences (SCS)

PhD in Computational Sciences and Informatics
Science and Technology I, Room 103, MS 5C3
(703) 993-1990, fax: (703) 993-1993

M.S. in New Professional Studies: Bioinformatics, Biotechnology, Forensic Biosciences
Prince William Campus, MS 4E3
10900 University Boulevard
Manassas, VA 20110
(703) 993-8487, fax: (703) 993-8401

Graduate School of Education (GSE)

Robinson Hall, Room A308, MS 4D1
(703) 993-2144, fax: (703) 993-2082

School of Information Technology and Engineering (IT&E)

Science and Technology II, Room 160, MS 3D5
(703) 993-1505, fax: (703) 993-1633

School of Law

3401 North Fairfax Dr.
Arlington, VA 22201
(703) 993-8000, fax: (703) 993-8088

School of Management (SOM)

Enterprise Hall, Lower Level, Room 156, MS 5A2
(703) 993-2136, fax: (703) 993-1778

School of Public Policy (SPP)

3401 North Fairfax Drive
Arlington, VA 22201

College of Visual and Performing Arts (CVPA)

Robinson Hall, Room A380, MS 5A8
(703) 993-1736, fax: (703) 993-3606

Institute for Conflict Analysis and Resolution (ICAR)

Robinson Hall, Room A380, MS 5A8
(703) 993-1736, fax: (703) 993-3606

Initiatives for Educational Transformation (IET)*

10900 University Blvd., Suite 217, MS 4E4
Manassas, VA 20110-2203
(703) 993-8320, fax (703) 993-8321

* This program requires special permission. Please contact the program administration at the number listed above.

Graduate Admission Examinations

Although a number of graduate programs do not require standardized tests, almost all will use test scores as an additional measurement of an applicant's qualifications. Please consult the Graduate Program Chart in the Application for Graduate Study for departmental admissions test requirements.

The George Mason University Testing Center offers computer-based graduate admissions examinations including the GRE, GMAT, TOEFL, and the Praxis Series. Exams are offered weekdays and some Saturdays. Students may register for an exam in person at the Testing Center, Krug Hall, Room 101, or by calling the appropriate national registration number listed below. For information regarding the tests given by the Testing Center, call (703) 993-2390, or visit the Office of Admissions web site at

Students who wish to take computer-based graduate admissions exams at George Mason should indicate George Mason's Test Center Number: 7712 on their registration forms. Information and Registration Bulletins for all national graduate admissions exams are available at the information desk in the Johnson Center and at the brochure display in front of the Testing Center. To have official test scores sent to this university, list George Mason's Institutional Code: 5827 on the registration form.

The GRE may be taken in two forms: (1) the General Examination, and (2) the Subject Examinations. Some departments require official scores for both the General and the Subject Examinations. Students may schedule the computer-based GRE General Exam on campus in the Testing Center by calling (703) 993-2390 or (800) 473-2255. Students may register for the GRE Subject Exam on line at

The GMAT is required of all applicants seeking an M.B.A and may be taken in lieu of the GRE for the M.S. in Information Systems. Students may schedule the computer-based GMAT on campus at the Testing Center by calling (703) 993-2390, (800) 462-8669, or on line at

The Miller Analogies Test (MAT) is a test of 100 analogies and may be a substitute for the GRE in some graduate programs. The MAT is not offered at George Mason, but may be taken at other local universities including the University of Maryland. To have the official MAT scores sent to George Mason, list George Mason's Institutional Code: 1768. For information about scheduling the MAT call (800) 622-3231 or visit the MAT web site at

The Praxis I is required by the Graduate School of Education for graduate applicants to initial teacher licensure programs. Students may schedule the Praxis on campus in the Testing Center by calling (703) 993- 2390, or (800) 853-6773.

Passing scores on both Praxis I and Praxis II examinations are required for program completion.

The TOEFL exam may be required for graduate applicants for whom English is not their first language. Students may schedule the TOEFL exam on campus at the Testing Center by calling (703) 993-2390, (800) 468-6335, or by visiting

Foreign Language Requirements

Certain graduate programs require students who have not already completed 12 undergraduate credits in a foreign language to satisfy a foreign language requirement. This may be accomplished by taking the appropriate courses or demonstrating the equivalent proficiency by passing an examination. Contact the academic program for information on demonstrating language proficiency. Examinations are administered by the Department of Modern and Classical Languages.

Admission of Graduate Degree Holders

An applicant holding one or more graduate degrees may earn an additional graduate degree in another discipline. For admission to a second graduate degree program, the applicant should submit an application, transcripts, and other documents as required by the second degree program. Course credits used to satisfy the degree requirements for the first graduate degree may not be used to satisfy the degree requirements for the second graduate degree at the university. In programs with overlapping or similar requirements, students will be advised in the subsequent degree program regarding appropriate course substitutions for subjects already covered.

Offer of Admission

The written offer of admission specifies the effective date of admission, the category of admission offered, and the name of the faculty advisor assigned to the applicant. This offer of admission is good only for the semester for which the applicant applies. The offer of admission must be accepted by returning an enrollment confirmation card. An individual whose offer of admission has lapsed must submit a new application and fee to be reconsidered for admission at a later date. Students may simultaneously apply for more than one graduate program, but if admitted to more than one program, may accept only one offer and pursue only one degree program at a time.

Provisional Admission

A degree-seeking graduate applicant with a baccalaureate degree who has not met all admissions requirements may be offered provisional admission if sufficient evidence is presented to suggest the applicant has the ability to pursue graduate work. As first priority when starting the graduate program, a provisionally admitted student must satisfy the conditions of admission. Once the student has satisfied the conditions specified in the offer of admission and submitted all admissions credentials, the provisional qualifier will be removed from the student's record. Written confirmation indicating the removal will be sent to the student from the college/school/institute dean or director.

If the student does not meet the admissions conditions within the time limit specified, the student may be terminated from the program. All applicants admitted provisionally are in degree-seeking status, and the course work taken appears as a part of their regular student record and does not need to be transferred.

Reactivation of Deferred Applications

Applicants are notified when action on an application has been deferred pending completion of courses that are prerequisite to graduate study in a chosen field. An applicant is encouraged to notify his/her program's Graduate Admissions Processing Center in writing as soon as the prerequisites have been met. The applicant is responsible for furnishing official transcripts confirming that the prerequisite courses have been satisfactorily completed. An admission decision cannot be made until these grades are received.

Change in Field of Graduate Study

Admission for graduate study is admission to a specific program. Therefore, a student is not free to change graduate programs at will. A student who wishes to change from one field of study to another must submit a new application and application fee. Previous acceptance into one graduate program does not guarantee acceptance into another.

Beginning Graduate Study During Summer Term

Applicants wishing to begin graduate work in summer must complete a standard application for graduate admission and be formally admitted before registering for summer.

Students accepted for fall are considered admitted students and may take courses during the previous summer.

Records Maintenance and Disposal

All admission documents, including academic records sent from other institutions, become part of the official university file and can neither be returned nor duplicated for any purpose. A student should maintain copies of official credentials for other personal use.

Admission credentials are retained for 24 months only and are subsequently destroyed if applicants (1) do not register for courses within the time period for which the offer of admission is valid, (2) have been denied admission, (3) do not respond to requests for additional information, or (4) fail to submit complete applications (including all official transcripts and test results).