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George Mason University
2002-03 University Catalog


Special Types of Enrollment

Extended Studies

The Extended Studies program enables students who have no immediate degree objectives, or may need to satisfy prerequisites for graduate admission, to enroll in courses for which they are qualified without seeking formal admission to the university. It is generally expected that Extended Studies enrollees have earned a minimum of 30 credits at another institution before applying for Extended Studies. Extended Studies applications are available through the Admissions Office or on the web at onapps.html.

Extended Studies students may be restricted to undergraduate and 500- and 600-level graduate courses. Enrollment is based on eligibility criteria and availability of space in courses, and in high-demand fields may be restricted or prohibited. Prospective enrollees may be required to supply unofficial evidence of their academic background along with the Extended Studies application to the Admissions Office. Students enrolling in both undergraduate and graduate courses during the same semester will be charged at the graduate tuition rate.

Extended Studies enrollees are expected to achieve a semester average of at least C (2.000) in all undergraduate courses and at least B (3.000) in all graduate courses. Students who do not meet these criteria during two consecutive periods of enrollment are not permitted to register again through Extended Studies.

Extended Studies enrollees who wish to apply for admission to a degree program may do so at any time by following the standard undergraduate or graduate admission procedures. A maximum of 18 undergraduate credits may be applied to an undergraduate degree program. The Office of Admissions applies the same criteria for admission to Extended Studies students applying for undergraduate degree status as to students transferring from other institutions. Graduate students, with the approval of a school or college dean, may apply a maximum of 12 graduate credits towards a graduate program. If the admitted graduate student has transfer credit from another institution, the amount of applicable credit earned through Extended Studies may be reduced accordingly. Students must fulfill the degree requirements outlined in the catalog in effect at the time they are admitted as degree candidates.

Grades earned through Extended Studies remain a part of the student's permanent record, are recorded on the standard university transcript, and are counted in determining the student's future academic standing. Extended Studies students will be assigned to an academic unit on the basis of their educational plans as stated on their application. The academic unit will handle academic advising and determine the student's eligibility to continue in the Extended Studies program. Students unsure of their future educational plans may consult Academic Support and Advising Services.

High School Guest Matriculant

Secondary school students who wish to take courses at George Mason for transfer back to their high schools may enroll through the Extended Studies program as high school guest matriculants. Students must submit a copy of their high school transcripts and PSAT or SAT scores with the Extended Studies Application to participate. In addition to the Extended Studies Application, high school students are required to have their counselor approve the course selection by signing the "High School Guest Matriculant Registration Approval Form" and returning the form to the Admissions Office with the Extended Studies Application. The High School Guest Matriculant Form is available from the Admissions Office homepage at and can be faxed to the office at (703) 993-2392. Students who have completed Advanced Placement (AP) or International Baccalaureate (IB) exams should include copies of the results. High school teachers or counselors wishing to provide support for the student's enrollment may e-mail Larry Beatty, Associate Dean of Admissions, at

College Guest Matriculants

College students enrolled at other accredited institutions who wish to take courses at George Mason for transfer to their home institutes may enroll through the Extended Studies program as guest matriculants. It is recommended that students consult with their home colleges or universities before attempting to register for classes at Mason. Undergraduate or graduate guest matriculants require written permission from their home colleges or universities before admission. The responsibility for determining the transferability of the course work to the home institution lies with the student.

Students may submit an Extended Studies application through the Admissions web site at: onapps.html or contact the Admissions Office at (703) 993-2400 for more information.

Senior Citizens

The Extended Studies Enrollment Office coordinates enrollment under the Senior Citizens Higher Education Act of 1974, as amended and as applicable to the university. Under the terms of this act, eligible Virginia residents 60 years of age or older with a taxable income not exceeding $10,000 are entitled to enroll in courses offered for academic credit on a space-available basis without payment of tuition and fees. Senior citizens who meet the income eligibility requirement and who have completed a minimum of 75 percent of degree requirements may enroll in a degree program during normal registration periods without payment of tuition and fees. The Senior Citizen Tuition Waiver Form is available from the Registrar's Office, (703) 993-2441, and on the Internet at for senior citizens who want to participate.

In addition, the act provides for audit of courses offered for academic credit and also for enrollment in noncredit courses without payment of tuition and fees on a space-available basis, regardless of the taxable income level. Students seeking to audit a class must notify the Registrar's Office when registering for classes. Tuition, however, may be charged for courses designed exclusively for senior citizen groups. No senior citizen may change registration status in any given semester once he or she has initially registered for classes.

Graduate Non-degree Status

School of Information Technology and Engineering (IT&E)

Admission for non-degree graduate study is suitable for those persons who do not currently wish to pursue a degree, but are interested in taking graduate IT&E courses. The following application materials should be submitted for consideration:

  • IT&E non-degree application
  • Official or unofficial transcripts
  • Nonrefundable application fee
  • Course Request Form
  • Resume is optional

IT&E non-degree graduate application forms and information regarding future Open Houses is available on the web at

Once the student receives an approved Course Request Form from IT&E, he/she may register via the telephone registration system (4GMU) or in person for the course. Approval for non-degree status does not guarantee admission for a degree program at a later date. Up to 12 credit hours taken in non-degree status may be transferred to an IT&E degree or certificate program, subject to the general rules for transfer of graduate credit. Students who do not register for the term for which they are accepted may have their enrollment postponed for one semester upon written request to the Admissions Office. Further information about IT&E programs and course offerings may be obtained from IT&E departmental offices or the IT&E Graduate Student Services Office, Science and Technology II, Room 100, (703) 993-1505.

School of Computational Sciences

Non-degree status is available for professionals who are interested in taking a limited number of courses in the computational sciences and informatics (CSI) doctoral program. Up to 12 credit hours taken in non-degree status may be transferred into the CSI doctoral or certificate program at a later date. Note that approval for non-degree status does not guarantee admission into either the doctoral or certificate program. For admission into non-degree status, the student should have a 3.000 GPA or higher, and a B.S. degree in mathematics, computer science, engineering, or natural science. Exceptions are reviewed on an individual basis.

The following application materials should be submitted for consideration:

  • CSI non-degree application
  • Official or unofficial transcripts
  • A nonrefundable application fee
  • Resume is optional

The CSI non-degree application can be downloaded from the School of Computational Sciences web site at

Graduate Course Enrollment by Undergraduates

Undergraduates may request approval to take a graduate course either for reserve graduate credit or for undergraduate credit. Special circumstances apply. See details in the Academic Policies chapter of this catalog or in the Schedule of Classes.

Summer Term

Summer enrollment is open to eligible undergraduate and graduate students on a priority registration basis. The Summer Term offers more than 750 daytime and evening classes in four sessions from five to eight weeks. Academic departments take advantage of the Summer Term's unique opportunities to schedule innovative as well as traditional courses. Many undergraduate and graduate students use the Summer Term as a third semester with the option of taking up to 14 credits.