Graduate Academic Policies
The Graduate Council is the governing body for all graduate academic policies
and procedures. The Graduate Council approves all new graduate programs; authorizes
all graduate course work, policies, and degrees conferred by the university; and
sets minimum standards for admission to and graduation from any graduate program.
These are minimum standards that all programs must meet; individual programs may
set and enforce higher standards. The Office of the Provost administers university
graduate policies for the Graduate Council.
The graduate faculty consists of all tenure and tenure-track faculty members
and other faculty members appointed to the graduate faculty by the provost.
The University offers certificates, master's and doctoral degrees at the graduate
level. There are also a number of bachelor's/accelerated master's degree programs
for academically strong undergraduates with a commitment to research. For more
information, see bachelor's/accelerated master's degree under Registration and
Students may access graduate classes and programs according to their status
as extended studies, non-degree, or enrolled degree students. See the "Admission"
chapter of this catalog.
Full-time Classification of Students
Graduate students enrolled in nine or more credits per semester are always
considered full time. Research and teaching assistants may be considered full-time
students for some purposes when enrolled in six or more credits per semester.
Please note: Different criteria for full-time status may apply for tuition, verification,
and financial aid purposes. Contact Student Accounts, Registrar, and Student Financial
Aid, respectively, for questions regarding student-specific status.
Change from Non-degree to Degree Status
A student admitted for graduate study in non-degree status may request a change
to degree status within the same program. To do so, the student must secure departmental
and college/school/institute approval on the college/school/institute's Student
Request Form. All admission requirements as normally defined by the student's
program for degree status must be met (e.g., official transcripts, letters of
recommendation, etc.). If the student intends to use credits earned in non-degree
status toward a degree, the credits must be approved on the college/school/institute's
Transfer of Credit form.
Removing Provisional Qualifier from Admission Status
For policies concerning students admitted provisionally, see the Graduate Admission
Policies section in the "Admission" chapter of this catalog.
Permission to Re-enroll in Graduate Study
Permission to re-enroll in a program must be obtained by all master's and doctoral
students who have failed to enroll in at least one credit of course work for two
or more consecutive semesters at George Mason University. A program may allow
a student to petition to graduate under any catalog in effect while the student
was enrolled. The final decision rests with the unit dean or director. Forms are
available from the Office of the Registrar, (703) 993-2441.
At the time of admission to graduate study, the student is assigned a faculty
advisor by the academic program responsible for the student's program of study.
Registration for newly admitted graduate students, as well as continuing students,
begins with a visit to the student's academic advisor. There the student can obtain
information about specific courses and degree requirements and develop an individual
program of study. Progress in an approved program of study is the shared responsibility
of the student and the advisor. The graduate student is responsible for compliance
with the policies and procedures of the college/school/institute and all applicable
departmental requirements that govern the individual program of study. Students
should consult with their advisors before registration each semester.