George Mason University > University Catalog > Admission
2003-04 University Catalog George Mason University


Office of Admissions
4400 University Drive, MS 3A4
Fairfax, VA 22030-4444
Phone: (703) 993-2400
Fax: (703) 993-2392
4GMU: (703) 993-446

Undergraduate Admission Policies

Admission to George Mason is competitive because the number of qualified candidates for admission exceeds the number of new students who can be accommodated. Each candidate who presents sufficient admission qualifications is reviewed in the context of other qualified applicants. An offer of admission is valid only for the semester for which the student applied. Programs with limited space or special requirements may need a second review process for admission.

Admission Procedures

Applying for Admission

Application for undergraduate admission should be made to the Office of Admissions. Application forms are provided on request or are available on the Internet at www.admissions. A nonrefundable and nontransferable fee of $35 must accompany the application. (The international application fee is $75.) Catalog information, the Schedule of Classes, tuition information, campus events listings, and departmental information are available at

Application Deadlines

The priority application deadline for fall admission is January 15 for freshman applicants and April 1 for transfer applicants. The application deadline for the spring semester is October 15. Applications for the 2004­2005 fall and spring semesters may be submitted starting July 1, 2003. George Mason encourages early applications from prospective freshmen who wish to be considered for academic scholarships. The university reserves the right to close applications before published deadlines if conditions so warrant. Admission decisions for freshmen are usually made after the first-semester grades of the senior year and all appropriate test results have been received by the Office of Admissions. Transfer decisions are made as files become complete. Admission is contingent upon satisfactory completion of in-progress course work and graduation from high school.

Early Admission

High school juniors who have completed high school graduation requirements except for senior English and government courses may, with the approval of their high school guidance counselor or principal, apply for admission and thereby enter the university one year early. Applicants should present above-average grades, Scholastic Assessment Test (SAT)/American College Test (ACT) scores, and a high school course of study demonstrating rigorous academic preparation for university-level work. Candidates for this program must arrange an interview with the dean or director of admissions.

Bachelor's/Accelerated Master's Degrees

The university offers a number of Bachelor's/Accelerated Master's Degree programs for academically strong undergraduates with an interest in research, or graduate and professional studies. Admission to these programs is competitive. Information and application packages are available in the individual schools, colleges and institutes.

Admissions Committee

The Admissions Committee reviews undergraduate admission decisions and appeals.

Other Stipulations

The Office of Admissions or the Admissions Committee may make other stipulations or recommendations regarding the admission of an individual.

Freshman Requirements

The following factors are considered when reviewing freshman applications for admission:

  • Cumulative high school grade point average for course work completed in grades 9 through 12
  • Level of difficulty of course work elected throughout the high school years, particularly in English, mathematics, laboratory science, and foreign language
  • Scores from the SAT I, and/or the ACT, and/or Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL)
  • Essay
  • Secondary school report

The Admissions Office evaluates applications after all required materials have been received. Applicants who apply by the priority deadline date are notified of decisions by April 1. All other applicants are notified on a space-available basis.

The following table specifies the minimum units of college preparatory work required for admission, as well as the minimum units recommended. The recommended units reflect the typical high school program of students who have succeeded in competing for admission in recent years

Columns (1), (2), and (3) refer to the following categories:

1. Students applying for a Bachelor of Arts [excluding those in category 3], Bachelor of Fine Arts, or Bachelor of Music program, or with an undeclared major

2. Students applying for a Bachelor of Science degree program, excluding those in category 3

3. Students applying with an intended major in pre-business, chemistry, computer science, engineering, geology, mathematics, or physics

One unit equals one academic year of study.

  Required Minimum Recommended Minimum
  (1) (2) (3) (1) (2) (3)
English 4 4 4 4 4 4 4 4 4 4 4 4
Social Studies 3 3 3 4 4 4 3 3 3 4 4 4
Mathematics* 3 3 4 4 4 5 3 3 4 4 4 5
Laboratory Science** 2 2 3 3 3 4 2 2 3 3 3 4
Foreign Language 2 2 0 4 3 3 2 2 0 4 3 3
Other Academic Electives 3 3 3 5 4 3 3 3 3 5 4 3
Total 17 17 17 24 22 23 17 17 17 24 22 23

* Selected from algebra I, algebra II, geometry, trigonometry, analytic geometry, functions, math analysis, calculus.

** Selected from biology, chemistry, physics, or other advanced lab science.

Test Requirements

Freshman candidates for admission are required to take the SAT I or the ACT. All non-native English speakers are also required to take the TOEFL. Official test scores should be sent directly from the appropriate testing service.

Acceptance of Offer of Admission

The university complies with the national candidate reply date of May 1. Students confirm by completing the enrollment confirmation form provided in the admission packet and submitting it to the university with a $250.00 enrollment deposit. The deposit is non-refundable after May 1.

Right to Withdraw Offer of Admission

The university reserves the right to withdraw offers of admission if applicants fail to satisfy all requirements or if it is determined that admission was obtained through the use of falsified, altered, or embellished information. In the instance of withdrawal of admission from a matriculated student, credit earned at Mason may be withheld.

Re-admission after Previous Attendance

Students who have missed two or more consecutive semesters of enrollment (excluding Summer Term) at George Mason University must apply for re-admission through the Office of Admissions if any of the following conditions are true:

  • The student is an undergraduate returning after any absence during which he or she studied at another institution, without prior written permission of his or her school/college. Such students must reapply as transfer students.
  • The student is a degree-seeking undergraduate who was last enrolled five or more years ago.
  • The student is international, in F-1 or J-1 immigration status.
  • The student was ever suspended or dismissed from any college/university for non-academic reasons.
  • The student was academically dismissed from George Mason University.
  • The student was ever convicted of a felony.

Re-enrollment after Previous Attendance

Unless any of the conditions requiring re-admission apply, students in good academic standing who have missed two or more consecutive semester of enrollment (excluding Summer Term) at Mason may re-enter the university by completing a Re-Enrollment Form available through the Registrar's Office. For graduate students and some undergraduate programs, academic department approval is also required.

Application for a Second Bachelor's Degree

Application for a second bachelor's degree following conferral of a first degree from any accredited institution must be conducted through the Office of Admission. After admission, the student will work with the academic program to develop an approved contract or course of study of at least 30 credit hours beyond the first degree. While this contract will detail college level and major requirements to be met, such students do not have to meet additional university General Education requirements. Determination of academic standing will begin anew for the second degree.

Transfer Requirements

The university accepts qualified students who wish to transfer from other regionally accredited colleges or universities. Transfer applicants must submit official transcripts from each collegiate institution attended. Transfer applicants with fewer than 30 transferable credits must also submit a copy of their secondary school record and test scores. All non-native English speakers are also required to submit a TOEFL score or acceptable grades (C or better) in at least two English composition/literature classes taken at another U.S. university/college.

Application for admission as a transfer student is competitive. Successful candidates for admission usually have a minimum of 2.50 on a 4.00 scale. Students on active social or academic probation, suspension, or dismissal are not eligible for transfer admission.

Transfer applicants who have been out of school for a semester or longer, excluding summers and school designated breaks, must provide the Admissions Office with a statement describing activities during this period. A resume may be submitted in lieu of a statement.

Transfer Credit

A student transferring into the university receives a formal evaluation of transfer credit following the offer of admission. The student is responsible for seeing that the Office of Admissions receives official transcripts of all course work taken elsewhere.

In general, credits are accepted from regionally accredited institutions, provided that a grade of C or better has been earned in the course, and that the course content is equal to that offered at George Mason University. Transfer credit is not granted for study in non-accredited institutions.

Forty-five credits of upper-level course work are required for graduation. While lower-level courses taken at previously attended institutions may meet the content requirement of some upper-level courses, they do not reduce the 45-credit requirement.

Students enrolled on a campus of the Virginia Community College System (VCCS) may access transfer information from a computer database located on the university's web site at:

Students accepted into a degree program at George Mason University are not normally expected to pursue simultaneous course work elsewhere. See the section "Credit to be Earned at Other Institutions," under Academic Policies in this catalog, for procedures governing such concurrent enrollment.

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 program
  • Any other materials (i.e.: departmental form, portfolio, interview) as specified by the program
  • International applicants should see "Admission of International Students" in this catalog.

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), 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, 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)
M.S. in Earth Science; M.S., Ph.D. in Computational Sciences
Science and Technology I, Room 103, MS 5C3
(703) 993-4044, fax: (703) 993-1980

M.S., Ph.D. in Bioinformatics, Forensic Biosciences
Prince William Campus, MS 5B3
10900 University Boulevard
Manassas, VA 20110
(703) 993-8449, fax: (703) 993-8401

Graduate School of Education (GSE)
Robinson Hall, Room A308, MS 4D1
(703) 993-2010, fax: (703) 993-3363

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, 038, MS 5A2
(703) 993-2136, fax: (703) 993-1778

School of Public Policy (SPP)
Graduate Admissions
3401 North Fairfax Drive, MS 3B1
Arlington, VA 22201
(703) 993-8099, fax: (703) 993-4876

College of Visual and Performing Arts (CVPA)
Graduate Admissions, MS 3A4
(703) 993-2400, fax: (703) 993-4662

Institute for Conflict Analysis and Resolution (ICAR)
Graduate Admissions, MS 3A4
(703) 993-2400, fax: (703) 993-4662

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 most 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 I 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).

Admission of International Students

General Requirements

Application for admission to the university by international students holding or seeking F-1 or J-1 visas should be made directly to the Admissions Office before March 15 for the fall semester or October 1 for the spring semester. The deadline is enforced to ensure adequate time to process applications and prepare immigration documents. All international applications must be accompanied by a nonrefundable $75 application fee. An International Student Information Form, financial support documents and, for those present in the U.S., copies of immigration documents verifying current nonimmigrant status must be submitted with the application form.

Applications from international students are reviewed with all other applications. Admission to the university is competitive; therefore, while minimum standards ensure that an application will be considered, they do not guarantee admission. The number of applicants, the qualifications of the applicant pool, and the amount of available space determine the number of offers of admission that the university can make. In addition to overall admission requirements, some schools and colleges have individual requirements for acceptance into the major. (See school or college admission requirements.)

Applicants who are accepted to a program will receive a written offer of admission. Most students come to the U.S. on an F-1 visa, but students who are sponsored by the U.S. government or their home government may be required to enter the United States on an Exchange Visitor's Visa (J-1). The student will be notified if financial documents are not complete. If the documentation submitted is satisfactory, the University will issue an immigration document (Form I-20 for F-1 status or DS2019 for J-1 status) and mail it to the address indicated on the application. International students outside the United States must take the immigration document to the nearest U.S. Embassy or Consulate and apply for a student visa (F-1 or J-1). A letter of admission, evidence of financial support, an immigration document, a valid passport, and proof of strong ties to the home country are the basic requirements for obtaining a student visa. For more information about the visa application process, check with the nearest U.S. Embassy or Consulate, or visit the Department of State's web site:

Students in a nonimmigrant category other than F-1 or J-1 must submit copies of their immigration documents indicating their immigration status. They do not need to submit financial support documents unless they plan to change to a student visa. The Office of International Programs and Services (OIPS) should be contacted at 703 993-2970 for all questions pertaining to immigration status. Additional information is available on the OIPS web site at

Freshman and Transfer Requirements

Note: A transfer student is a student who has completed course work at a college or university after graduating from high school. In addition to the requirements defined for all transfer applicants, international transfer students must meet the standards listed below:

  • Freshman applicants must submit certified copies of all secondary/high school transcripts in the original language along with an English translation (if applicable). Results of any exit certificates or university entrance examinations also must be submitted.
  • All freshman applicants are required to submit satisfactory scores on the Scholastic Assessment Test I (SAT I) or the American College Test (ACT).
  • Applicants whose native language is not English are required to submit the results of the Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL). A minimum score of 230 on the computer-based TOEFL or 570 on the paper-based TOEFL and 4.5 on the TOEFL essay are required for an applicant to be considered for admission. Official test scores must be sent directly from the Educational Testing Service. Information concerning the time and place of the TOEFL can be obtained from TOEFL, Educational Testing Service, CN 6151, Princeton, NJ 08541-6151, USA. Phone: (609) 921-9000; web site:, or by contacting the George Mason Testing Center; web site:
  • All transcripts from colleges or universities outside the United States must be translated into English, and evaluated by an accredited U.S. evaluation service before an admission decision can be made. The applicant is responsible for the timely translation and evaluation of documents and for all costs and fees associated with these services. A list of suggested evaluation agencies is available in the Admissions Office or at
  • International students already in the U.S. in F-1 status must complete immigration transfer procedures within 15 days of the program start date listed on the George Mason University Form I-20. Contact the Office of International Programs and Services for processing of immigration transfers at (703) 993-2970 or visit

Graduate Requirements

International students interested in pursuing graduate study must meet the following requirements:

  • Students must complete the Application for U.S. Graduate Study.
  • Applicants whose native language is not English are required to submit the results of the Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL). A minimum score of 230 on the computer-based TOEFL or 575 on the paper-based TOEFL and 4.5 on the TOEFL Test of Written English (essay) are required for an applicant to be considered for admission. A TOEFL score of at least 250 (computer-based) or 600 (paper-based) is required to qualify for a teaching or research assistantship. Official test scores must be sent to the Admissions Office directly from the Educational Testing Service. Information concerning the time and place of the TOEFL can be obtained from TOEFL, Educational Testing Service, CN 6151, Princeton, NJ 08541-6151, USA. Phone: (609) 921-9000; web site:, or by contacting the George Mason Testing Center; web site:
  • All transcripts from colleges or universities outside the United States must be translated into English, and evaluated by an accredited U.S. evaluation service before an admission decision can be made. The applicant is responsible for the timely translation and evaluation of documents and for all costs and fees associated with these services. A list of suggested evaluation agencies is available in the Admissions Office or at
  • Graduate students' documents should show the award of either a bachelor's degree or equivalent, or a graduate degree.

Important Information for International Applicants

In addition to the academic requirements mentioned above, international students must meet the following conditions:

  • New federal regulations prohibit students on visitor (B1 and B2) visas from enrolling in school. Students who entered the U.S. on a visitor visa must apply for and be granted a change of status to F-1 prior to beginning their studies. Contact the Office of International Programs and Services for more information about changing status.
  • New federal regulations prohibit F-2 spouses of F-1 students from engaging in full-time study, and F-2 children may only engage in full-time study in kindergarten through twelfth grade. F-2 dependents may engage in study that is avocational or recreational in nature. Accordingly, any F-2 dependent who wishes to pursue full-time or degree-study in the U.S. must change their status to F-1. Contact the Office of International Programs and Services for more information.
  • Students enrolled at the university in F-1 or J-1 nonimmigrant status must maintain full-time enrollment each semester (12 credits for undergraduate, normally 9 credits for graduate), excluding Summer Term. Because of this requirement, F-1 or J-1 international students do not qualify for part-time programs.
  • A prospective student seeking to enter the United States in F-1 or J-1 visa status (or, if already in the United States, seeking to transfer to Mason) must complete the International Student Information Form (which can be downloaded from The form and financial support documents must be submitted along with the Application to the Admissions Office.
  • For those students already present in the U.S., copies of immigration documents verifying current nonimmigrant status must be submitted with the application form.
  • In order to be issued an immigration document, sufficient evidence of financial support (original bank statement, scholarship letter, sponsor's salary statement, graduate assistantship offer letter, for example), must be provided to cover the first year of study. Students must also demonstrate the source of financial support for all the subsequent year(s) of the program. The International Student Information Form gives an estimate of annual expenses, which includes tuition, living expenses, and health insurance.
  • All new students at the university must submit an Immunization Requirements Card signed by a health professional. The form must verify that the student's immunizations are current. The immunizations required are measles/mumps/rubella, and tetanus/diphtheria. A tuberculosis screening, hepatitis B (series of three) and meningococcal vaccines are also encouraged.
  • Financial sponsors who wish to be billed directly must provide a U.S. billing address. It is the students' responsibility to make sure tuition and fees are paid on time.
Health Insurance for International Students
  • George Mason University policy requires all students on an F-1 or J-1 visa to have health insurance that is valid through August 18 of the following year. The plan must include coverage for health-care expenses of at least $50,000 per year and the deductible amount must not exceed $500. (The deductible amount is the sum of money that must be paid by the person enrolled in the health-care plan before the insurance company will start to pay any of the bills.)
  • Special Note for J-1 Visa Holders: Federal law requires all students on a J-1 visa to have health insurance that includes coverage for medical evacuation and repatriation. The plan also must include costs associated with medical evacuation up to the amount of $10,000 and cost associated with repatriation up to the amount of $7,500. (Medical evacuation coverage pays for costs associated with returning a student who becomes seriously ill to his/her home country and repatriation coverage pays for costs associated with returning the student's remains to his/her home country.)
  • George Mason University offers health-care insurance coverage that meets the requirements for students on J-1 and F-1 visas. When international students register for classes, the cost of this coverage is automatically billed to their accounts by the Office of Student Accounts and is due with the tuition payment. Failure to pay or obtain an exemption results in cancellation of class registration and/or financial suspension. Late fees may be assessed if charges are not paid by the date established by the Cash Office.
  • International students are required to purchase insurance for the entire year, but if a student graduates or terminates attendance before the end of the insurance year, the student may submit a written request with proof of return to the home country for a prorated refund.
Exemptions from Health Insurance

Exemptions from health insurance requirements for international students are granted by the University's Student Health Insurance Office. Conditions under which exemptions may be granted include:

  • Students with the following sponsored foreign government plans are automatically eligible for exemptions: Kuwait, Saudi Arabia, Hariri Foundation, Oman, Qatar, United Arab Emirates, Egypt, and Malaysia (MSD or MARA plans only).
  • Students with evidence of an alternative insurance policy that meets the requirements for coverage may be eligible for exemptions
  • If a student believes he/she qualifies, it is his/her responsibility to apply for an exemption. An exemption must be obtained from the university's Student Health Insurance Office no later than one week after the last day to add classes of the student's first semester at the university. A continuing student is required to establish eligibility for an exemption no later than one week after the last day to add classes of each fall semester. Information regarding due dates and hours for the Student Health Insurance Office is available by calling (703) 993-2827.

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 24 credits at another institution before applying for Extended Studies. Extended Studies applications are available through the Admissions Office or on the web at

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. Extended studies students are allowed to register for 10 credits per semester. 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 30-credit master's 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: 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

IT&E non-degree graduate application forms are available on the web at

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
  • Anonrefundable 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.

Academic Testing

Testing Center

Phone: (703) 993-2390
Fax: (703) 993-3917

As a means of assessing the academic preparation of its students, the university requires the submission of certain test information.

Students may obtain applications for the Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL), Graduate Record Examination (GRE), Law School Admission Test (LSAT), Graduate Management Admission Test (GMAT), and Medical College Admission Test (MCAT) from the information desk in the Johnson Center or the Testing Center in Krug Hall, Room 101.

Computer-Based Testing (CBT)

The university, in cooperation with Educational Testing Services (ETS), has established a computer-based testing facility (CBT) in the Testing Center, Krug Hall, Room 101. The CBT facility offers computer-based GRE, GMAT, TOEFL and Praxis exams on a daily basis during the academic year. Students wishing to take any of the CBT tests should obtain the appropriate information and registration bulletin (available at the information desk in the Johnson Center and at the brochure display in front of the testing center) and indicate George Mason's Testing Center number: 7712 as their desired testing location. Space is limited to 15 people during a testing period, so it is to the student's advantage to register early. For additional information regarding computer-based testing facilities, please visit the Testing Center web site at

Praxis Series of Tests

Persons seeking an initial teacher license in Virginia are required to satisfy the professional teacher's assessment prescribed by the Virginia Board of Education. As of July 1, 1996, the Virginia Board of Education requires the Praxis I: Preprofessional Skills Test (either paper-based or computer-based) and Praxis II: Subject Assessment Test.

The Graduate School of Education requires that Praxis I scores be submitted with an application to an initial teacher licensure program. Those scores become one of the multiple criteria used in making admission decisions.

The Praxis Registration Bulletin is available in Krug Hall, Room 101, and in Robinson Hall, Room A307. Call (800) 853-6773 to register for the computer-based test version of Praxis I. George Mason University's Computer-Based Testing Center (ETS Testing Center number: 7712) is in Krug Hall. Register online ( for the paper-based version of the Praxis I and II test.

Advanced Placement and Credit by Examination

Academic departments frequently revise information regarding credit by examinations. The most current information can be found at:

Advanced Placement (AP) Program

Students who have completed Advanced Placement (AP) examinations in secondary schools can receive academic credit. Additional information or requests to have AP scores forwarded to George Mason University can be obtained from the College Board web site at: or by calling (609) 771-7300.

International Baccalaureate (IB) Program

George Mason University recognizes the International Baccalaureate (IB) curriculum as a strong pre-university academic program and encourages applicants to complete the requirements for the IB diploma. Specific information regarding the IB program can be found at: Advanced standing may be awarded for Higher Level (HL) examinations with scores of 5, 6, and 7. The International Baccalaureate North America Office, 475 Riverside Drive, 16th Floor, New York, NY 10015, must issue official transcripts before credit can be awarded. IB transcripts can be requested by calling (212) 696-4464.

The College Level Examination Program (CLEP)

Academic credit can be awarded based upon the successful completion of a number of College Level Examination Program (CLEP) Subject examinations. The University does not recognize credit earned by the CLEP General examination. Effective June 1, 2001, the CLEP Subject examinations will be offered in a computer-based format. The policy regarding the awarding of CLEP credit will be posted at the "Credit by Examination" web site:

George Mason University Departmental Exams

Proficiency examinations are offered in a number of courses normally taken during the first two years. Credit is recorded for grades of C or above, but does not affect the student's grade point average.

Students may not earn credit by examination for courses in which they are currently enrolled beyond the time allotted to add courses in that semester, or in courses already audited or failed at the university. Transfer students may not earn by examination any part of the 30 credits that must be completed at George Mason University to earn a degree.

English 101 Proficiency Exam

Students who pass the English 101 Proficiency Exam will receive three credits for English 101. The three-hour essay is based on a choice of topics. The exam is scheduled periodically during the semester. For additional information, please visit the English Department's proficiency exam web site at: or contact Stacey Remick-Simkins, Robinson Hall, Room A487,

English 302 Advanced Composition Exam

Students seeking to be exempt from English 302 may submit a written portfolio to the English Department. To qualify for the exemption, the written portfolio must demonstrate proficiency equal to that of students who have successfully completed English 302. The prerequisite for taking the English 302 advanced composition exam is 1) completion of 45 credits, 2) completion of English 101 or 100, and 3) completion of the literature requirement for the major. The English Department will accept a portfolio between September 1 and April 8. For additional information, please visit the English Department's proficiency exam web site at: or contact Stacey Remick-Simkins, Robinson Hall, Room A487, sremicks@

Foreign Language Placement

The College Board SAT II test in a foreign language is used for placement in French, German, classical Greek, Italian, Latin, Russian, and Spanish. Freshman applicants who wish to receive the appropriate foreign language placement should take this exam during their senior year in high school. Students who have not taken the SAT II in foreign language may take it in the foreign language lab once on campus. The SAT II examination is mandatory for anyone who has studied one of these languages for at least two years, has no previous college credit in the language, and wishes to continue study of the same language at the university. Transfer students receiving credit for college-level foreign language study completed at other colleges do not usually need a placement test, but must consult the Department of Modern and Classical Languages to determine their correct placement.

It is the student's responsibility to take a placement exam and obtain its results before enrolling in a foreign language course. The placement exam is given in conjunction with Orientation. The schedule can be found on the web at Specific information on interpreting test scores can be obtained from the Department of Modern and Classical Languages.

Students may not enroll for credit in a course at a level lower than the one in which they are placed. Students and instructors should attempt to identify and resolve cases of inappropriate placement during the first days of each course. For students whose degree program contains a foreign language requirement, the placement determines the maximum number of credits, if any, that will be needed to fulfill the requirement.

A foreign language placement is not required of international students who present evidence of having studied for four or more years in an educational institution where the primary language of instruction was other than English. These students will be considered to have fulfilled the foreign language requirement, but are not eligible for credit below the 300 level.

If through transfer credit, a placement test score, or George Mason course work, a student meets the prerequisite for a lower-division foreign language course that is not offered during a particular semester, the dean will normally grant permission to continue the foreign language sequence by allowing the students to take courses at another college or university.

Math Placement Exam

The Math Placement Exam is a computer-based test to help assess a student's proficiency in math. Entering students are required to successfully complete the exam during orientation, unless they have received AP credit or transfer credit. The web address for the math placement test schedule is: