- Undergraduate Admission Policies
- Applying for Admission
- Application Deadlines
- Early Admission
- Bachelor's/Accelerated Master's Degrees
- Admissions Committee
- Freshman Requirements
- Test Requirements
- Acceptance of Admission Offer
- Right to Withdraw Offer
- Readmission after Previous Attendance
- Re-enrollment after Previous Attendance
- Application for a Second Bachelor's Degree
- Transfer Requirements
- Transfer Credit
- Graduate Admission Policies
- Admission Requirements
- Graduate Application Requirements
- Graduate Applications
- Graduate Admissions Processing Centers
- Graduate Admission Exams
- Foreign Language Requirements
- Admission of Graduate Degree Holders
- Offer of Admission
- Provisional Admission
- Reactivation of Deferred Applications
- Change in Field of Graduate Study
- Graduate Study during Summer Term
- Records Maintenance and Disposal
- Admission of International Students
- Special Types of Enrollment
- Academic Testing
- Testing Center
- Advanced Placement and Credit by Exam
- Advanced Placement (AP) Program
- International Baccalaureate (IB) Program
- College Level Examination Program (CLEP)
- Mason Departmental Exams
Office of Admissions
4400 University Drive, MS 3A4
Fairfax, VA 22030-4444
Undergraduate Admission Policies
Admission to 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.
Applying for Admission
Application for undergraduate admission should be made to the Office of Admissions. Application forms are provided on request or are available at www.admissions.gmu.edu/ugrad/onapps.html. A nonrefundable and nontransferable fee of $40 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 www.gmu.edu.
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 2005–2006 fall and spring semesters may be submitted starting July 1, 2005. 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 on satisfactory completion of in-progress course work and graduation from high school.
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 combined bachelor's and 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.
The Admissions Committee reviews undergraduate admission decisions and appeals. Additionally, the Admissions Committee or the Office of Admissions may make other stipulations or recommendations regarding the admission of an individual.
The following factors are considered when reviewing freshman applications for admission:
- Cumulative high school grade point average (GPA) 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, ACT, or Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL)
- 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 prebusiness, chemistry, computer science, engineering, geology, mathematics, or physics
Note that one unit equals one academic year of study.
|Required Minimum||Recommended Minimum|
|Other Academic Electives||3||3||3||5||4||3|
* Selected from algebra I, algebra II, geometry, trigonometry, analytic geometry, functions, math analysis, -calculus
** Selected from biology, chemistry, physics, or other advanced lab science
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 Admission Offer
Mason complies with the national candidate reply date of May 1. Students confirm by completing the enrollment confirmation form in the admission packet and submitting it to the university with an enrollment deposit. The deposit is non-refundable after May 1.
Right to Withdraw Offer
Mason 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 case of withdrawal of admission from a matriculated student, credit earned at Mason may be withheld.
Readmission after Previous Attendance
Students who have missed two or more consecutive semesters of enrollment (excluding Summer Term) at Mason 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 or 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 with F-1 or J-1 immigration status.
- The student was ever suspended or dismissed from any college or university for nonacademic reasons.
- The student was academically dismissed from Mason.
- The student was ever convicted of a felony.
Re-enrollment after Previous Attendance
Unless any of the conditions requiring readmission apply, students in good academic standing who have missed two or more consecutive semesters of enrollment (excluding Summer Term) at Mason may re-enter 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 Admissions. 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, these students do not have to meet Mason's additional General Education requirements. Determination of academic standing will begin anew for the second degree.
Mason 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 or literature classes taken at another U.S. university or 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.
A student transferring into Mason receives a formal evaluation of transfer credit following the admission offer. 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 Mason. Note that only credits—not grades—are transferred; grades for transferred courses will not become a part of a student's GPA at Mason. 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 Mason's web site at: www.admissions.gmu.edu/ugrad/transguide.
Students accepted into a degree program at Mason are usually not expected to pursue simultaneous course work elsewhere. For more information, go to the "Credit to be Earned at Other Institutions" section in the Academic Policies chapter of this catalog.
Graduate Admission Policies
Admission to graduate programs is competitive. Selection criteria differs by program and is established by departmental faculty. Applicants are evaluated on the strength of their academic background, results of standardized exams (if required by the program), work experience, and any additional evidence of potential success in the program. Each year, departmental faculty determine the number of admission offers they may extend by the university resources available for their program.
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 3.00 GPA (on a 4.00 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 admission 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 them
- Two official copies of transcripts from each institution attended
- A goals statement
- Letters of recommendation as required by the program
- The official exam scores, such as the GRE or GMAT, reported directly from Educational Testing Service, as required by the program
Other materials specified by the program, including departmental forms, portfolio, or interview
International applicants should see the "Admission of International Students" section for more information. 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 are available at admissions.gmu.edu. Applications for the School of Law can be accessed at www.law.gmu.edu. For a paper application for any program except the law school, please contact the Office of Admissions, MS 3A4, 4400 University Drive, Fairfax, Virginia 22030-4444; 703-993-2400; fax: 703-993-2392; e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org.
Graduate Admissions Processing Centers
The graduate admissions process is decentralized at Mason. 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 review by the Faculty Admissions Committee. An applicant is notified by mail of the admission decision.
Below is a list of the Graduate Admissions Processing Centers with contact information. Graduate admission questions may be directed to the specific center assigned to an applicant's program by school, college, or institute.
College of Arts and Sciences (CAS)
College Hall, Room 119, MS 2D2
4400 University Drive
Fairfax, VA 22030
Phone: 703-993-3699, fax: 703-993-8714
College of Nursing and Health Science (CNHS)
Robinson Hall, Room A380, MS 5A8
4400 University Drive
Fairfax, VA 22030
Phone: 703-993-1736, fax: 703-993-3606
School of Computational Sciences (SCS)
PhD in climate dynamics; MS, PhD in computational sciences and informatics, MS in Earth systems science; PhD in computational neuroscience, PhD in computational social sciences, MS in computational science
Science and Technology I, Room 103, MS 5C3
4400 University Drive
Fairfax, VA 22030
Phone: 703-993-4044, fax: 703-993-1980
School of Computational Sciences (SCS)
MS, PhD in bioinformatics
Prince William Campus, MS 5B3
10900 University Boulevard
Manassas, VA 20110
Phone: 703-993-8449, fax: 703-993-8401
College of Education and Human Development
Robinson Hall, Room A308, MS 4D1
4400 University Drive
Fairfax, VA 22030
Phone: 703-993-2010, fax: 703-993-3363
School of Information Technology and Engineering (IT&E)
IT&E Graduate Admissions Office
Room 133, Science and Technology II
703-993-1512 MS: 3D5
School of Law
3401 North Fairfax Drive
Arlington, VA 22201
Phone 703-993-8000, fax: 703-993-8088
School of Management (SOM)
Enterprise Hall, Lower Level, 038, MS 5A2
4400 University Drive
Fairfax, VA 22030
Phone: 703-993-2136, fax: 703-993-1778
School of Public Policy (SPP)
3401 North Fairfax Drive, MS 3B1
Arlington, VA 22201
Phone: 703-993-8099, fax: 703-993-4876
College of Visual and Performing Arts (CVPA)
Graduate Admissions, MS 3A4
4400 University Drive
Fairfax, VA 22030
4400 University Drive
Fairfax, VA 22030
Phone: 703-993-2400, fax: 703-993-4662
Institute for Conflict Analysis and Resolution (ICAR)
Graduate Admissions, MS 3A4
4400 University Drive
Fairfax, VA 22030
Phone: 703-993-2400, fax: 703-993-4662
Initiatives for Educational Transformation (IET)*
10900 University Blvd., Suite 217, MS 4E4
Manassas, VA 20110-2203
Phone: 703-993-8320, fax 703-993-8321
* This program requires special permission; please contact the program administration for more information.
Graduate Admission Exams
Although a number of graduate programs do not require standardized tests, almost all use test scores as an additional measurement of an applicant's qualifications. Please consult the graduate program requirements chart in the Application for Graduate Study for departmental admissions test requirements.
The George Mason University Testing Center offers some computer-based graduate admissions on 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 go to the Office of Admissions web site at admissions.gmu.edu.
Students who wish to take computer-based graduate admission exams at 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 CEEB Code: 5827 on the registration form.
The GRE may be taken in two forms: the general exam and the subject exam. Some departments require official scores for both types of exams. 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 www.gre.org.
The GMAT is required of all applicants seeking an MBA and may be taken in lieu of the GRE for the MS in information systems. Students may schedule the computer-based GMAT online at www.mba.com.
The Miller Analogies Test (MAT) is a test of 100 analogies and may be a substitute for the GRE in some graduate programs. To have the official MAT scores sent to George Mason, list George Mason's MAT Code: 1768. For information about scheduling the MAT, call 800-622-3231 or go to www.tpcweb.com.
The Praxis I is required by the College of Education and Human Development 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 exams 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 at www.toefl.org.
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 exam. Contact the academic program for information on demonstrating language proficiency. Exams 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 is good only for the semester for which the applicant applies. The offer 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.
A degree-seeking graduate applicant with a baccalaureate degree who has not met all admission 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 admission 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, or institute dean or director.
If the student does not meet the 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. Applicants are encouraged to notify their program's Graduate Admissions Processing Center in writing as soon as the prerequisites have been met. Applicants are responsible for furnishing official transcripts confirming 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.
Graduate Study during Summer Term
Applicants planning to begin graduate work in Summer Term must complete a standard application for graduate admission and be formally admitted before registering . Note that not all graduate programs admit for Summer Term. However, 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 only 12 months. They are subsequently destroyed if applicants do not register for courses within the time period for which the offer of admission is valid; have been denied admission; do not respond to requests for additional information; or fail to submit complete applications, including all official transcripts and test results.
Admission of International Students
Application for admission to Mason by international students holding or seeking F-1 or J-1 visas should be made directly to the Admissions Office. Deadlines for the fall semester are before January 1, for undergraduates, and February 15, for graduates. For the spring semester, the deadline for both groups is October 1. These deadlines ensure adequate time to process applications and prepare immigration documents. All international applications must be accompanied by a nonrefundable application fee of $75 for undergraduates and $60 for graduates. Items that must be submitted with the application form are the International Student Information Form, financial-support documents, copy of passport identification page, and for those present in the United States, copies of immigration documents verifying current nonimmigrant status.
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, qualifications of the applicant pool, and the amount of available space determine the number of admission offers that Mason can make. In addition to overall admission requirements, some schools and colleges have individual requirements for acceptance into the major. For more information, 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 United States on an F-1 visa, but students who are sponsored by the U.S. government, their home government, or another organization 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 International Student Information Form.
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). The basic requirements for obtaining a student visa are a letter of admission, evidence of financial support, an immigration document, a valid passport, and proof of strong ties to the home country. For more information about the visa application process, check with the nearest U.S. embassy or consulate, or go to the Department of State's web site: www.state.gov.
Students in a nonimmigrant visa category other than F-1 or J-1 must submit the International Student Information Form and copies of immigration documents indicating their immigration status. They do not need to submit financial-support documents unless they plan to change to a student visa. For more information pertaining to immigration status, contact the Office of International Programs and Services (OIPS) at 703-993-2970. Additional information is available on the OIPS web site: oips.gmu.edu.
Freshman and Transfer Requirements
A transfer student is one 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 following standards:
- Freshman applicants must submit certified copies of all secondary or high school transcripts in the original language along with an English translation, if applicable. Results of any exit certificates or university entrance exams also must be submitted.
- All freshman applicants are required to submit satisfactory scores on the SAT I or the ACT.
- Applicants whose native language is not English are required to submit the results of the 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. For more information on the TOEFL, contact the Educational Testing Service, CN 6151, Princeton, New Jersey, 08541-6151, USA, phone: 609-921-9000, web site: www.toefl.org. More information can also be found on the George Mason Testing Center's web site: admissions.gmu.edu/testing/asp.
- 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 www.naces.org.
International students already in the United States with F-1 status must complete immigration transfer procedures within 15 days of the program start date listed on Mason Form I-20. For processing of immigration transfers, contact OIPS at 703-993-2970 or oips.gmu.edu.
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 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.
- All transcripts from colleges or universities outside the United States must be translated into English and submitted for evaluation to the graduate school to which the applicant is applying.
Graduate students' documents should show the award of either a bachelor's degree or equivalent, or a graduate -degree.
In addition to the academic requirements listed 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 United States on a visitor visa should not plan to study. For more information, contact OIPS.
- New federal regulations prohibit F-2 spouses of F-1 students from engaging in full-time study, and F-2 children may engage in full-time study only from kindergarten through twelfth grade. F-2 dependents may engage in study that is avocational or recreational in nature. F-2 dependents seeking to pursue full-time or degree study in the United States must change their status to F-1. For more information, contact OIPS.
- 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.
- Prospective students who are 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 admissions.gmu.edu. The form and financial-support documents must be submitted to the Admissions Office along with the application.
- For those students already in the United States, copies of immigration documents verifying current nonimmigrant status must be submitted with the application form.
- To be issued an immigration document, sufficient evidence of financial support, including an original bank statement, scholarship letter, sponsor's salary statement, or graduate-assistantship offer letter, must be provided to cover the first year of study. Students must also demonstrate the source of financial support for all -subsequent years of the program. The International Student Information Form gives an estimate of annual expenses, including tuition, living expenses, and health insurance. Students may not submit statements of stocks, bonds, or company assets. Financial-support statements must show available cash, and must be no older than six months.
- All new students at the university must submit an Immunization Requirements Card signed by a health professional. The form, available at www.gmu.edu/student/hcs/form.pdf, verifies that 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. Mason does not bill third parties overseas. It is the students' responsibility to make sure tuition and fees are paid on time.
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 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.)
Federal law requires all students on a J-1 visa and their dependents to have health insurance that includes coverage for medical evacuation and repatriation. Medical-evacuation coverage pays for returning students who become seriously ill to their home country, and repatriation coverage pays for returning students' remains to their home country. The plan must include costs associated with medical evacuation up to $10,000, and costs associated with repatriation up to $7,500.
Mason offers health care insurance 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 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. However, if a student graduates or terminates attendance before the end of the insurance year, the student may receive a prorated refund by submitting a written request along with proof of return to the home country.
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 the following:
- 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.
It is the student's responsibility to apply for an exemption. An exemption must be obtained from the 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. For more information, contact the Student Health Insurance Office at 703-993-2827.
Special Types of Enrollment
Nondegree status enables students who have no immediate degree objective, or who may need to satisfy prerequisites for admission to a degree program, to enroll in courses for which they are qualified without seeking formal admission to a degree program. Enrollment in specific courses is based on eligibility criteria and availability of space in courses; in high-demand fields, enrollment may be restricted or prohibited.
All nondegree applicants must complete a nondegree online application for admission, and supply official transcripts from all post-secondary institutions they have attended. High school guest matriculants must list the Mason courses in which they wish to enroll, as well as provide a high school transcript along with recommendations from their guidance counselor and one teacher.
Nondegree applications and their established deadlines are available online at admissions.gmu.edu/nondeg/onapps.html. Processing procedures require adherence to a strict application deadline for nondegree applications. Application deadlines are posted online with the nondegree application. Nondegree applications may not be accepted after posted deadlines.
Standards for Admission
Admission to Mason as a nondegree student is competitive and also based on space availability. Nondegree admission is not automatically granted, and nondegree admission does not guarantee enrollment in any specific course. Nondegree applicants must meet the standards for admission that would apply to the equivalent degree seeking status.
Applicants with a bachelor's degree seeking to take graduate-level courses or graduate prerequisite courses must meet graduate admission standards. These students will be considered graduate level, even if taking undergraduate courses. Individual units and majors may have additional requirements for nondegree graduate status (see below). A student cannot graduate or receive a degree in nondegree status. All master's programs require at least 18 credits to be completed at Mason to be considered for graduation, and some graduate programs allow a maximum of 6 credits to be transferred from nondegree status. It is strongly recommended that students who plan to seek a degree from Mason apply for degree status admission as soon as possible.
Nondegree graduate students are expected to achieve a semester average of at least a B (3.00) in all courses. Students who do not meet these criteria during two consecutive periods of enrollment are not permitted to register again through Nondegree Studies.
Applicants with a bachelor's degree seeking to take undergraduate courses toward a second bachelor's degree or for personal development must meet the standards for admission for a bachelor's degree. These students will be considered undergraduate students and are not eligible to take graduate courses or receive graduate advising. Students who later seek to enroll in graduate courses or wish to receive graduate advising must submit a new nondegree graduate application and be reconsidered for admission.
Applicants who do not have a bachelor's degree, but have graduated from high school or received a GED, should meet the standards for admission as a transfer student. High school transcripts may be required for students who have previously attained less than 30 transferable credits. For students who plan to transfer credit back to another institution, it is recommended that consultation with the home college or university take place before attempting to register for classes at Mason. The responsibility for determining the transferability of the course work to the home institution lies with the student.
Nondegree Studies students are allowed to register for up to 10 credits per semester. A maximum of 18 undergraduate credits may be applied to an undergraduate degree program if the program's dean gives permission.
Undergraduate nondegree students are expected to achieve a semester average of at least a C (2.00) in all undergraduate courses. Students who do not meet these criteria during two consecutive periods of enrollment are not permitted to register again through Nondegree Studies.
High School Guest Matriculants
Applicants who are currently enrolled in good standing in high school, but have not yet graduated from high school and do not have a GED, may be considered for admission as high school guest matriculants. These applicants will be evaluated based on their academic performance in high school, recent test scores, and recommendations from guidance counselors and teachers. Only students who have excelled in high school and demonstrate the preparation and maturity indicative of the potential to succeed in Mason's competitive course work will be admitted.
Academic Advising/Academic Action
Upon initial enrollment, nondegree students are assigned to one of the colleges, schools, or institutes at Mason according to their original course selection and level (graduate or undergraduate). Once assigned, the academic unit is responsible for advising and handling requests that require a dean's permission. Nondegree students can learn the name of their academic advisor by going to admissions.gmu.edu/nondeg/ndadvis.asp.
Grades earned through Nondegree Studies remain a part of the student's permanent nondegree record, and are recorded on the standard university nondegree transcript. They will not appear on the degree transcript, unless the student is accepted to a degree program and permission is given by the dean to apply the nondegree credit to the degree program.
Under terms of the Senior Citizen Higher Education Act of 1974, eligible Virginia residents 60 years of age or older, with a taxable income not exceeding $15,000, are entitled to enroll in courses offered for academic credit, on a space-available basis, without paying tuition and enrollment 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 paying tuition and enrollment fees.
Citizens who wish to take advantage of this act must complete the online nondegree or degree application found at admissions.gmu.edu. Upon approval of their admissions application, senior citizens can request a waiver of tuition and enrollment fees by completing the Senior Citizen Tuition Waiver Form, available from the Registrar's Office or online at registrar.gmu.edu/forms.html. To facilitate processing, senior citizens should provide their Mason student identification number on the waiver form.
In addition, the act allows senior citizens to audit courses (no academic credit is received), and enroll in noncredit courses without paying tuition and enrollment fees, 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. Senior citizens must adhere to all registration policies, and must follow normal procedures to add and drop courses within the deadline dates outlined in each semester's academic calendar.
Graduate Nondegree Status, IT&E
Admission for non-degree graduate study is suitable for those who do not want to pursue a degree but are interested in taking graduate School of Information Technology and Engineering (IT&E) courses. IT&E non-degree graduate application forms are available on the web at admissions .gmu.edu/grad/apps/. The following application materials should be submitted for consideration:
- IT&E non-degree application
- Official or unofficial transcripts indicating confirmation of bachelor's degree
Nonrefundable application fee
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. More information about IT&E programs and course offerings may be obtained from the IT&E Graduate Admissions Office, Room 133, Science and Technology II, 703-993-1512 MS: 3D5, or by contacting the individual departments.
School of Computational Sciences (SCS)
Non-degree status is available for professionals who are interested in taking a limited number of courses without committing to a degree or certificate program. Up to 12 credit hours taken in non-degree status may be transferred to one of the School of Computational Sciences (SCS) academic programs at a later date. Approval for non-degree status does not guarantee admission into an academic program. For admission into non-degree status, the student should have a 3.00 GPA or higher and a BS degree in mathematics, computer science, engineering, natural science, or a related field. Exceptions are reviewed on an individual basis.
The following application materials should be submitted for consideration:
- SCS non-degree application
- Official or unofficial transcripts
- A nonrefundable application fee
The SCS non-degree application can be downloaded from the School of Computational Sciences web site at www.scs.gmu.edu.
Graduate Courses for 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 enrollment is open to eligible undergraduate, graduate, and nondegree students. The Summer Term offers day 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 to continue their academic progress.
As a means of assessing students, Mason requires the submission of certain test information. Students may obtain applications from the information desk in the Johnson Center or the Testing Center in Krug Hall, Room 101, for the TOEFL, Graduate Record Examination (GRE), Law School Admission Test (LSAT), Graduate Management Admission Test (GMAT), and Medical College Admission Test (MCAT).
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 offers computer-based GRE and Praxis exams on a daily basis during the academic year. Students 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 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 more information, go to the Testing Center web site at admissions.gmu.edu.
Those 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: Pre-professional 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. To register for the computer-based test version of Praxis I, call 800-853-6773. For the paper-based Praxis I and II tests, register online at www.ets.org/praxis.
Advanced Placement and Credit by Exam
Academic departments frequently revise information regarding credit by exam. The most current information can be found at www.admissions.gmu.edu/ugrad/acbe.html.
Advanced Placement (AP) Program
Students who have completed Advanced Placement (AP) exams in secondary schools can receive academic credit. Information regarding academic credit to be awarded for AP exam results can be found at admissions.gmu.edu/ugrad/acbe.html. Additional information or requests to have AP scores forwarded to Mason can be obtained from the College Board web site at www.collegeboard.org/ap/students/ or by calling 609-771-7300.
International Baccalaureate (IB) Program
Mason recognizes the International Baccalaureate (IB) curriculum as a strong preuniversity academic program, and encourages applicants to complete the requirements for the IB diploma. Specific information regarding the IB program can be found at: www.ibo.org. Information regarding the academic credit to be awarded for IB exam results can be found at admissions.gmu.edu/ugrad/acbe.html. The International Baccalaureate North America Office must issue official transcripts before credit can be awarded. To request transcripts, contact the office at 475 Riverside Drive, 16th Floor, New York, New York, 10015, 212-696-4464.
College Level Examination Program (CLEP)
Academic credit can be awarded based on successful completion of a number of College Level Examination Program (CLEP) subject exams. Mason does not recognize credit earned by the CLEP general exam. CLEP subject exams are offered in a computer-based format. The policy regarding CLEP credit is posted at the "Credit by Examination" web site: www.admissions.gmu.edu/ugrad/acbe.html.
Mason Departmental Exams
Proficiency exams are offered in a number of courses normally taken during the first two years. Credit is recorded for grades of C or above, but it does not affect the student's grade point average. Students may not earn credit by exam 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 exam any part of the 30 credits that must be completed at Mason 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 more information, go to the English Department's testing web site.
English 302 Advanced Composition Exam
Students seeking exemption from English 302 may submit a written portfolio to the English Department. To qualify, 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 completion of 45 credits, completion of English 101 or 100, and completion of the literature requirement for the major. The English Department will accept a portfolio between September 1 and April 8.
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 they are on campus. The SAT II exam 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 seeks to continue study of the same language at Mason. Transfer students receiving credit for college-level foreign language study completed at other colleges usually do not need a placement test, but they must consult the Department of Modern and Classical Languages to determine correct placement.
It is the student's responsibility to take a placement exam and obtain 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 proficiency testing web site. 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 they are not eligible for credit below the 300 level.
If through transfer credit, a placement test score, or 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 student 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. Entering students are required to complete the exam successfully during Orientation, unless they have received AP credit or transfer credit. The web address for the math placement test schedule is cas.gmu.edu/math_placement/