- 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
- Enrollment after Previous Attendance
- Application for a Second Bachelor’s Degree
- Transfer Requirements
- Transfer Credit
- Graduate Admission Policies
- Admission Standards
- Provisional Admission
- Graduate Application Requirements
- Admission of Graduate Degree Holders
- Offer of 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
- Praxis Series
- Advanced Placement and Credit by Exam
- Mason Departmental Exams
Office of Admissions
4400 University Drive, MS 3A4
Fairfax, VA 22030-4444
Undergraduate Admission Policies
Admission is competitive because the number of qualified candidates 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. Applications 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, Schedule of Classes, tuition information, campus events listings, and departmental information are available at www.gmu.edu.
The 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 2006-07 fall and spring semesters may be submitted starting July 1. 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) and 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 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 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.
In the following chart, Column (1) refers to students applying for a bachelor of arts, excluding those in category 3; bachelor of fine arts; bachelor of music program; or with an undeclared major. Column (2) refers to students applying for a bachelor of science degree program, excluding those in category 3. Column (3) refers to 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 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 readmission 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 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.
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 credits beyond the first degree, taken after admission to the second degree to meet university residency requirements. 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.
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. 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.
The requirement for graduation is 45 credits of upper-level course work. 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: admissions.gmu.edu/ugrad/transfer/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 differ by program and are 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 members 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 or international equivalent must be verified from official transcripts. (For details, see “Admission of International Students.”)
- A 3.00 GPA (on a 4.00 scale) or better in baccalaureate study. The GPA requirement may be higher for some graduate programs. For students with post-baccalaureate credits, a separate GPA is calculated for each institution. Note: The difficulty of the baccalaureate degree and work experience may be considered in assessing the requirements for admission.
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 or credits specified in the offer of admission (usually one or two semesters), the student will be terminated from the program. All applicants admitted provisionally are in degree-seeking status, and course work taken appears as part of their graduate-level transcript.
Graduate Application Requirements
For full consideration for graduate admission, applicants must submit the following:
- Completed Application for Graduate Study
- Non-refundable application fee
- Application for Virginia In-State Tuition Rates, if claiming entitlement to these rates
- Two official transcripts from each institution attended
- Goals statement
- Letters of recommendation as required by the program
- Official exam scores, such as GRE or GMAT, reported directly from the appropriate testing service, as required by the program
- Other materials specified by the program, including departmental forms, portfolio, or interview
International applicants should read the “Admission of International Students” section for more information. Specific departmental admission requirements for degree-seeking students are listed in this catalog under the relevant discipline.
Applicants are strongly encouraged to apply online 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, Va. 22030-4444; 703-993-2400; fax: 703-993-2392; e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org.
Application Processing Centers
The graduate admissions process is decentralized at Mason. Applicants should send their applications and support documents directly to the Graduate Admissions Application Processing Center assigned to their program. Specific mailing instructions are listed in the Application for Graduate Study as well as below. 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 Application 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 Liberal Arts and Human Sciences (LAHS)
4400 University Drive, MS 2D2
Fairfax, Va. 22030
College of Health and Human Services (CHHS)
4400 University Drive, MS 5A8
Fairfax, Va. 22030
College of Science (COS)
For PhD, MS, and certificate programs in biodefense, biosciences, and biology
4400 University Drive, MS 5D8
Fairfax, Va. 22030
For PhD, MS, and certificate in bioinformatics
College of Science
10900 University Boulevard, 5B2
Manassas, Va. 20110
College of Education and Human Development (CEHD)
4400 University Drive, MS 4D1
Fairfax, Va. 22030
Volgenau School of Information Technology
and Engineering (IT&E)
4400 University Drive, MS 3D5
Fairfax, Va. 22030
School of Law
3301 Fairfax Drive, MS 1G3
Arlington, Va. 22201
School of Management (SOM)
4400 University Drive, MS 5A2
Fairfax, Va. 22030
School of Public Policy (SPP)
3401 Fairfax Drive, MS 3B1
Arlington, Va. 22201
College of Visual and Performing Arts (CVPA)
Graduate Admissions, MS 1C9
4400 University Drive
Fairfax, Va. 22030
Institute for Conflict Analysis and Resolution (ICAR)
Graduate Admissions, MS 1C9
4400 University Drive
Fairfax, Va. 22030
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. For departmental admissions test requirements, consult the table at admissions.gmu.edu/grad.
Information and registration bulletins for all national graduate admissions exams are available at the information desk in the Johnson Center, the University Admissions Office, and in many of the college or school admissions departments.
The GRE may be taken in two forms: the general exam and subject exam. Some departments require official scores for both types of exams. Students may schedule the computer-based GRE general exam by calling 800-473-2255. Students may register for the GRE subject exam online at www.gre.org. To have GRE scores sent to Mason, please use school code 5827.
The GMAT is required of all applicants seeking admission to any SOM degree program, 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 various programs at Mason all have separate GMAT codes. For the appropriate code for your program of interest, go to 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 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 CEHD for graduate applicants to initial teacher licensure programs. Students may schedule the Praxis I by calling 800-853-6773. Passing scores on both Praxis I and Praxis II exams are required for program completion.
TOEFL is required of all applicants whose native language is not English, and who have not received a degree from a university in the United States, Canada, United Kingdom, Australia, or New Zealand. To have TOEFL scores sent to Mason, use school code 5827.
The IELTS may be substituted for the TOEFL. Please see this chapter for additional information on English language testing requirements. Further information can be found at www.toefl.org and www.ielts.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
Those holding one or more graduate degrees may earn an additional graduate degree in another discipline. For admission to a second graduate degree program, students 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. 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, category of admission offered, and 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 Intent to Enroll form and a deposit, if required by the school or college. Those 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 they are admitted to more than one program, they may accept only one offer and pursue only one degree program at a time.
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 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. Students seeking 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 for classes. Note that not all graduate programs admit for Summer Term. However, students accepted for fall are considered admitted students, and some graduate programs may allow students to 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. Students 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 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 a J-1 Exchange Visitor’s Visa. To be issued an immigration document (Form I-20 for F-1 status, or Form DS2019 for J-1 status) students must prove they have sufficient financial support to cover their expenses while at Mason. If the documentation submitted is satisfactory, the university will issue Form I-20 (or Form 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 U.S. embassy or consulate nearest their place of residence and apply for an F-1 or J-1 student visa. The basic requirements for obtaining a student visa are a letter of admission, evidence of financial support, an immigration document issued by the school they wish to attend, 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 ACT.
- Applicants whose native language is not English are required to submit TOEFL results. To be considered for admission, applicants must have scored at least 230 on the computer-based TOEFL, 88 on the Internet-based TOEFL, or 570 on the paper-based TOEFL and 4.5 on the TOEFL essay. Official test scores must be sent directly from the Educational Testing Service. For more information, contact the Educational Testing Service, CN 6151, Princeton, N.J. 08541-6151, USA, phone: 609-921-9000, web site: www.toefl.org.
- 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. Applicants are 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 Form I-20 issued by Mason. 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:
- Applicants must complete the Application for U.S. Graduate Study.
- Applicants whose native language is not English are required to submit TOEFL results. To be considered for admission, applicants must have scored at least 230 on the computer-based TOEFL, 88 on the Internet-based TOEFL (with a minimum score of 20 in each section), or 575 on the paper-based TOEFL and 4.5 on the TOEFL essay. 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. Additionally, students may substitute the IELTS in lieu of the TOEFL. The IELTS score must be 6.5 or higher.
- 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.
Special Conditions for International Applicants
In addition to the academic requirements listed above, international students must meet the following conditions:
- Federal regulations prohibit students on visitor visas (B1 and B2) from enrolling in school. Students who entered the United States on a visitor visa should not plan to study. For more information, contact OIPS.
- 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 on F-1 or J-1 nonimmigrant status must maintain full-time enrollment each semester (12 credits for undergraduate, usually 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, nor can they begin their program in the summer.
- Prospective students who are seeking to enter the United States on F-1 or J-1 immigration status, or seeking to transfer to Mason if already in the United States, 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 F-1 or J-1 visa immigration status 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. Late fees up to $250 may be assessed if charges are not paid by the date established by the Cash Office. A health insurance “hold” will be placed on their accounts, and students will be able to re-enroll in classes only when the health insurance fee is paid or an exemption for health insurance is approved.
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 must inform the insurance office accordingly.
- Students with evidence of an alternative insurance policy that meets requirements for coverage may be eligible for exemptions. It is the student’s responsibility to apply for an exemption. During the student’s first semester at Mason, 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 matriculant applicants must submit an official high school transcript, SAT or ACT scores, and a written recommendation from their guidance counselor.
Nondegree applications and their established deadlines are available online at admissions.gmu.edu/common/onapps.asp.
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 or any future degree programs. Nondegree applicants must meet the standards for admission that would apply to the equivalent degree-seeking status.
Applicants 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 who do not have a bachelor’s degree, but who have graduated from high school or received a GED and have earned a minimum of 24 semester hours of transferable credit, may apply for nondegree admission. Transcripts from all colleges attended are required, and high school transcripts and SAT or ACT scores may be requested.
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 academic advising. Students who later seek to enroll in graduate courses or wish to receive graduate academic advising must submit a new nondegree graduate application and be reconsidered for admission.
Nondegree Studies students are allowed to register for a maximum of 10 credits per semester. A maximum of 18 undergraduate credits may be applied to an undergraduate degree program upon approval of the undergraduate program’s dean.
All undergraduate nondegree students are subject to the academic standing regulations and sanctions described in the “Requirements for Retention” section of the catalog.
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, 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/. 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 up to three noncredit courses per semester 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. Students seeking to enroll in noncredit courses should contact the Office of Continuing Professional Education, 703-993-2109. Fees for course materials may apply to senior citizen enrollees. 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 nondegree graduate study is suitable for those who do not want to pursue a degree but are interested in taking graduate courses from the Volgenau School of Information Technology and Engineering (IT&E). IT&E nondegree 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 online nondegree application
- Official or unofficial transcripts indicating confirmation of bachelor’s degree
- Nonrefundable application fee
Approval for nondegree status does not guarantee admission for a degree program at a later date. Up to 12 credits taken in nondegree 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 IT&E departmental offices or the IT&E Graduate Admissions Office, Room 133, Science and Technology II, 703-993-1512.
College of Science (COS)
Nondegree 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 credits taken in nondegree status may be transferred to one of the COS academic programs at a later date. Approval for nondegree status does not guarantee admission into an academic program. For admission into nondegree 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:
- COS nondegree application
- Official or unofficial transcripts
- A nonrefundable application fee
The COS nondegree application can be downloaded from www.cos.gmu.edu.
School of Public Policy (SPP)
Students are welcome to apply for nondegree study in SPP for fall and spring terms only. To apply, students should complete the nondegree application online at admissions.gmu.edu/onapps.asp. In addition to completing the online application, students are required to submit official transcripts from all institutions attended. Non- native English speakers must present a minimum TOEFL score of 230 (computer-based) or 575 (paper version). For more information, contact the SPP Admissions Office at 703-993-8099.
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.
The Praxis Registration Bulletin is available 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, N.Y., 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 usually taken during the first two years. Credit is recorded for grades of C or above, but it does not affect the student’s GPA. 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 3 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 proficiency exam web site: english.gmu.edu/gened/exams/101.php.
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. Additional information regarding the English 302 exam can be found at english.gmu.edu/gened/exams/302_portfolio.php.
Foreign Language Placement
The College Board SAT II test in a foreign language is used for placement in Chinese, 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 http://mcl.gmu.edu/resources/placement_testing.html. 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 usually grants 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 http://cos.gmu.edu/academics/undergraduate/math_placement.html.