Diverse Community

A families event
The Mason Family

The Office of Orientation and Family Programs and Services (OFPS) offers programming and outreach to help students' families become active members of our community.

Come as You Are; You’ll Fit Right In

We are one of the most diverse universities in the country, and there is no question that has defined and shaped our culture, from how we educate our students to our sense of responsibility to our communities and the world as a whole. Our students represent all races, ethnicities, nationalities, religions, sexual orientation and gender identities. Hailing from 130 countries and all 50 states, the Mason Nation brings together many different ideas and perspectives which contribute to a vibrant and engaging community.

Besides clubs that celebrate differences, numerous cultural celebrations take place across campus, including:

  • Hispanic Heritage month
  • Native American/Indigenous Heritage Month
  • Black Heritage Month
  • Asian Pacific American Heritage Month
  • PRIDE Week
  • Annual Veteran’s Day Pow Wow
  • International Week
  • Take Back the Night
  • Women’s History Month

LGBTQ Support Services

All students have access to the services of the Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender, Queer and Questioning (LGBTQ) Resources office, which includes:

  • Advising
  • Advocacy
  • Counseling and referral
  • Education and training
  • Group and workshop facilitation
  • Leadership development

We are a community within a community, providing a safe, open, welcoming space not just for LGBTQ students, but across all lines of gender, sexual orientation, race and ethnicity, culture, religion, ability and other identity groups.

Our Safe Zone Program was formed to create a more inclusive, open-minded campus where LGBTQ students can live and learn fully. It is supported by all members of the Mason community, including faculty and staff.

Diversity, Inclusion, and Multicultural Education

Diversity, Inclusion, and Multicultural Education (ODIME) leads the university in creating and sustaining inclusive learning environments in which all members of the Mason community are welcomed, valued, and supported. ODIME engages the various Mason constituents in awareness and exploration of the diversity of our campus community, identity development and global and cultural competencies. With student support and advocacy as a primary focus, we offer services, resources and experiences that help students recognize, cultivate and actualize their potential to thrive and succeed at Mason and beyond.

International Programs and Services

The International Programs and Services office provides advising, social and cultural programming and regulatory and visa services to the Mason community, including international and domestic students, faculty and exchange visitors. Additionally, we:

  • Inspire cross-cultural understanding, enriching the Mason experience by emphasizing global issues and themes and providing meaningful opportunities for shared learning
  • Recognize individual achievements and milestones and celebrating the richness of our communities’ holidays, festivals and traditions
  • Provide the services and resources to assist with cultural adjustment and regulatory compliance

International Programs and Services has created iCenter@Mason for newly admitted international students. This online guide helps you find information about I-20/DS-2019, visas, travel to the United States, check-in and orientation.

Women and Gender Studies

The primary role of Women and Gender Studies is to create awareness of gender issues and topics that concern women. We partner with academic programs, University Life units, and the Northern Virginia community to help educate and share information about gender issues, as well as provide a safe psychological and physical space for all women, including gay, bisexual, lesbian and transgender populations. We also host lectures and participate in important programs, such as Take Back the Night and Women’s History Month.

Grad students holding up We Are Mason shirts

Graduate Student Community

As a new graduate student, you might wonder where to get your parking pass, how to find housing, get tickets to events on campus or simply where to get a cup of coffee. Graduate Student Life is your source for answers to these questions and a lot more, including the many ways the university supports active military and veterans enrolled at Mason. We’re here to support your success by:

  • Providing community-building, professional development and personal development programs 
  • Connecting graduate students to campus resources
  • Identifying and advocating for graduate student needs

Mason LIFE

Mason’s Learning Into Future Environments (LIFE) program gives young adults with developmental and intellectual disabilities the chance to experience college life the way others do. Beginning with three students in 2002, the program now serves more than 50, with academic courses in literature, math and writing. Students who wish to take classes throughout the university are paired with mentors who attend class with their Mason LIFE students and help them study and complete homework. Mason LIFE also provides instruction on employment, independent living and social and recreational development, and offers internships ranging from dining halls to Capitol Hill. And since it’s one of only 31 programs in the country that offers special-needs students a four-year residential college learning experience, qualifying students can live right on campus. Those who finish the program receive a certificate of completion that highlights their area of concentration and their work specialty.