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George Mason University
2002-03 University Catalog


Undergraduate Admission Policies

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

Admission Procedures

Applying for Admission

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

Application Deadlines

The priority application deadline for fall admission is February 1 for freshman applicants and April 1 for transfer applicants. The application deadline for the spring semester is November 1. Applications for the 2003-2004 fall and spring semesters may be submitted starting July 1, 2002. George Mason encourages early applications from prospective freshmen who wish to be considered for academic scholarships. The university reserves the right to close applications before published deadlines if conditions so warrant. Admission decisions for freshmen are usually made after the first-semester grades of the senior year and all appropriate test results have been received by the Office of Admissions. Transfer decisions are made as files become complete. Admission is contingent upon satisfactory completion of in-progress course work and graduation from high school.

Early Admission

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

Bachelor's/Accelerated Master's Degrees

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

Admissions Committee

The Admissions Committee reviews undergraduate admission decisions and appeals.

Other Stipulations

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

Freshman Requirements

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

One unit equals one academic year of study.

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

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

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

Test Requirements

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

Acceptance of Offer of Admission

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

Right to Withdraw Offer of Admission

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

Re-admission after Previous Attendance

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

  • The student is an undergraduate returning after an absence during which he or she studied at another institution, without prior written permission of his or her school/college. Such students must reapply as transfer students.

  • The student is a degree-seeking undergraduate who was last enrolled five or more years ago.

  • The student is international, in F-1 or J-1 immigration status.

  • The student was ever suspended or dismissed from any college/university for non-academic reasons.

  • The student was academically dismissed from George Mason University.

  • The student was ever convicted of a felony.

Re-enrollment after Previous Attendance

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

Application for a Second Bachelor's Degree

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

Transfer Requirements

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

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

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

Transfer Credit

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

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

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

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

Credit to Be Earned at Other Institutions

A student who applies for admission to the university would not normally be expected to seek simultaneous credit enrollment at another collegiate institution. In those unique situations when a student does desire concurrent enrollment at another university/college, the student must obtain advance written approval from the appropriate George Mason dean. (This rule also applies to courses taken through the Consortium of Universities of the Washington Metropolitan Area.) This process permits a student to enroll elsewhere in a suitable course unavailable at George Mason. Catalog numbers and descriptions of courses to be taken elsewhere must be submitted with the request for approval. Students who enroll elsewhere without advance written permission while enrolled at George Mason may not receive transfer credit for course work taken at other institutions.