Admitted International Freshman FAQs

Welcome to Mason! We are excited to welcome you to your educational home as you work and thrive alongside our diverse student body.

Here are some frequently asked questions from international students. You can also contact Mason’s Office of Admissions with any additional questions.

Connecting with Admissions

What visit options does the Office of Admissions offer?

Admissions is offering on-campus and virtual information sessions and tours. We also have a virtual campus tour that is accessible online at any time. Please check our Visit and Explore page often as more opportunities will continue to be added. Registration is first come, first served.

How do I request a virtual meeting with Mason Admissions?

Virtual meeting appointments are available now for prospective and admitted freshman students seeking advice or information about the application process, next steps for admitted students, academic and experiential learning opportunities, or student and community life at Mason.  

Locate and contact your admission counselor using our Meet Your Counselor directory.

Costs, Fees, and Financial Aid

Financial concerns are making it difficult to pay my deposit. I'd like to attend Mason. What should I do?

Please reach out to your Admissions Counselor and we would be happy to assist you.

I've paid my enrollment deposit, what comes next?

Congratulations! We look forward to welcoming you to Mason. You can find all your steps for enrollment on our Next Steps for Admitted Students checklist.


What do I need in order to get my I-20 Form? When and how will I receive it?

All information on requirements for an I-20 form can be found on Mason’s International Student Visa Information page.  

I have received my I-20 Form and have applied for my student visa. When can I enter the U.S. and arrive on campus?

You may arrive in the U.S. no earlier than 30 days before the program start date listed on your Form I-20 or DS-2019.

We strongly advise you to hand-carry your important documents when you travel to U.S. including:

Please visit the Office of International Programs and Services (OIPS) website for useful information regarding travel tips, what to pack, and how to arrive on campus. They are a central resource for international students at Mason.

Records and Transcripts

What is the deadline to submit my Immunization Record form?

All incoming students must submit the Immunization Record form. The Student Health Services Immunization Page can tell you more about the immunization requirements  

When will my transfer credit be evaluated?

If you have taken college-level credit either as credit by exam (ex. AP, IB) or as High School Dual Enrollment, your transfer credit will be evaluated should you be admitted and once you submit your enrollment deposit to Mason.

Information regarding transfer credit can be found on our Transfer Credit Policy page.


How does Mason handle deferrals?

Students wishing to defer to Mason may submit a deferral request after submitting their enrollment deposit.

I'm considering taking a "gap year" between high school and college. How will this affect my entry into Mason? Who should I contact?

Mason defines a gap year as a year between high school and college when a student takes no classes and earns no credit at another institution. 

If this sounds like your situation, and you are planning to attend Mason upon completion of your gap year, please request a deferral to a subsequent start term.

How will deferment impact my merit scholarships?

If you are deferring from the semester to a subsequent semester for any reason, Mason will honor your merit scholarship package according to the terms presented in your acceptance letter. You will, however, need to re-file your Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA). 

Please reach out to your Admissions Counselor for assistance.


When can I meet with my academic advisor?

Students generally meet with academic advisors during their Orientation session. You will be assigned an advisor during Orientation, and your advisor looks forward to meeting with you then.

What do I do if I want to change my major? How do I declare a minor?

Please contact your Admissions Counselor and we can help you make that change. When you attend orientation, you are welcome to attend the Academic Advising session for the major you want to join, and you can sign up for classes recommended for your new major. You may also complete and submit the Change/Declaration of Academic Program during orientation, or you can wait and complete it once the fall semester has begun. 

Important note: some programs have selective credit/course requirements and may require additional classes or a different application process. Your advisor can help you chart the best course of action.

How does a college class schedule differ from a high school class schedule?

Your schedule in college is going to be vastly different from your high school schedule, and you will not be in class for the same amount of time every day.

Classes will also vary in length. For example, you may have one class that meets twice a week for 75 minutes and another class that meets once a week for three hours. 

As a current student registering for classes, you will use a system called Patriot Scheduler, which will help you generate possible schedules based on the classes you choose. It makes the registration process easy. You will learn how to register for classes at Orientation.

Where can I find information about Orientation?

The Office of New Student and Family Programs website has more information about Orientation.

Student Life

How can I connect with current Mason students?

Our current Mason students would love to connect with you! One way to connect is through the Mason Admissions’ social media accounts - we are active on Instagram, Facebook, and Twitter. 

The Mason Admissions’ YouTube channel features vlogs made by Mason students and creators that provide an inside look at Mason’s campus community, academic life, and student life. We also offer the opportunity to meet one-on-one with an Admissions Counselor, and in that meeting, you can also meet with a current Mason student. 

Please reach out to your Admissions Counselor to schedule your virtual one-on-one and request to have a current student be part of that meeting.

What is student life like at Mason?

There are many ways to get involved and opportunities to participate in free programs and events that Mason has to offer. We currently have hundreds of student clubs and organizations from which to choose. You can start browsing these options on the student engagement platform, Mason 360.

Will I be able to live on campus?

Yes, we currently guarantee housing on campus for first year students. For the most up-to-date information, please visit the Housing and Residence Life website.