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 the website. A non-refundable and non-transferable fee must accompany the application.

Application Deadlines for Freshmen and Transfer Students

The application deadline for fall admission is January 15 for freshman applicants, and March 1 for transfer applicants. The transfer application deadline for the spring semester is October 1. Freshman applicants who wish to be considered for merit-based scholarships must apply by November 1. Applications received after published deadlines will be considered on a space-available basis only. The university reserves the right to close applications before published deadlines if conditions warrant. Admission is contingent on satisfactory completion of in-progress course work and graduation from high school or community college, if relevant.

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 as degree-seeking students one year early. Applicants should present exceptional grades, SAT or ACT scores, and a high school course of study demonstrating rigorous academic preparation for university-level work. Competitive candidates will have pursued the most rigorous curriculum available at their school (i.e. AP/IB/Honors level coursework). Candidates must also submit first semester junior year grades.

Application for a Second Bachelor's Degree

Those holding one or more bachelor's degrees may earn an additional bachelor's degree at Mason in another discipline. Application for a second bachelor's degree after conferral of a first degree from any regionally accredited institution must be conducted through the Office of Admissions. Second Bachelor's degree applicants should follow the transfer application process outlined on the Transfer Admissions homepage, and are subject to the same competitive admissions review as first-degree applicants. After admission, students work with the appropriate 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. Some units will have more stringent requirements. This contract will detail college-level and major requirements that must be met to satisfy graduation requirements.

Enrollment after Previous Attendance

Students in good academic standing who have missed one or more consecutive semesters of enrollment (excluding summer term) at Mason and do not meet any of the excluded categories listed below under Readmission after Previous Attendance may re-enter by completing a re-enrollment form available through the Office of the University Registrar. Undergraduate students do not need to submit a re-enrollment form if an approved Leave of Absence is on file. Upon re-enrollment, undergraduate students who do not have an approved Leave of Absence on file will be required to meet new catalog year requirements. Some academic programs require departmental approval prior to re-enrollment.

Readmission after Previous Attendance

Undergraduate students who have missed one 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 has not been enrolled at Mason for more than 2 years and an approved Leave of Absence form is not on file.
  • 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 was 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.

Right to Withdraw Offer

Mason reserves the right to withdraw offers of admission if applicants fail to satisfy all requirements or it is determined that admission was obtained through the use of incomplete, falsified, altered, or embellished information. In the case of withdrawal of admission from a matriculated student, credit earned at Mason may be withheld. Additionally, the university reserves the right to withdraw the offer of admission to any student based on cancellation of any test score required for admission.

Records Maintenance and Disposal

All admissions documents, including academic records sent from other institutions, become part of the official university file. Admission credentials are retained for only 12 months. They are subsequently destroyed if applicants do not register for courses within the 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.

Freshman Requirements

Freshmen applicants to George Mason University are encouraged to apply online by using the Common Application (for those applying to more than one school) or Mason's Exclusive Online Application (for those applying only to Mason) by visiting the website. 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, social science, and foreign language
  • Scores from SAT I or ACT (see exceptions under Score Optional Consideration below)
  • For all non-native English speakers, scores from the Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL) or the International English Language Testing System (IELTS) exam.
  • Essay(s)
  • List of extracurricular activities
  • Teacher and guidance counselor recommendations

Early action applicants who meet the November 1 deadline will be notified of their non-binding admissions decision in mid-December. Regular decision applicants who meet the January 15 deadline 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.

Note that one unit equals one academic year of study.

Required Minimum

Subject Bachelor of Arts1 Bachelor of Science2 Applicants with Specific Majors3
English 4 4 4
Social Sciences 3 3 3
Mathematics4 3 3 4
Laboratory Science5 2 2 3
Foreign Language 2 2 0
Other Academic Electives 3 3 3
Total 17 17 17
1

Refers to students applying for a bachelor of arts, excluding those in the "Applicants with Specific Majors" column

2

Refers to students applying to a bachelor of science degree program, excluding those in the "Applicants with Specific Majors" column

3

Refers to applicants who intend to major in pre-business, chemistry, computer science, engineering, geology, mathematics, or physics

4

Selected from algebra I, algebra II, geometry, trigonometry, analytic geometry, functions, math analysis, pre-calculus or calculus

5

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

Recommended Minimum

Subject Bachelor of Arts1 Bachelor of Science2 Applicants with Specific Majors3
English 4 4 4
Social Studies 4 4 4
Mathematics4 4 4 5
Laboratory Science5 3 3 4
Foreign Language 3 3 3
Other Academic Electives 5 4 3
Total 23 22 23
1

Refers to students applying for a bachelor of arts, excluding those in the "Applicants with Specific Majors" column

2

Refers to students applying for a bachelor of science degree program, excluding those in the "Applicants with Specific Majors" column

3

Refers to applicants who intend to major in pre-business, chemistry, computer science, engineering, geology, mathematics, or physics

4

Selected from algebra I, algebra II, geometry, trigonometry, analytic geometry, functions, math analysis, pre-calculus or calculus

5

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

Freshman Score Optional Consideration

Score optional review provides an opportunity for applicants to be considered for admission without submitting or in disregard of standardized test scores. Admission to Mason remains a highly competitive process, and score optional candidates are considered on their own merits. Qualifying for score optional review does not guarantee admission to Mason. Some programs are not eligible for score optional consideration. Qualifications for score optional consideration can be found at the website.

Dual-Enrollment Policy

The term dual-enrollment refers to students being enrolled concurrently in two distinct academic programs or educational institutions. The term is most commonly used in reference to high school students taking college courses while they are still enrolled in a secondary school (i.e., a dual-enrollment student), or to the programs that allow high school students to take college-level courses (i.e., a dual-enrollment program). If you have enrolled in, or will have completed dual-enrollment college coursework prior to high school graduation, be certain to indicate this on the admission application.  Dual-enrollment students are responsible for notifying the Office of Admissions of all dual-enrollment coursework at the time of application, and providing official transcripts of all course work attempted at other colleges/universities at the completion of those courses.

All dual-enrollment students are considered freshman applicants regardless of the number of college-credits earned while in dual-enrollment status. Students taking dual enrollment courses will be evaluated using our transfer credit policy, and will receive a formal evaluation of credit from the Office of Admissions upon receipt of the final official transcript following admission and receipt of enrollment deposit. Please click here to search for courses using our Transfer Credit Matrix.

Coursework from institutions not included in the admission application will not be eligible for credit. George Mason University reserves the right to revoke admission, withhold the award of credit, or disenroll students who fail to indicate all previous institutions attended on the admission application.

Acceptance of Freshman Admission Offer

Mason complies with the national freshman candidate reply date of May 1. Students confirm by completing the enrollment confirmation online. The deposit is nonrefundable after May 1.

Transfer Requirements

Students who have graduated from high school and subsequently attempted course work at a college or university are considered transfer applicants. The Admissions Committee considers each transfer application individually and reviews all grades received in courses attempted, as well as the rigor of the applicant's academic program. Transfer applicants are expected to present 30 transferable hours including courses to fulfill Mason Core requirements in English Composition and mathematics, with a 2.00 minimum cumulative grade point average. Transfer admission is competitive and the number of applications received annually exceeds the available spaces in the transfer class. Meeting minimum standards does not assure transfer admission. 

Transfer applicants who have earned less than 30 transferable credits are evaluated for admission on the basis of their secondary school record as well as any post-secondary course work attempted. Such applicants must provide an official high school transcript or secondary school leaving certificate, ACT or SAT1 scores and official transcripts from all colleges and universities attended. Transfer applicants who have earned more than 30 transferable hours upon application may be exempted from providing the secondary school record and ACT or SAT1 results at the discretion of the Admissions Committee. Transfer applicants who have completed 45 or more credits are required to declare a specific major on the application to benefit from academic advising within their intended major.

All non-native English speakers are required to meet the University's English language proficiency requirement.  Most students satisfy this requirement by submitting official TOEFL or IELTS results that meet the University's minimum score requirement. At the discretion of the Admissions Committee, non-native English speakers may alternatively satisfy the English language proficiency requirement. Applicants who complete at least two English Composition courses with grades of C or better at a regionally accredited U.S. college or university may be waived from the TOEFL or IELTS requirement. The Office of Admissions makes the sole determination of whether an applicant satisfies the English language proficiency requirement for admission.

Virginia Community College System and Richard Bland College graduates transferring with Associate of Arts, Associate of Arts and Sciences or Associate of Science transfer degrees may be considered for GAA admission via the Guaranteed Admission Agreement. Virginia community college students without transfer degrees and those transferring from other institutions will be considered for regular transfer admission. GAA or regular admission status is specifically noted in the transfer admission letter.

Students on active academic or non-academic suspension or dismissal are not eligible for admission.

Transfer Credit

Transfer students receive a formal evaluation of transfer credit from the Office of Admissions after admission and receipt of the enrollment deposit. Students are responsible for providing the Office of Admissions official final transcripts of all course work attempted at other colleges/universities by the first day of the semester in which they enroll.  The University will award a maximum of 90 transfer credits. No more than 75 credits may transfer from a community college.

Transfer credit is accepted from regionally accredited colleges and universities, provided that a grade of C or better has been earned in the course and 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 part of a student's GPA at Mason. Transfer credit is not granted for study in non-regionally accredited institutions. An exception may apply to Individualized Study, BIS or Applied Science, BAS majors, where college-level credit earned at institutions accredited by bodies other than recognized regional accrediting organizations is subject to approval by the BIS/BAS program directors. Applicants to the University who have attempted college courses at other institutions are required to disclose their complete academic enrollment history in the admission application.  George Mason University reserves the right to revoke admission, withhold the award of credit or disenroll students who fail to indicate all previous institutions attended on the admission application.  Course work from institutions not included in the admission application will not be eligible for transfer credit

A minimum of 30 credits must be completed in residence at Mason and 45 credits of upper-level course work must be completed to qualify 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 upper-level requirement, and courses from other institutions do not reduce the 30-credit residency requirement.

George Mason University honors the service of military personnel by awarding up to six (6) credits of undistributed undergraduate elective credit to honorably discharged military students upon receipt of a DD-214 or Joint Services Transcript showing completion of training equivalent to six semester hours, as per the American Council on Education (ACE) Guide to the Evaluation of Educational Experiences in the Armed Services. Undistributed or elective credit cannot fulfill specific degree program requirements, but counts toward the overall number of credits that a student must fulfill for the baccalaureate degree. These credits effectively recognize learning through basic training and the service member's Military Occupational Specialty.

Acceptance of Transfer Admission Offer

Admitted transfer students are required to confirm their enrollment by submitting an enrollment deposit by June 15 for fall entrance or December 1 for spring entrance. Transfer students admitted after June 15 or December 1 are required to submit their enrollment deposit within 7 days of the admission letter.  Enrollment deposits are non-refundable after these deadlines. Admitted students who do not accept the offer of admission by the published deadline may forfeit their space in the transfer class. Under certain circumstances, students unable to enroll may defer their transfer admission to the next semester. Contact the Office of Admissions no later than the first day of the semester for which you were initially admitted.