College Code: LA

The College of Humanities and Social Sciences (CHSS) is composed of 10 departments and 10 major interdisciplinary programs. The college is also home to the School of Integrative Studies, which offers an innovative interdisciplinary major. The college has a distinguished faculty of more than 400, including recipients of the Pulitzer Prize and Guggenheim Fellowship.

Undergraduate Programs

At the undergraduate level, all programs emphasize challenge, opportunity, and success. They challenge students to think critically and creatively and to go beyond what is required by pursuing research experiences, minors, double majors, honors in the major, and accelerated master's degree programs, which enable them to earn both an undergraduate and a graduate degree, often within five years. They provide many opportunities beyond the classroom including study abroad programs, service learning, internships, and career-enhancing courses and minors, all of which will help prepare them for success beyond college.

Graduate Programs

At the graduate level, programs of study provide opportunities for career development and advancement, professional education, participation in research, and personal fulfillment.

All programs encourage the exploration of contemporary issues through a dynamic curriculum that fosters an informed understanding of real world problems. The college provides students with an education that enables them to think critically, adapt to the changing conditions of society, and provide informed leadership to future generations.

Bachelor's/Accelerated Master's Degree Options

Many graduate programs offer highly-qualified undergraduates the opportunity to apply to accelerated master's degree programs. Students accepted into an accelerated master's degree program obtain both a bachelor's and a master's degree after satisfactory completion of 144 - 150 credits (number of required credits depends on the degree program).

Students admitted to an accelerated master's degree program may use up to six graduate credits (courses at the 500 or 600 level) in partial fulfillment of requirements for the undergraduate degree. Upon completion and conferral of the undergraduate degree with satisfactory performance in graduate courses (minimum grade of 3.00 in each), students are given advanced standing in their master's program.  Once admitted to an accelerated master's pathway, undergraduate students must maintain a semester GPA of at least 3.0 and an overall cumulative GPA of 3.25. Individual programs may have higher performance standards; students should familiarize themselves with the standards of their intended program.

Undergraduates may take a maximum of six additional graduate credits while undergraduates and mark them for reserve graduate credit. These credits are not used to fulfill undergraduate degree requirements but can be applied to the master's degree. See AP.1.4.4 Graduate Course Enrollment by Undergraduates. Courses taken for reserve graduate credit must be approved in advance by the Office of Undergraduate Academic Affairs and the appropriate paperwork filed with the Office of the University Registrar.

Students must fulfill all other master's degree requirements. For more information see AP.6.7 Bachelor's/Accelerated Master's Degrees.

The college offers accelerated master's degrees in these disciplines:

  • Anthropology
  • Art History
  • Economics
  • English with a concentration in linguistics
  • Global Affairs
  • History
  • Foreign Languages with a concentration in Spanish
  • Foreign Languages with a concentration in Spanish/Bilingual-Multicultural Education
  • Interdisciplinary Studies with a concentration in energy and sustainability
  • Interdisciplinary Studies with a concentration in folklore studies
  • Interdisciplinary Studies with a concentration in religion, culture, and values
  • Interdisciplinary Studies with a concentration in social justice and human rights
  • Interdisciplinary Studies with a concentration in women and gender studies
  • Middle East and Islamic Studies
  • Philosophy
  • Psychology with a concentration in cognitive and behavioral neuroscience
  • Sociology

Minors and Interdisciplinary Minors

The College of Humanities and Social Sciences has 60 minors, some of which are offered jointly with other units in the university. Minors require between 15 and 21 credits, and all but 8 of those credits usually can be used simultaneously to fill other requirements. The college encourages all students to declare a minor, if they can. A minor can complement the major, enhance career preparation, allow students to develop a secondary area of expertise, or give them a chance to explore a passion.

The college offers two types of minors: disciplinary and interdisciplinary. The coursework for disciplinary minors comes mainly from a single discipline. Disciplinary minors are offered by one of the 10 departments in the college.

Interdisciplinary minors require course work from two or more disciplines and are administered by interdepartmental faculty groups, often including faculty from across the university.

All minors in the college are available to students in any major in the university. For policies governing all minors, see AP.5.3.4 Minors.

Disciplinary Minors

  • Arabic 
  • Anthropology 
  • Art History 
  • Chinese 
  • Clinical Psychology
  • Communication 
  • Criminology, Law and Society 
  • Developmental Psychology 
  • Economic Systems Design 
  • Economics 
  • English 
  • Forensic Psychology 
  • French 
  • German Studies 
  • Health Communication 
  • Health Psychology 
  • History 
  • Industrial/Organizational Psychology 
  • Intelligence Analysis  
  • Italian Studies 
  • Journalism 
  • Judaic Studies 
  • Korean Studies
  • Latin 
  • Linguistics 
  • Philosophy 
  • Philosophy and Law 
  • Professional Experience in Communication
  • Psychology 
  • Religious Studies 
  • Russian 
  • Sociology 
  • Spanish 
  • Teaching English as a Second Language 
  • Writing and Rhetoric 

Interdisciplinary Minors

  • African and African American Studies 
  • Ancient Mediterranean Art and Archaeology 
  • Asia-Pacific and Northeast Asian Studies 
  • Conservation Studies (offered jointly with the College of Science)
  • Childhood Studies 
  • Classical Studies 
  • Film and Media Studies 
  • Folklore and Mythology 
  • Global Affairs 
  • Immigration Studies 
  • Islamic Studies 
  • Japanese Studies 
  • Latin American Studies 
  • Leadership 
  • Middle East Studies 
  • Multimedia 
  • Native American and Indigenous Studies 
  • Nonprofit Studies 
  • Political Communication (offered jointly with the Schar School of Policy and Government)
  • Political Philosophy 
  • Social Justice 
  • Sport and American Culture (offered jointly with the School of Recreation, Health, and Tourism)
  • Sport Communication (offered jointly with the School of Recreation, Health, and Tourism)
  • Sustainability Studies (offered jointly with the College of Science)
  • Urban and Suburban Studies 
  • Well-Being
  • Women and Gender Studies 

Policies for All Students

The requirements for each academic program offered by the college are described in the sections for the sponsoring departments and programs. All students are subject to the policies stated in Academic Policies. Additional policies and procedures for students in the college are presented in this section.

Mason uses only Mason e-mail accounts to communicate with enrolled students. Students should activate their Mason e-mail account, use it to communicate with their department and other administrative units, and check it regularly for important information.

Registration and Degree Audit

Students are responsible for correctly registering for courses and paying all tuition and fees by the official university registration and payment deadlines. Instructors do not have the authority to add students to courses, and students may not sit in on classes for which they are not registered. All students should verify the accuracy of their enrollment before the end of the add period and should check Patriot Web to verify that they are registered for the classes that they think they are.

All students are responsible for reviewing their own transcripts and degree audits regularly to ensure that they are correct and that they are on track to meet all their requirements.

Withdrawal

Students are responsible for all courses in which they remain officially enrolled once the drop period has ended. Instructors do not have the authority to withdraw students from classes. Withdrawals after the published deadlines require the approval of the relevant dean (undergraduate academic affairs or graduate academic affairs) and are allowed only for full semesters at a time (a withdrawal from all enrolled courses). Withdrawals are only permitted for non-academic reasons; no withdrawals can be approved for academic reasons. When submitting a withdrawal request, students must provide verifiable, third-party documentation for the reason for the withdrawal. Requests for withdrawals should be submitted as early in the semester as possible; withdrawal requests submitted after the last day of classes are rarely approved.

Grade Appeals

Grade appeals should be made to the department or program following the process specified in AP.6.9 Grade Appeals. If they are resolved within the department or program, that unit is the final level of appeal. The departmental decision may be appealed to the dean only on the basis of procedural irregularity. Undergraduate students should address such appeals through the Office of Undergraduate Academic Affairs and graduate students through the Office of Graduate Academic Affairs. If the grade appeal is not resolved within the department or program, the chair makes a recommendation to the dean, who makes the final determination. The decision of the dean is not subject to review or further appeal.

Formal Complaints

Formal complaints should be made in writing to the associate dean.

Accommodations for Students with Disabilities

Students with documented disabilities should contact the Office of Disability Services to open a file and learn more about accommodations that may be available to them.

Policies for Undergraduate Students

The college offers 17 bachelor of arts (BA) degrees, 5 bachelor of science (BS) degrees, a bachelor of fine arts in creative writing (BFA), and a bachelor of individualized study (BIS) degree. 

All students must complete 120 credits, of which at least 45 must be in upper-level courses (numbered 300 and above). At least one course at the 300 or 400 level must be designated "writing intensive."

Students should consult the Mason Core and College Requirements for information concerning the ways they can fulfill Mason Core and college requirements for undergraduate degrees. Transfer students are encouraged to meet with their academic advisor prior to registering for classes to review their transcripts and course equivalencies. In some cases, students may need to earn more than 120 credits to complete all of their requirements.

The college cooperates with the School for Conflict Analysis and Resolution (SCAR) to provide courses from various disciplines in the college toward a BA, BS, and minor in conflict analysis and resolution. More information about SCAR undergraduate degree programs can be found in the School for Conflict Analysis and Resolution.

Questions about Academic Policies for Undergraduates

Students with questions about exceptions to academic policies and about college requirements should contact the Office of Undergraduate Academic Affairs (703-993-8725; chssdean@gmu.edu).

Additional policy information and forms are available online from the Office of Undergraduate Academic Affairs.

Academic Load

Students should review university policies regarding academic load in AP.1.2 Academic Load.

In order to be considered for an overload, students must fulfill all of the following criteria:

  • Be in good academic standing
  • Have completed the prior semester with no course grades below "C" and with a minimum term GPA of 2.50
  • Have a cumulative GPA of 2.50 or higher
  • Have demonstrated the ability to handle an increased and demanding courseload while maintaining high performance in a previous semester at Mason
  • Have no remaining incompletes (INs) from a previous semester

Freshmen and transfer students in their first semesters are not given permission for overloads as they have yet to establish an academic record at George Mason University.

If approved for an overload, the student is responsible for adding the additional class(es) and paying for the related tuition by the official university deadlines.

Excluded Courses and Credits

Students are encouraged to take advantage of the many excellent courses available at Mason to broaden their educational experience or strengthen their background; however, some credits earned may not satisfy any degree requirements. Only MLSC courses at the 400-level can be used for credit for a degree in the college; credit for other MLSC courses may not be used toward a CHSS degree. At most 3 credits of 100-level RECR coursework may be taken to satisfy the degree requirements of any CHSS major, and these courses will be applied toward a students general electives. Whenever there is uncertainty, students must consult with an academic advisor in their department.

Qualifying CLEP credits may apply to a degree in the College of Humanities and Social Science if those credits were awarded and reported prior to matriculation at Mason. After matriculation, students are limited to taking and applying credits for the CLEP exam in "Information Systems & Computer Applications". Students with a qualifying score on this exam will be awarded credit for IT 104T. Students receiving credit for IT 104T must still meet the university Information Technology ethics requirement (see Mason Core). Credit for other CLEP exams awarded after matriculation may not be applied to a degree in the College of Humanities and Social Sciences.

University Consortium

Students should review university policies regarding the University Consortium under AP.1.4 Special Registration Procedures in the Academic Policies section. Students who have attempted or failed a course at Mason are not permitted to take the equivalent course through the consortium under any circumstances. All consortium registration requests must be submitted to the dean's office at least 3 weeks prior to the first day of classes for the relevant semester at Mason.

Permission to Study at Another Regionally Accredited U.S. Institution

Once enrolled in degree status at Mason, students with fewer than 60 hours of transfer coursework (not including registration through the Consortium of Universities of the Washington Metropolitan Area or coursework completed through the Center for Global Education) may take up to 8 hours of coursework in CHSS disciplines at another institution. Students with 60 or more hours of transfer coursework are not permitted to take additional coursework in CHSS disciplines at another institution. A student may seek permission for additional hours beyond these limits for summer registration if his/her permanent residence is more than 50 miles from the George Mason University Fairfax campus. See AP.1.4.2 Permission to Study Elsewhere for additional information.

In addition to the university cumulative GPA requirement of 2.00, CHSS students requesting course elsewhere permission must have a previous semester GPA of 2.00 or higher.

Study Abroad

In order to be considered for study through Mason Study Abroad, students must plan well in advance and receive prior, written permission from the dean. Students must also meet all of the following criteria:

  • Meet all eligibility requirements for their program as specified by Mason Study Abroad including course prerequisites and minimum GPA
  • Must have a minimum cumulative GPA of 2.50 after prior semester grades post to record
  • Have completed the necessary forms and have obtained all required signatures and course equivalencies

Students in danger of probation, suspension, or dismissal should plan very carefully before requesting to study abroad. Students with a cumulative GPA below 2.50 (after grades from prior term are posted to transcript) will not be permitted to study abroad.

Leave of Absence

All undergraduate students who are planning an absence from George Mason University must submit a formal request for Leave of Absence to the Office of the University Registrar. See AP.1.8 Undergraduate Leave of Absence for full university policy.

Reserve Graduate Credit

Approval to register for reserve graduate credit (earned credit held in reserve to apply later toward a graduate degree) is given only to Mason seniors within 15 credits of completing undergraduate study who have successfully completed all course prerequisites. In addition, this privilege is normally extended only to seniors who have completed at least 12 credits at the university, have a cumulative GPA of 3.00 or better, and have a major in the department offering the course. Approval for reserve graduate credit is limited to 6 credits and does not imply approval for admission into a Mason graduate program or that credit earned will be accepted at another graduate school.

Withdrawals

Students should review AP.1.5 Withdrawal for more information. Courses for which a withdrawal is approved receive a grade of "W."

Students should be aware of the potential consequences of withdrawing on their academic standing. Though credits graded "W" do not affect a student's GPA, they do count towards the total attempted hours. The total attempted hours and cumulative GPA together determine a student's academic standing. These are explained in AP.5.2 Academic Standing.

Academic Clemency

Students should review the university policies in AP.5.2.9 Academic Clemency.

To be considered for clemency, students must meet all of the following criteria:

  • Be absent from George Mason for a minimum of three consecutive calendar years
  • Provide a detailed explanation for why they were unsuccessful in those courses and how they have made changes to ensure their academic progress upon their return
  • Submit their request within 12 months of the first day of the re-enrollment term
  • Complete at least 6 credits during their first 12 months back at George Mason
  • Earn a minimum GPA of 2.50 each semester back prior to making the clemency request with no individual grade below 2.00

If the last three minimum academic requirements are not met, clemency will not be allowed under any circumstances.

Appeals Process

Students may appeal departmental decisions concerning academic actions to the Office of Undergraduate Academic Affairs. They may appeal decisions of the Office of Undergraduate Academic Affairs to the Dean's Council, a committee composed of college deans and faculty members. Students may appeal decisions of the Dean's Council to the Student Policies and Appeals Committee, a standing committee elected by the college faculty. These levels of appeal are subject to the limits below concerning the final level of appeal for each type of academic action. Students who feel that the college appeal process was conducted unfairly may appeal to the Provost's Office as specified in Appeals of Academic Procedures.

The grade appeal process is discussed above.

Departments set the requirements for the majors and minors that they administer. Substitutions and waivers of these requirements require the approval of the Office of Undergraduate Academic Affairs. When a department denies a substitution or waiver of a requirement, the denial may be appealed to the Office of Undergraduate Academic Affairs on the basis of procedural irregularity only. That office is the final level of appeal.

The Dean's Council is the final level of appeal for course overloads, consortium registration, study elsewhere, and withdrawals after the drop deadline within the semester. Appeals of these decisions may be made to the Student Policies and Appeals Committee on the basis of procedural irregularity only, and the committee is the final level of appeal on procedural grounds.

Student Policies and Appeals Committee is the final level of appeal for college-level requirements, retroactive actions (adds, withdrawals, and graduation), and return from suspension and dismissal. This committee is the final level of approval.

There is no waiver or appeal of satisfactory performance standards (minimum grades or grade point average (GPA)) that have been set by the department or program faculty for the courses in their major or minor.

Students should file all appeals in a timely manner, usually within the semester in which the original decision is rendered, but no later than the final day of classes of the following semester.

Teacher Licensure

Students who plan to seek teacher licensure and become K–12 teachers should consult College of Education and Human Development and attend an information session early in their undergraduate career. For more information, call 703-993-2892, e-mail cehdgrad@gmu.edu, or see the College of Education and Human Development webpage.

Second Bachelor's Degree

Students should review Application for a Second Bachelor's Degree and AP.5.3.3 Second Bachelor's Degrees for more information. Students pursuing a second bachelor's degree concurrently with their first bachelor's degree at Mason must meet all the college-level requirements if they differ from the requirements in the college of their first major.

Students pursuing a second bachelor's degree in the college after already having received one or more bachelor's degrees are considered to have met all of the Mason Core requirements. Students pursuing a bachelor of science degree do not have additional college-level requirements. Students pursuing a bachelor of arts degree in the college must complete these additional college-level requirements: one additional 3-credits course each in philosophy or religious studies, in social and behavioral science, and in non-western culture (for a total of 9 credits). They must also demonstrate proficiency in a foreign language through the intermediate level. For more information about college-level requirements see Mason Core and College Requirements.

Minors

Students may elect to take a minor in addition to their major field of study. For policies governing all minors, AP.5.3.4 Minors. Students interested in earning a minor should complete the appropriate section of the Change/Declaration of Academic Program form and submit it to the Office of the University Registrar. See All about Minors for more information.

College-Level Requirements for Undergraduate Students

Bachelor of Arts

The BA degree provides students with a breadth of knowledge as well as the necessary skills to make in-depth study of a major truly meaningful. In addition to the Mason Core program, students pursuing a BA degree must complete the course work below. Except where expressly prohibited, a course used to fulfill a college-level requirement may also be used simultaneously to satisfy other requirements (Mason Core requirements or requirements for the major).

  • Philosophy or religious studies: 3 credits fulfilled by any course in philosophy or religious studies (PHIL, RELI) except for PHIL 323 Classical Western Political TheoryPHIL 324 Modern Western Political TheoryPHIL 327 Contemporary Western Political TheoryPHIL 393 Humanities College to CareerPHIL 460 Senior Seminar in Philosophy, Politics, and EconomicsPHIL 253 Philosophy and Literature (Mason Core) and RELI 235 Religion and Literature (Mason Core) cannot be used to fulfill both the philosophy/religious studies requirement and the Mason Core literature requirement.
  • Social and behavioral science: 3 credits in addition to the university-wide requirement in social and behavioral science for a total of 6 credits. The two courses used to fulfill the combined college and university requirements must be from different disciplines in the social and behavioral sciences.  This requirement may be fulfilled by completing any course in ANTH, CRIM, ECON, GOVT, HIST (except HIST 100 History of Western Civilization (Mason Core) or HIST 125 Introduction to World History (Mason Core)), LING, PSYC, or SOCI and these courses in GGS:
    GGS 101Major World Regions (Mason Core)3
    GGS 103Human Geography (Mason Core)3
    GGS 110Introduction to Geoinformation Technologies3
    GGS 301Political Geography3
    GGS 303Geography of Resource Conservation (Mason Core)3
    GGS 304Population Geography (Mason Core)3
    GGS 305Economic Geography3
    GGS 306Urban Geography3
    GGS 315Geography of the United States3
    GGS 316Geography of Latin America3
    GGS 320Geography of Europe3
    GGS 325Geography of North Africa and the Middle East3
    GGS 330Geography of the Soviet Succession States3
    GGS 357Structures in Urban Governance and Planning3
    GGS 380Geography of Virginia3
  • Foreign language: intermediate-level proficiency in one foreign language. This requirement may be fulfilled by completing a course in a foreign language numbered 202, 209, or 210 (or higher level courses taught in the language) or achieving a satisfactory score on an approved proficiency test. A three course sequence in American Sign Language (EDSE 115 American Sign Language (ASL) IEDSE 116 American Sign Language (ASL) II, and EDSE 219 American Sign Language (ASL) III) will also meet the foreign language requirement.  Students who are already proficient in a second language may be eligible for a waiver of this requirement. Additional information on waivers can be found at the Office of Undergraduate Academic Affairs.
  • Non-Western culture: 3 credits of an approved course in the study of a non-Western culture in addition to the course used to fulfill the Mason Core requirement in global understanding. A course used to fulfill the Mason Core global understanding requirement may not be simultaneously used to satisfy this college-level requirement. A course used to fulfill this requirement may be used simultaneously to fulfill any other requirements (Mason Core requirements, college-level requirements, or requirements for the major). Additional information on waivers can be found at the Office of Undergraduate Academic Affairs.
ANTH 114Introduction to Cultural Anthropology (Mason Core)3
ANTH 300Civilizations3
ANTH 301Native North Americans3
ANTH 302Peoples and Cultures of Latin America (Mason Core)3
ANTH 303Peoples and Cultures of the Andes3
ANTH 306Peoples and Cultures of Island Asia (Mason Core)3
ANTH 307Ancient Mesoamerica (Mason Core)3
ANTH 308Peoples and Cultures of the Middle East (Mason Core)3
ANTH 309Peoples and Cultures of India (Mason Core)3
ANTH 313Myth, Magic, and Mind (Mason Core)3
ANTH 314Zombies3
ANTH 316Peoples and Cultures of the Caribbean (Mason Core)3
ANTH 323Digging and Dealing in the Dead: Ethics in Archaeology3
ANTH 330Peoples and Cultures of Selected Regions: Non-Western3
ANTH 332Cross-Cultural Perspectives on Globalization (Mason Core)3
ANTH 381Medical Anthropology3
ANTH 383Cities of the Global South3
ANTH 396Issues in Anthropology: Social Sciences (Mason Core)3
ARAB 360Topics in Arabic Cultural Production3
ARAB 420Survey of Arabic Literature3
ARAB 440Topics in Arabic Religious Thought and Texts (Mason Core)3
ARTH 203Survey of Asian Art (Mason Core)3
ARTH 204Survey of Latin American Art (Mason Core)3
ARTH 206Survey of African Art (Mason Core)3
ARTH 318Art and Archaeology of Ancient Egypt3
ARTH 319Art and Archaeology of the Ancient Near East (Mason Core)3
ARTH 320Art of the Islamic World (Mason Core)3
ARTH 382Arts of India (Mason Core)3
ARTH 383Arts of Southeast Asia (Mason Core)3
ARTH 384Arts of China (Mason Core)3
ARTH 385Arts of Japan (Mason Core)3
ARTH 386The Silk Road (Mason Core)3
ARTH 482RS: Advanced Studies in Asian Art3
CHIN 318Introduction to Classical Chinese (Mason Core)3
CHIN 320Contemporary Chinese Film3
CHIN 325Major Chinese Writers (Mason Core)3
DANC 118World Dance (Mason Core)3
ECON 361Economic Development of Latin America (Mason Core)3
ECON 362African Economic Development (Mason Core)3
FREN 451Topics in Sub-Saharan Francophone Literature and Culture3
FREN 454Topics in Caribbean Francophone Literature and Culture3
GGS 101Major World Regions (Mason Core)3
GGS 316Geography of Latin America3
GGS 325Geography of North Africa and the Middle East3
GGS 330Geography of the Soviet Succession States3
GGS 399Select Topics in GGS3
GOVT 328Non-Western Political Theory3
GOVT 332Government and Politics of the Middle East and North Africa3
GOVT 333Government and Politics of Asia3
GOVT 340Central Asian Politics3
GOVT 341Chinese Foreign Policy3
GOVT 345Islam and Politics3
GOVT 432Political Change and Social Development in Sub-Saharan Africa3
GOVT 433Political Economy of East Asia3
HIST 251Survey of East Asian History (Mason Core)3
HIST 252Survey of East Asian History (Mason Core)3
HIST 261Survey of African History (Mason Core)3
HIST 262Survey of African History (Mason Core)3
HIST 271Survey of Latin American History (Mason Core)3
HIST 272Survey of Latin American History (Mason Core)3
HIST 281Survey of Middle Eastern Civilization (Mason Core)3
HIST 282Survey of Middle Eastern Civilization (Mason Core)3
HIST 326Stalinism3
HIST 327The Soviet Union and Russia Since World War II3
HIST 328Rise of Russia (Mason Core)3
HIST 329Modern Russia and the Soviet Union (Mason Core)3
HIST 353History of Traditional China3
HIST 354Modern China3
HIST 356Modern Japan (Mason Core)3
HIST 357Postwar Japan (Mason Core)3
HIST 358Post-1949 China (Mason Core)3
HIST 360History of South Africa (Mason Core)3
HIST 364Revolution and Radical Politics in Latin America (Mason Core)3
HIST 365Conquest and Colonization in Latin America (Mason Core)3
HIST 366Comparative Slavery3
HIST 367History, Fiction, and Film in Latin America3
HIST 387Topics in Global History (Mason Core)3-6
HIST 426The Russian Revolution3
HIST 460Modern Iran (Mason Core)3
HIST 461Arab-Israeli Conflict3
HIST 462Women in Islamic Society (Mason Core)3
HIST 465The Middle East in the 20th Century3
JAPA 310Japanese Culture in a Global World (Mason Core)3
JAPA 340Topics in Japanese Literature (Mason Core)3
KORE 320Korean Popular Culture in a Global World3
MUSI 103Musics of the World (Mason Core)3
RELI 211Religions of the West (Mason Core)3
RELI 212Religions of Asia (Mason Core)3
RELI 240Death and the Afterlife in World Religions3
RELI 272Islam3
RELI 313Hinduism (Mason Core)3
RELI 314Chinese Philosophies and Religious Traditions3
RELI 315Buddhism (Mason Core)3
RELI 337Mysticism: East and West3
RELI 365Muhammad: Life and Legacy3
RELI 374Islamic Thought (Mason Core)3
RELI 375Qur'an and Hadith3
RELI 379Islamic Law, Society, and Ethics3
RELI 387Islam, Democracy, and Human Rights3
RELI 490Comparative Study of Religions (Mason Core)3
RUSS 353Russian Civilization (Mason Core)3
RUSS 354Contemporary Post-Soviet Life (Mason Core)3

Requirements for each major are listed in the departmental sections.

Bachelor of Science

The BS degree provides students with a more intensive approach to the core technical questions of their majors. This curriculum has a reduced number of courses in humanities and social sciences in comparison with the BA degree to allow students to achieve greater depth in their majors. Students in Humanities and Social Sciences pursuing a BS must complete the Mason Core program. Requirements for each major are listed in the departmental sections.

Transfer Students

Admitted and enrolled transfer students who have completed an AA, AS, or AA&S degree from the Virginia Community College System (VCCS) and have been offered admission to Mason by the Office of Admissions may be eligible for a waiver of all George Mason University's lower level Mason Core requirements in accordance with the Guaranteed Admission Agreement. Students eligible for this waiver are still required by the university to complete ENGH 302 Advanced Composition (Mason Core) and a synthesis course. Transfer students who have been offered admission under the terms of the Guaranteed Admission Agreement and are pursuing a degree in this college are considered to have met all college requirements except for proficiency in a foreign language (required of BA students).

Policies for Graduate Students

The college offers 14 master's degrees, plus a master of arts in interdisciplinary studies (MAIS), a master of fine arts in creative writing (MFA), and 9 doctoral degrees.

Graduate Admission

Admission decisions are made by the faculty committee of the respective graduate program. Denial of admission is not subject to appeal. Applicants denied admission to a program are not permitted to enroll in courses in that program.

If an applicant is offered graduate admission, the college reserves the right to withdraw that offer of admission if:

  • During his or her academic studies, the admitted applicant has a significant drop in academic performance or fails to graduate with a degree prior to the first day of classes for the term admitted.
  • There has been a misrepresentation in the application process.
  • Prior to the first day of classes for the term admitted, the college learns that the admitted applicant has engaged in behavior that indicates a serious lack of judgment or integrity, irrespective of the outcome of any disciplinary process related to such behavior.
  • For students admitted to an accelerated master's program, the student does not maintain satisfactory progress in his or her undergraduate program, does not receive a minimum grade of 3.00 in the graduate classes taken as an undergraduate, or otherwise does not meet the conditions specified on the application and admission letter.

The university further reserves the right to require the applicant to provide additional information (and/or authorization for the release of information) about any such matter.

Provisional Admission

Students provisionally admitted to their graduate degree program are not eligible to enroll in consortium course work or study at another institution until the conditions of the provisional contract have been met. Provisionally admitted students are also not eligible to participate in any study abroad programs until the conditions of the provisional contract have been met. Transfer of credit requests for course work taken in non-degree status at Mason or from another institution prior to admission will not be considered until the provisional contract has been fulfilled.

Academic Load

Graduate students can enroll in up to 12 credits of course work each semester. Non-degree students can enroll in up to 10 credits of course work each semester.

Non-degree Enrollment

Applicants who have been denied admission to a graduate certificate, master's or doctoral program are not permitted to take graduate courses in that discipline as a non-degree student.

Graduate non-degree students may enroll in 500-, 600-, and 700-level courses. In exceptional cases graduate non-degree students in the College of Humanities and Social Sciences may request to enroll in an 800-level course if they have an appropriate academic or professional background and have the written permission of the course instructor, director of the graduate program offering the course, and the graduate dean.

University Consortium

Students should review university policies regarding the University Consortium AP.1.4 Special Registration Procedures.

Eligible students may enroll in courses at any of the institutions in the Consortium of Universities in the Washington Metropolitan area. Students are limited to one consortium course per semester, with a career maximum of 6 credits. To register for a consortium course, students must have an overall GPA of at least 3.00 and be in good academic standing. Students with grades of IN on their record or who earned grades of C or F in the most recent semester are not eligible to register for a consortium course. Students who have received a grade less than 3.00 in a consortium course are not permitted to enroll in additional consortium courses. Newly admitted graduate students are not permitted to enroll in consortium courses during their first semester of graduate study. Students who wish to enroll in consortium courses during their second semester of study must wait until the grades for the previous semester have been posted.

Transfer of Credit

To be eligible for transfer, credits must have been earned at an accredited graduate degree-granting institution (and applicable to a graduate degree at that institution) or at Mason while in non-degree status. Courses accepted for transfer credit must have been completed within six years of the admission term and with a minimum grade of 3.00. Courses with grades of P or S are not accepted for transfer unless the official transcript indicates that the grade is equivalent to a 3.00 (B) or better. Some programs have more stringent standards on transfer of credit; students should contact their graduate program for specific information.

Reduction of Credit

Doctoral and master's students in the college may request a reduction of credit based on a previously conferred graduate degree. Not all master's programs in the college permit reduction of credit and some programs limit the number of credits that can be reduced. Further details and related restrictions can be found in AP.6.5.2 Reduction of Credits.

Credit from Other Institutions

Students must obtain all approvals, including course equivalencies, prior to enrolling in any course work at another institution. All appropriate paperwork must be submitted to the Office of the University Registrar by the last day to add during the academic term the course meets. Students enrolling in courses at other institutions with different drop/add timetables must still abide by Mason's drop/add deadlines in terms of acquiring necessary approvals.

Dissertation Committee

The college follows university policies regarding dissertation committees. See AP.6.10.5 Dissertation Committee.

Dissertation (999) Registration

Doctoral students must be advanced to candidacy before they may enroll in 999. Students must register for 999 before the add deadline published in the Academic Calendar by the Office of the University Registrar. Once doctoral students begin registering for 999, they must enroll in at least 3 credits of 999 each semester (excluding summers) until they have completed the total number of dissertation credits required on their individual program of study. Once enrolled in 999, all doctoral students must maintain continuous enrollment in 999 until they deposit their approved dissertation in the University Library. If they have completed the number of dissertation credits required on their program of study, they may maintain continuous enrollment by registering for only 1 credit of 999. Please see AP.6.10.6 Dissertation Registration (998, 999).

Time Limit for Doctoral Students

Total time to degree will not exceed nine (9) calendar years from the time of first enrollment as a doctoral degree-seeking student in a program of the college. Doctoral students are expected to progress steadily toward their degree and to advance to candidacy within no more than six (6) years.

Students who do not meet published time limits because of compelling circumstances may petition their program and the graduate dean for a single extension of one calendar year at any point during their program. If such an extension is granted, the total time limit for completion of the degree will not exceed ten (10) years. Requests for extension of time limits should explain the extenuating circumstances that prevented timely completion of the degree and a timeline for completing the remaining work within the limits of the extension. The request should include a letter from the student's graduate program director indicating program support for the extension and confirmation that the work can be completed within the limits of the extension.

Please see AP.6.10.1 Time Limit.

Graduate Appeals of Termination

All graduate students should be familiar with the university polices on termination as stated in AP.6.6.2 Academic Termination. Students who meet the criteria for termination may submit a written appeal to the Office of Graduate Academic Affairs. Appeals should include all relevant information on the basis for appeal, as well as any appropriate documentation. Appeals of termination are reviewed at the beginning of each semester by a faculty committee. The ruling of that committee represents the final decision of the college.