The University Scholars are selected from among the most outstanding students invited to the Honors College. This award is the highest academic distinction that Mason offers to undergraduate students and is given annually to top high school seniors admitted to the university. Each year the University Scholars Program enrolls approximately 20 new first-year students, each of whom receives a scholarship covering the full cost of tuition over four years. Students receiving this award have exemplary records of academic achievement, and they have demonstrated intellectual vision and creativity, the potential to solve problems and overcome obstacles, and a commitment to meaningfully contributing to their communities. Applications must be submitted by November 1 to receive priority consideration for the scholarship.

The University Scholars reside in a common residence hall their first year and share the Dr. Noreen McGuire Prettyman University Scholars Lounge. Students enrolled in the University Scholars Program participate in a dynamic learning community that provides opportunities for intellectual, cultural, and social engagements.