Graduate Admission Policies

In addition to the general admission requirements below, international students and students having earned international degrees should also refer to Admission of International Students for additional requirements.

General Admission Requirements

The general university graduate admission eligibility requirements are as follows:

  • An earned baccalaureate and/or graduate degree from an institution of higher education accredited by a Mason-recognized U.S. institutional accrediting agency, or international equivalent, verified from official transcripts.
    • Enrollment beyond the first semester in any graduate program requires official transcripts showing degree conferral from all previously earned degrees, including undergraduate bachelor's degrees and higher, as well as any graduate coursework that you wish to be applied to your Mason degree program.
  • A minimum 3.00 GPA on a 4.00 scale in baccalaureate study.
    • The GPA requirement may be higher for some graduate programs.
    • The university, at its discretion, may, in evaluating the meeting of this requirement, additionally consider the difficulty of the baccalaureate degree, relevant work experience, any/ or other evidence of ability to succeed in graduate study.
    • For students with post-baccalaureate credits, a separate GPA is calculated for each institution.
    • For applicants whose initial post-secondary degree is a master's degree or higher (no baccalaureate degree earned), the university, at its discretion, will evaluate those applicants based on that initial degree.
  • All Mason graduate applicants must meet the University's English proficiency standard.

Note: Specific program admission requirements for degree-seeking students are listed HERE.

Provisional Admission

Provisional Admission is intended for those applicants who have provided evidence that suggests they are able to pursue graduate coursework, but have not taken foundational or pre-requisite coursework requirements, or do not meet GPA minimum requirements. Students provisionally admitted into George Mason University are in degree-seeking status and may enroll in courses while meeting the following university provisional graduate admission requirements:

  • As a first priority when starting the graduate program, a provisionally admitted student must satisfy the provisions of admission.
  • A degree-seeking graduate applicant with a baccalaureate degree from an institution of higher education accredited by a Mason-recognized U.S. institutional accrediting agency, or international equivalent, with a GPA below the minimum for the graduate program, or applicants who are missing specific foundational or pre-requisite coursework requirements, may, at the discretion of the academic unit or program, be offered provisional admission if sufficient evidence is presented to suggest the applicant has the ability to pursue graduate work. Once the student has satisfied the provisions specified in the offer of admission and submitted all admission credentials, the provisional qualifier will be removed from the student’s record. Written confirmation indicating the removal will be sent to the student from the academic unit, institute dean, or director.
  • Provisionally required courses must be completed successfully, earning a grade of B or better, on the student’s first attempt within the first 12 credits of enrollment (or a more restricted time frame specified by the department in the offer of provisional admission). Provisionally required courses may not be repeated. Students who do not complete these courses successfully will be terminated from the program. Students in provisional status may not take courses in the consortium or elsewhere, or transfer graduate course work into their program until the provisions of admission have been met.
  • Due to federal requirements, students on F1/J1 visas are not eligible for Provisional Admission to George Mason University.
  • While the provision is in effect, graduate students whose registration includes undergraduate courses are considered full time if they meet the undergraduate standard by being registered in at least 12 credit hours per semester. For more information on full-time status, see the Student Classification sections in AP.5 Undergraduate Policies and AP.6 Graduate Policies of this catalog.

Conditional Admission

A graduate applicant who does not meet the minimum admission standards may, at the discretion of the academic unit or program, be offered conditional admission if sufficient evidence is presented to suggest that the applicant has the ability to pursue graduate coursework. Conditional admission may be offered to an applicant who must first satisfy set of conditions prior to being admitted into the graduate program and allowed to enroll in graduate courses at George Mason University.

  • Once the student has satisfied the conditions specified in the conditional offer of admission and submitted all admission credentials, including test scores, the conditional offer of admission will be updated to full or provisional admission. Notification of full or provisional admission will be provided to the student in the form of an updated letter of admission from the Office of Graduate Admissions, which will be published to the student's Online Application Portal.
  • Conditional admission cannot be offered to applicants who have not met minimum English language proficiency requirements as outlined in the English Proficiency Standards under the Admission of International Students section. It also may not be offered to applicants who do not have, or will not earn, a baccalaureate degree from an institution of higher education accredited by a Mason-recognized U.S. institutional accrediting agency, or international equivalent.
  • Due to federal requirements, students on F1/J1 visas are not eligible for Conditional Admission to George Mason University. 
  • The conditional offer of admission will be withdrawn if the student does not meet the conditions within one academic year from the first day of classes for the semester to which they applied (or a more restricted time frame specified by the program in the offer of admission).

Deferral or Reconsideration of Admitted Students

The Office of Graduate Admissions, in coordination with the academic programs, will consider requests from admitted students to either defer their enrollment, or reconsider their application for a future term. These requests are initiated by the applicant through the Intent to Enroll form, which is found on the Online Application Portal. Depending on the program of admission, the applicant will either be granted a deferral, a reconsideration, or the request will be denied. 

A deferral is an automatic admission that does not require an applicant to go back through admissions review. A reconsideration is not an automatic admission and an applicant must go through admissions review again, regardless of previous admit decision.

Offers of funding are not guaranteed for deferrals or reconsiderations, and are at the discretion of the academic program.

All requests for deferral or reconsideration must be submitted using the directions on the Online Application Portal by the enrollment deadline listed in the student’s offer of admission. Deferral or Reconsideration is granted only for a period of one full academic year (Ex. Fall to Fall) or less, with some programs having specific term restrictions for delaying enrollment. These restrictions vary by program and, as such, applicants should check with their respective academic unit or program.

Please note: Requests to defer enrollment, or reconsider an application for a future term, may be made only once per application.

Right to Rescind Admission

Mason reserves the right to rescind offers of admission if applicants fail to (1) successfully complete their current academic program, (2) maintain grades that meet the requirements for admission to George Mason University, and/ or (3) exhibit exemplary personal conduct prior to enrollment.  Additionally, Mason may rescind an offer of admission based on cancellation or change of any test score required for admission or if it is determined that admission was obtained through the use of incomplete, falsified, altered, or embellished information.  Mason also reserves the right to impose restrictions or requirements on the admission of a student (e.g., housing or educational restrictions or additional conditions or requirements prior to enrollment) as a result of any of the foregoing.  Admitted students are required to update the Office of Admissions in a timely fashion of any new information that may affect their admission, including, but not limited to, any changes in their participation in their current academic program or their grades, or any conduct related issues (e.g., criminal matters and school discipline matters). 

Upon learning of any relevant changes to a student’s record, either directly from the student or from a third-party, the Dean of Admissions shall refer the case to the appropriate committee for review.  The student shall have an opportunity to provide a written statement to the Dean of Admissions for consideration by the committee.  The committee shall make a recommendation to the Dean of Admissions regarding whether the offer of admission should be rescinded or whether any restrictions or additional requirements should be placed on the student.  In the case of withdrawal of admission from a matriculated student, credit earned at Mason may be withheld.

Records Maintenance and Disposal

All admissions documents, including academic records sent from other institutions and graduate admission exams, become the property of the Office of Admissions and part of the applicant's official university file. These documents will not be returned to the applicant. 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.