This is an archived copy of the 2019-2020 catalog. To access the most recent version of the catalog, please visit

Admission to George Mason University is competitive, and based on a variety of factors. Each candidate (applicant) who applies for admission must present sufficient qualifications in order to be reviewed within 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 use 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 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 Mason's priority deadline of 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 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 who do not meet any of the excluded categories listed below under Readmission after Previous Attendance (below), 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 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, and (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 timely update the Office of Admissions 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, become part of the official university file. Admission credentials are retained for only 12 months. They are subsequently destroyed if any of the following conditions are true:

  • The applicant does not register for courses within the period for which the offer of admission is valid.
  • The applicant was denied admission.
  • The applicant does not respond to requests for additional information.
  • The applicant fails to submit a complete application, 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 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/or 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 been admitted to Mason 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

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

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

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 must confirm their intent to enroll by completing the enrollment confirmation online. The deposit is nonrefundable after May 1.

Transfer Requirements 

Updated on October 24, 2019.

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 generally1 expected to present 24 transferable credit hours2, including courses to fulfill the Mason Core requirements in English Composition and mathematics, with a 2.75 minimum cumulative grade point average3 (a 2.85 is required for GAA applicants)1. 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 credit hours are evaluated for admission on the basis of their secondary school record, as well as any post-secondary coursework attempted. Such applicants must provide an official high school transcript or secondary school leaving certificate (final transcript), official SAT I or ACT scores, and official transcripts from all colleges and universities attended. Transfer applicants who have earned more than 30 transferable credit hours upon application may be exempted from providing the secondary school record and official SAT I or ACT results at the discretion of the Admissions Committee. All transfer applicants are required to declare a specific major on the application to benefit from academic advising within their intended program.

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 examination 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. For more information please see the full policy on English language proficiency.

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, receipt of the enrollment deposit, and registration for the required new student orientation. 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 at non-regionally accredited institutions. An exception may apply to Individualized Study, BIS or Applied Science, or 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 (JST) 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.

Deferral of Transfer Admission Offer

Under certain circumstances, students unable to enroll may defer their transfer admission to the next semester after submission of the enrollment deposit. Requests to defer must be made through the online admissions portal no later than the first day of the semester for which you were initially admitted if you wish to request a deferral. Submitting a request to defer admissions does not guarantee that your deferral request will be approved.