Academic advising and success coaching at George Mason University are integral parts of the educational and developmental process that enhance student success. An exemplary Mason Graduate is an engaged, reflective citizen and well-rounded scholar who is prepared to act. Mason commits to supporting holistic success across the student experience, connecting students to campus resources, and helping students set and achieve academic, career, and personal goals.
Academic Advisors at Mason are assigned to students based on their declared major, and this relationship begins during Orientation. Students are recommended to meet with their Academic Advisor at least once per semester to discuss questions or concerns.
Advisors assist students with:
navigating undergraduate education at Mason;
transitioning to college;
setting academic goals and making connections to career goals;
learning about available academic Mason resources;
understanding Mason academic policies and procedures;
accessing and using the degree audit tool, Degree Works;
selecting courses for the student’s class schedule;
checking on progress towards degree completion, and much more.
Individual departments establish their own advising processes; students are encouraged to check with their departments for the appropriate procedures and to determine how to access academic advising. Students can use the Current Advising Services website to locate their School or College advising website. In addition, the advisor locator is available online to assist students with finding their academic advisor and determining how to schedule a meeting with their advisor.
With their advisors, students plan and make informed decisions regarding their academic programs in order to meet the general university degree requirements and specific requirements within their major and minor fields. It is the student's responsibility to read this catalog and know and fulfill the requirements of a specific baccalaureate degree. To assist in the advising process, Mason provides a computerized degree evaluation, Degree Works. Students should access their individualized reports through Patriot Web. It remains the student's responsibility to seek approval for any program change so the computerized degree plan may be kept current.
Students changing majors are encouraged to meet with an advisor in the new major. Students considering changing majors can also meet with an Exploratory Success Coach in the Mason Care Network to explore their options. They may change majors by filing out a Change/Declaration of Academic Program Form available from the Office of the University Registrar. This form must first be signed by an advisor in the School or College offering the major before it is submitted to the Office of the University Registrar.
Students can explore majors and minors using the "Find Your Program" tool in this Catalog.
Office of Academic Advising
The Office of Academic Advising is located within Undergraduate Education and provides comprehensive leadership for a consistent and quality undergraduate academic advising experience at George Mason University. The Office of Academic Advising is responsible for advocacy and overall accountability for the undergraduate advising experience. This is achieved through collaboration with leadership in academic units across the university and other stakeholders to provide consistent administration of academic advising processes, procedures, and policies for undergraduate academic advising. Advising program evaluation and advisor professional development are central to the administrative charge of this office to determine data-driven best practices and advising program improvement.
We provide direct advising services for Pre-Health, Exploratory, Non-Degree and undergraduate students terminated from their major.
Exploratory, Undeclared and Undergraduate Non-Degree Students
Students who have not declared a major (or who have been terminated from their major) are assigned an Exploratory Academic Advisor within the Office of Academic Advising. Students are encouraged to make appointments with their Exploratory Academic Advisor for information about general degree requirements, registration, academic goals, major exploration, policies, procedures, getting connected on campus, and other concerns. More information can be found on the Exploratory Academic Advising website.
Non-degree students taking undergraduate courses at Mason also can access academic advising services within the Office of Academic Advising. More information can be found on the Non-Degree Student Advising website.
Health Professions Advising
Health Professions Advising collaborates with campus colleagues to assist students in their pursuit of postgraduate work in a medical field (allopathic and osteopathic medicine, dentistry, optometry, physician assistant, pharmacy, physical therapy, occupational therapy, communication sciences, and veterinary medicine). The Health Professions Advising Coordinator provides information and tools which will help pre-health students achieve success in the application process to a professional school.
Patriot Pre-Law Advising
The Patriot Pre-Law Program prepares students for the law-school application process and for success in law school.
The goals are to:
- bring law school admissions deans to campus so they can help students understand what it takes to be accepted
- help undergraduates select courses that will develop skills to succeed as pre-law students, law-school students, and practicing lawyers
- offer programming to prepare students for the Law School Admissions Test, a high-stakes exam that dictates where students can go to law school
- provide specialized attention to the law school personal statement, which most law schools use instead of a face-to-face interview.
- guide students toward resources that will help them select the best law school for their needs and determine how to fund it.
Office of Fellowships
The Office of Fellowships helps highly motivated undergraduates, graduate students and recent alumni of all majors to find, prepare for, and apply for nationally competitive scholarships and fellowships. Past winners have been active leaders in their fields and have been involved in research, community service, or creative projects. A team of program officers and graduate students will assist you in identifying and preparing applications for nationally competitive fellowships to support your academic, professional, and public service goals. Throughout the academic year, the office provides information sessions, workshops, individual advising, and other events to connect students to fellowship opportunities.