Mason provides a welcoming, safe and supportive place to live and study while earning your degree. With over 80 undergraduate majors and 127 graduate and professional degrees, you can tailor an education to meet your career and personal goals.
Our top priority is to provide students with access to exceptional faculty and quality academic programs that help them grow as individuals, scholars, and career-ready professionals.
Applications from international students are reviewed with all other applications. Admission to the university is competitive; therefore, while minimum standards ensure that an application will be considered, they do not guarantee admission. The number of applicants, qualifications of the applicant pool, and the amount of available space determine the number of admission offers that Mason can make. In addition to overall admission requirements, some schools and colleges have individual requirements for acceptance into the major. For more information, see school or college admission requirements.
All applicants, regardless of country of citizenship or immigration status, who are currently enrolled or has previously enrolled at a school or university outside of the United States may be considered international applicants and are subject to international admissions requirements.
Spring Semester Applications (January start)
- October 1 Spring Semester Priority Application Deadline
- December 1 Spring Semester Enrollment Deposit Deadline
Fall Semester Applications (August start)
- November 1 Non-Binding Early Action Deadline and Honors College Consideration
- February 1 Regular Decision Deadline
- June 1 Final deadline for Fall Semester
- October 1 Spring (January) Semester Deadline
- March 1 Fall (August) Semester Deadline
Different graduate programs have different application requirements. Please visit Application Deadlines and Requirements page to determine the application deadline and requirements for your desired program.
If you are applying close to the deadline, please know that though you may be able to complete your application on time, many units specify that your application and all materials, including test scores, need to be received by their deadline date.
If you are an international student who requires a F1 or J1 Visa to study in the United States, we have specific deadlines for the processing of the I-20. Please plan on applying to your program and submitting application materials at least 60 days in advance of this deadline to give enough time to process and review applications for a decision.
Final Deadline for International Graduate Applicants:
Spring Semester: November 30th*
Fall Semester: July 1st*
*Deadlines are for applicants who require a new F-1 or J-1 Visa. Graduate applicants who already hold an F1 or J1 Visa applying to transfer may be admitted after these dates. Check with the department or school of your desired program for specific deadlines.
Admissions Requirements for International Students
The following factors are considered when reviewing applications for admission:
- Completed online application and application fee. Mason accepts the Common Application and George Mason University’s Undergraduate Application for Admission. The Office of Admissions reviews both applications equally and without preference. If you have any questions about the applications, please contact our office at 703-993-2400.
- Certified official, original transcripts from all secondary schools as well as official results from any leaving certificates or university entrance exams taken. A certified English translation must be submitted for any documents not already in English. All application materials are property of George Mason University and will not be returned to the applicant, nor shared with another individual, institution, or organization under any circumstances.
- Official scores from SAT or ACT. International students have the option to submit SAT or ACT scores with your application or apply Score Optional. Score Optional Consideration allows for highly qualified students to be evaluated without standardized test scores. More specific information regarding Score Optional Consideration can be be found at the bottom of our Freshman Admission page.
- Spring and Fall 2021 applicants to Computer Science or Engineering majors may be considered without SAT or ACT scores if they have completed four years of high school mathematics course. One course designated as a higher level than Algebra II must be completed by the senior year. All math courses must be completed with equivalent grades of a B or higher.
- Verification of English language proficiency. Non-native English-speaking applicants are required to meet the University’s English Proficiency requirement. Please visit the English Proficiency requirements page for more detailed information.
- Secondary School Report (PDF) and counselor recommendations. We suggest sending two (2) letters of recommendation, one from a high school counselor and one from a teacher. There is no special recommendation form and letters can be submitted electronically or via e-mail to firstname.lastname@example.org. Applicants who have been out of school for more than five years are not required to submit this form.
- An optional, but strongly encouraged Personal Statement or Essay of approximately 250 words explaining to the Office of Admissions why YOU want to attend university study. Tell us about yourself and your experiences that have led to this decision. Submit your statement online when prompted during the online application process or within the Common App.
- Resume for any applicant with gaps in enrollment.
The Admissions Committee considers each transfer application individually, reviewing all grades received in courses attempted as well as the rigor of the applicant’s academic program. There are certain requirements all transfer applicants must present:
- Completed online application and application fee
- Official transcripts from each post-secondary institution attended sent directly to Mason from the institution
- A certified English translation for documents not already in English
- A certified course-by-course evaluation for all post-secondary level studies completed outside of the U.S at institutions that do not hold an accreditation in the United States from the organizations found here. GPA and Degree equivalencies must be included with your course- by-course evaluation. All fees charged by translators or external evaluators must be paid by the student. We require an evaluation from one of the following:
- Verification of English language proficiency. See English proficiency requirements website.
- An essay. Although optional, applicants are encouraged to use the essay to provide information about their background that can’t be gleaned from a resume.
- Resume for any applicant with gaps in enrollment.
Transfer applicants with fewer than the equivalent to 30 university credits are required to submit:
- Secondary school transcript
- ACT or SAT scores
Evaluation of International Education for Transfer Credit
George Mason University will consider transfer credit earned at institutions of higher education outside of the United States that are fully recognized by an official accrediting organization or government ministry. We review your transcript, international credential evaluation, and all other resources at our disposal.
Criteria for transfer credit:
The Office of Admissions needs additional information in order to evaluate your coursework for the appropriate Mason course equivalency. After you have been admitted, you should submit:
- Courses must be university-level coursework
- A minimum grade of C (2.0) was earned. Courses graded on a Pass/Fail basis do not transfer
- English-language courses completed in institutions without U.S. regional accreditation do not transfer
- Only courses applicable to a Mason degree will transfer
- Transferrable courses transfer the same semester credits as shown on the evaluation. The maximum total number of credits that may transfer, from all previously attended institutions combined, is 90 credits. The Office of Admissions will make the final determination of the award and applicability of any international credit.
- Catalog course descriptions or syllabi for courses being considered for transfer
- Course information must be in English
- If your institution does not issue English-language course descriptions, you may use a certified translator. Please submit course descriptions to the Office of Admissions in a timely manner to enable us to prepare your Transfer Credit Evaluation in time for orientation.
International students interested in pursuing graduate study must meet the following requirements:
- Completed online application for graduate study and application fee
- An earned baccalaureate degree from a regionally accredited institution of higher education, or international equivalent, verified from copies of unofficial transcripts uploaded to the online application Self-Service Center. Note: Due to admissions deadlines, graduate students are sometimes admitted before conferral of a bachelor’s degree. Students who are awaiting conferral of the degree will be permitted to register for their first semester. However, continuance in any graduate program requires an official transcript which verifies conferral of a bachelor’s degree.
- Copies of unofficial university transcripts and any earned degree uploaded to the online application Self-Service Center from all universities attended.
- All transcripts from colleges or universities outside the United States must be translated into English, if applicable, and submitted for evaluation to the Mason Office of Admissions. Mason will provide evaluation service free of charge for all international transcripts, however, some programs may request an outside evaluation be completed. Because of volume, more time may be needed to process applications requiring a Mason evaluation. For expedited service, students may submit their documents to any NACES member organization at their own expense. For suggested NACES evaluation services, please reference the International Transfer Requirements section above. If you decide to use an external evaluation service or if your program requires an outside evaluation, GPA and Degree equivalences must be included with your course-by-course evaluation. The Office of Admissions has final authority on all evaluations. Evaluations are used for internal purposes and are not released to applicants. For information on international transcript requirements, go here.
- Verification of English language proficiency. Please see English language requirements page.
- Official GRE, GMAT, LSAT, or MAT or other official test scores, as required by your program sent directly to Mason from the testing agency
- Other supplemental materials specified by your academic program such as essays, departmental forms, portfolios, or interviews
Information for All International Applicants
George Mason University offers a limited number of merit-based scholarships to highly qualified international freshmen and transfer students who are non-immigrant, non-resident, and degree seeking. These scholarships are renewable for up to four years for freshman and three years for transfers based on good academic standing. All admitted applicants are automatically considered for these scholarships. There is not a separate scholarship application.
Eligibility Criteria and Review Process
- Open to qualified incoming international freshman and transfer students studying full-time on an F1-visa.
- There is not a separate scholarship application form. All qualified international freshman and transfer applicants will be considered for scholarship as part of the regular application review process.
- Scholarships are awarded using a holistic review process. While GPA and test scores are the most important criteria, they are not the only criteria considered.
- Admitted students awarded with a merit-based scholarship will be notified in their acceptance letter.
University policy requires all F-1 and J-1 visa students to have health insurance. Federal law requires all students on a J-1 visa to have health insurance that includes coverage for medical evacuation and repatriation.
Mason offers health insurance for students on J-1 and F-1 visas. When international students register for classes, the cost of this coverage is automatically billed to their account by the Office of Student Accounts. This fee is due by the tuition payment due date. Failure to pay this insurance fee or successfully obtain an exemption may result in the cancellation of class registration.
All international students can apply for the #YouAreWelcomeHere scholarship program at George Mason. The scholarship is open to first-year undergraduate international students of all academic majors and fields of study, and it is applied to tuition costs. To learn more about this opportunity, visit the You Are Welcome Here website.
Throughout the year, Admissions representatives travel extensively throughout the world to meet with prospective George Mason University students.
INTO Mason English Language and Pathway Programs
INTO Mason’s programs are designed to help international students with their transition to degree study at George Mason University, while providing a strong support system both academically and socially.
INTO Mason offers the following academic programs for international students:
- Academic English (English language course which can lead to Pathway or Direct Entry degree study at Mason)
- International Year One (5 programs leading to 55+ bachelor’s degrees)
- Undergraduate Transfer Program (Transfer program for students with a minimum of 30 credits from an international university who want to complete a bachelor’s degree at Mason)
- Graduate Pathway (46+ graduate programs leading to master’s degrees)
Students will learn alongside American peers to earn academic credits towards their degree while developing English, academic and cultural skills. Upon successful completion the program, they will continue working to complete their Mason degree.