George Mason University

As Virginia’s largest public research university, George Mason University is recognized as an innovative and entrepreneurial institution with global distinction in a range of academic fields.

Graduate Admissions

Graduate enrollment exceeds 11,000 with students studying in 127 degree programs at the master’s, doctoral, and professional levels. In addition, we offer more than 100 graduate level certificates.

Some of the many benefits of being a Mason graduate student are:

  • Numerous and diverse career and graduate-assistantship opportunities
  • Networking opportunities with the more than 80,000 Mason alumni who live and work in the Washington, D.C., area
  • Classes offered at convenient times and locations so you can work while you complete your degree

Admission is competitive and selection criteria differs by program. Applicants are evaluated on the strength of their academic background, results of standardized exams (if required by the program), work experience, and any additional evidence of potential success in the program.

All applicants for graduate study at George Mason University must meet the admission standards specified in the Graduate Admission Policies chapter of the University Catalog.

Before you begin an application for graduate studies at George Mason University, it is important that you consider which program is the best fit for your educational and career goals. You can do this through reviewing the program-specific information, attending an information session, and contacting academic programs for further information. 

Important Notice For Spring 2016 Applicants

We recently underwent a significant reorganization of our graduate application process.  This centralization resulted in the newly formed Office of Graduate Admissions (OGA).  The Office of Graduate Admissions will be responsible for Fall 2016 applicants onward using a new application system and process. If you are applying for Spring 2016, your application will be processed by the Academic Unit where your desired program resides.  Please follow up directly with their offices and websites for information on your application process and deadlines.

How to Apply Guide

We are thrilled that you are considering Graduate Studies at George Mason University. We’ve put together this guide to help you know what is required, how to submit your application, and avoid mistakes that may delay the consideration of your application. Please make sure you also read over our Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ) section for more specifics.

Remember that if you have questions at any time, the Office of Graduate Admissions is here to help guide you through this exciting process. 

1. Confirm Your Eligibility

To be considered for admission, you must meet the criteria set by the university and your desired program of interest.

Below are the university criteria for admission:

  • To be eligible an applicant must have a baccalaureate degree from a regionally accredited institution of higher educationYou must have earned or will earn* a four-year baccalaureate degree from a regionally accredited US institution, or an equivalent degree from a nationally recognized non-US institution.  *Applications may be submitted during the final year of undergraduate study. Acceptance is contingent on award of a baccalaureate degree before matriculation to a graduate or professional program at Mason.

  • You must have earned a 3.00 GPA on a 4.00 scale or better in your baccalaureate study. The GPA requirement can be higher for individual graduate programs.

  • If you are an applicant with domestic educational credentials (inside the United States): you may upload unofficial copies of your transcripts on the online application. If admitted, you must provide an official hard copy of a transcript for all of your post-secondary work upon enrollment. (Transcripts uploaded to the application during the admissions process are marked as unofficial.) For full information on submitting your unofficial transcripts as part of your online application, please visit the Application Requirements page for more details.

  • If you are an applicant with international educational credentials (outside the United States): you must provide official hard copies of your official transcripts in English and the original language via postal mail either prior to or at the point of application submission. We will not accept unofficial transcript uploads on the online application. For full information on submitting your international transcripts, along with information on the required International Transcript Evaluation, please read over our International Transcript Guidelines for more details.

  • If you have international credentials, you must meet the Graduate English Proficiency Exams to be eligible for direct-entry.

For program-specific admissions requirements, please visit the Application Deadlines and Requirements page.

2. Review Program Application Requirements and Deadlines

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.

3. Take Necessary Tests or Exams

To determine if your desired graduate program requires any exams or test, please visit the Application Deadlines and Requirements page.

Mason University will only accept official test scores sent directly by the testing agencies to our Office of Graduate Admissions. It can take several weeks for some tests or exams, such as the GRE, GMAT, TOEFL, etc., to return your scores to us. We strongly encourage you to carefully review their scoring return timeframes to ensure your scores reach us by your program deadline.

It is each applicant’s responsibility to ensure their application and all supplementary materials, including test scores, have arrived at the university by their program deadline. For full information on sending results, please visit the Standardized Test Information page.

Who has to have English Proficiency Scores?

You will NOT be required to submit Graduate English Proficiency Exams scores if you have or will be awarded a degree from the earned a bachelors, masters, or doctoral degree from a regionally accredited university in the United States, Canada (excluding province of Quebec), United Kingdom, Ireland, Australia, or New Zealand prior to enrolling at George Mason University.

You will be required to submit Graduate English Proficiency Exams scores if you are an international citizen, US citizen or permanent resident with international credentials who does not hold a regionally accredited degree from an institution in the US or one of the countries listed above.

4. Gather Your Supplementary Materials

Different programs have different required supplementary materials. To determine what materials will be required for your program, please visit the Link: Application Deadlines and Requirements page.

George Mason University requires all graduate applicants to upload all possible required supplementary materials, such as Goals Statement or Letters of Recommendation, at the same time you submit your application. If you hold a US Bachelor’s degree, this will also include uploading your unofficial transcripts.

Having these prepared and ready to upload at the point of application significantly expedites the review of your application.  Remember that the graduate faculty in your desired program determined these required supplementary materials to help ensure they could make a well-informed decision on your application.  Therefore they review only those completed applications, meaning those with all required supplementary materials, for admission decisions.

If you have questions about specific supplementary items, such as letters of recommendation or goals statements, please visit our Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ) section for lots of helpful information.

5. Submit your Online Application

Visit our online application to fill out the application and upload your required materials.

Keep in mind that we have a shared application across the university. Therefore, you may not see all of the exact items for your program reflected in your REQUIRED UPLOADS tab on the online application.  We’ve added the university-wide standard items for all applicants to upload immediately. Then within 24-48 hours of submitting your application, you’ll receive a link to your online application Self- Service Center where you can finish uploading any additional program-specific requirements. Online applications cannot be submitted without payment of the non-refundable $75 application processing fee. This fee is for one application only. Subsequent applications will require an additional fee. 


Please select the term you are applying for below to choose the appropriate application system.

If you are applying for Spring 2016Apply Online 

You may check the status of your application using the case sensitive login and password you created when you applied.

If you are applying for Fall 2016 onward: Apply Online

You will receive an email with the link to your Self-Service Center where you may check the status of your application within 24-48 hours of submitting your application.

If you want to apply for the School of Law, please visit the School of Law website.

Within a few days of submitting of your online application, you will receive an email with your Mason G number (G#). This is a tracking number provided to all applicants that allows us to match your supporting documentation to your completed application. If you already have a G#, please include it when you submit your supporting documentation.