George Mason University

International

Mason provides a welcoming, safe and supportive place to live and study while earning your degree. With more than 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.

Application Deadlines

Freshmen:

  • October 1 for spring (January) semester
  • January 15 final deadline for fall (August) semester

Transfer:

  • October 1 for spring (January) semester
  • March 1 for fall (August) semester

Graduate:

Deadlines vary by academic program. Check with the department or school for program specific deadlines.

Admissions Requirements for International Students

International Freshman Requirements

The following factors are considered when reviewing applications for admission:

  • Completed online application and application fee
  • 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 may be considered for admission with no SAT or ACT test score via the score optional admission program. This program allows for highly qualified students to be evaluated with no SAT or ACT score. More information can be found on our Score Optional information page. International applicants to engineering or computer science majors within the Volgenau School of Engineering are required to submit SAT or ACT scores.
  • Verification of English language proficiency. See the English Proficiency requirements below.
  • 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 admissions@gmu.edu.
  • Essay or personal statement on a topic of your choice.
International Transfer Requirements

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 regional accreditation in the United States. All fees charged by translators or external evaluators must be paid by the student. We recommend:
  • Verification of English language proficiency. See English proficiency requirements below.
  • 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 countries where English is not the first language 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 Graduate Requirements

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 official transcripts. 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.
  • Official, original university transcripts and any earned degree certificates sent directly to Mason Office of Admissions in a sealed envelope 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 can submit their documents to a recognized U.S. evaluation service at their own expense.
  • Verification of English language proficiency. Please see English language requirements below.
  • 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

INTO Mason English Language and Pathway Programs

INTO Mason provides English language instruction and pathway programs to international students who need additional English-language and academic preparation in order to succeed in an undergraduate or graduate program at Mason. Upon successful completion of an INTO Mason Pathway program, students gain full admission into one of Mason’s participating undergraduate or graduate degree programs to continue their studies.

Information for All International Applicants

English Proficiency Requirements

All Mason students must have a full command of academic English to be successful in their studies. For this reason, Mason requires applicants to demonstrate English proficiency for admission consideration.

Undergraduate applicants who have completed four years (grades 9-12) of college preparatory English at a U.S. secondary school or secondary school in Canada (excluding province of Quebec), United Kingdom, Ireland, Australia, or New Zealand with grades of C or better in each English course have demonstrated English proficiency. Applicants who hold a conferred bachelor’s degree or higher from a regionally accredited U.S. college or university or recognized university in Canada (excluding Quebec), United Kingdom, Ireland, Australia or New Zealand have demonstrated English proficiency.

All other applicants are required to show proficiency either by examination scoring or by taking at least two college-level English Composition courses in the United States and meeting minimum scores set by Mason to be considered for admission. Decisions regarding English proficiency are the sole discretion of the George Mason University Office of Admissions. Individual programs reserve the right to set higher minimum scores.

Examinations and Scores

The university will not accept English-proficiency examination scores that are more than two years old. All scores must be sent directly to the Office of Admissions from the testing agency.

TOEFL iBT

  • Undergraduate: 80 or higher, minimum of 18 in each subsection. Our testing code is 5827.
  • Graduate: 88 points, minimum of 20 points in each section

IELTS

  • Undergraduate: 6.5 or higher on the academic exam, with a minimum of 6.0 in each subsection. Institutional code is NOT required.
  • Graduate: 6.5 total band score

Pearson Academic Test of English

A minimum score of 59, all applicants

SAT I Critical Reading

A score of 450 or higher. Mason’s SAT testing code is 5827. Undergraduate applicants only.

ACT-English

A score of 20 or higher. Mason’s ACT testing code is 4357. Undergraduate applicants only.

University level English Composition courses

Completion of English Composition I & II with grades of C or higher in each course at a regionally accredited college or university, where instruction was delivered in the United States. ESL and remedial English courses are not accepted. The University Admissions Committee makes the final decision about the acceptability of all English composition courses used in lieu of a TOEFL/IELTS requirement. Undergraduate applicants only.

For those not achieving English proficiency at the time of admission, INTO Mason offers English language and Pathway programs.

International Student Visa Information
  • Submit the Certificate of Financial Responsibility form. The Certificate of Financial Responsibility (PDF) provides important information needed to prepare the I-20 document for your student visa. The form must be filled out completely and signed by both you and your sponsor(s). Applicants need to indicate on the Certificate of Financial Responsibility (PDF) the source(s) of the funds and the location where they would like their I-20 document mailed.
  • Submit the appropriate bank or financial support documents. Individuals (parents, brothers, uncles, etc.) listed on the Certificate of Financial Responsibility, as the source of funding for the student, should provide original bank statements. Bank statements should be dated within the past twelve months, be from an individual account and show funds that are immediately accessible and transferable. Credit card statements, business accounts, property value documents, solvency statements, statements of income, and insurance policies may not be submitted as sources of financial verification. Photocopies, faxes and scanned documents are accepted.
  • Provide a copy of the identification page of your passport. Students are required to provide a photocopy of their identification page in their passport. This ensures the accuracy of the name and date of birth listed on your I-20. The name and birth date on your application for admission must match those that are listed on the identification page of your passport. Please do not use nicknames or Western names that are not your formal given name. If the names on your admission letters, I-20 form, and passport do not match you may have difficulty during your student visa interview or when you try to enter the U.S.
  • Provide your permanent home address when you apply. Applicants requesting an I-20 must provide their permanent address in their home country even if they are currently living in the U.S. The Department of Homeland Security requires that we maintain that information in our files for all students receiving an I-20 from George Mason University.
  • Students who are currently in the U.S. should submit a copy of your current I-20 form, a photocopy of your U.S. student visa and I-94 card, and a completed Transfer Form signed by you and the International Student Advisor at the school from which you are transferring.
International Student Health Insurance

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.