George Mason University

For years now, people have probably been talking to you about your potential. Now that you’re getting ready to graduate from high school your time has come.

College may be the only time in your life when you can truly think without limits, take risks, break boundaries, and even reinvent yourself. In an age that demands originality and imagination, George Mason University is here for you.

We are excited that you are considering joining the Mason Nation, a dynamic and diverse community of scholars, leaders, and innovators. Admission is competitive and is done using a holistic approach—all aspects of a student's application, including high school transcripts, standardized test scores, essays, and letters of recommendation, among other supplemental documents, are reviewed by the admissions committee.

George Mason University accepts the Common Application and George Mason University’s Undergraduate Application for Admission.  Our Office of Admissions reviews both applications equally and without preference. We continue to accept both new applications, and enrollment deposits, for the Fall 2020 semester.  If you have any questions about the applications, please contact our office at 703-993-2400.

Important Deadlines

Information about important application deadlines.

Deadline Type

Date Decisions Mail
Freshman Non-Binding Early Action Deadline* November 1 December 15
Freshman Honors College Consideration* November 1 December 15
Freshman University Scholars Consideration* November 1 Mid-February
Freshman Merit-Based Scholarship Consideration* November 1 December 15
Freshman Regular Decision Deadline* January 15 Late March
Mason Financial Aid Deadline January 15 Mid-February
Freshman Priority Application Deadline (for Spring Semester) October 1 November 1

*All freshman applicants who apply to Mason by 11:59 pm EST on November 1 will automatically be considered for merit-based scholarships and our non-binding, Early Action decision.

Freshman General Admission Requirements

The following factors are evaluated in the decision process:

  • Cumulative high school grade point average (GPA) for work completed in grades 9-12 along with level of difficulty of courses selected, particularly in core academic courses. Request your high school send an official copy of your transcript.
  • SAT or ACT Scores. George Mason University uses self-reported SAT and/or ACT test scores throughout the initial admissions process to make both admissions and scholarship decisions. These decisions are contingent upon receipt of official test scores, sent directly from the testing agency, prior to the first day of classes for the semester in which the student intends to enroll. The Office of Admissions reserves the right to reevaluate an applicant’s admissions or scholarship decision upon receipt of official test scores. This reevaluation may result in a change of admissions or scholarship status.

    Students who choose not to provide self-reported scores on the application will be required to either contact the Office of Admissions to provide self-reported scores, or submit official test scores, directly from the testing agency, before an admissions or scholarship decision can be made.

    Applicants may also apply as Score Optional if they meet the requirements (see below).

  • Secondary School Report and counselor recommendations. We suggest sending two (2) letters of recommendation, one from your high school counselor and one from a teacher. The Common Application provides a section for uploading letters of recommendation. For George Mason University’s Undergraduate Application for Admission, there is no special recommendation form and letters can be submitted electronically or via e-mail to (If you have been out of school for more than five years, this is not necessary.)
  • An optional, but strongly encouraged Personal Statement of approximately 250 words explaining to the Office of Admissions why YOU want to go to college. 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.
  • Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL) scores from non-native English-speaking applicants to supplement other standardized test results. If you do not speak English at home, you are highly encouraged to take the TOEFL. If you are in doubt as to whether you need to complete an English-language proficiency examination please contact the Office of Admissions.
  • Extracurricular activities and community service participation listed on your online application, the Common Application, or sent within an activity sheet or resume.

Majors with Selective Admission

Admission to the university and a major are usually simultaneous. The Art and Visual Technology, Computer Game Design, Dance, Film and Video Studies, Music and Theater majors in the College of Visual and Performing Arts are exceptions, requiring an audition or portfolio review before being accepted to a major. You are encouraged to submit your application for admission to the university before scheduling auditions or portfolio reviews. Please be aware of the priority deadlines.

The Bachelor of Science in Nursing program also requires a separate departmental application. Transfer applicants must first apply to Mason before applying to the BSN major. Acceptance to the nursing program is contingent upon admission to the university, but the BSN program is highly competitive and admission to the university does not guarantee acceptance to major. For additional information, please visit the BSN Admissions website.

Due to the rigorous nature of our programs, most applicants to the Volgenau School of Engineering, including all Engineering and Computer Science students, are required to attain a 550 on the Math section of the SAT, or a 24 on the Math section of the ACT, and have taken or be enrolled in 4 years of high school mathematics, including a course beyond Algebra II by their senior year. Students who are applying for most Volgenau School of Engineering majors are not eligible to apply as a score optional student. These additional criteria do not apply for Information Technology majors.

Please note: Effective April 10, 2020, due to SAT and ACT test date cancellations, Freshmen applicants to the Volgenau School of Engineering for the Fall 2020, Spring 2021, and Fall 2021 terms are exempt from the 550 SAT MATH /24 ACT MATH requirement if they have taken or are currently enrolled in four years of high school mathematics classes, including a course beyond Algebra II by their senior year, and have achieved grades of B or better in each of those courses.


High School Dual Enrollment

George Mason University may accept college credit that is earned while a student is concurrently enrolled in high school. This is classified as Dual Enrollment credit.

  • Dual enrollment students who wish to apply for admission to Mason must select the freshman admission application.
  • Credits are considered for acceptance from colleges and universities accredited by a regional accrediting body.
  • Each course taken at another institution will be evaluated individually, and credit will be allowed only for equivalent college courses offered at Mason in which a grade of “C” or better has been earned.
  • Courses are evaluated by reviewing the course content regardless of the mode of instruction.
  • Additional transfer credit criteria are outlined in the Mason Catalog.

Additional Information for Non-Traditional Qualifications

Home-Schooled Students

We welcome applications from home-schooled students or those who have pursued pre-college educational opportunities that may not be accredited. You will be reviewed no differently than those who apply from traditional high schools. However, we would like to clarify a few points that we feel will be beneficial for home-schooled applicants.

  • Ensure that you have completed (or will have completed) the minimum preparatory course work required for admission before enrollment at Mason.
  • We understand that in many instances, home-schooled students may not have a traditional “official” transcript. However, in order to evaluate your preparation for higher education, we require some form of transcript. Your home educator can prepare this document. Ideally, we expect to see a listing of courses completed and either a grade or evaluative description of your performance in each. In the event that we need additional information, an admissions representative will contact you.
  • You will note that a “Secondary School Report” which usually accompanies a guidance counselor recommendation is one of our requirements. While a parent or guardian may certainly complete the form, we ask that you solicit a recommendation letter from someone outside of your immediate family who can attest to your academic achievements and abilities.
  • Official ACT and/or SAT scores must be sent to the Office of Admissions directly from the testing agency. Home-Schooled applicants are not considered for Score Optional admission.
  • 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 and have official transcript(s) sent to the Office of Admissions at time of application. All dual-enrollment students are considered freshman applicants regardless of the number of college-credits earned while in dual-enrollment status.)
Score Optional Consideration

We take a holistic approach to reviewing each application with great care. We understand some students may not wish to submit standardized test scores as a component of the application process because they may believe the SAT or ACT test scores do not adequately reflect their level of academic achievement and/or predict their potential. Score Optional review provides an opportunity for students to be considered for admission without submitting standardized test scores. Please read the following information carefully to help decide if the Score Optional process is appropriate for you.

Score Optional General Guidelines

We know that grade point average, class rank, and curricular options vary widely between high schools. Your academic performance in the classroom is the most important factor in our review of your application

  • It is recommended that you maintain a competitive, cumulative high school grade point average for Score Optional consideration. Our middle 50% of accepted students have cumulative grade point averages of 3.3 – 3.9 on a 4.0 scale (grades 9 – 11).
  • You should demonstrate evidence of consistent, strong performance in a challenging academic curriculum by having taken a robust selection of college preparatory, honors, advanced placement and International Baccalaureate courses.
  • Strong leadership, motivation and intellectual curiosity should be demonstrated in your extracurricular, work, or service experiences.

Requirements for Score Optional Students

  • Students who apply Score Optional and whose native language is not English are required to submit results of an English language proficiency exam to the Office of Admissions.

Applicants WHO DO NOT Qualify for Score Optional:

There are some situations and programs of study that make students ineligible for Score Optional consideration.

  • Applicants applying to computer science and engineering majors within the Volgenau School of Engineering with the exception of Information Technology.
  • Home-schooled applicants.
  • Applicants who are seeking to become a member of one of George Mason's Division-I NCAA intercollegiate athletic teams.
Academic Credit by Exam

Students may accelerate their graduation by the award of transfer credit from any of the following exams. Official transcripts from the testing agency should be sent to the Office of Admissions during the application process. Transfer credit evaluations are considered final after the first academic year of enrollment. No additional credit, including external credit by exam, will be considered.

Honors College

Ready for a challenge? Interested in smaller class sizes, priority registration, and a supportive environment? Mason’s Honors College provides talented students in all majors with an enriched and unique academic and social environment that enhances their college experience.

University Scholars Program

Each year approximately 20 University Scholars are selected from among the most outstanding students invited to the Honors College. This award is the highest academic distinction that Mason offers to undergraduate students. Each University Scholar receives a scholarship award covering the full cost of tuition over four years. University Scholars have:

  • Exemplary records of academic achievement
  • Intellectual vision and creativity
  • Potential to solve problems and overcome obstacles
  • A commitment to meaningfully contributing to their communities

The deadline to apply to the Honors College curriculum and/or the University Scholars Program is November 1. You’ll find a check box for both programs in the online application. Applications submitted after the deadline will be considered on a space available basis.

In addition to the freshman application requirements, you must submit a supplemental essay as prompted within the application. The essay topic can be found in the online application and should be no longer than 750 words.

In addition, we strongly recommend that applicants submit:

  • At least one letter of recommendation from an academic, core-area teacher
  • Resume or list of activities

If you are already submitting these documents as a part of your online application, you do not have to submit additional copies to the Honors College. Applications are reviewed within the same online system.