George Mason University

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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.  Mason remains a test optional institution regarding SAT and ACT scores, and more information is available below.

George Mason University 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.

 

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. You have the option to submit ACT or SAT scores with your application, or you may apply Score Optional. If you decide to apply with ACT or SAT scores, George Mason University will use the self-reported SAT and/or ACT test scores as part of our holistic admissions process. However, an admission decision will then be 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.  More information on Score Optional Consideration is available below on this page.
  • 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 admissions@gmu.edu. (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.
  • Non-native English-speaking applicants are required to meet the University's English proficiency requirement  Applicants who will have completed four years (grades 9-12) of college preparatory English (excluding ESL and remedial English courses) at a U.​S.​ secondary school, excluding Puerto Rico, with grades of C or better in each course satisfy the requirement. 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 specific major is usually simultaneous. Certain majors have additional requirements for direct admission.

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.  Submit your application for admission to the university before scheduling auditions or portfolio reviews. Please be aware of the priority deadlines.

The School of Nursing admission committee requires a second review of freshman applications for direct admission to the Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN) major. Admission to the School of Nursing is highly competitive. Qualified applicants admitted to the University, but not to the School of Nursing will be Undeclared majors.

Spring and Fall 2021 applicants to Computer Science or Engineering majors may be considered if they have completed four years of high school mathematics courses. One course designated as a higher level than Algebra II must be completed by the senior year. All math courses must be completed with grades of B or better.

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.
  • Dual enrollment courses may be considered for transfer credit from U.S. colleges and universities holding Mason recognized accreditation.
  • 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

Homeschooled Students

We welcome applications from home-schooled students or those who have pursued pre-college educational opportunities that may not be accredited. For information on how to apply as a homeschooled student, please visit: 
https://www2.gmu.edu/admissions-aid/how-apply/freshman/homeschooled-students

Score Optional Consideration

In 2007, George Mason University was the first public university in the Commonwealth of Virginia to consider students without standardized test scores as part of their application process. Since then, we take a holistic approach to reviewing each application with great care. We understand the COVID-19 global pandemic presents new challenges and barriers to students, and we want to reemphasize that freshman applicants do not need ACT or SAT scores for any portion of the application process. We have removed all restrictions from Score Optional Consideration for freshman applicants to ensure that you may confidently apply without test scores, knowing your application will not be disadvantaged in any way for admission or merit-scholarship consideration. If you have questions, please contact your Admission Counselor via email.

We take a holistic approach to reviewing each application with great care. We continue to offer Score Optional consideration to show our commitment to student achievement and to demonstrate we value students holistically beyond standardized test scores. Students have the opportunity to decide if they would like to submit standardized test scores as a component of the application process. Students may believe the SAT or ACT test scores do not adequately reflect their level of academic achievement and/or predict their potential, or may not have access to standardized testing this year. Students are not penalized for selecting Score Optional Consideration. 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 weighted 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.

  • Students who apply Score Optional to computer science and engineering majors within the Volgenau School of Engineering will be considered if they have completed four years of high school mathematics courses. One course designated as a higher level than Algebra II must be completed by the senior year. All math courses must be completed with grades of B or better. 

NCAA Division I Student- Athletes

NCAA Division I athletic recruits are eligible to be considered for admission to Mason under the University’s score optional policy during the 2020-2021 academic year. This change is in accordance with the NCAA Eligibility Center’s flexibility for the 2020-2021 academic year. Student-athletes will not be required to present an ACT or SAT score to be reviewed for admission.

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.