George Mason University

Non-Degree

Not ready to commit to a degree program? Want to take a Summer Term class? Retired and ready to pursue your passion? Looking to gain new professional skills?

Non-degree status enables visiting students from other institutions who have no degree objective or community members seeking personal enrichment to enroll in courses for which they are qualified without seeking formal admission to a degree program. Enrollment in specific courses is based on eligibility criteria and availability of space in courses. Registration priority is given to degree-seeking students. Academic departments may restrict or prohibit non-degree enrollment in some courses. Applications submitted after the priority deadline will be processed as quickly as possible with no guarantee for enrollment.

Undergraduate Non-Degree Deadlines

Below are application deadlines for undergraduate non-degree students.

Note: graduate non-degree deadlines can be found under the specific college or school for your program or course of interest. These can be found at https://www2.gmu.edu/admissions-aid/how-apply/graduate/application-deadlines-and-requirements.

Semester Application Deadline
Fall Semester August 24
Spring Semester December 1
Summer Term A, B or C May 1

Categories of Non-Degree Students

George Mason University enrolls non-degree students in three categories:

High School Guest Matriculants

Exceptionally talented high school juniors and seniors may be considered for dual enrollment in lower-level (100-299) undergraduate courses. These applicants will be evaluated based on their academic performance in high school. Only students who have excelled in high school and demonstrate the preparation and maturity indicative of the potential to succeed in Mason's competitive course work will be admitted. Mason cannot guarantee that courses will fulfill high school graduation requirements or that courses taken while the student is a high school guest matriculant will transfer to other institutions. High school dual enrollment students may enroll for one course each semester or in Summer Term C. An official high school transcript and written permission of the high school counselor is required for admission consideration. Non-native speakers of English are required to meet the University minimum TOEFL/IELTS requirement. The Admissions Committee may ask for other supporting documentation such as test scores or transcripts from other dual enrollment credit.

High School Guest Matriculant Special Programs

Select high school students may be invited to participate in one of several partnership programs offered through George Mason University. Students enrolled in Guest Matriculant Special Programs have unique admissions and enrollment requirements set forth by the University. Only those students that meet these requirements and agree to the University Honor Code will be admitted. Mason cannot guarantee that non-degree credit awarded will fulfill requirements at other institutions.

Application Instructions

  1. Apply online
  2. Submit the application and non-refundable application fee
  3. Allow 3 business days for processing and check your application status online
  4. Provide any documentation requested by the Office of Non-Degree Enrollment
  5. Look for decision email
Undergraduate Non-Degree Students

Visiting undergraduate students from other colleges or universities or community members who have completed one academic year of course work at a regionally accredited institution may be considered for Undergraduate Non-degree admission. Students who are in F/J visa status may not enroll in non-degree courses. Students who intend to transfer to Mason to earn a bachelor’s degree are ineligible for Non-degree study. To be considered for admission, Non-degree Undergraduate applicants must present a minimum 2.00 cumulative grade point average and be eligible to return to all previous institutions attended. Non-native speakers of English are required to meet the University minimum TOEFL/IELTS requirement. Students who are actively suspended or dismissed will not be offered admission. Admission is offered for one semester and students may enroll in a maximum of 10 undergraduate (100-499) credits. Applicants are responsible for meeting all course pre-requisites. Admitted Non-degree Undergraduate students are assessed undergraduate tuition rates. Non-degree students are ineligible for financial aid. Additional non-degree study beyond the first semester requires a new application and admission review. Non-degree Undergraduate students are expected to maintain a 2.00 or better Mason GPA and are subject to the academic policies outlined in the University Catalog.

Select undergraduate students may be invited to participate in one of several partnership programs offered through George Mason University. Students enrolled in special Non-degree Undergraduate programs have unique admissions and enrollment requirements set forth by the University. Only students that meet these requirements and agree to the University Honor Code will be admitted. Mason cannot guarantee that non-degree credit awarded will fulfill requirements at other institutions.

Application Instructions

  1. Apply online
  2. Submit the application and non-refundable application fee
  3. Allow 3 business days for processing and check your application status online
  4. Provide any documentation requested by the Office of Non-Degree Enrollment
  5. Look for decision email
Graduate Non-Degree Students

Important Note: Before application you are encouraged to consult the Schedule of Classes and the academic department offering the course(s) of interest. Certain graduate courses are restricted to degree-seeking students only.

Current graduate students visiting from other colleges or universities or community members who hold a conferred baccalaureate degree from a regionally accredited institution may be considered for Graduate Non-degree admission. The minimum standard for Graduate Non-degree admission is a 3.00 cumulative grade point average on the baccalaureate record. Non-native speakers of English are required to meet the University minimum TOEFL/IELTS requirement. Official TOEFL/IELTS scores must be received directly from the testing agency. Official transcript(s) documenting the entire baccalaureate record are required. Applicants who present Ministry of Education recognized international transcripts are also required to provide an official NACES approved course-by-course credential evaluation.

Non-degree graduate students may enroll in a maximum of 10 undergraduate or graduate (100-799) credits per semester. Applicants are responsible for meeting all course pre-requisites. Non-degree Graduate students are ineligible for financial aid. Meeting the minimum standard for Graduate Non-degree study neither guarantees admission nor implies future admission to a degree-seeking program. Among the factors that may be considered in the admissions process are previous academic performance, professional experience and academic fit.

Non-degree Graduate students are expected to maintain a 3.00 or better Mason GPA and are subject to the academic policies outlined in the University Catalog.

More Information

All Non-degree applicants must complete the online admission application and submit a non-refundable application processing fee. The Admissions Committee may request supporting transcripts or test scores.

Admitted and enrolled non-degree students are responsible for the same policies and procedures that apply to degree-seeking students, including the University Honor Code and the Code of Student Conduct.

George Mason University Employees

The Office of Admissions welcomes applications from all George Mason University employees who wish to enroll in Non-degree courses. Employees are required to meet the same admission criteria and deadlines as non-employees for degree or non-degree seeking enrollment.

Full-and part-time faculty, administrative and professional faculty, classified staff, and non-student wage employees are eligible for the University Employee Tuition Exemption benefit, subject to University Policy #2209. The Office of Admissions waives the application fee for these students as well as Mercatus Center employees. Full-time students, graduate assistants and student wage employees are not eligible for a tuition exemption or application fee waiver.

Application Instructions

  1. Apply online
  2. Select the Employee Fee Waiver at the end of the application
  3. Provide any documentation requested by the Office of Admissions
  4. Transcripts are not required for administrative, professional and teaching faculty
  5. Provide a copy of your MASON ID to the Office of Admissions
  6. Admission decisions are communicated to employees via the Mason email account
  7. Register for courses
  8. Submit the Tuition Exemption form
Senior Citizen Enrollment

Mason welcomes applications from Virginia’s Seniors. Under the terms of the Senior Citizens Higher Education Act of 1974, eligible Virginia residents, 60 years or older with a taxable income of less than $23,850 may apply to take university courses for credit in either degree or non-degree seeking status without paying tuition. Admitted senior citizens may register to audit courses regardless of income level.

Senior Citizens are required to meet all admission criteria and deadlines detailed in the Undergraduate or Graduate Non-Degree sections above. The University waives the application fee for Seniors enrolling under the Senior Citizens Higher Education Act of 1974. The application fee waiver must be requested by the applicant before online application submission.

Application Instructions

  1. Apply online and select the Senior Citizen Application Fee Waiver option at the end of the application
  2. Allow 3 business days for processing and check your application status online
  3. Provide any documentation requested by the Office of Non-Degree Enrollment
  4. Review enrollment information and submit Tuition Waiver form to the Office of the University Registrar
  5. Look for decision email
Certificate Programs

The University offers a number of undergraduate and graduate certificate programs. Enrollment in a certificate program requires the student to be in degree-seeking status. If you are interested in a certificate program, do not submit a non-degree application.

Non-Degree Academic Advising

Non-degree Undergraduate students may seek academic advising from the Office of Academic Advising, Retention and Transitions. Graduate Non-degree students may seek academic advising from the academic department offering their course(s) of interest.

Grades earned through non-degree studies remain a part of the student's permanent non-degree record and are recorded on the university non-degree transcript. They will not appear on the degree transcript unless the student is accepted to a degree program and permission is given by the dean to apply the non-degree credit to the degree program. A maximum of 30 undergraduate credits taken in non-degree status may apply to an undergraduate degree program if approved by the relevant program dean.

International Students

International students holding F or J visas are typically not admitted in non-degree status. Exceptions exist for those students enrolled in INTO Mason Pathway and English Language Programs or those who attend George Mason University pursuant to the terms of an exchange agreement or memorandum of understanding between Mason and their home university.

Additional Resources
Admitted Non-Degree Students

Admitted Non-Degree students are generally eligible to register upon admission. Be sure to consult the University Academic Calendar to check your registration date. University registration, enrollment and payment policies are governed by the Office of the University Registrar and the Office of Student Accounts. Be sure to meet all deadlines to avoid late registration fees.

Restricted Programs

Note: Before submitting any graduate non-degree application please review the following restricted programs. Visiting students who are in a degree-seeking program at another college or university will be classified as visiting students and admitted to one term only.

Please click on the headings below for more information.

College of Education and Human Development (CEHD)

Each program within CEHD has different restrictions on non-degree enrollment. Please consult the CEHD Non-degree chart.

Non-degree students are ineligible to enroll in 800-level courses in any CEHD program.

College of Health and Human Services (CHHS)

For important information regarding program-specific restrictions, please visit: http://chhs.gmu.edu/admissions/non-degree.cfm.

Graduate Social Work (SOCW) courses are unavailable to non-degree students.

Non-degree students are ineligible to enroll in 800-level courses in any CHHS program.

College of Humanities and Social Sciences (CHSS)

The following Anthropology (ANTH) courses are unavailable to non-degree students: ANTH 535, ANTH 536, ANTH 650.

The following Communication (COMM) courses are unavailable to non-degree students: COMM 600, COMM 650. Permission of the instructor is required for 700-level courses.

Graduate-level Cultural Studies (CULT) courses are unavailable to non-degree students.

Graduate-level Economics (ECON) courses are available to non-degree students only with the approval of the course instructor.

Non-degree students may not take graduate-level creative writing courses in the English Department without first obtaining permission of either the program director or the instructor of a specific course. Samples of original creative work will be required before such permission is granted.

Graduate course enrollment in Psychology for non-degree students is welcome, but must be approved by the instructor in advance. This is likely appropriate for numerous 500- and 600-level courses (and only a few at the 700-level or above), as long as the student has the required prerequisites or equivalent. The following (clinical assessment and intervention) courses are unavailable to non-degree students: Psyc 709, 710, 722, 750, 751,790, 810, 811, 816, 822, 823, 831, 832, 851, 860, 862, 881, 883, 885, 888.

Non-degree students are ineligible to take 800-level courses in any CHSS program.

College of Science (COS)

Students are ineligible to enroll in any course offered by the Advanced Biomedical Sciences (ABS) program.

Non-Degree students are ineligible to take 800-level courses in any COS program.

College of Visual and Performing Arts (CVPA)

Graduate coursework in the School of Art, School of Music, or School of Dance require either auditions or portfolio reviews. Descriptions of portfolio requirements are listed here: http://soa.gmu.edu/academics/graduate-programs.html. Interested Dance or Music applicants should speak with their appropriate department to schedule an audition. Non-degree students are not accepted into graduate-level courses without these reviews.

Non-degree students are ineligible to enroll in 800-level courses in any CVPA program.

Krasnow Institute for Advanced Study

Non-degree students are ineligible to enroll in 800-level courses in any program within the Krasnow Institute.

School of Conflict Analysis and Resolution (SCAR)

Non-Degree students are ineligible to enroll in 800-level courses within the School for Conflict Analysis and Resolution.

School of Law

Non-Degree students are not permitted within Mason’s School of Law.

School of Business

The M.B.A. Plus program allows holders of an M.B.A. from an AACSB International – accredited program to enroll in graduate business courses. Non-degree graduate enrollment is restricted to participants in the M.B.A. Plus Program. For additional information, contact the School of Business Graduate Admissions Office at 703-993-2136 or visit the School of Business website.

Non-Degree students are otherwise not permitted in School of Business coursework.

Schar School of Policy and Government

The Schar School of Policy and Government prohibits non-degree students from enrolling in 800-level Ph.D. courses, or 700-level courses in the Organization Development and Knowledge Management program (ODKM).

Volgenau School of Engineering (VSE)

The Volgenau School of Engineering prohibits non-degree students from enrolling in 700 and 800-level courses in all programs, as well as certificate-specific courses.

A senior student works on a project

Student works on projects inside the Art and Design building.