George Mason University


Admitted International Students - FAQs

Deposit FAQs

Financial concerns are making it difficult to pay my deposit. I'd like to attend Mason this spring. What should I do?

Please reach out to your Admissions Counselor and we would be happy to assist you.

I've paid my enrollment deposit, what comes next?

Congratulations! We look forward to welcoming you to Mason this spring! You can find your Next Steps for Admitted Students in your application decision portal; log in and scroll down to the section below your decision and application checklist. You can also find information on the Next Steps for Admitted International Students page.

I-20 FAQs

What do I need in order to get my I-20 Form? When and how will I receive it?

All information on requirements for an I-20 form can be found on George Mason’s International Admissions website under the International Student Visa Information tab.

You will also receive emails from Admissions giving you step-by-step guides on what documents to assemble and submit.

In order to issue the I-20 forms, you will need to send a completed George Mason Certificate of Financial Responsibility, a clear copy of the photo page of your passport, and sufficient proof of funding.

International transfer students must also provide a completed Transfer-In form

Please upload your documents to

Once your I-20 is ready, George Mason University is permitted to issue electronic I-20 forms with digital signatures.

SEVP (Student and Exchange Visitor Program) is allowing this on a temporary basis so that schools can send I-20’s to students quickly and efficiently.  

I have received my I-20 Form and have applied for my student visa. When can I enter the U.S. and arrive on campus?

You may arrive in the U.S. no earlier than 30 days before the program start date listed on your Form I-20 or DS-2019.

We strongly advise you to hand-carry your important documents when you travel to U.S. including:

Please visit the Office of International Programs and Services (OIPS) website for useful information regarding travel tips, what to pack, and how to arrive on campus. They are a central resource for international students at Mason.

Housing FAQs

Will I be able to live on-campus for the spring 2021 semester?  

Decisions and information about on-campus housing are changing frequently. For the most up-to-date information, please visit the Housing and Residence Life website.

Records FAQs

My high school grades will be reported differently or not at all due to COVID-19. How will this affect my entry into Mason?

During the global COVID-19 pandemic, Mason Admissions anticipates that students will have pass/fail grades on high school transcripts, or have difficulty retrieving grades or transcripts.
Mason encourages you to do well in your academic coursework despite changes to grading policies or reporting.
Pass/fail grading: Mason sees passing grades in a positive light, and they won’t have a negative impact on your admission. If we have a question about a grade or a lack of reported grades, we’ll contact your school counselor or registrar.
If you have questions about your situation, talk to your Admissions Counselor.

AP, IB and A-Level exams have been cancelled or modified due to COVID-19. Will I still be able to obtain course credit?

To address the needs of AP, IB, and A-Level test-takers affected by COVID-19, George Mason University will accept AP, IB, and A-level examinations taken at home, or in accordance with the testing agency’s guidance, as official.

The change in testing format does not change how credits are awarded.

Please view our exam credit policy and course concordance list on the transfer credit policy page.

Please send official copies of your score reports to Mason when they are available. 

Please contact your admissions Admissions Counselor for clarification or further questions.

What is the deadline to submit my Immunization Record form?

All incoming students for the spring 2021 semester must submit the Immunization Record form by January 4, 2021. The Student Health Services Immunization Page can tell you more about the immunization requirements and frequently asked questions.

Deferment FAQs

I'm considering taking a "gap year" between high shool and college. How will this affect my entry into Mason? Who should I contact?

Mason fully supports students who decide on taking a gap year.

"What is a gap year?"  Mason defines a gap year as a year between high school and college when a student takes no classes and earns no credit at another institution. The time can be used for work, volunteering, and other personal pursuits.

 If this sounds like your situation, and you are planning to attend George Mason University upon completion of your gap year, please request a deferral to a subsequent start term.

You will need to remit your enrollment deposit to reserve your place in the class for your new, intended start term.

Deferral and reconsideration requests are made through the online application portal or contact your Admissions Counselor for assistance.

How will Mason handle deferrals due to COVID-19?

Students wishing to defer admission to George Mason University may submit a deferral request.

You may request to defer for one semester or one year.

To do so, please remit your enrollment deposit to reserve your spot for the term you wish to start at Mason.

Merit scholarships and deferment: How will I be affected?

If you are deferring from the Spring 2021 semester to a subsequent semester due to the global pandemic, George Mason University will honor your merit scholarship package. You will, however, need to re-file your Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA). Please reach out to your Admission Counselor for assistance.  

Academics FAQs

When can I meet with my academic advisor?

Students meet initially with academic advisors during their Orientation session. You will be assigned an advisor during Orientation, and your advisor looks forward to meeting with you then.

What do I do if I want to change my major? How do I declare a minor?

Please contact your Admissions Counselor and we can help you make that change. When you attend orientation, you are welcome to attend the Academic Advising session for the major you want to join, and you can sign up for classes recommended for your new major. You may also complete and submit the Change/Declaration of Academic Program during orientation, or you can wait and complete it once the fall semester has begun. 

Important note: some programs have selective credit/course requirements and may require additional classes or a different application process. Your advisor can help you chart the best course of action.

How does a college class schedule differ from a high school class schedule?

Your schedule in college is going to be vastly different from your high school schedule; you will not be in class for the same amount of time every day with club and activities scheduled within a set period of time before or after school. You are going to choose your classes, as well as what times you will be in class. Classes will also vary in length; you may have one class that meets twice a week for 75 minutes and another class that meets once a week for three hours. As a current student registering for classes, you will use a system called Patriot Scheduler, which will help you generate possible schedules based on the classes you choose. It makes the registration process easy! You will learn how to register for classes at Orientation.

After I complete Orientation, how can I contact my academic advisor?

Academic advisor contact information is available on the Academic Advising website.

What are Mason's plans regarding fall 2020 and spring 2021 semesters and the ongoing global pandemic?

On June 25, 2020, George Mason University published a Safe Return to Campus website with more information about the plans to academics and campus life for the fall 2020 and spring 2021 semesters.  Please monitor your emails and stay up-to-date on university announcements on Mason's Coronavirus Information page


Where can I find online information from the Student Accounts Office?

For information about payments, refunds, and other student accounts activities please visit the frequently asked questions section of the Student Accounts Office website.

Where can I find information about Orientation?

The Office of New Student and Family Programs website has more information about Orientation. Please visit their website or contact their office with your questions. The Office of New Student and Family Programs can be reached at or 703-993-2475.  

New Student Life FAQs

How can I take advantage of added free time while staying home?
  • Prioritize your health and well-being.
  • Visit and interact with the Mason Virtual Experience, where you can take a virtual tour of campus, watch some amazing videos and learn more about choosing Mason.
  • Stay in contact with us throughout your college decision process. Our team will continue to work with students and families, and we love to hear from you! You can always reach out to your Admissions Counselor so we can continue to assist you on your journey to become a Patriot.
  • Please use our online resources including our course catalog for more information about degree requirements and course offerings for your specific major.
  • For more details related to COVID-19 and updates from Mason, please visit the university's Coronavirus information page.
How can I connect with current Mason students?

Our current Mason students would love to connect with you! One way to connect is through the Mason Admissions’ social media accounts; we are active on Instagram, Facebook, and Twitter. The Mason Admissions’ YouTube channel features vlogs made by current Mason students and creators, Anika and Nick. These videos provide an inside look at Mason’s campus community, academic life, and student life and can be found here. We also offer the opportunity to meet one-on-one with an Admissions Counselor, and in that meeting, you can also meet with a current Mason student. Please reach out to your Admissions Counselor to schedule your virtual one-on-one, and request to have a current student be part of that meeting.

What is student life like at Mason?

There are many ways to get involved and opportunities to participate in free programs and events that Mason has to offer. We currently have over 500 student clubs and organizations to choose from! You can start browsing these options on the student engagement platform, Mason 360

What virtual visit options is Admissions offering students this time of year?

Admissions is offering virtual information sessions, virtual tours, and virtual one-on-one meetings (by request). Register for a session or to connect with a counselor. The virtual campus tour is accessible online at any time. We are also offering a limited number of on-campus information sessions for prospective and admitted students during fall 2020. Registration is first come, first served, and we have implemented safety protocols for all visitors including required face coverings, social distancing, and successful completion of the Mason COVID Health Check. We continue to monitor local and campus health conditions, and are prepared to move away from on-campus experiences if public health guidance dictates.  

How do I request a virtual meeting with Mason Admissions?

Virtual meeting appointments are available now for propsective and admitted freshman students seeking advice or information about the application process, next steps for admitted students, academic and experiential learning opportunities, or student and community life at Mason. Locate and contact your admission counselor via email using our Meet Your Counselor directory.