George Mason University


International Students - FAQs

Deposit FAQs

Is the enrollment deposit deadline extended for incoming freshman?

Yes we will continue to accept the $250 enrollment deposit paid through the Fall 2020 deposit portal. If you have any questions, please reach out to your Admissions Counselor for assistance.

Financial concerns are making it difficult to pay my deposit. I'd like to attend Mason this fall. 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 the Class of 2024 this fall! 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.

Due to COVID-19, I am unable to get a visa appointment for my F-1 visa. Am I still able to start my classes for Fall 2020 on-campus?

We are monitoring the visa appointments world-wide very closely. We are hopeful that F-1 visas will gradually start being processed again soon, but we do not have further information. If you are unable to get your F-1 visa for Fall 2020 you can enroll in online classes for the semester. Please continue to check the Department of State website for the availability of visa appointments in your area.

I will be taking all my classes online for Fall 2020 from my home country. Do I still need an F-1 visa to take the online classes from home?

George Mason University will be offering many online classes for Fall 2020. If you enroll in classes from your home country, you will not need to get an F-1 visa. You are only required to have an F-1 visa if you are coming to the United States to take your classes.

Fall Semester FAQs

Will orientation be held on campus?

Portions of Summer 2020 International Student Orientation will be held in a virtual environment.

Session dates are available in June and July.

Registration for orientation opened March 23, 2020. You may access the registration form via your admissions portal.

*Before you register, you must complete your enrollment deposit and activate your Patriot Pass account.*

More information about the Orientation process and next steps will be communicated via e-mail by the Office of New Student and Family Programs.

What are Mason's plans regarding fall semester 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 semester.  Please monitor your emails and stay up-to-date on university announcements on Mason's Coronavirus Information page

I am interested in switching to Mason Korea for Fall 2020. How do I make the request to switch campuses?

You may switch your admission to the Mason Korea campus if you are unable to come to the United States for Fall 2020. If interested in this option, please contact the International Admissions Office to discuss the process with your request.

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.

Housing FAQs

Will I be able to live on-campus this fall?

It is our goal to house 4,500 total residents on-campus this fall. Decisions about housing are changing rapidly and 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.

My school is closed, and I am unable to get my 3rd quarter and final grades. How will this affect my entry into Mason?

We understand that given the unprecedented nature of the COVID-19 global pandemic, students and school counselors may have difficulty submitting mid-year, 3rd quarter or final grades to colleges and universities.  Please talk to your Admissions Counselor for assistance.

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.

I previously sent an unofficial transcripts and/or transcript evaluations. When are official transcript copies due?

Undergraduate transfer students have their official transcripts and an official evaluation from a NACES-approved service sent to us in early August.

Our current deadline for receiving these documents is August 10, 2020.

We will not grant transfer credits based on unofficial documents.

What is the deadline to submit my Immunization Record form?

All incoming students must submit the Immunization Record form by August 1, 2020. 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 Fall 2020 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 Admissions Counselor for assistance. 

I previously deferred admission and am considering additional deferral, what are my options?

George Mason University has altered its deferral policy in response to COVID-19.

Students who were admitted to begin studies in either the Fall 2019 or Spring 2020 term, and who subsequently requested and were approved for a deferral or reconsideration of their application by the appropriate deadline, will be permitted to request an additional deferral or reconsideration.

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

As a reminder, when you have deferred your admission, you are not permitted to take coursework at another institution.


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 Virtual Orientation, how can I contact my academic advisor?

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

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