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Non-Degree Enrollment

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.

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.

    Semester Application Deadline
    Fall Semester August 1
    Spring Semester December 1
    Summer Session A May 5
    Summer Session B May 19
    Summer Session C June 16

    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.

  • 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 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.

    Semester Application Deadline
    Fall Semester August 1
    Spring Semester December 1
    Summer Session A May 5
    Summer Session B May 19
    Summer Session C June 16
  • 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.

    Admission is offered for one semester and students may enroll in a maximum of 10 undergraduate or graduate (100-799) credits. Applicants are responsible for meeting all course pre-requisites. Admitted Non-degree Graduate students are assessed graduate tuition rates for all (100-799) courses. 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.

    Additional non-degree study beyond the first semester requires a new application and admission review. 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.

    Semester Application Deadline
    Fall Semester August 1
    Spring Semester December 1
    Summer Session A May 5
    Summer Session B May 19
    Summer Session C June 16

All Non-degree applicants must complete the online application for admission and supply all official supporting documentation as requested by the Office of Admissions.

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
Semester Application Deadline
Fall Semester August 1
Spring Semester December 1
Summer Session A May 5
Summer Session B May 19
Summer Session C June 16

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 $15,000 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.

All application and admission requirements and deadlines apply to Senior Citizen Enrollment. 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.

Semester Application Deadline
Fall Semester August 1
Spring Semester December 1
Summer Session A May 5
Summer Session B May 19
Summer Session C June 16

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