FAQs: Graduate Students


I've been offered an assistantship to start in the fall of 2020. Can I defer enrolling and acceptance of my assistantship to a future semester?

You can request a deferral of your acceptance and start in a future term up to one academic year. 

Keep in mind that not all programs offer automatic admission deferrals. Some require a reconsideration, which means that your application will be re-reviewed for a future term. Acceptance is not guaranteed for those who must go through the reconsideration process.

 Additionally, assistantships and other funding is not guaranteed if you defer the start of your program.

For more information, contact Graduate Admissions, as they can provide you with specifics about your program and guidance on how to move forward. 

Assistantships and other funding are not guaranteed if you defer the start of your program.

Contact your academic department prior to deferring admission for details on whether funding will be available to you should you choose to defer your admission. 

I have been admitted to Mason and need to provide my final document(s). How do I do that?

As your offer letter states, you must submit a final, official transcript for every degree you have earned that is a bachelor's degree or higher. Your degree conferral date MUST be listed on the document. 

An official transcript is one that is sent directly to our Office of Graduate Admissions from your institution either electronically or through the mail.

If you have received your bachelor's degree or higher from Mason, you are not required to submit those transcripts. The requirement is only for transcripts from other institutions. 

We can only accept electronic transcript submissions from domestic institutions. 

Mailed transcripts from your institution can be sent to:

Final Transcript Submission

George Mason University

Office of Graduate Admissions MSN-4C8

4400 University Drive, Fairfax, VA 22030.

If you have questions about what is required for your official transcripts, see our Newly Admitted Student information (sub-section: Graduate) for the full details. If you have questions or concerns, email Graduate Admissions or call 703-993-9700.  

Aid, Graduate Assistantships, and On-Campus Employment

Is financial aid being distributed as usual?

Financial aid should be dispersed 10 days prior to the start of every semester.   

How are Graduate Teaching Assistants, Graduate Research Assistants, Graduate Professional Assistants, and graduate student wage positions affected?

Students holding these positions should be attentive to their employment responsibilities while protecting their health and that of others.

Graduate students who hold teaching or research appointments should discuss remote options with their supervisors, in consultation with their graduate program director.

Supervisors are asked to be as accommodating as possible.

Questions about assistantship contracts and work expectations for the 2020-21 academic year also should be directed to your supervisor or hiring unit.

Human Resources can offer more details.

Are there work-on-campus options?

If you are unable to perform your work responsibilities remotely, contact your supervisor or hiring unit to discuss the possibility of working a safe location on campus.  

Are there university resources for scholarships, fellowships, and graduate assistantships when departments can't provide them?

Departments and colleges/schools are making every effort to provide tuition and stipend support at the same level as pre-COVID-19. The university is also exploring additional funding solutions for graduate students. 

How can I register for the school-provided health insurance subsidy if it is part of my funding package?

Check with your hiring unit to confirm eligibility. If eligible, your hiring unit will provide instructions on how and when to enroll. Be sure that you enroll online with the insurance provider by the enrollment deadline. 

Fall 2020 Plans

How has the class schedule been affected?

Fall 2020 graduate course offerings and schedule are now available. The schedule will continue to update regularly, including minor changes based on academic units’ requests.  

Will a normal slate of courses be available?

Every academic unit has worked to offer a variety of course offerings and methods of delivery.

If you don't see a required course in your preferred mode of delivery, contact your graduate program’s director or advisor. They will help you adjust your course schedule while maximizing both safety and academic progress. 


I live with family members who are in the vulnerable age group, but have an on-campus class. Is there an accommodation for me?

Students are strongly encouraged to choose courses delivered in a way that best meets their academic needs, comfort level, and personal circumstances. 

If a course that you need is not offered in the modality that meets your personal circumstances, register with Office of Disability Services to assess potential accommodations, modifications or adjustments. 

Contact your graduate program director, coordinator, or academic advisor to discuss alternative coursework. 

There are no guarantees that an accommodation that meets your personal needs will be available. 

I have synchronous and hybrid classes on the same day and can't make it home in time to sign in. Will I have a place on campus to log in and take my synchronous class?

Physically distanced seating affording will be available on campus throughout the student centers, academic buildings, and Mason Libraries. Individual study rooms will be available in the libraries on a reservation basis.

If you are unable to travel home in between courses with different methods of delivery, contact your graduate program director, coordinator, or advisor to adjust your fall 2020 course schedule while maximizing both safety and academic progress OR discuss appropriate accommodations and the possibilities to be in a safe location on campus. 


What arrangements are being made for graduate students approaching their time-limit to advancement to candidacy or to complete their degree requirements?

If the COVID-19 pandemic has affected your academic progress, units and the Office of Graduate Education will continue to follow Graduate Policies but will provide appropriate consideration and accommodations to those approaching their time limit to advancement to candidacy or degree completion requirements on a case-by-case basis.

Students should discuss their situations with faculty advisors and program directors as soon as possible.  

Graduate Student Life

Will the quarantine dorm provide a computer lab so students can work if they feel well enough?

No. If you're in quarantine/isolation, you must remain in your room, which has an attached bathroom. Meals/linens/essentials will be provided, and you will have Wi-Fi access for electronic devices. If there is a hardship around some need, request help from a care and outreach coach.

Can I buy an occasional parking pass instead of purchasing a full semester/year pass?

Parking Services will have various daily, weekly and monthly options in addition to semester permits. However, Parking Services cannot offer a permit that allows a certain number of uses over a period of time as they are calendar defined.  

International Students

Have there been changes to the online study rules?

Rules from March, permitting online study because of the COVID emergency, will remain in place. You can find more information from the U.S. Government’s Student and Exchange Visitor program. (PDF) Make sure you are reading the latest version. 

Can I get some guidance on my immigration status?

Students with F-1 and J-1 visas can get information from the Office of International Programs and Services (OIPS).

OIPS staff is working remotely, scheduling virtual advising appointments with students and accepting document requests online. This will continue through the fall semester. 

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