Skip to content

Program Selection and Application

A successful education abroad experience starts with thoughtful research, planning, and preparation. While at first the process may seem overwhelming, it is really quite simple. Follow these step-by-step procedures and soon you'll be studying abroad! Remember, the Global Education Office (GEO) staff is here to help. Please do not hesitate to contact us with your questions or concerns.

Step 1: Talk to Your Study Abroad Coordinator

Your application process begins at your home institution. Contact your study abroad or international education office and tell them about your interest in becoming an exchange student. Once your home institution nominates you, you will start working with George Mason University's Global Education Office (GEO).

Step 2: Determine Eligibility

Please consult with the study abroad office at your home university to determine your eligibility and application requirements. You must be at least in your second year of your bachelor’s degree program and have the equivalent of a 2.50 cumulative GPA or higher.

"...Mason has a high standard of English proficiency for admission. Mason requires applicants to meet that English proficiency standard. Students who have completed a full high school degree/diploma program from a regionally accredited university in the United States, Canada (excluding province of Quebec), United Kingdom, Ireland, Australia, and New Zealand are considered to have met that standard. All other applicants are required to show further evidence of English proficiency..."

Source: Mason Office of Admissions


Step 3: Submit Your Application

Submit the MasonAbroad Online Application. Click on "Apply Now" to apply. You will need to create a profile and follow the instructions given by the application system. Note that you will be asked to upload a copy of valid passport(s).

Next, you will complete the Admissions Application for Non-Degree Students. As part of the application process, the online application will prompt you to submit the following documentation:

  • Official TOEFL, IBT, or IELTS score report (may be sent to George Mason University Undergraduate Admissions Office). Electronic copy of TOEFL to be sent to testing code is 5827
  • Certificate of Financial Responsibility (click on the green link in the middle of the page to access the form). Please note: exchange students come on a J-1 visa and will request form DS-2019.
  • Proof of funding in the amount of at least $11,000 per semester provided in English.
  • Official academic transcripts in English from all higher education institutions you have attended.

Documents To Be Submitted In Hard Copy

  • In addition to uploading the transcrip online, hardcopies of all official academic transcripts in English from all higher education institutions you have attended will need to be submitted to the office of Admissions. Please mail to:
  • George Mason University
    Office of Admissions
    4400 University Drive, MSN 3A4
    Fairfax VA 22030

Proof of funding options:

  • Your own bank statement(s) showing sufficient resources for the time to be spent as a student in the U.S. Originals are preferred. The account holder's name and total funds must be shown.
  • A sponsor’s original bank statement, such as your parent’s bank statement if they agree to sponsor you, with an original letter from your sponsor stating that they are willing to support you on exchange and the funds in the statement are to be made available for that use.
  • A letter from your bank / your sponsor’s bank with an original signature demonstrating you have sufficient funds for exchange. This may be of use if you do not wish to disclose your account details or the balance of your / your sponsor’s account.

Letters from sponsors alone CANNOT be accepted.

Scholarship letters from previous terms CANNOT be accepted.

Once these documents have been received and reviewed by the Global Education Office (GEO), instructions will be sent to you regarding your next steps.

Step 4: After Acceptance

If accepted, your study abroad office will be notified by email. Then, you will be issued an official acceptance packet by postal mail which will include the appropriate documents to support your application for a J-1 visiting student visa at your local U.S. Embassy or Consulate.

It is your responsibility to log on to the SEVIS (Student and Exchange Visitor Information System) website, pay your SEVIS fee to the Department of Homeland Security, and schedule your visa interview as soon as you learn that you are accepted.

You are advised to wait until after receiving your visa to purchase your airfare.

After being accepted to study abroad at Mason, you will need to fill out the Immunization Record Form and email us your housing and dining preferences.

Requesting an Extension

Many students go abroad with the intention of staying one semester, but end up so excited with their program that they want to stay another semester. If you wish to extend your semester or exchange program abroad, you MUST contact your Program Officer. The program extension form is available at Mason's Office of International Programs and Services.

Direct exchange students: please note circumstances such as other competitive applications and exchange program balances must be considered before your application can be approved. Consult with your Program Officer immediately.