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External Programs

You can’t find a study abroad program that excites you? Once you have explored the various programs offered by the Global Education Office (GEO) you may find you have an academic need not met by our programming. This does not mean that you cannot study abroad! Mason will allow active, degree-seeking students to participate in any accredited program and earn transfer credits toward their degree.

Step 1: Choose your Study Abroad Program
  • Your study abroad program can be through a third party provider or you can apply directly to a university overseas.
  • Make sure you select an *accredited* host institution. If the university is not accredited, you will not be able to transfer your credits back to Mason. The Global Education Office (GEO) provides a resource library of programs and institutions in the office. You may also access a list of online resources below to find the program that best works for you.
  • When searching for a study abroad program, it is important to look at the courses offered to determine if the institution provides enough courses to satisfy the needs of your degree.
Step 3: Consult with Necessary Mason Departments
  • Global Education Office (GEO): Meet with the External Study Abroad Program Officer.
  • Academic Advisor: Determine if the courses available at your desired study abroad program will apply to your degree plan. Begin getting approval for the courses you would like to attempt to transfer back to Mason through the Petition for Transfer of Credits Form.
  • Financial Aid Counselor: Inform your financial aid counselor you are studying abroad on an External Study Abroad program.
Step 4: Apply to the Program
  • Apply directly to the External Study Abroad program provider or university. Contact the External Study Abroad Program Officer if you need a nomination or recommendation for your application.
  • Begin the External Study Abroad program application. Wait to pay the administrative fee until you’ve been accepted to your program by the provider or university.
Step 5: Complete the Petition for Transfer of Credits Form
  • Once the appropriate departments and your academic advisor have signed the form, submit it to the External Study Abroad Program Officer in Johnson Center 235. The Program Officer will then sign it and submit it to your assistant or associate dean for approval.
Step 6: Complete Your Applications and Pay the Non-Refundable Administrative Fee
Step 7: Request Your Transcripts
  • Upon returning to Mason, request your transcript to be sent directly to the External Study Abroad Program Officer at the Global Education Office (GEO).
    The mailing address is:
    Dianna Leonard
    Global Education Office (GEO)
    Johnson Center, Room 235
    4400 University Drive, MS2B8
    Fairfax, VA 22030

Do NOT have your transcript sent to the Office of the University Registrar!

Please Note

George Mason University policy requires that any foreign transcript not presented in English must be officially translated by an accredited translation service provider. For information on qualified translators, please contact the American Translators Association or another recognized translation service such as University Language Service.

*If you take any classes that were not approved on your Petition for Transfer of Credits Form, you are not guaranteed transfer of these credits.
*The Global Education Office (GEO), the Office of the Registrar, and the Office of Admissions have the FINAL AUTHORITY in determining whether or not an institution is accredited.


Read more about External Study Abroad

Petition for Transfer of Credits Form

The Petition for Transfer of Credits Form is required in order to receive credit for courses taken at an accredited institution abroad.

Download Petition for Transfer of Credits Form