Launched in 1995, the Oxford Semester Experience is GEO's most prestigious program.
Each semester, organized with our partner in Oxford, a small group of high achieving Mason undergraduate and graduate students are selected to study as affiliated students at one of a variety of Oxford colleges. The world-famous University of Oxford is the prestigious alma mater of many presidents and prime ministers.
Each semester consists of two parts: a traditional course taught by the attending Mason faculty (Academic Director) and the Oxford Term when students take part in traditional Oxford tutorials. Oxford's unique tutorial system gives participants unparalleled individual attention through weekly one-on-one meetings with an Oxford scholar. Each student is guided through an intellectual exploration of their chosen discipline. Oxford tutorials are designed as 1-on-1, or small group, intensive learning experiences between the Mason student and Oxford faculty
Tutorials are offered in the social sciences, theoretical sciences, business, and the humanities. During tutorials, students are expected to do substantial independent library work and periodically produce written essays and oral presentations. At the close of the program, participants produce a portfolio of their work, which consists of a two-page reflection of their experience and copies of their tutorial work.
Click through the brochure tabs to learn more about this program. Tab explanation below:
- Overview: Brief history and explanation of Oxford program, tab explanations
- Academics: Program eligibility, tutorials clarification, credit information, Mason Faculty course information
- Housing: location, Oxford Experience
- Financial Info: Program inclusions and exclusions, program payment deadlines, financial aid information, link to scholarships
- Application Resources: Program dates, Application materials and samples, visa information
- Contact: Mason faculty and GEO contact information
In order to participate in this program, you must meet the following eligibility requirements:
- GPA: 3.0 for undergraduate and graduate students
- Students will attend Oxford in Associate Member status
Oxford Semester Experience is offered fall and spring semester. Each semester consists of two parts: a traditional course taught by the attending Mason Academic Director and the Oxford term when students take part in traditional Oxford tutorials.
- Graduate students receive a total of 9 resident credits: three graduate semester credits for the Academic Director course. The graduate student will take two tutorials, three graduate semester credits for each.
- Undergraduate students receive a total of 15 resident credits: three undergraduate semester credits for the Academic Director course. The undergraduate student will take two tutorials, six undergraduate credits for each.
- Fall Semester (Oxford’s Michaelmas term): The experience begins with a course taught by the Academic Director. Participants leave for England in late August or early September. This arrival date allows program participants adequate time to settle into living quarters and complete the Academic Director's course. The course is upper-level and is enhanced by visits to museums or sites related to the course topic. Topics change each semester based on the Academic Director's expertise and discipline. Once the regular Oxford term starts in October (terms are shorter and more intensive than Mason's), each student will take two primary tutorials.
- Spring Semester (Oxford's Hilary term): The experience begins with the Oxford term. Participants depart the U.S. in early January. The regular Oxford term (tutorials) start immediately. Spring semester participants also take two primary tutorials. Tutorials end in early March and are then followed by a three-week course taught by the Mason Academic Director. This course utilizes skills developed in the tutorial.
To see the tutorials taken by former program participants and the Mason credits they were able to obtain approval for, see: the Oxford Tutorials by Major
*. Note: You are not limited to these courses. These are examples of what previous participants have taken while at Oxford
*Please note, course approvals are dependent upon the individual and the content of their tutorials. The approvals listed in the document are not guaranteed course approvals for every student. Students should speak to the department who offers the credit they wish to obtain to inquire about credit approvals for their semester in Oxford.
Academic Director Course Spring 2022
During the spring semester, the experience ends with the course taught by the AD. During the fall semester, the experience begins with the course taught by the Academic Director (AD).
AD courses vary by term as the AD position is rotated through a variety of Mason's best professors. Dr. Laura Poms
will be the spring 2022 AD. AD courses are accompanied by field trips and vary based on the AD's expertise. See below for a description of the upcoming AD course:
Course offered by the Academic Director in Spring 2022: Public Health in the United Kingdom
This course explores the ways in which political, social, and economic institutions and practices influence the history of disease, its understanding, and its control within the context of public health in the United Kingdom. We will examine the historical foundations of public health and epidemiology, visiting several important locations We will compare and contrast United States health care system with Britain’s National Health Service.
- Describe key events in UK public health history that influence how public health is currently practiced in Britain and the United States
- Compare and contrast the United States health care system with the UK's National Health Service
- Compare and contrast UK and US public health problems
- Identify appropriate UK public health strategies to United States public health challenges
Dates may vary slightly year-to-year. Confirmed dates will be at the bottom of the page in the Dates/Deadlines section and will be communicated by GEO. Below is the schedule for Michaelmas and Hilary term:
Spring 2022 dates:
- Arrival to Oxford: January 11, 2022 (depart U.S. on January 10, 2022)
- Oxford orientation: January 12 - 14, 2022
- Oxford tutorials: January 17 - March 11, 2022
- Travel week: March 12 - 20, 2022
- Mason Academic Director course: March 21 - April 15, 2022
- Move out: April 20, 2022
Fall Semester (Michaelmas term):
- Arrival date: late August / early September
- Mason course: month of September
- Travel week: last week of September
- Oxford orientation: First week of October
- Oxford tutorials/lectures begin: Second week of October
- “Official” end of Oxford term : First week of December
- Move out date: Mid-December | around December 20 each year
Spring Semester (Hilary term):
- Arrival date: mid-January (date varies slightly year-to-year)
- Oxford orientation: Immediately upon arrival (day after program start date)
- Oxford tutorials/lectures begin: mid-to-late January
- “Official” end of Oxford term: mid-March
- Travel week: After Oxford tutorials, mid-to-late March
- Mason course: end of March through mid-April
- Move out date: mid-April | around April 20 each year
Students participating in this study abroad program will automatically fulfill the Mason Global Understanding core requirement.
Housing is located within a ten-to-fifteen minute walk of the central area of Oxford, defined as St. Anne's College on the North, Magdalen Bridge on the East, the Railroad Station on the West and Folly Bridge on the South. Students will be housed in shared units with other Oxford students. More information can be found in the materials provided by our partner, The Oxford Study Abroad Programme (OSAP). All of the housing provided by OSAP are historic and full of English charm.
All housing units have a kitchen, with an oven, stove, microwave, kettle, toaster, cookware (a baking tray, saucepans, frying pans, knives, assorted utensils, a chopping board), plates, bowls, cups, glasses and cutlery.
The Oxford Experience
While abroad at Oxford, students have access to the complete Oxford experience because they are directly affiliated with one of the school's individual colleges. As an affiliate, students can take part in the college's social, intellectual, and athletic activities. Examples include playing rugby, rowing on the crew team, or singing in the college choir.
Mason students will attend Oxford as Associate Status members. Associate Member status for undergraduates offers affiliation in the Junior Common Room (JCR). The Junior Common Room is the equivalent of the Student Union of each college at Oxford University. Graduate students with Associate Member status will be affiliated with the Middle Common Room (MCR) of an Oxford college where they can socialize with Oxford University graduate students.
Spring 2022: $19,995
The Program Cost for study abroad courses is assessed separately from Mason tuition and fees. This means separate charges will be put on your student account for this program, including a study abroad tuition charge and a study abroad program fee charge which together equals the published Program Cost for this course.
- Application deposit
- Tuition and mandatory fees
- Cultural visits
- Pre-departure orientation
- International emergency insurance
- Administrative services in Oxford and at George Mason University
- Visa fees
- Personal spending
- Domestic transportation to and from Oxford
- COVID-19 testing in the U.S. before departure
- COVID-19 testing while abroad
- Required textbooks and/or course materials
*Note: This program does not include a group flight. Information regarding arrival times and location will be sent out to all participants after the application deadline. Do not purchase airfare until you receive the "Green Light for Flights" notice from the Global Education Office via email.
The notice will include information on the arrival/departure airports, flight times, and where to go upon arrival. Students who fail to follow the guidelines GEO sends out will be responsible for applicable costs of changing their flights. When the time comes to purchase airfare, GEO will be recommending the purchase of Flight Interruption and Cancellation Insurance. The “Green Light for Flights” email will provide additional information about this insurance.
The full program fee is charged to your Mason Student Account. Students pay the Global Education Office (GEO) Program Fee as advertised in two payments (Application Deposit + Final Payment).
Application Deposit: $200 non-refundable Application Deposit must be received by the application deadline. This fee is paid online through the MasonAbroad application system and is included in the program fee.
The final balance payment is made through the Mason Bill+Payment system. Payment is due according to the Mason Payment Schedule
. The amount due is the difference of your Program Cost minus the $200 you will have already paid, the Application Deposit.
: You can make your final payment in the Mason Bill+Payment system even if you do not see the GEO program charge on your student account. George Mason University applies payments to outstanding charges first. If you have an outstanding balance from a previous semester your payments will first go to paying that charge. You will still be responsible for the GEO charge.
In most cases, financial aid (federal, state, institutional financial aid, scholarships, grants or loans) can be used to finance study abroad. It is the student’s responsibility to check with the Office of Financial Aid to review their financial aid package. The Office of Financial Aid is the only office that can determine your aid eligibility.
Meeting with your financial aid officer prior to applying to study abroad will help you understand if, how much, and when your aid can be used to study abroad.
Confirmation of your financial aid award may not be available until registration and billing for the term in question is final. If aid eligibility changes, or the amount of aid disbursed is lower than anticipated, students are responsible for all remaining account balances or risk late fees, holds on their accounts, and program dismissal.
To assist students in the processing of their financial aid, GEO will communicate with the Office of Financial aid those students who plan to utilize financial aid for their specific study abroad program through their application with GEO. Please note there is no guarantee to students that their aid can be utilized for their specific study abroad program.
If you plan to use federal, state, institutional financial aid, scholarships, grants or loans to finance your study abroad you must:
- Mark "Yes" to "Do you plan to use Financial Aid to finance your program (federal, state, institutional financial aid, scholarships, grants or loans)?" in your profile in MasonAbroad.gmu.edu.
*Students must be enrolled at least half-time for federal loans and the majority of grant funds. Please refer to the Financial Aid Website for a definition of half-time for undergraduate and graduate students: https://www2.gmu.edu/admissions-aid/financial-aid/eligibility.
: This program is ineligible for VA Benefits.
Withdrawal and Refund Policy:
All participants are bound by the Mason GEO Withdrawal and Refund Policy.
For more information on payments, financial aid, and information for non-Mason students:
GEO offers a number of need- and merit-based scholarships. All Mason students are welcome to apply:
Fall/Academic Year: April 10
Spring/Calendar Year: October 10
*See the bottom of this page for the exact deadlines for the upcoming term(s).
Applications are completed online. You can start an application by clicking the "apply now" button at the top right or bottom of the page. Applicants will need to prepare the following materials to submit with their application. Applicants are encouraged to start an application even if all materials have not been gathered. Below are the materials needed to complete the application:
Students can start their application and complete it at a later time. Applications will not be considered complete until all application items are complete and the application fee has been paid.
- Recent typed writing sample (no more than 5 pages)
- One page typed autobiographical statement of academic objectives
- Prompts and guidance for the statement of purpose can be found in the application
- Paragraph descriptions for four proposed tutorial topic selections (two first choices & two back ups)
- Completed Oxford Resident Credit Petition Form
- Names and email addresses of two recent George Mason University professors who have agreed to write academic letters of recommendation
- One passport size identity photo
- Applicants will upload a copy of their current Patriot Web transcript (graduate students and recent transfer students must also submit official records from past schools)
- Upload a copy of meningitis vaccination record - this can be secured through Student Health Services
Once accepted into a program, it will be your responsibility to apply for a student visa and/or residence permit (if required, based on your citizenship). You will receive details on this with your acceptance letter. Do not apply for a visa until after you have been officially accepted. Visit the UK Border Agency's website for further information.