What is Rome really made of? What conditions favored her fortune? What interplay of territory (natural processes, climate, and resources) and culture contributed to the rise of Roman civilization? By taking this interdisciplinary course in urban geology/geoarchaeology, students will discover how Roman civilization took advantage of a series of favorable geological events that shaped the landscape and provided the raw material to grow and flourish. The rocks formed by volcanoes (tuffs) and deposited by water (travertine) were transformed by the ingenuity of the Roman engineers and architects into buildings and infrastructures. Likewise, the waters resources of the nearby regions were harnessed in the most developed system of aqueducts capable to bring water to over one million people who lived in ancient Rome during the heights of the empire. What was not readily available was brought in from the provinces.
- Interdisciplinary course in urban geology/geoarchaeology: Discover how Roman civilization took advantage of a series of favorable geological events that shaped the landscape and provided the raw material to grow and flourish.
- From Naples to Rome, visit important cultural and historic sites, many of which are not open the general public and require special access permits.
This program is open to all undergraduate and graduate students, including students who do not attend George Mason University.
Undergraduate students must have a minimum GPA of 2.25.
Students will choose one 3-credit course during the application process.
*This course has previously offered HNRS credit - if you are interested in HNRS credit please contact the Honors College.
- Anthropology - ANTH 300: Civilizations
- Geology - GEOL 315: Topics in Geology II
- Geography and Geoinformation Science - GGS 398: Selected Topics in Global Change
- History - HIST 388: Topics in European History
- Integrative Studies - INTS 399: Study Abroad
- Anthropology - ANTH 670: Regional Studies in Archaeology
- History - HIST 598: Historical Study Abroad
January 2 - January 16, 2022
||Arrive in Naples. Course orientation at the Hotel in Pompeii. Pre-course visit to Naples Archaeological Museum option available.
||Archaeology of the Territory Campania Felix - Visit to Pompeii Archaeological Site
||Visit to Herculaneum and Oplontis. Optional visit to the antiquarium of Oplontis.
||Vesuvius hike; stop in Pozzuoli with visit to Piscina Mirabilis
Group transfer to Rome
||The Volcanic Roman Province: Nemi maar volcano trip with visit to the emissary excavated in the VI Century BC. Properties of volcanic building materials.
||The city ancient landscape: challenges and resources. Visit to the Palatine, and the Roman Forum and the Capitoline Hill.
||Negotiating the territory with engineering: Visit to the Colosseum, its underground area and the Ludus Magnus. Forum of Augustus and Trajan. The Capitoline Hill. Optional: visit to the domus of Palazzo Valentini
||Land use planning and the Lowlands: The Circus Maximus, the Market Fora and the field of Mars: from the republican to the imperial times. The Pantheon and the Trevi Fountain
||Water resources of Imperial Rome: Caracalla baths, Diocletian baths
Visit to the National Rman Museum - Palazzo Massimo
||Territory resources and reinvention: Quarries to Catacombs
||Ostia: the port city of ancient Rome: urban planning and landscape evolution
Afternoon: Twenty eight centuries of history on a single city block: Crypta Balbi National Museum (optional)
||On the footsteps of T. Ashby: Field trip inside the Roman aqueducts Anius Vetus and Marcio. Course final remarks. Students are free to organize the last night in Rome.
* Dates and itinerary subject to change. The Global Education Office reserves the right to make changes to a program in light of currency fluctuations, changing security and safety conditions, and/or any other unforeseen circumstances.
Winter 2022: Coming Soon!
Winter 2021: $3,400
The Program Cost for study abroad courses is assessed separately from Mason tuition and fees. This means separate charges are put on your student account for this course, a study abroad tuition charge and a study abroad program fee charge which together equal the published Program Cost for this course.
- Tuition for 3 credits
- Accommodations (university dormitory in Rome and hotel in Pompeii)
- All breakfasts and some additional group meals
- Guided tours and field excursions as described in itinerary
- Transportation to all program sites
- International emergency medical insurance.
Not included: Airfare*, passport and visa fees, COVID-19 testing in the U.S. before departure, COVID-19 testing while abroad, vaccinations, some meals, personal spending, 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 meet the group. 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.
Students on MasonGEO programs must pay the advertised program cost in order to participate. This cost will be made in three payments (Deposit + First Payment + Final Payment). Students using financial aid can provide additional paperwork in lieu of deposit and final balance payments. All payments and charges are reflected in the student's Mason Student Account.
Application Deposit: A non-refundable program deposit $200 must be received by the application deadline. This fee is paid online through the MasonAbroad application system and is included in the program fee.
Withdrawal and Refund Policy:
First Payment: A non-refundable payment of $1000 must be received by October 20th. This fee is paid online through the MasonAbroad application system and is included in the program fee. Students who are using financial aid may have this payment deadline extended. See "Financial Aid" information below.
In the event that a student’s financial aid or VA Benefits is estimated to cover the entire costs of the study abroad program, the entire charge will be posted to their student account, since that is where the aid will be applied. In this case students do not pay their first payment through MasonAbroad. However students must submit their “Intent to Use Financial Aid” form by the first deposit deadline.
Final Payment: The final balance payment is due by November 10th. This is the difference of your Program Cost minus the $1200 you've already paid (Deposit + First Payment). Students who are using financial aid may have this payment deadline extended. See "Financial Aid" information below.
Financial Aid and VA Benefits: Students who intend to use financial aid or VA benefits to fund their program fees (partially or in full) must have the "Intent to Use Financial Aid" or "Intent to Use VA Benefits Form" completed and on file with the Global Education Office by the First Payment deadline. The "Intent to Use Financial Aid" form is available in the MasonAbroad application system once you have started your application for this program. If you are using VA Benefits please contact your program officer to request the "Intent to Use VA Benefits Form."
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 on this program are welcome to apply:
Program Deposit: $200 for all applicants.
Course Selection Questionnaire: You will choose the course(s) you would like to be receive credit for on this program. Check the "Academics" tab to see what courses are offered on this program. If you need help selecting your course, check with your academic advisor.
Passport Status Questionnaire: You do not need a passport to complete this questionnaire or the application. However, if you do not have a valid passport, you should begin applying for one now. The Global Education Office offers Passport Grants to help.
Signature Documents: Read and electronically "sign" the documents regarding the acknowledgement of risk, the pre-departure orientation, and your financial responsibility.
Intent to Use Financial Aid Form: For Mason students only. If you use financial aid, this form must be completed by your financial aid counselor and submitted by the 1st payment deadline.
Additional requirements for non-Mason applicants:
Official transcript: To be mailed or emailed to the Global Education Office at George Mason University.
Non-degree Contract Course/Admission Form: Please complete the form and upload it into the questionnaire.
* Additional application requirements may apply to individual programs. Once you open your application, you will see all application requirements.