You can't find a study abroad program that excites you? Once you have explored the various programs offered by the Global Education Office, you may find that 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.
Click through the brochure tabs to learn more about this process.
How It Works
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.
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.
NOTE FOR BUSINESS MAJORS/MINORS: In order for coursework abroad to count toward your major/minor, the potential host institution must carry one of either two specific business school accreditations: AACSB or EQUIS accreditations.
Step 2: Consult with Necessary Mason Departments
Global Education Office (GEO): Meet with the External Study Abroad Program Officer if necessary.
Academic Advisor: Determine if the courses available at your desired study abroad program will apply to your degree plan.
Financial Aid Counselor: Inform your financial aid counselor you are studying abroad on an External Study Abroad program.
Step 3: 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 4: Complete the Course Equivalency and Plan of Study process
Step 5: Complete Your Applications and Pay the Non-Refundable Administrative Fee
Submit any remaining required documents for your External Study Abroad application.
The $300 administrative fee will cover the costs associated with transferring your credit back to Mason. In addition, you will automatically be enrolled in Mason's International Emergency Insurance program.
Step 6: 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:
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.
Below are policies which apply to all students participating in an external study abroad program. Carefully review these polices to ensure you fully understand the external application process.
The number of credits earned for each course abroad is determined by GEO based on the transcript and university contact-hour requirements.
Transcripts are processed one-time when all courses have been approved.
Pre-Departure Orientation is required for all students studying abroad.
GEO will only complete nominations, or approval forms, for students with open applications in MasonAbroad.
Students must have a 2.5 GPA to go abroad and earn credit.
GPA is reviewed when application is opened.
GPA will still be checked for retroactive applications – and credit can be denied if GPA requirements were not met.
Student must open two applications if they student abroad in two non-consecutive terms or go to two different locations/programs in consecutive terms.
Fees and Financials
The administrative fee cannot be waived.
The insurance fee cannot be separated from the administrative fee.
The insurance fee covers all university students whether they engage the insurance or not, and cannot be waived even if the student has already gone abroad (University Policy 1134).
Credits will not be transferred until fee is paid.
Students must meet GEO registration deadlines for financial aid to be dispersed on time.
If you are participating in a program where there is a travel warning, you must submit your external application at least 2 months prior to your program start date.
If you fail to do so, we cannot guarantee transfer of credit.
We cannot transfer credits from institutions that don’t meet Mason’s accreditation standards as determined by the Office of the Registrar.
Credits will be accepted if school of record meets accreditation standards.
Students completing the Boren or Critical Language Scholarship should pay special attention to who issues the transcript if they want to receive credit.
Any coursework taken outside the U.S. for credit is processed through the Global Education Office. This includes, but is not limited to, programs run through U.S. institutions that issue U.S. transcripts (ex. James Madison Field Work programs, UGA in Rome, etc.).
Transferring credits upon return
All students must open an application and complete credit transfer paperwork prior to their study abroad experience. GEO registration deadlines:
November 1 – Spring, Calendar Year, Winter programs
May 1 – Fall, Summer, Academic Year programs
Students who did not open an application and complete credit transfer paperwork before they went abroad must open an application by the end of the semester following their term abroad.
Transcripts must be sent directly to our office.
Students have one academic year, from the completion of their program, to complete all items in MasonAbroad and transfer their credit.
GEO is not responsible for credit transfer being delayed due to delayed receipt of transcripts.
Classes taken abroad must be taken for a grade. Pass/Fail will not be accepted.
GEO reserves the right to deny credit to students not meeting the above requirements.
** Indicates rolling admission application process. Applicants will be immediately notified of acceptance into this program and be able to complete post-decision materials prior to the term's application deadline.