Skip to content

Programs : Brochure

This page is the brochure for your selected program. You can view the provided information for this program on this page and click on the available buttons for additional options.
  • Locations: Rome, Italy
  • Program Terms: Winter Break
  • Budget Sheets: Winter Break
  • This program is currently not accepting applications.
Fact Sheet:
Fact Sheet:
Minimum GPA (Undergraduate): 2.25 Language of Instruction: English
Housing: Hotel Number of Credits Offered: 3
Eligible Population: 01 Freshman, 02 Sophomore, 03 Junior, 04 Senior, Graduate, Non-Degree Seeking Type of Program: Faculty-led
Click here for a definition of this term Area of Study: Psychology Click here for a definition of this term Study Abroad Host: Global Education Office
Minimum GPA (Graduate): 3.0 Click here for a definition of this term Fulfills Mason Core Requirement: Yes
Open to non-Mason Students: Yes
Program Description:

Dark Heart of Rome

Italy, Winter 2019

Vatican City Banner
In the Dark Heart of Rome, you will delve beneath the city of Rome via the Roman Forum, the Catacombs, and the Cerveteri Necropolis, Etruscan City of the Dead. Murder, mystery, and madness will become part of your daily experience as you explore the ancient city of Rome, and we visit the ghostly remains of Pompeii, including the world’s most infamous brothel – the Lupanare. Gladiators, political intrigue, religious turmoil, annihilation of a city, and Roman legends will be evaluated through a psychologist's lens. When you are not exploring, you are still in one of the most beautiful cities in Italy. Rome off hours offers cozy cafes, great food, unique boutiques, a busy nightlife including Italy’s own Irish Pub - Scholars Lounge, and a cosmopolitan atmosphere. With its myriad sights, you will encounter beauty and history in Rome's every corner.

Program Highlights

  • Rome, Italy is a historic and exotic place to explore, and we will be engaged on several tours that will show you the inside of this enchanting city.
  • Rome is one of my favorite cities in the world: the architecture, the people, the FOOD!
  • Some of our explorations will include seeing Rome at night; seeing her dark underside; visiting Pompeii; and of course, a trip to Rome wouldn’t be complete without visiting the Vatican.


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.

Course Options

  • Psychology - PSYC 405: Mystery, Madness, and Murder
  • Psychology - PSYC 418: Death, Dying, and Grieving
  • Psychology - PSYC 461: Special Topics in Psychology
  • Psychology - PSYC 518: Death, Dying, and Grieving

Program Dates*

December 29, 2018 - January 11, 2019


Sample Itinerary 

Day 1 Arrive in Rome, Italy. Check into hotel.
Day 2 Welcome lunch and introduction to the course and Rome
Day 3 Morning instruction and research. Free time in the evening to explore Rome
Day 4 Free day
Day 5 Morning tour of the piazzas of Rome and Castle San Angelo. Afternoon lecture followed by Dark Heart of Rome Night Tour
Day 6 All day excursion to Cerveteri and Ostia Antica 
Day 7 Lecture- Gladiators: A Spectator Sport?, Pompeii: A Case Study 
Day 8 Full day at Vatican City with tour 
Day 9 Day trip of Florence 
Day 10 Day trip to Pompeii
Day 11 Morning Crypts and Catacombs tours followed by afternoon tour of the Colosseum underground and Ancient Roman Forum/Overlook 
Day 12 Lecture and student presentations
Day 13 Free day with farewell group dinner in the evening
Day 14 Students depart for the U.S.

* 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.

Program Cost

Winter 2019: $3,881

Included: Tuition for 3 credits, hotel accommodations, all breakfasts and some additional group meals, guided tours and field excursions as described in itinerary, metro tickets for program-related activities, international emergency medical insurance.

Not included: Airfare*, passport and visa fees, some meals, personal spending, required textbooks and/or course materials. *Note: Participants must arrange their own airfare once instructed to do so by the Mason Global Education Office.

Program Payments

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.

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.

First Payment: A non-refundable payment of $1000 must be received by October 21, 2018 in order to confirm your enrollment in the program. Students who are using financial aid may have this payment deadline extended. See "Financial Aid" information below.

Final Payment: The final balance payment is due by November 11, 2018. 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."

Refund and Cancellation Policy: All participants are bound by the Mason GEO Refund and Cancellation Policy.

Payment Instructions

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:


Application Opens:

August 2018

Application Deadline:

Sunday, October 21, 2018


Application requirements:*

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.

Application instructions:

Academic Director

Global Education Office
Program Administrator

  Andrew Miller
Name Andrew Miller
Phone 703-993-5013
  Make an appointment

Dates / Deadlines:

There are currently no active application cycles for this program.

This program is currently not accepting applications.