The University of the Witwatersrand (Wits) was founded in 1896 and it is the third oldest South African University in continuous operation. Wits is home to one of the largest fossil collections in the southern hemisphere and is internationally recognized as a leader in the palaeo-sciences. Wits scientists have been contributing to the palaeo-sciences record for almost a century. The University owns the Sterkfontein Cave (in the Cradle of Humankind World Heritage Site), the Wits Rural Facility in Mpumalanga, Pullen Farm and half of a private teaching hospital, the Wits Donald Gordon Medical Centre. Wits is located in the northern areas of central Johannesburg, the capital of South Africa. While the university hosts over 33,000 students, "Joburg" is home to nearly 4.5 million and is the worlds largest city not built on a coastline.
Application cycles are open one semester at a time. Applications for the fall/academic year will open around December 1 of the year prior and applications for spring/calendar year will open around July 1 of the year prior.
Click through the brochure tabs to learn more about this program.
In order to participate in this program, you must meet the following eligibility requirements:
- Students must have completed at least 45 credits at the time of departure.
- For students applying for fall or academic year programs, this total does not include summer coursework that has yet to be completed.
- Students must have a minimum 2.5 GPA at the time of application and departure.
- Students planning to study abroad in the last semester of their senior year should discuss this with their GEO program administrator and major advisor as this may affect their ability to graduate on time.
- Recent transfer students cannot study abroad their first semester (not including summer) at Mason.
For information about specific courses, please consult the relevant section of the Faculty and School:
Most courses at Wits are open to study abroad students. You can choose up to a maximum of four courses per semester from the general academic offering, with the exception of courses in the Faculty of Health Sciences (not open to exchange students).
The academic calendar at Wits is quite different from Mason. The spring semester (Semester 1) runs from February to June and the fall semester (Semester 2) runs from July to November.
Students are expected to take a full-time course load during their time abroad. Courses vary greatly in their credit worth. Students can take a maximum of 4 courses. This will allow you to transfer back 12-15 credits.
When transferring courses back to Mason, the credits will transfer but the grade will not. However, you must receive the equivalent of a "C" or above in order to transfer your credit back. Refer to the table below regarding how grades are converted at this institution.
| Wits Grade
Course Equivalency and Plan of Study
The Global Education Office has a Course Evaluation and Registration System
(CERS), which you will use to complete the steps needed to evaluate your courses abroad, and see how they will count at Mason. This database is accessible whether you have already applied, or are just beginning to think about studying abroad. Look at the courses in the database. You are by no means limited to these courses. The database shows courses that have already been evaluated. You can request equivalency for any course not yet evaluated, through CERS.
You are STRONGLY ENCOURAGED to look at this institution’s courses ahead of time to see how they will match up to your Mason degree requirements. Talk to your academic advisor about what courses you will need to receive credit for during your time abroad to stay on-track for your degree. When looking at courses keep in mind that course schedules can change. We recommend having twice as many courses approved as necessary.
Students participating in this study abroad program will automatically fulfill the Mason Global Understanding core requirement.
At Wits, residences are living and learning centers. Wits offers a wide variety of residence accommodation, ranging from single-gender to mixed gender residences and catered (with a meal plan) to self-catered (no meals provided but residence has cooking facilities) residences. The International Students Office will arrange for stays in on-campus residences.
Residences are linked to all campuses by means of a bus service between 07:00 and 24:00. A special shopping bus links the residences to the Rosebank precinct on Saturdays, Sundays and public holidays.
This is a Bilateral Exchange Program. Students are enrolled as regular students at the partner university, pay Mason tuition to Mason, and pay room and board abroad. Students can use the budget sheets located at the top of this page to see what GEO estimates as expenses.
As this is a Bilateral Exchange Program, students will pay for their tuition as they normally do in PatriotWeb.
Application Fee: A non-refundable application fee of $200 for Mason students. This fee is paid online through the MasonAbroad application system.
Administrative Fee: A non-refundable administrative fee of $300 (for semester length programs) or $500 (for year-long programs) must be received in order to confirm your enrollment in the program. This fee is paid online through the MasonAbroad application system.
Financial Aid: Students using financial aid are encouraged to talk to their counselor regarding how their financial aid can transfer to their program.
GEO offers a number of need- and merit-based scholarships. All Mason students are welcome to apply:
Fall & Academic Year: Early-Mid March*
Spring & Calendar Year: Early-Mid October*
*See the bottom of this page for the exact deadlines for the upcoming term(s).
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 Embassy of South Africa's website for further information. You may also be required to purchase South Africa medical aid.
Application fee: $200 for Mason students.
Official Transcripts: An official copy of your Mason transcript is required as well as copies of official transcripts from any other college or university you have attended.
Passport Status: If you do not have a valid passport, you should begin applying for one now.
Signature Documents: Read and electronically "sign" the documents.
Questionnaires: Read and complete the documents according to the instructions.
*Additional paperwork may be required for this program and can be viewed inside your application.