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  • Locations: Online, United States
  • Program Terms: Fall (Online)
  • Budget Sheets: Fall (Online)
  • This program is currently not accepting applications.
Fact Sheet:
Fact Sheet:
Number of Credits Offered: 3 Eligible Population: 03 Junior, 04 Senior, Graduate
Type of Program: Faculty-led Click here for a definition of this term Area of Study: Government and International Policy
Click here for a definition of this term Study Abroad Host: Schar School of Policy and Government Open to non-Mason Students: Yes
Program Description:

Policy Challenges in Times of Crisis

Online, Fall 2020Mexico city and flag

The objective of this online 3 credit class is to provide an international experience for our students during a time when international travel is limited.  Resolving binational issues often requires an understanding and reconciliation of two perspectives either to determine solutions to a shared problem or learn a best practice. The class will provide an opportunity for students to hear both US and non-US centric perspectives on various topics and produce collaborative work with students from our partner institution.

This 3-credit, “virtual” study abroad is a collaboration between the Schar School and the Monterrey Institute of Technology, Mexico, and will be led by Professor Ellen Laipson (GMU) and Dr. Jorge Morales (Monterrey Tech).  This class will be delivered synchronously with guest lectures from both countries organized in a conference style and require students to participate 1 Saturday in September, the weekend of Columbus Day in October, and 1 Saturday in December. By pairing our class into multi-national teams, students will have the opportunity to discuss and explore some of the most consequential policy problems facing Mexico and the United States today. 

The 4 major themes of the class will focus on:
- Security (major rethinking and a reallocation of resources is going on in this area, including cyber security)
- Emergency response (including pandemics, hurricanes, earthquakes, and civil demonstrations/unrest)
- Immigration/ Border Issues (current policies and cross-border implications, poverty, labor, refugees)
- Politics, Leadership, and National Institutions (elections, policy making & implementation, truth & trust in government

When travel can resume, a non-compulsory short trip (3 nights, over a holiday weekend) will be offered to those students interested in visiting Mexico and meeting the other participants. 


This program is open to all undergraduate and graduate students, including students who do not attend George Mason University.


Students will be registered for one 3-credit course during the Fall semester.

Course Options

  • GOVT 398: Study Abroad
  • ITRN 702: Special Topics in Study Abroad

Program Dates*

Fall semester dates

Please note: this class will mostly be delivered synchronously with guest lectures from both countries organized in a conference style and require students to participate Saturday, September 12,  several sessions over fall break (Columbus weekend) in October, and Saturday the 21st in November. 

Program Cost

Fall 2020: $2,610

Included: Tuition for 3 credits

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 August 10. 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 August 20th. 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 their 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."

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

Application Opens:

July 1


Application Deadline:

August 10


Application requirements:*

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.

Signature Documents: Read and electronically "sign" the documents regarding the acknowledgement of risk 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:

Schar Program Administrator

  Michal Malur
Name Michal Malur

Dates / Deadlines:
Dates / Deadlines:
Term Year App Deadline Decision Date Start Date End Date
Fall (Online) 2022 06/01/2022
Rolling Admission TBA TBA

** 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.

Indicates that deadline has passed

This program is currently not accepting applications.