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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 Type of Program: Faculty-led
Click here for a definition of this term Area of Study: Government and International Policy, Global Affairs, History, Integrative Studies Click here for a definition of this term Study Abroad Host: Global Education Office
Open to non-Mason Students: Yes Program eligible for VA Benefits: Yes
Program Description:

Puerto Rico: The 51st State? 

Puerto Rico, Summer 2022

Puerto Rico - 51st State
Among the many founding principles of our country, equal representation under the law has long been a significant priority to the foundation of our democracy. However, to this day there are American citizens under the sovereign jurisdiction of the United States who still do not have this right. Among these individuals are citizens of the District of Columbia and Puerto Rico. For years statehood has been proposed as a possible solution in these locations, albeit contentious.

On this program, students will compare the fight for statehood in DC to the fight for statehood in Puerto Rico.  Prior to our travel to Puerto Rico, we will spend a day in DC visiting a few applicable museums and speaking with local statehood advocates. In Puerto Rico, students will explore the history and culture of Puerto Rico through activities in Old San Juan, laying the foundations for various arguments for statehood and independence. Students will also have the opportunity to learn directly from local statehood and independence advocates. Upon their return to Mason, students will complete a reflection paper outlining their arguments for or against statehood of DC and Puerto Rico. 

Program Highlights

  • Travel without a passport and discover the beautiful archipelago of Puerto Rico
  • Explore our nation’s capital through the lens of statehood advocates
  • Examine how culture and history impacts motivations and attitudes towards statehood in DC and Puerto Rico


This program is open to all undergraduate 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

  • Integrative Studies - INTS 399: Study Abroad
  • Government - GOVT 398: Study Abroad
  • History - HIST 387: Topics in Global History
  • Global Affairs - GLOA 480: Study Abroad

Tentative Program Dates 

June 22 - July 2, 2022


Tentative Itinerary 

June 22 Arrive in San Juan and check-in to accommodation
Program orientation
Welcome Dinner
Noche de San Juan festival
June 23 Visit Castillo San Cristobal and Castillo San Felipe del Morro 
June 24 Guided walking tour of Old San Juan
Mofongo cooking class & Salsa class
June 25 Day trip to El Yunque National Rainforest
Viewing of The Last Colony documentary
June 26 Day trip to Fajardo, Bioluminescent Bay
June 27 Guest lecture: Puerto Rico - History of Political Parties and Systems
Afternoon excursion to Loiza
June 28 Meetings with Independence Party and Commonwealth Party
June 29 Day trip to Ponce
Dinner in Guavate (La Ruta del Lechon)
June 30 Meeting with Governor Pierluisi and tour of La Fortaleza
July 1 Reflecting on program
Visit to Museo de Arte de Puerto Rico
Farewell Dinner
July 2 Program ends, check out of accommodation and depart

* Dates and itinerary subject to change. Many of the game schedules have not been finalized and this itinerary is provided as a sample to give you an idea of the types of activities you'll be participating in. 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

Summer 2022: Coming Soon!
Summer 2021: $3,158

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. 
  • Application Deposit
  • Tuition and mandatory fees
  • Pre-Departure Orientation
  • Accommodations
  • Some meals
  • Guided tours and field excursions as described in itinerary
  • Ground transportation between program sites
  • International emergency medical insurance

Not included: 
  • Airfare* 
  • Some meals
  • COVID-19 testing
  • Personal spending
  • Vaccinations
  • 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 recommend the purchase of Flight Interruption and Cancellation Insurance. The “Green Light for Flights” email will provide additional information about this insurance. 


Program Payments

The full program fee is charged to your Mason Student Account. Students pay the Global Education Office (GEO) Program Fee as advertised in two payments (Application Deposit + Final Payment).

Application Deposit: $200 non-refundable Application Deposit must be received by the application deadline. This fee is paid online through the MasonAbroad application system and is included in the program fee.

Final Payment: The final balance is made through the Mason Bill+Payment system. Payment is due according to the Mason Payment Schedule. The amount due is the difference of your Program Cost minus the $200 you will have already paid, the Application Deposit.

  • You can make your final payment in the Mason Bill+Payment system even if you do not see the GEO program charge on your student account.
  • George Mason University applies payments to outstanding charges first. If you have an outstanding balance from a previous semester your payments will first go to paying that charge. You will still be responsible for the GEO charge.

Financial Aid: In most cases, financial aid (federal, state, institutional financial aid, scholarships, grants or loans) can be used to finance study abroad. It is the student’s responsibility to check with the Office of Financial Aid to review their financial aid package. The Office of Financial Aid is the only office that can determine your aid eligibility. 
Meeting with your financial aid officer prior to applying to study abroad will help you understand if, how much, and when your aid can be used to study abroad.
Confirmation of your financial aid award may not be available until registration and billing for the term in question is final. If aid eligibility changes, or the amount of aid disbursed is lower than anticipated, students are responsible for all remaining account balances or risk late fees, holds on their accounts, and program dismissal.
To assist students in the processing of their financial aid, GEO will communicate with the Office of Financial aid those students who plan to utilize financial aid for their specific study abroad program through their application with GEO.  Please note there is no guarantee to students that their aid can be utilized for their specific study abroad program. 

If you plan to use federal, state, institutional financial aid, scholarships, grants or loans to finance your study abroad you must: 
  • Mark “Yes” to “Do you plan to use Financial Aid to finance your program (federal, state, institutional financial aid, scholarships, grants or loans)?” in your profile in
After acceptance: 
* Students must be enrolled at least half-time for federal loans and the majority of grant funds. Please refer to the Financial Aid Website for a definition of half-time for undergraduate and graduate students:

VA Benefits: The Veterans Administration determines if a program is eligible to receive VA benefit payments based on the participants VA education program. Use of benefits is dependent on type of benefit and type of program. If you plan to use VA benefits to finance study abroad contact your program officer at to request the "Intent to Use VA Benefits Form." You will complete that form with Mason’s Office of Military Services. To contact Military Services be sure to email them directly at

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

March 10

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.

Signature Documents: Read and electronically "sign" the documents regarding the acknowledgement of risk, the pre-departure orientation, and your financial responsibility.

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

  User Image
Name Brittany Harris
Phone 703-993-2155

Dates / Deadlines:
Dates / Deadlines:
Term Year App Deadline Decision Date Start Date End Date
ALT Break Summer 2022 03/10/2022 ** Rolling Admission 06/22/2022 07/02/2022

** 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.