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Fact Sheet:
Fact Sheet:
Minimum GPA (Undergraduate): 2.25 Language of Instruction: English
Housing: Field Station Number of Credits Offered: 6
Eligible Population: 03 Junior, 04 Senior, Non-Degree Seeking Type of Program: Faculty-led
Click here for a definition of this term Area of Study: Earth Science, Geology Open to non-Mason Students: Yes
Program Description:

Geology Field Camp in the Dolomites 

Italy, Summer 2021

The Geology Program at GMU,  in partnerships with Geoscience faculty at the University of Padua (Italy) and Dolomiti Project Srl, offers  this four-week  intensive field mapping program in most iconic sites in the Dolomites. The Dolomites have been awarded the title of UNESCO World Heritage site because of the beauty of their mountain landscapes and  their outstanding Mesozoic geology.  The Dolomites offer world class outcrops for studying structures, depositional geometries and stratigraphic relationships between ancient carbonate platforms and deep basins.

Students will learn how to apply geologic mapping by carrying out  6 mapping projects encompassing a wide range of geologic approaches: traditional bedrock mapping, structural geology, stratigraphy, mapping of Quaternary sedimentary covers and risk assessment (see table of projects).   Students work at projects in groups and individually. Each project has assignment deliverables and contributes to the final grade. At the end of each project students participate in a group discussion. On the last day of field camp, students group present their cross section of the field camp area that they have built across the 6 projects.

Program Outcomes

  • Learn to collect general and project-specific data accurately in the field and write a professional report.
  • Interpret field data to solve geoscience problems.
  • Learn to do geologic analysis, including balanced cross sections.
  • Bedrock and quaternary sedimentary cover mapping.


6 credits



This program is open to geology and earth science majors including those who do not attend George Mason University. Non-Mason students are welcome to apply. This course is intended for junior and senior level students.This program admits also graduate students, inquire with academic director for details. 

Prerequisites (or equivalent classes, with permission of instructor) 
  • Physical Geology
  • Historical Geology
  • Igneous and Metamorphic Petrology
  • Sedimentary Petrology
  • Geomorphology
  • Structural geology

Course Options

  • Geology (GEOL) 404: Geological Field Techniques
  • GEOL 501: selected topics in modern Geology: geology of the Dolomites region

Program Dates*

June 19 - July 19, 2021

Sample Itinerary

Day 1    Students arrive at the Venice airport meeting point; group transit to Capitello di Fassa. Welcome orientation and dinner.
Day 2 Introduction to the geology of the Dolomites and elements of mapping 
Day 3 Erbe pass - Goma pass - Prati di Putia (Permian to early Middle Triassic)
Day 4 Giau pass - Mt Cernera – Baste lake (Middle Triassic seismic scale depositional geometries, carbonate platforms and volcanics)
Day 5 Prato Piazza to Picco di Vallandro (Triassic carbonate platforms. Depositional geometries)
Day 6 Falzarego - Rifugio DiBona (Carnian&Norian) - description of the remaining portion of the stratigraphic succession, functional to mapping - activities: mapping at Cinque Torri 
Day 7 Free day
Day 8 Field Mapping Project: Braies -  Dolomiti di Sesto area
Day 9-12 Field Mapping Project: Braies and/or Monte Piana - Dolomiti di Sesto area.
Day 13 Free day
Day 14 Travel to the Southern Dolomites. During the transfer stops to highlight elements of the large-scale structure of the Southern Alps
Day 15 Sed-Strat Project" PT Boundary; Introduction to the project
Day 16 Sed-Strat Project: Measuring stratigraphic sections
Day 17 Full day of office work
Day 18 Free day
Day 19 Introduction to geologic mapping on Quaternary deposits in Alpine environment
Day 20-21 Quaternary Mapping: geological mapping on quaternary deposits
Day 22 Full day of office work
Day 23 Free day
Day 24 Structural geology - field trip
Day 25-26 Structural geology data collection and analysis
Day 27 Vajont - geologic mapping oriented to risk assessment
Day 28 geologic mapping oriented to risk assessment
Day 29 Completion of the South Alpine Cross Section
Day 30 Feild trip to Langazuoi where students will present their final project. Option to descend on the Kajserjager via ferrata. Farewell dinner
Day 31 Program ends; group transit to Venice

* 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

Summer 2020: $4,612

Summer 2021: Coming Soon

Included: Tuition for 6 credits, accommodations, local transportation, half-board (daily breakfast and dinner), airport transfer to and from Venice, equipment rental (helmet, goggles, high-visibility jacket, hammer, lens), all printed field camp guide maps and materials, international emergency medical insurance.

Not included: Airfare*, passport and visa fees, other transportation, lunches, compass, optional trips, immunization (tetanus shot), personal spending
*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 be recommending the purchase of Flight Interruption and Cancellation Insurance. The “Green Light for Flights” email will provide additional information about this insurance. 

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 cost.

First Payment: A non-refundable payment of $1000 must be received by March 20, 2021. 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 April 10, 2021. 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."

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 are welcome to apply:

Application Deadlines:

Priority Deadline* 
December 14, 2020

Final Deadline
March 10, 2021

*(Priority deadline applicants will receive an earlier acceptance decision)

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:

Links and Resources

Dolomiti Project:

Academic Director

  Kysar Mattiettii Pic
Name Giuseppina Kysar Mattietti
Phone 703-993-9269

GEO Program Administrator

Name Brittany Samko
Phone 703-993-2155

Dates / Deadlines:
Dates / Deadlines:
Term Year App Deadline Decision Date Start Date End Date
Summer 2021 03/10/2021 ** Rolling Admission 06/19/2021 07/19/2021

** 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.