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George Mason University - INTO USA

United States


To study at George Mason University is to prepare for a meaningful future in a demanding workplace. The university is committed to motivating students so that they reach their goals and achieve success.

Located in Fairfax, Virginia, close to Washington, DC, the university is an ideal place for students to experience business, government, research and culture. George Mason University was named among the top 20 for the most diverse universities and 20th for most innovative schools in the US by U.S. News & World Report 2023.

Washington, DC offers the rich culture of the nation's capital. As the hub for technology, politics, science and media, students have access to invaluable industry experiences and opportunities. Visit famous attractions like the White House or free Smithsonian museums, get a taste of home from 2,200+ restaurants, or attend one of DC's multicultural festivals. Students can reach Washington DC in 45 minutes while enjoying all that Fairfax offers, from cafes to boutique shopping.

Mason provides Pathway programs to help international students meet the entry requirements for degree-level study. The International Year One and Undergraduate Transfer programs mean that students can earn credits while developing their academic and English language skills. The Graduate Pathway Program helps those who wish to study for a master's degree.

Students can be sure that they will receive support every step of the way, from pre-arrival to graduation. Students study at the Mason Global Center, which is home to numerous services and resources, such as student housing and dining options. Students can also access facilities found across campus, including libraries and fitness spaces.

A range of useful scholarships specifically for pathway program students are available. Awards are worth up to USD 20,000 and help high achievers with their tuition expenses.

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What's new

What's new

At George Mason University, international students benefit from the prestigious institution's history and expertise. Recent rankings by the U.S. News & World Report 2023 placed it as:

  • # 64 Top Public Schools
  • # 20 Most Innovative Schools
  • #165 Best Value Schools
  • # 20 Most Diverse Universities
  • # 137 National Universities

The outstanding reputation of the Mason's has been cultivated through the university's continued focus on its expert staff and rich alumni network. Students will benefit from instruction and personal support from leading scholars who are leaders in their field, including but not limited to an award-winning news anchor, a CIA director, and the first Muslim woman in space.

The prestigious rankings of courses at Mason are not limited to one discipline but are spread across different departments, with programs across areas like Conflict Analysis and Resolution, Cybersecurity and Business achieving impressive positions.

As a result of this great progress, students who choose to study INTO at Mason's and go on to complete a degree course there can be confident in receiving the best knowledge, training and facilities during their studies.

Student Reviews

''The goal of international affairs is to contribute to society and to improve lives all over the world. At George Mason, you are encouraged to analyze these global issues and think critically. It's one of the most valuable skills that you can learn for the working world.'' Kevin, China, Master's in International Commerce and Policy

''Looking back, I could not even imagine that I would find a spot in this highly competitive career market. However, the skills I gathered throughout my path at George Mason University helped me not only be competitive but also become one of the rising stars. Right after my graduation, I was offered a full-time job at Mason Dining Services as a Marketing Coordinator. Today, I am the head of the Marketing Department. INTO Mason is a springboard that helps you jump into the American dream.'' Sofya, Russia, BS, Tourism and Events Management, Marketing Director at Mason Dining – Sodexo

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Department structure

Department structure

George Mason University offers its students a great selection of Pathway programs, in addition to undergraduate and graduate programs through which international students can develop their skills in preparation for a degree program.

Direct Entry Undergraduate

Students that satisfy academic and English language requirements for their chosen undergraduate course are able to submit a direct application to the university.

International Year One

Students who are not currently able to satisfy the academic and English entry requirements for their chosen undergraduate degree course at Mason may choose to instead apply via an International Year One course. These learners will be able to enhance their skills in order to qualify, at the same time as attaining credits towards their degree.

Undergraduate Transfer Program

Students that have already completed some college or university courses and wish to transfer to a university in the US will be able to undertake this course and attain credits which can be transferred to a degree program upon completion.

Direct Entry Graduate

Students that hold a graduate degree certificate and satisfy the academic requirements of their chosen course, alongside the required English language proficiency level, will be able to directly submit an application to a Mason graduate course.

Graduate Pathway Program

International students looking to complete a master's level course at Mason University will do so through completion of a Graduate Pathway Program. These learners will be able to develop academic and English language skills in preparation for GMAT and GRE testing if required. This program typically lasts one to two semesters.

Academic English Program

This course is specifically constructed for students looking to improve their English Language skills in an academic environment. Completion of this course will qualify students for application opportunities to US university courses.

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Entry requirements

Entry requirements

To be eligible for study at INTO George Mason University, students need to meet a small number of entry requirements.

Direct Entry Undergraduate

Academic requirements: high school diploma with a minimum GPA of 3.0, depending on the program, additional materials and tests may be required.

English language requirements: minimum IELTS score of 6.5 (6.0 in all sub scores), a minimum TOEFL score of 80 (18 in all sub scores) or equivalent.

International Year One

Academic requirements: high school diploma with a minimum GPA of 2.3 or equivalent.

English language requirements: minimum IELTS score of 5.0, a minimum TOEFL score of 50 or equivalent.

Undergraduate Transfer Program

Academic requirements: minimum of one college/university transfer credits, a minimum GPA of 2.0.

English language requirements: minimum IELTS score of 5.5, a minimum TOEFL score of 60 or equivalent.

Direct Entry Postgraduate

Academic requirements: Four-year undergraduate degree or higher, necessary GRE or GMAT scores (program specific), additional materials (depending on program).

English language requirements: minimum IELTS score of 7.0 (6.5 in all sub scores), a minimum TOEFL score of 88 (20 in all sub scores), or equivalent.

Graduate Pathway Program

Academic requirements: depending on the course, students need to have completed their first degree, diploma or equivalent, have equivalent to a GPA of 2.75 depending on the program, and meet any other specific program requirements.

English language requirements: minimum IELTS score of 6.0–6.5, a minimum TOEFL score of 70–80 or equivalent.

Academic English

Students need a high school diploma or equivalent.

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Scholarships & funding

Scholarships & funding

Mason invests in its students by providing a wide range of scholarships each year. These reward high-achievers and helps them with their tuition fees and living costs. Awards include:

Regional Scholarships

Eligible students on the International Year One, Undergraduate Transfer or Graduate Pathway programs may receive an award of up to USD 10,000 in the first year. To qualify, students need to be from one of the selected regions and meet other eligibility requirements.

Diversity Scholarships

Eligible students on the International Year One, Undergraduate Transfer or Graduate Pathway programs may receive an award of up to USD 10,000 in the first year. Those from diverse and underrepresented backgrounds are automatically considered for the award.

Undergraduate Progression Scholarship

Eligible International Year One or Undergraduate Transfer Program students looking to progress to a Mason degree program may receive an award of up to USD 6,000 per year or USD 18,000 total. To qualify, students must have a minimum GPA of 3.5 to 4.0.

George Mason Undergraduate International Scholarship

Eligible students entering the university through undergraduate direct entry may receive an award of up to USD 20,000, renewable annually. To qualify, students must have high academic standing and meet other eligibility requirements.

Students are encouraged to check the availability and eligibility requirements for each award on the university website.

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Ángel Cabrera Global Center

The Ángel Cabrera Global Center houses 270 Mason students, lounge spaces, classrooms, a dining hall and other facilities. It's where the INTO Center is based, so is a central hub for first-year international students at Mason.

The center is located close to classrooms, dining options, fitness spaces, and libraries. There is a Student Experience team that ensures students can enjoy the fun social activities on campus.


Accommodation costs average at USD 19,980 per academic year, which includes a meal plan for International Year One students. Most international students live on campus in either the Mason Global Center, Eastern Shore, Sandbridge Hall or Piedmont Hall.

Residence halls are close to campus facilities, and all feature many resources and support services. Hall staff are available 24/7. Student accommodation has built-in social areas, en-suite bathrooms, classrooms and meditation spaces.

Mason pledges to support its community's health, safety, and well-being while fulfilling the university's mission during the COVID-19 pandemic. Students, faculty, and staff must be vaccinated, wear face masks, and observe social distancing rules. As of January 4, 2022, more than 96 per cent of students and more than 94 per cent of employees were fully vaccinated.


There are three dining halls on campus, including the Globe. Serving different international cuisines, students will find plenty to enjoy in spite of any dietary requirements or preferences. They can even request their favorite dishes to be made.

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Graduate outcomes

Graduate outcomes

George Mason University provides international students with the chance to transition into university life and study at degree level. In the academic year 2020–21, 91 per cent of students successfully completed their Pathway programs and were eligible to progress to study for a degree at George Mason University. Mason students receive an education that gets them ready for meaningful careers in a global society.

Career support

Mason University Career Services help students to prepare for the competitive graduate job market by providing services such as:

  • Resume workshops
  • Interview practice
  • Career fairs with local employers
  • Access to strong industry networks
  • Curricular Practical Training and Optional Practical Training workshops

Graduate success

88 per cent of students from Mason find either professional employment or pursue further study within six months after graduating. 86 per cent of employed students are in positions related to their career goals. The median salary plus bonus, reported by graduates is USD 70,000. Top employers of Mason alumni include Apple, General Dynamics, Marriott International, NASA and the Smithsonian Institution.

Ideal location

As Mason is located in Washington, DC, students benefit from living in a top 10 US city for finding a job according to Indeed 2019. It's rated as the 12th best metro area for STEM professional opportunities by WalletHub 2021, and Northern Virginia will soon be home to Amazon's second headquarters.

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International students

Average cost of living in United States

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Total average cost: $1767

  • $816
  • $677
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    Daily life
  • $176
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