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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 pushing students so that they reach their goals and achieve success.

Located in Fairfax, 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 25 for the Most Diverse Universities and the 35th Most Innovative Schools in the US by U.S. News & World Report 2021.

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'll 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 18,000 and help high-achievers with their tuition expenses.

Washington, DC offers an unrivalled experience. Full of innovation and excitement, the location means students have access to countless invaluable industry experiences and opportunities. Students can reach the city in 45 minutes, or simply enjoy all suburban Fairfax has to offer, from cafes to boutique shopping.

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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 2020-21 has placed it as:

  • #65th Top Public School
  • #35th Most Innovative School
  • #129th Best Value School
  • #15th Most Diverse University
  • #143rd National Universities

Mason's fantastic reputation is due in part to passionate faculty and alumni. Professors are accomplished scholars and leaders, such as a former CIA and NSA director, the first Iranian-American and Muslim woman in space and an award-winning CNN anchor.

Programs across many different disciplines at Mason have been ranked highly. It's No.1 for conflict analysis and resolution (, 2018), No. 19 for undergraduate cybersecurity by U.S. News & World Report 2021 and No. 79 for Best Undergraduate Business Programs by U.S. News & World report 2020. INTO students who progress to study for a degree at the university will be sure they'll receive all the knowledge, passion and experience to succeed beyond their studies.

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Department structure

Department structure

Mason offers a range of pathway programs, as well as undergraduate and postgraduate programs, for international students to develop their skills and progress to a degree program.

Direct Entry Undergraduate

Students who meet the academic and English language requirements for an undergraduate degree can apply directly to George Mason University.

Direct Entry Postgraduate

Students in possession of a graduate degree and who meet the academic requirements as well as the English language proficiency level, can apply directly to Mason for postgraduate programs.

International Year One

Students who can't quite meet the academic and English entry requirements for an undergraduate degree program at Mason can enter via International Year One. They'll improve their skills so they can qualify while earning degree credits. Programs are structured so students graduate at the same time as domestic students.

Undergraduate Transfer Program

Those who have completed college or university courses and are looking to transfer to a U.S. university can gain transferable credits towards a degree program while developing their skills.

Graduate Pathway Program

International students who wish to study for a master's degree at Mason can first take the Graduate Pathway program. They'll develop their academic skills, improve their English language proficiency and prepare for GMAT/GRE tests, if it is required by the program. The program includes personalized academic advising and can be taken over one or two semesters.

Academic English Program

Students who need to improve their academic, English language and critical thinking skills to qualify for university-level study in the U.S. can pursue the Academic English Program.

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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 subscores), a minimum TOEFL score of 80 (18 in all subscores) 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 between 6.5 and 7.0 (6.0-7.0 in all subscores), a minimum TOEFL score of between 80 and 93 (20 in all subscores), 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 30 college/university transfer credits, a minimum GPA of 2.3.

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

Graduate Pathway

Academic requirements: depending on the course, students need to have completed their first degree, diploma or equivalent, have equivalent to a GPA of 2.5-2.75 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 65–75 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 number 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 or Graduate Pathway programs may receive an award of up to USD 18,000. 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 or Graduate Pathway programs may receive an award of up to USD 10,000. Those from diverse and underrepresented backgrounds are automatically considered for the award.

Follow My Lead Scholarship

Eligible students on the International Year One or Graduate Pathway programs may receive an award of up to USD 10,000. To qualify, they must submit a CV and an essay about their previous student involvement and leadership experience.

Progression Scholarship

Eligible International Year One program students looking to progress to a Mason degree program may receive an award of up to USD $6,000. To qualify, students must have a minimum GPA of 3.0–3.5.

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 enjoy the fun social activities on campus.


Accommodation costs average at USD 20,190 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 or Whitetop 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.


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 2018–19, 93 percent 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

82 percent of students from Mason find either professional employment or pursue further study within six months after graduating. 82 percent of students find roles that match their chosen career goals. The average first-year salary, reported by graduates is USD 72,000.

Ideal location

As Mason is located in Washington, DC, students benefit from living in a top 10 US city for finding a job by Indeed 2018. It's rated as the second-Best Metro Area for STEM Professional Opportunities by WalletHub 2019, and Northern Virginia will soon be home to Amazon's second headquarters.

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

''The Washington, DC region is a good business area. There are a lot of opportunities here. I still meet with my friends from INTO Mason very often. Most of them have jobs now in DC or in Virginia. We are very successful students at Mason.'' Mi, China - Master's in Accounting, Staff Auditor at SB & Company

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International students

Average cost of living in United States

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Total average cost: $1767

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    Daily life
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