Become a Mason Graduate Student
All applicants for graduate study at George Mason University must meet the admission standards specified in the Admission chapter of the University Catalog.
You are responsible for submitting all required application materials by the posted deadline. Review your program's Admissions Requirements and Deadlines before you begin your application. You can also visit our Grad Admissions page for helpful hints on how best to prepare your transcripts and other Admissions materials.
Step 1: Complete and submit the online Graduate Admissions application. George Mason University requires all graduate applicants to upload all possible required supplementary materials, such as unofficial transcripts, goals statement and writing sample, at the same time you submit your application. Online applications require a non-refundable $75 application processing fee.
Step 2: Within a few days of submitting your online application, you will receive an email with your Mason G number (G#). This is a tracking number provided to all applicants that allows us to match your supporting documentation to your completed application.
Step 3: Check your application status and requirements checklist in your application portal. Initial processing takes 3 to 5 business days from the date of submission. You can use your application log-in and password to access your information throughout the application process. Graduate Admissions may send updates or notify you of issues with your application through your admissions portal, so it is best to log in periodically to monitor your application status.
Step 4: For newly admitted students, refer to the CHSS New Graduate Student webpage for tips on confirming enrollment, submitting official transcripts, registering for class and more.
Please see each concentration below for the concentration specific requirements:
- Applied Developmental
- Cognitive and Behavioral Neuroscience
- Human Factors/Applied Cognition
- Industrial-Organizational Psychology
Application Deadlines and Decision Timelines
New students are admitted for fall semester only. All applicants are strongly advised to submit applications and all supporting documents by the programs' posted deadline dates. Deadlines vary by concentration. Each graduate concentration expects to make initial admission decisions by the dates posted below. However, decisions will continue through April 30 as applicants are selected from the waitlist and the programs reach capacity.
- Applied Developmental Psychology deadline*: December 1
Initial decisions typically made by March 1 after open house event in February.
- Biopsychology (Cognitive and Behavioral Neuroscience) deadline*: February 1
Initial decisions typically made by March 1.
- Clinical Psychology deadline: December 1
Initial decisions typically made by February 15 after interviews in late January, early February.
- Human Factors/Applied Cognition deadline*: January 15
Initial decisions typically made by February 15.
- Industrial/Organizational Psychology deadline: December 15
Initial decisions typically made by February 1.
*Applications for the Applied Developmental Psychology, Cognitive and Behavioral Neuroscience, and Human Factors/Applied Cognition concentrations received after the deadline may be considered on a space-available basis.
Most graduate programs in Psychology require full time study.
Applicants are responsible for ensuring that all materials arrive before the application deadline. Applicants in the final candidate pool may be required to participate in an interview.
Applicants are expected to have the following background:
- For the PhD with a concentration in industrial/organizational psychology or in human factors/applied cognition, at least 15 credits in psychology, including a statistics course and a laboratory course in psychology. A tests and measurements course is recommended.
- For the PhD with a concentration in clinical psychology, at least 15 credits in psychology, including a statistics course, laboratory science course, and abnormal psychology. Courses in developmental psychology, personality, physiological psychology, and tests and measurements are desirable.
- For the PhD with a concentration in applied developmental psychology, at least 15 credits in psychology, including statistics and a laboratory course in experimental psychology.
- For the PhD with a concentration in biopsychology, at least 15 hours of psychology, including physiological psychology, statistics, and a lab course in experimental psychology.
The goals statement should be about 2-3 single-spaced pages articulating: A) your training/education history and preparation for graduate school, B) research and/or clinical experience to date relevant to the degree/concentration being pursued, C) your professional goals and how the degree (and the GMU program) fits into those goals, D) reasons/motivation for seeking the degree, and E) 1-2 core, full-time, faculty members in the concentration/program that you are interested in working with as a potential faculty advisor, and why such a person(s) are a good fit with your goals/interests. (uploaded via online application).
For those programs that require the GRE or the GRE is optional, the submitted GRE scores should be from tests taken within the past five years and before the application deadline. Applicants should take the GRE by October because applications cannot be processed until these scores are received. The general test is required, but scores for the Advanced Test in Psychology may also be submitted.
The department considers all applications, considers them as a whole, and there are no rigid minimum scores required. However, we typically prefer applicants with an undergraduate GPA > 3.00, a GPA in psychology course work > 3.25, and GRE scores > the 50th percentile. Experience, letters of recommendation, publications, and (in some programs) an interview, can help compensate for deficiencies in numeric qualifications. No specific set of qualifications guarantees admission.
Additional Requirements for
English Proficiency Requirements
All Mason students must have a full command of academic English to be successful in their studies. For this reason, Mason requires applicants to demonstrate English proficiency for admission consideration, regardless of citizenship. Click here to view the requirements.
International Transcript Requirements
All transcripts from colleges or universities outside the United States must be translated into English, if applicable, and submitted for evaluation to the Mason Office of Admissions. Mason will provide evaluation service free of charge for all international transcripts, however, some programs may request an outside evaluation be completed. Because of volume, more time may be needed to process applications requiring a Mason evaluation. You should submit your application 6 weeks prior to the deadline if you plan to utilize Mason’s free evaluation service. For expedited service, students may submit their documents to any NACES member organization at their own expense. If you decide to use an external evaluation service or if your program requires an outside evaluation, GPA and Degree equivalences must be included with your course-by-course evaluation. Mason evaluations are used for internal purposes and are not released to applicants. For information on international transcript requirements, go here.
International student visa questions should be directed to the Office of International Programs and Services.
You have the option to take graduate courses in non-degree status. To apply, you must complete an online application for your intended start term and include transcripts as well as a resume. You will also be required to indicate on the application which courses you plan to take for approval during the application review process. Credits earned in non-degree status may potentially transfer to a degree program at a later date so long as it meets the program requirements and the program director approves the transfer. For information on transfer credit policies, please refer to the University Catalog.
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Application deadlines for graduate non-degree coursework differ from program deadlines. For additional information on the non-degree application process and deadlines please refer to Applying for Non-Degree Graduate Study.