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.
CHSS Graduate Admissions is self-managed. 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 FAQs 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:
Step 2: Upon submission and payment of the online application, you will receive an email confirming application submission and instructions for uploading any supplementary materials required to complete the admission process. You will also be assigned a Mason identification number—called a G number—that will be key to all University communications. You can find this number through your self-service center.
Step 3: Check your application status. 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 self-service center, so it is best to log in periodically to stay on top of your application.
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.
Additional Requirements for
Students applying for graduate study must have earned a baccalaureate degree from an accredited institution of higher education, which is verified from official transcripts, by the time they enroll at Mason. They should also have earned a GPA equivalent to a 3.0 on a 4-point scale.
Unofficial documents may be considered for admissions purposes only. Applicants may upload copies of their transcript with their application. Transcript must include a version in the original language as well as in English, and should contain a copy of the graduation certificate/diploma to verify the conferral date. Transcript evaluations can be made from unofficial documents.
For student who prefer to submit official transcripts instead, they can be mailed directly to:
Office of Graduate Admissions
George Mason University
4400 University Drive, MS 4C8
Fairfax, VA 22030
Please review the guidelines for international transcript submission.
*Note: For admitted students needing an F-1 or J-1 visa, the Office of Graduate Admissions and the Office of International Services and Programs must have an official transcript on file before visa paperwork can be completed. These can be submitted to the Office of Graduate Admissions after receipt of a decision of admission to the above address.
A transcript evaluation is also required for all international transcripts. Evaluations must be completed by an accredited agency approved by NACES or AACRAO, or you may submit your transcript for evaluation by George Mason’s International Credential Evaluation office. If you choose to use Mason’s service, please expect 6-8 weeks for processing.
For more information, visit the International Application Hints section of the Admissions Website.
Proof of English Proficiency
Students who were educated outside of the US, Canada (excluding Quebec), UK, Ireland, Australia, and New Zealand must submit qualifying TOEFL, IELTS, or Pearson Test of English exam results. All examinations require advance registration and it could take several weeks to receive your results. It is important to register for these examinations early.
Minimum scores required for each exam:
- TOEFL: 88 points, minimum of 20 points in each section
- IELTS: 6.5 total band score
- Pearson: minimum score of 59
Please submit the following documents as part of your I-20 application:
If you already hold an F-1 or J-1 visa, please provide a copy of your I-20 form and your passport ID photo as part of your application. For questions regarding the I-20 application, please contact the Office of Graduate Admissions or the Office of International Programs and Services.
*Note: For admitted students needing an F-1 or J-1 visa, the Office of Graduate Admissions and the Office of International Services and Programs must have an official transcript on file before visa paperwork can be completed. These can be submitted to the Office of Graduate Admissions after receipt of an admitted decision to the above address.
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.
The following courses are unavailable to non-degree students:
- Anthropology: ANTH 535, ANTH 536, ANTH 650.
- Communication: COMM 600, COMM 650. Permission of the instructor is required for 700-level courses.
- Cultural Studies: Graduate-level Cultural Studies courses are unavailable to non-degree students.
- Economics: Graduate-level courses are available to non-degree students only with the approval of the course instructor.
- English: Graduate-level Creative Writing courses require the permission of either the program director or the instructor of a specific course. Samples of original creative work will be required before such permission is granted.
- Psychology: Graduate course enrollment in Psychology for non-degree students is welcome, but must be approved by the instructor in advance. This is likely appropriate for numerous 500- and 600-level courses (and only a few at the 700-level or above), as long as the student has the required prerequisites or equivalent. The following (clinical assessment and intervention) courses are unavailable to non-degree students: Psyc 709, 710, 722, 750, 751,790, 810, 811, 816, 822, 823, 831, 832, 851, 860, 862, 881, 883, 885, 888.
Non-degree students are ineligible to take 800-level courses in any CHSS program.
CHSS non-degree enrollment is available for the Spring, Summer and Fall semesters. The deadline to apply as a CHSS non-degree student is two weeks prior to the start of classes for the relevant semester. Please refer to the Office of the University Registrar calendar for dates.
Program Specific Requirements
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*: January 4
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 4
Initial decisions typically made by February 15.
- Industrial/Organizational Psychology deadline: January 4
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 two to three typed pages describing professional goals, training history, and reasons for seeking the PhD.
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 concentration in clinical psychology recommends but does not require the psychology subject test.
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.