Doctoral Students

Step by step checklist:

There are 10 key steps you need to take from now until your first class.  It is important that you carefully review each step so that you do not miss any important deadlines or requirements.  To get started, click on the down arrow in front of each step.

Step 1: Activate your Patriot Pass and Mason Email Account

Patriot Pass is your online credential that allows you to access a variety of Mason online systems, such as Patriot Web (course registration, tuition bill, etc.) and Blackboard (a web-based learning management system that allows faculty to add resources for students).

Patriot Pass uses your NetID (also called your username) which is your personal online identifier. Your NetID is the portion of your Mason e-mail address in front of the @ symbol. For example, the Mason NetID for would be jdoe. Your Mason NetID is not the same as your G Number. Your NetID along with a password that you create makes up your Patriot Pass credentials.

To sign up for Patriot Pass, change your password, get a new password, or get more information, go to:

  2. Click on “I’m new to Patriot Pass
  3. Enter your G Number and PIN/Claim Code**

** Your default claim code is your 6-digit birthdate in the format of mmddyy (month month day day year year).

To activate your Mason email account, go to:

  2. Click on the link in step 5

Note: you need to activate your Patriot Pass before you can activate your Mason email account.

If you experience any trouble activating your Patriot Pass or Mason email Account, please call the ITS Support Center at 703-993-8870 or email

Step 2: Register for Orientation

All new Doctoral students in F-1 and J-1 status are required to attend the on-campus orientation on Wednesday, August 21, 2024, at the Fairfax Campus. 

Register to attend orientation by clicking HERE. 

During the summer, all new Doctoral students will receive another e-mail from the Office of International Programs and Services (OIPS) with information about a MANDATORY Immigration and Compliance Meeting we will provide to incoming students. This live virtual presentation is slated to be onTuesday, August 14, 2024.

Step 3: Register for Classes

In order to register for courses, follow the steps below:

    1. Review the Priority Dates and Time Tickets
    • The date when you can start registering for courses depends on your "class code" (graduate students, seniors, juniors, sophomores, freshmen, etc).  The list with "Priority Dates and Time Tickets" is available at 
    • Master's and Doctoral students can register for  Fall 2024  courses starting Tuesday, April 16, 2024. The last day to add classes is Tuesday, September 3, 2024, and the last day to drop for a 100% tuition refund is  Monday, September 9, 2024.  Go to  Patriot Web  to verify your registration time and to make sure you have a record free of holds that prevent registration. 
    • Holds on your record can be but are not limited to academic holds, financial holds, library fines, or parking fines. When you have a “hold” on your record you cannot register for courses. In order to have the hold removed, you will need to contact the appropriate office or department. You can check for holds on your account by going to PatriotWeb (select "Student Services" in the top menu bar, select "Student Records," and select "View Holds." 
    • Some students enrolled in the program Computer Science may be required to enroll in foundation courses.  Newly admitted MS students have the opportunity to "test out" the INFS 501, 515, 519, and SWE 510 foundation courses as well as the courses CS 530 and CS 531.  To learn more go to
    1. Review the Course Registration Guide
    1. Contact your Academic Advisor
    • The name and contact information of your Academic Advisor for your program can be found in your admissions acceptance letter.
    • Contact your Academic Advisor for further guidance on specific course registration via email.  We strongly recommend you use your Mason email address ( when you contact your professor (click here for email writing tips).  Your Mason email address confirms that you are a Mason student.  If you are having trouble reaching your academic advisor via email with your registration questions, please contact your academic department either via email, call, or in-person visit to let them know the issue and to determine who can help you with your registration questions.
    1. Register for Courses
    • Immigration regulations require international students in F-1 status to take a full course of study in the Fall and Spring.  Graduate students MUST register for a minimum of 9 graduate credits in Fall and Spring. 
    • Immigration regulations limit the number of online courses international students in F-1 status can count towards their full-time enrollment (the full-time enrollment requirement for graduate students is 9 credits).  International students may count only one course or three credits of online coursework towards the full-time requirement.  However, if an international student is taking more than the minimum required credits, she/he may take additional credits online.  Online courses are marked as "distance education" in the Course Catalog and the venue of the course is marked as "On-line/Internet NET" or "TBA." International students can take as many hybrid courses as they wish.  In a hybrid course, the professor and students will meet both on-campus and online. 
    • To register for classes, go to: 
    • If you decide to defer your admission, you must withdraw from courses during the drop/add period  (Final day Fall 2024: Tuesday, September 17,2024, for 50% refund). If you fail to drop your classes, you are responsible for any fees incurred. In addition, contact the Student Health Insurance Office at to cancel your health insurance.  If you fail to do so, you are responsible for any fees incurred (including late fees).
    1.  Download the app Blackboard App for Students on your smartphone
    • Blackboard App for Students is is a free mobile and tablet-optimized app for iOS, Android, and Microsoft. This app gives Mason students access to their Blackboard course content on a variety of mobile devices. The first release of the Blackboard App includes the ability to access courses, view the course content, take tests, participate in discussions, and join Collaborate sessions. 
    • Link: 

Step 4: Prepare Immunization Documents

 All Mason students born after December 31, 1956, must provide proof of compliance with immunization requirements mandated by the Commonwealth of Virginia and George Mason University.  

All students must fill out the Immunization Record Form and submit it to the Student Health Immunization Office by Thursday, August 1, 2024.Students are encouraged to complete the five immunization requirements BEFORE they travel to the US. Students must submit a completed GMU Immunization Form signed by a health care provider. Students may upload the form to the patient portal along with any blood test reports and/or chest x-ray reports.  

The five requirements are listed below:
1. Hepatitis B (shots or blood test report)
2. Measles, Mumps & Rubella (shots or blood test report)
3. Meningococcal (shot)
4. Tetanus, Diphtheria & Pertussis (shot)
5. Tuberculosis (skin test or Quantiferon blood test report) **If your home country is listed on p. 2 of the Immunization Record Form AND you have not lived in the US for the past five years, TB testing is required.  

Students can complete the five immunization requirements upon arrival at Mason, however, wait times for immunization appointments can be long. To learn more about the immunization requirements, and proof of immunization, or to print the Immunization form go to the Student Health Website.  

The deadline to submit theImmunization Record Form and supporting documents (labs and chest x-ray reports if completed) is Thursday, August 1, 2024.

We recommend you upload your completed form to the patient portal for review.  

For location and office hours, visit the Immunizations website 

NOTE: Some students submit the Immunization Record form and supporting documents online to the patient portal and other students prefer to drop off their documents in person upon arrival at Mason. Once you have completed all the requirements, you will receive a secure message from the patient portal. The message will state if your records are complete or if more information is needed. 

Step 5: Review Payment Options

  • George Mason University offers a variety of payment options (online, cash, check, credit card, payment installment plans).  To learn more about the payment methods, visit
  • George Mason has partnered with Flywire to streamline the tuition payment process for our international students. Flywire allows students to pay from any country and any bank. They also offer excellent foreign exchange rates, allowing you to pay in your home currency (in most cases) and save a significant amount of money, compared to traditional banks. You will be able to track the progress of your payment throughout the transfer process via a student dashboard and you will also be notified via email when your payment is received by Mason. If you need to make an international payment, please visit Flywire.

Step 6: Complete the online International Student Check-In

All incoming international students in F-1 status are required to check in with OIPS upon arrival in the US.  You can check-in online and the process takes less than 30 minutes.  

  • Incoming international transfer students (transferring from another institution in the US) AND current Mason students who will pursue another degree can check-in online starting Monday, July 1st, 2024; 
  • All other newly incoming international students can check-in online starting Saturday, July 20th, 2024.

IMPORTANT: The online international student check-in is mandatory!  Not doing so could cause problems with a variety of administrative requirements. The check-in due date is Wednesday, September 4th, 2024.    If you fail to check-in by this date, please email for further guidance.  

If you experience any problems with your online check-in, please complete the New International Student Check-in Troubleshooting form.  An OIPS staff member will contact you within 1-2 business days.  Click here to access the New International Student Check-in Troubleshooting form.  

To get started, go to:  

Step 7: Submit your Immunization Documents

The deadline to submit the Immunization Record form and supporting documents is Thursday, August 1, 2024. We strongly advise you to complete all the requirements BEFORE classes start to avoid long lines.  For location and office hours, visit the Immunizations website 

NOTE: Some students submit the Immunization Record form and supporting documents online (via email) and other students prefer to drop off their documents in person upon arrival at Mason.  Once you have completed all the requirements, you will receive an email from the Immunization Office stating "Your records have been received and are complete." 

Step 8: Attend Orientation

All new Doctoral students in F-1 and J-1 status are required to attend the on-campus orientation on Wednesday, August 21, 2024, at the Fairfax campus. Sessions include Immigration Compliance, the Honor Code, and Campus Resources. 

Welcome to Mason and We are very excited for you to be joining our dynamic international student community! 

Questions? Email OIPS at 

Step 9: Pay Fees

  1. Review your tuition, health insurance, and fees bill online:
  • Go to Patriot Web 
  • Click on “Student Services” 
  • Select “Student Accounts” 
  1. Pay your tuition, health insurance, and fees by the deadline:
  • The tuition deadline is  Monday, August 26, 2024
  • You do not need to wait to pay your bill until  Monday, August 26, 2024.You can pay in advance.  In case you paid too much, you can request a refund.  For more information, review the FAQs. 

Step 10: Review the Module Rules, Rules, Rules!

In addition to the steps above, you will also need to:

  • Get your Mason ID.  Check out the Mason ID card website for locations and hours of operation. You need to be registered for at least one class and bring your passport.
  • Review the UnitedHealthcare Student Resources web page.  This document will educate you on what your plan covers and what it costs.  If you have any questions about your plan or you would like to request a health insurance waiver (deadline: September 15, 2024), please send an email to (please include your name and G number). 
  • Subscribe to Mason Alert to learn about emergencies and important updates. This is optional but highly encouraged.
  • Create your profile in  Mason 360 ( to learn about upcoming events and connect with student organizations on campus. Did you know that Mason has over 300 student organizations? Membership is FREE for enrolled students.
  • Interested in on-campus housing? Find more information here.