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 Masonlive 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 jdoe@gmu.edu would be jdoe. Your Mason NetID is not the same as your G Number. Your NetID along with a password that you create make up your Patriot Pass credentials.

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

  1. http://strongpassword.gmu.edu
  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 Masonlive email account, go to:

  1. https://password.gmu.edu/
  2. Click on the link in step 5

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

If you experience any trouble activating your Patriot Pass or Masonlive Account, please call the ITU Support Center at 703-993-8870 or email support@gmu.edu.

Step 2: Register for Orientation

All new graduate students in F-1 and J-1 status are required to attend the on-campus orientation on Wednesday, January 15, 2020, 11:30 am - 5 pm.  The orientation will take place on the Fairfax campus (JC Dewberry Hall).  Sessions include immigration compliance, the Honor Code and Campus Resources.

Orientation registration form: http://oips.gmu.edu/graduate-student-orientation-registration/

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 https://registrar.gmu.edu/calendars/
  • Master's and Doctoral students can register for Spring 2020 courses starting Tuesday, November 5, 2019.  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" of 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 http://cs.gmu.edu/current-students/ms-students/foundation-courses/policies-and-procedures/

2. Review the Course Registration Guide

3. Contact your Academic Advisor

  • Contact your Academic Advisor for further guidance on specific course registration via email.  We strongly recommend you use your Masonlive email address (username@masonlive.gmu.edu) when you contact your professor (click here for email writing tips).  Your Masonlive 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.

4. Register for Courses

  • Immigration regulations require international students in F-1 status to take a full course of study in 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: http://patriotweb.gmu.edu
  • If you decide to defer your admission, you must withdraw from courses during the drop/add period (Final day Spring 2020: Tuesday, February 11, 2020). If you fail to drop your classes, you are responsible for any fees incurred. In addition, contact the Student Health Insurance Office at insure@gmu.edu to cancel your health insurance.  If you fail to do so, you are responsible for any fees incurred (including late fees).

5.  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 Blackboard App includes the ability to access courses, view course content, take tests, participate in discussions, and join Collaborate sessions.
  • Link: http://coursessupport.gmu.edu/coursetools.cfm?categoryname=Bb%20Mobile

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 the Immunization Record Form and submit it to the Student Health Immunization Office by the Tuesday, January 21, 2020. 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, proof of immunization, or to print the Immunization form go to the Student Health Website.

The deadline to submit the Immunization Record Form and supporting documents (labs and chest x-ray reports if completed) is Tuesday, January 21, 2020. 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 http://studentaccounts.gmu.edu/payment-information/
  • 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, December 2, 2019;
  • All other newly incoming international students can check in online starting Saturday, December 14, 2019.

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 Tuesday, January 28, 2020 (the final drop/add deadline).

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: http://oips.gmu.edu/international-student-check-in-form/

Step 7: Submit your Immunization Documents

  • The deadline to submit the Immunization Record form and supporting documents is Monday, January 21, 2020.   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: Visit the OIPS Welcome Desk & Attend Orientation

OIPS Welcome Desk

  • Once you have arrived in the US, you will need to complete several tasks before your classes begin.  If you are not sure how or where to start, please visit the OIPS Welcome Desk on the fourth floor of SUB I between Monday, January 13 and Friday, January 24, 11 am - 4 pm (the OIPS Welcome Desk is closed on Saturdays and Sundays).  Our OIPS Welcome Desk Assistant, will help you to find the right resources and answer any questions you may have.

Info Sessions

  • In January, the OIPS team will host a number of info sessions to help you with your transition. Click here to learn more.

Orientation

  • Date: Wednesday, January 15, 2020
  • Time: 11:30am - 5pm
  • Venue: JC Dewberry Hall

Click here to view the schedule.  Questions?  Email Jonathan Carmona at jcarmon2@gmu.edu

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”

2. Pay your tuition, health insurance and fees by the deadline:

  • The tuition deadline is Tuesday, January 21, 2020.   
  • You do not need to wait to pay your bill until Tuesday, January 21, 2020.  You can pay in advance.  In case you paid too much, you can request a refund.  For more information, review the FAQs.

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

The Blackboard organization “International Student Launchpad” is a virtual one-stop shop for F-1 and J-1 students.  The Blackboard organization is structured like an online course and consists of several instructional modules.  Note that the word “module” does not refer to computer programming but rather to an educational component or section of a course.

The section “Know the Rules” features the instructional module “Rules, Rules, Rules!”  This module will educate incoming international students about important rules and regulations, including Immigration Compliance, The Honor Code, Student Conduct and US Health Care.

Incoming international students will be enrolled in this module and receive a hand-out with instructions on how to access the International Student Launchpad during the International Student Check-in. The quizzes will open on Friday, February 7, 2020. All students are required to complete the module “Rules, Rules, Rules!” by Friday, February 21, 2020.

A hold will be put on the account of students who fail to complete the module by the deadline.  Students who have a hold on their account will be unable to register for classes for the next semester and/or request a transcript from the University Registrar.

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 operations. 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 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: Saturday, February 15, 2020), please send an email to insure@gmu.edu (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 (https://mason360.gmu.edu) 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.

Useful Links

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