Freshman Students

Step by step checklist:

There are 12 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: Pay your Enrollment Deposit

Your first step is to pay the $250 enrollment deposit to confirm your enrollment.  We will continue to accept enrollment deposits for Fall 2024through the deposit portal.Please note that to reserve a spot in the residence halls, the housing deposit of $300 should be submitted around the same time as the enrollment deposit (for a total of $550). Housing will be provided on a first-come, first-served basis, so you are encouraged tosubmit your $550 deposit as soon as possible. Three to five business days after paying your enrollment deposit, you will be able to activate your Patriot Pass, activate your Mason email account, and register for the on-campus orientation.  Clickhereto follow the steps on how to pay the $250 enrollment deposit.  

Step 2: Review Housing Options

All freshman students are required to live on campus unless one of the exemptions is met. 

Deadline to apply for an exemption: May 15, 2024 

Make sure you pay your housing deposit to confirm your room! 

Fall 2024 move-in days:   

International freshman students in F-1 and J-1 status can move in early starting Sunday, August 18, 2024. Please ensure to move in before the International Student Orientation on Tuesday, August 20, 2024. 

On-campus housing: 

  • International Freshman students are strongly encouraged to apply for an  RLC (Residential Learning Community). It is a great way to build a network of American friends during your first year at Mason.  
  • You can apply to an RLC when you fill out your  on-campus housing application. If you already filled out your online housing application but would now like to apply to an RLC, please send an e-mail to indicate your interest in applying. 
  • There are three kinds of Residential Learning Communities (RLCs): academic, identity, and interest. The identity and interest RLCs have no major/college/school requisite to admission, so they are open to ALL MAJORS. For the academic one, you will have to be part of that specific college/school to be eligible. For a full list of RLCs, please visit 
  • If you have questions about the RLCs, please send an e-mail to 

Off-campus housing: If you meet one of the exemptions for the requirement for all Freshmen to live on campus, you can learn about local off-campus housing options here: 

Step 3: Activate your Patriot Pass and Mason Email Account

Patriot Pass is the 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 Masonlive Account, please call the ITS Support Center at 703-993-8870 or email

Step 4: Register for Orientation

All new undergraduate students in F-1 status are required to attend the on-campus orientation on Tuesday, August 20, 2024, at the Fairfax campus. All new F-1 freshmen students can register for the orientation by completing thisonline form. More information will be provided to you later. 

During the Summer, new freshman students will receive another e-mail from the Office of International Programs and Services (OIPS) with information about a MANDATORY Immigration and Compliance Meeting that we will provide to incoming students. This live virtual presentation is slated to be on Monday, August 12, 2024,for F-1 undergraduate students. 

Questions about orientation? Email OIPS at 

Step 5: Complete Patriot Preview

Patriot Preview is an online pre-orientation experience.  This system is tailored to you as a Mason student, and includes a variety of key pieces of information to help you navigate your transition to Mason. Participation is open to all new Mason undergraduates, and we ask that you complete the experience prior to attending orientation. 

You can access Patriot Preview at any time online from your computer, tablet, or smart phone.  You also can complete it in sections or all at once.  The system will remember where you left off the next time you log in.  The experience includes videos, text information, and opportunities to learn more about a variety of topics.  As information is customized to your student profile, including major and special programs, you will need your G number in order to access the system.

To get started, visit and set up a login using your G number and personally generated password.

Step 6: Contact Academic Advisor & Register for Classes

Please select your academic college below to find out about your specific registration process and how to contact your Academic Advisor.

All international students are strongly encouraged to register for one section of "UNIV 100" during their first semester at Mason. This course helps new students become familiar with the university and many of the processes and resources that students need to know.  This class is particularly important for international students who are new to the American academic system.  This class is 1 credit and there are 30+ sections available during the fall.  If you have trouble finding a section that fits in your schedule, please ask about this during orientation so we can connect you with the course coordinator for UNIV 100.


Step 7: 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  All other newly incoming international students can check in online starting  Saturday, July 20th, 2024.

IMPORTANT: 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 8: Submit your 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  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, 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 9: Attend Orientation

All new undergraduate students in F-1 status are required to attend the on-campus orientation onTuesday, August 20, 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 about orientation? Email OIPS at 

Step 10: Finalize Your Class Schedule

  • Freshman students are discouraged from registering for classes UNTIL they have contacted their Academic Advisor. 
  • While completing your registration for Orientation, you will select 2 important dates. One is for your virtual advising and registration session to select your classes. You are expected to attend this session to get registered for your classes and make sure you are set on the correct academic path for your major.   
  • If you wish to get advice for your academic path prior to your virtual advising & registration session, virtual pre-orientation academic advising is available to international students beginning on Friday, April 26, 2024, through the major of your academic College/School. To confirm which College/School you are in, reference the full list of  majors at Mason. You will then need to reach out to the advisor directly to make an appointment, otherwise, you can come to your chosen virtual session.    
  • Placement Exams– These are major-specific. Review information on how to complete a test at the math placement and foreign language placement websites. Placement testing can be completed virtually or on-campus in-person in advance of your Advising & Registration date. In-person math placement tests are encouraged, and are available daily as walk-in only. Limited virtual math placement test sessions will be available using this navigate link. Be sure to review the major-specific information to determine if you need a test or not for your course registration requirements.

Prior to orientation/course registration, we recommend you review the following information:

1. Review the Course Registration Guide

2. Review the rule "Full-Time Enrollment Requirement"

  • Federal regulations require international students in F-1 status to take a full course of study in the Fall and Spring.  Undergraduate students MUST register for a minimum of 12 credits in Fall and Spring. 
  • Federal 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 undergraduates is 12 credits and at least 9 credits must be face-to-face or hybrid. If a student has met the requirement to take at least 9 face-to-face or hybrid credits, they can take 3 credits online or more credits online. Students should check with their department to make sure there is no academic restriction to taking online courses.  
  • Online courses are marked as "distance education" in the Course Catalog and the venue of the course is marked as "Online/Internet NET" or "TBA." Please note that online courses are different from hybrid courses. In a hybrid course, the professor and students will meet both on-campus and online. International students can take as many hybrid courses as they wish. Students can also determine if a course is online or face-to-face/hybrid by checking the Instructional Method in Patriotweb. Student should register for at least 9 credits that are F2F: 76-100% or Hybrid, F2F 2-75%. After meeting this requirement, students can take 3 or more credits that are fully online: 
    • Fully online: F2F 0-1%   

3.  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:

If you decide to defer your admission, you must withdraw from courses during thedrop/add period(Final day of Fall 2024: Tuesday, September 17, 2024, for a 50% refund).  If you fail todrop 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 todo so, you are responsible for any fees incurred (including late fees).  

Step 11: Pay Fees

1. Review your tuition, health insurance and fees bill online:

  • Go to Patriot Web
  • Click on “Student Services”
  • Select “Student Accounts”

2. 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.

3. 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 untilMonday, 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 12: 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 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 on what your plan covers and what it costs.  If you have any questions about your plan or you would like to request ahealth 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.