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 by Decemeber 1, 2019.  Please note that to reserve a spot in the residence halls, the housing deposit of $300 must be submitted at 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 to submit 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, active your Masonlive Account (Email) and register for the on-campus orientation.  Click here 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.

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

Spring 2020 move-in day:  TBA
[international freshman students in F-1 and J-1 status can move in on TBA ]

On-campus housing:

  • International Freshman students are strongly encouraged to apply for an LLC (Living-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 LLC 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 LLC, please send an e-mail to indicating your interest in applying.
  • As of TBA, spaces are still available in the LLCs with the following themes and are open to students of ALL MAJORS:
    • Outdoor Adventure - Do you like spending time outside? Students in this LLC do lots of outdoor activities together, including camping, hiking, kayaking, and even rock climbing!
    • Mindful Living - Students in this LLC focus on the concept of mindfulness, doing meditation, yoga, and activities that promote self-awareness, positive psychology, and compassion.
    • Environment & Sustainability - Students in this LLC come from many different majors but share a passion for sustainable living practices to protect our environment and natural resources. They participate in Mason's sustainability activities, such as composting, raising honeybees, organic gardening, and much more!
    • The First - Are you the first one in your family to go to college? This LLC is for students who are academic trailblazers for their families and they receive extra support for their transition to college life from mentors and other first-generation college students.
  • If you have questions about the LLCs, 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 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 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:

  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:

  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

Step 4: Register for Orientation

All F-1 Undergraduate Freshman Students are required to attend an on-campus Orientation held at the Fairfax campus on Thursday January, 16th 2020.

** The International Student Orientation for Undergraduate Students is co-hosted by the Office of Orientation and Family Programs & Services and the Office of International Programs and Services.

To register for orientation, go to  

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 in-person. 

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, 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.  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 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 9: Visit the OIPS Welcome Desk and 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 through 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.


  • Date: Thursday, January 16, 2020
  • Time: 9am - 5pm
  • Venue: JC Dewberry Hall

Click here to view the schedule. Questions?  Email Jonathan Carmona at

Step 10: Finalize Your Class Schedule

Freshman students are discouraged from registering for classes UNTIL they have contacted their Academic Advisor. During orientation (Thursday, January 16, 2020) students will meet with an academic advisor and will finalize their class schedules in one of the Computer Lab.  IT staff and several academic advisors will be present in the Computer Lab to help you with course registration and answer any questions you may have.

TIP: Freshmen students (and Sophomore transfer students) are strongly encouraged to register for the course "UNIV 100" (University 100) during their first semester at Mason.  The course is designed to help students adjust to college by preparing them with a solid foundation of skills and knowledge necessary for success. Click here to learn more.

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"

  • Immigration regulations require international students in F-1 status to take a full course of study in Fall and Spring.  Undergraduate students MUST register for a minimum of 12 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 undergraduate students is 12 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." 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.

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 Blackboard App includes the ability to access courses, view 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 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 to cancel your health insurance.  If you fail to do 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 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 12: 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 and Student Conduct.

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, 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.

Useful Links

You may also be interested in the following information: