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 Spring 2022 through the deposit portal.  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.

Deadline to apply for an exemption: TBD

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

Spring 2022 move-in days:  TBD
International freshman students in F-1 and J-1 status can move in on TBD

On-campus housing:

  • International Freshman students are strongly encouraged to apply for an LC (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 LC 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 LC, please send an e-mail to indicating your interest in applying.
  • There are three kinds of Learning Communities (LCs): academic, identity, and interest. The identity and interest LCs 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 LCs, please visit
  • If you have questions about the LCs, 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 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 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

COVID-19 International Orientation Update: With the health and safety of  the university community being our main priority, OIPS has made the decision to move our international student orientation online for Spring 2022. Though a virtual format, students must still register for Orientation. On Monday, November 1, 2021, we will be releasing pre-recorded virtual content for students to view at their own pace. Information about the virtual orientation process will be sent to students who register for orientation via their Masonlive email.

At the beginning of the year, 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, January 10, 2022, at 9:30 AM EST for F-1 undergraduate students.

More information about Mason’s response to COVID-19 is available at

All new freshmen students can register for virtual orientation by completing this online form.

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, December 13, 2021;
  • All other newly incoming international students can check-in online starting Monday, December 13, 2021.


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, February 1, 2022.  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 Tuesday, January 4, 2022. 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 4, 2022. 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

COVID-19 International Orientation Update: With the health and safety of  the university community being our main priority, George Mason University has made the decision to move our international student orientation online for Spring 2022. Though a virtual format, students must still register for Orientation. On Monday, November 1, 2021, we will be releasing pre-recorded virtual content for students to view at their own pace. All content should be viewed and the final assessment should be completed no later than Sunday, January 23, 2022. Information about the virtual orientation process will be sent to students who register for orientation via their Masonlive email.

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

More information about Mason’s response to COVID-19 is available at

Questions? Email OIPS at

Step 10: Finalize Your Class Schedule

Freshman students are discouraged from registering for classes UNTIL they have contacted their Academic Advisor. In your virtual orientation Blackboard course, there will be information in the Advising & Registration section on how to receive academic advising and register for courses.

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 2022: Monday, February 14, 2022, 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).

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, January 24, 2022.  
  • You do not need to wait to pay your bill until Monday, January 24, 2022.  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 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: