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College of Education and Human Development - George Mason University

What is the difference between non-degree and graduate status?

Non-degree status enables students who have no immediate degree objective or may need to satisfy prerequisites for admission to a degree program to enroll in courses for which they are qualified without seeking formal admission to a degree program. Enrollment in specific courses is based on eligibility criteria and availability of space in courses; in high-demand fields, enrollment may be restricted or prohibited.

All non-degree applicants must complete a non-degree online application for admission and supply official transcripts from all post secondary institutions they have attended. High school guest matriculate applicants must submit an official high school transcript, SAT or ACT scores, and a secondary school report along with a written recommendation from their guidance counselor.

Non-degree applications and their established deadlines are available online.

Graduate non-degree students are applicants seeking to take graduate-level courses or graduate prerequisites courses must meet graduate admission standards. These students will be considered graduate level even if they are taking undergraduate courses. Individual units and majors may have additional requirements for non-degree graduate status. A student cannot graduate or receive a degree while in non-degree status. All master's programs require at least 18 credits to be completed in degree status at Mason to be considered for graduation, and some graduate programs allow a maximum of six credits to be transferred from non-degree status. It is strongly recommended that students who plan to seek a degree from Mason apply for degree status admission as soon as possible.

What is provisional status?

Provisional admission is available to a degree-seeking graduate applicant with a baccalaureate degree who has not met all admission requirements if sufficient evidence is presented to suggest the applicant has the ability to pursue graduate work. As first priority when starting the graduate program, a provisionally admitted student must satisfy the conditions of admission. Once the student has satisfied the conditions specified in the offer of admission contract, the provisional qualifier will be removed from the student's record. Written confirmation indicating the removal will be sent to the student from the college, school, or institute dean or director. It is the responsibility of the student to track their program in meeting the conditions of their provisional admissions. If the student does not meet the conditions within the first 12 credits (or a more restricted time frame specified by the department in the offer of provisional admission), the student will be terminated from the program. All applicants admitted provisionally are in degree-seeking status, and course work taken appears as part of their graduate-level transcript. Students in provisional status may not take courses in the consortium or elsewhere or transfer graduate course work into their program until the provisions of admission have been met.

What is the difference between an IP and an IN grade?

In Progress (IP): This grade may be given in selected courses, including graduate theses, dissertations, practica, and internships. IP may also be used when the work of a course that is graded S/NC or A/B/C/NC is not completed within one semester. IP has no effect on the GPA. A grade of IP remains on the record until the work is completed and a final grade is assigned. IP grades will be awarded in courses numbered 998 and 999 until successful completion, and then they will be changed to S/NC Incomplete (IN): This grade may be given to students who are passing a course but who may be unable to complete scheduled course work for a cause beyond reasonable control. The student must then complete all the requirements by the end of the ninth week of the next semester, not including summer term, and the instructor must turn in the final grade by the end of the 10th week. Unless an explicit written extension is filed with the Registrar's Office by the faculty deadline, the grade of IN is changed by the registrar to an F. The maximum IN extension is to the end of the same semester in which it was originally due. Students who have filed their intent to graduate have only six weeks from the date of degree conferral to resolve any incomplete grades and have the final grades recorded by the Registrar's Office. While a grade of IN remains on the transcript, it is treated as an unsatisfactory grade in determining probation, suspension, termination, or dismissal. Removal of INs from the transcript may result in retroactive elimination of probation, suspension, termination, or dismissal.

Can I repeat a course?

Some courses are annotated in the catalog as "repeatable for credit." These are courses in which students receive additional credit for more than one taking of the same course, up to a maximum number of credits specified in the catalog. Special topics and independent study courses are examples. For all other courses, the following conditions apply:

  • Graduate students who have passed a course with a grade of B- or better are not permitted to repeat the course for credit. Also, they must obtain permission from the offering department to repeat a course in which a grade of C or below has been earned. Duplicate credit is not earned. Each department establishes procedures for granting such permission. When a course is repeated, all credits attempted are used to determine warning, termination, or dismissal; the transcript shows grades for all courses attempted; and only one grade per course may be presented on the degree application.
  • Except for courses that are repeatable for additional credit, such as special topics courses, undergraduate degree students may repeat courses for which they seek a higher grade. A grade received in a repeated course will replace a grade in prior takings of the same course in the calculation of the cumulative GPA, even if the more recent grade is lower. Repeat rules apply to the same course and courses designated in the catalog as equivalent. Repeat rules apply throughout a student's academic history. All instances of courses and their grades remain part of the student's transcript. Duplicate credit is not given. No adjustment to the cumulative GPA will be made when the grade in the repeated course is W. A grade in a Mason course will not be excluded from the cumulative GPA based on a subsequent taking of an equivalent course at a transfer institution. The exclusion of earlier grades of repeated courses will not change the academic standing or dean's list notations for the earlier semester. Note that individual programs may disallow students from retaking certain high-demand courses simply for the purpose of improving their grade.
  • If I am a Mason student can I take courses and earn credits at another institution?

    Students who apply for admission to Mason usually do not seek simultaneous enrollment at another collegiate institution. In those unique situations when a student does seek concurrent enrollment, the student must obtain advance written approval. Students must complete the "Request to Take a Course Elsewhere" form. This process permits a student to enroll elsewhere in a suitable course unavailable at Mason. Catalog numbers and descriptions of courses to be taken elsewhere must be submitted with the request for approval. Students must submit an official transcript for all such course work to the Registrar's Office. Note that while credit may be approved for transfer and a minimum grade must be achieved, grades themselves do not compute into any Mason GPA. Students who enroll elsewhere without advance written permission while enrolled at Mason may not receive transfer credit for course work taken at other institutions.

    Do I have to use my GMU e-mail account?

    Yes, please!!!! Each student is required to maintain with Mason current contact and identifying information, including permanent and local addresses, telephone numbers, student number, and legal name. Each student must also maintain the university e-mail account assigned at the time of admission. Students are responsible for official communications directed to Mason e-mail accounts. The university will only communicate to students using their GMU e-mail accounts. This includes announcements about Admissions, Academic Actions, Graduation, etc. Of course you can have your GMU e-mail account forwarded to any personal e-mail accounts you may have.

    Why is my account inactive?

    All master's and doctoral degree students who have failed to enroll in at least 1 credit of course work for two or more consecutive semesters at Mason are considered to be inactive students. Permission to re-enroll in a program must be obtained by the student. A program may allow a student to petition to graduate under any catalog in effect while the student was enrolled. The final decision rests with the unit dean or director. Forms are available from the Office of the Registrar at / /.

    What is an override?

    A registration override is the electronic equivalent of a force-add slip. The course instructor has to give permission for a student to bypass certain enrollment restrictions that would otherwise prevent them from registering for the course. The two most common reasons for a course override are: (a) permission to register for a course that is full or has reached enrollment capacity; (b) permission to register for a course that has major restrictions listed.

    What is a waitlist?

    When courses reach their set enrollment capacity (closed), programs may offer a waitlist option to allow students a chance to add the class if space becomes available.

    Do all courses have a waitlist option?

    No, individual programs decide if they will offer a waitlist option for closed courses based on enrollments.

    How do I know if the closed course I want to add offers a waitlist option?

    Patriot Web will notify you that there is a waitlist option available once you attempt to register for a closed section. If you do not receive the notification that you may add yourself to a waitlist for the closed section, then the option is not available for that section and you should choose an alternate course selection at that time.

    If I add myself to a waitlist, will I be automatically registered for the course?

    No, you will never be automatically registered into a class. Once you add yourself to a waitlist it is your responsibility to check Patriot Web to see if you have been issued an override by the instructor. If you have been issued an override, it will show just below your registration status information in a new box labeled, "Registration Permits and Overrides." When this box appears, you must note the course listed in the box and select the "Register, Add, or Drop" link to drop that course from your schedule, *Submit* your changes, then re-add it using the Add Classes Worksheet on the registration page and *Submit* again. You will have *72 hours* from the date the override notification appeared on your Patriot Web account to drop yourself from waitlist status and register for that course on your PatriotWeb registration form.

    How do I run a Degree Evaluation?

    1. Log into
    2. Click on Student Information Menu and then Degree Evaluation
    3. Select the most recent term
    4. Enter student's G# and click Submit
    5. At the bottom of the List Curriculum Information page click Generate New Evaluation
    6. Click the button beside the program
    7. Click Generate Request
    8. Click Detail Requirements Button and click Submit