FAQs

Q: What are the Mason Core requirements (general education), and how does the Honors Curriculum satisfy them?»
Q: What GPA do I need to stay in the Honors College?»
Q: How do AP/IB scores and dual-enrollment courses substitute for the Honors Curriculum requirements?»
Q: I am leaving the Honors College without completing the curriculum. What is your recommendation for transferring credits?»
Q: What are the hours of the Honors College Study Lounge and offices?»
Q: Where are the Honors College Offices and Study Lounge located?»

A: To receive a degree at George Mason University all students must complete a set of core academic requirements (known as the Mason Core), as well as courses required in their major. The Mason Core ensure that students are introduced to a broad range of subjects that contribute to a liberal education, and provide instruction in writing and research skills that will enhance success in any field. By completing the Honors curriculum, students satisfy the University’s humanities and social science general education requirements through five specially designed HNRS courses, called the Core courses. There is also a math requirement and a two-semester lab science requirement. AP/IB credits may substitute for some of these courses (see below). There are additional requirements depending on the type of degree and major.

Mason Core Requirements and The Honors College Curriculum

Written Communication, lower level – HNRS 110: Research Methods

Quantitative Reasoning – HNRT 125: A Liberal Arts Approach to Calculus, HNRT 225: Applied Calculus, or MATH 113: Calculus I

Arts – HNRS 122: Reading the Arts

Natural Science – HNRT 227 Scientific Process I and HNRT 228: Scientific Process II

History – HNRS 240: Reading the Past

Global Understanding – HNRS 131: Contemporary Society in Multiple Perspectives or HNRS 230: Cross-Culture Perspectives

Social and Behavioral Science – HNRS 131: Contemporary Society in Multiple Perspectives or HNRS 230: Cross-Culture Perspectives

Synthesis – HNRS 353: Technology in the Contemporary World

Students who complete the entire Honors College Curriculum listed under University General Education Requirements above. also fulfill the University general education requirements for Oral Communication, Information Technology, Literature, and upper level Written Communication.

College Level Bachelor of Arts Mason Core

Philosophy or Religious Studies – HNRS 130: Conceptions of Self

Non-Western Culture – HNRS 230: Cross-Cultural Perspectives

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A: To receive Honors in General Education on their transcript, students must earn a minimum GPA of 3.00 in HNRS courses and supporting courses required for their approved Honors Curriculum. Students whose cumulative GPA falls below 3.00 may complete the program but will not receive Honors recognition on their transcripts.

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A: George Mason University awards credit for many AP and IB exams. Once you take an AP/IB exam or complete a dual-enrollment course you need to have the results/transcripts sent to the Admissions Office at Mason. The required scores for which credit is awarded can be viewed on the Admission web page (admissions.gmu.edu/exams). Any exam for which you received a high enough score will show up on your Mason transcript as college credit, as will any course you have completed before you attend Mason. Students who have achieved the required exam scores may substitute many of their exams for Honors Curriculum courses. Exams that are not used for Honors Program requirements will be used for major, minor, or elective requirements. The entire Honors Curriculum, with the exception of two courses, HNRS 110: Research Methods and HNRS 353: Technology in the Contemporary World, has AP and/or IB exam equivalents.

Once credit at Mason is given for AP/IB exams or dual-enrollment courses, those credits can be used to fulfill requirements at Mason, either in a major (or minor), or for your Honors Curriculum requirements. Those courses that do not fulfill specific requirements will be used toward the 120 credits that are required to graduate.

For example, if you receive a 4 on the AP Environmental Science exam, the Admissions Office will give you credit for EVPP 110 and 111, an eight-credit lab science course. The Honors Curriculum will use those courses to fulfill your lab science course requirement. Also, if you receive a 5 on the AP United States History exam, the Admissions Office will give you credit for HIST 121 and 122. HIST 121 can be used to substitute for HNRS 240: Reading the Past. HIST 122, however, cannot be used by the Honors Curriculum, or for any regular general education requirements, since you will have already fulfilled your general education history requirement with HIST 121. The three credits you received for HIST 122 could possibly be used in your major. If they cannot be used in your major they will be applied as elective credits toward the 120 credits that are required to graduate.

AP/IB exams and college credits earned before you began attending Mason can be substituted for many of your Honors courses.

Be aware that most AP exams require a 4 or a 5 and IB exams require a 6 or a 7  to receive credit at Mason . See the Admissions web page for acceptable scores for AP/IB exams: http://admissions.gmu.edu/exams/

For Dual-Enrollment (previous college) courses taken before beginning your degree at George Mason University the course requirements below apply.  You must have received a B or higher for the course and it must be transferred to George Mason University and appear on your transcript before an official substitution can be made.  To substitute for HNRT 125 the dual-enrollment course must be equivalent to MATH 113 or MATH 108.  To substitute for HNRT 227 and 228 the dual-enrollment course must be equivalent to a two–course general education science sequence with labs.

Any credits that cannot be used for major, minor, or Honors curriculum requirements will count as electives towards the 120 credits required to graduate with an undergraduate degree from Mason.

HNRS 122: Reading the Arts

Can be substituted with any course that fulfills the Mason Core requirement for Arts.

HNRS 130: Conceptions of Self

Can be substituted with any course that fulfills the CHSS General Education requirement for Philosophy or Religion.

HNRS 131: Contemporary Society in Multiple Perspectives

Can be substituted with any course that fulfills the Mason Core requirement for Global Understanding.

HNRS 230: Cross-Cultural Perspectives

Can be substituted with any course that fulfills the CHSS General Education requirement for Non-Western.

HNRS 240: Reading the Past

Can be substituted with any course that fulfills the Mason Core requirement for Western Civilization or World History.

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A: Recommendations for course transfers are:

General Education Requirements Honors Courses
Written Communication (lower, ENGH 101) HNRS 110 (must earn a C or better)
Written Communication (upper, ENGH 302) HNRS 353 (must earn a C or better)
Oral Communication HNRS 110, 122, and 353
Information Technology HNRS 110 and 353
Quantitative Reasoning HNRS 125
Literature HNRS 131 or 230
Fine Arts HNRS 122
History HNRS 240
Social and Behavioral Science HNRS 131 and 230 *
Global Understanding HNRS 131 *
Philosophy and Religion HNRS 130
Non-Western HNRS 230 *
Natural Science HNRS 227 and 228
Synthesis HNRS 353

*A student who leaves the program before completion must select one of these courses to fulfill the requirement. An Honors course in this category may fulfill only one university general education requirement.

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A: Honors College Study Lounge Hours (during fall and spring semesters):

Monday – Thursday 8:30 AM to 10:00 PM

Friday 8:30 AM to 5:00 PM

Honors College Study Lounge Hours (outside of fall and spring semesters):

Monday – Friday 8:30 AM to 5:00 PM

Honors College Office Hours:

Monday – Friday 8:30 AM to 5:00 PM

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A: They are located on the 2nd (top) floor of Mason Hall.

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