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Frequently Asked Questions

Q: What are the benefits of the Honors College?»
Q: How can I apply to the Honors College as an incoming freshman?»
Q: Is there a minimum GPA or test score required to be considered for the Honors College curriculum or the University Scholars Program?»
Q: How will I find out if I’ve been admitted to the Honors College or University Scholars Program?»
Q: I have applied to the Honors College as an incoming freshman for the Fall 2013 semester and was denied admission to the Honors College, but have been admitted to George Mason University. Can I appeal this decision?»
Q: Who can I contact if I have further questions regarding admission to these programs?»
Q: Can I apply to the Honors College as a transfer student or as a current student at Mason?»
Q: What is the Honors College Living Learning Community (LLC)?»
Q: What are the benefits of the LLC?»
Q: Is it possible to participate in the LLC activities without living in the LLC?»
Q: Where are students in the LLC housed?»
Q: What are some additional features of the Honors College?»
Q: What is the University Scholars Program?»
Q: What are general education requirements (gen. ed.), 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: Benefits provided by the Honors College include:

  • Challenging courses in the Honors Curriculum which fulfill core academic requirements at Mason
  • Small classes taught by senior faculty
  • Participation in a diverse living learning community
  • Individualized academic advising and priority registration opportunities for close interaction with faculty for one-on-one mentoring and graduate & professional advising
  • Participation in the Undergraduate Research Apprenticeship Program
  • Opportunities to apply for Honors College study abroad and other Honors College scholarships
  • Guidance in pursuing postgraduate fellowship and scholarship opportunities
  • Access to Washington, D.C. for internships and cultural activities
  • Special lectures, events, and field trips
  • Participation in the University Scholars Program for a select group of students

 

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To be considered for admission to the Honors College curriculum and/or the University Scholars Program, you must submit your freshman online Mason application no later than November 1.  Within the online application, you will have the option of indicating your interest in one or both programs by checking a box.  In addition to checking these boxes, you must submit a supplemental essay as prompted within the application.

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No.  All applicants are reviewed holistically, taking into consideration the following: rigor of your high school coursework, your GPA, your class rank, your test scores (if submitted), your response to the required supplemental essay, your demonstration of commitment to community service and leadership and any other information provided in your application.

 

Admissions to the Honors College curriculum and University Scholars program is competitive and the standards may vary from year to year, varying with the applicant pool.

 

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If accepted to the Honors College and/or the University Scholars, you will be notified via mail.  This mailed notification will be sent separately from your admissions decision to the university.  You can expect to receive the Honors College notification no later than mid-January, and the University Scholars notification no later than early February.  Only students invited to the program will receive notification.

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A: Yes, the Honors College does accept appeals on a space-available basis.  To appeal your decision, please carefully read and complete the following form: Honors College Appeals Form.  Note that all required documents must be submitted no later than April 1, 2013.  Appeals completed after April 1, 2013 will not be considered.

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You may contact Grace Zamorano, the Recruitment and Outreach Coordinator for the Honors College, at gzamora2@gmu.edu.

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Admission to the Honors College is available for students transferring to George Mason University from another institution as well as students currently enrolled at Mason.  Interested students should carefully review the information provided below.

Transfer From Another Institution

Students transferring from another college or university may apply to the Honors College while applying to the university using the online application.  Students must indicate their interest by checking the appropriate box and submitting the required essay within the application.  The essay question can be found in the online application.

All information submitted with the online application will be considered when making a decision.  In some cases, an in-person interview may be requested by the Honors College; otherwise, an interview will not be offered.

Transfer applicants should meet the following guidelines:

  • Between 12 – 45 credit hours completed at an accredited college or university
  • Minimum 3.5 cumulative GPA
  • Applicants must submit one letter of recommendation from a faculty member
  • Applicants must submit the required essay as prompted within the online application

Deadline to apply for Fall entry is March 1

Students are only accepted into the Honors College for the fall semester.

Current Mason Students:

Students currently enrolled at Mason must complete two full semesters of study (minimum of 24 credit hours) before they can be considered for admission to the Honors College. To apply, students must send an email indicating their interest to the Recruitment and Outreach Coordinator, Grace Zamorano (gzamora2@gmu.edu).  At that time, they will receive the required essay instructions.

An applicant’s Mason record as well as any information submitted in the online application to the university may be considered.  In some cases, an-in person interview may be requested by the Honors College; otherwise, an interview will not be offered.

Current Mason student applicants should meet the following guidelines:

  • Minimum of 24 credit hours completed
  • Minimum 3.5 cumulative GPA
  • Applicants must submit one letter of recommendation from a faculty member
  • Applicants must submit the required essay as provided by the Recruitment and Outreach Coordinator

Deadline to apply for Fall entry is July 1

Students are only accepted into the Honors College for the fall semester.

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A: All Honors College students taking the Curriculum, including those selected as University Scholars, receive the opportunity to live in the Honors College LLC, which provides living, learning, and recreational space designed to foster the development of community among Honors College students. Under the leadership of the Honors College LLC Coordinator and the Director of University Scholars, students who choose to take advantage of the LLC are given opportunities to participate in activities organized by the Honors College and plan extra- and co-curricular activities both on campus and within the larger community. Each floor in the LLC has a Resident Advisor (RA) to help plan activities and assist students in their transition to life at Mason. One area is specifically designated for University Scholars. For more information go to Honors College LLC website.

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A: The benefits on the Honors LLC are:

  • Living with other Honors College students
  • Many students take the same courses
  • Some classes held within the residence hall
  • Special programming held for students in the halls
  • Access to LLC Coordinator to help plan events and activities to meet the needs of residents
  • Specially trained RA’s who have been part of the Honors College
  • Access to a specially trained Resident Director and Area Coordinator
  • Peer Mentors
  • Four year LLC

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A: All students are encouraged to live in the LLC, and most students choose to live there during their freshmen year. Although participation in the LLC is not required, all Honors College students are invited to participate in LLC events and activities.

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A: The Freshman LLC will be housed in Eastern Shore which is a brand new building, featuring suite-style living in 16-person units. These clusters will be used to establish tight-knit communities of students and allow for special programming activities. Well-trained hall staff will plan events such as lectures with Mason faculty and outside experts, field trips, social gatherings, and other activities designed to help students successfully transition into their first year of college.

The LLC for Sophomores, Juniors, and Seniors will also be expanded this year with Sophomores living in Blue Ridge and Juniors and Seniors continuing to reside in Northern Neck. We will also further develop the activities offered to the upper level LLC by providing more opportunities to take on leadership roles within the LLC and Honors College in general and by preparing our students for life after college through career planning, graduate admissions workshops and specific social and networking opportunities.

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A: The Postgraduate Scholarships and Fellowships Program provides advice and information to high-achieving Mason undergraduates and recent alumni about the application process for nationally competitive fellowships. Mason students have recently achieved significant success by being awarded the prestigious Marshall Scholarship, which fully funds the pursuit of a master’s degree at any university in the United Kingdom, and the Truman Scholarship, which provides juniors interested in public service careers with $30,000 of funding toward a graduate or professional degree, as well as leadership training and other opportunities in Washington, D.C. Additionally, several Mason students have received competitive Fulbright awards, which fund a year of research, study, or teaching in one of over 140 countries worldwide. For more information on these and other awards, go to: http://www.gmu.edu/student/fellowships.

The Undergraduate Apprenticeship Program provides a research stipend to a group of students who wish to work closely on a research or creative project with a faculty mentor of their choosing. In addition to working with a faculty mentor, students meet regularly as a group with the director of the program and a small group of like-minded peers to learn more about research and publication opportunities and preparing one’s research for presentation. They also learn more about applying to summer research programs across the country, as well as to competitive graduate and professional programs. Apprentices are provided with many opportunities to present their work at university-wide research events and at national undergraduate research conferences. These opportunities are open to the entire Mason community. The Postgraduate Scholarships and Fellowships Program and Undergraduate Apprenticeship Program are housed within the Honors College For more information, visit: http://uap.gmu.edu.

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A: From among the candidates invited to be a part of the Honors College, a small cadre of approximately 25 of the most outstanding students are selected as University Scholars, Mason’s highest academic distinction. Students selected for this recognition are awarded the most competitive and distinguished four-year merit scholarship that Mason offers to undergraduate students.

This select group of students enjoys:

  • Enhanced academic advising from Honors College faculty to meet their specific needs
  • Opportunities for educational experiences beyond the classroom, including exposure to an environment that facilitates academic and social interaction with other Scholars at all levels, including a dedicated study lounge reserved for University Scholars
  • A devoted staff of mentors who provide guidance, encouragement, support, and opportunities for the development of practical and effective leadership skills, community involvement, educational interests, personal growth, and professional aspirations
  • Participation in programs that promote public service opportunities, campus-wide programming, and civic engagements
  • An active role in building a community that jointly supports the goals of all Scholars and Honors College students in a designated area in the Honors College Living Learning Community

 

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A: To receive a degree at George Mason University all students must complete a set of core academic requirements (known at Mason as General Education requirements), as well as courses required in their major. General Education requirements 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.

University General Education 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 General Education Requirements

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 University General Education 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 University General Education 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 University General Education 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

The Study Lounge will be close 12/23/2011  through 1/2/2012 for the holiday season.

Honors College Office Hours:

Monday – Friday 8:30 AM to 5:00 PM

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A: They are located on the 3rd floor of Enterprise Hall.

Study Lounge: Room 300 and Office: Room 302

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