Academic Advising & Transfer Center > Current Students > Advising FAQs

Advising FAQs

Below is a list of frequently asked questions (FAQ’s) we receive from students.



Q. How do I contact my academic advisor?


A. Undeclared students are advised in the Academic Advising & Transfer Center. The Academic Advising & Transfer Center also advises students who are considering changing their majors and pre-health professional students. If you have a declared major you are advised in that academic department. The Advisor Locator will give you the departments location, phone number, and link to their website.


Q. How do I change my major?


A. You need to complete a Change/Declaration of Academic Program form which you can obtain by printing it from the Registrar’s web site Change/Declaration of Academic Program form, going to their office in SUB I, Room 2101, or from the Academic Advising Center in SUB I, Room 3500. To complete the form, first have it signed by the department that you are declaring and finally the form must be submitted to the Registrar’s office.



Q. Does Mason have a forgiveness policy for unsatisfactory grades?


A. When calculating a student’s cumulative GPA, if a course is repeated, only the new grade will be used in this calculation.



Q. What are academic warning, probation, suspension, and dismissal?


A. An undergraduate student who earns a cumulative gpa of less than a 2.00 will be put on academic warning, probation or suspension. Your attempted credit level will determine the degree of academic restriction. A student’s attempted credit level consists of credits passed, credits failed, credits withdrawn, transfer credit, AP and IB credit, and any other credit the student earned through credit by testing. A warning and probation both result in a restriction of 13 credits for the following semester. Following a first suspension, students cannot take courses for two academic periods unless it is imposed at the end of a summer term in which case the student will be unable to enroll for the fall semester, but can return for the spring semester. If a student receives a second suspension, that individual will not be allowed to take courses for one full academic year. A third suspension will result in the student being dismissed from the university.



Q. How does the 13 credit limit work?


A. Undergraduate students who earn a GPA of less than 2.00 and are still eligible to enroll, may register for a maximum of 13 credit hours for the following spring or fall semester. All undergraduate students who are returning from suspension in a fall or spring semester may take a maximum of 13 credit hours and must meet with an advisor before registering.



Q. What is full/part/half time credit load?


A. Undergraduate students are considered full time if they are registered for at least 12 credit hours. Part time undergraduate students are registered for fewer than 12 credit hours. Half time undergraduate students must be registered for a minimum of 6 hours.



Q. What are the guidelines for taking courses at other institutions?


A. In order to take courses elsewhere, students must receive prior approval from the appropriate department or dean. The Study Elsewhere Form can be obtained by visiting the Registrar’s website. The form must be signed by an advisor and then submitted with any required documentation to the Student Affairs office of the student’s academic department.



Q. Can I test out of any courses?


A. Mason offers a limited number of departmental exams for credit that will permit you to test out of certain courses. These options can be located by visiting: http://admissions.gmu.edu/exams/ExamDepartmental.asp



Q. How do double majors, double minors, and two degrees work?


A. A Double major consists of earning a Bachelor of Art or Bachelor of Science in two subject areas. Students need to complete the requirements of each major in addition to general education requirements. Students interested in a double major must meet with an advisor in each department and will need to have the Change/Declaration of Academic Program form signed by both departments.

Minors normally require 15-21 hours. To pursue a minor, please see an advisor in that academic department. To declare a minor you must submit an Undergraduate Minor Declaration form) to the Registrar’s office. Many minors require an advisor’s signature to declare. If you would like to earn two or more minors, see an advisor in each academic department.

To earn two degrees a student completes the requirements for two different types of degrees, such as a Bachelor of Arts and a Bachelor of Science. Students must detail a program of study for each degree and obtain departmental approval. In order to graduate with two degrees, students need to complete a minimum of 30 GMU credits beyond those required by either degree individually. Go to the catalog for more information.



Q. What are “holds” on my record and how do I get them removed?


A. Holds on your record can be but are not limited to academic holds, financial holds, library fines or parking fines. When you have a “hold” on your record you are not able to adjust your schedule in any way. In order to have the hold removed, you will need to contact the appropriate office or department. You can check for holds on your account by going to PatriotWeb.



Q. Can I take classes on line at Mason?


A. Mason offers a limited number of courses on line. To review your options, please refer to PatriotWeb.



Q. Where can I find out what courses fulfill General Education Requirements?


A. To obtain the list of courses that fulfill the General Education Requirements, please visit: University General Education Requirements



Q. I have a learning disability, how do I get help?


A. You will need to establish that you are eligible to receive the appropriate services and accommodations by opening a file with the Office of Disability Services. You may contact them at 703.993.2474 to set up an appointment.



Q. How do I find out what classes fulfill the non-western course requirement?


A. The College of Humanities and Social Sciences website and the University Catalog both contain a list of the courses that fulfill the non-western course requirement.



Q. When should I declare a major?


A. Students should declare a major by the time they have earned 60 credits. If you are having difficulty deciding on a major you may want to visit a career consultant in University Career Services, in SUB I, Room 348, and also meet with an academic advisor in the Academic Advising & Transfer Center in SUB I, Room 304, to review your options.



Q. How do I find my grades and what does NA, NC and other codes mean on my grade report?


A. To access grade reports, log onto http://patriotweb.gmu.edu.
An NA represents failure of a course due to never attending class. NC represents no credit for a completed course. To find the meaning of other grade notations see the university catalog section on the Grading System.



Q. If I don’t attend for a semester do I have to re-apply?


A. You do not have to re-apply unless you took courses at another institution during that semester. Your account will remain active for one academic year.



Q. What is an academic action?


A. Some examples of academic actions include: asking for permission to take courses at another institution, withdrawing from a course(s) after the drop deadline, a late add, other schedule adjustments, and credit overload approval. In order to initiate an academic action request, a student should visit the Student Academic Affairs office of their college.



Q. How do I find out about Study Abroad?


A. To learn about study abroad programs contact The Center for Global Education at 703.993.2154, visit their website or go to their office located in the Johnson Center, Room 235.



Q. Where do I go for pre-health advising?


A. The pre-health advisor is located in the Academic Advising & Transfer Center, Student Union Building I, Room 304. If you are a current student attending George Mason you may make an appointment with a pre-med advisor by calling the Academic Advising & Transfer Center at 703.993.2470. Please read over the pre-health advising information before your appointment. Students are also encouraged to visit the pre-health website at http://premed.gmu.edu.



Q. Where do I go for pre-law advising?


A. Students seeking pre-law advising should view the Pre-Law advising website for more information and how to schedule an appointment:
http://pia.gmu.edu/undergraduate/pre-law



Q. I need information about the Math Placement test. How do I find it?


A. The best place to find information about the math placement test is to logon to the math placement website. You may also contact the Math Department at 703.993.1460.



Q.Where can I find information about the Foreign Language Placement test?


A. The Department of Modern and Classical Languages distributes information about the foreign language placement tests. They are located in the Aquia Building, Room 336 or can be reached at 703.993.1220. Their website also contains information about the foreign language placement tests. http://mcl.gmu.edu/placement-testing



Q. I want to take a credit overload. How do I get permission?


A. To obtain permission for a credit overload (over 18 credits) you must contact the Student Academic Affairs office of the school or college of your major and complete the appropriate request form. If approved, you will need to take the appropriate paperwork to the Registrar’s Office.



Q. I got an incomplete from my professor. What can I do now?


A. If you received a grade of incomplete (IN) in a class, you need to contact your professor and determine what you need to do to make up the incomplete work. You must complete all the required work by the deadline (found on the academic calendar on the Registrars website), and the instructor must turn in the final grade by the end of the tenth week. Grades of incomplete are changed to a grade of F if the final grade is not submitted by the professor by the deadline unless an explicit written extension is filed by the faculty deadline. The maximum extension of an IN is the end of the same semester in which the grade was originally due. Students who have filed an intent to graduate have only six weeks from the date of degree conferral to resolve any incomplete grade(s) and have the final grade(s) recorded by the Registrar’s Office.

Grades of Incomplete (IN) are treated as unsatisfactory grades (F) in determining warning, probation, suspension, or dismissal. Removal of a grade of incomplete may result in a retroactive elimination of these conditions.



Q. What GPA do I need to be on the Dean’s List?


A. Degree seeking students who take at least six credits in an semester and earn a semester GPA of 3.50 or higher merit placement on the Dean’s List.



Q. I need information about AP, IB, or CLEP Credits, how can I find it?


A. Information about credit by examination is available in the University Catalog, but the most current information can be obtained at: http://admissions.gmu.edu/exams/

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