Undergraduate Policies, Procedures, and Forms

School of Business Policies for Undergraduate Students 

The School of Business strives to maintain policies and procedures that are consistent with those of the university and in the best interest of our students. 

If you have any questions concerning a particular policy or procedure, please contact the Office of Student Success and Academic Services, Room 008 of Enterprise Hall at (703) 993-1880 for clarification, or schedule an appointment to speak with an Academic Advisor

Add, Drop, and Course Withdrawal Policies

All schedule adjustments must be made by the final add/drop date for the semester as noted in Mason’s Academic Calendar. Any changes past this deadline would need to be approved through a School of Business request. Please be aware that the timelines below are not applicable during the summer semester. The summer term is divided into several sessions, each with their own deadlines for registration. Please view the Academic Calendar for all registration deadlines. 

Late Add

The last day for adding a course is eight calendar days after and including the first day of classes. If you wish to request an appeal to add a class after the University deadline, please use the link below to review the requirements and process for this request. 

The School of Business does not approve late-add requests: 

  • After the second week of courses has ended for fall and spring terms 
  • After the first week of courses has ended for summer sessions: 
  • Due to the condensed timing of summer sessions, appeals to late add after the first week are automatically denied.  

If you wish to request an appeal to add a class after the university deadline and before the second week of classes has ended please review the policy here

Students wishing to late add a non-School of Business course in which seats are available should contact the department offering the course. 

Dropping a Course

All dropped classes during the regular drop period will have no entry on the transcript for that semester. Once the drop period is over, Mason will enter the self-withdraw period where students will be able to self-withdraw through use of the Patriot Web system. Courses that are self-withdrawn will have entry on the transcript and a W will be noted. This self-withdraw period will end when the selective-withdraw period begins. Refer to the website of the Office of the Registrar for information on the dates and lengths for these time periods.   

Selective Withdrawal

After the first five weeks of the academic semester, George Mason University transitions to the selective withdrawal period. Undergraduate students enrolled in degree programs are eligible to withdraw (with full tuition liability) from a limited number of classes without dean’s approval and at the student’s own discretion. Students may process a maximum of three such selective withdrawals during their entire undergraduate career at Mason. For more information or to begin the process, visit the selective withdrawal page on the Registrar’s website. 

Non-Academic Withdrawal

Review the requirements and process to request a non-academic withdrawal

Applying for Graduation

Graduation is not an automatic process. You should apply to graduate no later than the application deadline each semester. You must be in good financial standing with the university to receive your diploma. Please note that if you have courses left to take in a summer term but are walking in the spring ceremony, you must apply for summer graduation. Learn more about applying for graduation

Change of Final Exam

If you need to change the date of your final exam for unusual circumstances or because you have three or more finals scheduled in one day, you must obtain the professor’s signature on the Change of Final Exam Request form and submit it to the Office of Student Success and Academic Services, Enterprise Hall, Room 008. This must be completed two weeks prior to the date of the final exam. 

Credit Limitation

Enrolled undergraduate students who are not declared in a School of Business major are limited to nine credits of upper-level business coursework within the School of Business. This policy applies to any student who is declared in another major or program at Mason. This policy does not apply to students who have declared a School of Business minor and are earning required credit toward that minor. 

Credit Overload

The School of Business recommends that undergraduate students attempt no more than 18 credits in an academic semester and no more than 14 credits in a summer term. Students wishing to attempt more than 18 credits must submit a Permission to Overload form to their academic advisor. 
 
To be eligible for a course overload, a student must meet the following criteria: 

  • At least a 3.0 cumulative GPA at Mason 
  • Have completed all courses successfully in his/her previous semester with no Fs or incompletes (IN) 
  • Complete the Permission to Overload form and obtain an academic advisor’s signature 

Freshmen and transfer students in their first semesters are not given permission for overloads as they have yet to establish an academic record at George Mason University. 
 
If approved for an overload, the student is responsible for adding the additional class(es) and paying for the related tuition by the official university deadlines. 

Declaration of Major

Eligibility

If you are not currently in the School of Business and want to switch to a Business major: 

  • New students without a Mason GPA are eligible to change their major before or during their first semester. 
  • Current Mason students must have at least a 2.0 cumulative Mason GPA. 

Process 

To Declare or Change a Business major (or add a second major in Business): 

  • Complete a Change/Declaration of Academic Program form.  
  • Visit the Office of Student Success and Academic Services to meet with an academic advisor who will provide information on major choices, required courses and advise you on appropriate classes for your next semester. 
  • Submit the form to the Registrar's office. 

To change your major out of the School of Business:

  • Contact the advisor for your new major. You can find them in the Advisor Locator.  
  • If you’re not sure what you’d like to major in, Exploratory Academic Advising can help.  
  • No longer pursuing a business major? Check out the business minor. You may already have met some or all of the requirements. 

Want to delete part of your program? Find the form here

Orientation

Students who declare a business major and did not attend the School of Business College 101 and Academic Advising sessions during the in-person Mason Orientation are required to complete the School of Business Advising Online Orientation. If the Online Orientation has not been completed by the last day to add a class for the semester, an Academic Advising hold will be placed on student records and will only be lifted once Online Orientation is completed. 

To access the School of Business Academic Advising Online Orientation, please email sbonline@gmu.edu from your Mason email account and include your name and G#, and further instructions will be provided. Non-Business majors can complete the Academic Advising Online Orientation if you are considering declaring a major within the School of Business in the future. 

Degree Evaluation

The School of Business uses Degree Works for degree auditing and requires that students learn how to read and use this system. We recommend students follow the tutorial on the Registrar’s website

Embassy Letter Request

For a student needing a letter to submit to their embassy, complete and submit the Embassy Letter Request Form. Make sure to complete the form in its entirety to ensure receipt of an accurate and timely letter. Note that: 

  • A new FERPA form must be completed and submitted with the request form for the party receiving the letter. 
  • Exact and all details for the letter, including the party receiving the letter, must be included in the request form. Letters will not be able to be written from incomplete forms.  
  • If an expected graduation date is needed, an advisor meeting is required. 
  • Please allow 5-8 business days for processing of the letter. These letters cannot be processed same day.  
  • Once the letter is complete and ready for pick-up at the front desk of Enterprise Hall suite 008, an email will be sent to the student’s Mason email address. Have your Mason ID with you when you pick up the letter. 

FERPA

The Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act of 1974 is a federal law that gives protection to student educational records and provides students with certain rights. 

  • For anyone at George Mason University to communicate with a third party (including but not limited to parents, guardians, siblings, etc), the student must grant permission by completing a FERPA document
  • Due to FERPA, students must communicate with the university through their Mason email address. 

Force Add

The School of Business does not force add students into full/closed sections of courses. This policy includes medical or COVID related requests for a force add to a closed online section. Students must add themselves to waitlists, monitor course availability on Patriot Web, and regularly check their Mason email for waitlist notifications.  
 
If you are a graduating senior and meet all of the following eligibility requirements, you may submit a request for a force add; however, permission is not guaranteed. Force adds are not guaranteed and are dependent on several factors. To request a force add you must: 

  • Have an active graduation application on file for the term the force add is requested 
  • Be currently registered on the waitlist for the course requested 
  • The course requested should be your first attempt at the course. Requests for second or third attempts will not be approved 
  • Meet all other graduation/eligibility requirements  
  • Ensure all sections of the course are closed and there are no other course options to fulfill the requirement 
  • Submit your request for a force add to busreqst@gmu.edu 

Keep in mind this is not guaranteed. Requests due to work, medical, or other conflicts are not acceptable reasons for a force add and force add requests are only considered starting the first day of class until the last day to add a course. Dates for the first day of class and last day to add a course can be found on the university academic calendar

Grade Appeals

Although the individual faculty member is the best judge of student performance, a student may occasionally believe a grade has been assigned unfairly. Reasons such as missed deadlines or exams, lack of curving, non-use of +/- are not acceptable criteria for a grade appeal. 

Grade appeal process:

  1. Students should first contact the professor to discuss the grade.
  2. If the student and faculty member are not able to resolve the grade issue, the student should then submit a written grade appeal to the Area Chair for the course in question. This written grade appeal should include:
    1. Evidence of prior communication with the faculty regarding the appeal
    2. Reason for the appeal including all context around the circumstance
    3. Any additional documentation to support the appeal
  3. All grade appeals are due to the Area Chair before the last day of classes for the following semester
  4. If the appeal is deemed to have merit by the Area Chair, the Area Chair will notify the appropriate committee of the appeal. The Area Chair and chairperson for the committee will work together to name a three-person grade appeal committee
  5. The grade appeal committee will contact both the student and the faculty member. Both the student and the faculty member will have the right to request up to one member of the grade appeal committee to be replaced by another faculty representative (if desired). If this request is made, the grade appeal committee member will be replaced by a new faculty representative.
  6. The grade appeal committee will request any and all documentation that both the student and faculty member wish to submit
  7. A grade appeal hearing will be scheduled, at which both the student and the faculty member in question will appear. The grade appeal committee will meet first with the student and then the faculty member
  8. After review, the grade appeal committee will issue to the Area Chair a written recommendation that includes the reasons for its findings.  A copy of the recommendation will also be provided to the faculty member and Dean (or designee). At this time, the faculty member has an opportunity to take the recommended action, if any. If the matter is not resolved at this point, the Area Chair will consider the committee recommendation and make a recommendation to the Dean (or designee). The decision of the Dean (or designee) is not subject to further appeal. If the Dean (or designee) decides that a change of grade is appropriate and the faculty member refuses to make the change, then the Dean (or designee) may direct the Office of the University Registrar to do so.

Important Notes:

  • The School of Business Office of Student Success and Academic Services does not have the ability to change or appeal grades. All grade appeals are handled strictly through the Area Chair and academic area
  • Grade appeals must be submitted before the last day of classes for the following semester (spring for fall grades, fall for spring and summer grades).
  • The School of Business handles grade appeals only for those classes taught by School of Business professors. If the course in question is taught by another department, you should contact that department for their grade appeal procedure.
  • All decisions by the Dean are final. The Provost’s Office does not consider grade appeals
  • If the faculty member is no longer associated with the university, the Area Chair will appoint a faculty surrogate.

Grievances

The School of Business works to ensure an excellent and consistent experience for all students. Student concerns are taken seriously to ensure our standards are met. We encourage any grievances to be submitted for review.  

Formal complaints about a faculty member or academic advisor may be submitted by undergraduate students through the following forms. Students should complete the appropriate grievance form and submit it electronically along with any supporting documentation. All complaints will be thoroughly investigated and reviewed by department chairs. 

Faculty Complaints 

Students should consult with the faculty member first to try to resolve the issue or complaint before submitting a formal grievance. If there is no resolution, complete this form to submit a formal faculty complaint.  

Academic Advising Complaints 

Complete this form to submit an academic advising complaint. 

Independent Study

To register for an independent study (a 499 course in ACCT, FNAN, MGMT, MIS, MKTG or OM), you need to create a proposal describing what you will read, learn, and produce during this course. You also need to obtain a faculty sponsor for the course. If a faculty member agrees to be a sponsor, you need to submit the proposal signed by your faculty sponsor to the Associate Dean for Undergraduate Programs in Enterprise Hall, Room 008. If the proposal is approved, the associate dean will authorize your registration in the course. Review the School of Business Independent Study Guidelines here

Laptop Policy

The School of Business undergraduate program requires each student to have access to a portable computing device that satisfies these requirements and can be brought to class as needed. The School of Business’ list of standard minimum requirements will be reviewed annually. As technology changes rapidly, be advised the requirements may change during your time in the School of Business. 

Non-Degree Study

The School of Business welcomes non-degree students to enroll in undergraduate business courses provided you have met the course prerequisites and space is available in the course. You must be admitted to Mason as a non-degree student and complete and submit the non-degree registration request form, along with your transcripts (official or unofficial) to busreqst@gmu.edu before you can register for courses.  

We review non-degree course requests approximately one week before classes begin, and will notify non-degree students via email whether or not they are approved. If approved, you can register for approved courses via Patriot Web

Permission to Take Classes While on Suspension

Taking time off due to a suspension is in the best interest of a student. Students are not allowed to take classes at any other institution and transfer them back to Mason for credit while on suspension (per AP.1.4.2 Permission to Study Elsewhere, which requires good academic standing). If there are documented extenuating circumstances that affected a student’s academic performance, the student can submit an appeal to take classes while on suspension.  

To request permission to take classes while on suspension, students must send a detailed letter and any supporting documentation as to why they should be able to take Mason classes while suspended to busreqst@gmu.edu. If approved, students will need to meet with a designated academic advisor twice during the course of their approved semester, including once before the class drop deadline. Students will also need to abide by any other restrictions established, which will be detailed to them if approved. Be advised that permission to take classes while on suspension is rarely approved. 

Prerequisites

The School of Business curriculum is designed to enable students to develop a fundamental knowledge in each foundational section before advancing to the subsequent courses. As such, students will not be permitted to enroll concurrently in (co-req) courses that require a prerequisite. It is the student’s responsibility to ensure that all prerequisites are met prior to registering for a course. 

Recommended Honor Code Sanctions for Business Courses

Student members of the George Mason University community pledge not to cheat, plagiarize, steal, or lie in matters related to academic work. Violations of the honor code are taken seriously. View the recommended Honor Code Sanctions for business courses. 

Return To Success program

The Return To Success (RTS) program is a mandatory intervention program to be completed by any student returning from an academic suspension. This program is designed to directly assist students in their return to academics and provide them support to reach their success. This program is comprised of two parts: an online module that students complete while away and then a three meeting series during the semester they return. Through the entirety of the program, students are connected with a designated advisor that assists in reviewing a student's standing and creating a success plan for their return. The online module and all three meetings are required to be completed before the student can be finished with the program. Students will receive communication about the program and the required materials to be completed via email to their Mason email address. For questions about this program, please contact rtsbus@gmu.edu

Study Elsewhere

Students are permitted to take courses elsewhere under unusual circumstances—these circumstances do not include scheduling convenience, commuting convenience, or financial (lower cost) reasons. Study elsewhere is meant to be completed when courses are unavailable at Mason. When seeking to enroll in credit courses at another collegiate institution concurrently, students enrolled at George Mason University must submit a written request and receive pre-approval before taking the course or they may not receive transfer credit for course work taken at another institution (this rule also applies to courses taken through the consortium). For more information, review the Request to Study Elsewhere form. Submit this form and documentation to the Office of Student Success and Academic Services, Room 008, Enterprise Hall. 

Be advised: 

  • The department offering the course must approve the study elsewhere request. First have an advisor sign the study elsewhere form. This form will then be submitted first to the assistant dean of the School of Business and then sent to the college offering the course for final approval (Ex: MATH 108, SBUS advisor would sign, then reviewed by SBUS assistant dean, then brought to the College of Science for approval, advisor’s signature does not mean it is approved). 
  • Written permission from the department offering the course needed to transfer courses back to Mason. 
  • Requests to study elsewhere cannot be granted based on convenience or expense. 
  • Students are limited in the number of credit hours within School of Business disciplines that they are able to take from another institution: nine credit hours for undergraduates or six credit hours for graduates (not including registration through the Consortium of Universities of the Washington Metro Area or course work completed through the Center for Global Education).  
  • Courses that are attempted at a two-year institution may not be used to fulfill upper-level requirements. 
  • Any course to transfer to fulfill major or graduate-level course requirements must be attempted at an institution accredited by the Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business (AACSB). 
  • Courses designated as meeting the Writing Intensive requirement for the degree will not be approved to study elsewhere
  • Deadlines: 
    • August 1: Fall Semester 
    • January 2: Spring Semester 
    • May 1: Summer Semester 

Termination from School of Business Policy

All courses within the School of Business are limited to three attempts. Students have three attempts to earn a grade of C or higher (in some cases a B- or higher) to successfully complete the course. The most recent attempt is what counts. When students try to register for their third attempt, they will receive a registration error stating “Repeat hours exceeded 6”. To avoid this error, please visit your School of Business Academic Advisor before registering for your third attempt to review the course and receive an override to register for your third and final attempt. 

If a student does not successfully complete a School of Business course in three attempts with a grade of C or higher: 

  • School of Business Foundations or Core courses: If a student does not successfully complete one of these courses in three attempts with a grade of C or higher they are terminated from the School of Business. They will have to change their program to a major outside of the School of Business. 
  • School of Business Major/Concentration courses: If a student does not successfully complete one of these courses in three attempts with a grade of C or higher, they are no longer eligible for that major/concentration. A hold will be placed on the student's account and they will need to meet with their advisor to change their major/concentration to another School of Business program. 

Appeals:

School of Business terminations are considered final. Appeals are reviewed on a case by case basis and approval is not guaranteed. If you wish to appeal your termination from the School of Business please review the requirements and process to appeal your termination

Transfer Credits

  • Transfer credit is not awarded for any School of Business courses completed more than ten years prior to Mason enrollment or re-enrollment. 
  • The School of Business does not waive credit requirements. 
  • Current Mason students with declared majors/concentrations in the School of Business may not receive credit for CLEP exams. Transfer credit for CLEP exams is only accepted for new students applying to the University for CLEP exams taken before being admitted to George Mason University and will be evaluated by The Office of Admissions. Current students should contact their School of Business academic advisor with any questions regarding CLEP credit. 
  • If you have taken a course that does not appear on your transfer evaluation, you need to complete the Transfer Credit Inquiry form. Submit the completed form to the Enrollment Central Desk, SUB I, lower level. 
  • All Virginia Community College System (VCCS) courses have been evaluated for transfer equivalents at Mason. VCCS courses cannot be re-evaluated for different course credit. 
  • Community College courses are not considered equivalent to Mason business courses with numbers of 300 and above and are not awarded transfer equivalency. 
  • Courses completed at a lower-level (100-200) will not be awarded upper-level credit. 
  • For students who have taken courses at colleges or universities outside of the Virginia Community College System: If you have taken a course which you think is equivalent to a Mason course, but it shows up differently on your transfer credit evaluation, you may request a re-evaluation of this course. Submit the Transfer Credit Re-evaluation Appeal Form
  • Transfer students have additional options for meeting the Western Civilization general education requirement. Please check your degree evaluation to determine if your previous western civilization coursework has been applied. If not, follow the transfer credit re-evaluation appeal process. 
  • Mason's Office of Admissions has provided some course equivalency information online. This is not a complete list for all schools. 
  • For all re-evaluations: 
    • All re-evaluations must be completed during your first academic year at Mason. 
    • Carefully read the description in the Mason catalog to make certain it is equivalent to the course you want re-evaluated. 
    • You must have an official description of the course or the syllabus. This description needs to be on the other institution’s letterhead, out of their catalog or on their official website. Do not submit a textbook without the official syllabus for the course. 
    • If the course you want re-evaluated is not a School of Business course, you will need to meet with the department where the course is taught for them to determine if the course is the equivalent. There is a place for their signature on the re-evaluation form. The form must be returned by the department to the Office of Admissions to complete the re-evaluation process. 
    • For School of Business courses, please submit the re-evaluation form and the required course documents to the Office of Student Success and Academic Services, Enterprise Hall, Room 008. 
    • Students may only receive major course credit for courses taken at schools with AACSB and/or EQUIS accreditation.  
    • Note: It will take approximately 2-3 weeks to process the request. 
    • Only courses passed with a grade of C or better will transfer. 

Waitlist Procedure

Students are able to add themselves to a waitlist for closed courses. Please check the registrar’s website for the university waitlist instructions.