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Academic Policy

George Mason University employs a decentralized model of academic administration.  On one hand, this permits academic units to develop academic policies and procedures that fit their specific needs; on the other, it is not always easy to know where to find all potentially relevant academic policy.   Policy exists on three levels: university, college, and department.   This page addresses university-level academic policy; please consult your college’s associate dean or your department chair for information on relevant academic policy on those levels.

University-level Policy

  • University Catalog. The University Catalog is the primary source for all policy related to students’ progress through academic degree programs, and is the definitive source for information on the degree programs themselves.
  • University Policy Website. The University Policies website  typically houses policy whose central purpose concerns the administration of academic programs, especially when such policy involves coordination across multiple units or with external entities. This is also a site where policies reflecting regulatory requirements, such as those of the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges (SACS-COC), may be housed.
  • Graduate Council. This site documents the activities and proceedings of the university’s Graduate Council. Although technically an advisory body, the decisions of the Graduate Council usually function as official interpretations and refinements of graduate policy. These decisions may also go on to be formalized in the University Catalog or the university’s policy website, but this site can be useful for clarifying the intent of a policy action or interpretation.
  • Other sources of academic policy decisions. See also Faculty Senate Standing Committees and University Standing Committees (including the University Standing Committee on General Education), and the Distance Education Council.

Please contact Claudia Rector, Assistant Provost for Academic Affairs at 703-993-8679 with any questions.