Student Academic Affairs

Michelle Marks working with colleagues at the Student Experience Redesign workshop.
Become a Better Teacher

The Stearns Center for Teaching and Learning offers a range of learning and support opportunities for instructors across Mason’s campuses, whether you are just getting started or have years of experience.

Students need confidence in their path to be successful. Mason is proud to provide students crucial support as they make academic decisions that impact their lives and careers.

About Us

Student Academic Affairs provides students with tools and guidance to help achieve their academic and personal goals and serves as the central source of information for current academic policies and procedures.

I have questions regarding exceptions to academic actions such as a substitution, waiver, or appeal. How do I get started?

  • The best place to start is with your advisor. They will know the proper steps and which forms you may need.
  • In general, requests must be initiated by a student’s advisor or department. Once a decision has been made by your department, you may appeal at the college level. Your advisor can also assist you with this process. In some cases, an appeal can be made to the Associate Provost for Undergraduate Education. Decisions made at this level are final.
  • If you have already gone to your advisor, department chair, and dean and still have questions you may contact our Student Support Specialist at Please note the Student Support Specialist is not an advisor and cannot provide academic advising.
  • You can also refer to the Academic Policies section of the catalog

Coaching and Advising

No matter the school, college, or program, each student at George Mason University has access to coaching and academic advising. Coaches and academic advisors teach, support, and connect students to campus resources through regular one-on-one meetings. Students gain purpose and direction in their education through Mason's developmental approach to advising. As a critical hub in a student's academic journey, Mason's commitment to coaching and strong academic advising provides students the tools needed to be successful.

Professional coaches and academic advisors advise undergraduate students who have not yet declared a major. Coaches and advisors also counsel pre-health profession students, non-degree undergraduates, high school guest matriculants, international exchange students in the Global Exchange Program, and students who wish to change their major.

Coaching and advising provides the following resources for students:

  • Major requirement planning sheets for every major offered at Mason 

  • Four-year academic plans - for students focused on a particular degree path from day one 

  • Advisor Locator to help students find their advisor 

  • Guides that highlight skills and experiences related to different fields of study to help students explore possible careers 

  • Lists of minors and requirements 

  • A landing page for Virginia Community College System counselors to assemble in one place the tools they need to guide prospective transfer students. 

Retention and Student Success

The Retention and Student Success aspect of our work supports degree completion for all students by improving policies, expanding funding opportunities, and developing resources.

The university carefully tracks and evaluates its retention efforts, and general information is available on the Office of Institutional Effectiveness and Planning website. More advanced details regarding enrollment and retention are available by request to this office.

As an iPASS (Integrated Planning and Advising for Student Success) campus, we continue to improve academic advising on campus by:

  • Leveraging technology (using, for example, the Student Success Collaborative–Campus platform),
  • Promoting early interventions with Patriot Success (in collaboration with University Life) and outreach based on decreased engagement in Blackboard,
  • Coordinating advisor outreach to students based on midterm grades and registration status, and
  • Supporting degree planning.

Transition Courses

Undergraduate Education facilitates a full schedule of UNIV courses through the UNIV Courses and Programs directorate. UNIV 100–496 are focused on students in transition, academic success, career education, student leadership, and research. The keystone of this program is University 100: Introduction to Mason.

This one-credit course prompts students to:

  • think actively and critically about their engagement with the university
  • learn about available services and resources
  • help develop the skills and judgment for academic success

Project Peak offers incoming students a distinctive transition experience focused on resourcefulness, confidence-building, and teamwork.

Questions and Concerns

You are welcome to email if you have any concerns about your advising experience. You can also submit a formal written complaint at this website:

Achieving New Heights -- Project Peak offers incoming students a unique UNIV 100 experience focused on resourcefulness, confidence, and teamwork.

Achieving New Heights -- Project Peak offers incoming students a unique UNIV 100 experience focused on resourcefulness, confidence, and teamwork.