Course Elsewhere

Students who wish to take a course at a different institution must get pre-approval from their major college and the college that offers the equivalent of the course requested. Generally, students who have transferred over 45 hours to Mason are ineligible for additional credit elsewhere. Students with less than 45 transfer hours can take up to 8 hours of CHSS credit elsewhere in certain circumstances. Please see below for specific policies and the process for requesting a course elsewhere.

Requesting to Take a Course Elsewhere

  1. Review all policies below pertaining to course elsewhere requests.
  2. Fill out the form, including the course equivalency. Courses that have already been approved for equivalency can be found by using the transfer credit search engine on the Admissions website. If the course does not appear on the transfer credit search engine, then the course must be reviewed by the department that offers the equivalent course at Mason.
  3. Obtain signature from your academic advisor.
  4. Submit request to your major dean, along with any required documentation. 
  5. Wait to obtain approval from all required deans before signing up for the course.

Course Elsewhere Policies

Once enrolled in degree status at Mason, students with fewer than 45 hours of transfer coursework (not including registration through the Consortium of Universities of the Washington Metropolitan Area or coursework completed through the Global Education Office) may be eligible to take up to 8 hours of coursework at another institution of higher education accredited by a Mason-recognized U.S. institutional accrediting agency or international equivalent.  

  • The course requested should be required for timely degree progression.
  • The course requested (or another course which meets the same requirement) cannot be offered at Mason either online or in-person for the semester requested. 
  • Students with 45 or more hours of transfer coursework are generally not permitted to take additional coursework at another institution. 
  • Students requesting permission to study elsewhere must have a previous semester GPA of 2.00 or above. 
  • All approvals are contingent on maintaining a semester and cumulative GPA of 2.00 or above.  
  • Courses elsewhere that have been pre-approved by our office must be taken for a grade and be passed with a GPA of 2.00 (on a 4.00 scale) or higher in order to be transferred to George Mason. Although credit for the course will be transferred, the grade for the course will not.

Students seeking permission to study elsewhere outside of the requirements outlined above, should include supporting documentation with their request. 

See AP.1.4.2 Permission to Study Elsewhere for additional information. 

Students must make arrangements with the visited institution to have an official transcript mailed directly to the George Mason University Registrar's Office, Records Section, MSN 3D1, 4400 University Drive, Fairfax, VA 22030 immediately after the course work is completed. Credit will not be transferred until an official transcript is received. Non-receipt of official transcripts within six weeks of conferral date will delay a student's pending graduation.

Students should keep in mind that courses requested outside of his or her college or school will need additional approval from the college or school that offers the equivalent course at Mason. Each school or college may have different policies regarding course elsewhere requests, so major dean permission does not guarantee approval for a student to take a particular course equivalent to one offered by a different college or school.

Students should follow the links below and review all policies regarding taking a course elsewhere before submitting a request.

CHSS section of catalog

General section of catalog

*BIS students: please refer to the BIS Transfer Credit Policy page for degree specific credit transfer and course elsewhere policies*

Please see the link below for CHSS policies on CLEP credit. 

Students have the right to appeal denial of a request. Information on submitting an appeal can be found at the bottom of the page