Explore Mason

Explore Mason Header

Explore Mason is an optional campus visit event offered by the office of New Student and Family Programs for students entering Mason in the upcoming Spring 2022 semester. This event is for students who have already registered for Virtual Orientation and desire a supplemental, in-person experience to aid in their transition into the Mason community. 

This event is not Orientation nor replaces the Virtual Orientation experience. 

Note: In order to accommodate for reduced space capacities due to COVID-19 precautions, only one guest will be allowed to attend per student. This is to allow as many students to register for this event as possible. This event will be on a first-come, first-serve basis.

***REGISTRATION FOR EXPLORE MASON WILL OPEN ON NOVEMBER 1ST!***

Explore Mason will take place on Thursday, January 20th & Friday, January 21st, 2022. This event will have a welcome session, large group presentations, breakout sessions, a lunch, and select post-event opportunities such as a campus tour. Students and their guest will largely move through the program together. Check-in for this event will begin at 9am and the formal program will go until 2pm, with optional activities until 5pm EST.

There will be no walk-on registrations or waitlist.  If this event has to be cancelled for any reason, immediate correspondence will be sent to all participants and there will not be a replacement event.   

To learn more about other campus visit opportunities and methods, contact the Office of Admissions. 

Questions or registration issues? Contact New Student and Family Programs at orientu@gmu.edu. 

While George Mason University understands the value of visiting the university’s campus in-person, the health and safety of the George Mason community and our visitors is top priority. We are monitoring health conditions in the region and following safety guidance from state and federal officials to limit the spread of COVID-19.   

We are requiring that all Explore Mason participants and their one guest comply with the following protocols:  

  • Complete the Mason COVID Health Check questionnaire on the day of your visit. Each participant must show a green check within the app to gain access to the Explore Mason event. This will require separate logins.  
  • Wear a face covering as required by University Policy 1415.  Mason has updated its face covering policy to help our community be safer. Everyone, even if vaccinated, must wear a mask when inside of a Mason building or vehicle. Unvaccinated individuals must wear a mask outside, as well.
  • Comply with all COVID-19 related instructions, guidelines, requirements, and signage, including requirements for physical distancing.   
  • Follow hand hygiene and cough/sneeze etiquette.   
  • Follow the participant and guest event schedule respectively and abide by stated safety guidelines expressed prior to and during the event.  
  • Read our FAQs about what to expect during your time on campus (below). As it is summer and we have reduced residential and staffing capacities, campus will look and feel a little different during your visit. Not all campus entities will be accessible during this time.  
  • Arrive to campus 15-20 minutes prior to the start of the event to allow time for parking, as well as a socially distanced check-in and seating process for the event.  
  • Refrain from participating if you have experienced possible COVID-19 symptoms within 10 days of the Explore Mason event, or if you are not fully vaccinated and have reason to believe you have been exposed to someone with COVID-19 during the last 14 days. Please contact New Student and Family Programs at (703) 993-2475 if you test positive for COVID-19 within 48 hours after the program. 

Note that COVID-19 conditions and associated protocols can change rapidly in this unprecedented time and are subjected to change as necessary.   

Failure to follow these protocols or any others that are put in place may result in a participant being removed from the program.  

Additionally, participants acknowledge that they understand that participating in the Explore Mason program may involve being in proximity to other individuals and coming into contact with surfaces that have been touched by other individuals, which may result in you contracting a communicable disease, including but not limited to COVID-19.  By completing the event registration form and participating in the Explore Mason program, participants acknowledge and assume these risks. 

All event times are EST. Participants are required to follow their respective schedule. 

SAMPLE Event Schedule*

TimeSessionDescription
9:00 – 10:00 AMCheck-InParticipants will park in designated location and move through a hands-free check-in process. Mason COVID Health Check statuses will be confirmed. Light refreshments will be served.
10:00 – 10:15 AMPatriot WelcomeThis kick-off session will welcome participants to Mason and provide an overview of the day’s event.
10:15 – 10:50 AMGet Connected PanelParticipants will learn about ways for students to get and stay connected to campus, as well as services that are available to them along the way.
11:00 – 11:55 AMTaking Care of Business BreakoutsParticipants will be able to interact with offices and departments at Mason that assist students in getting set-up for a successful semester and get final questions answered before the semester begins.
12:00 – 1:00 PMLunchEnjoy lunch with fellow new Patriots! There will also be important information and announcements shared before participants are released for the rest of the day.
1:00 – 1:45 PMGreen & Gold ShowcaseParticipants will have the opportunity to talk with the many offices who are here to serve and support Mason students.
Post-Event
(1:45 – 5:00 PM)
Choose Your Own Adventure Opportunities (Includes Campus Tours)Do what’s most important to you! Participants will be able to take part in optional campus activities based on their need or interests. Done early? Take the opportunity to explore your new home of Fairfax and Washington, D.C.

*Schedule subjected to change.

Is this program optional?  

  • Yes. Students who do not attend this program are not missing any content that they can not experience during the Virtual Orientation programs and accompanying virtual student engagement experiences. This program simply provides an additional on-campus component.  

How long is this event?  What time should I arrive?  

  • This event still take place from 10am-2pm EST, with a 9am check-in process. Arrive to campus 15-20 minutes prior to the start of the event to allow time for parking, as well as a socially distanced check-in and seating process for the event.  

How much does this event cost?  

  • There are no costs associated with registering for this event. 

What happens at this event?  What can I expect?  

  • This event will have a welcome session, large group presentations, breakout sessions, a lunch, and select post-event opportunities such as a campus tour. See SAMPLE event schedule above. 

Can I bring a guest with me? How many guests can I bring?  

  • Yes. Students will only be able to register one guest. This is to allow as many students to register for this event as possible. THERE IS NO WAITLIST FOR THIS EVENT & NO WALK-ON REGISTRATIONS OR ADDITIONAL GUEST WILL BE ALLOWED.

Will students and families be together?  

  • Students and their guest will largely move through the program together with options to choose their own adventures separately as desired.

Is food going to be available?  

  • Yes. Account for dietary restrictions in the event registration form. 

Am I required to wear a face covering?  

  • Wear a face covering as required by University Policy 1415. Mason has updated its face covering policy to help our community be safer. Everyone, even if vaccinated, must wear a mask when inside of a Mason building or vehicle. Unvaccinated individuals must wear a mask outside, as well.

Where should I park?  

  • Participants will be able to park in Lot K. This parking will be free-of-charge and not require a parking pass on Explore Mason event days.

Is prior registration required? Is there a waitlist or on-site registration?  

  • Yes. Registration link can be found above. THERE IS NO WAITLIST FOR THIS EVENT & NO WALK-ON REGISTRATIONS OR ADDITIONAL GUEST WILL BE ALLOWED. 

Are there any actions I need to take before coming to campus?  

  • Yes. The day of your visit, complete the Mason COVID Health Check questionnaire before arriving on campus. Only pre-registered visitors with a “Green Status” will be permitted entry to the Explore Mason event and verification will be requested at check-in. 

What do I do if a session is full?  

  • Your alternate option is a self-guided walking tour of campus. Download aself-guided walking tour map  to explore campus at your convenience. THERE IS NO WAITLIST FOR THIS EVENT & NO WALK-ON REGISTRATIONS OR ADDITIONAL GUEST WILL BE ALLOWED. 

How is this program going to be safe?  

  • See “COVID-19 Safety Protocols for Participants” section above. 

Does this program replace Orientation?  

  • No. This event is not Orientation nor replaces the Virtual Orientation experience. 

Will I be able to meet with Financial Aid?  

  • The Mason Student Services Center (MSSC) is the first point of contact for general inquires related to billing and payments, financial aid, and registration and enrollment. The Mason Student Services Center is located on the Fairfax Campus in the first-floor lobby of Student Union Building 1. Upon arrival, visitors should check-in on an iPad and proceed to the Waiting Area. In-person services, including document drop-off, are offered on a walk-in basis Monday through Friday, 9am-5pm. Students who prefer virtual service may submit questions or documents to the MSSC online at mssc.gmu.edu, using the MSSC Virtual Services Check-In Link. The MSSC Community is available for students who prefer to self-serve and contains hundreds of articles and faq’s for new and continuing students.

Will I be able to see a residence hall?  

Will I be able to meet with an academic advisor?  

  • There are no in-person advising appointments offered through this program as all students should have already met with an advisor during their Virtual Orientation program prior to this event. With that said, academic colleges will be present during a tabling fair to answer questions that you may have about the academic college or general advising.