Freshman Orientation

Welcome to George Mason University and Mason Orientation! The Freshmen Orientation program is designed to help acclimate and transition students to the institution, expose students to the broad educational opportunities now available to them at Mason, and integrate students into life at the institution.

For freshmen students, our mandatory Orientation program is comprised of 2 events: a (1) Virtual Advising & Registration Session and (2) an on-campus one-day Orientation session.

All specific information surrounding the Freshman Orientation experience will be sent to students directly via e-mail upon registering. Please read this and all Orientation-related e-mails closely, especially those going to your GMU email account to ensure you receive all information and can prepare for each session as needed.

Below is an overview of the In-Person Freshman Orientation experience with general information about each component.

Step 1: Start Your Pre-Orientation Checklist
  • It will be important to complete items on the Pre-Orientation Checklist (as needed) to ensure a successful transition experience at Mason and prepare you for your on-campus Orientation program.
    • HINT: The Pre-Orientation Checklist tells you how to set-up your Mason accounts and register for Orientation! 
  • Upon registering for Orientation, key items include but are not limited to:
    • Completing Pre-Orientation Virtual Content called “Patriot Preview” found at
    • Submitting Final Transcripts
    • Accessing Financial Aid Information
    • Completing Immunization Paperwork
    • Taking Placement Tests (as needed based on your major)
Step 2: Complete Patriot Preview Pre-Orientation
  • “Patriot Preview” is a set of pre-Orientation modules designed to give freshmen students a general overview of important Mason information to support the new student transition. It also includes information to prepare students for their on-campus Orientation experience. The modules are divided into two sections: Before Orientation and Before Classes Begin.
  • Complete Patriot Preview “Before Orientation” module, prior to either of your session dates. You will need your Mason Net ID and password (Patriot Pass login information you used to create your email) to gain access.
  • Students are also welcomed to complete both sections prior to Orientation if they desire. It will only help to have more information about Mason’s campus, programs, and services so you can ask more questions specific to you/your needs during the sessions. You will receive a certificate at the end to signify completion.
Step 3: Attend Virtual & On-Campus Orientation Sessions
  • When registering for Orientation, you will select 2 events: a (1) Virtual Advising & Registration Session and (2) an On-Campus One-Day Orientation Session.
  • You will receive a confirmation email for EACH session you register for and you are REQUIRED to attend both sessions.
  • Virtual Advising & Registration will focus on learning about your academic college and opportunities, receiving academic advising, and registering for your classes. Morning Sessions are from 9:00am-12:30pm ET and Afternoon Sessions are from 1:30pm-5:00pm ET.
  • On-Campus Orientation will focus on building relationships with peers, interacting with key campus resources, learning campus traditions, and more. It will begin at 10:00 am and run until approximately 7:00 pm, with optional evening activities until 8:00 pm.
  • For those bringing family members or supporters, it is important to note that students and guests have separate, concurrent programs and only come together for welcome sessions and some meals.
Overview of the student program schedule.


Overview of the family program schedule.


Technology Requirements for your Virtual Session:

In order to access Blackboard and Mason email, students will need to set up their Net ID and password.

Students will need access to a Wifi Enabled device with a web browser on their registered virtual date. For the live sessions, we encourage students to use a device with a webcam.

During advising and registration, students may be asked to download documents from the college to reference along with the session.

**Due to FERPA Regulations, family members and supporters are NOT permitted in the Virtual Advising and Registration sessions. This part of Orientation is for Students ONLY.

To view a list of Frequently Asked Questions about Orientation, check out our Frequently Asked Questions.

Step 4: Explore Post-Orientation Opportunities
  • The Preamble occurs every fall semester and is a series of events leading up to the first day of classes that help students prepare for the semester. Some sessions are mandatory and others are optional. The schedule will become available as the semester approaches, but until then, you can see an example schedule at This program does not occur in the Spring semester, only Fall.
  • Welcome2Mason are the weeks following the start of the semester and consists of optional programs and events for all students that they can pick based on their personal interests. These university and student organization-led events give students the opportunity to learn how to get more involved on-campus and build connections with other Mason students. More information about event can be found at This occurs twice a year to welcome students in both Fall and Spring semesters.
  • Quill Camp is an optional self-selected extended orientation experience for incoming students that brings together new and current students to help jumpstart the college experience in a fun summertime setting designed to support students in the transition to their new home by developing a diverse social network and strengthening their ties to the Mason Nation. Each program offers its own unique flavor and focus. More information can be found at
  • University 100 is a small discussion-based, 1-credit transition course designed specifically for first-year students generally taken in the fall semester. Courses are designed to help first-year students develop college success skills, establish connections among peers and faculty, and learn about available campus resources. More information can be found at
  • Learning Communities (LC) are groups of students living on campus who share a common academic college, identity, or interest! When living in an LC, students will join like-minded peers to explore their passion areas on a deeper level, to connect to vital campus resources, and to grow both in and out of the classroom. Students in the same learning communities live together in a residence hall, which makes it easier to make connections within the Mason community. More information can be found at
A Note for Honors College Students

Honors College students will only be able to see one date option for the On-Campus Orientation and one date (but two time options) for their Virtual Advising and Registration session. The Honors College offers a specialized experience for Honors students, so attending these dates is critical to engagement with fellow Honors students and learning about your specific opportunities as an Honors student at Mason. 

If an Honors student cannot attend the Honors Orientation session, they should contact New Student and Family Programs at 703-993-2475 or

A Note for Mason Online Students

Welcome to George Mason University! The Mason Online Orientation process is designed to help transition new Mason Online (MOL) students to the institution.  

Because your needs may be different than campus-based students, our MOL Orientation has been curated just for you and is separate from the traditional Orientation programs reflected on this website. More information can be found at: 

Additional Information and Resources
  • For a full list of items to complete before the semester begins, view the Pre-Semester Checklist. These are the next steps after Orientation.
  • Check out the 2023–2024 New Student Guide for comprehensive information about the university and new student resources! 
  • Download Mason360 – a must-have app to know what’s happening around campus, where students can find other Patriots with similar interests, and have quick access to important resources that help students navigate their time at Mason.
  • Connect with us on social media using #Welcome2Mason and follow our Instagram (@MasonNSFP) and Facebook (New Student and Family Programs)! We will be sharing useful tips about Mason and a student’s first year!
  • For families, New Student and Family Programs has curated a Family Orientation website that provides mirrored information of student content, but from a family lens. To learn more, visit the “Family Members” menu at the top of this page.
Need Assistance?

We encourage you to checkout our curated Frequently Asked Questions about Orientation. 

To contact New Student and Family Programs, e-mail us at or call 703-993-2475.  

To connect with us during Orientation, send a chat to our Virtual Orientation Help Desk.