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 entering in the Fall 2022 semester, our mandatory Orientation program is transitioning back to a two-day, in-person program. There will be one virtual session option for students needing that accommodation. See “Virtual Session Option” menu on navigation bar as needed.

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.

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.
  • Upon registering for Orientation, key items include but are not limited to:
    • Completing Pre-Orientation Virtual Content
    • Submitting Final Transcripts
    • Accessing Financial Aid Info
    • Completing Immunization Paperwork
    • Taking Placement Tests (as needed)
Step 2: Complete Patriot Preview Pre-Orientation Modules
  • “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 in-person Orientation experience. The modules are divided into two sections: Before Orientation and Before Classes Begin.
  • Complete Patriot Preview “Before Orientation” module, prior to your orientation date. You will need your Mason Net ID and password (Patriot Pass login information you used to create your email) to gain access. This will open on May 1st. 
  • 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.
Step 3: Attend On-Campus Freshmen Orientation Program
  • The Freshmen Orientation program will take place over two days, from 9am on the first day to noon on the second day. Students should prepare to arrive at 8am to check-in for the program.
  • Check-in will take place at the Center for the Arts and include a campus resource tabling fair and shuttle service to the Orientation residence hall for those who are staying overnight. Student will check-in to housing, drop off their bags, and return to the Center for the Arts ASAP so they do not miss the start of the program.
  • On Day #1, students will participate in large group presentations, small groups meetings, and an array of breakout sessions, as well as take part in academic advising appointments and  opportunities to meet other new Patriots.
  • On Day #2, students will participate in final large and small group sessions then take part in Course Registration in order to sign up for classes and walk away their their schedule for the fall!
  • 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. Guests will also not be able to stay on-campus with the student if they are utilizing overnight housing for the program.

To view a list of Frequently Asked Questions about Orientation, click here.

Step 4: Explore Post-Orientation Opportunities
  • The Preamble 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 Fall 2022 schedule will become available as the semester approaches, but until then, you can see an example schedule at welcome2mason.gmu.edu/thepreamble.
  • 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 welcome2mason.gmu.edu.
  • Quill Camp is an 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 ofps.gmu.edu/quill-camp.
  • 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 univstudies.gmu.edu/university-100.
  • 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. All first-year residential students will belong to an LC. LCs are also offered to upper-level residential students, but upper-level students are not required to join one. More information can be found at housing.gmu.edu/learning-communities.
Additional Information and Resources
  • For a full list of items to complete before the semester begins, click here.
  • Check out the 2022–2023 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.
Virtual Orientation Session Option
  • For freshmen students entering in the Fall 2022 semester, there is one special Virtual Orientation option intended for students who are out-of-state and cannot travel to the in-person program or are unable to attend for another scheduling reason. If the session still had space, it will be listed in the Orientation Registration Form as an option starting April 1st, 2022 and will be named accordingly.
  • For more information, visit: https://orientation.gmu.edu/virtual-freshman-orientation/.
Need Assistance?

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

A Note for Honors College Students

Honors College students will only be able to see one Orientation session in their registration portals as the Honors Orientation program will have several specialized sessions and opportunities that are different than other freshmen sessions.

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