Transfer Orientation

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

For transfer students (excluding Mason online-degree students), the mandatory Orientation program is comprised of 2 events: (1) a Virtual Advising & Registration Session and (2) an On-Campus one-day Orientation session. 

All specific information surrounding the Orientation experience, gaining access to systems, and instructions on how to navigate those systems will be sent to students directly via e-mail upon registering, be sure to check your GMU email regularly as all updates will be sent to that account once established.

Below is an overview of the Transfer 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: REQUIRED Pre-Orientation Patriot Preview Virtual Modules

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. The modules are divided into two sections: Before Orientation and Before Classes Begin.

Students should set aside approximately 1-2 hours to complete this task. Each presentation will have a small quiz at the end to test a students’ knowledge of the content shared in the video and signify completion. Students can complete this in one-sitting or several, as long as they are completed before their first session date. You will receive a certificate at the end – if you wish to do Pre-Orientation Academic Advising, this certificate is required (See Step 3).

Step 3: Pre-Orientation Advising Appointments (if desired)

Transfer students have the option to participate in a pre-orientation advising appointment with their academic college if they desire. This is not required, but rather an option if you want additional support and advising prior to your Virtual Advising and Registration session.


To gain access to pre-orientation advising information and request an appointment, students must:

  1. Register for your 2 sessions (Virtual Advising and Registration and an On-Campus program)
  2. Complete Patriot Preview “Before Orientation” AND “Before Classes Start” Modules and download your certificate from the platform to show completion.
  3. Request a pre-orientation advising appointment. Academic colleges and schools will begin fielding pre-orientation advising requests on November 15 for Spring start and May 1 for Fall start. You will need to attach your certificate from Patriot Preview to the request email.
Step 4: Attend Virtual & On-Campus Orientation Sessions
  • When registering for Orientation, you will select 2 events: a Virtual Advising & Registration Session and an On-Campus One-Day Orientation Session. To update your dates, add guests, or other information for one of the events, please return to the registration form. It can be found in your confirmation email.
  • 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, Afternoon Sessions are from 1:30pm-5:00pm ET, and Evening Sessions are from 6:00-8:30pm 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 9:00 am and run until approximately 7:00 pm, with optional evening activities until 8:00 pm.
On-Campus Orientation Schedule at a Glance


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 session. We encourage students to use a device with a webcam so they can engage with advisors and peers in the virtual space.
  • During advising and registration, students may be asked to download documents from the college to reference along with the session.

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

Note for ADVANCE Students

Congratulations & Welcome to Mason! We are so excited for you to continue your journey with us at Mason.

When you attend your Virtual Advising and Registration session, on the webpage for all the Zoom links, you will see a Virtual Zoom Room Link where ADVANCE representatives will be present during Virtual Advising and Registration sessions to assist you should you need any additional support, have questions, or run into any issues as you register for classes. Simply ask your advisor to connect you to our ADVANCE support team and we’ll take care of the rest! 

There will also be ADVANCE-specific networking opportunities during your on-campus orientation.  

For more information about support as an ADVANCE student transitioning to Mason, feel free to reach out to an Advance Success Coach. 

Note for Mason Online Students

Welcome to George Mason University! The Mason Online Orientation 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:

Other Important Opportunities & Resources
  • 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.
  • 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.
Orientation Checklists

For a full list of items to complete before Orientation, Pre-Orientation Checklist

For a full list of items to complete before the semester begins, Post-Orientation/Pre-Semester Checklist.

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