Undergraduate Policies, Procedures, and Forms

Costello College of Business Policies for Undergraduate Students 

The Costello College of Business at George Mason University strives to maintain policies and procedures that are consistent with those of the university and in the best interest of our students. 

If you have any questions concerning a particular policy or procedure, please contact the Office of Student Success and Academic Services, Room 008 of Enterprise Hall at (703) 993-1880 for clarification, or schedule an appointment to speak with an Academic Advisor

Academic Clemency

Academic Clemency is an exception that can be requested by students who have returned after a separation from the university for a minimum of three calendar years. Students who complete their return semester successfully can request up to 16 previous graded credits be removed from the calculation of their cumulative grade point average.   

  • Please note that course grades approved for Academic Clemency will remain on the transcript, but they are not calculated into the cumulative GPA. 

  • A notation of “Academic Clemency” is added for each course grade approved 

To be considered for Academic Clemency, students within the Costello College of Business must meet all the following criteria: 

  • Absence from George Mason University for a minimum of three consecutive calendar years   

  • Students must complete at least 6 credits of coursework during their 1st semester back at Mason and earn at least a 3.0 GPA with no grade below a “C.” 

  • A petition for clemency must be submitted within 12 months starting from the 1st day of the re-enrollment term at Mason.   

Students wishing to request Academic Clemency must meet with a Costello College of Business Academic Advisor for initial review. Clemency cannot be considered without meeting these criteria nor can it be applied retroactively to courses counting towards a completed degree at the university. Once a student has graduated, the transcript is sealed and not subject to alteration. 




Add, Drop, and Course Withdrawal Policies

All schedule adjustments must be made by the final add/drop date for the semester as noted in Mason’s Academic Calendar. Any changes past this deadline would need to be approved through a Costello College of Business request. Please be aware that the timelines below are not applicable during the summer semester. The summer term is divided into several sessions, each with their own deadlines for registration. Please view the Academic Calendar for all registration deadlines. 

Late Add

The last day for adding a course is eight calendar days after and including the first day of 
classes. To add a class after this University Deadline, students must submit a Late Add request for review.   

The Costello College of Business does not approve Late Add requests for the following: 

  • Fall and Spring: After the second week of classes, Late Adds will be automatically denied  

  • Summer: After the first week of classes, Late Adds will be automatically denied. 

  • Closed Course Sections: Students can only request a Late Add into course sections that have open seating (availability can be viewed through Patriot Web). 

  • Reserved/Restricted Course Sections: Students cannot be added to reserved or restricted course sections that are designated for specific populations. 

  • These sections are notated within Patriot Web.  

  • Third Attempts/At-Risk of Termination: If a student requests a Late Add that would count for their third attempt for any Business course, it will be automatically denied.  



  • The Late Add process is an appeal of the University’s deadline to add courses; proper justification and documentation are required, and approval is not guaranteed. We do not grant Late Adds based on personal preference and students cannot request more than one section of the same course at a time.  

  • Students cannot submit requests for Costello College of Business courses through Course Instructors, Area Chairs or directly to the Office of the Registrar; Late Add requests will NOT be processed without 1) OSSAS receiving direct approval from the course instructor and 2) the review and approval of the Director of Academic Services. 

  • Once a student submits a Late Add request, they agree to be bound by the decision. If approved, the student will be added to the course and accept full responsibility for financial costs related to registration as well as commitment to work with their course instructor and complete all necessary/missing coursework.   

  • For Costello College of Business courses, students are required to submit their Late Add requests to the Office of Student Success and Academic Services. Requests must be submitted in writing to busreqst@gmu.edu

  • For Non-Business courses, students should contact the appropriate Mason Department for approval; please be aware that other departments may have different policies when it comes to Late Adds.  

If you wish to request an appeal to add a class after the university deadline and before the second week of classes has ended please review the policy here

Students wishing to late add a non-Costello College of Business course in which seats are available should contact the department offering the course. 

Dropping a Course vs. Withdrawal from a Course

Click here to review information on Dropping a Course vs. Withdrawal

Non-Academic Withdrawal

Click here to review the requirements and process to request a non-academic withdrawal.

Applying for Graduation

For all questions and resources regarding graduation ceremonies, degree conferral and diplomas, students should review the Graduation page via the Office of the Registrar: Learn more about applying for graduation

Graduation is not an automatic process: even if all degree requirements are met, students need to apply to graduate through their Patriot Web account by the submission deadline. Please note that if you have courses left to take during a summer term but are walking in the spring ceremony, you must apply for summer graduation and submit the application by the spring graduation deadline. Students must be in good financial standing with the university to receive their diplomas. 

Costello College of Business students will need to meet with an advisor for a graduation check; if a student misses the submission deadline, they will need to file a Late/Retroactive Graduation application and meet with an advisor to sign off. 

Change of Final Exam

Please note that all requests related to changes of grades and/or quizzes, tests and midterm exams are strictly handled by the course instructor. The Office of Student Success and Academic Services does not handle these academic requests that occur in the classroom environment. 

Per university policy, students who find themselves with three or more final exams in one day can choose to move one exam with the permission of their course instructor. If a student needs to change the date of their final exam for such reasons or for other extenuating circumstances, they must bring a Change of Final Exam Request form to their course instructor for approval and signature. Once completed, the signed form must be submitted to busreqst@gmu.edu for final approval. If approved, it is the student’s responsibility to abide by the agreed arrangements with their course instructor to take their final exam. Students have until two weeks prior to the date of the final exam to request this change. 

Credit Limitation

Enrolled undergraduate students who are not declared in a Costello College of Business major are limited to nine credits of upper-level business coursework within the Costello College of Business. This policy applies to any student who is declared in another major or program at Mason. This policy does not apply to students who have declared a Costello College of Business minor and are earning required credit toward that minor. 

Credit Overload

The Costello College of Business recommends that undergraduate students attempt no more than 18 credits in an academic semester and no more than 14 credits in a summer term. Students wishing to attempt more than 18 credits must submit a Permission to Overload form to their academic advisor.  
To be eligible for a course overload, a student must meet the following criteria:  

  • At least a 3.0 cumulative GPA at Mason  
  • Have completed all courses successfully in the previously completed semester with no Fs or incompletes (IN)  
  • Complete the Permission to Overload form and obtain an academic advisor’s signature; requests for more than 21 credit hours will also require additional approval from the Director of Undergraduate Services 

Freshmen and transfer students in their first semesters are not eligible to request a permission for overload until they have established an academic record at George Mason University. Additionally, students who are on Academic Warning, Probation, or Suspension cannot be approved for credit overload requests. 
If approved for an overload, the student is responsible for adding the additional class(es) and paying for the related tuition by the official university deadlines.  Students with approved requests understand and acknowledge that they proceed at their own risk.  

Declaration of Major


If you are not currently in the Costello College of Business and want to switch to a Business major:  

  • New students without a Mason GPA are eligible to change their major before or during their first semester.  
  • Current Mason students must have at least a 2.0 cumulative Mason GPA.  


To Declare or Change a Business major (or add a second major in Business):  

  • Meet with Costello College of Business academic advisor and complete a Change/Declaration of Academic Program form. Forms must be reviewed and signed off by an academic advisor who will then forward the request on the student’s behalf for processing; meeting with an advisor also allows students to learn important information about our various Business concentrations, required courses as well as the best classes to take for the next semester.  
  • Approved Change of Major requests will be effective the following semester if not received by the Office of the Registrar by the last day to add classes for the current term. 

To change your major out of the Costello College of Business: 

  • Contact the appropriate Mason Department of the program/major and connect with the advisor/advising office. The quickest tool to find the necessary information is via the Advisor Locator.   
  • If students are not sure what they would like to major in, they should connect with the Exploratory Academic Advising
  • Students can also check out our selection of Business Minors; each minor requires the successful completion of 15 credits in designated Business courses and we currently have 13 minors to choose from! 

Want to delete part of your program? You can find the Delete Program Request Form via the Office of the Registrar’s Forms page.  

Degree Evaluation

Students who are looking to assess their progress in their degree program can do so by utilizing Degree Works via their Patriot Web account. It is crucial for Costello College of Business students to learn how to read and use this system as it provides the road map for one’s degree program and allows them to evaluate what requirements have been completed and what is still needed in order to graduate. 

We recommend students follow the Degree Works/Evaluation Tutorial via the Office of the Registrar’s website. Students can contact one of our Academic Advisors if they have a question about how courses are applying in the degree evaluation; we do emphasize that students must learn how to navigate their Degree Works as it is their responsibility to choose and keep track of their course requirements towards their degree and concentration.  

Embassy Letter Request

For students who need letters to submit to their embassy, they must provide their Costello College of Business advisor with the documents and information listed below. advisor with the documents and information listed below. 

Two documents are required to be submitted:  

  1. FERPA Form: A new FERPA form must be completed with the student consenting the release of information to the party/organization that will be receiving the letter. 

  1. Embassy Letter Request Form: On this form the student should include the following: 

  • Student Information 
  • Contact Information of the Embassy (must match the FERPA form) 
  • All necessary details to include in the letter based on the specific request: 
    • Online Course Permission 
    • Scholarship Extension and Academic Progression
    • Change of Major/Concentration
    • Tutoring 
    • Other  

Students need to complete their forms in their entirety to ensure receipt of an accurate and timely letter; letters will not be processed nor given based on incomplete forms.  

The processing time for embassy letters is 5-8 business days; the Office of Student Success and Academic Services cannot process letters the same day a request is received. PLEASE NOTE: It is the student’s responsibility to keep track of any deadlines or requests received from their embassy. 

Once the letter is complete and ready for pick-up at the front desk of Enterprise Hall suite 008, an email will be sent to the student’s Mason email address. Have your Mason ID with you when you pick up the letter.  


The Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act of 1974 (FERPA) is a federal law that governs the education records of eligible students. When a student turns 18, or attends a postsecondary institution, FERPA rights belong to the student, not the parent. Mason does not release non-directory information unless a student has provided consent, the release is to the parent of a dependent student, as required by § 23.1-1303.B.5 of the Code of Virginia, or the disclosure meets a qualified exception under FERPA. 

In order for any employee at George Mason University to communicate with a third party (including but not limited to parents, guardians, siblings, etc.), the student would need to grant permission by completing the online FERPA Consent to Release Student Information form via the Office of the Registrar’s Forms page. 

FERPA also applies to online communication; all students must communicate with all university offices and officials through their GMU email address. Emails from personal accounts as well as third parties will also be re-directed due to both privacy and security reasons. 

Force Add

All force add requests for Costello College of Business courses must be submitted to busreqst@gmu.edu; please note that Costello College of Business instructors cannot issue overrides of any kind for their course/s. Force adds for non-Business courses must be directed to the appropriate Mason department and the criteria varies for each school. 

Force Adds are considered only for graduating seniors that meet ALL the following eligibility requirements: 

  • Have an active graduation application on file for the term the force add is requested. 

  • Be currently registered on the waitlist for the requested course. 

  • The requested course must be the student’s first attempt at the course; any requests for second or third attempts will be automatically denied. 

  • Students who have never repeated any Costello College of Business course will be given first consideration.  

  • Meet all other graduation/eligibility requirements for their degree and concentration. 

  • All other course sections, whether in-person or online/asynchronous, must be closed and there are no other course options available to fulfill the requirement.  

Please keep in mind that permission is not guaranteed even if all requirements are met for force add; requests due to work, medical, preference in course format/instructor or other conflicts are not acceptable reasons for a force add. Force add requests are not reviewed until the first week of the requested course; this applies to the Fall and Spring semesters as well as the various Summer Session start dates (A, B, and C). Specific courses are not guaranteed to be offered during specific semesters, especially during the summer term. Due to the accelerated nature and limited course offerings, force add requests during the summer term are rarely approved and it is the student’s responsibility to meet all deadlines and financial obligations.  

As stated above, students must be registered on the waitlist of the course in the case that they are approved for an override; if approved, the student will have a limited amount of time (48 hours) to enroll before that override would be issued to the next student on the waitlist. Questions and answers about how the waitlist system works and what to do “if” issued a waitlist override can be found via the Office of the Registrar: https://registrar.gmu.edu/topics/waitlists/ 

Grade Appeals

While individual faculty members are typically the best judges of student performance, there may be occasions when a student feels a grade has been unfairly assigned. In such circumstances, students are encouraged to first attempt to resolve the issue directly with the instructor of the course, as they possess the most intimate knowledge of the student's work and context. It's advisable for students to engage in proactive communication with their professors throughout the term rather than waiting until its conclusion.  

Reasons such as missed deadlines or exams, lack of curving, non-use of +/- are not considered acceptable grounds for a grade appeal.  

The grade appeal process is as follows: 

  1. Initial Contact: Students should first discuss the grade concern with the course instructor. 

  1. Formal Appeal: If a resolution cannot be achieved, the student may submit a written grade appeal to the Area Chair for the respective course. This appeal should include:  

  • Evidence of prior communication with the faculty regarding the appeal 
  • Comprehensive reasons for the appeal, including contextual details 
  • Any additional supporting documentation 

All grade appeals must be submitted to the Area Chair before the last day of classes for the subsequent semester. 

If the appeal is deemed to have merit by the Area Chair, they will notify the appropriate committee. The Area Chair, in collaboration with the committee chairperson, will appoint a three-person grade appeal committee. If the course instructor/teaching faculty member is no longer in association with the university at the time of the appeal, the Area Chair will appoint a faculty surrogate. 

The grade appeal committee will do the following: 

  1. Request relevant documentation from both the student and the faculty member. Both the student and the faculty member will have the right to request up to one member of the grade appeal committee to be replaced by another faculty representative (if desired). If this request is made, the grade appeal committee member will be replaced by a new faculty representative.  

  1. Schedule a grade appeal hearing, where both the student and the faculty member will present their cases separately.  

  1. Following the hearing, the grade appeal committee will provide a written recommendation to the Area Chair, detailing the rationale behind its findings.  Copies of the recommendation will also be provided to the faculty member and Dean (or designee). The faculty member will then have the opportunity to implement the recommended action, if any. If the matter remains unresolved, the Area Chair will review the committee’s recommendation and make a further recommendation to the Dean (or designee). The decision of the Dean (or designee) will be final and not open to further appeal. If a change of grade is deemed appropriate by the Dean (or designee) and the faculty member declines to comply, then the Dean (or designee) may direct the Office of the University Registrar to implement the change. 

The Costello College of Business Office of Student Success and Academic Services cannot change or appeal grades; all grade appeals are handled strictly through the Area Chair and academic area. If the course in question is taught outside the Costello College of Business, the student must contact the appropriate school/department for their grade appeal procedure. 


The Costello College of Business strives to ensure an excellent and consistent academic experience. We do recognize that each student's experience is unique and we encourage students to seek assistance when needed. Student concerns are taken seriously to both ensure that our standards are met as well as provide assistance and change where required. We encourage any grievances to be submitted for review.   

Formal complaints about a faculty member or academic advisor may be submitted by undergraduate students through the following forms. Students should complete the appropriate grievance form and submit it electronically along with any supporting documentation. All complaints will be thoroughly investigated and reviewed by department chairs.  

Faculty Complaints  

In all cases related to grievances with faculty, students should consult with the faculty member first to try to resolve the issue or complaint before submitting a formal grievance. If a resolution cannot be found, the student may then submit a Faculty Complaint Form and describe the nature of their complaint as well as attach any documentation they would like to include.


Academic Advising Complaints  

For grievances related to academic advisors, students may submit an Academic Advising Complaint Form and include any documentation as necessary. 

Independent Study

Students who are looking to register for an independent study (a 499 course in ACCT, FNAN, MGMT, MIS, MKTG or OM) must have a declared major in the Costello College of Business.  

Students will need to discuss the possibility of an independent study project with a Costello College of Business faculty member who will serve as the sponsor for the course. The Costello College of Business strongly recommends that it should be a faculty member from whom the student has taken at least one course in which they have prepared a serious research paper to determine if the faculty will consider directing the independent study.  

Approval is based on the student creating a detailed proposal describing what they will read, learn, and produce during the course. The initial proposal should include the following elements: 

  1. Suggested Title 
  2. Nature of the Problem 
  3. Review of the Literature 
  4. Scope, Objectives and Limitations 
  5. Research Procedure and Data Sources 
  6. Tentative Outline 

As a general guideline, it takes 10-25 hours of serious effort to develop a viable proposal and students should have a completed proposal prior to the beginning of the semester. A 3-credit independent study project should amount to at least 100-150 hours of work. Independent study courses are not able to be substituted for a Costello College of Business core course. 

Students will need to submit their proposals for approval to the Office of Student Success and Academic Services via busreqst@gmu.edu to be reviewed by the Assistant Dean of Undergraduate Programs. The proposal should be signed by both the student and faculty member; if approved, a copy of the proposal should be provided to the faculty member as well.  

Laptop Policy

All Costello College of Business Undergraduate Students must have access to a portable computing device that meets a set of minimum standards. Students are required to bring their laptops to class if asked by the instructor; please note that phones of any sort are not acceptable in place of a laptop and a keyboard is also required.  

Please review the Minimum Computing Requirements for the Academic Year thoroughly; this list of requirements is reviewed on an annual basis, however as technology changes rapidly, be advised that they may change during your time in the Costello College of Business.  

The cost of a computer can be included in the student’s estimated cost of attendance; this can be done once during a student’s academic program. Students must provide a copy of their receipt or purchase order for their computer and submit that to their assigned Financial Aid Counselor via email (https://www.gmu.edu/financial-aid/contact-financial-aid).  

Non-Degree Study

The Costello College of Business welcomes non-degree students to enroll in undergraduate business courses provided you have met the course prerequisites and space is available in the course. Please review the Office of Admissions page regarding Non-Degree student processes, deadlines and additional information. 

In order to be considered for enrollment into Business courses: 

The Office of Student Success and Academic Services reviews non-degree course requests approximately one week before classes begin (please review the Academic Calendar for semester start dates) and will notify non-degree students via email whether they are approved or not. If approved, students will be able to register for approved courses via Patriot Web; non-degree students are not automatically added into courses. 

Permission to Take Classes While on Suspension

As per AP.1.4.2 Permission to Study Elsewhere and the Office of the Registrar, students are not allowed to take classes during their suspension period. Course credits earned at other colleges during the period of suspension from Mason (for academic or nonacademic reasons) are not accepted for their degree program. The time taken off due to suspension is in the best interest of the student to fully address circumstances beyond the classroom environment and develop their success plan to return to courses in the strongest possible fashion. 

If there are documented extenuating circumstances that affected a student’s performance, the student can submit an appeal to the Office of Student Success and Academic Services requesting permission to take classes while on suspension. The student would need to submit the following to busreqst@gmu.edu

  1. Written Statement: This should be a detailed letter explaining why the student should be able to take classes while on academic suspension. It should address what happened, what has changed and what support services have been utilized if any. 

  1. Supporting Documentation: Students should provide any and all documentation that supports their written statement. Documentation should be third-party and verifiable.   All documentation that is provided as part of this appeal process will remain confidential and NOT be shared with any other offices or outside parties. 

Requests must be submitted prior to the 1st day of classes of the intended semester; any requests received after the semester begins will result in an automatic denial. 

Each student’s request is reviewed on a case-by-case basis, and we strongly encourage students to provide as much information as possible for their case. With that said, the request for permission to take classes while on suspension is an appeal to academic policy and is rarely approved. If approved, students will be required to participate in the Return to Success intervention program and must meet all requirements.  

This type of request is not taken lightly as each case is reviewed carefully with the student’s best interests and opportunities for success in mind. As previously stated, academic suspension periods are seen as time for students to reflect and regroup based on their circumstances and allow them to return with the best chances for academic success. 


We recommend that all George Mason University students learn how to navigate the University Course Catalog in order to locate their designated program and/or courses and review the course descriptions, enrollment restrictions and required prerequisites. 

The Costello College of Business curriculum is not only established to the meet the accreditation standards of the Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business (AACSB), but it is also designed to enable students to develop a fundamental knowledge in each foundational section before advancing to the subsequent courses. As such, students are not permitted to enroll concurrently in (co-req) courses that require a prerequisite.  

It is the student’s responsibility to ensure that all prerequisites are met prior to registering for a course; if a student has questions regarding prerequisites and their course schedules, they are welcome to come meet and discuss with an academic advisor by setting up an appointment or stopping by during drop-ins.


Common Prerequisites:

  • ACCT 303 and FNAN 303 = You MUST complete MATH 108, ACCT 203, and BUS 210 prior to these courses and have at least 30 EARNED credits prior to registering for these courses.
  • BUS 303 = You MUST complete BUS 103 and have at least 30 EARNED credits prior to registering for this course. If you have a waiver for BUS 103, please contact your academic advisor to receive a registration override.
  • BUS 310 = You MUST complete BUS 210 prior to this course. 
  • MGMT 303, MKTG 303, MIS 303, BULE 303 = You MUST have at least 30 EARNED credits prior to registering for these courses.
  • ENGH 302 = You MUST complete ENGH 100/101 and Literature prior to taking this course.

Recommended Honor Code Sanctions for Business Courses

Per the Honor Code policy and system upheld at George Mason University, students are responsible for their own actions and take a pledge to neither plagiarize, cheat, lie nor steal in matters related to their academic work. 

The consequences for each type of violation can be found in the Costello College of Business Recommendations for Honor Code Violations. As noted in the document, the Costello College of Business reserves the right to initiate termination proceedings for any student found guilty of an Honor Code violation and the Office of Academic Integrity may increase these sanctions for repeated offenses. 

Study Elsewhere

Once a student accepts an offer of admission to George Mason University, they are expected to complete all courses at Mason. In cases where students are experiencing issues with enrollment, course options and/or scheduling, we always recommend connecting with an Academic Advisor to discuss their options.  

Students are permitted to take courses elsewhere under extenuating circumstances—these circumstances do not include scheduling convenience, commuting convenience, financial (lower cost) reasons or preference in subject/instructor. Study elsewhere is meant to be an option when courses are unavailable at Mason; as previously stated, students are expected to complete their course requirements as undergraduates of George Mason University and cannot utilize the Study Elsewhere option for means of offsetting courseloads, financial costs, etc. 

When seeking to enroll in courses at another institution concurrently, students must submit a written request and receive pre-approval before taking the course or they may not receive transfer credit for course work taken at another institution (this rule also applies to courses taken through the Consortium). Students cannot retroactively receive approval for courses taken at another institution nor can courses be transferred in if taken during a period of Academic Suspension from Mason. 

Students should review the Request to Study Elsewhere form for deadlines as well as special instructions for undergraduates. Study Elsewhere requests must go through multiple levels of approval: 

  1. The student’s academic advisor must approve the form 
  2. From there, the form needs to be approved by the student’s major program/department 
  3. Finally, the form needs to be approved by the course department 
  4. Ex- the Math department would have final review and approval for a MATH 108 study elsewhere request 

Please be Advised: 

  • The Department offering the Mason equivalent must review and approve the Study Elsewhere request; each college at Mason has their own policy and guidelines they abide by. 
  • Students are limited in the number of credit hours within Costello College of Business  disciplines that they can take from another institution (not including registration through Consortium or the Center for Global Education):* 
  • Undergraduate: Nine credit hours  
  • Graduate: Six credit hours 
  • Any courses requested to fulfill major or graduate-level course requirements must be attempted at an institution accredited by the Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business (AACSB). 
  • Courses that are attempted at any two-year institution cannot be used to fulfill upper-level requirements (300 and above). 
  • Courses designated as meeting the Writing Intensive requirement for the degree (ex. MKTG 471) will not be approved to study elsewhere under any circumstances. 
  • Students must submit a written request and receive pre-approval before taking the course 
  • Courses taken without written pre-approval WILL NOT be allowed to transfer back to Mason 
  • Students must meet all requirements for the Mason course they are requesting (successful completion of the prerequisites, correct class level, etc.). 
  • Requests to study elsewhere cannot be granted based on convenience or expense. 
  • Students on Academic Suspension are not permitted to Study Elsewhere. 
  • Current Mason students with declared majors/concentrations in the Costello College of Business may not receive credit for CLEP exams.
  • Study Elsewhere Deadlines (as written on the form):   
  • Fall Semester: August 1 
  • Spring Semester: January 2 
  • Summer Semester: May 1 

Termination from Costello College of Business Policy

All courses within the Costello College of Business are limited to three attempts. Students have three attempts to earn a grade of C or higher (in some cases a B- or higher) to successfully complete the course. Please note that the most recent attempt is what counts. 

When students try to register for their third attempt, they will receive a registration error stating “Repeat hours exceeded 6”. To avoid this error, students must visit their Costello College of Business Academic Advisor before registering to review the course and receive an override to register for their third and final attempt.  

If a student does not successfully complete a Costello College of Business course in three attempts with a grade of C or higher:  

  • Business Foundations or Core courses: If a student does not successfully complete one of these courses in three attempts with a grade of C or higher, they are terminated from the Costello College of Business and will have to change their program to a major outside of the College of Business.  
  • Major/Concentration courses: If a student does not successfully complete one of these courses in three attempts with a grade of C or higher, they are no longer eligible for that major/concentration. A hold will be placed on the student's account and they will need to meet with their advisor to change their major/concentration to another Costello College of Business program.  

Termination Appeals: 

Costello College of Business terminations are considered final and appeals to policy are taken very seriously. The Costello College of Business provides ample opportunities to promote awareness about the termination policy and to ensure students make every possible effort to succeed going into a third attempt including the following: 

  • Completion of the Costello College of Business orientation 
  • Outreach after the first unsuccessful attempt with a follow-up meeting with an academic advisor 
  • A registration restriction is placed on the course after a 2nd unsuccessful attempt 
  • Mandatory advising meeting to discuss success strategies moving forward 
  • Follow-up and e-mails regarding the termination policy, drop deadlines, and selective withdrawal policy 

When submitting an appeal to the Costello College of Business, the student must demonstrate why they should be considered an exception to this policy. Appeals should include details on what occurred during the semester (after the drop and selective withdrawal deadlines) that prevented the student from completing the course and must include substantial documented evidence from a medical provider or other verifiable source; any confidential information shared will be reviewed only by the Appeals Review Board/Associate Dean for Undergraduate programs and will not be shared with other offices or personnel. 

Appeals are rarely granted and are typically only considered when severe medical emergencies occurred after the selective withdrawal deadline that impacted the student’s ability to complete ALL courses, including the course being attempted for the third time. 

  1. Completed Termination Appeals must be submitted by the degree conferral date in the semester the termination occurred. The Costello College of Business Appeals Review Board will review appeals of Costello College of Business terminations. 
  2. Termination Appeals will not be considered if they are submitted after the degree conferral date in the semester in which the termination occurred (fall, spring, and summer). If unforeseen circumstances prevented the student from submitting an appeal by the deadline, then an essay detailing why the appeal is late and what occurred that prevented the student from meeting the deadline is required. 


Transfer Credits

George Mason University's Costello College of Business is accredited by the Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business (AACSB). As an accredited institution, students may only receive major course credit for Business courses taken at schools with AACSB and/or EQUIS accreditation as well as with a passing grade of C or better. 

We highly recommend reviewing the Office of Admissions’ Evaluation of Transfer Credit policy which also includes instructions on how students can access their evaluation within Patriot Web. The following list refers to policies that apply to the School of Business: 

  • Transfer credits completed more than ten years prior to Mason enrollment or re-enrollment cannot be awarded for any Costello College of Business courses. 

  • The Costello College of Business does not waive credit requirements. 

  • Current Mason students with declared majors/concentrations in the Costello College of Business may not receive credit for CLEP exams. Transfer credit for CLEP exams is only accepted for new students applying to the University for CLEP exams taken before being admitted to George Mason University and will be evaluated by The Office of Admissions. Current students should contact their Costello College of Business academic advisor with any questions regarding CLEP credit. 

  • Students may only receive major course credit for courses taken at schools with AACSB and/or EQUIS accreditation.   

  • Courses completed at a lower-level (below 300) cannot transfer in for upper-level credit but may be awarded as elective credit if deemed equivalent. Community college courses also fall into this category as they are not institutions with AACSB or EQUIS accreditation. 

  • All Virginia Community College System (VCCS) courses have been evaluated for transfer equivalents at Mason and can be found via the Transfer Credit Matrix. The matrix is not a complete list for all schools, but it is a valuable resource for courses that have been previously approved and are considered universally equivalent by George Mason University. 


If you have taken a course that does not appear on your transfer evaluation, you need to complete the Transfer Credit Inquiry form and submit it to the Enrollment Central Desk, SUB I, lower level or via admissions@gmu.edu




Re-Evaluation of Transfer Credits 

If a student has taken a course which they think is equivalent to a Costello College of Business course, but it shows up differently on their transfer credit evaluation, they may request a re-evaluation for transfer credit. For non-Business courses, students will need to meet with the appropriate department to determine course equivalency. All re-evaluations must be submitted and completed during the student’s first academic year at Mason. Only courses passed with a grade of C or better will transfer. 

We recommend reviewing the course descriptions in the Mason catalog beforehand to make certain the material and focus are equivalent to the course/s being re-evaluated. It will take approximately 2-3 weeks to process the request. 

Students must submit the following to busreqst@gmu.edu for re-evaluation requests: 

  1. The Transfer Credit Re-evaluation Appeal Form 

  • Credit hours of the host institution must equal credit hours at Mason.   

  • A maximum of two courses may be combined to equate to one specific Mason course and one elective.  

  • The form must be submitted in its entirety with the student completing all relevant information on the first page; forms that are incomplete or missing pages upon submission will not be accepted. 

  1. The Course Syllabus/Description from the host institution 

  • The description needs to be on the host institution’s letterhead, out of their catalog or on their official website. Do not submit a textbook without the official syllabus for the course. 

  • The information provided will be compared to the description in the Mason catalog in order to decide whether the courses are equivalent to one another. Re-evaluations will NOT be approved without the syllabus/description. 

  • Submitting the course syllabus is highly recommended and will all for the most efficient review of the request. 

Waitlist Procedure

Students are able to add themselves to waitlists for closed course sections up till the Last Day to Add classes for each semester. Below are some resources from the Office of the Registrar regarding registration/waitlists: 

  • Online Registration Guide – This guide provides a step-by-step visual of how students can register for courses via Patriot Web as well as how to add themselves to waitlists. 
  • Finding your Waitlist Position – This video helps students to identify their number/waitlist position on closed courses. 
  • Waitlist Guide – This page highlights important details and instructions for students to know in the case they receive a waitlist override when seats become available. 
    • Students are NOT automatically registered for courses from a waitlist and waitlist overrides when given remain active for 48 hours. If a student does not register when given an override, the override will be removed and given to the next position on the waitlist.