International Applicant Requirements

In addition to all of the other application requirements listed, international applicants to the Schar School graduate programs must submit the following credentials:

  • English and original language transcripts, diplomas, and degree certificates. For further guidelines on submitting international credentials, please view the International Transcript Submission Guidelines
  • Students Seeking an F-1 or J-1 visa must submit:
    1.  Certificate of Financial Responsibility
    2. An original bank statement in your name or your sponsor’s name demonstrating the minimum required funds for your studies at the Schar School of Policy and Government
    3. Copy of the identification page of your passport
  • Proof of English proficiency by submitting either the TOEFLIELTS, or Pearson Academic Test of English exam scores. Please Note: George Mason University’s test code is 5827.

Minimum score requirements effective fall 2023


PhD Applicant

Master’s & Certificate Applicant

IELTS (Academic Test)

7.0 overall, 6.5 subscore in all sections

7.0 overall, 6.5 subscore in all sections


100 overall, 23 subscore in all sections

88 overall, 20 subscore in all sections

Pearson Test of English




185 overall, 170 in all sections

180 overall, 170 in all sections

Please note for fall 2023 applicants, we are accepting a score of 120 on the Duolingo Test of English. 

English Assessment Policy

It is necessary to submit official TOEFL or IELTS scores if an applicant’s highest degree(s) was conferred in any country other than the United States, the United Kingdom, Ireland, Australia, New Zealand, Canada (excluding Quebec), and Commonwealth Caribbean (Antigua, Barbuda, Belize, Cayman Islands, Dominica, Guyana, Jamaica, St. Kitts and Nevis, St. Lucia, St. Vincent and Grenadines, and Trinidad and Tobago).

As part of the application review process for admission consideration, we will assess an applicant’s English language proficiency. Based on the results of this assessment, students may be required to complete additional English language coursework.

For more information about international student resources, please visit the Office of International Programs and Services.

Waiver-Eligible Countries

  • Anguilla
  • Antigua and Barbuda
  • Australia
  • Bahamas
  • Barbados
  • Belize
  • Bermuda
  • British Virgin Islands
  • Canada (excluding Quebec)
  • Cayman Islands
  • Dominica
  • Fiji
  • The Gambia
  • Ghana
  • Gibraltar
  • Grenada
  • Guyana
  • Ireland
  • Jamaica
  • Kenya
  • Lesotho
  • Malawi
  • Malta
  • Namibia
  • New Zealand
  • Nigeria
  • Seychelles
  • South Africa
  • St. Kitts and Nevis
  • St. Lucia
  • St. Helena
  • St. Vincent and the Grenadines
  • Trinidad and Tobago
  • Turks and Caicos Islands
  • United Kingdom
  • Zambia
  • Zimbabwe