Are you a new student? Please take a look at the New Master's Student FAQ's.
- Who is my academic advisor?
- How do I add or drop a class after classes have started?
- How can I add my name to the waitlist for a course?
- How do I transfer credits earned in non-degree status into my program?
- How do I register for a consortium course?
- When do I complete my graduation application?
- What are typical course loads?
- What are 1.5 credits Advanced Skills Seminars?
- How do I take a semester off from the program?
- Can my G.P.A. result in termination from the program?
- Is independent study available?
Office Contact Information
1. Who is my academic advisor?
Silva Pecini Morris
- Peace Operations, MS
- Public Administration, MPA
- Public Policy, MPP
- Biodefense, MS
- International Commerce and Policy, MA
- International Security, MA
- Organization Development and Knowledge Management, MS
- Political Science, MA
- Transportation Policy, Operations, and Logistics, MA
2. How do I add or drop a class after classes have started?
The add and drop periods are published each semester on the Academic Calendar, and schedule changes can be made using Patriot Web during the schedule adjustment period. Generally, you may add a course up to one calendar week into a 14-week semester and drop a course up to four calendar weeks after the first day of class (for a partial refund). After the drop deadline has passed, students are only permitted to withdraw from classes for extenuating, non-academic circumstances.
3. How can I add my name to the waitlist for a course?
Certain classes in the Schar School have a waitlist option. If you attempt to register for a course that is full, and a waitlist exists for that particular course, Patriot Web will permit you to add your name to the waitlist. The waitlist is an automatic process; each time a student drops the course, the first person on the waitlist receives an override permitting that student to register for the course. The override is in effect for three days. If you fail to register for the course during the three-day time frame, the next student on the list is issued the override. Students who are waitlisted should check Patriot Web on a regular basis to determine if such an override has been issued. For more information, please check out the following wait list guide: http://registrar.gmu.edu/topics/waitlists/
4. How do I transfer credits earned in non-degree status into my program?
A maximum of four courses completed while in non-degree status in the Schar School of Policy and Government can be transferred into a master’s program, as long as a grade of B or better has been earned. Students must submit a Non-degree Transfer Credit form to the academic advisor for their program. Requests should be filed during the first semester of enrollment as a degree-seeking student.
5. How do I register for a consortium course?
Graduate students are permitted to take up to six credits of electives through the consortium program. You should meet with the academic advisor assigned to your program to discuss the process for obtaining approval and registration procedures. Additional consortium information can be found on the consortium web site.
6. When do I complete my graduation application?
You will receive instructions for completing the steps to graduation, including the graduation application, via e-mail during the semester in which you intend to graduate. The application cannot be completed prior to that point. Additional details about the graduation application process can be found on the registrar’s web page.
7. What are typical course loads?
Full-Time Students: The university considers nine credits to be a full-time load at the graduate level. International (F-1 or J-1 visas), and Military students (GI bill beneficiaries) are required to carry nine or more credits each semester. Students wishing to take more than the recommended credit load, 12 hours for master’s students, should first meet with their academic advisor to discuss their course load.
Part-Time Students: Students taking fewer than nine credit hours are classified as part-time. Part-time students are strongly encouraged to enroll in two courses per semester in order to progress through the program at a reasonable pace. Students who are working full-time while pursuing their degree programs should not register for more than two courses per semester.
8. What are 1.5 credits Advanced Skills Seminars?
POGO 580: Topics: Advanced Skills for Policy Professionals seminars are elective course options worth 1.5 credits and offered in a modified partial-semester session. For example, these courses may meet for a half of the semester or in a condensed weekend format. These practical, graduate level seminars will focus on the development of key skills required for professionals working in the policy arena. Past topics offered: Public Speaking for Executive Leadership, Policy Communication for Executive Leadership, and Presentation/Briefing Skills.
Frequently asked questions:
- How many seminars can I take?
A maximum of two 1.5 credit seminars (3 credits total), can be applied as elective credit toward your degree requirements. Students may choose to take more than two seminars for “extra” credits, beyond what is required for the degree.
- Will the Advanced Skills seminars be offered each semester?
Yes – the Schar School plans to offer at least one Advanced Skills seminar each semester, including during the summer.
- If I have fulfilled all of my elective requirements, can I still take an Advanced Skills seminar?
Yes, students can take Advanced Skills seminars for “extra” credits beyond what is required to earn the degree.
- If I plan to earn three elective credits through Advanced Skills seminars, do I have to take both seminars in the same semester?
No, you can take the seminars in different semesters.
- What topics will be covered in the seminars?
Each seminar is designed to provide graduate level instruction on practical skills that are essential in the policy arena. Specific topics will be announced prior to registration each semester, and the same topic may be offered in multiple semesters.
- How are the seminars graded?
These seminars are graded in the same manner other graduate level courses are graded.
9. How do I take a semester off from the program?
Students requiring a leave of absence from their program for a single semester must contact the appropriate academic advisor to request a leave of absence. Any student taking two or more consecutive semesters off must obtain permission to re-enroll from the Schar School of Policy and Government. In certain circumstances, The School may review the student’s academic standing prior to granting re-enrollment permission.
10. Can my G.P.A. result in termination from the program?
Students enrolled in the Schar School of Policy and Government must maintain good academic standing. Master’s students are encouraged to consult their Master’s Programs Student Guide for additional information. Students should pay particular attention to the following:
- Students may apply a maximum of six credits of “C” work toward graduation.
- Receiving a grade of “F” in a single course will result in termination from the program.
- Receiving a grade of “C” in nine or more credit hours will result in termination from the program.
- Although a B- is an admissible grade for a course taken in degree status, a 3.0 average must be maintained and presented on the student’s application for graduation.
11. Is independent study available?
Yes. An independent study affords students an opportunity to complete a more detailed research project than is generally possible in a particular course. Research often involves areas and topics not currently covered by existing courses. The Independent Study expects a greater level of effort on the part of the student than standard course offerings. Any student wishing to pursue and independent study should contact their academic advisor for more information.