Fall 2021 New Student Orientation

Fall 2021 New Master's Student Orientation

Be sure to complete these mandatory forms before the first day of classes.

Welcome to the Schar School of Policy and Government!  New Master's Student Orientation will be a series of in person, online and live modules that will held the week of August 17-19, 2021. The information provided during orientation will facilitate your smooth transition as you begin your graduate studies. Some modules will occur in real-time in person or via Zoom, while other will be self-paced and can be viewed at any time.

Please note that Mason will require that all students be vaccinated against COVID-19 by August 1, 2021.  This policy does not apply to students who take only online courses and do not come to any campus, or to individuals who have an approved medical or religious exemption. For more information, please visit the Student Health Services website here.

Stay tuned to this page throughout the summer for additional important information.


Below is the schedule of live orientation events. We ask that you register for each module individually in order to receive Zoom access. You are strongly encouraged to attend all live sessions.

Navigating Graduate Study hosted by Jill Deering, Silva Morris, & Paul Nooney

Meet your advisor! This session will provide you with the nuts and bolts needed to launch into your program and will highlight key academic policies and campus resources. 

Dates (select one):

  • Tuesday, August 17 from 12:30 p.m.- 1:30 p.m. ET (Register Here) OR
  • Thursday, August 19 from 5:30 p.m. - 6:30 p.m. ET (Register Here)


Career Planning Starts Now hosted by Duane Bradshaw & Brian Bar

Whether entering the workforce or seeking advancement, this session will share proven strategies for professional development and ways the Schar School's Career Development Office can serve as a resource.

Dates (select one):

  • Tuesday, August 17 at 5:30 p.m.- 6:30 p.m. ET (Register Here) OR
  • Thursday, August 19 at 12:30 p.m.- 1:30 p.m. ET (Register Here)


Mason Campus Resources hosted by UL Arlington, University Libraries, and the Schar School Alumni Chapter

The Writing Center, Counseling and Psychological Services, and the Student Support and Advocacy Center, and Mason’s Library are just some of the free resources that are available to students. Melissa Thierry & Sophie Gorshenin (UL Arlington), Shayna Marlowe (SSAC),  Librarian Kim MacVaugh, and alumni will share how to access these services and make the most of graduate student life. 

DateWednesday, August 18 at 12:30 p.m. - 1:30 p.m. ET (Register Here)


Master’s Program Sessions hosted by Program Directors & Faculty

Meet your Program Director and faculty teaching in your program who will provide an overview of your program requirements and the courses they teach.

Date: Wednesday, August 18, from 6:00pm – 7:00pm

  • Virtual Sessions: Register Here (International Commerce & Policy, ODKM, Political Science, Public Administration, and Public Policy)
  • In-Person Sessions: Register Here (Biodefense & International Security) - Van Metre Hall, Arlington Campus

Explore the Schar School’s Orientation Guide to learn more about the Schar School and how to get started as a new student.

Schar School of Policy and Government Master's Student Services Fall 2021 Orientation Guide
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Academic Integrity and Graduate Study

Hosted by Dr. Matthys van Schaik, Associate Dean for Academic Affairs
Proper citations, the honor code, and tips for avoiding plagiarism will be shared by Dean van Schaik.