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Frequently Asked Questions

Shivam Singh Graduating
Shivam Singh, Software Engineering, MS. Graduated from Mason in two years.

BRIDGE – Frequently Asked Questions


What is the BRIDGE Program?

The BRIDGE Program was created to assist international students in meeting the admissions requirements for graduate school at Mason. The program is a coordinated set of courses which, when successfully completed, allows students to move directly into graduate study with no further applications.

The BRIDGE Program offers international students alternative admission requirements for graduate studies with two separate tracks:

  • Degree Enhancement Track (DET) offers applicants with three-year bachelor’s degrees the opportunity to enroll in select master’s degree programs at George Mason University. The BRIDGE-DET is designed to supplement your undergraduate education and prepare you for the intense level of graduate study at Mason.

  • English Enrichment Track (EET) offers applicants a moderate amount of English language support in preparation for the intense level of academic English required for full-time graduate study at Mason. The BRIDGE-EET is designed to develop your academic English language skills using enhanced courses taught by faculty from graduate units and the English Language Institute.

Can I enroll in both tracks of the BRIDGE Program at the same time?

At this time, students may only enroll in one track of the BRIDGE program. If you hold a 3-year bachelor’s degree from an international institution but you need English language support, we recommend that you start taking classes with the Mason English Language Institute to improve your English proficiency first. Then you can apply for admission for the BRIDGE Degree Enhancement Track.

Will I take any graduate level courses?

Yes! Depending on your program, most BRIDGE students take one course per semester that will be applicable toward your graduate degree.

Am I admitted to the BRIDGE Program or to my graduate program?

You will be admitted provisionally to your graduate program upon successful completion of the BRIDGE program. The only provision is that you successfully complete all courses in BRIDGE with a grade of B or better. In addition, students in the BRIDGE English Enrichment Track must retake the English language proficiency test and meet the goal required by their academic program.

Do I have to be a full-time student to study in the BRIDGE Program?

Yes. Both visa regulations and programmatic structure require you to be a full-time student in BRIDGE and complete the program in one year.

How do I know if my degree is equivalent to a U.S. bachelor’s degree?

When you apply, you will submit an international evaluation that can be prepared for you by one of the recognized organizations listed at  http://www.naces.org/members.htm. (You may also have the Mason International Credential Office evaluate your transcripts/mark sheets once you apply to the university.) If your three-year degree is deemed not equivalent to a U.S. bachelor’s degree, you are eligible for consideration for the BRIDGE Program. Remember, you must meet ALL other admissions requirements.

How long does it take to complete the BRIDGE Program?

BRIDGE is a one-year program that begins in the fall semester and requires a student to be enrolled in specific courses for a consecutive fall and spring semester. After successful completion of BRIDGE in the spring, you may begin full-time graduate program the following fall.

Who is eligible to apply for the BRIDGE Program?

Students in two circumstances qualify for admission to the BRIDGE Program:

1.) Applicants with three-year international bachelor’s degrees that have been deemed not equivalent to the four-year bachelor’s degree in the United States are eligible for the Degree Enhancement Track.

2.) Applicants whose English language proficiency levels fall just below the requirements for general admission (TOEFL iBT score of 80) may be eligible for the English Enrichment Track.

If you have questions about the equivalency of your degree or your English proficiency qualifications, please contact the graduate admissions office for your program of interest.

How do I apply for the BRIDGE Program?

You must apply directly to the graduate program of your interest, which will determine whether you are qualified for BRIDGE. Be sure to complete all questions in the international section regarding the BRIDGE Program.

What qualifications do I need for BRIDGE?

You will need to meet all of the regular admissions requirements for your program of interest. This includes submitting the online application, the application fee, official transcripts/mark sheets, degree certificates, letters of recommendation, resume, test scores, and any other required items. All program requirements can be located at http://admissions.gmu.edu/grad/our_programs/.

How are decisions made about my application?

You will be evaluated by the same methods and held to the same standards as all students applying to your graduate program. The only difference is that you have a three-year degree, OR you meet the alternative English proficiency examination minimums (not both). If qualified, you will receive provisional admission to your graduate program for the year you are in BRIDGE. Upon successful completion of BRIDGE, your status will change to regular graduate admission.

What if my degree is not equivalent to a U.S. bachelor’s degree?

You should apply online to your program of interest and then contact them directly to mention that you would like to be considered for BRIDGE. You can find a list of graduate department contacts at http://admissions.gmu.edu/grad/our_programs/admissions_contacts.

What types of courses are required in the BRIDGE Degree Enhancement Track?

Courses include approximately 28 credits, most of which are general education and intensive-writing courses. The intent of these courses is to prepare students for the demands of the Mason graduate curriculum. Additionally, students may be able to take up to 6 credits of graduate coursework during their BRIDGE year. Your graduate program and your BRIDGE advisor will work with you on course selection.

What types of courses are required in the BRIDGE English Enrichment Track?

Courses include approximately 22 credits, most of which are content-based English language courses. The intent of these courses is to prepare students for the rigorous demands of the Mason graduate curriculum. Additionally, students may be able to take 6 to 10 credits of graduate coursework during their BRIDGE year, depending on your progress toward meeting the established English proficiency goal for your academic unit. Your graduate program and your BRIDGE advisor will work with you on course selection.

If I successfully complete a track in the BRIDGE Program, am I admitted to my graduate degree program?

YES! You are already admitted to your graduate program as long as you successfully complete your BRIDGE track. You do not need to reapply or do anything else to secure your place in your graduate program.

How much does BRIDGE cost?

The cost of BRIDGE is equivalent to out-of-state student tuition (for a full-time graduate student), plus $2,000. Current tuition rates can be found at the following Web site: http://studentaccounts.gmu.edu/Forms/Fall2010Graduate.pdf.

What are the minimum English proficiency requirements for BRIDGE English Enrichment Track admission?

In order to be admitted to BRIDGE-EET, you must meet all other general admissions requirements for Mason graduate programs with the following alternative English Proficiency examination score minimums:

Mason Academic Units English Proficiency Exam Overall Score Minimums for BRIDGE-EET Admission
TOEFL iBT Total IELTS Pearson Test of English – Academic Mason ELI Proficiency Exam (ACCUPLACER ESL + ELI Speaking Test)
  • College of Science
  • College of Visual & Performing Arts
  • School  for Conflict Analysis and Resolution
  • Volgenau School of Engineering
80 6.0 50 B1+
  • College of Education and Human Development
  • School of Public Policy
­87 6.5 58 B2

Academic units also have individual score minimums. In addition, only students who have matriculated and completed coursework through the Mason English Language Institute are permitted to submit a Mason ELI certification letter to meet the BRIDGE-EET English proficiency requirement for admission.

What if my TOEFL/IELTS/PTE score does not meet the minimum requirements for BRIDGE-EET admission?

In order to be considered for BRIDGE-EET admission, you must meet certain Mason English proficiency requirements with an acceptable score on one of the above exams. Students who need additional English language development in order to meet these requirements are encouraged to begin their studies at the Mason English Language Institute.