Why is it important that my student attends Orientation?
Orientation is a beneficial experience for students as it helps address questions and concerns that are common during the transition to college. Not only is Orientation a time to meet faculty, staff, and other students, but it is a time where your student will meet with an academic advisor; register for classes; learn more about university services, programs, resources, and campus life; as well as catch the Patriot Pride! Your student will interact with our Patriot Leader team, a group of undergraduate students, who are energetic, knowledgeable, and passionate about Mason. Whether your student is attending a Freshman or Transfer Orientation session, the experience will help prepare and excite your student to join the Mason community. Please note, all new students are required to attend Orientation to be eligible to register for classes.
Why should I attend Orientation with my student?
Families play a critical role in their student’s success at Mason and your transition to the University is important to us. Family Orientation is designed to offer a wide range of perspectives on life at Mason and also serves as a good foundation for you to build relationships with the University. We highly encourage students to bring their family members to Orientation in hopes that we can educate you on university services, programs, and resources, and address any concerns or questions you have about your student’s transition to college.
What information is given to families at Orientation?
Family Orientation addresses a variety of aspects of the transition to Mason. Session topics include financial aid, dining, student health and wellness, on- and off-campus housing, student privacy, campus safety, parking, and much more. In addition to information about services and resources Mason has to offer, families will also learn more about how to stay connected as a Mason family member through a variety of opportunities and initiatives offered by Orientation and Family Programs and Services.

We offer a separate Family Orientation program during our freshman and daytime transfer Orientation sessions. Although we do not offer a family program during our transfer evening session, families are still welcome to attend.

What is the Student Transition Empowerment Program (STEP)?
STEP is an ongoing Diversity Programs & Services initiative, established to enhance the recruitment, satisfaction and retention of an intentionally diverse array of selected, first-year, George Mason University students. Nominated recipients are all Virginia residents and are often first generation college students.

The overall objective of STEP is to give students curricular and co-curricular support prior to and during their tenure as Mason students. Participants of this incentive-based program are given a jump-start to their scholastic endeavors through academic preparation, career exploration, cultural awareness opportunities, service learning projects, and empowerment services. Students currently enrolled in STEP will be asked to attend a specific Orientation session together.

As a family member, how can I stay connected after Orientation is over?
Orientation and Family Programs and Services (OFPS) serves as a liaison between the University and families and provides an outlet for families to become active members of the Mason community. OFPS offers a variety of programming, resources, and involvement opportunities for families to take advantage of during your student’s time at Mason.

One of the best ways to stay connected as a Mason family is to join the dues- free Mason Family Association. Once you’ve signed up you will begin to receive weekly e-enwsletters and other important e-mail communication from OFPS. Your memebership ensures you stay connected to Mason! Join the Family Association.

When does my student learn how to register for classes? How will he/she know what to take?
Your student will learn how to register for classes at Orientation. Before you student registers, he/she will meet with an academic advisor based on what major he/she has declared. There are also advisors available for students who are undecided as to what major they would like to declare. Academic advisors will help your student identify what courses he/she needs to take in order to fulfill all necessary degree requirements.

Students will complete course registration at the end of the Orientation program that they attend. Our Patriot Leader staff will be available to help your student navigate the registration process so he/she is comfortable using the system to register for classes in future semesters.