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Academic Appeals

Each student is responsible for knowing the rules, regulations, requirements, and academic policies of the university. All academic policies and guidelines are outlined in the University Catalog. However, students should consult their academic advisor for guidance with regard to any requests for exceptions of George Mason University policies.


Undergraduate Policies & Procedures

AAS Transcript Extension

Per the BAS Agreement signed during the application process, all BAS students are required to confirm that their required AAS degree will be completed prior to their first day of class at Mason. Students must submit their final, AAS transcript to Admissions prior to the end of their first Mason semester. However, Admissions will place holds on student records if the AS transcript is not received by the add/drop deadline for the student’s first semester. If the final, AAS transcript is not received by the end of the student’s first academic year at Mason, the student will be removed from the BAS program.

Students cannot be co-enrolled at Mason and the community college without approved Permission to Study Elsewhere. As such, students who did not earn their AAS due to missed coursework at the community college should plan to un-enroll from Mason, return to the community college to complete the AAS coursework, and then re-apply to Mason in a future term. In rare, extenuating circumstances, the BAS Director may grant Permission to Study Elsewhere to allow students to finish one required AAS course during their first semester at Mason. Students must be able to demonstrate extenuating circumstances that prevented them from completing the required coursework while at the community college.

Students who did complete all of their AAS coursework, but missed the AAS graduation application deadline, and thus will not officially receive their AAS degree by the deadline may appeal for an AAS Transcript Extension. These requests must be sent to the BAS Director and must include a letter from the student’s community college advisor/counselor indicating that all degree requirements were met, and that the student has applied for graduation in the upcoming term.

Credit Overload

Bachelor of Applied Science (BAS) students requesting an overload of the maximum allowed credits per semester must follow the instructions below:

  • Submit Credit Overload form.
    • For requests of 19 credits, a student must have at least a 3.0 cumulative GPA.
    • For requests of 20-22 credits, a student must have at least a 3.10 cumulative GPA.
    • Requests for an overload to repeat courses will not be approved.
    • Requests for an overload for students restricted to 13 credits will not be approved.
    • Previous academic performance and credit load will be factored into the decision.

**Deadline for submission: Last day to add classes (see GMU Academic Calendar).
***If submitted after the last day to add classes, this request must be accompanied by a Late Schedule Adjustment.

Family Education Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA)

The Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA) is a federal law which protects the privacy of students. In accordance with the law, faculty and staff of the BAS program can only speak directly to a student regarding his or her request or record. The student may waive their privacy rights to allow the office to speak with another party by completing a FERPA waiver form (linked below) for either a one-time instance or during one semester.

This form does not give complete access to a student’s record, but allows our office to speak with a particular person regarding that particular request.

Complete information about the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act is available on the Department of Education website.

Access the FERPA waiver form here.

Late Schedule Adjustment

The last day to add a course is published on the University Calendar each semester. Requests to add courses after the established deadline are only approved in extenuating circumstances.

The BAS Department can only approve Late Schedule Adjustments for BAS courses. Requests for other courses (i.e. IT, ENGH, etc.) must be sent to those departments.

BAS will not approve late add requests that are received after the second week of courses has concluded for Fall and Spring terms. For Summer sessions, the BAS department will not approve late add requests that are received after the first week of the session has concluded.

Students can only request a Late Add into course sections that have open seating. Availability can be viewed through Patriot Web.


Students who are requesting a Late Add for a BAS course during the aforementioned approval window must complete the following steps:

  1. Complete the top section of the Late Schedule Adjustment Form.
    1. Student signature must be handwritten or digitally time stamped. Typed names are not accepted by the Office of the University Registrar.
  1. Complete only Section A: CRN, Course ID, Section, Credits (ex. CRN 85207, BAS 300-DL1, 3 Credits).
    1. Students CANNOT request more than one section of the same course at a time.
  1. Attach a written letter of explanation detailing why the registration did not occur before the last day to add a course and how the student was prevented from meeting University registration deadlines. All supporting documentation should also be included with the written statement; only written materials and verifiable, third-party documentation should be submitted. All materials and documentation submitted are kept strictly confidential and only reviewed by the Director for the purpose of the Late Add and will not be shared with any other parties or offices.
  2. Students must submit their form, written statement, and supporting documentation to bas@gmu.edu. Once all documentation has been received, the BAS Student Support Services team will contact the faculty member and they will submit a separate form directly to our office. Requesting permission from the course instructor first DOES NOT COUNT as a processed approval; the course instructor must confirm their approval with BAS Student Support Services.
  3. If the Late Add is denied, the student will receive an email confirmation of the denial with provided reasoning.
  4. If the Late Add is approved by both the course instructor and the BAS Director, the Late Schedule Adjustment form will be finalized and sent to the Office of the University Registrar for finalization. The student will then receive a final email confirmation of approval connecting them with their professor.
    1. If request is approved, students accept full responsibility for the addition of the course including any late fees/associated costs as well as make-up of missing coursework.
Non-Academic Withdrawals

Students who are experiencing a non-academic situation that is affecting their ability to complete courses after the last day to withdraw on their own may request a non-academic withdrawal. The situation must be able to be verified through third-party documentation.

Please see below for the policies and procedure for requesting a non-academic withdrawal.

Exceptions are considered only under exceptional circumstances beyond the student’s control with verifiable, third party documentation. Such documentation is required of all students submitting requests to ensure equity and fairness. No withdrawals can be approved to avoid an unsatisfactory grade. Exceptional circumstances include – but are not limited to – the following:

  • Medical Circumstances – Requests for withdrawals due to health or medical circumstances must be supported by relevant, dated medical documentation from the provider of treatment. The documentation must show a substantial medical change that arose unexpectedly after the drop period ended. If a student is seeking a selective course withdrawal, the student must show why the condition has affected that course (or courses) specifically. Otherwise, only a total semester withdrawal would be considered by the committee.
  • Employment – Requests for withdrawals due to work-related reasons must be documented by the employer on company letterhead. Only unanticipated and unavoidable changes in employment that occur after the drop date and which result in a direct scheduling conflict with a course (or courses) will be considered. An increased or more stressful workload is not considered a valid reason to request a withdrawal (see the Academic Policy for Academic Load).

To submit a request for a non-academic withdrawal, please do the following as soon as possible:

  1. Complete a Late Withdrawal Request form explaining your specific request and reasons.
    1. You must include a personal statement explaining the request; please be thorough and use specific dates when explaining things that occurred.
    2. You also need documentation of the extenuating non-academic reason/circumstances that occurred during the semester in which the withdrawals are being requested. (Examples include: doctor’s note/memo, email exchanges with professors, etc.)
  2. Delays in submitting requests increase the academic component of the request and can have an adverse effect on the final decision. After 30 days, all undocumented requests are automatically denied.
  3. Submit your completed request and supporting documentation to your BAS advisor. Your request will then be reviewed by a committee, and a decision will be emailed to you within 7-10 business days.
  4. If courses are ongoing, please continue attending all classes in which you are officially enrolled and complete the required coursework unless you receive written permission for a withdrawal.

Also note the following:

  • Any withdrawal will result in a “W” on your permanent record for each of the courses.
  • Requests for withdrawals must be submitted within one calendar year of when the courses were taken.
  • Requests for withdrawals do not impact tuition refunds in any way; since tuition insurance is offered, tuition refund exceptions are not considered by Student Accounts.
Permission to Take Classes While on Suspension

As per AP.1.4.2 Permission to Study Elsewhere and the Office of the Registrar, students are not allowed to take classes during their suspension period. Course credits earned at other colleges during the period of suspension from Mason (for academic or nonacademic reasons) are not accepted for their degree program. The time taken off due to suspension is in the best interest of the student to fully address circumstances beyond the classroom environment and develop their success plan to return to courses in the strongest possible fashion.

If there are documented extenuating circumstances that affected a student’s performance, the student can submit an appeal to BAS Student Services requesting permission to take classes while on suspension. The student would need to submit the following to bas@gmu.edu:

  1. Written Statement: This should be a detailed letter explaining why the student should be able to take classes while on academic suspension. It should address what happened, what has changed and what support services have been utilized if any.
  2. Supporting Documentation: Students should provide any and all documentation that supports their written statement. Documentation should be third-party and verifiable.  All documentation that is provided as part of this appeal process will remain confidential and NOT be shared with any other offices or outside parties.
  3. Students are required to develop a course plan with their Academic Advisor, and submit the Academic Advisor Approval form along with their appeal

Each student’s request is reviewed on a case-by-case basis, and we strongly encourage students to provide as much information as possible for their case. With that said, the request for permission to take classes while on suspension is an appeal to academic policy and is rarely approved. If approved, students will be required to participate in the Return to Success intervention program and must meet all requirements.

This type of request is not taken lightly as each case is reviewed carefully with the student’s best interests and opportunities for success in mind. As previously stated, academic suspension periods are seen as time for students to reflect and regroup based on their circumstances and allow them to return with the best chances for academic success.

Return from Suspension

A registration hold will be placed on the record of those students who are suspended in order to prevent them from enrolling in future coursework. In order to return from suspension,  a student must first meet with his/her academic advisor to discuss coursework which will benefit the student and help him/her return to good standing.

An Academic Advisor Approval Hold form will be required for both first and second suspensions.

After the academic advisor has signed the form, it must be submitted to the Director of the BAS program for review and approval before the hold can be removed.

Access the Academic Advisor Approval Hold form here.

Request for a fourth attempt of a course

Bachelor of Applied Science (BAS) students requesting a fourth attempt of a course must follow the steps below:

  1. Complete the Student Success Plan form with guidance from the student’s academic advisor.
  2. Submit the Student Success Plan to the department offering the course for approval.
  3. If approved, the form goes to the student’s academic advisor.
  4. The advisor sends the department approved ‘Success Plan’ form to the Director of the BAS program for approval.
  5. If approved, the Director sends the approved form to the University Registrar for students to be given override to register for the course for a fourth and final time.

**Please be aware that an approval of this request does not guarantee enrollment in the course. Registration for a course is contingent on seats available.

Study Elsewhere

Once a student accepts an offer of admission to George Mason University, they are expected to complete all courses at Mason. In cases where students are experiencing issues with enrollment, course options and/or scheduling, we always recommend connecting with an Academic Advisor to discuss options.

Students are permitted to take courses elsewhere under extenuating circumstances—these circumstances do not include scheduling convenience, commuting convenience, financial (lower cost) reasons or preference in subject/instructor. Study elsewhere is meant to be an option when courses are unavailable at Mason.

As a reminder, per the BAS Agreement signed during the application process, all BAS students were required to confirm that their required AAS degree would be completed prior to their first day of class at Mason. As such, requests to Study Elsewhere to  complete an AAS degree will generally not be approved. Exceptions may be made if the student experienced extenuating circumstances in their final semester at the community college.

When seeking to enroll in courses at another institution concurrently, students must submit a written request and receive pre-approval before taking the course or they may not receive transfer credit for course work taken at another institution. Students cannot retroactively receive approval for courses taken at another institution nor can courses be transferred in if taken during a period of Academic Suspension from Mason.

Students should review the Request to Study Elsewhere form for deadlines as well as special instructions for undergraduates. Study Elsewhere requests must go through multiple levels of approval:

      • The student’s academic advisor must approve the form
      • From there, the form needs to be approved by the student’s major program/department
      • Finally, the form needs to be approved by the department offering the course