International Applicant FAQ

When should I apply?

We recommend international applicants begin the process 30-60 days before the deadline to ensure all documents are received in a timely manner. 

Do I have to take the GRE?

GRE scores are optional for all master's applicants to the English Department.  However, they may be submitted if an applicant feels it would further lead to a clearer representation of their qualifications.

Do I have to take the TOEFL?

Mason students participate in rigorous graduate coursework as part of their university educational experience. Therefore, students at Mason must have a full command of academic English at the graduate level in order to be successful throughout their studies. All new graduate students are expected to accurately comprehend written graduate-level English, clearly understand rapidly spoken English in classroom lectures and in professional settings, write with proper grammar and syntax, and be able to respond quickly in English using a vocabulary appropriate for collegiate settings.

For this reason, Mason has a high standard of English proficiency for graduate admission. Applicants are required to take an English proficiency examination and meet minimum scores set by Mason in order to be considered for admission. The TOEFL, Pearson Test of English, or IELTS exams can be used to meet this requirement.  For further information on test score requirements and who needs to take the test please see the university catalog:

Will you accept copies of international transcripts? 

All transcripts from college or universities outside the United States must be translated into English, if applicable, and submitted for evaluation to the College of Humanities and Social Sciences Graduate Admissions Office.  Mason will provide evaluation services free of charge however, there is at times quite a delay in processing depending on the volume of transcripts received.  For expedited service, applicants can submit their documents to a recognized U.S. evaluation service at their own expense.  A list of recognized evaluation services is available at

Who can assist me through the student visa process?

Applicants may contact Mason's Office of International Programs and Services (OIPS) at (703) 993-2970.  Their web address is:

Do you have scholarships or assistantships for international students?

The English Department does not have scholarships or assistantships specifically for international students; however all MFA students may apply for our TAships.  To find more information on teaching assistantships and download an application, please go to

Who do I contact to see if my application documents have been received?

All online applications and associated documents are processed by our College of Humanities and Social Sciences Graduate Admissions Office (   You may also check on the status of your graduate application at: