Undergraduate Student Resources

The College of Visual and Performing Arts offers highly-focused undergraduate programs of study designed to prepare students for professional work in the arts, in education, and beyond.

Learn more about our undergraduate programs and resources below.

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Undergraduate Programs of Study

Arts Management

Carla McGuiness outside Smithsonian African American Museum

Overview and Contact Information

Advisor/Contact: Dr. Karalee Dawn MacKay

Arts Management is a developing field established to meet the ever-growing demand for leadership and organizational expertise within arts and cultural organizations, both private and public.

The Minor in Arts Management is open to all CVPA majors as well as art history majors. Non-CVPA students must complete 9 credits of arts-related coursework to be eligible for this minor.

The Accelerated Master’s in Arts Management is open to students in any undergraduate degree program at Mason.

Visit the Arts Management website.


Mason School of Dance student in yellow and white in a pose against a gray background

Overview and Contact Information

Advisor/Contact: Kim Harris

The BFA in Dance is a performance-oriented contemporary dance program designed to prepare students professionally as performers, choreographers, educators, and active leaders of the dance community. Students in this program demonstrate technical mastery and devote their college study to an intensive and comprehensive dance curriculum.

The Minor in Dance Appreciation offers students the opportunity to study a variety of movement styles and understand dance in its historical and cultural context. The Minor in World Dance develops knowledge and appreciation of the vast diaspora of the philosophies, history, and cultural diversity of global dance forms. 

Visit the School of Dance website.


Mason School of Art student drawing a self portrait

Overview and Contact Information


Mason Computer Game Design program students working on computers in the classroom

Overview and Contact Information

Advisor/Contact: Jeremy Tuohy

The program offers a Computer Game Design BFA, a Minor in Game Design, a Minor in Sport and Computer Game Design. Students can also enroll at Mason Korea for their BFA in Computer Game Design, spending 3 years in Korea and one year in the U.S. at Mason's Fairfax campus.

Visit the Computer Game Design Website


Mason Film and Video Studies students working with camera equipment on set

Overview and Contact Information

Advisor/Contact: Maddie Portnoy

The Film and Video Studies BA degree is the first multidisciplinary undergraduate degree in Virginia focusing on cinematic arts production and film theory and history with core courses in ethics, business, writing for the moving image, fiction, documentary, interactive storytelling and episodic television.

Visit the Film and Video Studies Website


Dewberry School of Music students on stage in the Opera Cinderella

Overview and Contact Information

Advisor/Contact: Carrie Ann Delaney

The Music BA degree offers three concentrations:

  • General Music Studies
  • Music Technology
  • Music Pedagogy

The Music, BM degree programs offer five concentrations: 

  • Performance (Vocal, Instrumental, Percussion)
  • Jazz Studies
  • Composition
  • Music Education, and
  • Music Technology.


Accelerated Degrees:


Mason School of Theater student wearing period costume in a play on stage

Overview and Contact Information

Advisor/Contact: Sara Simanski

The Theater, BA has four areas of concentration each with its own admissions requirements:

  • Theater Studies
  • Theater Education for Theater Arts PK-12
  • Performance (Acting and Directing) Concentration
  • Design and Technical Theater Concentration

The Theater BFA has three areas of concentration each with its own admissions requirements:

  • Performance for Stage and Screen (Acting and Directing) Concentration
  • Design for Stage and Screen Concentration
  • Musical Theater Concentration

Theater, BA/Arts Management,
Accelerated MA

Visit the Theater Website

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Policies and Procedures

Students must meet with their Academic Advisor to discuss policies and procedures for submitting any request or form. For specific situations, please refer to the information below.  

Registration at George Mason

Credit Overload Policy

Undergraduate students in good standing (cumulative GPA at or above 2.0) are permitted to enroll in up to 18 hours of coursework per semester. In exceptional circumstances, students may request an overload of the maximum credit hours allowed. Requests must be approved at the academic advisor level before consideration by the CVPA Academic Affairs Office.

Leave of Absence

All undergraduate students who are planning an absence from George Mason must submit a formal request for Leave of Absence through the online portal provided by the Registrar's Office. Students do not need to request a Leave of Absence if they are participating in a university-sponsored study abroad program or have received permission to study elsewhere.  Find the full university policy on Leave of Absence described under AP 1.8.


Registration Elsewhere

Study Elsewhere

Students wishing to take a course at a different institution must get pre-approval from both the CVPA academic dean and the academic dean for the requested course (two signatures). There are specific circumstances when this can be approved.

Students are permitted to take up to a maximum of 9 credit hours elsewhere if they meet the following criteria at a minimum:

  • Fewer than 60 credit hours of transfer coursework,
  • A minimum 2.0 GPA at the time of the request.


  • If a course is offered at Mason Korea or George Mason Fairfax, whether online or face-to-face, permission will NOT be granted to take this course elsewhere except in the case of unusual circumstances. Students may submit a study elsewhere request to take general elective courses or courses that are not being offered at the campus in which they are studying.
  • Students in their first semester of coursework at George Mason are ineligible for Study Elsewhere.
  • Financial hardship alone is not a sufficient reason for approval of a study elsewhere request.
  • Once approved, courses elsewhere must be taken for a grade and be passed with a grade of C or higher in order to be transferred back to George Mason. Although credit for the course will be transferred, the grade for the course will not.

Students should also review the policies under AP.1.4.2 Permission to Study Elsewhere in the George Mason catalog.


Registration for Inactive Students


Students who have been away from the university, who either did not submit a leave of absence form or were ineligible to take a formal leave of absence, and who have been away for fewer than four semesters must re-enroll in order to register for courses. Please connect with your academic advisor first, and then utilize the online portal through the Registrar’s office to submit a re-enrollment request.

Return from Dismissal

Students returning from dismissal from the university must submit a request to return to George Mason through their Academic Advisor, but only after a minimum of three calendar years from the university. See item AP.5.2.6 in the University Catalog for more information.


Suspended Students

Students Returning from Suspension

Students in academic standing of suspension have a registration hold placed on their record that prevents enrollment in future coursework. Upon return from the suspension period, the student must have an Academic Advisor Approval form and Student Success Plan reviewed by their advisor and signed. After the form and plan have been completed, they must be submitted to the CVPA Academic Affairs Office for final approval. Upon receipt by the CVPA Academic Affairs Office, students will be advised about an additional requirement of completion of a Learning Services workshop. Upon completion of that workshop, the hold will be removed.

Deadlines to request a return from suspension:

  • December 1 for the following spring semester
  • April 15 for the following fall semester (students missing this deadline may be approved on a case-by-case basis).


Other Requests and Procedures

Change of Grade

All requests must originate from the professor of the course. For assistance, please see your Academic Advisor. 

Grade Appeal Process

  1. Students wishing to appeal a final grade in a CVPA course must start with a written request (email is fine) to the instructor of the course, citing reasons and/or any new information as to why the posted grade is being appealed. Instructors have at least one week to respond to such requests.
  2. If the instructor of the course does not find suitable justification for a revised final grade, the appeal process moves forward to the department of the course – contact information below. Students must contact the department and follow whatever procedure is required and outlined by each department.
    1. School of Art
    2. Computer Game Design
    3. School of Dance
    4. Film and Video Studies
    5. School of Music
    6. School of Theater
  3. If the department of the course does not find suitable justification for a revised final grade, the appeal process moves forward to the Assistant Dean for Student Affairs as the final step. Students must submit a formal, written narrative (email is fine), detailing the circumstances of the appeal, as well as any documentation such as attempt(s) at communication with instructor, course syllabus, student transcript showing the current grade, course papers, any other relevant documentation.

Decisions made by the Assistant Dean for Student Affairs are final.

Other Complaints and Grievances

Substitutions and Waivers

Substitution/Waiver request forms are used to either substitute or waive a degree requirement. For CVPA students, these requests require a signature from the Assistant Dean. The form is reviewed and approved by the college that houses the major or minor. 



Non-Academic Withdrawals

Students may request a withdrawal after the drop deadline for non-academic reasons. Requests are considered only under exceptional circumstances. Students will need to provide verifiable, third-party documentation with the request.

In order to request a withdrawal, you must submit the CVPA Undergraduate Student Request for Withdrawal form to your advisor. If approved by your Advisor, this form must be submitted to the CVPA Academic Affairs office for review.

Selective Withdrawals

Students enrolled in degree programs may process a maximum of three selective withdrawals during their entire undergraduate career at Mason. The three classes may have any number of credits. Refer to the university catalog for more information.

Termination from Arts Undeclared

Arts Undeclared is not a degree-granting major and is only intended to be a temporary track for certain incoming students to George Mason. The expectation is that a portfolio will be submitted or an audition completed within 1-2 semesters of George Mason enrollment. Failure to complete the audition/portfolio step, and/or failure to achieve a successful audition or portfolio result, will result in a mandatory change of program to Exploratory, to allow the student more time to determine what major path they would prefer to follow.

Termination from the Major

Students in CVPA with evidence of failure to make adequate progress toward successful completion of major-specific coursework will be terminated from the school or program and reclassified as Exploratory. Adequate progress is determined by the faculty of the major program. Students will receive advance notification from the department, school, or program about this and can elect to declare a different major voluntarily (observing any additional requirements from the new intended major). For more information, see AP.5.2.4 Termination from the Major.

George Mason's Code of Student Conduct 
The College of Visual and Performing Arts strives to be an unwaveringly inclusive community and to foster a purposeful safe learning environment. To that end, all students are expected to abide by the expectations set forth in George Mason’s Code of Student Conduct.