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Our residential semester-away programs are open to undergraduates from any accredited college or university and any major.

How It Works

Complete the following steps before the deadlines below.

1. Complete the online application

Fill out our online application form, which includes your contact information, major and minor, and related interests.

The SMSC application is found within Mason’s Non-degree Undergraduate application. All students applying to our programs must complete this form. Please use the following guidelines when applying:

  • Indicate that you are applying to “all Virginia programs and locations” and select the “Non-degree Undergraduate” form.
  • You may skip the question that asks which course(s) you are applying to and will be able to select your desired semester program later in the form.
  • For your academic major, select “Non-Degree Guest” (even if you are a Mason student seeking a degree).
  • Complete the required previous college and state domicile questions.
  • When prompted for payment, use the code SMSCMASON to waive the application fee.

Non-Mason students will need to submit transcripts from all undergraduate institutions attended.

The online application date will open on the following schedule:

Fall Term – April 1

Spring Term – September 1

All applicants can receive an application fee waiver by using the code SMSCMASON when prompted.

2. Submit a $250 enrollment deposit to SMSC

Once you’re admitted as a residential semester-away student, you must submit a deposit to reserve a place in the program of your choice. Enrollment is determined on a first-come, first-served basis; acceptance to the semester-away program in general does not guarantee a spot in your desired program.

3. Pass a background check

All undergraduate students wishing to participate in an SMSC semester program must submit documentation for a background check administered by the Smithsonian Institution.

4. Submit a housing application

Admitted students who have deposited will be contacted to complete an application for on-campus housing to reserve your spot in our Residential Facility.


Important Deadlines

We accept applications on a rolling basis, however applications for the upcoming semester will not be accepted after the final application date listed below.

Fall Semester Programs

  • May 15: Deposit deadline
  • June 15: Final application deadline for non-Mason students
  • July 15: Final application deadline for Mason students

Spring Semester Programs

  • November 1: Deposit deadline
  • November 15: Final application deadline for non-Mason students
  • December 15: Final application deadline for Mason students