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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. Not a George Mason University student?

1. Complete the online application

Fill out our online application form, which includes your contact information, major and minor, and related interests. There are no transcripts or other documents needed for this step — we’ll contact you to request those items later.

The online application date will open on the following schedule:

Fall Term – April 1

Spring Term – August 1

All SMSC students 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

Submit 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