COVID19 Resources and Frequently Asked Questions

For up to date official information regarding how George Mason University is working on the Coronavirus/COVID-19 Safe return to campus situation, please go to the official University Website. This is the best place to get information regarding official University policy changes.

Vaccination. All students must be fully vaccinated by August 1, 2021, unless they qualify for an exemption or only take online courses and don't come to campus. For full information, please visit the official vaccination website.

Notification Guidelines. If you are an employee who has tested positive for COVID-19, have been tested and don't have results, or have symptoms, please review the university's guidelines located here.

Guidelines for students, faculty, staff, and contractors. If you need guidance on getting tested, where to go to care, or returning to campus, please review the information located here

The Safe Return to Campus training can be located on the Provost's Website. Please make sure you review it before coming to campus. 


Please note: no decisions have been made regarding Summer 2021 alternative grading. The following information is being kept up for archive purposes. If this changes, you will be notified.

Grading for Spring 2021

The university announced that students will have access to an emergency grading accommodation for Spring 2021 classes. You will have the option either to receive a regular grade for each class or select the alternative grading mode (credit-only option) for each of your classes. To select the alternative grading mode, you must OPT IN by submitting a Change of Grade Mode form.
Each student’s situation is unique, and you should carefully consider your options before selecting the alternative grading mode. Students in special programs like INTO Mason may have different requirements. We encourage you to reach out to your academic advisor if you have any questions and to review the information found on the Spring 2021 Academic Options page:

The grades that will appear on your transcript if you select the alternative grading mode for Fall 2020 classes are:
XS (Extraordinary Circumstances – Satisfactory): The student earns credit in the course by meeting a minimum grade threshold; at the undergraduate level that would be a C or higher, at the graduate level it would be a B- or higher.
XP (Extraordinary Circumstances – Pass): The student earns credit in the course but has not met a minimum grade threshold to apply the course to requirements with a minimum grade requirement; at the undergraduate level this would be a C- or D, at the graduate level it would be a C.
XN (Extraordinary Circumstances – No Credit): The student does not earn credit in the course.
The alternative grading mode carries no quality points, therefore your GPA will not be affected.
Instructions for Changing Grade Mode:

  • Gather the required information for each class you wish to designate with the alternative grade mode: Subject (PHIL, MATH, etc.), Course Number (235, 574, etc.) and Section Number (001, 003, etc.)
  • Click on the Change of Grade Mode Request form
  • Add the class information to the form as applicable
  • Scroll to the bottom and click Submit

The Change of Grade Mode Request form comes directly to the Office of the University Registrar for processing; it does not go to the faculty for review or approval.

Please note that you are not selecting a specific grade for each class, you are selecting the overall grade mode. You still need to complete work in the class and have it graded in order for the faculty member to assess your learning and assign an appropriate letter grade, which will then be converted to the corresponding alternative grade.

Frequently asked questions about how COVID-19 may affect your semester

Where can I find mental health resources during this time?

The Center for Psychological Services has put together a resource page to help with coping during this time. You can find a link to that page here

What if I need temporary funding during this time?

George Mason University has set up an emergency funding program to help students with unexpected costs that come with switching in housing, moving online, or other expenses related to the COVID-19 closures. 

Link to application is here.

You will see on the application examples of types of expenses we plan on funding and some that we will not fund.  Since the situation is rapidly evolving, we will adjust our website to reflect any changes as necessary.

Can I still meet with an academic advisor?

Our academic advisors are available to help you as usual through many different methods. You can schedule an appointment, through usual, through Navigate Mason. Once you have scheduled your appointment, you will be contacted by an advisor to set up a meeting via Webex. 

You can also ask a question by emailing There is also a Psychology Online Advising Blackboard Organization you can join to look at discussion groups. 

Can I still get this document signed?

Yes. Absolutely, you can email the document to, and we will e-sign any document that we can. 

How will this affect my Dissertation or Thesis Defense?

The Final Submission deadline for the regular Summer 2021 Semester is 5:00 p.m. on Friday, July 30.

You can email University Dissertation and Thesis Services at for any questions, or to set up a virtual meeting. 

You can still conduct your thesis or dissertation defense via online meeting, and you can still get electronic signatures in order to turn in your defense during this time.