Application FAQs

Applicants to the Global Affairs graduate program submit an online application that is processed by George Mason University's Office of Graduate Admissions. Once an application is complete, the Global Affairs graduate admissions committee reviews and makes a decision, which is provided to the applicant via an email from the Office of Graduate Admissions. The Global Affairs Program is happy to answer applicant questions at any point during this process. We have compiled a few answers to the most frequently asked questions below.

Goals Statement

What should an applicant include in the goals statement?

The goals statement should address the following:

  • Purpose for graduate study and why the applicant has selected the Global Affairs MA (and planned area of specialization) at George Mason University
  • The applicant's career goals and plans for the future
  • The applicant's preparation for the field of Global Affairs, in relation to academic background, extracurricular activities, professional experience, etc.
  • Any other details that are not revealed elsewhere in the application that gives the admissions committee an idea of who the applicant is as a person and master's candidate

Note: Applicants are welcome to include an explanation for any problems or inconsistencies within other application materials (low GPA, etc.) in their Goals Statement.

What is the page length for the goals statement?

Goals statement should be two pages in length.

Letters of Recommendation

Whom should an applicant ask to provide a letter of recommendation?

Letters of recommendation should be prepared by individuals that can speak to the applicant's academic abilities and overall potential for success in a graduate program.

Do both required letters have to be from academic sources?

No. However, at least one letter should be from an individual with experience evaluating the applicant's academic work. Letters from individuals that know the applicant only in a personal capacity (family and friends) cannot be accepted.

How do recommenders submit their letters?

Applicants provide the names and email addresses of their recommenders within the online application. The recommenders receive an email from George Mason University that includes a link to access the online recommendation form. At the end of the online form, recommenders will be able to upload documents.

May I submit more than the two required letters?

Yes. The online application provides space to enter the name and email address of a third recommender.

Foreign Language Proficiency

Please consult the web page dedicated to the foreign language application requirement for information on this topic.

Optional Writing Sample Guidlines

Please submit a writing sample of approximately 5 pages in length that will help the admissions committee measure your ability to write and express yourself clearly, especially when discussing complex ideas. The writing does not need to relate to the field of Global Affairs, but it should be your best writing.

One option for your writing sample is a paper (or excerpt from a paper) from an upper-level course) you completed in your undergraduate degree. Please send a “clean copy,” with no comments or markings. Another option is a piece of writing you have completed in your professional work. This includes a brief, a report, etc.

Note: If you are excerpting a 5-page sample from a longer paper, provide a notation at the top that explains “this is an excerpt from an x-page paper.” Specify the topic, and explain where in the paper this excerpt is from.