Programs and Opportunities


Observatory (Fairfax Campus) 
Phone: 703-993-9558
The Observatory at the Fairfax Campus building Research Hall offers a number of informal night sky observing sessions throughout the academic year and is open to the interested public. There is a 32-inch diameter Ritchey-Chretien telescope in the observatory atop the pier, a 12-inch Schmidt-Cassegrain telescope used on the patio, and a 6-inch refractor originally built by Mason students in 1974. Observing sessions will be canceled if the sky is more than half overcast one hour before the session is scheduled to begin or it is too windy (>30 mph) to open the observatory dome. Please check the website for the observing schedule and/or cancellation information. Observing sessions last approximately 1.5 hours weather permitting.

Potomac Arts Academy (Fairfax Campus)
Phone: 703-993-9889
Mason’s Potomac Arts Academy, part of the College of Visual and Performing Arts, offers the highest caliber of arts instruction in an accessible and nurturing environment for community members of all ages, skill levels, and socioeconomic backgrounds. Classes, summer programs and workshops are available in music, theater, visual arts, computer game design, and film and video studies, as well as private music instruction.


Summer Camps and Programs (Fairfax and Prince William Campuses) 
Phone: 703-993-1005
A wide variety of summer camps and programs are offered to youth in the areas of art, technology, academics, sports, recreation, and radio.

George Mason Institute of Forensics (Fairfax Campus) 
Phone: 703-993-4119
Hosted in the summer, the Institute of Forensics is open to any area high school student who desires to learn more about forensics.

High School Debate Tournament and Institute (Fairfax Campus) 

Phone: 703-993-1093
The George Mason University Debate Union sponsors the following:

  • The High School Debate Tournament
    This January tournament is open to all regularly enrolled high school students throughout the United States. The tournament includes four divisions of debate: open and junior varsity, policy debate, Lincoln-Douglas debate and Public Forum debate. We also offer student Congress.
  • The Patriot Classic High School Debate Institute
    Hosted in the summer, the institute is open to any area high school student and offers instruction in Policy, Lincoln-Douglas and Public Forum debate.

Northern Virginia Writing Project Student Summer Institute 
Phone: 703-993-1168
Web: (click on “Young Writers”)
An enrichment program designed for students in grades 5 through 12 who have a serious interest in the creative writing process. Applications deadline: May 1.


Campus Tours—Patriots: Traditions and Today
Phone: 703-993-1005
Patriots: Traditions and Today, a university tour, highlights the history and showcases the growth of George Mason University. The historical tour welcomes Mason faculty, staff, students, alumni; local community members and leaders; VIPs; and current and potential donors. Prospective students should contact the Admissions Office for a campus tour. Guests will have the opportunity to see George Mason University’s innovative and diverse campus with rich and growing traditions. The walking tour, led by a volunteer docent, is approximately 90 minutes long and a one-half mile walk. Attendees will receive a map or brochure of the campus and informational items. Registration is required at least three business days in advance and requires a minimum of six attendees. Special request tours are required at least five to seven business days in advance. To register, please call or visit the website above.

Center for Global Education
Phone: 703-993-2154;
The Center for Global Education (CGE) is the university’s study-abroad office and provides a wide array of opportunities for Mason students and the general public. CGE services include advising, issuing International Student ID Cards, a travel and study-abroad resource library, as well as study-abroad information sessions. The center’s various educational opportunities are open to students and the general public for credit and audit.

Short-Term Study Abroad Programs. CGE’s short-term programs are offered during the spring, summer, and winter academic breaks, offering one to nine credits depending on the program’s length and type. Many programs are led by Mason faculty and cover a variety of topics, including business, communications, conflict, culture, environmental science, global affairs, history, theater, tourism, and trade in more than 30 countries. Short-term programs also include intensive language programs in Arabic, Chinese, French, Italian, and Spanish.

International Internships. CGE offers internships for academic credit. Our interns gain international and professional experience that is directly related to their goals. Internships are open to students as well as the general public and are now available in Beijing and Shanghai, China; Budapest, Hungary; Buenos Aires, Argentina; Curitiba, Brazil; Israel and Palestine; London, England; and Rabat, Morocco.

Friends of the Center for the Arts (Fairfax Campus)
Phone: 703-993-4188
The Friends of the Center for the Arts (FCFA) offers the opportunity to support the season of Great Performances at Mason at the Center for the Arts. FCFA provides a number of volunter opportunities available to members only, including hosting the Friends Information Table in the lobby during performances, photographing special events, writing for the newsletter, or hosting an Artists in Conversation.

George Mason University Foundation Inc.
Phone: 703-993-8850
The George Mason University Foundation, a 501(c)(3) nonprofit foundation and private corporation, was established in 1966 to advance and further the aims and purposes of George Mason University. The foundation assists the university in generating private support and manages, invests, and administers private gifts, including endowments and real property. Gifts to the George Mason University Foundation provide support for facility improvements, faculty recruitment and research, student scholarships, library resources, laboratory equipment, and operating support for academic departments. Please call to learn more or make a donation.

Office of International Programs and Services
Phone: 703-993-2970; Email:
International students, faculty, and staff are a vital part of the Mason community, representing approximately 130 countries from all regions of the world. The Office of International Programs and Services (OIPS) provides a variety of services, resources, and events to this segment of our population, and develops programs to enable international students and faculty to become acquainted with their U.S. peers and members of the local community. Events, such as Cultural Fusion in the fall and International Week in the spring, offer many opportunities for cultural enrichment and fun. Visit the website for a calendar of events open to the public. If you would like an international student or faculty member to visit a school or community group to talk about his or her country or culture, call the assistant director at 703-993-3822.

Patriot Club
Phone: 703-993-3215
The Patriot Club is the fund-raising arm of Mason’s athletic department. With the mission of all Mason student-athletes at hand, the Patriot Club garners support for student-athlete scholarships, athletic facilities, and sport-specific operating funds through direct donations and special events.


Arlington Learning in Retirement Instiute (Arlington)
Phone: 703-228-2144
The Arlington Learning in Retirement Institute (ALRI) is a nonprofit, volunteer-run organization that offers college-level noncredit courses, special events, and clubs to help meet the continuing education and social interests of anyone over age 50. ALRI is affiliated with Mason, Arlington County Senior Programs, Arlington County Public Schools’ Adult Education Program, and the Elderhostel Institute Network. Four- to 10-week courses are offered in convenient Arlington locations during fall and spring semesters and meet weekly. Become a member and register for classes and special events online.

Osher Lifelong Learning Institute (Fairfax, Loudoun, Reston) 
Phone: 703-503-3384
Osher Lifelong Learning Institute (OLLI), a nonprofit organization affiliated with George Mason University, offers a variety of daytime courses, special events, and cultural activities for older adults. There are no exams or grades, and members participate just for the joy of learning. Annual membership dues cover participation in an unlimited number of courses and activities, as space is available. Members participate actively in organizing the program, and courses are taught by qualified speakers from among Mason faculty, resources in the Washington, D.C., metropolitan area, and OLLI members. Programs are offered at the Tallwood site adjacent to Mason’s Fairfax Campus; Lake Anne in Reston, Virginia; and the Mason at Loudoun site in Sterling, Virginia.