Information For New Students


Welcome to the Interdisciplinary Studies program at George Mason University! We are delighted you decided to enroll in this unique program, which encourages students to make the most of Mason's vast array of courses, our faculty's expertise, and your own creativity. On behalf of all the concentration heads and our graduate coordinator, Robin Littleton, I wish you all the best for your first year!

--Dr. Benjamin Gatling, MAIS Director

Getting Started

There are a couple of steps you can take to ensure that you get off to a great start with your graduate program. We recommend you familiarize yourself with this website, University Policies, the University Catalog, and CHSS policies for graduate students. That's a lot of reading, so at the very least, please do the following:

1. Get on the Student Listserv

Email us at to make sure that you are on this list. New Students will automatcially be added once they submit their intent to enroll.  Only MAIS staff may post to this list, so your participation will not result in a lot of irrelevant emails. But it will ensure you get important announcements about deadlines, policy or procedural changes, events, and funding, internship, or employment opportunities.

2. Meet Your Concentration Head

The Interdisciplinary Studies program is a little different than most Mason graduate programs, in that we have an extra layer of faculty support built into the program. In addition to the program director, who ensures quality and consistency across all of the concentrations, concentration heads manage the curriculum design and implementation of the concentrations. These faculty members have expertise in the appropriate area of study and are in the best position to advise students--particularly new students--about course selection, degree planning, and assembling a project or thesis committee. If you didn't get a chance to meet your concentration head at orientation, now is the time! 

3. Register for MAIS 796: Interdisciplinary Studies Proseminar

This 1-credit introductory course is designed to introduce new students to the concept of interdisciplinarity and to help them conceptualize and plan for the remainder of their time in the program. MAIS 796 is required of all students in their first 2 semesters or 9 credits.  Students must request permission to enroll by emailing

4. Read the MAIS Student Handbook

There is a copy in your orientation packet, and you can download it from the menu at right.  Use the bookmarks to locate specific sections.

University Resources for Graduate Students