Graduate Advising and Resources

Graduate academic advising is crucial to student engagement and success, and we are ready to provide you with the support and encouragement needed to ensure that you achieve your full potential.

Ryan Chiu, a master's student, and Solon Simmons, a professor, sit at a wood table in Simmons's office and chat. Both are smiling and laughing.

A graduate student speaks with a faculty advisor.

We will help you chart a degree plan, make sure you complete all degree requirements in a time frame that works for you, and help you explore opportunities for research, internships and real-world practice. Students should meet with their academic advisor at least once a semester.

Meet Your Academic Advising Team

Schedule a virtual appointment, call or visit us at the Academic Advising Office:

Mason Square (formerly Alington Campus, Vernon Smith Hall
Room 5179
3434 N. Washington Blvd., 5th Floor
Arlington, VA 22201

Email or call 703-993-1300

Headshot of Susan Allen smiling.
Susan Allen

Director of Graduate Programs and Henry Hart Rice Chair and Professor of Conflict Analysis and Resolution

staff portrait of Charisse Cardenas
Charisse M. Cardenas

Director of Graduate Student Services


Headshot of Christy Tanious
Christy Tanious


Graduate Academic Advisor


Mosaic tile
Doctoral Program

PhD Advising and Resources

Entering a PhD program can be a complicated mixture of meeting core requirements and diving into your specialty. We have created a multi-tier advising system to support you.

PhD students have access to different levels of advising: 

  • Staff academic advisors are your contact for technical requirements, issues around credits, dissertation registration, and to review PhD Program plan
  • The Graduate Program Director is a second level of advising support - along with the staff academic advisor you will meet with the Program Director at key moments including: orientation, reduction of credit meeting, comprehensive examination preparation, and dissertation writing process overview. 
  • Finally, each PhD student is matched with a faculty mentor who is available to consult about academic and career planning. You should plan to meet with your faculty advisor at least once a semester. 
  • After successful completion of the comprehensive examination, and upon achieving advancement of candidacy, your Dissertation Chair becomes your program advisor. 

Doctoral Funding Resources: 
Funding from the Provost
Kay Agoston, Office of Graduate Fellowships

Mosaic tile
Master's Programs

Master's Programs Advising and Resources

  • The MS Program and MOL Program are divided into 3 sections; required courses, declared concentration and general electives. The MS curriculum is a total of 33 credit-hours, of which 15 are required core courses, 12 concentration, and 6 electives. No integration option is required. Students must declare their concentration by the start of the second semester of their program. 

    • Concentrations offered include: Social Justice Advocacy and Activism, Dynamics of Violence, Inclusive Conflict Engagement, Conflict Sensitive Development and Resilience, Media, Narrative, and Public Discourse and Peacebuilding. Students will also be able to craft their own individualized concentration with the approval of the MS Program Director. 
  • MSW Dual Degree Program students please contact for Conflict Analysis and Resolution advising and for MSW Advising.
  • Malta Dual Degree students please contact and Zuzana Farrugia  for program advising. 
Mosaic tile
Certificate Programs

Certificate Programs Advising and Resources

Graduate Certificate students must complete 15 credits of coursework. Each certificate program requires specific course requirements and elective options. Please review your program plan carefully and contact your academic advisor ( to schedule an advising appointment.   

More Resources

  • Grievance Process: Should a student have a grievance, available options for redress are outlined here. The George Mason University Bias Incident Report Form may be submitted with the Office of Diversity, Inclusion, and Multicultural Education.
  • Study Abroad: Field experience courses focus on conflict resolution practice, reflection, and experiential learning. You will have the opportunity to apply theories and concepts learned in the classroom while working in communities across the globe or close to home.
  • Internships: You will get tangible experience that helps prepare you for navigating complex problems in the real world by applying theories learned in the classroom to actual situations that arise in the work environment.
  • Independent Research: For Master’s students conducting research will allow you to deepen your knowledge and develop expertise in a particular area and or region of focus. It will give you valuable field experience and in-depth knowledge on how to conduct rigorous academic research. You can opt to pursue independent study or a thesis for general elective credits.
  • Academic Integrity: All George Mason University students have agreed to abide by the letter and the spirit of the Honor Code. You can find a copy of the Honor Code here. All violations of the Honor Code will be reported to the Honor Committee for review. Please complete and submit to your academic advisor the Honor Code PledgeLearn more about Academic Integrity and avoiding plagiarism.
  • University Dissertation & Thesis Services: Students completing a dissertation or thesis must consult the University Thesis and Dissertation Services (UDTS) regularly to ensure they are meeting the appropriate George Mason University (GMU) requirements. All dissertations and theses must be submitted to and approved by UDTS by their graduating semester deadlines in order to graduate. Please review carefully student UDTS resources.
  • Human Subject/ Institutional Review Board: The Institutional Review Board (IRB) is a committee composed of faculty, staff, and community members who are trained in issues related to protecting human participants in research. An IRB application/IRB approval is only required if the students/ candidates are conducting human subjects research.
  • Social Sciences LibrarianChristopher Magee, 
  • Mason Square (formerly Arlington Campus) University Life