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ADVANCE: Nothing should come between you and a four-year degree.


ADVANCE is an exciting new partnership between Northern Virginia Community College (NOVA) and George Mason University (Mason) that gives NOVA students targeted, personalized support to complete their bachelor's degrees in a timely manner and save money.

ADVANCE welcomes declarations for fall and spring enrollment.  The following priority dates will assist you in planning to submit your ADVANCE declaration: 

  • Fall enrollment:  July 15
  • Spring enrollment:  November 15

While declarations can be submitted at any time and are reviewed for approval on a rolling basis, these priority dates will give students the best opportunity to complete the enrollment process prior to the beginning of the semester.

The ADVANCE Agreement is the final step toward enrollment and must be submitted no later than one week prior to the beginning of the NOVA semester.  Students who do not meet this deadline will be rolled into consideration for the subsequent term.

  • Spring 2019 Agreement Deadline:  January 4, 2019

Benefits of ADVANCE

Who Should Consider ADVANCE?

ADVANCE is available to NOVA students in good academic standing with less than 30 degree credits earned, who plan to transfer to Mason to pursue a bachelor's degree in any of the programs offered.

Enrollment Requirements:

  • Minimum 2.00 cumulative grade point average for students with college credit
  • Enrolled in NOVA associate's degree curricular program
  • Earned no more than 30 credit hours of applicable credit at the time of enrollment in ADVANCE 

Other Considerations:

  • Dual enrollment credit may be eligible to apply toward ADVANCE pathways, once a student is in degree status at NOVA 
  • Student academic history, conduct, and criminal history records are reviewed during the enrollment process and will impact the time to final approval. Items in a student's history may preclude them from participating in ADVANCE in alignment with the policies of Northern Virginia Community College, George Mason University, and the ADVANCE program. 

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Frequently Asked Questions

Why should I consider ADVANCE vs. just applying as a transfer student?

ADVANCE offers:

  • Faster process, no application fee, and personalized advising
  • Shorter time to degree completion
  • Access to NOVA and Mason campuses, clubs, student activities, and events
What does “no more than 30 credit hours of applicable credit at the time of enrollment in ADVANCE” mean?
ADVANCE is designed for students with one year or less of completed coursework toward their intended curricular pathway.  Generally, if you have earned 40+ credits, you may not be a candidate for ADVANCE, but there are other ways to transfer to Mason. Click for more information.
I have international college/university credit. May I still join ADVANCE?

Yes.  NOVA and Mason enroll students from around the globe from 130+ countries.  Any international credit that can be transferred toward your curricular pathway will reduce your time to graduation.

What happens if I am not selected to join the ADVANCE program? Can I still transfer to George Mason University?
Absolutely! Mason enrolls more transfer students annually than all other colleges and universities in the Commonwealth of Virginia. If you are not selected for ADVANCE because you have more than 30 earned hours or a grade point average below 2.00, you are encouraged to visit our Office of Transfer Services to discuss your options for regular transfer admission.
I don’t see my intended major at Mason on the programs list, can I still join ADVANCE?
No. You may apply for regular transfer admission to your intended major at Mason.  While the program currently features a limited number of associate’s/bachelor’s degree offerings, more will be added for the fall 2019 and fall 2020 semesters.
May I receive financial aid in ADVANCE?
Yes. All degree-seeking students enrolled at least half-time (six credit hours) each fall and spring semester are eligible for consideration for federal student aid.  Be sure to complete the FAFSA by the priority deadline.
How does ADVANCE guarantee a shorter time to degree completion?

Both NOVA and Mason faculty and administrators worked very closely to align the specific associate’s and bachelor’s degree pairings.  The result of that analysis was to produce a very detailed curricular pathway for your chosen major.  The pathway tells you precisely what to take and in what order you should complete the courses.  You may enroll part-time or full-time or mix that up, depending upon your schedule.  Obviously if you enroll full-time every semester, you will graduate sooner. 

For more information, visit the Mason ADVANCE page.