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NOVA and George Mason University offer students affordable pathway toward four-year degree

Former Virginia Governor Terry McAuliffe joined NOVA President Scott Ralls, George Mason University President Ángel Cabrera and officials in April 2017 to announce the groundbreaking partnership.

In an effort to stream-line and guarantee the acceptance of transferrable college credits and to reduce higher education expenses, Northern Virginia Community College and George Mason University have partnered to assist students seamlessly transfer from NOVA to complete a four-year degree through an innovative and collaborative program named ADVANCE.

ADVANCE creates for students a single point of admission, dual enrollment and financial aid, a dedicated advisor from NOVA admission through Mason graduation, a realignment of curricula to ensure students do not lose credits when they transfer and financial incentives for students to advance in their selected degree program

With approximately 75,000 students enrolled at NOVA, an estimated 3,000 of them transfer to George Mason each year – a number exceeding the size of Mason’s incoming freshman class.  The new pathway program aims to boost that number by providing students with the support they need to earn a bachelor's degree. NOVA’s commitment to discover innovative measures to save students money goes beyond the NOVA-Mason partnership. In 2015, the College was one of the first two-year institutions in the nation to offer courses with no textbook costs, providing students with an incentive and reward for enrolling solely from a cost-management perspective.

In April 2017, former Virginia Governor Terry McAuliffe joined officials from NOVA and Mason to announce the groundbreaking partnership to assist students as they transfer from a two-year program and complete a four-year undergraduate degree.

“This is about making the right investment for our future,” NOVA President Scott Ralls said. “Our power to grow together to support the region is fundamental to the growth of the Northern Virginia economy. It’s also an essential component of our mission of inclusive excellence, which ensures that all students who want a degree can earn one. The program will strengthen our existing partnership with George Mason and our commitment to help students stay on track to accelerate their careers.”

George Mason and Northern Virginia Community already established an articulation agreement that essentially guarantees admission for transfer students if certain requirements are met. ADVANCE builds upon the foundation of a pilot program in mechanical engineering, part of the institutions’ ongoing commitment to making education as accessible and affordable as possible within the Commonwealth.

The ADVANCE program is open to all NOVA students with less than 30 credits who plan to transfer to Mason to pursue a bachelor’s degree in the following selected fields:

  • Accounting
  • Bioengineering
  • Biology
  • Chemistry
  • Civil & Infrastructure Engineering
  • Communication
  • Computer Engineering
  • Cyber Security Engineering
  • Electrical Engineering
  • Management
  • Mechanical Engineering
  • Nursing
  • Psychology
  • Systems Engineering
  • Tourism, and Event Management
  • Integrative Studies, Concentration in Legal Studies
  • Applied Science, Concentration in Cyber Security
  • Applied Science, Concentration in Health, Wellness and Social Services
  • Applied Science, Concentration in Human Development & Family Science
  • Applied Science, Concentration in Technology & Innovation 

For additional information contact ADVANCE Success Coach Rita Snyder-Furr at 703.993.2426 or visit NOVA’s website.

Media Contact: Kristina Ogburn | 703.503.6338 | kogburn@nvcc.edu



Northern Virginia Community College is the largest institution of higher education in the Commonwealth of Virginia and one of America's largest community colleges. NOVA enrolls more than 75,000 students at its six campuses in Alexandria, Annandale, Loudoun, Manassas, Springfield and Woodbridge, and through NOVA Online. For more information about NOVA and its programs or services, call 703-323-3000 or visit the College's Web site, www.nvcc.edu.