PhD in Criminology, Law and Society

Become a Mason Graduate Student

All applicants for graduate study at George Mason University must meet the admission standards specified in the Admission chapter of the University Catalog.

You are responsible for submitting all required application materials by the posted deadline. Review your program's Admissions Requirements and Deadlines before you begin your application. You can also visit our Grad Admissions page for helpful hints on how best to prepare your transcripts and other Admissions materials.

Step 1: Complete and submit the online Graduate Admissions application. George Mason University requires all graduate applicants to upload all possible required supplementary materials, such as unofficial transcripts, goals statement and writing sample, at the same time you submit your application. Online applications require a non-refundable $75 application processing fee.

Step 2: Within a few days of submitting your online application, you will receive an email with your Mason G number (G#). This is a tracking number provided to all applicants that allows us to match your supporting documentation to your completed application.

Step 3: Check your application status and requirements checklist in your application portal. Initial processing takes 3 to 5 business days from the date of submission. You can use your application log-in and password to access your information throughout the application process. Graduate Admissions may send updates or notify you of issues with your application through your admissions portal, so it is best to log in periodically to monitor your application status.

Step 4: For newly admitted students, refer to the CHSS New Graduate Student webpage for tips on confirming enrollment, submitting official transcripts, registering for class and more.

The fall graduate degree seeking application opens September 15.

Program Specific Requirements

College Transcripts Goals Statement GRE Portfolio Recommendation Letters Resume Writing Sample

Additional Information

Students admitted to the doctoral program without a graduate degree in a relevant area will be required to complete the master’s degree as an integral part of the doctorate. There is no required background or preferred experience, but students should demonstrate interest in and aptitude for graduate study in criminology, law and society.

The submitted goals statement should be 2-3 pages in length and explain why you want to earn a graduate degree in Criminology, Law and Society and why you want to do so at Mason. If applicable, please refer to specific faculty members’ work and /or research areas and explain your interest (uploaded via online application).

The online application requires the names and email addresses of the three faculty members or individuals who have first-hand knowledge of the applicant's academic or professional capabilities who will be submitting required recommendations. These individuals will then receive an email directly with a unique link to upload the letter of recommendation to your application.

Applicants must send in GRE scores on the verbal, quantitative, and analytical tests taken within five years of application.

The writing sample should be a recent sole-authored work of at least 2,500 words (uploaded online).

The Office of Graduate Admissions, in coordination with the PhD in Criminology, Law and Society review committee, will consider requests from admitted students to have their application reconsidered for a future term if they choose not to enroll in the semester for which they were accepted.  A reconsideration is not an automatic admission and an applicant must go through admissions review again, regardless of previous decision. Offers of funding are not guaranteed for reconsiderations and are at the discretion of the program of admission.  All requests for reconsideration must be submitted using the application portal by the enrollment deadline listed in the student’s offer of admission. Reconsideration is granted only for a period of one full academic year (Ex. Fall to Fall).

Application Deadlines

Fall Deadline: December 01

Applications must be submitted by the fall deadline. Applicants will have until December 15 to submit supplementary materials (e.g., letters of recommendation, GRE scores, etc.).

Given the university closure for winter break during our admissions cycle, decisions are released within 8-10 weeks of the application deadline.

Additional Requirements for