Student Success

Helping You Reach Your Potential 

School of Business Graduation Ceremony
Here to support you from day one until graduation.

Through intentional engagement and support, the Office of Student Success and Academic Services at the Costello College of Business at George Mason University strives to help you define your individual academic, professional, and personal goals. 

Our team works with you to foster the knowledge and skill-sets required to reach your specific success. No matter at what stage you are in your academic and personal life, our team is here to support you in a variety of ways!

Explore resources, programs, and opportunities that will help enable your success: 

Guided Path to Success (GPS)

The Costello College of Business Guided Path to Success (GPS) is a structured framework that highlights all engagement opportunities offered by the Costello College of Business. GPS provides you with a path through your individual journey and aims to assist you in reaching your goals.  

GPS gives you the ability to customize your experience and: 

  • Provides paths with recommended checkpoints based on your interests and year at Mason.  
  • Empowers you to take ownership of your student experience.  
  • Requires you to self-develop a semester by semester course plan through graduation. You’ll submit your plan to an advisor by the end of your first year for review and recommendations. 

Guided Path to Success (GPS)

Return to Success (RTS)

The Return To Success (RTS) program is a mandatory intervention program that must be completed by students returning from an academic suspension. The program is designed to directly assist students in their successful return to Mason. The program has two parts: 

  • An online module that students complete during the semester they are serving the academic suspension 
  • A three-meeting series during the semester they return. During these meetings, students will work with the RTS team to build a customized success plan that they will implement throughout their return semester.  

The online module and all three meetings must be completed in order to finish the program. Students who are required to participate in the RTS program will receive communications and required materials via their Mason email address. For questions about the RTS program, please contact

Four Year Degree Plans

The Costello College of Business provides sample degree plans showing recommended course sequences to complete your degree. You are strongly encouraged to use these sample plans to map your own path to graduation. These plans provide recommended paths that you can use to plot your own long range plan

Download a sample degree plan for your concentration:  

About Your Curriculum 

The Costello College of Business sponsors a bachelor's of science degree in which the major is Business. You are then able to select your desired concentration, which focuses your business major into a specific area. This is designed to expose you to all areas of business, while still providing a designated focus within the area of your choice. 

Mason Core courses: General education courses that all students must take regardless of major. See the complete list of Mason Core courses

Business Foundations courses: These courses will help you understand the question "What is Business?" and provide foundational knowledge to prepare you for upper-level courses. All Business Foundations courses are subject to the three attempt repeat policy. 

Business Core courses: These courses expose you to multiple areas of business to help you become well-rounded in business topics and prepare for today's competitive job market. All Business Core courses are subject to the three attempt repeat policy. 

Concentration courses: All Business concentrations are 21 credit hours with required courses and electives in the chosen subject area. Find a complete list of degree requirements in the programs section of the university catalog

Research Opportunities

The Office of Student Scholarship, Creative Activities and Research (OSCAR) supports undergraduate success by encouraging a culture of scholastic inquiry through student research and creative activities.  

The Costello College of Business also offers research focused courses:  

Learning Strategies and Resources for Success

The Costello College of Business and George Mason University are here to support you in reaching your goals. The Student Success team within the Costello College of Business is dedicated to connecting you to these resources and providing various tools to assist you.  

Time Management 

Proper time management is critical to reaching graduation. The Office of Student Success and Academic Services recommends these tips for managing your time effectively: 

Additional ways to balance your classes and priorities include: 

  • Avoid taking too many classes of one type in a semester (i.e., too many reading-heavy or math-heavy courses) 
  • Keep in mind your working life. If you work full time, we recommend no more than two classes per semester If you wort part-time, we recommend no more than four  
  • Use your first semester to take a lighter credit load and get adjusted to Mason 
  • Make time to study. Allow four to nine hours per week for each three credit course  
  • Don’t forget to factor in other priorities like family and fun  

Study Tips 

Finding the best way to study for your own learning style is an oft-overlooked skill. Finding the study process that is best for you can mean the difference between letter grades. Here are some ways to start developing your best study process: 

Note Taking in College 

No matter what type of course or the style of the professor, proper note taking is critical to being successful. Whether taken in the classroom or as part of your study process, appropriate notes allow for a full comprehending, synthesizing, and application of course concepts. There are several ways to tackle your notes. Here are some examples: 

Goal Setting 

Success can be measured through the goals you set. By establishing clear and attainable goals, and then exceeding them, you can establish the path you want to follow and then evaluate your progress. Here are some helpful links to assist you in creating your goals: 


Success is influence by perspective and belief. Mindset refers to instilling in yourself the belief that you can accomplish what you set out to do. Research shows that by putting in effort and seeking to learn, the mind can grow. Here are some links on mindset: 

Additional Academic Resources 

Mason provides access to diverse resources to assist you in all areas. These on-campus resources that can assist with various academic skills: 

Ways to Get Involved

There are plenty of ways to get involved in the Costello College of Business, from being part of one of our Learning Communities to becoming a student ambassador. 

Learning Communities 

The Costello College of Business partners with the Office of Housing and Residential Life to create unique Learning Community (LC) experiences. Students in these LCs have the opportunity to live with other students that have similar interests. Students in the LCs have programs created to get the most out of their experience, with past programs focusing on community building, well-being, civic learning and community engagement, and career readiness (resume building, company site visits, etc.). 

Costello College of Business Learning Community: The Costello College of Business LC is a first-year academic learning community located in Commonwealth Hall. Members of this LC will enroll in two Business Foundations courses (BUS 100 and BUS 103, one per semester), together. These LC sections are taught by faculty that are committed to being part of the Costello College of Business LC experience. 

Other Mason Learning Communities Relevant to Business Interests: Mason’s First Year Interest Learning Communities are not tied to any academic units but are intended to focus on more interdisciplinary passion areas. These Learning Communities are solely run by Housing & Residence Life. While there are not required courses in the Interest Learning Communities, there may be promotion of specific courses to the community that center on the topic of the Learning Community. Communities relevant to business interests include:  

  • Entrepreneurship 
  • Economics and Financial Markets 
  • Marketing, Media, and Communication 

Learn more about these communities here.  

Business and Entrepreneurship Learning Community: The Business and Entrepreneurship LC is our upper-level (sophomore, junior, and senior students) learning community located in Blueridge Hall. The Business and Entrepreneurship LC welcomes students from all fields of study who are passionate about business and/or entrepreneurship. No course is required for students to be part of this LC. 

If you’re interested in joining a learning community, select your community of interest on your housing application.   

Student Organizations 

See a complete list of Costello College of Business student organizations

Student Ambassadors 

The Costello College of Business continually seeks current students to serve as Student Ambassadors to aid and build our undergraduate platform. The selected candidates will work with the Recruitment and Outreach team in providing a student perspective to events with students, families, alumni, and other community members. 

You’ll make a great student ambassador if you are: 

  • In your second semester or later 
  • A full-time classified student at Mason 
  • Able to work cooperatively and efficiently with students, faculty, and administrators  
  • Able to express yourself effectively both orally and in writing 
  • In good standing with Student Conduct and George Mason University 

Interested? Reach out to Jay Pulley, Coordinator of Undergraduate Recruitment and Outreach, at

Tradition Keepers

George Mason University Tradition Keepers are individuals who have shown a commitment to preserving and furthering the legacies of the George Mason University experience. These traditions, created with the insight of current and former Costello College of Business students, have set the course for future Business students to find a home on campus while continually growing as global citizens. 

To Become a Tradition Keeper: 

  1. Secure your Tradition Keeper booklet at orientation, the Costello College of Business Office of Student Success and Academic Services (Enterprise Hall 008), or the Costello College of Business Office of Alumni (Buchanan Hall D009) 
  2. Embrace campus and all it has to offer 
  3. Record your progress in your booklet 
  4. Share your memories with the Mason community on social media using #MasonTraditionKeepers 
  5. Once you’ve completed the checklist, turn it in to the Office of Alumni Relations (105 Northern Neck Hall) and receive your official Tradition Keeper pin that you'll wear on your graduation robes 
  6. Celebrate your achievements during the Graduation Toast 
  7. Continue on the legacies of Mason with the Alumni Association 

Download your copy of the booklet today. Have questions? Contact Maxwell Gocala-Nguyen, Associate Director of Undergraduate Recruitment and Engagement, at

Mason Online

Mason Online is a pathway option for College of Business students to complete their business degree in a completely virtual format. One way to be a successful student is to take classes in a way that compliments your lifestyle. Check out our online student syllabus to see if online learning is right for you. All of our services from academic advising and career counseling to student engagement opportunities are available virtually to aid in your success as an online student. If you are interested in completing the entirety of your degree online, please schedule an academic advising appointment or attend drop-ins to discuss this change.