Mason Autism Support Initiative

MASI is a comprehensive, fee-based program that provides additional intensive support services to students on the Autism Spectrum beyond typical higher education accommodations. MASI uses a team-based approach to assist students in achieving their goals in college. 

Components of the MASI program include all of the following:

Learning Strategist

Graduate students or professionals that support students with developing strategies for academic and social success, making connections to campus resources, and facilitating communication with faculty. Learning Strategists meet with students 1-2 times a week.

Peer Mentor

Undergraduate students that support social needs of students. Peer Mentors meet with their mentees 1-2 times a week connecting them to the Mason community.

UNIV Courses

Each semester, students take ½ credit individualized UNIV courses that focus on topics related to the transition into college, campus resources, social skills, identity development, and career readiness with an emphasis on independence.

Social Events

Monthly social activities for students that consist of activities on and off campus, planned by the Social Event Planning Committee.

Upcoming MASI Information Sessions


Wednesday, February 8 3:30PM – 4:30PM (In Person)

Monday, February 20 9:00AM – 10:00 AM (Virtual)

Tuesday, March 7 2:00PM – 3:00PM (Virtual)

Friday, March 24 3:00PM – 4:00PM (In Person)

Thursday, April 13 2:00PM – 3:00PM (Virtual)

Wednesday, April 26 3:30PM – 4:30PM (In Person)

Session Sign Up

Application Process 2023-2024

The fee for the 2022-2023 academic year was $6800. There will be an increase to the fee for the 2023-2024 academic year. Once this information is available, we will update our website.

The application window for the 2023-2024 academic year is now open and will close Friday, March 17, 2023. If a student is accepted into MASI, they must pay a deposit to secure their space in the program. The deposit is applied to the overall fee.

MASI fees must be paid in full prior to the start of the academic year. Deadlines for the deposit and the remaining balance will be provided to students if they are offered, and accept, a spot in the program.

Completed applications are reviewed by a committee (i.e.: MASI staff and program partners). Selected applicants will be invited for an interview as completed applications are received. The application and all required components are due by Friday, March 17, 2023 by 11:59pm. Final MASI decisions will be sent out by Friday, April 7, 2023. A completed application includes:

  • MASI Application 2023-2024 PDF
  • $25.00 application fee – Submit payments here. Select “MASI Application Fee (New Applicants Only)”
  • Documentation (Documentation Guidelines can be found in the application)
  • Two Recommendation forms (submitted directly by the recommender) PDF
  • High School/College Transcript (official or unofficial)
  • GMU Acceptance Letter
  • (Optional) MASI Fee-Based Program Assistance Application – Due Friday, April 21, 2023 PDF

If you are unable to access the PDF versions of the application materials, please contact us at

MASI applications may be submitted at the same time as a student’s regular admission application to Mason. However, applications will NOT be reviewed for consideration until a Mason acceptance letter has been received.

If a MASI acceptance letter is received, students will have until May 1, 2023 to commit to the program and pay the required deposit. If the deposit is not paid by May 1, 2023, a student could lose their spot for the upcoming academic year.

After May 1st, if we still have space in the program, we will begin accepting applications on a rolling basis.

Frequently Asked Questions

How can I get more information about MASI?

In order to learn more about the MASI program, including the different components and the application process, we invite you to attend an informational session. Please visit the MASI page for details on upcoming dates and times for information sessions. Additionally, if you are interested in taking a tour of the George Mason University campus, please visit this link for details: Visit Mason. For any additional questions please call 703.993.2474 or email MASI staff at

How did the idea come about?

In 2014, Disability Services noticed a growing number of students expressing interest in having additional support services beyond the standard accommodations offered in higher education. The staff began researching and consulting with colleges and universities that had ASD support programs in place. In the Fall of 2014, the Mason Autism Support Initiative (MASI) launched as a pilot program with 8 students. Each year since then the program has grown and currently serves 47 students.

Are you hiring for the Peer Mentor/Learning Strategist positions?

If we have any openings in our office you can check out the Employment Opportunities page or Handshake and the job posting will appear there.


“I liked hearing the other students’ experiences because it helped me find some similarities between us and it made me not feel so alone.”
MASI Student
"It’s good to talk to people who will always be invested in my personal growth. It is really encouraging and I bonded with them.”
MASI Student
“Sending our son with Autism off to college came with anxiety and worry. We know his limitless potential but he needed the right environment to succeed and be happy. George Mason University and the MASI program provide exactly what our son needs and this has been invaluable in his transition to college academics and college life. the MASI staff, learning specialists and peer mentor work together as a cohesive team in the best interest fo my son. He had a great first semester and couldn’t wait to go back. Thank you MASI!”
Parent of MASI student

4400 University Drive, MSN 5C9

Student Union Building 1, Suite 2500        

Fairfax, VA 22030

Our hours

9:00 AM – 5.00 PM

Monday – Friday

Contact us

Phone: 703 993 2474