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. 

Through this program, students have access to:

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.

Application process and fees

The application window for the 2021-2022 academic year is now open and will close Monday, March 15, 2021. The fee for the 2021-2022 academic year is $6,800. Once a student is accepted into MASI, they must pay a $400 deposit to secure their space in the program. The $400 deposit is applied to the overall fee.

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 is due by Monday, March 15, 2021 by 11:59pm. Final MASI decisions will be sent out by Monday, April 5, 2021. A completed application includes:

• MASI Application 2021-2022 (PDF) (Word)

• $25.00 application fee – Submit payments here. Select MASI Application Fee (New Applicants Only)

• Documentation (see documentation guidelines on application)

• Two Recommendation forms (PDF) (Word)

• High School/College Transcript (official or unofficial)

• GMU Acceptance Letter

• (Optional) MASI Scholarship Application (PDF) (Word) – Due Monday, April 12, 2021

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.

Once a MASI acceptance letter is received, students will have until May 1, 2021 to commit to the program and pay the $400 deposit. If the deposit is not paid by May 1, 2021, 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

  • 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. All of the sessions listed below will be hosted virtually and contain all of the same information. Upcoming dates are:

Wednesday, December 9th from 10:00 AM – 11:00 AM

Friday, January 15th from 11:00 AM – 12:00 PM

Tuesday, February 9th from 3:00 PM – 4:00 PM

You can RSVP for a session here. As the date approaches, you will be sent a Zoom link for the informational session.

If you are unable to attend one of the upcoming sessions, please reach out to us with any questions. You can email us at or call 703-993-2474.

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 39 students.

The Peer Mentor and Learning Strategist Application has now closed. Please check back at a later date and opportunities will be posted as they become available. 


“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