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FAQs for CPE Courses at George Mason University

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Get your questions about careers, payment options, and the courses at CPE answered now. If you can't find the answer you're looking for, contact an enrollment advisor at (703) 993-2109,, or click on the request information button.

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  1. Careers
  2. COVID-19
  3. Continuing Education Units
  4. Financial Assistance & Discounts
  5. Digital Badges
  6. Forms & Records
  7. Group and Corporate Training Opportunities
  8. Military
  9. Payments, Refunds, and Transfers
  10. Policies and Procedures
  11. Registration and Program Information


The online courses for CPE are designed to give you skills to step into a new role or industry, work with a new clientele, maintain certification or licensing, and deliver complex knowledge to advance your career. There are many skills you can gain that cross specific professional titles. For instance, project management, leadership, and data analytic courses can help any professional in a leadership role. To start exploring program topics and their courses, click here.

Our courses and programs provide deep industry knowledge of current information, best practices, technologies, and skills, all of which can be highlighted on your resume to attract future employers. When you complete a program that offers a digital badge, you can place the icon on your resume and LinkedIn page. It has an embedded URL that easily verifies the skills it represents in detail.

The digital badge program is designed to give you a quick proof point of skills you've mastered. It's the digital footprint of a micro-credential you've earned. When you successfully complete a course that awards a badge, you'll gain access to this digital credential and the ability to display it. The badge is attached to a URL that provides a description of what the micro-credential is. It details what you've accomplished or completed in order to receive the badge and easily details the specific skills it represents, so future employers never have to request transcripts or second guess what your resume states. When you earn this digital credential, you can attach it to your resume and LinkedIn page to easily outline your professional abilities.

At this time, the CPE does not provide official job placement services. However, our students find a wealth of networking opportunities within our courses as they connect with each other and the instructor.

Whether you are new to an industry or advancing your career, Mason offers coursework that prepares you for a variety of certifications. You can review courses that prepare you for the industry exams that lead to global certifications on our Test Prep page.

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GMU is staying up to date on all COVID protocols. To ensure you have the most recent information, visit the Mason Coronavirus page for comprehensive details regarding vaccination/boosters, testing, reporting positive cases, and more.

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Continuing Education Units

The Continuing Education Unit (CEU) is a nationally recognized unit of measurement for participation in non-credit continuing education programs. They're often required throughout industries for professionals to maintain their licensing or certification. When you successfully complete a program that offers CEUs, they'll be awarded to you and a permanent record that's easily accessible for verification purposes will be maintained in our university database. You can learn more about CEUs here.

CPE sponsors open enrollment courses, workshops, and seminars that are designed to enhance the skills of all participants. The CPE, in compliance with the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges (SACSCOC) standards, manages the review of programs to determine if they qualify for CEUs and compares courses to national measurement standards. CPE is also is responsible for awarding CEUs to all students who successfully complete course requirements. approved courses. You can learn more about CEUs and the courses that offer them here.

CEUs may be awarded to any of the following:

  • Non-credit classes, clinics, independent study programs, online courses, and TV or videotaped programs used as part of an organized education experience
  • Non-credit technical and professional courses
  • In-service training programs
  • Programs that will fulfill certificate or licensing requirements
  • Programs falling within a "technical/industrial society" sponsored by the university, enabling members to upgrade their technical or occupational credentials
  • Paraprofessional and vocational training programs
  • Staff development programs

CEUs are variable and based on specific programs. They are not granted universally across an entire organization or to individuals.

Each class, conference, seminar, or training opportunity must be individually approved by our office in advance of the actual program. Approved CEU offerings are for specific programs offered by an authorized sponsoring university department, organization, agency, business and are issued to learners upon verified completion of stated program requirements.

CEUs are approved to be issued to all participants of programs that have a narrowly defined target audience and a learning objective that meets an identified need within the area of instruction.

Sponsors may not opt out of CEUs or issue CEUs to some, but not all, participants. Rather, the issuance of CEUs will be determined solely based on the participants' satisfactory completion of the stated program requirements.

All programs that award a CEU must be sponsored by a university department. External agencies, including non-profit organizations, government agencies, businesses and professional development organizations, may be eligible to qualify their programs for CEUs if such programs demonstrate compatibility with the mission of the George Mason University and secure approval through Mason's Continuing and Professional Education.

Mason departments, non-profits, companies and private organizations may submit a CEU application to award CEUs issued by George Mason University for education and training programs.  Contact our office for assistance.

If CEUs are offered for a course or certificate program, it will be stated in the description of the course and can later be viewed in your student portal.

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Financial Assistance & Discounts

Because CPE courses are non-credit, they're not eligible for traditional federally subsidized financial aid programs. However, there are a number of ways to fund the outstanding education you'll receive including loans, scholarships, corporate reimbursement, and more. Visit our Financial Assistance page to discover more.

Under the Code of Virginia § 23.1-640, Virginia residents 60 years or older may enroll in up to three non-credit continuing education courses per academic term (July 1 through June 30) without payment of instruction-related fees if space is available. This exemption does not apply to out-of-pocket expenses such as food and course materials or lab fees associated with non-credit continuing education programs. Likewise, this exemption does not apply to programs specifically targeted for, or attended by, senior citizens. The exemption is not available for all certificate programs. Please contact an enrollment advisor at 703-993-2109 or for more information.

Mason believes every student should have the opportunity to advance their career with the education they need. We've curated a list of funding options to explore.

The cost of a program can only be discounted once, so if you qualify for multiple options, choose the best one available to you. Please note that this applies to the discounts that apply to a bundled program as well. You can review available discounts here.

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Digital Badges

The digital badge program is designed to give you a quick proof point of skills you've mastered. It's the digital footprint of a micro-credential you've earned. When you successfully complete a course that awards a badge, you'll gain access to this digital credential and the ability to display it.

The badge is attached to a URL that provides a description of what the micro-credential is. It details what you've accomplished or completed in order to receive the badge and easily details the specific skills it represents, so future employers never have to request transcripts or second guess what your resume states. When you earn this digital credential, you can attach it to your resume and LinkedIn page to easily outline your professional abilities.

Digital badges can help you track and organize a lifetime of learning. They're not for academic credit and do not require you to complete prerequisites or apply to the University.  When you're ready, you can simply enroll in a badge course and start learning new skills right away. Depending on the program and skills learned, you can earn a badge within weeks or months.

Anyone can earn a digital badge upon successful completion of a program that offers a badge.  Mason’s badges are for learners that are not seeking academic credit but want to receive immediate job preparation for post-graduate opportunities. Non-credit studies also remove any prerequisites or applications for admission to the University, making it easy to register and start. When you're ready, simply register in a program that offers a digital badge and start learning new skills right away.

George Mason University's badging program currently issues badges for non-credit immersives or professional certificates offered through Mason CPE. For a list of all badges currently being issued, please visit the digital badge page.

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Forms & Records

George Mason University maintains a permanent record of your successful completion of Mason-sponsored, non-credit learning activities. These activities include workshops, seminars, and certificate programs that you have successfully completed.

George Mason University programs that have been approved by George Mason University Continuing and Professional Education to award Continuing Education Units (CEUs) or Continuing Professional Education credits (CPEs) will be included in your student record. Your records will include the name and date of the event, as well as the number of CEUs awarded.

To request an official non-credit student record, please complete the request form. Please email your request to the Office of the University Registrar at

Students enrolled in credit courses at George Mason University will automatically be sent the 1098-T form. Questions related to the credit course forms should be addressed to University Fiscal Services Front Office at 703-993-2580.

Students in non-credit courses must request their tuition payment history from George Mason University Continuing and Professional Education at 703-993-2109.

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Group and Corporate Training Opportunities

CPE is the provider of choice for companies who need to upskill their workforce and offer cutting-edge educational opportunities to remain competitive. You can enroll a group of employees in a specific course we have listed for a discount, or we can customize training opportunities for you. Learn more about our corporate training opportunities here. You can also call 703-993-2109 or email

Yes! Mason's Professional Education program managers are dedicated to designing the specific training you need. They have significant experience working with federal, state, and local government organizations and industry associations to provide industry training and certification preparation for professionals of all experience levels. We'll work with you closely to provide a curriculum tailored to your goals, objectives, and specific outcomes. Learn more about our corporate training opportunities here. You can also call 703-993-2109 or email

CPE's classrooms are available for rent and may be reserved for your meeting, workshop, or seminar. For more information and room availability please call 703-993-2109 or email

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As CPE courses do not offer college credit, they're not available for traditional Veterans' educational assistance benefits.

Additionally, Army Credentialing Opportunities Online (Army COOL) is supported by the Army Credentialing Assistance (CA) program. The program provides up to $4,000 to help eligible army candidates earn valuable workplace credentials with online career training. Soldiers can choose from dozens of certifications that prepare them for positions that are in high demand. Army CA will pay for necessary books, supplies, and any other materials required for training and examination. You can find additional information on the Army COOL website. If you have additional questions, please contact us at

The My Career Advancement Account (MYCAA) scholarship is a workforce development program that provides up to $4,000 in financial assistance to eligible military spouses for the pursuit or maintenance, including continuing education courses, of a license, certification, or associate degree necessary to gain employment in an occupation or career field. For more information and to get started, visit this site.

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Payments, Refunds, and Transfers

To officially register for the course you need, we require payment or an official promise of payment for the full course fee at the time of registration.

  • Payments can be received by Visa or MasterCard or by checks made payable to George Mason University.
  • Official promise of payments include an invoice with a P.O. number, as well as an SF 182 ( Standard Form 182:  Request, Authorization, Agreement, and Certification for Training).

If your employer has agreed to pay for your course, you need to follow your company's guidelines for payment or reimbursement. Please note that we will provide an invoice to an organization, however, you're ultimately responsible for any balance due. Discover more payment information, including payment plan options, here.

We recognize you may suddenly not be able to attend the course you hoped to. If this happens, you have two options.

Refund Your Money

  • We must receive your cancellation request in your student portal no less than five business days prior to the course start date.
  • Requests received four or fewer business days before the published course start date forfeit the entire course registration fee.
  • All course registration cancellations are subject to a non-refundable, $125.00 administrative fee.
  • Refunds will be issued in the form that the payment was received. Credit card refunds will be issued to the card used to register for the course.

Apply Money To a New Start Date

  • Credit requests must be made, in writing, no less than five business days prior to the course start date.
    • The first transfer request received is at no charge to the student.
    • Subsequent transfers will be assessed a $125.00 fee.
  • Requests received four or fewer business days before the published course start date will be assessed a $125.00 fee
  • Transfer requests received on or after the start date of a course forfeit the entire course registration fee.

Credits must be used within one year of being issued. Please see our Payment Options page for full details.

If your employer has agreed to pay for your course, you need to follow your company's guidelines for payment or reimbursement. Please note that we will provide an invoice to an organization, however, you're ultimately responsible for any balance due.

Payment plans are offered for the following programs:

  • Leadership Coaching
  • Masterful Coaching

A partner manager will work with you to set up a payment plan that's split between two and five payments depending on the length of the course. You can review the full details here.

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Policies and Procedures

Students are required to have financial good standing and a university record clear of holds. Services, including but not limited to, transcript or records issuance, certificate release, and course registration will not be provided to students with a financial balance due or a hold of any kind on their record. Holds are based on outstanding obligations and may be financial.

George Mason University shares the tradition of an honor system that has existed in Virginia since 1842. The Honor Code is an integral part of university life and it is the student's responsibility to understand the provisions of the code.  Attempted cheating, plagiarism, lying and stealing constitute Honor Code violations. In the spirit of the code, students and faculty must report all violations to the Honor Committee. The complete Honor Code can be found in the University Catalog, or with the Office of Academic Integrity.

The Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act of 1974 (FERPA) is a federal law that governs the educational records of eligible students. It grants students continuous access to their educational records upon request, allows students to amend their records if they feel they are inaccurate, and restricts how and when their educational records can be disclosed.

All students at Mason control access to all of their educational records and must give consent before that information is disclosed to any third party (including parents, spouses, employers, etc.). Please note that Mason does not disclose non-directory information unless the student has signed a consent form or the disclosure meets a qualified exception under FERPA.

In the event of inclement weather, students are encouraged to confirm in advance whether class will meet as scheduled. Please visit the Mason CPE website to get up to date information regarding weather cancellations and delays. In the event of a cancellation due to inclement weather, your class will be re-scheduled and you will be notified of the rescheduled date(s) and time(s).

We want you to have the best educational experience possible during your time with Mason Continuing and Professional Education. If you have a concern about any course or program, please contact our office at

If your complaint is regarding any of the below matters, please refer to the below list for resource assistance:

  1. Grade Appeal
  2. Academic Honor Code Policy
  3. Non-Academic Code of Conduct Policy
  4. Policy Against Discrimination and Harassment
  5. Disability Accommodations

A student who has a complaint that a policy or procedure has been incorrectly or unfairly applied in his/her particular case, or a complaint about the behavior of a university staff member that does not fall within any of the categories listed above, the complaint will be handled as follows:

  • Informal Resolution: Students are encouraged to speak directly with the staff member most concerned with or responsible for the situation that is the cause of the complaint. If this communication does not lead to a resolution, or such a discussion is not deemed appropriate, the student may register an informal complaint or file a formal written complaint.
  • Informal Complaint: A student may register an informal complaint within thirty (30) days of the event that triggered the complaint. The earlier the communication is made, however, the more likely it is to resolve the matter satisfactorily. Complaints involving academic matters should be made to the Executive Director of Continuing and Professional Education. Informal complaints may be made by telephone or email. Appropriate University staff will review the matter presented by the student and determine whether any action is required. The student will be notified of the University’s response within 20 days of the informal complaint. If the student is not satisfied with the decision and/or attempts at resolution, he/she may go on to make a formal complaint.
  • Formal Complaint: A formal complaint must be submitted in writing to the Executive Director of Continuing and Professional Education or the head of the appropriate office from which the complaint arises. Formal complaints must be filed within sixty (60) days of the event that triggered the complaint, and state the nature of the grievance and the remedy being sought. Any previous attempts to resolve the issue should also be described. 
    • Receipt of the complaint will be acknowledged within fifteen (15) days. The appropriate University administrator will then review the matter. A final written determination, including any proposed resolution, will be sent to the student within thirty (30) days of the receipt of the complaint. A complete record of formal complaints will be kept by the relevant University office. Records of the final outcome of all formal complaints will also be stored in a centralized database and the student’s electronic file.

Please use the following address for all correspondence:

Continuing and Professional Education

3351 Fairfax Drive, Suite 448 MS 2G2 Arlington, VA 22201

(703) 993-2109

For institutional disclosures and state authorization information regarding online courses and programs, please see the University's State Authorization page.

If your mailing address or email address change, please contact Mason CPE so that we can change your contact information.

Please refer to the University Catalog for information regarding all program, credit and non-credit, as well as graduation requirements at Mason.  Here you can also find other policies and procedures.

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Registration and Program Information

Mason offers different options to learn new skill sets that enhance your current role and help you step into new career opportunities.

  • Individual courses focus on a specific set of skills or industry knowledge but can vary widely in terms of contact hours. You can spend a week completing a course, or more than a year.
  • Immersive courses typically take a minimum of 25 contact hours to complete but can take as many as 60. When you complete an immersive course, you'll receive a digital badge that easily verifies a set of skills you achieved to future employers.
  • Bootcamps, like individual courses, usually focus on mastering a specific technical skill that can directly impact your current position or project or help you transition to a new career in a brief amount of time, typically three to four months. Bootcamps can be self-guided or live instruction.
  • Professional Certificates can vary widely in terms of contact hours. They can consist of a single course with a multitude of topics or include a series of courses. Some certificates also offer a digital badge that can verify the specific industry skills learned. When you successfully complete the Professional Certificate program, you'll receive a certificate that speaks to your new skill set.

Mason CPE programs are open to anyone who wants to register; there's no degree requirement and few, if any, prerequisites needed to enroll in a course. If you’re looking to gain new skills for your current job, want to obtain new skills to work toward a promotion, or even want to change jobs completely, there are courses for you.

No. There are no degree requirements to enroll in a course and few, if any, prerequisites. If there's a required base of knowledge or experience necessary to take a program, it will be listed in the course description on the page. 

It's simple. We provide an "add to cart" or "register now" button on the individual course or program pages. Then you'll follow quick and easy prompts to select participation dates and payment options.

Please realize that registration deadlines vary per course, but more importantly, courses can close before the registration deadline when they reach maximum capacity — so register for the course you want when you see it!

There isn't an average. Courses and certificate programs can be completed over a few days or can take up to a year. Some of our programs are self-paced but give you a specific time frame to complete them. Refer to each course or program page to get the specific details you need.

It’s always recommended to use the most up-to-date versions of operating systems and have a reliable internet connection. Software programs may still run with the minimum specifications, but you may experience slower loading times. Each course or program page will give you its technology requirements.

Courses are delivered in an online format and are either self-paced or have a live component to them.

A course that is delivered in a live, online format has you log into the class from wherever you have an internet connection on the days and times listed for the course. Once you've logged in, you'll participate in the class as if you were there. You can watch and listen as your instructor presents information, see your peers, ask questions, and have discussions.

Courses that have a self-paced format present you with information to learn and assignments to complete at your own pace. You can meet with your peers and instructors by appointment over the phone or video chat if you wish.

Oftentimes, textbooks and program materials are included with the course, but each course will detail what it requires you to have and whether it is included in the cost of registration.

Non-credit courses are pass/fail. You'll receive an S for Satisfactory or a U for Unsatisfactory.

Students must follow the attendance policy of their respective course or program either found in the website’s course/program description, course confirmation communication, or the syllabus.

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