Graduate Student Life Events

In collaboration with partners across campus, Graduate Student Life will present a number of events throughout the 2019-20 academic year. Events include academic, career, and professional workshops, Graduate Outdoor Adventures, Write-In Days, and Grad Nights In, and much, much more! See below for event details and relevant registration information; check back regularly to find out about updates and new events. 

Grad Student Welcome Days 

15-458_grad student Welcome Days_logo_final-04

Grad Student Welcome Days feature events and workshops designed to facilitate students’ successful transition to graduate and professional education at Mason. These programs have been designed to connect new and continuing graduate and professional students to key information, strategies, and resources to promote their success and well-being within the first six weeks of the semester.



Friday, Sept. 6, 2019Gradstravaganza graphic

Johnson Center Meeting Rooms (third floor)

Mason Pond and Center for the Arts Lobby (check in at the Center for the Arts Lobby)

All new and continuing Mason graduate students are invited to Gradstravaganza, Mason’s annual graduate student welcome event! Join fellow Mason grad students for FREE food, mini-workshops highlighting strategies for success in graduate school, connections with campus resources, and giveaways, including t-shirts! Families are welcome! Remember to bring your Mason student ID with you. For more information, visit Gradstravaganza. Mini-workshops for graduate student success will be held 4:00-5:30pm in the Johnson Center meeting rooms on the third floor. The picnic will be held 5:30-7:00pm at Mason Pond and the Center for the Arts Lobby. Brought to you by Graduate Student Life, Student Involvement, the Office of the Provost, Mason Recreation,  and the Graduate and Professional Student Association (GAPSA).

Maximizing Productivity During Graduate School Workshop Series

Learning Services and Graduate Student Life present “Maximizing Productivity During Graduate School,” a workshop series designed specifically for Mason graduate students. We know you have limited time and are balancing school along with multiple life commitments. In these workshops, learn how to make the most of the time and energy you have while working toward your graduate degree.

We are offering the following workshops during the 2019-20 academic year:

  • Graduate School Reading Strategies: Tuesday, Sept. 10, 2019, 3:00-4:15pm
  • How to Study for Online Courses: Friday, Sept. 20, 2019, 12:00-1:00pm
  • Overcoming Procrastination: Thursday, Sept. 26, 2019, 12:00-1:15pm
  • Managing Academic Anxiety: Friday, Oct. 4, 2019, 10:30-11:45am
  • Motivation and Goal-Setting: Friday, Oct. 11, 2019, 10:30-11:45am
  • How to Manage a Large Project: Monday, Oct. 21, 2019, 3:00-4:15pm
  • Scheduling and Time Management: Friday, Jan. 24, 2020, 10:30-11:45am

For more information, including online registration, visit our Workshop Series page.

Building Community: A Networking Event for Graduate Students of Diverse Identities

Monday, Sept. 16, 2019, 3:30-5:00pm
Student Union Building I, Patriots Lounge

Graduate Student Life; Diversity, Inclusion and Multicultural Education and Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender, Questioning and Queer Resources; Compliance, Diversity, and Ethics; and the Office of the Provost invite graduate students of diverse identities (including graduate students of color, graduate students who identify as LGBTQ+, and first-generation graduate students) to a welcoming and networking reception to kick off the academic year. This is a great opportunity to meet graduate students across disciplines and build community to enhance your Mason experience. Faculty and staff of diverse identities and other Mason community members who are interested in fostering inclusion and graduate student success on campus are also invited!

Registration: Register for the Building Community Event here. Registration is now open.

For more information, please contact Graduate Student Life at


Graduate Student Career Workshop: Résumé Writing for Grad Students

Tuesday, Sept. 24, 2019, 2:30-4:00pm
University Career Services Resource Room (SUB I, Room 3400)

When you apply for jobs and internships, you need to be able to communicate your skills, experiences, and qualifications effectively to prospective employers. Join Graduate Student Life and University Career Services for a Graduate Student Career Development Workshop on résumé writing to learn what you can do to craft the strongest document for your future job search. You will also be ready to share your skills and qualifications at the Fall Career Fair on October 2 & 3!

Participants will learn the specifics of writing a résumé and have an opportunity to write and/or peer review drafts. Please bring a draft of your résumé, if you have one.

Register for the Résumé Writing Workshop for Grad Students Workshop here.

If you would like to receive personalized feedback on your résumé one-on-one after the workshop, plan to attend a Résumé Clinic:
– Monday, September 30, 11:00am- 5:00pm, SUB 1, 3400
– Tuesday, October 1, 1:00pm-7:00pm, SUB 1, 3400


Grad Night In

Thursday, Sept. 26, 2019, 4:00-9:00pm Thursday, Jan. 30, 2020, 4:00-9:00pm
Thursday, Oct. 24, 2019, 4:00-9:00pm Thursday, Feb. 27, 2020, 4:00-9:00pm
Thursday, Nov. 14, 2019, 4:00-9:00pm Thursday, Mar. 26, 2020, 4:00-9:00pm CANCELED
Thursday, Dec. 5, 2019, 4:00-9:00pm Thursday, Apr. 23, 2020, 4:00-8:00pm VIRTUAL (click for more info)

Fenwick Library, Room 1014B

Need a break while on campus? Want to meet with your cohort? Working on a group project? Want to meet other Mason grad students and also get some work done? Join Graduate Student Life at Fenwick Library for Grad Night In, a monthly collaborative study date just for Mason grad students! We will provide caffeine and snacks; come with your work and a friend! Come by Fenwick Library, Room 1014B, and stay for a minute or stay for a while — we hope to see you there!

Innovations in Teaching and Learning Conference: “Teaching the Whole Student”

Friday, Sept. 27, 2019, 8:00am-6:00pm
Johnson Center

The Stearns Center for Teaching and Learning invites graduate student instructors, faculty, and staff to the 2019 Innovations in Teaching and Learning Conference addressing the theme, “Teaching the Whole Student.” Find out more and register by Sept. 23. Graduate students may apply for a limited number of free admission scholarships. To apply, send 2-3 sentences explaining how attending the conference will support your career goals/what you hope to gain from participating to the Stearns Center no later than Friday, Sept. 18; approved applicants will be given a one-time-use discount code. For more information, check out the Innovations in Teaching and Learning conference webpage.

Graduate Life Outdoor Adventures

Graduate Outdoor Adventures (GOAs) has become not only a stable of Graduate Student Life activities, but is also one of our signature events. Graduate Student Life and Mason Recreation: Outdoor Adventures have partnered to bring four outdoor adventures for the year.



We are offering the following trips:

  • GOA: Billy Goat Trail Day Hike: Saturday, Sept. 28, 2019
  • GOA: Canoeing: Saturday, Oct. 26, 2019
  • GOA: Old Rag Hike: Saturday, Feb. 29, 2020
  • GOA: Great Falls Rock Climbing: Saturday, Mar. 28, 2020 (EVENT HAS BEEN CANCELED)

For more information, including online registration, visit Graduate Outdoor Adventures!


GRADReCon: Graduate Student Research Connections

Thursday, Oct. 31, 2019, 12:00-4:15pm and Friday, Nov. 1 , 2019, 12:00-4:15pm
Fenwick Library

Build your productivity, research, and writing skills at Graduate Research Connections (GRADReCon)! Graduate Student Life and University Libraries have partnered with other offices to provide a day of workshops on topics essential to your success in grad school. For full details including the schedule, visit GRADReCon.


Graduate Student Life Write-In

Fall 2019: Saturday, Nov. 2, 8:30am-5:00pm
Spring 2020: Saturday, April 4, 8:30am-5:00pm: VIRTUAL WRITE-IN DAY

Looking for a way to make progress on your dissertation, thesis, or paper? Graduate Student Life’s Write-In Day will give you group accountability and a space to write with other Mason graduate students who are also serious about getting writing done. Graduate Student Life will provide the space, coffee, meals, and snacks. You need to bring your computer, any other necessary materials, and most importantly, your personal commitment to working diligently and productively.

Registration for the Fall 2019 Write-In Day will begin in October. Registration for the Spring 2020 Write-In Day will begin in March. For more information and online registration, visit Grad Life Write-In Day. If you have any questions, contact Julie Choe Kim, Director of Graduate Student Life, at


Graduate Student Career Workshop: Creating a Professional Brand and Strategies for Networking

Friday, Feb. 7, 2020, 1:30-3:00pm
University Career Services Resource Room (SUB 1, Room 3400)

Looking for ways to start getting recognized in your field? Want to boost the visibility of your research or professional qualifications? Join Graduate Student Life and University Career Services for this workshop focusing on creating your professional brand and networking. In this workshop, we’ll discuss what a professional brand is and outline steps to identify and create your own professional brand plan. We will also identify resources and strategies for networking and developing professional relationships in your field both in person and virtually. There will also be an opportunity to practice your elevator pitch!

Register for this workshop now.

Graduate and Professional Student Networking and Etiquette Dinner

Friday, February 28, 2020, 5:30-9:00pm
Van Metre Hall Multipurpose Room (Arlington Campus)

Hosted by University Life Arlington. Mason graduate and professional students and recent Mason alums are invited to attend a fun and instructional networking and etiquette event. You will have the opportunity to connect with other students as well as with seasoned Mason alumni and employers. A professional networking and etiquette expert will lead the evening, along with University Career Services. The evening will feature hors d’oeuvres, a plated dinner, and a dessert bar. A cash bar will be available.

For more details and registration information, visit the University Life Arlington website.


Mason Graduate Interdisciplinary Conference 2020

Friday, March 27, 2020 EVENT HAS BEEN CANCELED
Merten Hall, Fairfax Campus 

Plan now to join the Graduate and Professional Student Association (GAPSA), Graduate Student Life, and the Provost’s Office at the annual Mason Graduate Interdisciplinary Conference on March 27, 2020! Call for Proposals will be released in December. We are seeking oral (10 minutes), poster, and visual/performing arts presentations from ALL disciplines! For more information, contact GAPSA.


Graduate Student Career Workshop: Get What You’re Worth: Negotiating Job Offers, Salaries, and Raisesexcited woman reads letter

Tuesday, March 31, 2020, 3:00-4:15pm

Congratulations – you’ve landed your dream job! But what do you do once you receive the offer? How do you negotiate a salary and non-monetary benefits that reflect your value without making yourself too expensive as a candidate? Or if you already have a job where you have proven your value, how do you negotiate for a raise? Join Graduate Student Life and University Career Services at this Graduate Student Career Development online webinar to learn strategies and tips to be an informed and effective advocate for yourself to get the compensation you are worth.

Instructions for participating in this webinar will be sent to registered students.

Register for this workshop now.

Spring Building Community Event: Perseverance and Success in Graduate School: A First Generation Student Perspective

Wednesday, April 1, 2020, 12:00-1:30pm
Online Panel Discussion 

Graduate Student Life’s Building Community for Diverse Graduate Students events focus on fostering relationships among Mason graduate and professional students of diverse identities while providing a platform for them to express ways to improve and strengthen the graduate community at Mason. Join us for our spring event, a panel discussion featuring the experiences and insights of first-generation graduate students and faculty at Mason. Hear their stories of success and resilience as they make their way through higher education.

More information for accessing the online event will be given to registered participants prior to the event date. All Mason community members — graduate students, undergraduate students, faculty, and staff — are invited to this event. We hope you will join us!

Please register for the event here.

Panelists include:

Sharrell Hassell-Goodman, Doctoral Candidate in Higher Education, College of Education and Human Development
Nadia Miningou, Doctoral Student in Chemistry & Biochemistry, College of Science
Dr. Toya Jones Frank, Assistant Professor, Mathematics Education Leadership and Secondary Education
Dr. Erin Peters-Burton, Donna R. and David E. Sterling Endowed Professor in Science Education
Moderator: Sydney S. Glass, Master’s Student in Public Health, College of Health and Human Services

Graduate and Professional Student Appreciation Week 2020

March 27 – April 4, 2020

Join the Graduate and Professional Student Association and Graduate Student Life in celebrating Graduate and Professional Student Appreciation Week 2020! During this week, we honor the contributions of Mason’s 10,000+ graduate and professional students. For more information and a detailed schedule, check out our event page closer to the date.  

Navigating the Academy as a Woman: A Conversation with Dr. Shannon Davis and Dr. Wendi Manuel-Scott

Tuesday, April 14, 2020, 3:00-4:30pm
Online Panel Discussion 

Navigating the Academy as a Woman is an opportunity for graduate and professional students who are interested in pursuing academic careers to discuss success and barriers that our faculty have faced in their career transitions. Join Dr. Shannon Davis, Professor of Sociology, and Dr. Wendi Manuel-Scott, Professor of Integrative Studies and History and Art History, for an informal online conversation with lots of opportunities for questions and discussion. Sponsored by Women and Gender Studies and Graduate Student Life. More information for accessing the online event will be sent to registered participants.

Register for this event here. 


Grad Night In: Virtual Social Study Hall

Virtual Grad Night In flierThursday, April 23, 2020, 4:00-8:00pm
Online Event

Are you looking for a way to maintain progress toward your academic deadlines as days and weeks slide together? Do you find yourself wishing for a way to connect with your Mason graduate student community amid this time of social distancing? If so, join Graduate Student Life and fellow graduate and professional students for our first-ever virtual Grad Night In! Think of this as a virtual social study hall where you can  work on your assignments among a community of grad students contributing to an atmosphere of mutual support. We will hold our virtual Grad Night In via Slack; Graduate Student Life staff will be available online for the duration of the event to answer questions, provide support, and post occasional memes.

You must register for this event in order to participate. Register online by noon on Thursday, April 23, 2020; registered students will receive further instructions on how to access the Slack workspace. If you have any questions about this event, please email



Graduate Student Spring Picnic

Friday, April 24, 2020, 12:00-2:00pm EVENT HAS BEEN CANCELED

Join Graduate Student Life, Mason Recreation, and the Graduate and Professional Student Association (GAPSA) to celebrate spring and the end of the academic year and unwind before finals! Featuring free food (including meat and vegetarian options), fun games, prizes and more! Families are welcome!


Graduate Student Life 14-Day Writing Challenge

14-Day Writing Challenge flierApril 26 – May 9, 2020
Online Event

Would you like to make headway on your end-of-semester papers and assignments? Are you trying to make progress on your thesis or dissertation or other writing project? If so, plan now to participate in Graduate Student Life’s first-ever 14-Day Writing Challenge! Beginning April 26 and ending May 9, you would commit to writing 30 minutes each day. You will also be asked to check in daily to a Slack workspace designated for this challenge to provide ongoing support, accountability, and community. Graduate Student Life staff will also be available to provide connection to resources for well-being, writing, and productivity. To participate, please complete and submit the registration form by 5:00pm on Thursday, April 23, 2020. Registered students will receive instructions for participation. Please contact if you have any questions.

Registration for the 14-Day Writing Challenge is closed.