Graduate Student Life Events

In collaboration with partners across campus, Graduate Student Life will present a number of events throughout the 2020-21 academic year. Events include academic, career, and professional workshops, 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. 

Due to the continuing COVID-19 pandemic, Graduate Student Life is looking to host a majority of virtual events this Fall/year, with few in-person events.


Friday, Aug. 21, 2020
9:00am – 4:00pm

All new and continuing Mason graduate students are invited to Gradstravaganza, Mason’s annual graduate student welcome event! Join us for a virtual version of Gradstravaganza, featuring mini-workshops highlighting strategies for success in graduate school, special sessions for Graduate Assistants (GRAs, GTAs, and GPAs), opportunities to meet and connect with fellow Mason graduate students, and more! Brought to you by Graduate Student Life, the Office of the Provost, the Stearns Center for Teaching and Learning, and the Graduate and Professional Student Association (GAPSA).

Knives Out: Graduate Student Watch Party

Friday, Aug. 28, 2020
7:00pm – 9:15pm

What better way to unwind after your first week of the semester than with a virtual viewing of Knives Out? Graduate Student Life is excited to host this Amazon Watch Party so that you can connect with your fellow graduate students (and also watch a great film)!

How can you join? Register for this event here–all you need is an Amazon Prime account and the link that we will send out! We can’t wait to see you there!

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 2020-21 academic year:

  • Graduate School Reading Strategies: Thursday, Sept. 10, 2020, 3:00-4:15pm
  • How to Study for Online Courses: Friday, Sept. 18, 2020, 12:00-1:00pm
  • Overcoming Procrastination: Thursday, Sept. 24, 2020, 12:00-1:15pm
  • The Perils of Perfectionism in Grad School: Tuesday, Oct. 6, 2020, 3:00-4:15pm
  • Motivation and Goal-Setting: Friday, Oct. 23, 2020, 1:30-2:45pm
  • Project Planning: Getting Your Research, Thesis, or Dissertation Done: Thursday, Oct. 29, 2020, 2:30-3:30pm (GRADReCon)

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

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

Thursday, Sept. 17, 2020, 3:30-5:00pm

Graduate Student Life invites 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!

Register here.

For more information, please contact Graduate Student Life at

Innovations in Teaching and Learning Conference: “Teaching Toward the Future”

Friday, Sept. 21-25, 2020, 10:00am-3:00pm

The 12th annual Innovations in Teaching and Learning Conference features the theme “Teaching Toward the Future” with keynote speaker Dr. Bryan Alexander, author of Academia Next: The Futures of Higher Education. Join us for a week of 30+ inspiring conference sessions (workshops, roundtables, activity showcases/demos, and a poster reception led by Mason instructors and our keynote speaker) that showcase strategies and tips to support student learning in and out of the classroom. Faculty from all ranks/disciplines, graduate students, and members of support offices are welcome. Registration for this year’s conference is free. For more information, visit

Project Potluck: Black Graduate Student Research Exchange

Tuesday, Sept. 22, 2020, 3-4:15

Online, Zoom. 

Graduate Student Life and the Black Graduate Student Association invite Black graduate students to the first networking event of the academic school year! This virtual event will be a great place to introduce and showcase your research topics and interests. What interesting readings have you discovered? Who are you working with that you’d love to spotlight? Attend our Project Potluck-we’d love to hear about the exciting things the Mason community is working on. All graduate students are welcome and no project too small!

To register for this event, head to our Mason 360 event page!
This event is co-hosted by Graduate Student Life and the Black Graduate Student Association (BGSA).

Graduate Student Career Workshop: Résumé Writing for Grad Students

Tuesday, Sept. 29, 2020, 2:30-4:00pm
Online, Zoom

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 8 & 9!

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.

To register for this event, visit this workshop’s Mason360 page.

Courageous Allies: An Open Dialogue Between Black and White Women in the Academy (Hosted by BGSA)

Friday, Oct. 9, 4-6pm

Online, Zoom

Women of color need courageous allies in the academy. But what does that look like? Often Black women and White women find themselves in situations where knowing the best thing to do or say is not always easy or apparent; having the willingness and knowledge of how to effectively engage with one another is essential. Please join us for a candid conversation hosted by Insight into Diversity on the praxis of allyship in the academy. Dr. Shani Barrax Moore (University of North Texas), Dr. Karen L. Dace (Indiana University-Purdue University Indianapolis), Dr. Jennifer LaFlam (A Los Rios College), Dr. Dreama Moon (California State University San Marcos), Dr. Menah Pratt-Clark (Virginia Tech) and host Holly Mendelson (Insight Into Diversity) will extend their experience and journey in navigating academic race relations to the Mason community. All are invited, questions and insight welcome! Register here.

Grad Night In: Virtual Social Study Hall

Thursday, Oct. 22, 2020, 4-8pm

Thursday, Dec. 3, 2020, 4-8pm
Online, Slack and Zoom

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 virtual Grad Night In series! 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 (for an asynchronous) experience; and for those looking to get some virtual Facetime in, we will also be holding the program via Zoom so chats, discussions, and/or community can be had. Graduate Student Life staff will be available online for the duration of the event to answer questions and provide support. We’ll also post occasional memes!

You must register for this event in order to participate. Register for the 10/22 Grad Night In by noon on Wednesday, October 21, 2020 and register for the 12/3 Grad Night In by noon on Wednesday, December 2, 2020; registered students will receive further instructions on how to access the Slack workspace. If you have any questions about this event, please email

Registration is available here for Oct. 22 and here for Dec. 3.


The Art of Mindfulness: Paint Night

Monday, Oct. 5, 7-8:30pm; Tuesday, Oct. 27, 2020, 7-8:30pm; Monday, Nov. 30, 7-8:30pm

Online, Zoom

As Bob Ross says, “There are no mistakes, just happy little accidents!” Art is a natural way to practice mindfulness and a great way to meet fellow Patriots. This session will be led by a master artist. Kerry with UL SciTech will show you how to sketch and paint your master piece for the night! So bring your inner artist and get creative. We’ll start with a drawing warm-up and then learn color mixing and painting basics. No experience required! This event is hosted by University Life Arlington, University Life SciTech, and Graduate Student Life. Register here for 10/5, here for 10/27, and here for 11/30.

GRADReCon: Graduate Student Research Connections

Thursday, Oct. 29, 2020, 12:00-4:45pm and Friday, Oct. 30 , 2020, 12:00-4:45pm
Online, Zoom

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.


Music on the Plaza at the Arlington Campus

Friday, Oct. 30, 2020, 5:00-6:30pm
Van Metre Plaza, Arlington Campus

Dust off your favorite costume, grab your lawn chair or blanket, and dive into the Halloween spirit head first at the Arlington campus. Enjoy live music and free giveaways at Van Metre Plaza while six-feet apart! Costumes are encouraged so dress your best for the Halloween costume contest. All Mason social distancing procedures will be followed – so don’t forget your face covering! Register today!


Graduate Student Life Write-In Day

Fall 2020: Saturday, Nov. 7, 9:00am-5:00pm, both an in-person and virtual writing event.
Spring 2021: TBA

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. The Fall 2020 Write-In Day will be held in a hybrid format to accommodate online participants and a limited number of in-person participants on Saturday, November 7, 2020, 9:00am-5:00pm.

Interested students should register for the event by the appropriate deadline:

  • In-person participation: Register by Thursday, October 29, 2020 at 11:59pm
  • Online-only participation: Register by Wednesday, November 4, 2020 at 11:59pm

Registration and confirmation from the planner are required to participate in the Write-In Day. For more information (including expectations for in-person participation) and online registration, visit the Grad Life Write-In Day page.

Registration for the Fall 2020 Write-In Day will begin in October. Registration for the Spring 2021 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 Life Outdoor Adventures

Graduate Outdoor Adventures: Bike & Paddle, Friday, 11/6, 10am-2pm

Join Graduate Student Life and Outdoor Adventures on Friday, November 6th from 10am-2pm for our first adventure of the Fall 2020 semester! For this Bike & Paddle event we will meet on campus and bike approx. 3 miles to Royal Lake Park, where we will then pack-raft. Bikes, helmets, and pack-raft boats will be provided by Outdoor Adventures. Lunch will not be provided – please pack your own (nonperishable) lunch. Please wear clothes that you can comfortably cycle in and that are appropriate for the weather. Be sure to bring your mask, ID, lunch, and water – we will be traveling by bike and on the water so the less things you bring, the better! Sign up for this event here.


Graduate Student Life 14-Day Writing Challenge

Fall 2020: Nov. 11-24, 2020; Register by Friday, Nov. 6
Spring 2021: TBA
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 Fall 2020 14-Day Writing Challenge! 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 by Friday, Nov. 6. Registered students will receive instructions for participation. Please contact if you have any questions.


Graduate Student Career Workshop: Building Your Network from the Ground Up

Friday, Jan. 29, 2021, 12:00-1:30pm
Online, Zoom

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! Registration coming soon.

Graduate and Professional Student Networking and Etiquette Dinner

Date, Time, Location: TBA

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.

Graduate and Professional Student Appreciation Week 2021

April 5 – 9, 2021

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.

Graduate Student Career Workshop: Get What You’re Worth: Negotiating Job Offers, Salaries, and Raises

Tuesday, April 6, 2021, 2:30-4:00pm
Online Webinar

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.

Registration coming soon.

Mason Graduate Interdisciplinary Conference 2021

Date, time(s), and location coming soon.

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 Spring Picnic

Friday, April 23, 2021, 12:00-2:00pm
Location TBA

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!