Mason is advancing our partnership with Virginia’s community colleges to help students get the most out of their college experience.

ADVANCE, a collaborative initiative between Virginia’s community colleges and George Mason University, is designed to enhance the transfer experience for community college students pursuing a bachelor's degree by removing common barriers and providing early support in their educational journey. 

While Northern Virginia Community College (NOVA) is the flagship institution for the program, ADVANCE has been extended to Germanna, Tidewater, and Piedmont Virginia community colleges. Eligible students who successfully earn their associate's degree and meet program milestones are guaranteed admission to Mason.



ADVANCE increases access to Mason's bachelor's degree programs, allowing Virginia students the opportunity to pursue higher education. The initiative offers personalized support and guidance through regular campus visits, coaches, and advisors, creating a seamless transition from community colleges to Mason. 

Faculty and Staff

The initiative transforms the way staff, faculty, and university units collaborate and support transfer students by coordinating campus visits, providing academic advising, and ensuring a smooth integration of ADVANCE students into the university community.  

Faculty members may also play a pivotal role in developing tailored program pathways and delivering high-quality instruction to transfer students. 


ADVANCE increases access to higher education for individuals who might otherwise face barriers to enrollment by replacing cumbersome transfer processes and guiding students along streamlined pathways. The initiative empowers a more educated workforce, contributing to local economic development.



ADVANCE is a nationally-renowned transfer program that expanded to additional community colleges on June 15, 2023. Students with less than 30 credit hours at selected schools in the Virginia Community College System (VCCS) can now declare for the ADVANCE program.

The next phase of ADVANCE focuses on preparing students for their future matriculation to Mason and expanding the program to more schools within the VCCS system. Our goal is to eventually include all VCCS schools in the ADVANCE program.