Health Insurance for Graduate Students


This policy describes health insurance subsidies available to eligible George Mason University graduate students.


George Mason University subsidizes up to 100% of health insurance for eligible graduate students. The University will determine the percentage of the premium that will be covered on an annual basis, and reserves the right to reduce this commitment if necessary. Dependent coverage will not be funded under this health insurance subsidy; however, eligible graduate students enrolled in the plan may acquire dependent coverage at their own expense. The health insurance subsidy is non-transferable and non-refundable. Unused subsidies cannot be refunded.

A. Eligibility

Graduate students who meet all of the following conditions are eligible:

1. Full-time students in Doctoral or M.F.A. (Master of Fine Arts) programs as defined by the University Catalog;

2. Supported by a tuition waiver or grant that EITHER covers enough credits to support the students’ full time course load OR is approved as a Qualifying Award; and

3. Appointed to EITHER full-time (20 hours/week total) graduate assistantship(s) with a stipend that meets or exceeds the current 9-month minimum pay rate for graduate assistantships as set by the Office of the Provost OR, in the case of students who have received Qualifying Awards, quarter-time (5 hours/week total) graduate assistantship(s) with a stipend of that meets or exceeds the current 9-month minimum pay rate for that category of assistantships. The assistantship(s) must cover both the fall and spring semesters.

Students who intend to graduate in the fall semester are eligible for only that semester of subsidized health insurance coverage. Such graduating students must have a stipend of at least the minimum fall semester compensation rate as well as full-time (or quarter-time for those receiving approved Qualifying Awards) assistantship(s) for that semester, and must submit their application to graduate to the Office of the University Registrar by the relevant deadline. During the following spring enrollment period, graduates may choose to re-enroll in order to continue their health insurance coverage through the University, but only for the remainder of that year’s health insurance coverage. This additional coverage will be obtained at the student’s expense.

Students who are newly admitted into their program during the spring semester, and have a stipend that meets or exceeds the minimum spring semester compensation rate as well as full time (or quarter-time for those receiving approved Qualifying Awards) assistantship(s) for that semester, are eligible to enroll in the graduate health insurance subsidy for only the spring semester.

B. Length of Coverage

The University will fund up to three cumulative years of health insurance for students who meet the eligibility requirements as of the last day of each online health insurance enrollment period. Academic units may extend the time of coverage at their own expense; however, federal funding sources may not be used to pay for extended coverage unless the school or college provides extended coverage to all of its eligible graduate students.

If an eligible student submits their application to graduate in the fall semester, or ends their assistantship during or at the end of the fall semester, after having enrolled for a full year of the subsidized graduate health insurance, their coverage period will be automatically changed such that they will receive the subsidized graduate health insurance for that fall semester’s coverage only; effort will be made to notify the student of this change. As mentioned above, the student will then have the option to re-enroll during the following spring online enrollment period at their own expense.


Doctoral Program – means the following degree programs: Ph.D. (Doctor of Philosophy), D.M.A. (Doctor of Musical Arts), D.N.P. (Doctor of Nursing Practice), D.A. (Doctor of Arts).

Qualifying Award – means a prestigious award that has been approved by the Office of the Provost according to the Qualifying Award Procedures.


The Office of the Provost will publish procedures and schedules for units to follow in order to implement the provision of health insurance for its eligible students. Exceptions to this policy may be made with the approval of the Associate Provost for Graduate Education.

Each school, college and institute is responsible for submitting a list of eligible graduate students for health insurance coverage in accordance with the published procedures and schedules.

Eligible graduate students are responsible for enrolling in the health insurance plan according to the procedures and guidelines established by the Office of the Provost and the health insurance provider.

All sponsored proposals that include funding for eligible graduate students as defined above on and after July 1, 2009, will include the cost of provision of health insurance charged proportionately with the assistantship stipend, which represents level of effort.


A. Effective Date:

This policy will become effective upon the date of approval by the Senior Vice President for Administration and Finance and the Provost and Executive Vice President.

B. Date of Most Recent Review:



This policy, and any related procedures, shall be reviewed every three years or more frequently as needed.



Senior Vice President for Administration and Finance

Provost and Executive Vice President

Date approved: November 11, 2008

Revised: April 13, 2009

Revision Approved: October 6, 2009

Revision Approved: December 21, 2009

Revision Approved: June 27, 2011

Revision Approved: August 30, 2018

Revised: December 20, 2019