Degrees Offered at George Mason University
George Mason University appears in our ranking of 50 Great Affordable Colleges in the South.
George Mason University is the largest public research school in Virginia, offering 60 undergraduate majors and 127 graduate degree programs which are divided into ten colleges. The Schar School of Policy and Government is the most recent addition, featuring 15 programs from the bachelor’s to doctoral level, and prepares students for careers in policy-making, international relations, management, and political analysis. The Schar School partners with the College of Humanities and Social Sciences to offer the Philosophy, Politics, and Economics (PPE) program. Based off a similar program at Oxford University, this is a challenging undergraduate concentration that can be added to the philosophy, economics, or government and international politics bachelor degrees. The PPE curriculum consists of three specific courses in each of these areas as well as three courses where the fields intersect, Theories of Decision, Current Issues in Economic Policy, and Game Theory and Economics of Institutions. Students are encouraged to participate in lectures and workshops throughout the year, often featuring prominent researchers or policymakers.
The College of Health and Human Services also offers programs that relate to public policy with more of a focus on individual and community health. The five undergraduate and 12 graduate degrees span a variety of fields including social work, global health, informatics, nursing, and nutrition. The Master of Public Health is an extensive program with seven concentration options like Community Health Promotion, Epidemiology, and Food Security and Nutrition. All students complete seven core courses followed by 21 credit hours in their specialty as well as a 200-hour practicum experience. These programs are designed for working professionals as campus classes are scheduled in the evenings, and many courses are offered online including all core classes. The Public Health Practice MPH is one of about 50 completely online degree programs that are available in the areas of health, business, education, technology, science, and the arts.
George Mason University also has a variety of science and technology degrees through the College of Science and the Volgenau School of Engineering, but even in these programs, faculty emphasizes the social consequences and public policy aspects of the fields. Researchers at GMU were some of the first in the nation to do research in cybersecurity, founding the Center for Secure Information Systems as a resource for government agencies and corporations. In addition, the Bachelor of Science in Cyber Security Engineering is one of the first of its kind. Students in this program take classes in electrical engineering, mathematics, statistics, and computer science as well as the major’s core classes. Before graduation, students demonstrate their expertise by completing a two-semester advanced design project.
About George Mason University
George Mason University opened in 1949 as an extension of the University of Virginia – Charlotteville to serve smaller communities in northern Virginia. At first, it consisted of satellite locations throughout Fairfax County, and in 1956, the school formed its main campus in the town of Fairfax, later splitting from the University of Virginia in 1972. Since then, in a relatively short period of time, the university has quickly grown into the world-renowned research institution that it is today. GMU has four campuses throughout the state as well as one in Songdo, South Korea, and enrolls more than 35,000 students in total. The Fairfax location is still considered the main campus, and since it is only about 30 minutes from Washington, D.C., this location provides students with nearby networking opportunities and internship programs. The U.S. News and World Report has recognized George Mason University as one of the most innovative schools in the nation and ranked the school in the top half on their list of Best National Universities.
George Mason University Accreditation Details
The Commission on Colleges of the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools (SACSCOC) is the regional body responsible for evaluating the quality of post-secondary schools in Virginia and certifying that they meet certain standards, regarding both the quality of education and overall management. George Mason University maintained continuous accreditation since 1972 and is due for its next reaffirmation in 2022. In addition to comprehensive regional accreditation, there are independent organizations that evaluate specific degree programs to ensure that graduates are prepared to enter the workforce. The following are some programs that are accredited at GMU followed by the certifying body.
- Business – Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business International
- Public Health – Council on Education for Public Health
- Engineering – Accreditation Board for Engineering and Technology
- Nursing – Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education
- Health Administration – Commission on Accreditation of Healthcare Management Education
George Mason University Application Requirements
Freshmen undergraduate applicants to George Mason University can submit either the Common Application or GMU’s online application along with high school transcripts, ACT or SAT scores, a personal statement, resume, and two letters of recommendations. Some programs have additional requirements such as a portfolio for art majors and math ACT/SAT scores of 550/24 for engineering students. Freshmen are encouraged to submit their application by November 1st for early action and scholarship eligibility with the final deadline being January 15th for fall enrollment. Requirements and application materials for graduate programs vary between colleges, but all applicants need to complete an application and send undergraduate transcripts demonstrating completion of an undergraduate degree with a GPA of at least 3.0 and a professional resume. Some programs require standardized tests, experience or certification in the field, or additional essays.
Tuition and Financial Aid
For full-time Virginia residents, yearly tuition for most programs at George Mason University costs about $12,500 at the undergraduate level and $11,300 for the graduate level, and for out-of-state students, these rates rise to $36,000 and $26,800. Most online classes cost the same amount, but there are additional fees for some programs. For incoming freshmen, there are many renewable scholarships available based on academic achievement, financial need, athletics, community service, and community service. Financial assistance for graduate students is mostly in the form of assistantships where students work with faculty members in exchange for tuition reduction. In addition, financial counseling is available to all students at George Mason University to help them better understand student loans and financing options.