History, Affiliations and Rankings
George Mason University (GMU, Mason, or George Mason) is a public research university in Fairfax, Virginia. It was officially established in 1956 as a Northern Virginia branch of the University of Virginia and later became an independent institution in 1972. George Mason College was named after the founding father George Mason, a Virginia planter and politician who authored the Virginia Declaration of Rights, the basis for the U.S. Constitution's Bill of Rights. What started as a College in a single building with just 17 students has since, grown to become the largest four-year public university in the Commonwealth of Virginia. George Mason University was recently named the most diverse university in Virginia by US News and World Report. Globally, George Mason ranks in the bracket #251-300 by the Times Higher Education, #801-1000 by QS World University Rankings and at #453 in US News Best Global Universities for the year 2022.
Infrastructure, Campuses and Courses
George Mason University operates four campuses in Virginia, with a fifth campus in Songdo, South Korea. The main campus in Fairfax is a beautiful 677 wooded acres of land, only 20 miles away from Washington DC and primarily offers programs at the Undergraduate level. The other campus locations are the Mason Square campus at Arlington, the Science and Technology campus and the Smithsonian-Mason School of Conservation in Front Royal, Virginia. Programs are offered through 10 constituent Schools and Colleges, offering courses in Law, Peace and Conflict Resolution, Education and Human Development, Engineering and Computing, Health and Human Services, Humanities, and Social Sciences, Science, Visual and Performing Arts, Policy and Government, and Business. Across these Schools, students can study at the Bachelor's, Master's and the Doctoral levels. The student-faculty ratio is 17:1 and 58% of undergraduate classes have fewer than 30 students while 30 percent of undergraduate classes have fewer than 20 students that makes the academic experience personalized. Students can attend the same classes in distance mode through Mason Online for greater flexibility. Further, George Mason has partner institutions in Europe, South America, Asia, Africa and Australia, where students can spend a semester on exchange, giving them international experience and exposure.
Accomplishments and Alumni
George Mason University is the largest public research university in Virginia that has grown from 17 to 39,000 students since its establishment. It was the first University in the United States to offer programs in Conflict Resolution, Information Technology, Bioinformatics, and Computational Social Science. A Mason degree is recognized for its value, affordability and quality. The University was recognized by Kiplinger among the Top 100 Best Values in Public Colleges and by Forbes as #68 among the Top 100 of America's Best College Buys. In 2018, George Mason had an overall total of $149 million in research expenditures and in 2020, research projects sponsored by George Mason University surpassed $200 million. Further, two Mason Economics professors have won the Nobel Memorial Prize in Economics - James M. Buchanan in 1986 and Vernon L. Smith in 2002. Recently, another Mason Professor received the Fulbright Award to study Sustainable Tourism in South Korea. Further, George Mason is a member of the public-private partnership among 59 institutions and will lead the regional hub of the Cybersecurity Manufacturing Innovation Institute. The University has an alumni network of 2,00,00+ graduates who continue to strengthen the Mason community. Some of the notable alumni are, M. Brian Blake (Software Engineer, Computer Scientist and President of Georgia State University), Robert Bausch (American Fiction Writer), Hala Gorani (American Journalist), Zainab Salbi (Iraqi-American Activist and Writer) and more.
Student Diversity and Visiting Companies
Diversity is one of the core values at George Mason University, that enhances learning and creative thinking by promoting the study of new material and the awareness of fresh viewpoints from different cultural backgrounds. The power of many perspectives at George Mason boost the capacity to explore original ideas and solutions. Seeing issues in a new way helps students to heighten their creativity and problem-solving abilities. As such, students learn in a diverse environment transforming them into more competitive individuals in an increasingly global economy. Further, there are 500 student groups as well as 41 fraternities and sororities for the students to get involved in. Further, Career Services department of the University assists students in achieving their personal goals. The department organizes career fairs in which 500+ employers participate, assists students in finding internships or part-time job opportunities, creating and reviewing Resumes, interview preparation and personalized mentorship. Booz Allen Hamilton, Deloitte, Amazon Web Services, Capital One, Leidos, Microsoft, Accenture, CGI, EY, Peraton, Salesforce and Google are some of the top recruiters at George Mason.