Academics

Location
Fairfax, VA
Undergrads
16,265
Tuition (in-state)
$27,764 ($9,620)
Admission Difficulty
Average
More statistics . . .
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Reviews

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4 College Sophomore

Academics: The Honors program is intellectually stimulating.

3 College Sophomore

Academics: My ACCT exams were more multiple choice than application.

4 College Senior

Academics: Professors in the theater dept are working actors so students get a real world feel in their education

4 College Senior

Academics: Theater majors have a wide range of classes required for the completion of our major. It gives us a very well rounded picture of the industry as a whole.

4 College Sophomore

Academics: I cannot speak to the rigor of other majors outside of my own concentration on History. Have I heard English, Sociology, Psychology and even Law students complain about their departments? Sure. But in my experience, the History students at my school are mostly satisfied with our classes and our professors. There is an enormous amount of reading required, and the professors demand a sophisticated level of analysis, but I have found this to be enriching.

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Rankings View more rankings . . .

  • 224th
    Most Flexible Curriculums
  • 279th
    Best Course Variety
  • 356th
    Best Online Course Options
  • 492nd
    Best Technology in the Classroom
  • 527th
    Most Manageable Workloads

Student Author OverviewWhat's This?

Emily Sharrer
Hometown
Harrisonburg, Va.
Major
Communication
View all previous student authors

George Mason University is currently ranked number two on U.S. News and World Report's list of up-and-coming universities, which basically translates into we're not quite there, but almost. To be fair, the University is making a name for itself as it continues to expand its academic programs, buildings and opportunities for students. Mason has been blessed with professors who practice what they preach; many of them moonlight in the subjects that they teach or have had extensive experience in their field prior to coming to Mason to teach. A prime example of that is the Robinson Professors, a distinguished group of faculty members who have come to Mason from high positions in the professional world to become professors.

For students interested in government and international politics, Mason is the place to be. There are numerous opportunities for students to apply for internships on Capitol Hill or to get the inside scoop from professors who have worked there. Most professors are very personable and are open to talk during their office hours about any questions you might have. Once students get into their major courses, attendance is pretty much mandatory across the board, so it’s hard to skip out on classes without your grade taking the fall for it. The great part is many major-specific classes don’t exceed 40 students, so the professors get to know students' names and have more time to go over assignments with them. Most students would say that Mason isn’t that hard to get into, and the classwork isn’t overwhelming, but if students put in the time, they will learn a lot.

 

Facts & Statistics

Student-Faculty Ratio
16:1
Full-Time Instructional Faculty
1,171
Part-Time Instructional Faculty
1,079
Total FT Faculty
1,374
Faculty with Terminal Degree
90%
Average Faculty Salary
$92,523
Full-Time Retention Rate
86%
Part-Time Retention Rate
70%
Transfer-Out Rate
21%
Graduation Rate
66%
Programs/Majors Offered
132
Academic/Career Counseling?
Yes
Remedial Services?
No
Class Sizes
  • Fewer than 20 students: 29%
  • 20 to 49 students: 54%
  • 50 or more students: 17%
Instructional Programs
Occupational: No
Academic: Yes
Continuing Professional: Yes
Recreational/Avocational: No
Adult Basic Remedial: No
Secondary (High School): No
Special Credit Opportunities
Advanced Placement (AP) Credits: Yes
Dual Credit: Yes
Life Experience Credits: No
Undergraduate Schools/Divisions
  • College of Education and Human Development
  • College of Health and Human Services
  • College of Humanities and Social Sciences
  • College of Science
  • College of Visual and Performing Arts
  • Institute for Conflict Analysis & Resolution
  • School of Management
  • Volgeneau School of Information Technology and Engineering
Degrees Awarded
  • Bachelor's degree
  • Doctorate - Professional practice
  • Doctorate - Research/scholarship
  • Master's degree
  • Post-bachelor's certificate
  • Post-master's certificate
Most Popular Majors
  • Business Administration and Management: 2%
  • Curriculum and Instruction: 3%
  • Information Technology: 2%
  • Psychology: 2%
Graduation Requirements
  • Arts/fine arts
  • Computer literacy
  • English (including composition)
  • Foreign languages
  • Global understanding
  • History
  • Humanities
  • Mathematics
  • Philosophy
  • Sciences (biological or physical)
  • Social science
Special Study Options
  • Study abroad
  • Teacher certification (below the postsecondary level)
Other Academic Offerings
  • Accelerated program
  • Cooperative education program
  • Cross-registration
  • Double major
  • Dual enrollment
  • English as a Second Language (ESL)
  • Exchange student program (domestic)
  • External degree program
  • Honors program
  • Independent study
  • Internships
  • Liberal arts/career combination
  • Student-designed major
Online Courses
Distance Education at Mason is a program that allows students to take classes offered on campus, but in an online format. Currently, Mason offers 68 undergraduate courses online, 2 complete graduate programs, and 7 graduate certificates through the Distance Education program. Like in all other classes, the online professors set assignment deadlines that students work to meet independently. In most of the courses there are online discussion boards, required posts, blogs, chat rooms, and quizzes. Some of the classes require students to be online at the same time as the rest of the class for "meetings," or teleconferences, while others are a combination of online work and some actual face-to-face meetings. In the strictly online courses, students interact with the professors via e-mail.
Best Places to Study
  • 3rd floor of the Johnson Center
  • The benches
  • Fenwick Library
  • Starbucks
Tips to Succeed
  • Beware of parking! Plan ahead and allow plenty of time to find a parking spot and get to class. Also, have no shame: Be prepared to "stalk" students walking to their cars when necessary.
  • Get to know the CUE Bus routes, they are a student's main guide around the city of Fairfax.
  • Makes friends with someone with a car! While the CUE Bus or Mason's other transportation options go all around town, having a car makes grocery shopping less of a hassle.
  • Students should get to know their professors. A lot of them have full-time jobs in the subjects they teach, or have had careers in the field and are a good source when it comes to getting a foot in the door to get a job.
  • There's nothing worse than being labeled a tourist on the Metro, so new students should check out the Metro map before hopping on to avoid having to ask directions or getting lost. On the bright side, after mastering the Metro, there's nothing better than being able to give directions to the less-city-savvy visitors.
Did You Know?
  • Mason offers a total of 168 degree programs, 58 of which are undergraduate degrees, 99 are graduate degrees and 1 is a law degree.
  • The Fairfax campus is situated on 677 acres, a short walk from Historic Downtown Fairfax.
  • Mason communication professor, Joanie Bedore, was one of the highest-rated professors for 2009-2010 by students on Ratemyprofessors.com.

Student Polls

How strongly do you agree or disagree with each of the following statements?    Based on 110 responses

Strongly disagree
Strongly agree
  • The academic advisers are helpful.
  • It is easy to get the classes you want.
  • Grading is generally consistent and fair.
  • There are a variety of interesting courses to take.
  • Students are encouraged to explore a wide range of courses and topics.
  • My Gen-Ed requirements are worthwhile and meaningful.
  • The workload is easy to manage.
  • There are plenty of good online course options.
  • Teaching assistants (TAs) are used effectively.
  • The course scheduling/registration process is efficient and student-friendly.
  • Classrooms/labs are up-to-date and incorporate new technologies effectively.

How strongly do you agree or disagree with each of the following statements regarding the professors at this school?    Based on 108 responses

Strongly disagree
Strongly agree
  • Professors are approachable and helpful when needed
  • Professors are engaging and easy to understand.
  • Professors are experts in their field.
  • Professors are passionate about the topics they teach.
  • Professors care about their students' success.
  • Professors put a lot of effort into teaching their classes.
  • Professors use teaching assistants (TAs) effectively.

Who are the most notable alumni from this school?    Based on 11 responses

  • 62% Ken Cuccinelli
  • 38% Ricky Wilson

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