Diversity

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

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4 College Sophomore

Diversity: George Mason is known to have a very diverse student community.

5 College Junior

Diversity: Mason is known for its diversity. There are huge minority groups of Middle Easterners, Koreans, and Indians.

4 College Junior

Diversity: There is definitely a lot of diversity within GMU. Probably one of the most diverse.

5 College Senior

Diversity: I would say our diversity is very relevant on campus. There are many cultures and countries represented at Mason. I have met so many different types of people.

5 College Senior

Diversity: George Mason is an extemely diverse school in ALL aspects of life and I love it.

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Rankings View more rankings . . .

  • 139th
    Most Open-Minded Schools
  • 201st
    Most Liberal Schools
  • 1196th
    Most Conservative Schools

Student Author OverviewWhat's This?

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

If prospective students are looking for a diverse campus atmosphere, Mason’s got it. There are a variety of multicultural and intercultural organizations students can get involved in, or they can opt to just attend the events put on by the organizations throughout the year, which range from the American Indian Heritage Week Pow Wow to the annual and well-attended Pride Week Drag Show.

While Mason boasts a diverse population of students—29 percent of the total student enrollment during the 2008–2009 school year was made up of minority students—many students find that people with certain ethnic backgrounds tend to stick together. On weekdays, The Johnson Center looks just like a high school cafeteria; sorority girls with sorority girls, African Americans sitting with other African Americans, Asians with other Asians, and so on. But just because students segregate themselves, doesn’t mean any groups are discriminated against or disliked on campus. All students are very accepting of other cultures and take part in events put on by the various multicultural organizations.

Facts & Statistics

African American
9%
Asian
16%
Hispanic
11%
International
3%
Native American
1%
White
49%
Unknown
8%
Historically Black College/University?
No
Tribal College?
No
Out-of-State Students
21%
Common States of Residence
  • Foreign countries
  • Maryland
  • New Jersey
  • New York
  • Pennsylvania
Student Age Breakdown
Under 18: 1%
18-19: 23%
20-21: 29%
22-24: 24%
25+: 23%
Female Faculty
40%
Male Faculty
60%
Faculty Diversity
African American: 4%
Asian American: 9%
Hispanic: 2%
International: 7%
Native American: 0%
White: 71%
Unknown: 7%
Gay Pride
In 2009, a beloved Mason drag queen, Reann Ballslee was named Homecoming Queen, a prime example of Mason's overwhelming student support of the LGBTQ community.

Each spring, Pride Alliance, an organization for LGBTQ students and allies hosts Pride Week, which culminates in the biggest event of the week, the drag show.

The annual Pride Week Drag Show is a good representation of Mason's very visible LGBTQ population, and is also one of the most well-attended events put on during the year.
Political Activity
The College Democrats and the College Republicans are both very visible on campus, hosting and attending events regularly throughout the year. Due to Mason's proximity to D.C., students have a unique opportunity to be involved in political protests and rallies right in the nation's capital, and also to serve as a Capitol Hill intern, if they are interested in the world of politics.
Economic Status
Mason's diverse population of students come from all different economic and financial backgrounds, but it's not something that defines one's status on campus. Students are required to fill out a FAFSA and might be eligible for additional aid based on the results of the FAFSA. While there are a lot of students from the rich parts of the Northern Virginia area, there are just as many students from lower-income families that attend Mason. Students' economic statuses definitely don't affect what groups students join or who they hang out with on campus.
Most Common Religions
Students of all religions are welcomed at Mason and are given an outlet to meet other students of their religion by joining an affiliated organization. In all, there are over 30 religion-affiliated organizations on campus for Muslim, Christian, Hindu, Jewish, and Sikh students.

For a full list of religious organizations at Mason, visit http://sa.gmu.edu/orgs/index.php
Minority Clubs on Campus
Over 30 international and multicultural student organizations exist on campus, and host events on campus relating to their heritage throughout the year. Theme months or weeks, like Asian Pacific Heritage Month and Black History Month are full of events hosted by different multicultural students organizations.
Did You Know?
Mason students represent all 50 states and more than 125 countries.

Student Polls

Have you changed your political affiliation since you started college?    Based on 5 responses

  • 100% No
  • 0% Yes, Democrat to Republican
  • 0% Yes, Democrat to Independent/Other Party
  • 0% Yes, Republican to Democrat
  • 0% Yes, Republican to Independent/Other Party
  • 0% Yes, Independent/Other Party to Democrat
  • 0% Yes, Independent/Other Party to Republican

How would you best describe your personal political beliefs?    Based on 138 responses

  • 8% Libertarian
  • 15% Not sure
  • 2% Very conservative
  • 12% Conservative
  • 32% Moderate
  • 25% Liberal
  • 5% Progressive/very liberal

How would you best describe the political beliefs of campus as a whole?    Based on 138 responses

  • 1% Libertarian
  • 1% Very conservative
  • 2% Conservative
  • 26% Moderate
  • 28% Not sure
  • 35% Liberal
  • 7% Progressive/very liberal

How diverse is the student body in the following areas?    Based on 141 responses

Totally homogenous
Extremely diverse
  • Economic status
  • Ethnic heritage
  • National origin (international students)
  • Political affiliation
  • Religious background
  • Sexual orientation

How diverse is your personal circle of friends in the following areas?    Based on 140 responses

Totally homogenous
Extremely diverse
  • Economic status
  • Ethnic heritage
  • National origin (international students)
  • Political affiliation
  • Religious background
  • Sexual orientation

Have you changed your political views since starting college?    Based on 5 responses

  • 20% No
  • 20% Yes, I became a lot more liberal.
  • 20% Yes, I became a little more liberal.
  • 20% Yes, I became a lot more conservative.
  • 20% Yes, I became a little more conservative.

What political party do you associate yourself with?    Based on 5 responses

  • 0% Republican
  • 40% Democratic
  • 0% Independent
  • 0% Other party not mentioned
  • 60% I don't care about politics

Have your religious views changed since you started college?    Based on 5 responses

  • 80% No, my religious views have stayed the same.
  • 0% Yes. I've become more religious, but I'm still affiliated with the same religion.
  • 0% Yes. I've become more religious and have changed my religious affiliation.
  • 20% Yes. I've become less religious, but I'm still affiliated with the same religion.
  • 0% Yes. I've become less religious and have changed my religious affiliation.

How accepted is the LGBT (lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender) community on campus?    Based on 5 responses

  • 80% Very accepted. LGBT students are treated no differently than non-LGBT students.
  • 20% Accepted. LGBT students are treated fairly, but there are still some people who aren't accepting of them.
  • 0% Somewhat accepted. LGBT students aren't necessarily out and proud on campus, for fear of intolerance.
  • 0% Not accepted. LGBT students generally stay quiet.

How important is religion in your life?    Based on 5 responses

  • 20% Very important. I regularly attend religious services and also participate in related clubs/organizations.
  • 20% Important. I regularly attend religious services.
  • 60% Somewhat important. I sometimes attend religious services.
  • 0% Not important. I don't affiliate with any religion.

How accepting is the campus community as a whole toward someone who falls into the minority (ethnic, sexual, or religious)?    Based on 139 responses

  • 2% It's hard to be a minority here.
  • 1% The campus is split on its acceptance-not all minority groups are as accepted as others.
  • 28% Most students are accepting, except for a few rare cases of intolerance.
  • 69% Very accepting.

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