George Mason University

2014 Quick Stats
4400 University Drive

Fairfax, VA 22030

Phone: (703) 993-1000
2013-2014 Tuition
male /
Jan. 15
application deadline

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U.S. News Rankings

Ranking score and category
U.S. News rank Category Name
#141 Overall Score: 40 out of 100. National Universities

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George Mason University is a public institution that was founded in 1972. It has a total undergraduate enrollment of 20,653, its setting is suburban, and the campus size is 817 acres. It utilizes a semester-based academic calendar. George Mason University's ranking in the 2014 edition of Best Colleges is National Universities, 141. Its in-state tuition and fees are $9,908 (2013-14); out-of-state tuition and fees are $28,592 (2013-14).

As a distributed university, George Mason University has several suburban campus locations, each not far from Washington, D.C. Freshmen are not required to live on campus, though traditional coed residence halls and suites are available at the school’s Fairfax, Virginia, campus for those who choose to live in university housing.

Despite a sizable commuter population, the school offers a Weekends at Mason program and events for students who don't travel home after the school week is over. There are more than 30 fraternities and sororities, and about 200 clubs and organizations. The school's Patriots sports teams are members of the NCAA Division I Atlantic 10 Conference, and the George Mason basketball team is particularly competitive. The university also has a number of graduate schools and programs, including the well-regarded George Mason School of Law.

School mission and unique qualities (as provided by the school):

George Mason University is much more than a traditional, four-year university for students 18-22 years-old. In fact, since its founding in 1972, George Mason has pioneered a new model for the modern public American university, addressing many of the challenges facing higher education today. At Mason, students come first. Mason's top priority is to provide students with transformational learning experiences that help them grow as individuals, scholars, and professionals. Mason at its core is innovative, diverse, entrepreneurial, and accessible. Mason is committed to being a university for the world, a place where we work across cultures, bringing new perspectives and solutions to the world's most pressing problems and preparing our students to navigate in the world. Mason is innovative: we question current thinking and try new ideas. We honor time-tested academic principles while striving to create new forms of education that serve our students better and new paths of research that can uncover solutions to the world's greatest challenges. Mason professors conduct groundbreaking research in areas such as cancer, climate change, international policy and politics, national and international security, the biosciences, and computer game design. Our professors are well-known leaders in their fields who routinely welcome undergraduates to actively participate in their research. Mason is diverse: we bring together a multitude of people and ideas in everything that we do. Our culture of inclusion, our multidisciplinary approach, and our global perspective make us more effective educators and scholars. Mason has programs in more than 30 countries, with reciprocal relationships with universities in Russia, Korea, China, and Germany. Mason's undergraduates come from all 50 states and 125 countries. Mason is entrepreneurial: we put ideas into action. We educate students to create as well as carry out jobs; become agents of positive change; and add value through government or business, for profit or nonprofit organizations, academia or the arts. We pursue discoveries that can make a difference in the world, and help our community thrive socially, economically, and culturally. And Mason is accessible: we are an open and welcoming community that partners with public and private organizations in our region and around the world. Mason students have opportunities to advance their careers both inside and outside the classroom, including internships at nationally and internationally recognized companies and organizations ranging from National Geographic to the White House. Work and internship opportunities run the gamut: foreign embassies, wildlife preserves, network news programs, global IT organizations. Through a first-of-its-kind partnership with the Smithsonian, Mason offers students the chance to spend a semester at one of the most advanced conservation research centers in the world, and complete a minor in applied conservation studies in just that one semester. Mason occupies a unique position in the higher education marketplace. With strong undergraduate and graduate degree programs, Mason students are routinely recognized with national and international scholarships and awards. Every day, Mason students can be found lobbying Congress on educational issues, pioneering outreach programs for disadvantaged children, or collecting oral histories in the U.S. Holocaust Memorial Museum. The prospects of internships, research, and employment here are unmatched anywhere else. Many Mason graduates continue employment at places where they interned; 70% of alumni remain in the area to take advantage of the outstanding job market. A George Mason University education is an excellent investment: students who earn a bachelor's degree receive the highest starting salary of all public schools in Virginia. In addition, Mason students earn the highest median annual wages of all Virginia four-year degree institutions.

General Information

School type public, coed college
Year founded 1972
Religious affiliation N/A
Academic calendar semester
Setting suburban
2012 Endowment $51,846,324


When applying to George Mason University, it's important to note the application deadline is January 15, and the early action deadline is November 9. Scores for either the ACT or SAT test are due January 15. The application fee at George Mason University is $100. It is selective, with an acceptance rate of 65.8 percent and an early acceptance rate of 69.5 percent.

For more information about the tests, essays, interviews, and admissions process, visit the Applying to College knowledge center.

Selectivity selective
Fall 2012 acceptance rate 65.8%
Application deadline January 15
SAT/ACT scores must be received by January 15

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Academic Life

The student-faculty ratio at George Mason University is 16:1, and the school has 31.5 percent of its classes with fewer than 20 students. The most popular majors at George Mason University include: Psychology, General; Accounting; Biology/Biological Sciences, General; Information Technology; and Speech Communication and Rhetoric. The average freshman retention rate, an indicator of student satisfaction, is 86 percent.

Class sizes
Class sizes
Student-faculty ratio 16:1
4-year graduation rate 42%
Five most popular majors for 2012 graduates
Psychology, General 7%
Accounting 6%
Biology/Biological Sciences, General 6%
Information Technology 6%
Speech Communication and Rhetoric 6%

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Student Life

George Mason University has a total undergraduate enrollment of 20,653, with a gender distribution of 48.4 percent male students and 51.6 percent female students. At this school, 28 percent of the students live in college-owned, -operated, or -affiliated housing and 72 percent of students live off campus. George Mason University is part of the NCAA I athletic conference.

Total enrollment 32,961
Student gender distribution
Student gender distribution
Undergraduate men who are members of a fraternity
Undergraduate men who are members of a fraternity
Undergraduate women who are members of a sorority
Undergraduate women who are members of a sorority
Collegiate athletic association NCAA I

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Campus Info & Services

George Mason University offers a number of student services including nonremedial tutoring, women's center, placement service, day care, health service, and health insurance. George Mason University also offers campus safety and security services like 24-hour foot and vehicle patrols, late night transport/escort service, 24-hour emergency telephones, lighted pathways/sidewalks, student patrols, and controlled dormitory access (key, security card, etc). Of the students at George Mason University, 58 percent have cars on campus. Alcohol is permitted for students of legal age at George Mason University.

Students who have cars on campus 58%
Health insurance offered Yes

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Paying for School

At George Mason University, 52 percent of full-time undergraduates receive some kind of need-based financial aid and the average need-based scholarship or grant award is $6,093.

Paying for college doesn't have to be difficult or devastating. Go to the Paying for College knowledge center to get advice on raising cash and reducing costs.

In-state tuition and fees $9,908 (2013-14)
Out-of-state tuition and fees $28,592 (2013-14)
Room and board $9,580 (2013-14)
Financial aid statistics
Financial aid statistics

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* Overview details based on 2012 data

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