The groundwork for George Mason University began in 1947 as the brainchild of Colgate W. Darden, Jr., former Governor of Virginia and the president of the University of Virginia who saw a need for an institute of higher learning in Northern Virginia. He saw that post-war Washington, DC was expanding into Northern Virginia and the area had the highest number of college-bound students in the state. Incomes in the area were fairly high and soldiers taking advantage of the GI Bill were expanding college enrollments across the country. Darden felt that if the citizens of the area pushed for a university, it would be better accepted than if the government just placed one there. In an effort to determine how successful a university would be, a committee put together by Darden and C. Harrison Mann, Jr., decided to establish an extension center of the University of Virginia.
Washington & Lee High School offered to provide classroom space at night as well as a house on the campus owned by the school for the extension center to use as administrative offices and daytime classrooms. The college opened its doors as the UVA Northern Virginia University Center in 1949 with classes beginning in 1950. The first semester saw 478 students enrolled and by the next year enrollment grew to 665 students. By the end of 1952, 1,192 students were enrolled, a growth of 79 percent. This illustrated the need to expand the university to include more students who sought higher education.
The college was named for George Mason, the author of the Virginia Bill of Rights, much of which was used to create the United States Bill of Rights. Mason, a founding father, was also an early supporter of the abolition of slavery. Initially, the school was known as the George Mason College of the University of Virginia. The school separated from the University of Virginia in 1972, becoming George Mason University. George Mason University was the first university to offer doctoral programs in conflict resolution, information technology, bioinformatics and computational social science.
George Mason University Accreditation Details
George Mason University is accredited by the Commission on Colleges of the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools. Every ten years, the university undergoes reaffirmation of accreditation, a process that takes three years. The accrediting agency confirms that George Mason University offers programs that meet or exceed their criteria and are open to improving any areas identified by the agency. In addition, the following agencies or organizations accredit specific programs at George Mason University:
- American Bar Association
- American Chemical Society
- American Psychological Association
- Association of University Programs in Health Education
- Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business
- Commission of Healthcare Management Education
- Commission on Accreditation of Athletic Training Education
- Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education
- Computing Accreditation Commission of ABET
- Council on Accreditation of Parks, Recreation, Tourism and Related Professions
- Council on Education for Public Health
- Council on Social Work Education
- Engineering Accreditation Commission of ABET
- National Association of School Psychologists
- National Association of Schools of Art and Design
- National Association of Schools of Music
- National Association of Schools of Public Affairs and Administration
- National Council for Accreditation of Teacher Education
- US Geospatial Intelligence Foundation
George Mason University Application Requirements
Students who have not earned college credits after high school graduation are considered incoming freshmen. Students must provide official high school transcripts as well as official SAT or ACT scores. Students must provide a secondary school report with a counselor recommendation and a personal statement, which is optional but strongly encouraged.
Students with 30 or more transferable semester credits are considered transfer students. Students must provide official transcripts from all colleges or universities attended. They must have completed Freshman English Composition and a Mason Core equivalent math. Students must have a GPA of 2.85 or higher. An essay is optional but highly encouraged. Students with gaps in enrollment other than a summer term must provide a resume.
In order to apply for graduate schools, students must have a bachelor’s degree or higher from an accredited college or university. Students must have a 3.0 cumulative GPA. Each graduate program has different requirements for admittance so students are encouraged to contact an admissions counselor before applying.
Tuition and Fees
Undergraduate tuition at George Mason University is $448 per credit hour for in-state students and $1,308.25 for out-of-state students. Graduate tuition is as follows:
- College of Humanities & Social Sciences – $546 per credit hour in-state; $1,301 per credit hour out-of-state. Decorative Arts Masters is $1,300 per credit hour both in- and out-of-state.
- College of Education and Human Development – $546 per credit hour in-state; $1,301 per credit hour out-of-state
- College of Health and Human Services – $621 per credit hour in-state; $1,376 per credit hour out-of-state
- College of Visual and Performing Arts – $546 per credit hour in-state; $1,301 per credit hour out-of-state
- School for Conflict Analysis & Resolution – $546 per credit hour in-state; $1,301 per credit hour out-of-state
- Krasnow Institute for Advanced Study – $546 per credit hour in-state; $1,301 per credit hour out-of-state
- New Century College – $546 per credit hour in-state; $1,301 per credit hour out-of-state
Financial aid is available in the form of scholarships, grants, loans and work-study programs. Students must complete the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) in order to qualify for any assistance.
Online Degrees Available
Bachelor of Applied Science Cybersecurity Concentration
The Bachelor of Applied Science with a Cybersecurity Concentration is designed for adult learners who want to develop the skills necessary to succeed in the cybersecurity field. The program is offered completely online. The program is designed to meet the growing need for qualified cybersecurity experts around the world. Courses required include:
- Computer Crime, Forensics and Auditing
- Information Defense Technologies
- Information Security Fundamentals
- Information Security Principals
- Introduction to Computing
- IT Architecture Fundamentals
- IT in the Global Economy
- Network Security
Students must also take 15 credits in electives. The program is 120 credit hours that include 40 general education credits and at least 45 upper-level courses.
Master of Science Applied Information Technology, Cybersecurity Concentration
The Master of Science in Applied Information Technology, Cybersecurity Concentration is designed to prepare leaders in the cybersecurity industry. Students develop the skills and knowledge to design, justify, develop, manage and sustain systems that range from data to decision. The program is especially designed for those seeking mid-level careers in governmental agencies. The program prepares graduates for project development, network operations and quality control roles with a focus on the federal sector. The program is 30 credits that include nine core courses, 18 concentration courses and a three-credit capstone course. Courses required include:
- Analysis of Financial Decisions
- Best Practices Managing Security and Privacy for Cloud Computing
- Complex Systems Engineering Management
- Cyber Security: Emerging Threats and Countermeasures
- Cyber Incident Handling and Response
- Determining Needs for Complex Big Data Systems
- Identity Management for Federal IT
- Information System Infrastructure Lifecycle Management
- Leading Organizations Through Change Credits
- Managing IT Programs in the Federal Sector
George Mason University understands the needs of adult learners and those with social, work or family obligations that may prevent them from attending traditional classrooms. For this reason, George Mason University offers flexible schedules that allow students to achieve their higher education goals so that they may move into a new career or advance in a current career.