George Mason University is a public university located in Fairfax, VA, in the greater Washington, D.C. area. GMU was established in 1956 by the University of Virginia system. The school later broke from the UVA system in and became its own entity. Today, George Mason boasts over 37,000 students and is the largest public university in the Commonwealth of Virginia.
Overview of George Mason University
Undergraduate students will find a full roster of departments and majors that include areas such as business, healthcare administration, and criminal justice. GMU also supports students in nearly any STEM subject, the arts, primary and secondary education, and social sciences, too.
GMU also provides top programs for graduate students that span the full spectrum of academic and professional interests, including creative writing, STEM, economics, business, healthcare, and more. In fact, GMU's political science program is geographically positioned to allow graduates entry to top positions in federal government, including the upper reaches of the State Department.
When George Mason University students have down time, the campus provides many fun, healthy ways to blow off steam. Students participate in club sports, intramural leagues, and outdoor adventures such as camping or rock climbing. Club sports include lacrosse, rugby, fencing, and tons more. The intramural leagues include a full raft of traditional sports but also e-sports, for those who prefer a controller to sweat socks.
|Campus Setting||Suburb: Large|
|Student Faculty Ratio||17:1|
Top Rankings For George Mason University
#51 in ROI Colleges
#47 in Business Colleges
#43 in Business Administration
#31 in Computer Science
#88 in Most Affordable Software Engineering
#90 in Most Affordable Public Administration
#40 in Most Affordable Forensic Science
#4 in Virginia MBA Colleges
#46 in Most Affordable Operations Management
#9 in MBA Executive Colleges
George Mason University Reviews
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|High School GPA||Required|
|High School Rank||Considered But Not Required|
|High School Transcripts||Required|
|College Prep Courses||Required|
|Recommendations||Considered But Not Required|
|TOEFL (Test of English as a Foreign Language)||Required|
|Application Deadline||July 15|
|Common Application Accepted||Yes|
Tuition Cost & Financial Aid
A George Mason education is a terrific value, but the upfront cost is not cheap. In-state students who live on campus are projected to pay $29,166 for all of their expenses, including room and board. Students who opt for off-campus living pay a bit more at $32,000. Meanwhile, out-of-state students pay over $55,000 for all costs, including off-campus housing.
To offset these costs, student receive an average of $5,000 in general federal grants and more than $4,500 in Pell grants. Scholarships and student loans also help offset the cost of the education. The average institutional grant or scholarship is over $8,500 and the average amount in student loan aid is just north of $8,000.
Thus, while a George Mason degree is not necessarily cheap for even in-state students, there are ample resources available that allow students access to the tremendous resources available on that campus.
|Average net price||2017-2018|
|Average Total Aid||$9,304|
|Students Receiving Financial Aid||76%|
|Room & Board||$11,946|
- Tuition In-State - $12,564
- Tuition Out-of-State - $36,024
- Books and Supplies - $1,278
- Room & Board - $11,946
- Other - $3,378
It's difficult to measure a school's academic merits. However, when we examine the relevant statistics such as the retention and graduation rates in addition to the student/faculty ratio, a picture comes into view. The retention rate shows how many incoming first-year students return for a second year. In the case of George Mason University, the retention rate is a solid 87%. That indicates that not only do incoming students find great value at GMU, but that each student will have continuity in their peer group.
The graduation rate demonstrates that students are completing their degrees as well as cohesion in the student body. Since George Mason University graduates 71% of its students, there's a great chance that the friends one makes in the freshman dorms will be there in a cap and gown to receive an esteemed GMU sheepskin right next to you.
Given that George Mason is the largest public university in Virginia, boasting over 26,000 undergraduate students, their favorable student-to-faculty ratio is rather surprising. At GMU, there are an average of 17 students to each faculty member. Thus, each student has the opportunity to engage with the top minds in their field and find enrichment in even the most dense material.
Student Population Total
Most Popular Programs & Majors
(# of Diplomas Awarded by Subject)
|All Business Majors||1,054 Total Graduates / 18%|
|Management Sciences and Quantitative Methods, Other||256 Graduates|
|Business Administration and Management, General||217 Graduates|
|Finance, General||178 Graduates|
|Marketing/Marketing Management, General||112 Graduates|
|All Computer Information Science Majors||585 Total Graduates / 10%|
|Information Technology||335 Graduates|
|Computer and Information Sciences, General||237 Graduates|
|Computer Science||13 Graduates|
|All Social Science Majors||545 Total Graduates / 10%|
|International Relations and Affairs||184 Graduates|
|Political Science and Government, Other||15 Graduates|
|Economics, General||132 Graduates|
|Health Professions and Related Programs||545 Total Graduates / 10%|
|Community Health and Preventive Medicine||196 Graduates|
|Registered Nursing/Registered Nurse||181 Graduates|
|Health Professions and Related Clinical Sciences, Other||128 Graduates|
|Athletic Training/Trainer||20 Graduates|
|Rehabilitation Science||11 Graduates|
|Homeland Security, Law Enforcement, Firefighting and Related Protective Services||427 Total Graduates / 7%|
|Criminal Justice/Police Science||352 Graduates|
|Critical Infrastructure Protection||41 Graduates|
|Forensic Science and Technology||34 Graduates|
|All Other Diplomas||45%|
Outcome & Salary
George Mason graduates often start out their careers doing quite well. The ten highest earning degrees are in STEM, business, and healthcare fields. These degrees start students off earning somewhere between $49,000 and $69,000 each year. The top earners are typically from the Computer Science Department, which also happens to be one of the most popular bachelor's degrees.
Given the high quality of academic work at George Mason, many students are able to continue their studies in top graduate programs. However, many decide to easily start careers in the DC area, which not only offers great opportunities in federal government, but elsewhere in the booming tech sector, among many others in the region.
|College Grads Early Career Salary||$59,200|
|College Grads Average Salary||$72,000|
|College Grads Mid Career Salary||$112,900|
|Return on Investment (ROI)|
|10 Year Salary Earnings Potential||$720,000|
|20 Year Salary Earnings Potential||$1,849,000|
|Cost of Education (Net Price) 4 Year||$76,256|
|10 Year Projected ROI||$643,744|
|20 Year Projected ROI||$1,772,744|
|No College Education Salary Comparison|
|National Average Salary||$38,792|
|10 Year Projected Income||$387,920|
|20 Year Projected Income||$775,840|
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