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College Visit: George Mason University

George Mason University is a public university located in Fairfax, Virginia, 20 miles outside Washington DC.

Named for founding father George Mason, author of the Virginia Declaration of Rights, George Mason University began in 1957 as a branch campus of the University of Virginia. It became an independent university in 1972.

George Mason statue at George Mason University

George Mason University is an R1 research university. It's the largest research university in Virginia, offering undergraduate research opportunities across all disciplines from public health to engineering to the humanities.

Housed in Horizon Hall, the Mason Innovation Exchange (known as the MIX) is open to all students. Mason students can create and collaborate using 3D printers, sewing machines and textiles, metal and woodworking tools, a business incubator, and a media lab with television and recording studios. 

Because of George Mason University's short history, campus buildings are all relatively modern. Even the original four buildings that comprised the Fairfax campus -- North, South, East, and West -- hail from 1964. Mason is ideal for students who prefer sleek new construction over ivy-covered walls.

Academically, George Mason University is a good fit for students who are interested in pursuing degrees in public health and physical sciences, including a direct admission nursing program. Mason is also a good fit for students who are interested in information science, political science, and forensic/criminal science. Proximity to Washington DC and relationships with federal government agencies and contractors make George Mason University an ideal choice for students seeking careers in public service.

Culturally, George Mason University has a population of over 26,000 racially and ethnically diverse undergraduate students. More than 75% of students are from Virginia. Mason offers Division I athletics, including basketball, soccer, and track and field. On Mason360, choose from hundreds of student organizations, including club and intramural sports, Greek life, academic and special interest clubs.

Financially, George Mason University is an affordable option for Virginia residents. The Cost of Attendance (COA) published on the college website includes tuition, room and board, and estimated expenses including transportation, books, fees, and personal expenses. Mason does not publish a merit scholarship chart. However, Mason does offer a variety of merit scholarships and need-based scholarships; more scholarship information is available on their website.

For more information on George Mason University, explore their website and take a virtual tour.