George Mason University

#277 / #95
Global Influence / U.S. Influence
Most Desirable School
Public liberal arts and research university in Fairfax, Virginia

George Mason University Featured Rankings

About George Mason University

By James Barham, PhD

George Mason University (GMU) was founded in 1949 as the Northern Virginia University Center of the University of Virginia. The school was originally located in Arlington, Virginia, a suburban town just across the Potomac River from Washington, DC.

In 1956, the Northern Virginia University Center was upgraded to University College of the University of Virginia; at the same time, the school moved to the nearby town of Bailey’s Crossroads. In 1959, University College changed its name to George Mason College of the University of Virginia.

George Mason (1725–1792) was a Virginia delegate to the US Constitutional Convention in 1787. He was one of only three delegates who refused to sign the Constitution in its original version, without the Bill of Rights. As one of the authors of the “Fairfax Resolves” of 1774 and the “Virginia Declaration of Rights” of 1776, which formed the basis for the first ten amendments that were added to the Constitution in 1789, Mason is sometimes referred to as the “father of the Bill of Rights.”

In 1964, George Mason College moved again, to its present location in Fairfax, Virginia—the birthplace of George Mason—and in 1977, the school severed its ties to the University of Virginia, becoming fully autonomous under the name of George Mason University.

Today, GMU comprises 11 colleges, schools, and institutes, including, notably, the Antonin Scalia Law School, the Jimmy and Rosalynn Carter School for Peace and Conflict Resolution, and the Krasnow Institute for Advanced Study.

Also associated with GMU is the Mercatus Center, a free market-oriented, economic-policy think tank. Overall, the student body numbers more than 38,000 individuals.

Among many distinguished GMU faculty and alumni, we may note the following:

  • Mathematician, Duminda Wijesekera
  • Computer scientists, Jonathan Katz, Kenneth A. De Jong, Robert Axtell, Qing Tian, Jana Košecká & M. Brian Blake
  • Poet, Eric Pankey
  • Novelist, Alan Cheuse
  • Children’s author, Sharon Creech
  • Documentary filmmaker, Carma Hinton
  • Actors, Rhea Seehorn, Paige Moss & Archie Kao
  • Artist, Deborah Willis
  • Astrophysicist, Arthur I. Poland
  • Physicist, Robert Ehrlich
  • Chemists, Gerald Weatherspoon & Rebecca M. Jones
  • Biochemist, Harold J. Morowitz
  • Neuroscientists, Rob Cressman & Avrama Kim Blackwell
  • Psychologists, Stephen Zaccaro, June Tangney, Lois Tetrick & Todd B. Kashdan
  • Sociologist, Joshua Greenberg
  • Anthropologists, Susan Hirsch & Mary Catherine Bateson
  • Political scientists, Jack Goldstone, Mark Rozell, Mark N. Katz & Richard E. Rubenstein
  • Criminologist, David Weisburd
  • Legal scholar, Todd Zywicki
  • Economists, James M. Buchanan (Nobel laureate), Vernon L. Smith (Nobel laureate), Gordon Tullock, Walter E. Williams, Lawrence H. White, Peter Boettke, Steven Horwitz, Bryan Caplan, Tyler Cowan, Christopher Coyne & Donald J. Boudreaux
  • Historians Martin Sherwin, Richard Norton Smith, Rex A. Wade & Roy Rosenzweig
  • Civil rights activist and African-American studies scholar, Roger Wilkins
  • Investigative journalist, Brian Krebs
  • TV journalists, Angie Goff & Hala Gorani
  • Economics journalists, Stephen Moore & Jeffrey Tucker
  • Business journalist and columnist, Steven Pearlstein
  • US Republican Party political consultant and presidential policy advisor, Karl Rove
  • Current Supreme Court Justice, Brett Kavanaugh

According to Wikipedia, George Mason University is a public research university in Fairfax County, Virginia. The university was originally founded in 1949 as a northern branch of the University of Virginia. Named after Founding Father of the United States George Mason in 1959, it became an independent university in 1972. The school has since grown into the largest public university in the Commonwealth of Virginia. Mason operates four campuses in Virginia , as well as a campus in Incheon, South Korea. The flagship campus is in Fairfax.

George Mason University's Online Degrees

George Mason University Admissions, Retention, and Graduation Information

Annual ApplicationsAcceptanceGraduation RateMedian SAT ScoreMedian ACT Score

How Much Does George Mason University Cost To Attend?

Tuition (in-state)Fees (in-state)

How Much Do George Mason University Graduates Make?

If you graduate from George Mason University, then you can expect to earn an average of $63,900 per year. You also have a 89% chance of being employed after 10 years.

George Mason University's Demographics

Demographic data is for full-time, on-campus students.

Student BodyUnder-GradsGraduates

Where is George Mason University?

George Mason University is located at 4400 University Dr, Fairfax VA 22030-4444

How Safe is George Mason University?

George Mason University has a violent crime rate of less than .01% and a property crime rate of less than .01%.

What Is George Mason University Known For?

George Mason University is known for it's academic work in the following disciplines:

George Mason University's Top Areas of Influence With Degrees Offered

Who Are George Mason University's Most Influential Alumni?

George Mason University's most influential alumni faculty include professors and professionals in the fields of Economics, Criminal Justice, and Political Science. Here are some of George Mason University's most famous alumni:

Karl Rove
Karl Rove
An American political consultant and policy advisor.
Tyler Cowen
Tyler Cowen
An Economist.
Peter Boettke
An American economist.
Brian Krebs
An American journalist specializing in cybersecurity.
Anousheh Ansari
Anousheh Ansari
An Iranian-American engineer and entrepreneur.
Alex Tabarrok
Alex Tabarrok
A Canadian economist.
Steven Horwitz
Steven Horwitz
An American economist.
Peter Leeson
Peter Leeson
An American economist.
Sibel Edmonds
Sibel Edmonds
An American whistleblower.
Fred Foldvary
An American economist.
Stephen Moore
Stephen Moore
An American economic analyst and Wall Street Journal editor.
Zainab Salbi
Zainab Salbi
An Iraqi American author, women's rights activist.

Image Attributions