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#212 Overall Influence #548 Desirability Rank

George Mason University

Public liberal arts and research university in Fairfax, Virginia
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

From Wikipedia

George Mason University is a public research university in Fairfax County, Virginia. Established in 1957 as the Northern Virginia branch of the University of Virginia, it became an independent university in 1972 and has since grown to become the largest four-year public university in the Commonwealth of Virginia. The university is named for the Founding Father George Mason, a Virginia planter and politician who authored the Virginia Declaration of Rights that later influenced the future Bill of Rights of the United States Constitution. Mason operates four campuses in Virginia , as well as a campus in South Korea.

Source: Wikipedia


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How much does it cost to attend?

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Campus Life

What's it like to attend this school?

The People

Full time on-campus stats

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The Campus

Where will you be attending?


4400 University Dr, Fairfax VA 22030-4444

On Campus Crime Rates

Property Crime

5 per 100K

Violent Crime

0 per 100K

What is George Mason University known for?

Our answer to this is to show you the disciplines in which a school's faculty and alumni have had the highest historical influence. A school may be influential in a discipline even if they do not offer degrees in that area. We've organized two lists to show where they are influential and offer corresponding degrees, and where they are influential through scholarship although they don't offer degrees in the disciplines.

Top areas of influence with degrees offered

#32 World Rank
#66 World Rank
Political Science
#124 World Rank
#192 World Rank
#163 World Rank
Computer Science
#249 World Rank
#204 World Rank
#354 World Rank
#256 World Rank
#341 World Rank
#182 World Rank
#190 World Rank
#473 World Rank
#422 World Rank
#375 World Rank
#292 World Rank
#48 World Rank
Criminal Justice
#166 World Rank
#743 World Rank
#241 World Rank
Earth Sciences
#276 World Rank
#720 World Rank
Religious Studies
#462 World Rank
#241 World Rank
Social Work

Influential People

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

Dianna Russini

American sports journalist

Denise Bode

American energy expert

Steve Ricchetti

White house Deputy Chief of Staff

Danielle Cadena Deulen

American poet, essayist, and academic

Archie Kao

Archie Kao

American actor

Wendy L. Martinez

American statistician

Tony Skinn

Tony Skinn

American basketball player

David Chandler Thomas

American economist and executive

Rhonda Vetere

Rhonda Vetere

Chris Melissinos

Chris Melissinos

American businessman

Marina Medvin

Dayton Moore

Dayton Moore

American baseball executive