About George Mason
George Mason University is a distributed university with three campuses, each with a distinctive academic focus that plays a critical role in the economy of its region. At each campus, students and faculty have full access to all the university's resources, while duplication of programs and support services is minimized through the use of technology. In addition to the campus in Fairfax, the university has campuses in Arlington and Prince William Counties.
The Fairfax Campus, situated on 677 acres of wooded land, offers a wealth of opportunities beyond the numerous academic programs. The George W. Johnson Center, the first building of its kind in the country, fosters university-wide learning by integrating students' curricular and extracurricular activities and by strengthening relationships between the university's communities. The Center for the Arts and the Patriot Center offer the George Mason and Northern Virginia communities numerous opportunities to experience the arts as well as sports and other entertainment. Professional artistic events presented on campus include music and dance from around the world; Theater of the First Amendment; and regional, national, and international visual art exhibitions. A designated number of free tickets is available to these events for full-time George Mason University students. The Aquatics and Fitness Center provides state-of-the-art exercise equipment, and competitive and recreational swimming to the university community and outside teams.
The Arlington Campus course offerings focus on law, economics, public policy and public administration. The following graduate programs are based at the Arlington Campus: J.D. in Law; J.M. in Law; M.A. in New Professional Studies: Teaching; M.A. in International Commerce and Policy; M.S. in Transportation Policy, Operations and Logistics; M.P.A. (public administration, nonprofit management, and public policy concentrations); Fast Track M.B.A.; M.S. in Mathematics (actuarial mathematics); M.S. in Health Systems Management; and the FAST TRAIN program (a teacher licensure program for those who want to teach abroad).
The original building has been recently renovated to add new classrooms and university services. The School of Public Policy is also expanding its offerings to add masters, doctoral and affiliated research programs to the campus.
In 1996, ground was broken for construction of the first new building for the Arlington Campus. Completed in early 1999, the 132,000-square-foot building is the first one in a three-phase plan to develop the 5.2-acre site. The School of Law is housed on the first three floors and part of the fourth floor of the new building. The Mercatus Center, the James M. Buchanan Center for Political Economy, and the Institute for Humane Studies, an independent entity affiliated with the university, occupy the fourth floor. All these groups work together on projects of mutual interest.
Arlington County recently approved a $5 million bond referendum to assist the University with the development of the second new building. Also, the University Foundation is working with the county in developing a commercial and parking structure next door to the campus on Washington Boulevard.
The campus houses the Professional Center that works with the community on providing a venue for special events. The School of Information, Technology and Engineering offers special certification courses in information technology through its Train to Technology program. The general phone number for the campus is (703) 993-8999.
The Prince William Campus is an integral part of George Mason's distributed University. The 124-acre campus, located at Innovation @ Prince William (near the intersection of I-66 and the new Route 234 Bypass), serves all of Northern Virginia and provides convenient access to the university for citizens of Prince William, Fauquier, and western Fairfax County; the cities of Manassas and Manassas Park; and adjoining areas to the west and south.
From the start, the campus has encouraged mutually beneficial relationships with the private sector. One example is the unique partnership between the School of Computational Sciences and the American Type Culture Collection, the world's foremost archive of living cultures, which share facilities along with ongoing research and workshop collaboration.
The primary focus of the campus is high-tech/bio-tech and emphasizes bioinformatics, biotechnology, forensic biosciences educational and research programs in addition to computer and information technology. Prince William Campus M.S. and Ph.D. bio-tech programs are based within the School of Computational Sciences (SCS), which was created from a merger of the Institute for Biosciences, Bioinformatics, and Biotechnology (IB3) and the Institute for Computational Sciences and Informatics.
In addition, the campus offers creative programs of instruction, research, and public/private partnerships in a new higher education service district in the Prince William County area. These programs include the site-based M.A. in New Professional Studies Teaching; M.A.I.S. with a concentration in Recreation Resources Management; graduate courses in National Forest Lands Management and Natural Resource Recreation Management through the Distance Learning program; B.S. in Administration of Justice; undergraduate programs in Health, Fitness, and Recreation Resources; graduate programs in Exercise, Fitness and Health Promotion; Train to Technology Program (specializing in software and internet technologies); and nontraditional programs through Continuing and Professional Education in Geographic Information Systems and Facility Management. Other programs are under development through the School of Information Technology and Engineering, Graduate School of Education, School of Management, College of Arts and Sciences, and College of Nursing and Health Science.
The new 300-plus seat, state-of-the-art Verizon Auditorium and the 110,000 square foot Freedom Aquatic and Fitness Center are now available to serve both university and community needs. The Freedom Center provides state-of-the-art exercise equipment, a full gymnasium, recreational and instructional swimming in the 50-meter competition pool, as well as the human performance laboratory, academic classrooms and other meeting space. The campus currently includes three buildings one academic, one research and academic, and the Freedom Center. Plans for a third academic building are currently underway.
The Innovative University for the Information Society
George Mason will be the university needed by a region and world driven by new social, economic, and technological realities. We are in the right place: The nation's capital region is the epicenter of the world's political web, its information and communications network, and its new economy.
We are ready: In an age that demands originality and imagination, George Mason is the region's most innovative university. George Mason will
by Alan G. Merten
When George Mason of Gunston Hall wrote the Virginia Declaration of Rights in 1776, he gave America the noble concept that the rights of the individual must be protected against the power of government. By placing in Virginia's first constitution a list of rights that could never be taken away from citizens, Mason sought to ensure a society in which government could not become all-powerful.
As a result of his influence, the first 10 amendments, which we know as the Bill of Rights, were added to the U.S. Constitution. The universal significance of this action made the American Revolution much more than a war for independence from Great Britain; it enshrined in our most important public document the principle that a government must always respect the rights of the people.
Mason, himself a slave owner, did not recognize that those rights extended to slaves. Nevertheless, his words were later used to demonstrate that slavery could not exist in a country that proclaimed its belief in human rights. In the United States we have not always adhered to Mason's great ideas, but they remain the measure of the best in our national life.
George Mason University's growing reputation as an innovative educational leader is rooted in Virginia's strong educational tradition. By emphasizing the needs of its region, high technology, public policy, and the fine and performing arts, George Mason has created a curriculum and mission to meet the needs of Northern Virginia's extraordinary cosmopolitan constituency.
The university began as the Northern Virginia branch of the University of Virginia in 1957, offering courses in engineering and the liberal arts. Called University College, it opened in a renovated elementary school in Bailey's Crossroads with an enrollment of 17 students.
Eager to support the fledgling institution, the Town (now City) of Fairfax purchased 150 acres in 1958 and donated it to the University of Virginia for a permanent branch campus. The following year, the University of Virginia Board of Visitors selected the name George Mason College. Construction of the campus's first four buildings was completed in 1964. In September of that year, 356 students began their studies in the new classrooms.
In March 1966, the General Assembly authorized the expansion of George Mason College into a four-year, degree-granting institution and gave it the long-range mandate to expand into a major regional university. The first senior class received degrees in June 1968. Graduate programs began in September 1970, with the first master's degrees conferred in June 1971. The George Mason College Board of Control, supported by citizens of Alexandria, Falls Church, and Arlington and Fairfax counties, acquired an additional 442 acres. By the end of 1970, the college's Fairfax Campus reached 571 acres; it is now 677 acres.
In 1972, the Board of Visitors of the University of Virginia recommended that the college separate from its parent institution. On April 7, the governor signed the General Assembly legislation that established George Mason University as an independent member of the commonwealth's system of colleges and universities.
Since 1972, the university's development has been marked by rapid growth and innovative planning. In 29 years, enrollment has risen from 4,166 to more than 23,000 students in 2000. In 1979, George Mason was given the authority to grant doctoral degrees and began offering programs at this level. In the same year, the university acquired what became George Mason University School of Law located at the Arlington Campus.
In 1984, the first Robinson Professors, a group of outstanding scholars committed to undergraduate teaching and interdisciplinary scholarship, joined the faculty as the result of a generous bequest from Clarence J. Robinson.
Drawing prominent scholars from all fields, George Mason's outstanding faculty also includes Pulitzer Prize winners, IEEE Centennial Medalists, and recipients of numerous Fulbright, National Science Foundation, and National Endowment of the Arts grants and awards, among others. Endowed chairs have also brought many artists and scholars to campus.
In 1985, George Mason, in partnership with area businesses, developed an engineering program geared toward the emerging information technology field and started the School of Information Technology and Engineering (IT&E). Through IT&E, George Mason was the first in the country to offer a doctoral degree in information technology.
The establishment of the Institute of the Arts in 1990 solidified the university's commitment to make the arts a pervasive part of students' lives. The Center for the Arts and the arts complex, which includes art galleries, studio and rehearsal space, and performing venues such as Harris Theater and TheaterSpace, are all components of the institute.
George Mason has expanded its presence to serve the entire Northern Virginia region by employing the revolutionary concept of the "distributed university." Designed to help George Mason serve the needs of its region, the distributed university consists of one university at multiple locations, with each location based on a programmatic theme that reflects the needs of the community. The Prince William Campus was established in partnership with state and county governments and the private sector. A partnership with American Type Culture Collection, the world's foremost archive of living cultures, has led to academic programs focusing on the biosciences and will make Prince William County a center for biotechnology. Construction of the first three buildings has been completed. The university is also expanding its presence in Arlington. Construction has been completed on a new building, and plans are to increase programming at Arlington with additional course offerings and degree programs.
The innovative George W. Johnson Center was dedicated on April 12, 1996. By combining student life resources with educational support facilities such as an interactive library, George Mason has created the learning workspace of the future. Educational administrators from around the world have toured the center.
George Mason University has achieved national distinction in many areas. Its reputation continues to grow as the university provides an educational, cultural, and economic resource for the people of Northern Virginia, the Commonwealth of Virginia, and the nation.
The mission statement of the Board of Visitors reads as follows:
George Mason University will be an institution of international academic reputation providing superior education enabling students to develop critical, analytical, and imaginative thinking and to make well-founded ethical decisions. It will respond to the call for interdisciplinary research and teaching not simply by adding programs but by rethinking the traditional structure of the academy.
The university will prepare students to address the complex issues facing them in society and to discover meaning in their own lives. It will encourage diversity in its student body and will meet the needs of students by providing them with undergraduate, graduate, and professional courses of study that are interdisciplinary and innovative. The university will energetically seek ways to interact with and serve the needs of the student body.
The university will nurture and support a faculty that is diverse, innovative, and excellent in teaching, active in pure and applied research, and responsive to the needs of students and the community. The faculty will embody the university's interactive approach to change both in the academy and in the world.
The university will be a resource of the Commonwealth of Virginia serving private and public sectors and will be an intellectual and cultural nexus between Northern Virginia, the nation, and the world.
Adopted January 1991
Membership as of July 2000
Edwin Meese III, Rector, B.A., Yale University; J.D., University of California, Berkeley; McLean, Va.
W. Scott McGeary, Vice Rector, B.A., George Washington University; J.D., George Mason University; Arlington, Va.
Horace Cooper, Secretary, B.A., University of Texas; J.D., George Mason University; Mason Neck, Va.
Mel Chaskin, B.S., New York University; Clifton, Va.
Sidney O. Dewberry, B.S., George Washington University; Arlington, Va.
Edwin J. Feulner, Jr., B.S., Regis University; M.B.A., The Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania; Ph.D., University of Edinburgh; Alexandria, Va.
Richard H. Fink, B.A., Rutgers University; M.A., University of California at Los Angeles; Ph.D., New York University; Centreville, Va.
Dorothy S. Gray, B.A., Marymount College; M.A., Saint Louis University; McLean, Va.
Daniel Harvey (student alternate), B.A., University of Notre Dame; student in School of Law, George Mason University; Alexandria, Va.
James Hazel, B.A., Harvard University; J.D., George Mason University; Oakton, Va.
John F. Herrity, B.A., LL.B., LL.M., Georgetown University; Vienna, Va.
Manuel H. Johnson, B.S., Troy State University; M.S., Ph.D., Florida State University; McLean, Va.
William Kristol, A.B., Ph.D., Harvard University; McLean, Va.
Scott LaRose, B.S., Radford University; Reston, Va.
Robert W.Lauterberg, B.S., University of Florida; M.B.A., The George Washington University; Richmond, Va.
James C. Miller III, B.B.A., University of Georgia, Ph.D., University of Virginia; McLean, Va.
Leonard M. Pomata, B.S., Brooklyn Polytechnic; M.S., New York University; Great Falls, Va.
Sarah Streett (student representative), undergraduate student in government and politics; Falls Church, Va.
The university's more than 900 full-time instructional and research faculty members are experts in a broad range of fields, and have published widely, contributed to major research findings, and consulted with government and business. George Mason faculty members have received grants and awards from the Guggenheim Foundation, the Templeton Foundation, the National Science Foundation, the National Endowment for the Arts, the National Endowment for the Humanities, and winners of Fulbright Scholar grants and Mellon Fellowships.
Of particular interest to undergraduates are the Robinson Professors, outstanding scholars in the liberal arts and sciences who have come to George Mason from prestigious positions elsewhere. They are concerned with broad and fundamental intellectual issues, and are dedicated to undergraduate teaching. The Schedule of Classes printed every semester gives details about courses taught by Robinson Professors.
The majority of the university's more than 23,000 students are from Virginia, with all 50 states, the District of Columbia, and 130 countries and regions represented in the student body. While full-time undergraduates, 18 to 24 years in age, make up the largest student group, part-time graduate and undergraduate students account for nearly half of the student population. George Mason welcomes qualified students with a wide range of interests and backgrounds.
George Mason University is a member of the Consortium of Universities of the Washington Metropolitan Area. Full participating consortium members are American University, The Catholic University of America, Gallaudet University, George Mason University, The George Washington University, Georgetown University, Howard University, Marymount University, Trinity College, Southeastern University, University of the District of Columbia, and the University of Maryland-College Park.
Eligible students have the opportunity to benefit from the academic offerings of member institutions and to enroll for courses at any of the participating institutions. Students register and pay the tuition of their home institution for all consortium courses. See the "Academic Policies" chapter of this catalog for information on consortium course registration procedures.
The Academic Common Market (ACM) is a cooperative tuition-reduction program agreement among 15 southern states, including Virginia. Its purpose is to provide programs of study to students that are not available in their home states. Students who are not legal residents of Virginia, but who wish to pursue a degree in selected George Mason programs not available in their home states, may be able to participate in the ACM and thereby attend George Mason without incurring out-of-state tuition charges. Likewise, legal residents of Virginia may take advantage of this program at universities in other states. Further information about this program is available at the Office of the Registrar.
George Mason University is accredited by the Commission on Colleges of the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools to award bachelor's, master's, and doctoral degrees, and is a member of the Council of Graduate Schools in the United States.
George Mason University: 2001-2002 University Catalog: Catalog Index: About George Mason