College of Humanities and Social Sciences
- Departments and Colleges
- Interdisciplinary Programs
- Graduate Degree Programs
- Undergraduate Degree Programs
Departments and Colleges
- Administration of Justice
- History and Art History
- Modern and Classical Languages
- Public and International Affairs
- Religious Studies
- Sociology and Anthropology
- New Century College
- African American Studies
- Cultural Studies
- Global Affairs
- Higher Education
- Honors Program in General Education
- Individualized Studies (BIS)
- Interdisciplinary Studies (MAIS)
- Latin American Studies
- Mason Topics
- Russian Studies
- Women's Studies
The College of Humanities and Social Sciences (CHSS) is composed of 11 departments in the humanities and social sciences and 11 interdisciplinary programs. The college is also home to New Century College, an innovative interdisciplinary learning community; Mason Topics, a unique first-year experience; and Technology Across the Curriculum, a program that promotes the use of technology to enhance learning in all courses and disciplines. Students are encouraged to explore interdisciplinary approaches to course work, taking advantage of the diverse academic learning community and access to faculty members who are leading scholars in their fields. Special opportunities for students include the honors program in general education, honors programs within selected majors, internships, study abroad, and research experiences.
Our degrees give students a strong foundation of knowledge grounded in theory and research that is designed to address the complexity of real world issues. Undergraduate students in CHSS attain breadth through a broad distribution of courses in general education and depth through a major field of study. After building strengths in such areas as communication, ethics, leadership, and knowledge of global issues, students transition easily into positions that allow them to apply their knowledge to society. Undergraduates go on to graduate or professional schools, or they pursue a range of careers in public service, nonprofit organizations, and the private sector. Graduate students engage in specialized study at the master's and doctoral levels, which allows them to seek first or second careers, job advancement, or personal enrichment.
CHSS boasts a distinguished faculty of more than 400, including two Nobel laureates and recipients of the Pulitzer Prize and the MacArthur and Guggenheim awards. They strive to make students rigorous thinkers and clear communicators, while encouraging experimentation with new approaches and ideas that are grounded in scholarship and research. Students are thus prepared for their role as informed citizens in a complex, global society, able to adapt to an ever-changing world.
Jack R. Censer, Dean
Dee Ann Holisky, Senior Associate Dean
Doris A. Bitler, Associate Dean for Undergraduate Academic Affairs
Matthew Zingraff, Associate Dean for Research
Walter Rankin, Deputy Associate Dean for Undergraduate Academic Affairs
Donna Fox, Assistant Dean for Undergraduate Academic Affairs
Jamie Cooper, Assistant Dean for Graduate Academic Affairs
Evan Baum, Director of Undergraduate Academic Programs
Heidi Bruce, Director of Development
Daniel Collier, Director of Information Technology
Leslie Dyre, Director of Finance and Human Resources
Glenda Morgan, Director of Technology and Learning Initiatives
Susan Swett, Director of CHSS Graduate Admissions
Graduate Degree Programs
CHSS offers 16 master's degrees, including a master of public administration and a master of fine arts in creative writing, and 8 doctoral degrees. The requirements for each degree are described in the sections below. In addition to the policies stated in the first chapters of this catalog, the following policies and procedures apply to all CHSS graduate students.
All correspondence from the department, program, college, and university administration is sent to the student's official Mason e-mail account. Students should use their Mason e-mail account to communicate with their department and other administrative units.
Graduate students can enroll in up to 12 credits of course work each semester. Nondegree students can enroll in up to 10 credits of course work each semester.
University Consortium Registration
Students are limited to one consortium course per semester, with a career maximum of 6 credits. To register for a consortium course, students must have an overall GPA of at least 3.00 and be in good academic standing. Students with grades of IN on their record or who earned grades of C or F in the most recent semester are not eligible to register for a consortium course. Students who have received a grade less than 3.00 in a consortium course are not permitted to enroll in additional consortium courses. Newly admitted graduate students are not permitted to enroll in consortium courses during their first semester of graduate study. Students who wish to enroll in consortium courses during their second semester of study must wait until the grades for the current semester have been posted.
Transfer of Credit
To be eligible for transfer, credits must have been earned at an accredited graduate degree-granting institution (and applicable to a graduate degree at that institution) or at Mason while in nondegree status. Courses accepted for transfer credit must have been completed within six years of the admission term and with a grade of B or better (3.00 or higher). Courses with grades of P or S are not accepted for transfer unless the official transcript indicates that the grade is equivalent to a B (3.00) or better. Some programs have more stringent standards on transfer of credit; students should contact their graduate program for specific information.
Credit from Other Institutions
Students must obtain all approvals, including course equivalencies, prior to enrolling in any course work at another institution. All appropriate paperwork must be submitted to the Registrar's Office by the last day to add during the academic term the course meets. Students enrolling in courses at other institutions with different drop/add timetables must still abide by Mason's drop/add deadlines in terms of acquiring necessary approvals.
Students provisionally admitted to their graduate degree program are not eligible to enroll in consortium course work or study at another institution until the conditions of the provisional contract have been met. Provisionally admitted students are also not eligible to participate in any study abroad programs until the provisional qualifier has been removed. Transfer of credit requests for course work taken in nondegree status at Mason or from another institution prior to admission will not be considered until the provisional contract has been fulfilled.
Dissertation (999) Registration
Doctoral students must be advanced to candidacy before they may enroll in 999. Students must register for 999 before the end of the add deadline published each semester in the Schedule of Classes. Once doctoral students begin registering for 999, they must enroll in at least 3 credits of 999 each semester (excluding summers) until they have completed the total number of dissertation credits required on their individual program of study. Once enrolled in 999, all doctoral students must maintain continuous enrollment in 999 until they deposit their approved dissertation in University Libraries. If they have completed the dissertation credits required on their program of study, they may maintain continuous enrollment by registering for only 1 credit of 999.
Undergraduate Degree Programs
The baccalaureate degree is designed to provide a broad knowledge of the world, develop in students the ability to think conceptually and critically, acquaint them with many different methods of inquiry, and provide skills to continue intellectual growth throughout life. Because these goals can be achieved in many ways, students may select from a range of courses for completing them. The selection of courses should not only deepen knowledge in areas of interest, but also expand the range of those interests. The courses enable students to link the present to the past, their culture to other cultures, and what is to what could be. Learning to make these connections increases the ability to understand and enjoy the world in ways not yet imagined.
CHSS offers 16 bachelor of arts (BA) degrees, 6 bachelor of science (BS) degrees, and a bachelor of individualized study (BIS) degree. The undergraduate degree consists of course work in four areas: university-wide general education, college-level requirements, a major area of study, and electives. All students must complete 120 credits, of which at least 45 must be in upper-level courses (numbered 300 and above). At least one course at the 300 or 400 level must be designated "writing intensive." All entering students who have not yet satisfied the university-wide general education requirement in quantitative reasoning are required to take the math placement test prior to enrollment.
Students should consult the University General Education chapter for information concerning university-wide general education requirements for undergraduate degrees. All students are responsible for reviewing their transcripts and degree audits regularly to ensure that they are correct and meet all their requirements. Transfer students are encouraged to meet with their academic advisor prior to registering for classes to review their transcripts and course equivalencies. In some cases, students may need to earn more than 120 credits to complete all of their requirements.
Military Science (MLSC), Physical Education (PHED), and Parks, Recreation, and Leisure Studies (PRLS) activity courses cannot be counted toward credits required for a degree in CHSS. Students may use nonactivity PHED and PRLS courses for elective credit for CHSS degrees.
Accommodations for Disabled Students
Students with documented disabilities should contact the Office of Disability Services (Student Union I, Room 222; 703-993-2474) to open a file and learn more about accommodations that may be available to them.
Exceptions to Academic Policies
Students with questions regarding exceptions to academic policies and college-level requirements should consult with the CHSS Undergraduate Academic Affairs Office (Enterprise Hall, Suite 316; 703-993-8725; email@example.com. Policy information and forms are available online at www.gmu.edu/student/academicaffairs.
CHSS cooperates with the Institute for Conflict Analysis and Resolution (ICAR) to provide courses from various disciplines in the college toward a BA, BS, and minor in conflict analysis and resolution (CAR). More information about CAR undergraduate degree programs can be found in the Institute for Conflict Analysis and Resolution chapter.
Bachelor of Arts
The BA degree provides students with a breadth of knowledge as well as the necessary skills to make in-depth study of a major truly meaningful. In addition to the university-wide general education program, students pursuing a BA degree must complete the course work below. Except where expressly prohibited, a course used to fulfill a college-level requirement may also be used simultaneously to satisfy other requirements (university-wide general education requirements, college-level requirements, or requirements for the major).
- Philosophy or religious studies: 3 credits fulfilled by any course in philosophy or religious studies (PHIL, RELI)
- Social and behavioral science: 3 credits in addition to the university-wide requirement in social and behavioral science for a total of 6 credits. The two courses used to fulfill the combined college and university requirements must be from different disciplines in the social and behavioral sciences. This requirement may be fulfilled by completing any course in ADJ, ANTH, ECON, GEOG (except GEOG 102 or 309), GOVT, HIST, LING, PSYC, or SOCI.
- Natural science: 1 credit in addition to the university-wide requirement for a total of 8 credits. This requirement can be fulfilled by completing two of any approved natural science courses that include a laboratory experience. This requirement may not be fulfilled by BIOL 124 or 125.
- Foreign language: intermediate-level proficiency in one foreign language. This requirement may be fulfilled by completing a course in a foreign language numbered 202, 209, or 210 (or higher level courses taught in the language) or achieving a satisfactory score on an approved proficiency test. International students should consult the CHSS Undergraduate Academic Affairs Office about a possible waiver of this requirement.
- Non-Western culture: 3 credits of an approved course in the study of a non-Western culture in addition to the course used to fulfill the university-wide general education requirement in global understanding. A course used to fulfill the university-wide general education global understanding requirement may not be simultaneously used to satisfy this college-level requirement. A course used to fulfill this requirement may be used simultaneously to fulfill any other requirements (university-wide general education requirements, college-level requirements, or requirements for the major). This requirement may be fulfilled by the following courses:
- ANTH 114, 300, 301, 302, 304, 305, 306, 311, 313, 330, 332, 396
- ARTH 203, 319, 320, 380, 381, 382, 383, 384, 385, 482
- CHIN 318, 320, 325
- DANC 118
- ECON 361, 362
- FREN 451
- GEOG 101, 316, 325, 330, 399
- GOVT 328, 332, 333, 340, 341, 345, 432, 433
- HIST 130, 251, 252, 261, 262, 271, 281, 282, 328, 329, 353, 354, 355, 356, 365, 366, 367, 387, 426, 459, 460, 461, 465, 466
- MUSI 103
- RELI 211, 212, 272, 313, 314, 315, 337, 374, 375, 490
- RUSS 353, 354
Students who can document attendance at a native school in a non-Western country for at least four years may request a waiver from this requirement through the CHSS Undergraduate Academic Affairs Office.
Requirements for each major are listed in the departmental sections that follow.
Bachelor of Science
The BS degree provides students with a more intensive approach to the core technical questions of their majors. This curriculum has a reduced number of courses in humanities and social sciences in comparison with the BA degree to allow students to achieve greater depth in their majors. CHSS students pursuing a BS must complete the university-wide general education program plus 1 additional credit of natural science (for a total of 8 credits), which must be fulfilled by an approved two-semester laboratory science sequence in a single science. This may not be fulfilled by BIOL 124 and 125.
Requirements for each major are listed in the departmental sections that follow.
Students who wish to become K-12 teachers should consult the College of Education and Human Development chapter of this catalog and attend an information session early in their undergraduate career. For more information, call 703-993-2892, e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org, or go to gse.gmu.edu.
Students may elect to take a minor in addition to their major field of study. For policies governing all minors, see the Academic Policies chapter of this catalog. Students interested in earning a minor should complete the appropriate section of the Change/Declaration of Academic Program form and submit it to the Office of the Registrar.