The Secret's Out: Mason is Virginia’s largest public research university


George Mason University, the largest public research university in Virginia, has a strong tradition of conducting research of consequence, from our pioneering work in cybersecurity to developing new ways of testing for COVID-19.

Since earning our R1 designation for “very high research” from Carnegie in 2016 and joining the elite group of the 131 best U.S. research institutions, our research enterprise has grown rapidly, reaching more than $200 million in funding in 2020, an all-time high for the university.

As most large research problems are multidisciplinary, the university has organized its research around three institutes: the Institute for Biohealth Innovation, the Institute for a Sustainable Earth, and the Institute for Digital InnovAtion. These institutes bring together hundreds of Mason researchers and scholars from different academic fields under broad topics—health, sustainability, digital innovation—and help build communities of practice that encourage collaboration and benefit society.