Touring George Mason University

This week kicked off in Fairfax Virginia with a tour of George Mason University. Noted as a tier 1 research institution, this newer college (in the world of colleges that is) is something to be reckoned with. George Mason boasts top programs including Computer Engineering, Criminology and Law, Cyber Security, Visual/Performing Arts and an Honors college bringing the resources of a small liberal arts college to a larger research institution. With 10 overall colleges and numerous majors, GMU offers quite a bit to its students!

Located just 15 miles outside of D.C., students have the accessibility of D.C. connections and resources with a calmer residential feel. The 34,000 Mason students have access to shuttle buses that run back and forth to the city allowing students to intern and explore. One student shared that she recently attended a Hip-Hop festival at the Kennedy Center over the weekend with friends. GMU students also hold quite a bit of pride to its Basketball team with lots of spirit and with the help of its popular pep band The Green Machine. If you’re looking for access to a larger city (especially one with impact such as D.C.) but want a slightly quieter feel without losing the amenities of a spirited, larger university, George Mason would be it. Final fun fact, students have a service on campus called Tapingo which is similar to GrubHub where students are able to order food and even Starbucks on campus and have it delivered (ran by students!)

Quick Admission & Program Facts 

  • 65% Acceptance Rate
  • Mid 50% ACT 23 – 19
  • Mid 50% New SAT 1100 – 1220 (engineering averages a little higher)
  • Common Application (optional essay) Tidbit: complete the essays to showcase more of your talents, interests and/or personality! 
  • Looking for rigor within classes
  • Honors college requires additional Letter of Recommendation and looking for student impact within their school and community environment and
  • One of the most affordable ($10,000 less than other colleges within the D.C. area on average) 
  • Average class size 31 (17-1 student to faculty ratio)
  • Campus in Korea for Global Affairs, Econ and Finance students
  • 3 + 3 Law program (prominent Law school!)
  • Second largest observatory/telescope on the East coast past NASA

Visual and Performing Arts at Mason 

  • Conservatory feel within a university; Programs in Theater, Music, Dance, Art, Film and Computer Game Design
  • Additional portfolio/audition required for some programs

Reputable Summer programs for high school students

  • Washington Journalism and Media Conference
    • Students hear from renowned journalists, visit the Newseum (museum in D.C. dedicated to communications/journalism) and participate in a hands-on media conference
  • Environmental Science
    • Focus on sustainability, environmental studies and leadership
  • Students may earn scholarships throughout the summer programs that carry through to Mason


Take a look at the pictures attached! As a native Southern Californian, I enjoyed really experiencing “Fall.”

Published by Casey Barneson

Author of The College Wellness Guide. Beverly Hills High School College Counselor.

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