George Mason University

Government and Policy

Academics

A career in government service positions you to help improve the lives of those around you—and take you to unexpected places. The faculty has been there and, in many cases, are still active in key roles in government. At Mason, students are prepared to have an immediate impact at international, federal, state and local levels, with hands‐on opportunities just a few miles from the nation’s capital.

U.S. Secretary of State Coaches Mason Students

When Nancy Dorcas responded to a post in George Mason University’s School for Conflict Analysis and Resolution’s newsletter about participating in a diplomatic simulation at the State Department in Washington, D.C., she had no idea she and nine other Mason students would be coached by Secretary of State John Kerry. “I never thought in my life I would even be at the State Department,” the Democratic Republic of Congo native said. “And to have Secretary Kerry there, it was a dream come true. Opportunities like these are important to me, which is why I love Mason.” Dorcas emigrated from the civil war-ravaged Congolese conflict zone in 2007; after earning a degree as a paralegal at Northern Virginia Community College, she began work at a Washington law firm and transferred to Mason. She is now a junior majoring in conflict analysis and resolution with a concentration in international conflicts. “I came here as a refugee,” she said. “Given my background, I decided that major would be a great fit.” Conflict, she said, “is everywhere, and I grew up in a conflict zone. I want to understand why it is that way and what is going on, and to study why it never ends.”

Nancy Dorcas poses in front of Washington Monument

Nancy Dorcas and other Mason students participate in a conflict resolution simulation at the State Department with Secretary of State John Kerry.

  • American Government, Minor

    The minor in American government develops knowledge of the principles, institutions, and behaviors of the American political system.All students have opportunities to conduct independent research, engage in globally-related activities through coursework and language, study at Mason and abroad, participate in many forms of public service, prepare for their future careers through internships, career-focused minors and other college-to-career activities.

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  • Anthropology BA, Accelerated MA

    The Master’s degree program in Anthropology prepares students for a PhD as well as for careers in the government, private sector, development, museums, and many other fields. Students may focus on cultural anthropology and bioarchaeology. Students learn how to use fieldwork methods appropriate for their plans and goals and gain a better understanding of the ethics of conducting research.

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  • Anthropology, BA, Minor

    If you’re interested in human behavior—how it changes over time, what makes one culture different from another, the relationship between biology and culture—pursuing a bachelor’s degree in anthropology at Mason will give you the analytical and observational skills, and the hands-on experience, that will prepare you for a fulfilling career or graduate study. And Mason offers undergraduates the option of applying to an accelerated master’s degree program.

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  • Applied Developmental Psychology, Concentration in the Psychology MA

    The concentration in applied developmental psychology focuses on child development. It provides basic knowledge about normal development, skills for assessing developmental level, and techniques for planning and evaluating programs that foster optimal development. Graduates are prepared for employment at agencies concerned with educational and health programs for children, enrichment programs for infants and preschoolers, and education programs for parents.

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  • Applied Developmental Psychology, Concentration in the Psychology PhD

    The PhD concentration in applied developmental psychology is concerned with enhancing developmental processes and preventing developmental disorders in individuals and families across the life span. It uses the knowledge base and methodologies of developmental science to assist the development of individuals who vary in cultural and ethnic backgrounds; economic and social opportunities; physical, social, emotional, and cognitive abilities; and conditions of living (e.g., families, neighborhoods, communities, and physical settings). The program's emphasis is on child development (infancy, early childhood, middle childhood, and adolescence), and students may focus their studies on the cognitive, social, emotional, language, personality, or physiological aspects of development.

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  • Applied Information Technology, MS

    The MS in Applied Information Technology is the very best graduate education in IT for high-potential leaders, especially those working on IT solutions that affect the federal government. Its objective is to graduate men and women of competence and character who can lead multidisciplinary teams in the design, justification, development, management, and sustainment of mega-systems from data to decision in the private and federal sectors. Faculty include professors from the Volgenau School, the School of Business, and the College of Humanities and Social Sciences, plus industry leaders with unique reputations in the subject area as adjunct professors and guest lecturers. The faculty expose students to the pragmatic issues of IT, not just the theory.

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  • Asia-Pacific and Northeast Asian Studies, Minor

    With half of the world’s population and half of its land mass, Asia is destined to play an increasingly important role in the global economy and world politics. A minor in Asia-Pacific and Northeast Asian studies will give students a better understanding of an important region of the world, broaden their perspective, and provide an edge in seeking jobs in various government agencies, international organizations, private businesses, law firms, and non-profit organizations that deal with Asia. It prepares students for graduate studies in the humanities or social sciences. This minor complements many majors including history, anthropology, communication, economics, and government and politics.

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  • Biodefense, Accelerated MS

    Highly qualified undergraduates in any major may apply to the accelerated MS degree in Biodefense. If accepted, students will be able to earn a bachelor’s degree in their chosen major and an MS in Biodefense with a reduced number of overall credits and within a reduced time frame, sometimes within five years. Students in an accelerated degree program must fulfill all university requirements for the master’s degree.

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  • Biodefense, Graduate Certificate

    The certificate in biodefense provides an interdisciplinary introduction to manmade and natural biological threats, including providing a background in the science and technology of biodefense and the specialized areas of threat assessment, non-proliferation, and medical and public health preparedness. The graduate certificate in science, technology, and security may be pursued on a part-time or full-time basis.

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  • Biodefense, MS

    For those interested in protecting our nation from natural or man-made biological threats, Mason offers MS and PhD programs in biodefense. Studies in microbiology and biotechnology, combined with a broad security and organizational context, ready students for employment in biodefense and biosecurity fields, the security industry, nongovernmental organizations, and the government, as well as positions in academia.

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  • Biodefense, PhD

    The United States and the rest of the world face serious threats, including biological warfare, bioterrorism, and infectious diseases. That’s why Mason developed the Biodefense program. The doctoral program in Biodefense prepares students to work as professionals and scholars in the fields of biodefense and biosecurity. The PhD program provides a background in the science and technology of biodefense and specialized areas of threat assessment, non-proliferation, and medical and public health preparedness.

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  • Chemistry and Biochemistry, PhD

    The Chemistry and Biochemistry PhD program is intended to prepare students for advanced work in the chemical sciences and related areas. Graduates with the PhD degree in this field can seek employment in research and development, process control, or higher education. In addition to these traditional science career paths, graduates are also positioned to pursue careers in nontraditional areas such as the intellectual property and regulatory fields. The program is designed to provide students with a firm foundation in advanced course work, which is followed by an independent research project completed under the guidance of a faculty advisor.

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  • Command, Control, Communications, Computing, and Intelligence, Graduate Certificate

    This certificate program focuses on the analysis, design, development, and management of Command, Control, Communications, Computing, and Intelligence (C4I) systems. Topics addressed include C4I architectures and software, communications, decision support, modeling and simulation, and sensor data fusion. The program is available to students who hold bachelor’s degrees in engineering and scientific disciplines or are in graduate status in such programs.

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  • Community Health, BS, Concentration in Global Health

    The global health concentration focuses on understanding diseases and other health security threats reflecting the new global landscape, such as tobacco use and obesity, and emerging pandemics such as avian influenza, Ebola, and the Zika virus. This concentration is designed for students interested in public health at the global level and is particularly focused on improving health conditions in less developed countries.

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  • Community Health, BS

    Public and community health professionals provide vital services to improve the health outcomes of people in all types of populations, locally and throughout the world. Mason offers a BS in community health that gives students an understanding of public health and the health care system, and of issues and policies as they relate to disease prevention, public education and interventions, and health promotion for local and international populations. Graduates work in government and non-governmental agencies, in nonprofit and for-profit sectors. Students may select from concentrations in clinical science or global health.

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  • Computational Social Science, Graduate Certificate

    This certificate program is designed for students who seek training in computer simulation and related computational methods for analyzing social systems and processes. The certificate allows students with social science or computational backgrounds to acquire new knowledge and modeling skills to improve their qualifications and attractiveness to employers in government, academia, or industry. The core courses provide a common foundation; additional elective courses allow for a variety of student interests across diverse social domains. The program is open to all students with graduate standing at Mason and all students who hold a bachelor’s degree from an accredited university.

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  • Computational Social Science, PhD

    The computational social science PhD program prepares graduate students to be professional computational social scientists in academia, government, or business. The program offers an innovative interdisciplinary academic environment for systematically exploring, discovering, and developing skills to successfully follow careers in one of the areas of computational social science.

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  • Conflict Analysis and Resolution Advanced Skills Graduate Certificate

    This program helps students enhance constructive engagement in interpersonal, organizational, business, and community relationships with courses in such areas as problem solving, community dialogue and facilitation, mediation of workplace disputes, and cross-cultural dialogue.  Develop critical conflict resolution skills and learn about the different approaches utilized in government, NGO, and the private sector.

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  • Conflict Analysis and Resolution for Collaborative Leadership in Community Planning Graduate Certificate

    This program designed for midcareer professionals covers designing collaborative processes to work with diverse stakeholders to build meaningful and lasting shared agreements in land use, development or other community planning contexts.

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  • Conflict Analysis and Resolution for Prevention, Reconstruction and Stabilization Contexts, Graduate Certificate

    This program designed for midcareer professionals augments development, defense, security, or humanitarian aid work experience with the theories and skills of conflict analysis and resolution for designing, implementing, and evaluating conflict-sensitive initiatives internationally in areas of potential violence and post-conflict reconstruction and stabilization.  It considers cross-sectoral approaches to long-term violence prevention and constructive conflict resolution.

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  • Conflict Analysis and Resolution, BA, BS, Accelerated MS

    The Accelerated Master’s is designed for highly qualified and motivated undergraduate students majoring in Conflict Analysis and Resolution.  Students admitted to this program have the opportunity to complete both their bachelor’s degree and master’s degree in a condensed time frame. Areas of concentration include: Building Peace in Divided Societies; Global Engagement; Political and Social Action; Justice and Reconciliation; Interpersonal Dynamics; and 
    Collaborative Leadership.

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  • Conflict Analysis and Resolution, BA, BS

    From disputes between two individuals to warring clashes among ethnic groups, students pursuing either a BA or BS in conflict analysis and resolution learn to affect change through peaceful solutions. The program provides a rigorous academic curriculum along with opportunities for internships, service learning, research projects, co-curricular programs, and study abroad. Graduates find fulfilling careers in mediation and negotiation, law and criminal justice, community advocacy, human resources, and international aid, development, and diplomacy. Mason also offers a minor and an accelerated master’s degree in conflict analysis and resolution. Areas of concentration include: Building Peace in Divided Societies; Global Engagement; Political and Social Action; Justice and Reconciliation; Interpersonal Dynamics; and Collaborative Leadership.

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  • Conflict Analysis and Resolution, MS

    The master's in Conflict Analysis and Resolution offers a comprehensive study of conflict types and prepares students for research and intervention that can mitigate, resolve, and potentially prevent negative relations between parties. Students analyze the root causes and defining characteristics of conflicts and explore the wide-ranging consequences for those parties engaged and engulfed in hostilities. Conflicts are examined at all levels—interpersonal, intragroup, intergroup, and international—with the assumption that there are common dynamics across levels of analysis.

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  • Conflict Analysis and Resolution, Minor

    This interdisciplinary 18-credit minor equips students with the knowledge and skills they need for many careers. Students develop critical thinking skills, cross-cultural understanding, creative problem solving, research and writing skills, interpersonal skills, and the ability to work in teams.  They learn to identify and analyze sources of conflict, and apply conflict resolution theories to practical, real-world situations in their community, workplace, and personal life.

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  • Conflict Analysis and Resolution, PhD

    The doctoral program, the first of its kind in the United States, provides advanced study for students in the field of conflict analysis and conflict resolution. Students are prepared for careers as researchers, theoreticians, and teachers in higher education, and as policy administrators, analysts, and consultants in the public and private sectors.

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  • Conflict Resolution and Mediterranean Security, MS, MA, dual degree

    This dual degree program combines the faculties of two renowned educational institutions: Mason and the University of Malta’s Mediterranean Academy of Diplomatic Studies. The program provides students with the theoretical and practical tools that will enable them to deal effectively with conflicts at the micro and macro levels, placing a specific emphasis on the Mediterranean context.

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  • Deviance, Crime, and Social Control, Concentration in the Sociology BA

    Sociology is the study of social structures, cultural patterns, and human relationships. Our concentration in Deviance, Crime and Social Control looks at the social, legal, and political systems that underpin social control in Western societies and beyond. The program focuses on how social norms and common sense regulate human action, along with the social forces that produce deviant behavior and societal response. If you're curious about what makes people tick and how society responds to control negative behavior you may want to explore this area of study. This concentration prepares you for careers in the criminal justice system, law, community activism, or pubilc policy and government.

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  • Earth Science, BS

    This degree covers Earth Sciences in the broadest sense, including geology, oceanography, atmospheric science, and their effect on the environment. Students specialize within this broad framework by choosing one of several concentrations offered by the program. The Washington, D.C., area is an exciting place to enter the field of Earth Sciences, with collaboration and career opportunities at US Geological Survey, National Oceanographic and Atmospheric Administration, the Smithsonian Institution, and many other public and private labs. The Earth Sciences degree is a starting point for many career paths, including research via an advanced degree, work in government laboratories, consulting, resource management and extraction, environmental advocacy, and teaching.

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  • Earth Systems and GeoInformation Sciences, PhD

    The Earth Systems and Geoinformation Sciences, PhD (ESGS) is based on the integration of the scientific disciplines in geosystems, geography, geosciences, and geoinformatics. Students receive broad-based training in systematic geosciences and geography, as well as technical courses in computation and geoinformation sciences. The ESGS doctoral program represents a gateway to an academic career for some students; for others, it facilitates career advancement in the public sector or private industry.Graduates of the program will be qualified as lead scientists in a wide range of activities involving geoinformatics, geosciences, geography, geographic information systems,geospatial intelligence and remote sensing. The continual expansion of the NASA Earth observation satellite constellation, development of the geospatial data infrastructure at USGS, USGIF and other federal agencies, and the need to analyze Earth-oriented data to achieve environmental and economic objectives will ensure an on-going need for qualified scientists in these fields.

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  • Economics, BA, BS

    If you want to learn more about our complex society and analyze policy issues from a rational perspective, the economics major at Mason is a great fit for you. Economics provides an excellent foundation for graduate studies in business, law, public policy or international studies, while also paving the way for many job opportunities. As a Mason economics major, you will be studying in the department ranked #1 in the southern United States with economists known for their engaging points of view.

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  • Economics, MA

    Mason's nationally ranked graduate economics programs are noted for their emphasis on comparative institutional analysis and concentration on the relationships among economic, political, and legal institutions.The master's degree in economics strengthens students' knowledge of economic theory and improves their skills in applying the theory to economic problems. The master's program prepares graduates for the multitude of research and policy positions in the Washington, D.C., area. Graduates are qualified to read and judge others' research and to conduct research in government or business. They are also prepared to write policy analysis articles.

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  • Economics, PhD

    The PhD in economics prepares students for careers in academia, business, and government. Students train in modern theory and quantitative techniques, and field courses stressing the application of theory to relevant economic problems. With an emphasis on publishing, many students have articles accepted for publication in professional journals while still in the program. Departmental research covers a broad spectrum, from problems of immediate policy importance to fundamental questions of economic and social organization. Our doctoral students have received offers to join some of the nation’s leading universities such as Harvard University, University of Wisconsin, Brown University, Stanford University, University of California Berkeley, and Emory University.

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  • Emergency Management and Homeland Security, Graduate Certificate

    The School of Policy, Government, and International Affairs offers a variety of courses in emergency management and homeland security. This concentration addresses policy, planning, security, organizational, and management issues in the field of emergency preparedness and homeland security.

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  • Energy and Sustainability, Concentration in the MAIS

    The study of sustainability incorporates environmental science, engineering, economics, business and public policy. Energy is a crucial component. Students can pursue a structured interdisciplinary concentration or design an individualized concentration to meet the needs of their chosen careers.

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  • Environmental Policy and Politics, Concentration in the Environmental and Sustainability Studies BA

    Classes for this degree include the Economics of Environmental Policy and the Introduction to International Politics. Students prepare for their future careers through internships, career-focused minors and other college-to-career activities.

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  • Environmental Science and Policy, Accelerated MS

    This degree option allows highly qualified George Mason University students to earn an Environmental Science and Policy, MS in less time than if they had first graduated with an environmentally-focused Green Leaf -designated BA or BS degree, then applied to the MS program sequentially. This program of study is offered by the Department of Environmental Science and Policy in the College of Science.

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  • Environmental Science and Policy, MS

    The master's program in Environmental Science and Policy meets the increasing need for trained environmental professionals who can address the problems of land and water management, land use and urbanization, wetland loss, microbial ecology, bioremediation, conservation biology, and ecosystem preservation. These professionals will also contribute to the analysis and resolution of global problems, such as deforestation, insufficient world food supplies, acid deposition, population growth and public health, global climate change/warming, and depletion of the stratospheric ozone. Areas of specific departmental focus include ecosystems, conservation, environmental biocomplexity, molecular ecology, sustainability science, environmental policy and management and human/environmental interactions. The program has been designated a Green Leaf program.

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  • Environmental Science and Public Policy, PhD

    The doctoral program in Environmental Science and Public Policy is inter-disciplinary. It draws on faculty and expertise from the Environmental Science and Policy departmental core faculty, as well as faculty from across the university. Both the master’s and doctoral programs meet the increasing need for trained environmental professionals who can address the problems of land and water management, land use and urbanization, wetland loss, microbial ecology, bioremediation, conservation biology, and ecosystem preservation. Graduates will have developed knowledge and skills in the collection, analysis, and interpretation of scientific data, as well as in the integration of scientific understanding into the public policy process. Areas of specific departmental focus include ecosystems, conservation, environmental biocomplexity, molecular ecology, sustainability science, environmental policy and management, and human/environmental interactions. The program has been designated a Green Leaf program.

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  • Environmental Science, BS, Minor

    The BS in Environmental Science provides students with rigorous training in the science of the environment, and gives them the ability to use key scientific principles to analyze problems and develop practical solutions. The program covers the fundamental techniques of environmental science and engineering, protection and improvement of environmental quality, environmental policy, risk assessment and risk management, and public and private decision-making processes. Graduates are prepared for careers in a variety of environmental science fields, and are also qualified to pursue advanced scientific/professional studies.

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  • Federal Statistics, Graduate Certificate

    The federal statistics certificate is intended to respond to the need for broad training in statistics, survey methods, and data analysis, including graphics and data visualization. The program is extremely flexible and can be tailored to the needs of students within the federal statistical sector. It is also intended to be responsive to the needs of those in state and local governments, and those in the private sector involved in the collection, interpretation, or statistical analysis of federal data.

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  • Forensic Science, MS

    The Forensic Science Master’s Program is designed to give students a broad theoretical and practical background in the scientific, legal, and investigative principles of the field. Students will get the advanced training needed for a forensics career in state and local government, private industry and academia. Graduates will be qualified to conduct laboratory analysis of forensic data in a secure environment while maintaining the integrity of evidence to ensure applicability in court. Courses offer a broad exposure to forensic laboratory tests, as well as to criminal procedures and expert testimony, forensic biology, forensic chemistry, trace analysis, physical evidence, professional ethics, quality assurance, and current topics in research and development within the forensic sciences.

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  • Geographic and Cartographic Sciences, MS

    The Master of Science Program in Geographic and Cartographic Sciences is one of the top programs in the nation. The program focuses on techniques of compilation, display, and analysis of spatial data. The objective is to produce geographers with a solid understanding of the techniques of spatial data analysis and the ability to apply those techniques to a variety of issues. Program graduates are qualified to pursue careers in government and industry, or to proceed with doctoral-level studies.

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  • Geoinformatics and Geospatial Intelligence, MS

    This new MS program addresses the emerging demand for scientists trained in the collection, organization, analysis, and dissemination of information about physical features, man-made structures, moving objects, people, and events that are geo-referenced or geo-located. Focusing primarily on the computational approaches that support the synthesis and analysis of diverse types of data, we can identify and monitor complex events and phenomena that manifest themselves over space and time. While geospatial intelligence has a strong Department of Defense connotation, it also addresses the needs of a broader audience, ranging from intelligent navigation in urban spaces to emergency response systems for natural and man-made disasters.

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  • Global Health and Security, Graduate Certificate

    The certificate in global health and security provides an introduction to the intersection of global public health and security, covering topics such as emerging infectious diseases, biosurveillance, the development of vaccines, and emergency response to public health disasters. The program is offered by the Schar School of Policy and Government.

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  • Government and International Politics, BA

    Interested in a career in political analysis, public service, law, campaigns or research? Learn to critically examine the complexities of national and international issues, as well as political issues, processes, and actors.

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  • Health Informatics and Data Analytics, Graduate Certificate

    This certificate prepares clinicians, health care managers and information technology professionals to develop and manage health information technology systems. Course work stresses the impact of technology on the quality of health care services. Students can focus on general health informatics or health data analytics. They can also participate in an optional practicum course.

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  • Health Informatics, MS

    The Master of Science in Health Informatics is offered through the Department of Health Administration and Policy in the College of Health and Human Services, in collaboration with the Volgenau School of Engineering. Students obtaining this degree will have had the required experience and received the highly specialized knowledge and skills needed to support the adoption and use of health information systems and analytic applications for a variety of clinical, administrative, and research purposes. Graduates are prepared for careers in the fields of health information systems, health data analysis, management and consulting in health information technology firms, and health care/service organizations and their business partners, as well as public health entities. Students will be familiar with emerging technologies and be prepared to analyze, design and manage evolving health information systems for a wide variety of clinical, administrative and research purposes.

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  • Health Information Technology, Minor

    Located within the Department of Health Administration and Policy, College of Health and Human Services, the minor in Health Information Technology introduces students, in a non-technical context, to the utilization of information management in health care management and policy. Students will examine the current and projected role of health information management in the delivery of health care and development of health policy and apply this information in a practical research endeavor.

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  • Health Services Research, PhD

    Students in this post-master's program gain the knowledge and skills to creatively research complex health and health system problems. They identify and develop innovations in health policy and health analytics. Graduates are educators, researchers, scholars, and leaders in health care organizations, health care consulting firms, higher education, government and nonprofit organizations, and private businesses that support or regulate public and private health service entities.

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  • Health Systems Management, MHA

    The Master of Health Administration in Health Systems Management program, accredited by the Commission on Accreditation of Healthcare Management Education (CAHME), gives students the knowledge and skills to work as leaders and executive-level managers in health care organizations. The curriculum was developed in response to the demand for advanced health management preparation for a variety of health care and allied health professionals to be employed in hospitals, health systems, consulting and regulatory entities, medical practice groups, ambulatory clinics, managed care organizations, and government agencies in both the public and private sectors of health care.

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  • Health and Medical Policy, MS

    The MS in Health and Medical Policy is offered jointly by the College of Health and Human Services and the School of Policy, Government, and International Affairs. It prepares students to become health policy decision-makers at the local, state, and national levels, to be consultants, to support the work of foundations, or to engage with public health and advocacy organizations in the U.S. and abroad. Students graduate with the knowledge, skills, and abilities needed to assess health systems approaches; formulate new policies; and support policy development in health care financing, health and medical professional development, health systems innovation, and the allocation of scarce resources. Students applying to the program will be admitted to one of two concentrations: Health Policy or Global Medical Policy.

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  • Health and Social Policy, Minor

    The minor in Health and Social Policy introduces students to the context and process for public policymaking in health care and social services. Students will examine the current environment for health and social policy, learn the elements of the public policymaking process, and apply this knowledge in a practical research endeavor. This minor is a joint program offered by the Department of Health Administration and Policy and the Department of Social Work. Students must complete a research internship course that will focus on an area of applied health or social policy.

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  • Immigration Studies, Minor

    Immigration is a front and center issue in today's world. Combining perspectives from humanities and social sciences, students are provided with an interdisciplinary and comparative understanding of the immigrant experience, ethnic identity, assimilation, ethnic exclusion and conflict, and refugee situations. Use your education and experience to act as a liason and advocate within immigrant communities working with NGOs, local and federal government agencies and other private and public institutions serving immigrant and refugee communities.

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  • International Commerce and Policy, Accelerated MA

    Highly qualified undergraduates in any major may apply to the accelerated MA degree program in International Commerce and Policy. If accepted students will be able to earn a bachelor’s degree in their major and an MA in International Commerce and Policy with a reduced number of overall credits and within a reduced time frame, sometimes within five years. Students in an accelerated degree program must fulfill all university requirements for the master’s degree.

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  • International Commerce and Policy, MA

    Students earning an MA in the International Commerce and Policy (ICP) program develop skills and expertise in global finance, investment, trade, and development, which help them work as leaders in multinational organizations, nonprofits, NGOs, and consulting firms. Unlike traditional international affairs programs, ICP focuses on international economic issues such as global trade and investment. It differs from an MBA program by providing training in the political, technological, cultural, and social aspects of the global economy.

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  • International Security, MA

    The program trains early to mid-career professionals who seek the analytical and substantive capabilities to address the security challenges of the 21st century. In addition to understanding traditional military and diplomatic approaches, the program’s core courses will provide a grounding in public-private and international collaborative responses to threats, ranging from transnational crime, terrorism, illicit trade, proliferation of emerging technologies and weapons of mass destruction, and corruption to state fragility and ethnic and sectarian conflict. Students will supplement their core courses by taking elective courses from each of three focus areas: Managing Global Risks, National Security Policies and Processes, and Regional and Transnational Security Challenges. There will be a strong emphasis on public service and ethics, focusing on how to make wise strategic decisions regarding the use of force and when to respond, when to intervene and not intervene.

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  • International Security, Minor

    The minor in international security provides students with the theories and background to understand the institutions and processes of international security, as well as critical international security issues such as terrorism, weapons of mass destruction, and war. This minor is offered by the Schar School of Policy and Government.

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  • International and Comparative Studies, Minor

    The minor in International and Comparative Studies gives students the analytical tools to understand the forces that shape international relations. They will gain an understanding of the forces moving countries or regions while learning functional topics such as security, political economy, ethics, the environment, and international organizations and law.

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  • JD/MPP Joint Degree (Law)

    You can get two degrees at once. Mason offers a JD/MPP degree, which includes full legal training and a solid understanding of public policy. Upon completion, candidates receive both a JD from the School of Law and a Master’s of Public Policy from the Schar School of Policy and Government. Graduates are prepared for careers in legal academia, government, and policymaking.

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  • Management of Secure Information Systems, MS

    Highly ranked by IT security practitioners, the MS in Management of Secure Information Systems is an interdisciplinary cyber-security management program offered by the School of Business, Volgenau School of Engineering, and the School of Policy, Government, and International Affairs. Designed for mid-career professionals actively engaged in the cyber security field, you will complete the program in 16 months of Saturday classes and participate in a weeklong global residency. Gain the leadership and management expertise you need while addressing the specific technology and policy challenges of modern information systems and networks.

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  • Middle East Studies, Minor

    Today, Middle East politics has become intertwined with U.S. politics more than ever before. The minor in Middle East studies is designed to teach undergraduates about the region, its history, and its international relations.

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  • Middle East and Islamic Studies, Accelerated MA

    Highly qualified undergraduates pursuing a BA in select majors may apply to the accelerated master’s degree in Middle East and Islamic studies. If accepted, and depending on their undergraduate major, students will be able to earn a bachelor’s degree in their chosen major and a master’s degree in Middle East and Islamic studies after satisfactory completion of 144 credits, sometimes within five years. The interdisciplinary, Accelerated MA in Middle East and Islamic Studies offered by the College of Humanities and Social Sciences introduces students to the major issues and debates in the study of the Middle East, Islam and Muslim societies. Students study historical and contemporary topics—as well as theory and methodology—from both regional and global perspectives.

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  • Middle East and Islamic Studies, MA

    The interdisciplinary MA in Middle East and Islamic Studies offered by the College of Humanities and Social Sciences introduces students to the major issues and debates in the study of the Middle East, Islam and Muslim societies. Students study historical and contemporary topics—as well as theory and methodology—from both regional and global perspectives.

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  • Military Operations Research, Graduate Certificate

    This program provides knowledge, tools, and techniques to those who work or plan to work in the field of military operations research. It is appropriate for students who cannot complete requirements for a master’s degree in operations research, but who want a concentrated study of military modeling. Admissions requirements are identical to those for the master’s degree in operations research.

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  • Multimedia, Minor

    Students learn how to create original work and communicate with others through the fusion of images, text, sound, and video. Students analyze and incorporate into their productions contemporary design principles and current software applications. As part of this process, students are encouraged to focus on how multimedia technologies, which offer tools for investigating and disseminating ideas, and can enhance undergraduate research and writing. These skills are increasingly valuable not only in the specialized information technology industries, but also in business, education, and politics.

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  • National Security and Public Policy, Graduate Certificate

    The School of Policy, Government, and International Affairs offers a variety of courses focused on the national security field. These courses include an overview of theory and practice in public policy, peace operations, national security management, history of military operations, national security decision-making, law and policy, illicit trade, national security and the global economy, transnational crime and corruption, grand strategy, and global governance.

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  • Nonprofit Management, Graduate Certificate

    The Schar School of Policy and Government offers a wide variety of graduate courses in nonprofit management. The nonprofit graduate courses are primarily designed for people currently employed in the nonprofit sector or who are considering a career in this sector.

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  • Ocean and Estuarine Science, Minor

    This minor studies the relationship between oceans and estuaries, the partially enclosed bodies of water along coastlines where fresh and salt water mix. It may supplement degrees related to atmospheric, oceanic and earth sciences.

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  • Organization Development and Knowledge Management, MS

    To learn how to lead change in complex organizations, consider the Organization Development and Knowledge Management Development master’s program.  Students explore organizational leadership theory and practice, the shift from hierarchical structures to group-based learning, and the best ways to promote collaborative work environments.  They graduate with the ability to manage, evaluate, and affect rapid change in government, corporations, and nonprofit organizations.

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  • Peace Operations, MS

    Mason offers the country’s only master’s degree in Peace Operations. The program focuses on the study of international interventions that aim to restore or maintain peace and stability in areas affected by conflict or natural disaster. Students study post-conflict reconstruction, recovery and development, as well as diplomacy and security. Graduates work abroad in places such as Afghanistan, Egypt, and France. 

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  • Philosophy and Law, Minor

    The minor in Philosophy and Law offers students a course of study that emphasizes the philosophical analysis of legal issues. It acquaints students with the tradition of philosophical argument dealing with the justification of law, its relation to moral theory, the justifications for punishment, and the concepts of justice, rights, liberty, and legal responsibility. These courses stress intellectual skills that are important in the study of law.
     

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  • Philosophy, BA

    As a philosophy major, you will debate enduring questions and learn how the study of philosophy is relevant to contemporary issues—global warming, the defense of human rights, and the relationship between religion and science. Students study logic, ethics, and social and political philosophy, developing skills in rational argument and critical thinking. You'll learn to express yourself in clear and persuasive writing. Students can use this major as preparation for such professions as law or government service, or complement other interests by taking a double major in philosophy and a related field of study.
     

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  • Philosophy, Politics, and Economics, Concentration in the Economics BA, BS|Philosophy BA | Government and International Politics, BA

    The Philosophy, Politics, and Economics program lets students pursue topics in the intersection of philosophy, political science, and economics. Philosophy brings specific analytic and argumentative practices. Political science investigates political ideas, processes, institutions, and actions in national and international settings. Economics brings an understanding of the dynamics of competition and cooperation as well as the advantages and disadvantages of alternative economic systems. Those who wish to concentrate on economics will increase their courseload to include classes in micro- and macroeconomic principles, game theory, the economics of institutions, calculus and computing.

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  • Political Communication, Concentration in the Communication BA

    The Political Communication concentration (within the Communication BA) emphasizes the critical public role of communication in society, and examines social movements and political controversies. Coursework focuses on different strategies, techniques, and perspectives that shape public policy, include debating, advertising, opinion polling, image management, and mass media. The degree gives graduates the expertise necessary to create, shape and manage information to strategically guide political communication, as well as the research, analysis, and writing skills to work not only in local and national governments but also areas related to major communication, fundraising, polling and media organizations, and many more.

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  • Political Communication, Minor

    Political communication explores the interaction among members of the public, the media, advocacy groups, and politicians in a democratic society. This interdisciplinary minor is offered jointly by the School of Policy, Government, and International Affairs and the Department of Communication.

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  • Political Philosophy, Minor

    The Political Philosophy minor provides students with an intensive study of political philosophy and political theory. Students study the field from a variety of interdisciplinary perspectives through courses in history of political philosophy; moral evaluation of political institutions; the ethical, social, and political issues raised by globalization; and the conceptual foundations of democracy and human rights. They develop a deeper philosophical perspective on political institutions and have a solid foundation for further graduate study in philosophy, government, or policy studies.

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  • Political Science, Accelerated MA

    Highly qualified undergraduates in any major may apply to the accelerated MA degree in political science. If accepted, students will be able to earn a bachelor’s degree in their chosen major and a MA in Political Science with a reduced number of overall credits and within a reduced time frame, sometimes five years. Students in an accelerated degree program must fulfill all university requirements for the master’s degree.

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  • Political Science, MA

    In Mason’s MA in Political Science, students develop a deeper understanding of political ideas and institutions, more sophisticated research skills, a better grasp of the intricacies of governments abroad, and a deeper knowledge of the complexities of international politics. The program is made up of four core courses in political science and completion of either a concentration in international security or a broader field of specialization in American government and politics, international relations, or comparative politics. This degree can lead to a career teaching about government; working with legislative bodies, government agencies, and international organizations; doing research and writing about politics and government; or further graduate study.

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  • Political Science, PhD

    A PhD opens doors. Mason’s doctoral program in political science prepares participants for careers in teaching, research, the government, nonprofits, consulting firms and industry. Students combine their studies with experience in the domestic and international political organizations they’re studying. This model for political science education is patterned after the American Political Science Association’s Congressional Fellows Program, which is designed to promote scholarship, as well as understanding of domestic and international institutions such as congressional and executive-branch offices, think tanks, international bodies, nongovernmental organizations and journals of public opinion.

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  • Psychology, Minor

    The Psychology minor supports students within any major program to enrich their knowledge base by providing deeper insight into psychological considerations that play into every other field. Coursework consists of one required course in basic concepts, and further study in the student’s choice of abnormal, cognition, developmental, physiological, or social/personality psychology. The strong analytical skills developed while earning this minor contribute to student success in a wide variety of professional careers as well as graduate education.

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  • Public Administration, Accelerated MPA

    Highly qualified undergraduates in any major may apply to the accelerated master’s degree in public administration. If accepted, students will be able to earn a bachelor’s degree in their chosen major and a master’s degree in public administration with a reduced number of overall credits and within a reduced time frame, sometimes within five years. Students in an accelerated degree program must fulfill all university requirements for the master’s degree.

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  • Public Administration, BS

    Mason’s Public Administration BS focuses on both macroscopic and microscopic views of policy management, communication, budget and analytical skills. Coursework includes democratic theory and practice, introduction to American and international politics, research methods, and economic policy. Graduates are prepared with the skills to implement and manage public policies for senior-level position in public, nonprofit and private-sector organizations of any complexity, or for continued academic work in biodefense, international commerce and policy, political science, public administration, or public policy.

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  • Public Administration, MPA

    The government, nonprofits, and private industry need top-notch leadership to implement and manage public policies. And there’s no better place to get the training for those careers than Mason’s Master of Public Administration (MPA) program, one of the largest MPA programs in the country. Students learn how leadership, management, policy, and politics intersect, and they develop skills in communications, budgeting, and analysis. Graduates join thousands of alumni from the School of Policy, Government, and International Affairs who are working for government agencies as well as nonprofits and prestigious companies.

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  • Public Health MPH, Concentration in Global Health

    The global health concentration prepares students to apply the tools of public health to the promotion of health in communities, countries, regions, and the world. Coursework emphasizes comparative global health metrics, socioeconomic, environmental, and other risk factors associated with transnational health concerns, and ethical and effective strategies for preventing and controlling infectious and non-communicable diseases in diverse populations.

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  • Public Health, Graduate Certificate

    The Public Health graduate certificate provides students with the fundamental skills and knowledge central to each of the five core areas of public health—social and behavioral health, epidemiology, biostatistics, environmental health, and health systems. Coursework includes environmental health, health promotion methods, biostatistics, and U.S. and global public health systems. The program is particularly relevant for students who are interested in career opportunities in the fields of global and community health.

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  • Public Health, MPH

    The Master of Public Health (MPH) program is geared towards those wishing to enter or advance in the field of public health. The CEPH-accredited program emphasizes the core disciplines of public health—epidemiology, biostatistics, health administration and policy, social and behavioral sciences, and environmental health—and provides additional training in global applications. In addition to required course work in each of the core disciplines and a mandatory practical experience, students pursue a concentration in epidemiology or global and community health. The program is organized to prepare graduates for work in organizations that seek to improve public health at local, national, or global levels.

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  • Public Health, MPH, Concentration in Communication

    This concentration prepares students to effectively use communication strategies to inform and influence individual and community decisions that affect health. The program emphasizes designing, evaluating, and implementing effective communication strategies and messages to address the health needs of diverse audiences.

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  • Public Health, MPH, Concentration in Community Health Promotion

    This concentration prepares health promotion specialists to work in local, state, and federal public health agencies, non-governmental health organizations, the health care sector, and private industry. Students examine the social, behavioral, and environmental determinants associated with the most pressing health problems, and design, implement, and evaluate appropriate health promotion programs and preventive services to improve population health. 

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  • Public Health, MPH, Concentration in Epidemiology

    Studetns learn to investigate and analyze factors that influence the occurrence, distribution, prevention, and control of disease. Emphasis is placed on the development of such skills as study design, data collection and management, data analysis and interpretation, and communication of research findings.

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  • Public Health, MPH, Concentration in Policy

    This concentration addresses the nature and importance of policy and policymaking in today’s public health system. Through course work and opportunities for practical application, students are introduced to the context and process for policymaking in public health, including the current political, economic and legal environment for health policy, and the basic elements of the public policymaking process and government payment systems. 

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  • Public Health, MPH, Concentration in Public Health Practice

    This concentration, which is fully online, is designed to advance the competencies of public health practitioners and other health professionals to fulfill their roles and responsibilities in local, state, and federal public health agencies and non-governmental health-related organizations. Students examine the social and environmental factors associated with improving population and community health with a focus on the application of evidence-based public health concepts. 

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  • Public Health, Minor

    The public health minor provides students with a basic understanding of each of the core areas of public health, introduces students to career opportunities in global and community health, and prepares students for admission to graduate programs in public health.

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  • Public Management, Graduate Certificate

    The Schar School of Policy and Government offers a variety of courses in public management including an overview of the operations required in public management and the processes that support them. This graduate level certificate prepares you to succeed in managing today’s increasingly complex public and nonprofit organizations.

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  • Public Policy Management, Minor

    The Public Policy Management minor introduces students to the theory and process of policy formulation and implementation in the political and governmental arena. Coursework centers around government and politics including public administration and public policy. The minor is a valuable asset for students interested in working in public administration, and other careers that involve policy formulation and implementation in politics and government.

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  • Public Policy, Accelerated MPP

    Highly qualified undergraduates in any major may apply to the accelerated Master of Public Policy (MPP) program. If accepted, students will be able to earn a bachelor’s degree in their chosen major and the Master of Public Policy with a reduced number of overall credits and within a reduced time frame, sometimes within five years. Students in an accelerated degree program must fulfill all university requirements for the master’s degree.

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  • Public Policy, MPP

    Successful public policies can make the world a better place, and Mason’s Master of Public Policy program prepares students for influential positions in this field. They develop the skills in policymaking and analysis necessary to understand and solve critical problems. A plus of the program: Participants can chose from one of several areas of interest, including international governance and institutions, national security and public policy, and U.S. government institutions and policy management. Graduates pursue a wide range of careers in government agencies, NGOs, and consulting firms.

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  • Public Policy, PhD

    A PhD in Public Policy prepares students to be leaders in the policy world. Research can be conducted in one of the program’s concentrations, including culture and society; entrepreneurship, growth, and public policy; and global and international systems. Or participants can define their own field of research. They benefit from the extensive expertise of the faculty in the Schar School of Policy and Government.

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  • Real Estate Development, MS

    The MS in Real Estate Development is designed to provide real estate professionals with the knowledge essential to assume increasingly responsible leadership roles within the development industry. Areas of emphasis include real estate finance, investment analysis, project management, sustainability and economic development. The multi-disciplinary curriculum, created in consultation with leading real estate development companies, incorporates coursework from the domains of business, engineering and public policy. It has been designed to strengthen the employment potential and upward mobility of industry professionals working in the areas of development, architecture, engineering, public planning, construction management, real estate finance, mortgage lending, property management, real estate law and related fields.

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  • Recreation Management, Concentration in Parks and Outdoor Recreation, BS

    The Parks and Outdoor Recreation concentration (within Recreation Management) explores the contribution of recreation and parks to public well-being and quality of life. The curriculum includes courses in natural resources management, outdoor recreation programming, and environmental education, and students complete both a supervised practicum and internship in professional settings. Graduates are employed in national, state, and local recreation and park agencies, non-profit organizations, and private and commercial operations.

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  • Science, Technology, and Security, Graduate Certificate

    The certificate provides an introduction to the intersection of science and security, covering topics such as the technology of chemical, biological, radiological and nuclear (CBRN) weapons, proliferation, technical countermeasures, and the role of science and technology in the policymaking process.

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  • Social Justice, Minor

    The minor in Social Justice engages students in both a critical examination of various forms of injustice (such as poverty, racism, and speciesism, and environmental degradation) and an exploration of strategies for creating and sustaining an equitable and just world. The minor is interdisciplinary in nature, drawing on disciplines as distinct as critical race studies, critical animal studies, and environmental science. The program aggregates courses from multiple disciplines including government, sociology, and gender studies along with social justice. It is designed particularly to help students consider the intersectional nature of all types of exploitation and their related movements for liberation. The strong skills in research and critical analysis developed while earning this minor contribute to student success in a wide variety of professional pathways including government, commercial, and non-profit organizations as well as graduate education.

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  • Sociology, BA, Minor

    Mason’s Sociology BA emphasizes the systematic study of social structures, cultural patterns, and human relationships, combining rigorous methods with theory and observation, yielding insights that challenge commonly held assumptions about the social world. The program also addresses the practice of social and public service, aiding efforts to address important social problems. Graduates are positioned to pursue a varied set of career paths, ranging from teaching, human service, and human resource occupations to positions in the criminal justice system, marketing, and social research. The sociology major is also excellent preparation for students considering law school or graduate training in the social and behavioral sciences. Highly qualified Mason Sociology majors may apply to the accelerated master’s degree program, to earn both the BA and MA within five years.

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  • Sociology, MA, Accelerated MA

    Mason’s Sociology MA emphasizes skills in both basic and applied research, and involves a strong personal mentoring experience. The program partners with nonprofit and community groups, providing ample opportunity for research, internships, and employment in various occupations. Students specialize in either institutions and inequality, or sociology of globalization. Faculty in our program have research specializations in culture; family, youth and aging; gender; globalization; immigration and migration; political economy, development and economic sociology; political sociology and social movements; race/ethnicity; religion; sociological theory; and urban sociology. Graduates are qualified for non-academic positions in many settings that rely on the expertise of sociologists including human service agencies, marketing research firms, educational systems, nonprofit foundations, and law enforcement agencies. Highly qualified Mason Sociology majors may apply to the accelerated master’s degree program, to earn both the BA and MA within five years.
     

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  • Sociology, PhD

    The doctoral degree in Sociology provides rigorous training in public and applied social research, including skills in research design, data analysis, and substantive areas that are pertinent to various sectors in the Washington, D.C. area. Graduates have the theoretical, analytical, and professional skills that prepare them for academic positions in teaching or research. They are also well-qualified for nonacademic positions in the many settings that rely on the expertise of sociologists including human service agencies, marketing research firms, educational systems, nonprofit foundations, and law enforcement agencies.

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  • Systems Engineering and Operations Research, PhD

    Mason’s doctoral program in Systems Engineering and Operations Research offers a unique integration of systems engineering and operations research. This integration gives students a strong analytical and computational capability and an overarching systems perspective that is well-grounded in application. The program prepares students for leadership positions in research and development in government, industry, research organization, and academia.

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  • Systems Engineering, BS

    The BS in Systems Engineering considers all aspects of a system throughout its lifetime. The program is interdisciplinary, drawing from engineering, computer science, operations research, psychology, and economics. The core systems engineering courses tie these diverse threads to provide a global understanding of how individual engineering disciplines fit into the development of complex, large-scale systems. Students gain depth in a technical area by selecting a sequence of technical electives that constitute an emphasis. A year-long senior design project provides hands-on experience in applying various systems engineering methods and tools. Systems engineers work in various fields to define, develop, and integrate such systems as computer networks, cars, intelligent robots, stereos, subways, and universities.

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  • Terrorism and Homeland Security, Graduate Certificate

    The certificate is an interdisciplinary introduction to the phenomenon of modern terrorism and its implications for U.S. domestic and foreign policy. It focuses on approaches to long-term prevention of and response to terrorism.

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  • Transportation Policy, Operations, and Logistics, MA

    The master’s degree program in Transportation, Operations, and Logistics (TPOL) teaches students to efficiently supply and operate transportation facilities and services.  They learn to think critically and analytically and to communicate their analysis through written and oral presentations. Graduates of the program hold influential positions at all levels of government, and in the transportation and consulting industries.

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  • Urban and Suburban Studies, Minor

    The minor in Urban and Suburban Studies is an interdisciplinary minor in which students have opportunities to conduct independent research, engage in globally-related activities through coursework and language study, participate in public service, and prepare for a future career through internships, career-focused minors and other college-to-career activities. The strong communication and analytical skills developed while earning this minor contribute to student success in a wide variety of professional careers as well as graduate education. For policies governing all minors, see the Undergraduate Policies section of this catalog.

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  • War and the Military in Society, Concentration in the Interdisciplinary Studies MAIS

    The concentration in War and the Military in Society examines issues of international security and conflict in the past, present, and future. Our program helps students understand the ways in which armies are raised and funded, the reasons troops serve, the conditions military personnel and civilians endure during wartime, and the multifaceted and evolving ways in which nations conceive of the military apparatus. It equips students with the skills to understand the interconnected nature of those elements and to examine critically the ways in which they change over time. Our courses prepare students for research and pedagogical work in colleges and universities, as well as government and nonprofit programs. The industry and government sectors need professionals who can make broad connections across time, and apply the methods of several disciplines to solve complex problems, analyzing and making policy. The degree allows students to customize their program by taking courses in several disciplines, including Anthropology, Biodefense, English, History, Government, Religion, and Public Administration, among others. In addition to coursework, each student will complete a capstone project tailored to their interests under the direction of a Mason faculty member.

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  • Women and Gender Studies, Graduate Certificate

    The 15-credit graduate certificate in Women and Gender Studies enables students interested in an academic career to enrich their research and analytical skills. Students interested in a professional career are prepared to address gender-related challenges in both domestic and global settings. The certificate adds an area of specialization to any graduate degree, giving students a competitive edge in the workforce. The certificate may be taken alone or in conjunction with another graduate program. Courses applied to the certificate may also be applied to a degree program, subject to approval of the graduate director of the respective program. The graduate certificate in women and gender studies may be pursued on a part-time or full-time basis.

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  • Women and Gender Studies, Minor

    The Women and Gender Studies minor is intended for students who are interested in gender, sexuality, and feminist perspectives. While it is an especially strong complement to a major in the humanities, social sciences, health and human services, or natural sciences, it is open to students in any major in the university. Students interested in a professional career are prepared to address gender-related challenges in both domestic and global settings. The minor adds an area of specialization to any degree, giving students a competitive edge in the workforce. The minor in Women and Gender Studies consists of two required courses and four electives. Students interested in feminist and gender issues choose their elective courses from a broad range of offerings. Those who wish to focus on LGBTQ (lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, and queer issues) issues take an introductory course focused on these issues and two electives that incorporate such perspectives more specifically. This minor is offered by the Women and Gender Studies Program. For policies governing all minors, see the Undergraduate Policies section of the catalog.

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  • World Religions, Diplomacy, and Conflict Resolution Graduate Certificate

    This program designed for midcareer professionals considers strategies to reduce global violence and terrorism by incorporating the best moral practices of religious communities into policy planning, diplomacy, civil society building and democratization. Courses cover strategies to elicit moderate moral religious expression in conflict regions to strengthen civil society and democracy.

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  • Writing and Rhetoric, Minor

    George Mason’s minor in Writing and Rhetoric provides students with opportunities to learn and apply advanced strategies for writing academic, professional, and civic documents. Students examine the theoretical, interdisciplinary, and professional aspects of writing and develop their expository, persuasive, organizational, and stylistic skills through close analysis of rhetorical situations and the features and approaches of successful writing. The strong communication and analytical skills developed while earning this minor contribute to student success in a wide variety of professional careers as well as graduate education. The minor in writing and rhetoric is a valuable asset for students interested in working in media organizations, trade and professional associations, and nonprofit organizations related to the arts, schools, and social change. It is also beneficial to students interested in careers in business, science, engineering, accounting, and many other fields that demand strong writing and communication skills for promotion and advancement. 

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