George Mason University

Liberal Arts

Academics

The liberal arts encompass foundational study in the humanities, social sciences, math and natural sciences, and help provide answers to big questions, from the physics that holds our universe together to the experiences that provide meaning to our place within it.

A liberal arts education is diverse and wide-ranging; it develops clear writing and communication, creative and critical thinking, and an aptitude for research and logical problem solving. These abilities are especially valuable in an economy in which people change jobs frequently and are required to have a wider range of skills. They are highly valued by employers, and set a strong foundation for more specialized graduate-level degrees.

History Majors Research Life of Washington at Mount Vernon

Mason students got a rare chance to examine the life, artifacts, and even some of the myths of George Washington, right at the spot where much of his life was lived. 

A dozen history majors conducted research at Washington’s plantation home of Mount Vernon as part of the World of the Founders senior seminar, taught by Mason History Professor Cynthia Kierner. The students used resources from Mt. Vernon’s recently opened Fred W. Smith National Library for the Study of George Washington for their work.

They investigated topics relevant to Washington’s life, from military education to Chinese porcelain, the infamous cherry tree story to how Washington has been portrayed in film. After writing up and presenting their findings at the library, the students were able to see their work published in the Digital Encyclopedia of George Washington, which is maintained by Mount Vernon.

Professor Cynthia Kierner talks to her students

Professor Cynthia Kierner talks to her students following presentations at the Fred W. Smith National Library for the Study of George Washington at Mount Vernon for her World of the Founders Senior Seminar class.

  • African and African American Studies, Minor

    The African and African American Studies program offers students a unique opportunity to better understand the experiences of people of African descent throughout the African Diaspora. This degree leads to careers in civil service, social work, foreign service specialist, student affairs, community urban planning, public affairs and policy.

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  • 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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  • Ancient Mediterranean Art and Archaeology, Minor

    Students expand their knowledge of the ancient world by studying archaeology, literature, art, history, philosophy, myth, and religion. The scope of the minor is not limited to Greece and Rome but touches on all ancient civilizations of the Mediterranean and the heirs of late antiquity, such as Byzantium and early Islam.

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  • Anthropology MA

    The  program prepares students for a Ph.D. as well as for careers in the government, private sector, development, museums, and many other fields. Students may focus on cultural anthropology and bio-archaeology while learning how to use fieldwork methods and gaining an understanding of the ethics of conducting research. Students must complete a thesis or project that centers on a research question or problematic. Areas of emphasis are advanced training in sociocultural anthropology; culture, health, and bioethics; and transnationalism and globalization. Advanced graduate courses focus either on regional studies (i.e., the Middle East, Latin America, India) or special topics that build on faculty interests and expertise. Graduates will be prepared to address theoretical and applied questions in health, human rights, education, policy, conflict analysis, and additional areas on national and international levels.

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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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  • Arabic, Minor

    The minor in Arabic has an emphasis on developing strong language skills: oral communication and the reading of texts. Students are also introduced to important works of Arabic literature and culture. A minor in Arabic can easily and effectively be combined with majors in other disciplines. It is especially valuable in combination with global affairs, international relations, security, journalism, philosophy, and religion.

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  • Art History, Accelerated MA

    Highly qualified undergraduates in any major who have taken at least two 300-level art history courses with a minimum grade of B+ in each may apply to the accelerated master’s degree in art history. If accepted, students will be able to earn a bachelor’s degree in their chosen major and a master’s degree in art history after satisfactory completion of 144 credits, sometimes within five years. 

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  • Art History, BA, Minor

    Art history is the study of visual artifacts within their regional and historical contexts. As an art history major at Mason, you will investigate works of art to learn how they were made, why they were made, and by and for whom they were made. You will develop the skills to interpret a work of art as a record of the culture in which it was made. In your courses you will learn task questions that touch on cultural, technological, and economic concerns. You will study with faculty whose expertise covers many world regions – the United States, Latin America, Europe, South and Southeast Asia, and China – and all historical periods – from classical antiquity, Byzantine, Medieval, Renaissance, and Baroque, to the modern era.

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  • Art History, MA

    The program in art history offers a unique master's degree based on departmental strengths in traditional research, the application of new media, and the vast cultural resources of the Washington, D.C., area. Students study a broad range of art-historical periods, theory, and research methods. In addition, the program emphasizes new media skills, museum studies, and preprofessional internship training. Graduates are well-prepared for art museum and gallery professional work, where a master's degree is now routinely required, or further study in doctoral programs.

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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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  • Astronomy, BS, Minor

    Are you intrigued by the wonders of the universe? The ever-expanding and fascinating study of astronomy may be for you. Astronomy majors study the nature of stars, gaseous nebulae, and phenomena like quasars and black holes and take a variety of generalized and specialized courses to meet their own interests. Our unique program blends course work with cutting edge research opportunities involving ground and space based telescopes and state of the art computers. The astronomy minor is suggested for those students who want to increase their knowledge of basic physics and astronomy as it applies to other branches of science or engineering. The minor gives students a qualitative overview of the universe, as well as a more in-depth view of some of the aspects of astrophysics.

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  • Atmospheric Sciences, BS, Minor

    The undergraduate program in atmospheric sciences gives students a strong quantitative undergraduate education in atmospheric, climate, and related sciences to understand the basic principles behind current and emerging issues in weather, climate variability, and climate change. Students completing the atmospheric sciences degree will be prepared for a full range of career paths including forecast and analysis, operations and research support in meteorology, atmospheric sciences, and climate. The curriculum meets the American Meteorological Society’s recommendations for a bachelor’s degree in atmospheric sciences. Topics include weather forecasting, climate change, and the predictability of coupled ocean-atmosphere-land-variations. Students in physics, math, engineering, and computational sciences may be attracted to this program as a minor, because it provides a compelling application of the fundamental methods of analysis learned in their major. Such students are ideal candidates for research in atmospheric science and climate dynamics; the minor will facilitate entry into graduate studies in these fields.

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  • Biology, BA, BS, Minor

    Biology, one of our most popular degree programs, provides a sound liberal arts education with substantial experience in quantitative and analytical thought. Students who study biology prepare for a variety of careers in such fields as environmental management, microbiology, molecular biology, biotechnology, genetics, postgraduate studies in medicine, and even teaching.

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  • Biology, BS, Accelerated MS

    Qualified undergraduates may be provisionally admitted into an accelerated master’s program to obtain both a BS and an MS within an accelerated time frame. This program is open only to Biology, BS students who wish to pursue the microbiology or molecular biology concentrations within the Biology, MS program. Students admitted to this accelerated master’s program may take graduate courses after completing 90 undergraduate credits, and up to 6 credits of graduate work may be used in partial satisfaction of the requirements for the undergraduate degree. If students earn at least a 3.0 in these graduate courses and meet the application requirements, they are granted advanced standing in the master’s program and must then complete an additional 24 credits to receive the master’s degree.

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  • Business and Sustainability, Concentration in the Environmental and Sustainability Studies BA

    Students earning this degree take classes in areas such as Managing Financial Resources, as well as Managing People and Organizations. They prepare for their future careers through internships, career-focused minors and other college-to-career activities.

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  • Chemistry, BA, BS, Minor

    The chemistry undergraduate programs provide a comprehensive undergraduate education in chemistry designed to prepare students for professional careers in chemistry and for advanced studies in chemistry and chemistry related areas such as environmental science, material science, biochemistry, medicinal chemistry, geochemistry, chemical waste management, pharmacy, forensic chemistry, and chemical engineering. Students planning medical, dental, or veterinary careers may meet the requirements of these professional schools by majoring in chemistry.

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  • Chemistry, BS, Accelerated MS

    The five-year BS/Accelerated MS degree program leads to a research-based MS degree following satisfactory completion of 144 credits. It allows academically strong undergraduates with a commitment to research to obtain a BS and a MS degree within five academic years plus the summer of the last year.

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  • Chinese, Minor

    The minor in Chinese offers students the opportunity to study one of the rapidly developing ancient cultures of the world. The emphasis is on developing strong language skills, oral communication, and the reading of texts.

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  • Classical Studies, Minor

    Take a course or earn a minor in Classical Studies and explore our classical heritage. Study the literature, history, art, and philosophy of the ancient Mediterranean World and learn how they are reflected in today's culture. This minor complements especially well majors in the
    humanities—English, languages, comparative literature, history, art history, philosophy, or religious studies.

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  • Climate Change and Society, Concentration in the Environmental and Sustainability Studies BA

    Students earning this degree take classes in such areas as Energy Policy, as well as the Human Dimensions of Global Climate Change. They prepare for their future careers through internships, career-focused minors and other college-to-career activities.

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  • Communication, BA, Minor

    Communication offers enriching courses in public speaking; media production and criticism; public relations; journalism; and intercultural, health, and political communication. But students don’t sit at their desks for long. When they’re not participating in research, global engagement, public service, co-curricular activities, internships, or study-abroad opportunities, communication students are actively involved in producing everything from videos and public relations plans to television shows and websites.

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  • Communication, MA

    Whether an organization is rolling out a new product, lobbying policy makers, promoting good health, or building stronger relationships with stakeholders, effective communication is the key to success. But which message is the right message? The MA in Communication program seeks to answer these questions by examining processes of human communication in increasingly complex social and technological environments.

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  • Communication, PhD

    The doctoral program in communication focuses on health and strategic communication, preparing students for increasingly complex public and private communication environments. Students receive a strong theoretical and multi-methodological foundation, which enables them to examine the critical role communication performs in health promotion, disease prevention, quality of care, risk assessment, and crisis management.

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  • Community College Teaching (Interdisciplinary Studies: Concentration in the MAIS)

    The concentration qualifies students to teach entry-level courses in rapidly growing fields at community colleges. Also, it may be an appropriate graduate credential for some faculty currently teaching in community colleges.

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  • Computer Science BS/Data Analytics Engineering, Accelerated MS

    Highly qualified students in the Computer Science BS program have the option of obtaining an accelerated Data Analytics Engineering MS. Students in an accelerated degree program must fulfill all university requirements for the master’s degree.

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  • Computer Science, BS, Minor

    Computer Science is the discipline concerned with the design, implementation, and maintenance of the computer software systems used in almost all other professions. Computer scientists must be well-grounded in the technologies needed for the acquisition, representation, storage, transmission, transformation, and use of information in digital form and must be capable of working closely with members of other professions associated with computing. The minor is intended for those pursuing other undergraduate degree programs who feel the need to pursue computer science to complement their other studies.

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  • Computer Science, BS/Information Security and Assurance, Accelerated MS

    Highly qualified students in the Computer Science BS program have the option of obtaining an accelerated Information Security and Assurance MS. Students in an accelerated degree program must fulfill all university requirements for the master’s degree.

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  • Computer Science, BS/Information Systems, Accelerated MS

    Highly qualified students earning a BS in  Computer Science have the option of obtaining an accelerated Information Systems MS. Students in an accelerated degree program must fulfill all university requirements for the master’s degree.

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  • Computer Science, BS/Software Engineering, Accelerated MS

    Highly qualified students earning a BS in Computer Science have the option of obtaining an accelerated Software Engineering MS. Students in an accelerated degree program must fulfill all university requirements for the master’s degree.

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  • Computer Science, Undergraduate Certificate

    This certificate is available to students who are working on or possess an undergraduate degree in a science or engineering field but lack a formal credential in the computer science field. The certificate also is geared toward students who have shown an aptitude for graduate study but do not have the academic prerequisites required for admittance into a graduate MS computer science program.

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  • Conservation Studies, Minor

    The Conservation Studies Minor is intended for non-biology majors with an interest in wildlife and habitat conservation issues. The minor may particularly suit environmental science, environmental and sustainability studies, global and environmental change majors and Earth science majors, as well as New Century College students wishing to increase their understanding and qualifications in the field of conservation biology. The minor may also be of interest to non-science majors, for example, students taking leisure studies classes with an interest in ecotourism. The minor is offered by the Department of Environmental Science and Policy in the College of Science.

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  • Creative Writing, BFA

    Mason’s Bachelor of Fine Arts in Creative Writing is one of only 30 programs nationwide. With three concentrations to choose from (fiction, poetry, and nonfiction), the degree program is structured to give students ample opportunity to learn to write and think creatively while also developing the vocational writing skills that are desperately needed in the workplace.

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  • Creative Writing, MFA

    This selective and academically rigorous master of fine arts program is designed to provide talented writers with the opportunity to work closely with both outstanding faculty and gifted peers to strengthen their craft, develop their literary aesthetics, enrich their understanding of existing traditions and compositional possibilities, and to participate actively in the life of the literary community at large.

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  • Cultural Studies, Concentration in the English MA

    Cultural Studies looks at cultural practices of all kinds—mass media, consumer culture, and literary texts—as well as other aspects of everyday life both past and present. Course work draws on theory and methods from traditional disciplines such as anthropology, history, and philosophy, but it also responds to questions that cannot always be answered by traditional means. Can be taken as a concentration in the MA in English.

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  • Cultural Studies, PhD

    Cultural Studies looks at cultural practices of all kinds—mass media, consumer culture, and literary texts—as well as other aspects of everyday life both past and present. Course work draws on theory and methods from traditional disciplines such as anthropology, history, and philosophy, but it also responds to questions that cannot always be answered by traditional means. The emphasis in this program is on the development of intellectual mastery and professional competence.

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  • Curriculum and Instruction, MEd

    This master’s degree is offered to students preparing for initial teacher licensure, advanced teacher education, and ancillary educational programs.  Students may choose up to two concentrations from a wide variety of choices, such as Art Education, Elementary Mathematics, Foreign Language (with choices including French and Spanish), Geography, History, Science, and many other areas of study and specialization. 

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  • Earth Science, BS, Accelerated MEd

    Qualified undergraduates may be admitted to a Bachelor's/Accelerated Master's program and obtain both a BS in Earth Science and an MEd in Curriculum and Instruction, Concentration in Secondary Education Earth Science within an accelerated time frame. Students meeting the qualifications may be admitted to this program following completion of 90 undergraduate credits. They may then take 12 graduate credits within their senior year (i.e., six credits will partially satisfy requirements of both the BS in Earth Science and the MEd in Curriculum and Instruction; six credits will be completed as reserve graduate credit toward the MEd only). If students earn at least a 3.0 in these classes, they are granted advanced standing in the master's program and, upon completion of the bachelor's degree, must then take an additional 23 credits to earn the master's degree.

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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 Science, Minor

    An Earth Sciences minor provides students with a broad education in geology, oceanography, atmospheric science, and their effect on the environment. This minor helps prepare students for work in environmental science, environmental consulting, and public policy.

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  • Economic Systems Design, Minor

    The processes that efficiently allocate resources and foster exchange are crucial. Economic systems design is the study of the design, development, testing, and understanding of economic institutions. The minor in Economic systems design explores problems in the design of allocation systems and provides a method to develop and test the properties of such systems. A minor in economic systems design prepares students to undertake the scientific process of understanding and developing systems of exchange and their incentives. The skills offered through this minor can be of use to e-commerce designers, policy analysts, systems designers, engineers, and computer scientists.

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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, Minor

    Economics is an essential tool for understanding the complexities of modern society. Economics analyzes how people with limited resources make choices and how we might make better choices. A minor in economics is an extremely flexible and marketable choice. Whether a student's primary interest is in business, communications, policy, data management, international studies, or engineering; a minor in economics provides an additional edge in the workplace.

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  • English - Secondary Education, Concentration in MEd Curriculum and Instruction

    The Secondary Education Program in the Graduate School of Education is designed to meet the needs of individuals who wish to be licensed or who need to satisfy the requirements of a provisional license to teach English at the secondary level.

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  • English Pedagogy, Graduate Certificate

    The graduate certificate in English pedagogy provides students with course work that focuses on teaching in the domains of English studies, including literature, composition, creative writing, and technical writing. The certificate may be pursued concurrently with any of several programs in English and elsewhere. Part of the course work toward the certificate may be applied to those degrees with the approval of the director of the degree program.

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  • English, Accelerated MA, with a Concentration in Linguistics

    Highly qualified Mason undergraduates in any major may apply to the accelerated master’s degree in English with a concentration in linguistics. If accepted, students will be able to earn a BA in their chosen major and an MA in English with a concentration in linguistics after satisfactory completion of 144 credits. This program of study is offered by the Department of English.

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  • English, BA

    Our English degree is not the conventional type. You can study the poetry of Milton and learn to write digital poetry. You can specialize in Renaissance or modern literature. We'll teach you to read critically and write carefully, not just by reading traditional texts, but also through the use of technologies such as blogs, wikis, and multimedia production. As an English major, you'll gain the skills necessary for any profession – teaching, journalism, creative writing, law, management, and more.

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  • English, MA

    The study of imaginative literature across time and geography forms the core of graduate English studies. Whether the object is British, American, or world literature in translation, we offer an array of courses in literary history and interpretation. We embrace the study of linguistics and the text provided by film, new media, and folklore, and welcome such writing forms as ethnography and professional and technical writing. Students choose one concentration from: cultural studies; linguistics; literature; professional writing and rhetoric; or the teaching of writing and literature.

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  • English, Minor

    A minor in English provides students with a strong background in writing and critical thinking and will introduce them to significant literary and cultural documents. A prerequisite is satisfaction of the Mason Core requirement in literature.

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  • Environmental Economics, Concentration in the Environmental and Sustainability Studies BA

    This degree’s requirements include courses in Contemporary Macroeconomic Principles and the Economics of Environmental Policy. Students prepare for their future careers through internships, career-focused minors and other college-to-career activities.

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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, 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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  • Equity and Environmental Justice, Concentration in the Environmental and Sustainability Studies BA

    Classes for this degree include Poverty, Wealth and Inequality in the U.S., as well as the Human Dimensions of Global Climate Change. Students prepare for their future careers through internships, career-focused minors and other college-to-career activities.

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  • Ethnomusicology, Minor

    The minor is designed for those who wish to widen their scope of knowledge about music while deepening their understanding of people around the world. Students gain skills that will serve them in many fields.

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  • Film and Media Studies, Minor

    Mason’s minor in film and video studies offers students in any major the opportunity to gain an in-depth knowledge of film and media through concentrated study within the broader context of the university’s English and Communication Departments. Students will have the opportunity to view and analyze films and other media to develop an informed awareness of their significance and their impact on culture and society. Participants can choose to focus on film, television, or mass culture, or can select a mix of courses that suits their interests.

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  • Film and Video Studies Interdisciplinary Studies MA

    The specialized Master of Arts in Interdisciplinary Studies concentration in film and video studies emphasizes such components as videoconferencing, multimedia, and editing. As low-end, high quality video equipment becomes more affordable; more organizations (profit and nonprofit) are investing in in-house production studios and staff. Their needs include traditional videography, videoconferencing, web design, multimedia, and digital editing.

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  • Film and Video Studies, BA

    The bachelor of arts degree in film and video studies offers students the technical skills necessary to tell vibrant visual stories while providing a broad understanding of the business of filmmaking in a rapidly changing industry. The degree includes concentrations in production with emphasis on directing, producing, and screenwriting. Students work as interns and video producers, and leave the program as professionals in their field.

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  • Folklore Studies, Accelerated MA, Concentration in the MAIS

    Highly qualified Mason undergraduates in any major may apply to the accelerated master’s degree in interdisciplinary studies with a concentration in folklore 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 interdisciplinary studies with a concentration in folklore studies after satisfactory completion of 150 credits, sometimes within five years.

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  • Folklore Studies, Graduate Certificate

    The graduate certificate in folklore studies enables students to explore the expressive traditions rooted in folktales, folk beliefs, folk medicine, folk art, folksong, and literature. Students conduct ethnographic fieldwork in communities to collect living traditional materials that are critical to human identity and values. The certificate prepares individuals for careers in cultural agencies, government, teaching, and advanced studies in folklore and the humanities.

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  • Folklore and Mythology, Minor

    The interdisciplinary minor in folklore and mythology allows students to explore stories told in both sacred and secular contexts to uncover their deeper meanings and to reveal how a culture’s storytelling contributes to its evolution. Students study folklore and mythology as it relates to anthropology; art history; and classical, literary, and religious studies.

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  • Foreign Languages, BA

    The BA in foreign languages offers an integrated, technology-enhanced curriculum that allows students to acquire not only linguistic proficiency but a full development of cultural knowledge, critical thinking, and ethics. The degree prepares students for teaching careers at the secondary school level, graduate study in languages, and research and professional work in government and private enterprise. Students who major in foreign languages can choose a concentration in Chinese, French, or Spanish.

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  • Foreign Languages, MA

    The Foreign Language program offers four concentrations: French; Spanish; French and Spanish; and Spanish/bilingual-multicultural education. It meets the needs and interests of prospective and practicing teachers and other professionals, and prepares students for doctoral study at other institutions.

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  • French, Concentration in the Foreign Languages BA, Minor

    Foreign language majors concentrating in French study a variety of topics from traditional academic fields like language, literature, and the culture of French, to less traditional subjects such as film studies and the Francophone literatures of the Caribbean, Quebec, and Africa. This combination leads to a well-rounded liberal arts education that allows students to experience the full spectrum of the Francophone world. This concentration will open doors to such fields as teaching, translation, the travel industry, diplomacy, and other international careers in such areas as law or business. A minor in French helps students improve their knowledge of the language, and introduces them to the basics of translation and the cultural aspects of learning a foreign language.

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  • French, Concentration in the Foreign Languages MA

    The MA in Foreign Languages with a concentration in French offers an opportunity to study a variety of topics—from the traditional academic study of the language, literature, and the culture of French—to less traditional subjects such as film studies and the Francophone literatures of the Caribbean, Quebec, and Africa. This unique array leads to an in-depth liberal arts experience in scholarship that allows students to experience the full spectrum of the Francophone world.

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  • Geography, BA, BS, Minor

    Geography can be found in careers as various as economics, engineering, environmental science, transportation, business, marketing, and public health. The program is designed to offer students the opportunity to study the integrated social and environmental processes that continuously shape and reshape the world we live in. It provides students with broad training across the core subdisciplines of geography (human, physical, and GI Science), emphasizing application and technique-driven coursework, in addition to a rigorous science and mathematics curriculum. Students will find numerous opportunities for employment in both the private and public sectors, as well as in academia.

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  • Geology, BA, Minor

    Geology is the scientific study of the solid earth, earth processes, and how earth has changed through time. Geologists do research to develop new principles to help our understanding of the earth. These principles can often be applied to land use planning, the discovery of mineral, energy or water resources and to environmental studies.

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  • German, Minor

    Students develop strong language skills, including oral and written communication, as well as learning about important works of German literature and culture. Fluency in a second language is highly valued by many businesses and institutions—from banking to government to retail, to name just a few.

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  • Global Affairs, MA, Accelerated MA

    The Global Affairs graduate program prepares globally competent professionals to enter today's fast-paced, interconnected world. Using a multidisciplinary approach, coursework highlights both the theoretical and practical aspects of the cultural, political, and economic dynamics of globalization.

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  • Global Affairs, Minor

    The minor in global affairs provides students with a global perspective that can enhance many different majors. The minor is not available to students majoring in global affairs or minoring in global systems.

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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 Communication, Minor

    Health communication, one of the fastest-growing fields in the broader communication discipline, addresses how communication intersects with all aspects of health (social, mental, and physical). The minor in health communication is offered by the Department of Communication.

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  • History of Decorative Arts, MA

    The MA in the history of decorative arts, offered in partnership with Smithsonian Associates, presents students with the challenge of integrating the history of the decorative arts into the study of art history and cultural studies as a whole. Students take courses in decorative arts, design history and theory, material culture, and museology. The Smithsonian Institution grants students in this program access to its curators and vast collections, where they are connected to its expansive network of professionals, research communities, and state-of-the-art educational and conservation facilities.

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  • History, BA, Minor

    Students who pursue a BA in History at Mason are exposed to broad study of ancient, medieval, and modern times through historical books and novels, images, films, oral interviews, newspapers, and more. Faculty experts specialize in examining military and political history, and the social and cultural lives of earlier times—in the United States and across the globe. For those who love history but do not foresee it as their major career focus, a history minor can be a rewarding option. Because of its flexibility, the history minor may also be shaped to augment a variety of majors. You and your advisor decide on a three-course concentration, and then you choose any other history courses you wish to meet the remaining requirements.

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  • History, MA, Accelerated MA

    History is the study of change over time, and explores the people and events that shaped the human condition. As a history major, you will study a variety of historical time periods, from Greek and Roman antiquity to the late twentieth-century. Highly qualified undergraduates may apply to the accelerated master’s degree program and obtain both a BA and an MA in history after satisfactory completion of 144 credits. Students must have completed 90 credits, including HIST 300 with a minimum grade of B+, before they can enter the program.

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  • History, PhD

    The PhD program prepares students for careers in college teaching, digital media, publishing, educational administration, public history, and historical research. Students gain expertise in conventional historical methods and web-based technologies. Major fields include U.S. history, European history, and world history. Minor fields are chosen by the student and may be defined geographically/temporally (such as Early America or Modern East Asia), topically (such as women’s history or cultural history), or methodologically (such as public history or new media and information technology).

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  • Individualized Study, BIS, Accelerated MS

    Highly-qualified students in the Individualized Study, BIS have the option of obtaining an accelerated Applied Information Technology, MS. Students in an accelerated degree program must fulfill all university requirements for the master’s degree.

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  • Individualized Study, BIS

    A degree completion program for adult learners. BIS offers students generous transfer credit options and a distinctive educational opportunity to integrate other college-level learning, such as professional or military experience, into university course work. Students create interdisciplinary concentrations to meet their own educational needs: to advance professionally, to prepare for graduate or professional programs, or to make a career change.

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  • Individualized Study, Concentration in the Integrative Studies BS

    This program allows students to self-curate a degree based on their personal interests and goals. It combines intensive, interdisciplinary learning communities coordinated with traditional academic programs. The result is an integrated, individualized program of study that encourages students to engage in active learning, independent inquiry and research that creates awareness of the needs and opportunities of a diverse society.

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  • Industrial/Organizational Psychology, Minor

    This minor is offered by the Department of Psychology. Students pursuing this minor must complete 18 credits with a minimum GPA of 2.00.

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  • Interdisciplinary Studies (Concentration in Folklore Studies), Accelerated MAIS

    Highly qualified undergraduates in any major may apply to the accelerated master’s degree in interdisciplinary 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 interdisciplinary studies with a concentration in folklore studies. Students have the opportunity to work in communities and collect living traditional materials that are critical to human identity and values and go on to careers in cultural agencies, governmental organizations, and teaching institutions.

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  • Interdisciplinary Studies (Concentration in Women and Gender Studies), Accelerated MAIS

    Highly qualified undergraduates in select majors may apply to the accelerated master’s degree in interdisciplinary studies with a concentration in women and gender studies. If accepted, and depending on their undergraduate major, students will be able to earn both their bachelor’s degree and a master’s degree in interdisciplinary studies with a concentration in women and gender studies. Students may go on to work in advocacy, social services-related positions, community development, business and government, to name just a few areas

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  • Interdisciplinary Studies, MAIS

    The Interdisciplinary Studies program in the College of Humanities & Social Sciences encourages students' freedom and creativity while maintaining Mason's commitment to excellence. This degree seeks to synthesize knowledge from several academic programs in the pursuit of gaining a more dynamic understanding of a given topic. It is set up for students who seek a graduate degree that integrates knowledge from several disciplines. Students can pursue a structured interdisciplinary concentration or design an individualized concentration to meet the special needs of their careers.

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  • Interpersonal and Organizational Communication, Concentration in the Communication BA

    This concentration examines communication among persons and groups, in formal and informal settings while focusing on theories, concepts, and practices appropriate to institutional settings, including families. Students will explore the behavior of people in groups and teams. Coursework focuses on the study of professional and personal relationships and explores such issues as conflict, decision-making, diversity, small groups, persuasion, gender, culture, interviewing, leadership, nonverbal communication, media, public presentation, health, the environment, and family relations.

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  • Islamic Studies, Minor

    The minor in Islamic Studies is designed for students interested in the societies, cultures, history, and politics of the Islamic world. It offers participants the opportunity to study the many societies that have significant Muslim populations. Students take a variety of courses in such areas as government, history, religion and foreign language from a range of departments, which will provide students with a broad and well-rounded understanding of Islam.

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  • Italian Studies, Minor

    The Minor in Italian Studies complements a variety of major programs, from Global Affairs to Art History. It enables students to become linguistically and culturally proficient in the language, cultures, and artistic productions from the Italian peninsula, as well as throughout the Italian-speaking world. With courses in Italian language at the advanced level and others in English from within the department and across the College of Humanities and Social Sciences, students refine their ability to speak Italian at a high level of ability while developing the knowledge and critical analysis necessary to discuss the ways in which Italian language and culture manifests itself in Europe and around the world.

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  • Japanese Studies, Minor

    Explore these and other aspects of Japanese language, culture, and history through the minor in Japanese studies. Students acquire the language skills and cultural understanding to function successfully in social settings and a variety of careers.

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  • Journalism, Concentration in Communication BA

    The journalism concentration is for student journalists who are passionate about diving into original reporting, strong writing, and investigative research. Student journalists will seek out and uncover breaking news stories, find and interview sources, and be engaged in the writing and editing process from assignment to deadline. Students get a taste of writing across all media, digital communication, multimedia journalism, a real newsroom and media law and ethics. Student journalists participate in the breaking news process as it unfolds real-time on social media and online.

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  • Journalism, Minor

    Journalism provides a cross-platform foundation with a focus on reporting, research techniques and writing style unique to online, print, broadcast, social media and database journalism.

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  • Judaic Studies, Minor

    The minor in Judaic studies is designed for students interested in the culture, history, and politics of Jewish communities across the world. It recognizes that Jews form a global community, and, thus, provides a global approach rather than a regional framework for exploring Judaism. This innovative approach encourages students to explore the historical role and contributions of Judaism beyond the Middle East and to appreciate the experiences that connect Jewish communities historically and in the present.

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  • Latin American Studies, BA, Minor

    Study Latin America at Mason and explore one of the most diverse and exciting regions in the world. Contemporary Latin America has a long and turbulent history of conquest, resistance, and cultural mixing. The result is a rich and unique blend of African, indigenous, and European cultures. As a major in Latin American studies, you will develop a broad expertise in the region while pursuing an individualized program of study that suits your own interests. You will improve your language skills and take courses in many disciplines, including anthropology, dance, economics, folklore, geography, government, history, and literature. All students have opportunities for research, global engagement, public service, and career preparation. A minor in Latin American studies is particularly attractive to employers, as it enhances a major in Spanish or anthropology for a career in teaching or human rights work; a major in communication for a career in journalism; and a major in business for a career in the U.S. Foreign Service, other government agencies, or international commerce.

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  • Latin, Minor

    The minor in Latin offers students the opportunity to develop and refine their knowledge of the Latin language by reading classical Latin literature. Students gain an understanding and appreciation of the literature, culture, and intellectual achievements of Roman antiquity that have contributed to the development of Western civilization.

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  • Linguistics, English Concentration in the MA

    The MA in English concentration in linguistics is theoretically oriented and provides a solid foundation in the major subfields of linguistics: phonology, syntax, and semantics. The concentration combines courses in linguistics with courses in some related areas of language study, such as teaching English as a second language (ESL), bilingual education, or foreign language teaching. This course of study is designed to prepare students for teaching in one of these fields or for doctoral work. Most graduates are ESL instructors at colleges, or in adult education programs or public school systems. Linguists are employed as speech and language therapists in hospitals. They also work in industry as computational linguists, dealing with language understanding by machines. Other career opportunities include automatic translation, speech recognition, and brand-name creation.

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  • Linguistics, Minor

    Students studying linguistics learn to approach language scientifically, transforming the way they think about sounds, words, sentences, and meaning. Courses will include instruction in phonetics, phonology, syntax, semantics, and 1st and 2nd language acquisition. Opportunities include work on the Speech Accent Archive and experimental research in Linguistics Labs. Coursework introduces the fundamental concepts of modern linguistic theory and explores how these concepts relate to various other disciplines, such as philosophy, psychology, sociology, computer science, the study of individual languages and literatures, literary studies, and education. Students develop skills in problem solving, logical thinking, and data analysis that can be applied to many fields and careers.

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  • Linguistics, PhD

    The PhD in linguistics trains students in the science of language. Students become specialists in the core areas of linguistics—phonology, syntax, and semantics—and learn to integrate this core with the study of second-language acquisition. Graduates can build careers in academia, industry, and government working in a host of organizations that are concerned with language and second language acquisition. They might be research and teaching professors, administrators of language-learning programs, or consultants in computational linguistic research.

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  • Literature, English Concentration in the MA

    The MA in English concentration in literature appeals to those who wish to expand their knowledge of literature, film, folklore, and other cultural texts. This is for students who are interested in an intrinsically rewarding pursuit or want to teach English at the high school or community college level. Because the concentration is designed to acquaint students with the widest range of literary and cultural texts, it is an optimal stepping stone toward a doctorate in the study of English, cultural studies, film, or folklore, and, a potential career in teaching at the four-year college and university level.

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  • Mathematics - Secondary Education, Accelerated MEd

    Qualified undergraduates may be admitted to a Bachelor's/Accelerated Master's program and obtain both a BA or BS in Mathematics (degree without concentration) and an MEd in Curriculum and Instruction, Concentration in Secondary Education Mathematics within an accelerated time frame.

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  • Mathematics, BA, BS, Minor

    Mathematics is one of the few disciplines that teaches us about the power of thought as distinct from the power of authority. It is not necessarily dependent on our physical observations of the world, and yet it constantly provides models for our observations. Such models—usually studied in applied mathematics—may have relevance in traditional sciences such as physics, biology, or chemistry. Topics studied by mathematicians, such as chaos theory or dynamical systems, often serve as models for economics, neuroscience, or predictors of fluctuations in the stock market. Students majoring in mathematics take courses in the logical foundations of mathematics, the calculus sequence, matrix algebra, and discrete mathematics. Majors choose from a concentration of applied, traditional, or actuarial mathematics. Both the BA and the BS in mathematics will allow entry to advanced studies or career opportunities as diverse as the fields to which mathematics is applied. The metro region of Washington, D.C., is a particularly fertile area for related job opportunities, including consulting, teaching, and government.

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  • Mathematics, BS, Accelerated MS

    This five-year degree program allows academically strong students to obtain a BS and MS by successfully completing 144 credits within five academic years and one summer. Well-prepared students are admitted to this program on completion of 90 credits, take selected graduate courses during their senior year, and are able to use up to 6 graduate credits to partially satisfy requirements for the undergraduate degree. Upon completion of that degree and with satisfactory graduate level performance (3.0) in graduate courses, students are given advanced standing in the Master's program and complete an additional 24 credits to receive the MS degree. All other MS degree requirements must be met.

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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, Graduate Certificate

    The graduate certificate in Middle East and Islamic studies allows students to examine the complex issues involved in understanding the Middle East and the broader Islamic world from a variety of perspectives. Students study both contemporary and historical developments in these regions; they take core courses in various disciplines, including political science, history, and religious studies, and have the opportunity to take elective courses in an even broader set of disciplines, including sociology, anthropology, literature, and art history.

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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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  • 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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  • Music Education Licensure for PK-12, Graduate Certificate

    Required courses for this certificate include Music Curriculum and Instructional Procedures as well as Foundations of Music Education. Note: This certificate is pending Virginia Department of Education approval as a state-approved licensure program.

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  • Music Education, PhD

    The PhD in music education, a research-intensive degree, focuses on the gathering, processing, and interpretation of information. Students in the PhD program take seminars and topics courses in music education, as well as research courses through the College of Education and Human Development. PhD graduates are expected to demonstrate the ability to communicate significant concepts of music education.

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  • Music and Technology, Minor

    This minor is open to those who want to expand their knowledge and skill in this area. Required classes include Fundamentals of Music, Music and Technology, and Recording Techniques.

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  • Music and Wellness, Minor

    This minor, designed for students with minimal formal musical training, allows students to explore the connection between music and consciousness as well as vibration, mindfulness, and well-being. Admission to the Music and Wellness minor is by interview with the minor coordinator.

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  • Music, BM, BA, Minor

    The Mason School of Music is part of the College of Visual and Performing Arts. Students study with nationally and internationally recognized faculty who are active performers, conductors, composers, music theoreticians, historians, and music teachers. Admission is based on acceptance to the university and audition. The music program is accredited by the National Association of Schools of Music (NASM). Students pursuing a minor in music must also pass a music audition. Required classes include Introduction to Classical Music, Aural Skills, and Keyboard Skills.

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  • Music, MM

    The MM degree is offered as an educational channel to meet the intellectual and career needs of qualified students. The Mason School of Music is part of the College of Visual and Performing Arts. Students study with nationally and internationally recognized faculty who are active performers, conductors, composers, music theoreticians, historians, and music teachers. Admission is based on acceptance to the university and audition. The music program is accredited by the National Association of Schools of Music (NASM). It is a comprehensive and advanced program of study with a choice of concentrations in performance, music education, composition, conducting, jazz studies, and pedagogy. The MM with a concentration in music education does not provide licensure to teach music in public or private schools.

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  • Musical Arts, DMA

    The doctor of musical arts requires 90 credits, 60 credits beyond the Master’s degree in music. Areas of concentrations are composition, conducting, and performance. While these concentrations share some of the required course work, each is also distinct in course requirements. Professional musicians earn the DMA to enhance and extend their knowledge and practice within their area of specialization. The DMA student focuses on the profession of music performance, as well as the theory and practice of the discipline.

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  • Native American and Indigenous Studies, Minor

    Native American and indigenous studies is an interdisciplinary field of study committed to understanding both the unity and the diversity of present and past Native American tribes, cultures, and experiences. This interdisciplinary minor will help students think critically and respectfully about the complex dynamics of Native American cultures, considered both individually and comparatively.

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  • Non-Fiction Writing, Creative Writing Concentration in the MFA

    Writing the truth and nothing but doesn't have to be a boring recitation of facts. The Non-Fiction MFA emphasizes self-expressive writing and writing that conveys precise meanings. Couses offer an intensive study of and practice in various forms, such as biographies, documentaries, editorials, interviews, reports, reviews, and essays. Students will get intensive practice in the craft of nonfiction and the study of the creative process.

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  • Non-Fiction, Creative Writing Concentration in the BFA

    Develop the prowess to read, think, and write critically, and learn the skills needed to craft a body of original work. Students take courses in reading and writing nonfiction that use literary techniques normally thought of in the context of fiction, such as evoking senses and use of dialogue. Participants will get intensive study of and practice in various forms of nonfiction writing, through analyzing models and completing weekly assignments. Practice in such forms as biographies, documentaries, editorials, interviews, reports, reviews, and essays.

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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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  • Paleontology, Minor

    Paleontology is the study of the history of life on Earth as based on fossils of plants, animals and other living things preserved in rock. Researchers study the fossils to understand both extinct and living organisms. The Minor may supplement a degree in atmospheric, oceanic or earth sciences. This has been designated a Green Leaf program, one that focuses on learning about sustainability.

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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, Accelerated MA

    Highly qualified philosophy majors may apply to the accelerated master’s degree. If accepted, students will be able to earn a BA and a MA in philosophy, sometimes within five years. The master's degree in philosophy is designed for students who intend to pursue a doctorate in philosophy, as well as for those who seek the master's as a terminal degree, either in pursuit of their intellectual interests or to further their professional expertise. Students choose a master's degree with a focus on traditional and contemporary philosophy or one of three concentrations: ethics and public affairs; philosophy and cultural theory; or philosophy and public affairs. All offerings provide grounding in the history of philosophy, ethics, metaphysics, epistemology, contemporary continental thought, contemporary analytic philosophy, and philosophy of science.
     

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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, MA

    Students choose a program with a focus on traditional and contemporary philosophy or one of three concentrations: ethics and public affairs; philosophy and cultural theory; or philosophy and public affairs. The concentration in philosophy and public affairs allows students in the graduate program in philosophy at Moscow's Higher School of Economics to also earn a degree from George Mason. All offerings provide grounding in the history of philosophy, ethics, metaphysics, epistemology, contemporary continental thought, contemporary analytic philosophy, and philosophy of science.

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  • Philosophy, Minor

    Students can take a general minor or one organized around a specific area. The emphasis in the history of philosophy is particularly useful to students in the humanities, especially those who wish to pursue graduate study. The emphasis in reality, knowledge, and science is beneficial for students majoring in the human and natural sciences. The emphasis in social and political philosophy is recommended for students who plan a career in law or politics.
     

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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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  • Physics BS, Accelerated MEd in Curriculum and Instruction, Secondary Education Physics Concentration

    Highly qualified undergraduates may be admitted to the bachelor’s/accelerated master’s program and obtain both a BS in Physics and an MEd in Curriculum and Instruction, Secondary Education Physics Concentration in an accelerated time frame. All graduate and undergraduate students are encouraged to get involved in research with faculty. Areas of study may include: applied physics; astrobiology; astronomy; astrophysics; atomic physics; biological physics; computational physics; data science; particle and nuclear physics; planetary science; space weather; and solar physics.

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  • Physics, BS, Applied and Engineering Physics, Accelerated MS

    Academically strong undergraduates with a commitment to research can obtain Physics, BS and Applied and Engineering Physics, MS degrees by completing 144 credits. Students take selected graduate courses during their senior year and are able to use up to 6 graduate credits in partial satisfaction of requirements for the undergraduate degree. Upon completion and conferral of the bachelor’s degree and with satisfactory performance (grade of ‘B’ or better) in each graduate course, students get advanced standing in the master’s program and complete an additional 24 credits to receive the master’s degree.

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  • Physics, BS, Minor

    The BS in physics prepares students for graduate school and careers in business or industry. Students in the fields of mathematics, science, and engineering who are considering a double major in physics should discuss this option with the undergraduate coordinator. Note that at least 18 credits used to fulfill a physics BS cannot be used to fulfill another major or minor. Some course substitutions are allowed for double majors, but these should be discussed in advance. A Physics minor can complement a major in biology, chemistry, computer science and math. Besides the core requirements, students can take courses in such areas as classical mechanics, wave motion and electromagnetic radiation, thermal physics, quantum mechanics and relativity and cosmology.

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  • Playwriting and Dramaturgy, Concentration in the Theater BA

    Students choosing this area of specialization focus on the literary aspects of theater, such as playwriting, dramaturgy, screenwriting, translation, adaptation, season planning, and theater criticism.  Students seeking specialized experience as a playwright or dramaturg choose from a selection of required and recommended courses designed to expose students to a broad range of contemporary and classical texts, deepen their understanding of dramatic structure, encourage collaboration, and foster opportunities for new play development.   This concentration gives students access to a variety of hands-on opportunities within the School of Theater and the professional world.

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  • Poetry, Concentration in the Creative Writing BFA

    This concentration gives students opportunity to study the poetic tradition and develop useful writing skills such as those that emphasize precise evocations and indirect constructions of meaning.

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  • Poetry, Concentration in the Creative Writing MFA

    The Poetry concentration (within the Creative Writing MFA) allows MFA students to hone their studies on the forms and craft of Poetry in addition to the broader creative writing curriculum via focused study and intensive workshops. The strong creative and critical skills developed while earning this degree contribute to student success in a wide variety of professional careers as well as continued scholarship.

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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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  • Professional Writing and Rhetoric, Graduate Certificate

    Mason’s graduate certificate in Professional Writing and Rhetoric is centered on workplace uses of language. Coursework focuses on nonfiction writing in specific genres, current writing practices and theories of writing in organizational settings, research methods in professional writing, and nonfiction literature. Courses on research and theory in nonfiction writing complement instruction in editing, technical writing, digital publication, and other current practices to prepare students for roles as writers and editors in the private and public sectors.

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  • Psychology, with a Concentration in Cognitive and Behavioral Neuroscience, Accelerated MA, BA, BS

    Masons’ accelerated Psychology MA (with a Concentration in Cognitive and Behavioral Neuroscience) allows highly qualified accepted students to earn a BA/BS and MA in Psychology together. This intensive course of study allows students to pursue their concentration of cognitive and behavioral neuroscience, building on a common foundation of scientific methodologies, examining the application of psychology to various behavioral and cognitive issues. Graduates are well-prepared to apply their advanced training to work within community agencies, health care settings, educational or social services systems in government or industry as researchers, trainers, mental health workers, administrators, and managers, or to continue with doctoral studies in psychology or related fields.

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  • Public Relations, Concentration in the Communications BA

    The Public Relations concentration of the Communications BA provides students with the tools and background to build, repair, and enhance an organization’s relationships with key stakeholders. The programs emphasizes the use of advertising, promotion, counseling, and crisis management through social media, organizing events, writing speeches, and researching campaigns to address both an organization’s day-to-day position in the public eye and also tough challenges that arise. Coursework includes writing, persuasion, media and society, debate, argumentation and media management, as well as public relations within specific fields such as associations and nonprofits. Graduates are employed in national, state, and local agencies of all kinds, non-profit organizations, and private and commercial operations.

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  • Religion, Culture, and Values, Concentration in the Interdisciplinary Studies MAIS

    Mason’s Religion, Culture, and Values program is a concentration within the Master of Arts in Interdisciplinary Studies. Core courses introduce students to the study of religion as a unique and rigorous intellectual discipline; they learn to evaluate a variety of perspectives on religion and gain a clear understanding of the dimension of the sacred in all aspects of human life including the "secular." Students discover how perceptions of the sacred respond to an evolving world, relating to and influencing cultures, institutions, and values. Students also examine the effects of historical crises and the forces of change on religions including contemporary religious pluralism and inter-religious dialogue. The program is particularly relevant for students who are interested in careers in law, national and international government, print and media journalism, library sciences, archives and museums, public and social service, teaching, advanced graduate studies, and religious communities and institutions.

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  • Religious Studies, BA

    The goal of the BA degree in Religious Studies is to bring students to an understanding of the major traditions of world religions, and to challenge them to think about the religious foundation of values and ethics. Coursework allows students to pursue either the comparative aspects of religion, or deeper knowledge in religious traditions of either Asia or the Near (Middle) East. They develop skills in reading and interpreting sacred texts, and explore the cultural and social dimensions of religion from comparative and cross-cultural perspectives with relation to global issues. A degree in religious studies gives graduates an expansive array of cross-cultural religious foundations and traditions, as well as the research, analysis, and writing skills to work not only in areas related to religion, but in fields like education, law, medicine, social work, and many more.

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  • Religious Studies, Minor

    The minor in Religious Studies focuses on the world's religious traditions. Students may pursue the comparative aspects of religion, or deeper knowledge in religious traditions of either Asia or the Near (Middle) East. The program prepares students with a deep understanding of religion’s spiritual, historical, cultural, and social impact, and serves as a valuable asset for students interested in working in fields such as education, law, medicine, or social work. The strong analysis and writing 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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  • Russian and Eurasian Studies, BA

    The BA in Russian and Eurasian Studies is an interdisciplinary degree program that focuses on forces that have shaped Russia. Core coursework combines Russian or other Eurasian-related languages, social science, history, literature/film, while electives expand into region-specific investigations of Islamic studies, politics, revolution, geography, and economics. The program prepares students for continued scholarship in post-graduate programs such as law school. Professionally, graduates are well-prepared for employment in domestic firms that trade goods/services with Russia, technology companies, environmental organizations, and U.S. Government agencies.

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  • Russian, Minor

    The minor in Russian is geared toward helping students improve their knowledge of the language, introducing them to the basics of translation and the linguistic and cultural aspects of learning a foreign language. Coursework includes advanced Russian, conversation, composition and civilization. The language and analytical skills, as well as a broadened, international outlook developed while earning this minor contribute to student success in a wide variety of professional careers including education, foreign service and journalism, as well as graduate study in the humanities.

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  • Science Communication, Graduate Certificate

    The graduate certificate in Science Communication is designed for graduate students with or without an academic communication background to expand their science writing and editing communications. Coursework includes research methodologies, qualitative methods, analysis and criticism, science and the public, climate change and sustainability communications, and crisis communication among much more. The certificate program is a valuable asset for communications and/or science students, opening professional doors in a variety of fields within government, industry, and non-profit organizations including online or print journalism, staff writing at news offices, agencies, laboratories, research agencies, universities, and medical centers.

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  • Secondary Education English, Minor

    This 21-credit minor, available only to students enrolled in the BA in English program, provides undergraduates with background knowledge in Secondary Education English. Completing this minor fulfills requirements for licensure in Secondary Education English (6-12) in Virginia.

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  • Social Work, BSW

    The undergraduate social work program promotes human well-being by preparing students to work competently with individuals and families seeking help, and to be leaders in communities, organizations, and the policymaking arena. Social work students are required to successfully complete 450 hours of supervised field practicum in agencies approved by Mason’s Department of Social Work.
     

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  • Social Work, MSW

    The Master of Social Work (MSW) program, accredited by the Council on Social Work Education (CSWE), prepares students for advanced practice in social work, including foundational courses in human behavior; practice with individuals, families, groups, organizations, and communities; professional writing and technology; social work research; and social policies and services. Students choose to concentration on Social Change or Clinical Practice, gaining an understanding of issues including child welfare, juvenile justice, mental health, substance abuse, disabilities, health, long-term care, and diversity. All students participate in supervised field experience. Graduates are well-qualified for positions in many settings including human service agencies, marketing research firms, educational systems, nonprofit foundations, and law enforcement agencies.

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  • Social Work, MSW, Conflict and Analysis Resolution, MS Dual Degree

    Mason’s Social Work MS/MSW Dual Degree enables students to earn both an MS in Conflict Analysis & Resolution and an MSW in Social Work. Offered by the Department of Social Work in partnership with the School for Conflict Analysis & Resolution, this dual degree benefits from strengths of both programs, and takes advantage of the diversity of the Washington, D.C., metropolitan area. The program includes focused coursework in conflict analysis and resolution, as well as direct service with many different population groups in a wide range of settings, policy analysis and advocacy, community practice, research, and organizational leadership. The program prepares students to work in practical and academic/research fields, in government, commercial, and non-profit organizations. 

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  • Social Work, Minor

    This program provides students with conceptual, theoretical, and practical knowledge related to the field of social work at the individual, family, group, community, and societal levels. Core coursework includes introductory social work material, including human behavior and family life, and social policies and systems. Electives cover more specific topics such as analytic methods, legal and ethical issues, substance abuse, gerontology, and social determinants.

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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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  • Spanish and French, Concentration in the Foreign Languages MA

    The MA in Foreign Languages with a concentration in Spanish and French allows graduate students to pursue a multilingual path of scholarship and an array of international opportunities. This expanded master’s degree’s coursework combines the basic requirements of the concentrations in French and Spanish, with additional opportunities for electives and an optional thesis. The degree opens doors to such fields as teaching, translation, the travel industry, diplomacy, and other international careers in such areas as law or business. 

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  • Spanish, Concentration in the Foreign Languages BA, Minor

    The BA in Spanish focuses on a variety of topics from traditional academic fields like language, literature, and Spanish-speaking culture, to less traditional subjects such as film studies and the Spanish literatures of both Europe and Latin America. Students develop skills in speaking, reading, and writing Spanish, as well as learning about the culture of the Hispanic world. This combination leads to a well-rounded liberal arts education that allows students to experience the full spectrum of the Spanish-speaking world. This degree opens doors to such fields as teaching, translation, the travel industry, diplomacy, and other international careers in such areas as law or business.

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  • Spanish, Concentration in the Foreign Languages MA

    The MA in Foreign Languages with a concentration in Spanish offers an opportunity to study both the traditional academics of the language, literature, and the cultures of the Spanish-speaking world, as well as the less traditional subjects such as film studies and literature from the many Spanish-speaking regions of the world. This unique array leads to an in-depth liberal arts experience in scholarship that allows students to experience the full spectrum of the cultures surrounding the language. This program meets the needs and interests of prospective and practicing teachers and other professionals, and prepares students for professional advancement, as well as doctoral study at other institutions. An accelerated master's option for this concentration is available to students in specific bachelor's programs. 

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  • Spanish|Bilingual|Multicultural Education, Concentration in the Foreign Languages MA

    The MA in Foreign Languages with a concentration in Spanish/Bilingual/Multicultural Education, offered through the School of Education and Human Development, combines courses in Spanish and/or French with courses in multicultural education. Licensure is available with minimal additional coursework beyond the degree. This degree prepares individuals to effectively teach in bilingual and multicultural settings.

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  • Special Education, MEd

    The MEd in Special Education prepares both classroom educators and individuals working in a special education context outside of the classroom with the specialized skills and content knowledge needed to support the needs of individuals with disabilities. Students may focus their program on a specific area in the field by completing a licensure or non-licensure certificate program using certificate coursework to fulfill the elective credits for the MEd degree program. Two accelerated master’s options are available to students in any bachelor’s degree. Career advancement opportunities include increased leadership service and roles in and out of the classroom, as well as continued graduate work and institutional leadership. 

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  • Sport Communication, Minor

    The minor in Sport Communication offers students the opportunity to examine important and timely sports-related issues in an ethical context as well as analyze sports from cross-cultural perspectives. Students will gain an understanding of sport mass media, sport communication, sports reporting, interpersonal and organizational communication, and the impact each has in our global society. The courses cover theory and practice in cross-platform communication, sports ethics and theoretical underpinnings, public relations, and marketing. The minor provides applied fundamentals for students seeking employment in the commercial world of sports (areas such as management or promotion of athletic organizations) and in sports media.

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  • Sport and American Culture, Minor

    The Sport and American Culture interdisciplinary minor is offered jointly by the School of Recreation, Health, and Tourism and the Department of History and Art History. Coursework includes a core requirement of sports history, culture, and society, with additional electives in sport-specific management and topics in history. The strong analytical skills and historical background 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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  • Sport and Computer Game Design, Minor

    The Sport and Computer Game Design minor offers students the opportunity to study the rapid expansion in the sale, design, and production of sport-related games around the world. Students will gain insights into the video game industry, with a particular emphasis on sports products. The required courses in this minor provide students with a foundational overview of the sports industry, sport management, and computer game design. Students can complement that knowledge with an assortment of specific courses in these disciplines that meet their individual interests. The program prepares students for employment and further study in the evolving field of sports computer game design and development.

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  • Statistics, Minor

    A minor in Statistics gives students a background in the theory and application of statistical methodology.  It is intended to complement undergraduate degree programs in the Volgenau School of Engineering and the College of Science.

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  • Sustainability Studies, Minor

    With this minor, students can explore sustainability’s core principle: the desire to meet the basic material needs of the current generation without compromising the ability of future generations to meet their needs. You will consider the balancing of environmental integrity, social equity and economic stability, while acknowledging contributions from a wide range of disciplines.

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  • Teaching English as a Second Language, Graduate Certificate

    The graduate certificate in teaching English as a second language (TESL) prepares students to teach non-native speakers of English in the United States or abroad. Using linguistics theory and research, this 18-credit program consists of courses in linguistic theory, the structure of the English sound system and grammar, adult second language learning, and pedagogical approaches including a practicum in classroom ESL teaching. The program fulfills, in part, requirements for an endorsement in English as a Second Language to the VA state teaching credential. The certificate may be pursued concurrently with any of several related degree programs. The course is also available online, and qualifies for Title IV Federal Financial Aid.

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  • Teaching English as a Second Language, Minor

    The minor in Teaching English as a Second Language (TESL) helps prepare undergraduate students to teach non-native speakers of English in the United States or abroad. This program combines linguistic theory, second language acquisition theory, and ESL teaching methodology. The minor in TESL may be pursued concurrently with any undergraduate major. This minor is offered by the Department of English.

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  • Theater, BA, Minor

    The BA in Theater degree combines the breadth of a liberal arts education with serious practical training and experience. Entrance into the program is by interview and audition or portfolio review (for more info: http://cvpa.gmu.edu/admissions-u.html, 703-993-1120). Theater core courses provide a broad introduction to the various theater arts. Students may select from four concentrations: Performance (Acting and Directing); Design and Technical Theater; Playwriting and Dramaturgy; or Theater Education for Theater Arts PK-12. The department aims to prepare students for graduate study or entry into professional life in theater and screen through rigorous, concentrated, and individualized training. Theater as a minor could enrich your skills for many different career paths. Requirements include Fundamentals of Production, Acting II and Script Analysis.

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  • Theater, BA/Arts Management, Accelerated MA

    Undergraduates in Theater may apply to the accelerated master’s degree in Arts Management through joint cooperation between the School of Theater and the Arts Management Program. Students will begin their master’s program in the semester immediately following conferral of the undergraduate degree.

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  • Theater, BFA

    Entrance into the BFA program is by interview and audition or portfolio review.  Theater majors earning a BFA in Theater must select one of the following concentrations: Design for Stage and Screen; Performance for Stage and Screen (Acting and Directing); or Writing and Dramaturgy for Stage and Screen. Majors are expected to participate in Theater at Mason productions and will be required to demonstrate growing proficiency in their chosen concentration prior to the confirmation of the BFA degree.

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  • Transportation Human Factors, Graduate Certificate

    The Department of Psychology offers a graduate certificate in Transportation Human Factors under the auspices of the program in Human Factors/Applied Cognition. Coursework includes a combination of cognitive psychology and systems integration. While this program is geared particularly for students of air traffic control, the certificate adds an area of specialization to any graduate degree in related fields, giving students a competitive edge in the workforce. The graduate certificate in Transportation Human Factors may be pursued on a part-time or full-time basis. 

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  • Usability, Graduate Certificate

    The Department of Psychology offers a graduate certificate in Usability under the auspices of the program in Human Factors/Applied Cognition. Coursework includes a combination of human psychology with an emphasis on cognitive science and human-technology interaction, and visual/application design. The certificate is beneficial to students interested in careers in visual and/or instructional design for multiple applications and technologies, as well as any new and upcoming fields that demand strong sensitivity to considerations of human-computer-interface.
    The graduate certificate in usability may be pursued on a part-time or full-time basis. For policies governing all graduate degrees, see the Academic Policies section of the University Catalog.
     

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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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  • 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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  • Writing and Rhetoric, PhD

    George Mason's doctoral program in Writing and Rhetoric offers a curriculum that emphasizes theoretical, practical, and productive approaches to writing in organizations and in public spaces. It will prepare students to write, research, and teach with a deeper understanding of the intellectual and administrative tools that can enhance the work they do. Our program is built on the premise that writing and teaching in twenty-first century organizations require the rigorous, integrated study of rhetoric, technology, culture, and research methodologies. Our courses prepare students for rhetorical and pedagogical work in colleges and universities, public schools, government and nonprofit programs, corporate workplaces, and the broad public spheres crafted via the Internet and mass media. Graduates will help meet the increasing national demand for faculty in rhetoric and composition to teach and lead programs in areas such as writing program administration, writing across the curriculum, technical communication, and media studies. The industry and government sectors also need professionals to conduct research, manage development, and analyze policy in the use of new communication technologies. 

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