George Mason University

Social and Human Behavior

Academics

People are an interesting and diverse lot. Studying how and why people think, feel and behave in the way they do is a fascinating journey.  It's also an incredibly useful one. Students in sociology, psychology and related fields help solve real and immediate problems, from the personal to the global. 

They learn to understand people's lives as we live and work together, and they gather, synthesize, and evaluate data that describe the diversity of our world. Employers value these graduates’ strong communication, research and analytical abilities, combined with the interpersonal skills needed to motivate others and build effective teams from individuals with diverse aptitudes and backgrounds.

PhD. student Interacts with robot

A PhD student from the Human Factors program interacts with the robot ROMO for a study study that seeks to identify under which conditions humans ascribe intentionality to the behavior of non-human agents.

Giving Machines That Human Touch

A team of professors and students from George Mason University’s Department of Psychology is studying how to make interacting with a robot similar to interacting with a human.

The unique research uses methods from social neuroscience and applies them to human-robot interaction, said Eva Wiese, an assistant professor. She’s working with a team of five doctoral students and 15 undergraduate students.

The goal of the project is make robots more “human-like,” she said. “We observe, for instance, what parts of the brain are activated when two strangers interact and start to trust each other, and compare this to the pattern of brain activation that is caused when humans interact with a robot on a similar task.”

The results are applied to the design of robots with the goal of identifying physical and behavioral features that robots need to display to be perceived as human-like.

This work could lead to creating companions for children with autism spectrum disorder. Researchers want to investigate whether interacting with social robots can help children with ASD develop social skills.

  • Aging Studies, Minor

    Aging studies covers a broad range of issues related to the aging process, including physiological, psychological and sociological issues. The topic is a broad and important one and spans economic and health-related fields. People who earn a minor in aging studies are prepared to work in long-term care facilities, senior centers, and government offices with a focus on compliance or policymaking.

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  • Anthropology BA, Accelerated MA

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

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  • Anthropology 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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  • Athletic Training, BS

    Athletic training encompasses the prevention, diagnosis, and intervention of emergency, acute, and chronic medical conditions involving impairment, functional limitations, and disabilities. An athletic trainer is a highly educated and skilled allied health care professional who specializes in caring for physically active individuals in a variety of settings. These settings may include secondary schools, colleges and universities, sports medicine clinics, professional sports, hospitals, and industry.

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  • Childhood Studies, Minor

    The interdisciplinary minor in childhood studies is designed for students who have a child-related focus in their major and for those who want to explore the topic of childhood. This minor focuses on the study of issues concerning children and their representations, including their experiences in society within historical and contemporary cultures and global contexts.

     

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  • Coaching, Minor

    This 18-credit minor is available to all Mason undergraduate students. This program of study is offered by the College of Education and Human Development, specifically the School of Recreation, Health, and Tourism.

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  • Cognitive Neuroscience, Graduate Certificate

    Cognitive neuroscience focuses on studying biological substrates of behavior. Study areas vary from neural control of behavioral development and brain systems in substance abuse to cognitive aging. The program focuses on translational neuroscience—complementary study of neural systems in humans and animals, including application of animal research to human behavior.

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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 Health, BS, Concentration in Clinical Science

    This concentration prepares students for post-graduate clinical training in a health profession such as medicine, dentistry, nursing, optometry, occupational and physical therapy, and pharmacy. It helps students tailor their curriculum to satisfy pre-requisites for these programs.

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  • Community Health, BS, Concentration in Global Health

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

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  • Community Health, BS

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

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  • Conflict Analysis and Resolution Advanced Skills Graduate Certificate

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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  • Conflict Analysis and Resolution, Minor

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

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  • Conflict Analysis and Resolution, PhD

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

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

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

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  • Consciousness and Transformation, Minor

    The interdisciplinary minor in consciousness and transformation provides students with a well-grounded understanding of the nature of human consciousness, including both the historical foundations and modern research findings. Students develop an ability to implement personal practices that foster deeper self-awareness, the regulation of stress factors in his or her life, and an emerging sense of meaning for his or her life. Students will learn to creatively and effectively apply principles from the exploration of consciousness and transformation to his or her own field of study.

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  • Counseling Licensure Post-Masters Graduate Certificate

    This 15-credit certificate is designed for people who have a master’s degree in counseling or a related field and want 15 credits of post-graduate course work to meet licensure requirements as a Virginia School Counselor or Virginia Licensed Professional Counselor.

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  • Counseling and Development, MEd

    This master’s program emphasizes the integration of theory and practice, and culminates with an internship in an appropriate setting. Students may choose one of two concentrations: Community Agency Counseling or School Counseling.

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  • Criminology, Law and Society, BA, BS, Minor

    The bachelor's degrees in criminology, law and society provides students with a focused study of the justice system. The degrees prepare students for careers in law enforcement, corrections, homeland security, and a range of justice, social service, and human services fields. It also provides a strong background for law school or graduate study in criminal justice or criminology. Through the minor, students develop knowledge of the principles, institutions, and practices of the systems for administering justice. It provides a solid foundation for students seeking to supplement their major area of study.

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  • Criminology, Law and Society, MA

    The MA in criminology, law and society brings cutting-edge social science methods to the disciplines of criminology and law and society. Designed for students who seek to make a difference in the development and evaluation of policy in these fields, theprogram provides students with enhanced skills in analysis and policy evaluation for their further career development or to help them prepare for competitive, sought-after positions.

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  • Criminology, Law and Society, PhD

    The PhD program in criminology, law and society is designed to produce top academic scholars and leaders in policy and applied settings. It brings cutting-edge social science methods to the disciplines of criminology and law and society. The program provides a rigorous course of study that will prepare students to do research, teach, develop and test policies, and administer agencies and programs designed to administer law, deliver justice, reduce crime, and enhance domestic security.

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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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  • Economic Systems Design, Graduate Certificate

    Processes that efficiently allocate resources and foster exchange are crucial in society, organizations, personal interactions, and individual decision-making. Economic systems design explores problems in the design of allocation systems and provides a method to develop and test the properties of such systems. Graduate students in economics, computer science, mathematics, systems engineering, and informatics find this certificate a strong complement to their major area of study. The courses and project work provide skills that can be used in electronic commerce, public policy, and internal firm resource-allocation processes.

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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, Accelerated MA

    Mason's nationally ranked graduate economics programs are noted for their concentrations: experimental economics, Austrian economics, public choice, constitutional political economy, law and economics, and new institutional economics. Highly qualified Mason economics majors may apply to the accelerated master's degree program. Those accepted will be able to earn a bachelor's and master's degrees in economics after satisfactory completion of 144 credits. Graduates are exceptionally well-prepared for professional school or a PhD program in economics or a related discipline.

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  • Economics, BA, BS

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

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  • Economics, MA

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

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  • Economics, 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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  • Economics, PhD

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

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  • Education and Human Development, PhD (title change pending SCHEV approval)

    The PhD in Education degree is specifically for professional practitioners in education, including those in public or private schools, community or government agencies, and professional associations. The program is individualized, interdisciplinary, and experiential. Students plan their own programs to meet self-defined goals. Areas of specialization include Early Childhood Education/Early Childhood Special Education, Education Leadership, Education Policy, Educational Psychology, Exercise, Fitness, and Health Promotion, Higher Education, International Education, Learning  Technologies Design Research, Literacy and Reading, Mathematics Education Leadership, Multilingual/Multicultural Education, Research Methodology, Science Education Research, Special Education and Teaching and Teacher Education.

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  • Educational Psychology, Accelerated MS

    Qualified undergraduates may be admitted to a Bachelor’s/Accelerated Master’ program and obtain a BA or BS in any degree area and MS in Educational Psychology within an accelerated time frame. Among the concentrations: Assessment, Evaluation and Testing; Learning, Cognition and Motivation; Leaning and Decision-Making in Leadership.

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  • Educational Psychology, MS

    Educational Psychologists help people to realize optimal conditions for learning not only for students in formal and informal educational settings, but also in settings such as business, government, competitive sports, community building, and the military. The MS in Educational Psychology offers students a supportive and collegial environment with faculty from numerous educational disciplines and expertise. In this program, students develop the skills to meet the needs of diverse populations and design and implement effective educational programs appropriate for a broad range of cultural contexts.

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  • Family Psychiatric Mental Health Nurse Practitioner, Graduate Certificate

    Mason offers a Family Psychiatric Mental Health Nurse Practitioner graduate certificate for those who want to focus on the assessment and management of serious mental illness. The program provides students with a formal study in the theory and practice of advanced psychiatric nursing that prepares them to provide individual, group, and family counseling. Graduates of the program have prescriptive authority and the ability to offer medication management and psychotherapy services.

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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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  • Gerontology, Graduate Certificate

    The graduate certificate program in gerontology combines theoretical and applied course work in aging with the student’s graduate curriculum in any department. Because gerontology is by definition multidisciplinary, students are required to take course work outside their major field. The program is administered by CHHS and housed in the Department of Social Work.

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  • Global Affairs, BA

    A passion for learning about international issues, experiencing other cultures, and examining the global processes affecting all societies leads individuals to pursue a BA in global affairs at Mason. Students determine their area of concentration either by choosing a world region to study—Africa, Asia, Europe, Latin America, the Middle East, or Russia and Central Asia—or by choosing a theme, such as the global economy, the arts, the environment, or international development. Undergraduates in this program are encouraged to study abroad, and they leave Mason with advanced language skills and a solid preparation for international careers or graduate studies.

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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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  • Global Health, MS

    The MS in Global Health incorporates epidemiology and biostatistics, region-based nutrition, cross-cultural perspectives in mental health issues, community health assessment, program evaluation, human resource concerns, international health systems and organizations, refugee and internally displaced people health issues, and international health research. Practicum or thesis options let students explore current dilemmas, demands, and health services with a global focus and perspective.

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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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  • Health Promotion, Minor

    This 18 to 19 credit minor is available to all Mason undergraduate students, with the exception of those enrolled in the BS in Health, Fitness, and Recreation Resources degree program pursuing the Concentration in Health Promotion. Eight credits must be unique to the minor.

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  • Health, Fitness, and Recreation Resources BS

    This program allows students to specialize in one of three concentrations: Parks and Outdoor Recreation; Sport Management; and Therapeutic Recreation, which explore how recreation contributes to public well-being and quality of life. Graduates are employed in national, state, and local recreation and park agencies, non-profit organizations, commercial operations, schools, clinical and community settings, and senior and adult health care.

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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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  • Human Development and Family Science, BA, Minor

    The HDFS curriculum prepares its graduates to use family-centered and strengths-based approaches to develop, implement, evaluate, and manage services for individuals and families at all stages of life. Graduates will develop competencies in 10 areas as established by the National Council on Family Relations, and will learn to engage with families in such service settings as early childhood education, community-based programs and health care settings. Our program also prepares students to critically analyze complex family issues, advocate for families in schools and communities, and address social factors influencing family functioning, health, and well-being (poverty, immigration, homelessness, incarceration, family violence, and discrimination and structural violence such as racism, nationalism, or heterosexism). Students are required to complete a 6-credit internship and integrate research training with service fieldwork.

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  • Immigration Studies, Minor

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

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  • 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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  • Integrative Studies, BS

    The bachelor of science in integrative studies is based on intensive, interdisciplinary learning communities coordinated with traditional academic programs. It allows students to gain in-depth knowledge in a wide range of subjects while gaining practical, career-motivated experience. Participants will work with experienced faculty in discussion-oriented courses and a variety of out-of-classrooom experiences. Students will also play an active role in selecting courses most appropriate to their academic plans and career objectives.

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  • Integrative Studies, BA

    The bachelor of arts in integrative studies is based on intensive, interdisciplinary learning communities coordinated with traditional academic programs. It allows students to gain in-depth knowledge in a wide range of subjects while gaining practical, career-motivated experience. Participants will work with experienced faculty in discussion-oriented courses and a variety of out-of-classrooom experiences. Students will also play an active role in selecting courses most appropriate to their academic plans and career objectives.

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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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  • International Sport Management, Graduate Certificate

    This 15-credit graduate certificate program in International Sport Management offers students the opportunity to study the managerial aspects of international sport enterprises.  Theoretically grounded sport management skills will be examined and applied within the global context of the sport industry. Courses include the social psychology of sport and sport in the global marketplace.

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  • International and Comparative Studies, Minor

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

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  • Leadership, Minor

    The Interdisciplinary Minor in Leadership features classes that examine leadership from multiple perspectives and disciplines, offering an understanding of socially responsible leadership with an emphasis on community action. Through coursework and experiential learning, students critically examine diverse theories, research, and perspectives on leadership and are encouraged to explore topics such as social change and globalization, creative conflict resolution, the nature of power, oppression and influence, innovation, and systemic leadership. Civic engagement and multicultural competence are viewed as necessary requirements for leadership.

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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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  • Marketing, BS

    As a marketing major, you learn how to match opportunities in the market to an organization’s goals, research consumer needs, and design, deliver, and communicate the value of products and services in a dynamic, competitive environment. If you’re interested in advertising, product management, brand management, business development, public relations, or customer service, this is the degree for you. The marketing program prepares you for a broad range of global and domestic career options.

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  • Middle East Studies, Minor

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

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  • Middle East and Islamic Studies, Accelerated MA

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

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  • Middle East and Islamic Studies, MA

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

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  • Mild Disabilities, Minor

    This 15-credit minor is designed to provide undergraduate students with background knowledge in teaching students with mild to moderate disabilities. It allows participants to begin course work applicable to Virginia teacher licensure.

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  • Neuroscience, BS

    As an interdisciplinary field, neuroscience draws from research in many departments—psychology, molecular neuroscience, molecular and microbiology, electrical engineering, physics and astronomy, and bioinformatics. Mason offers undergraduate and graduate degrees in this area of study.

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  • Neuroscience, Minor

    Neuroscience is one of the most rapidly growing disciplines in science today. Due to its interdisciplinary nature, it draws on skills from anatomy, chemistry, electrical engineering, genetics, math, and psychology, among others. Students in these fields can benefit from an awareness of applications of these fields to neuroscience and through this minor, more directly prepare for later work in neuroscience.

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  • Neuroscience, PhD

    As an interdisciplinary field, neuroscience draws from research in many departments—psychology, molecular neuroscience, molecular and microbiology, electrical engineering, physics and astronomy, and bioinformatics. Mason offers undergraduate and graduate degrees in this area of study.

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  • Nursing, Doctor of Nursing Practice

    The Doctor of Nursing Practice prepares graduates to become experts as nurse practitioners, nurse administrators, or clinical nurse specialists. The program emphasizes evaluating and applying the evidence that supports practice, understanding and creating practice delivery systems based on patient outcomes; and assuming leadership roles. Candidates can concentrate on care of individuals or care of groups. BSN to DNP students must complete Level I core and advanced-practice competency courses relevant to their chosen concentration before taking Level II core essentials. The DNP will draw on expertise from throughout the College of Health and Human Services in such areas as health economics, health policy, and epidemiology. Graduates will be able to assume many roles in the health care system, including direct patient care, clinical nursing faculty, practice management, and policy development.

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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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  • 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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  • Psychology, BA, BS

    The study of psychology provides an overall understanding of what humans do in various situations, and of how and why they do it. In courses taught by outstanding professors known for their research, students can explore such fields as social, abnormal, and cognitive psychology. Faculty members regularly enlist undergraduates to assist in their research, and all freshmen have the opportunity to be mentored by a member of Psi Chi, the psychology national honorary society, to help ensure their success.

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  • Psychology, MA

    The Psychology MA allows students to pursue a variety of areas in psychology, building on a common foundation of scientific methodologies, examining the application of psychology to various behavioral, cognitive, and societal issues. Six concentrations allow students to focus on their choice of applied developmental psychology, cognitive and behavioral neuroscience, human factors/applied cognition, industrial/organizational psychology, applied developmental psychology, or school psychology. Graduates are well-prepared to apply their advanced training to work within community agencies, healthcare 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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  • Psychology, Minor

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

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  • Psychology, PhD

    The goal of Mason’s Psychology doctoral program is to train students in the principles and applications of psychology. The program provides knowledge of the basic content areas in psychology and practical experience in applying this knowledge to solving human problems in life, work, and school. Core course requirements cover subject matter identified by the profession as essential to doctoral training: biological, social, cognitive, and individual bases of behavior, as well as the history of psychology. The program offers the following concentrations: applied developmental psychology, cognitive and behavioral neuroscience (formerly biopsychology), clinical psychology, human factors/applied cognition, and industrial/organizational psychology. A doctoral degree in Psychology gives graduates a strong knowledge base of the field’s foundations and traditions, as well as the research, analysis, and writing skills to work not only in areas related to clinical Psychology, but in research-based careers in academics, government, or industry.

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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 Health Leadership and Management, Graduate Certificate

    The graduate certificate for Public Health Leadership and Management prepares students to apply the principles of public health leadership, stewardship and policy implementation to manage state and local health departments and various non-profit organizational and community health program initiatives. Coursework focuses on leadership strategy, public health regulatory requirements, public program management tools and policy development skills necessary to function in public health systems in the United States. The certificate is ideal for clinicians and health care professionals who seek value-added career enhancement in public health programs and entities.

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  • Public Health MPH, Concentration in Global Health

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

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  • Public Health, Graduate Certificate

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

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  • Public Health, MPH

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

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  • Public Health, MPH, Concentration in Communication

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

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  • Public Health, MPH, Concentration in Community Health Promotion

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

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  • Public Health, MPH, Concentration in Epidemiology

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

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  • Public Health, MPH, Concentration in Policy

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

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  • Public Health, MPH, Concentration in Public Health Practice

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

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  • Public Health, Minor

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

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  • Public Management, Graduate Certificate

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

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  • Rehabilitation Science, Graduate Certificate

    The graduate certificate in Rehabilitation Science prepares students to apply research and statistical techniques to the study of the enabling–disabling process. Students will acquire competencies in rehabilitation and recovery framework, research design and methodology, statistics, and conduct of applied rehabilitation research. Core coursework includes foundations and applied physiology. Electives include clinical exercise physiology, scientific basis for pain and fatigue, psychosocial aspects, research design, movement analysis, aging and health, comparative effectiveness research, and many more. The skills developed while earning this graduate certificate contribute to student success in a wide variety of careers such as occupational / physical therapy and special education as well as graduate education.

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  • Rehabilitation Science, PhD

    The PhD in Rehabilitation Science program engages its students to develop as scientists across the spectrum of clinical to translational research, reflecting the need for integrated research to address the needs of the disabled. This program educates students in basic and translational science that address mechanisms, prevention and amelioration of disability. The objective of the program is to develop researchers and academics who, through scholarship and original research, create new knowledge in rehabilitation science. Students benefit from mentorship through active involvement in faculty’s own funded research programs. Graduates of this program are prepared for professional careers in academic, governmental, and industrial research environments with the tools to develop their own lines of research.

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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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  • School Psychology, Graduate Certificate

    The School Psychology graduate certificate emphasizes foundational knowledge in professional school psychology along with supervised experiences in educational and clinical settings. Coursework includes a combination of education and psychology, with complementary practicum and internship options. The certificate is a valuable asset for students interested in practicing psychology in educational and clinical settings that serve children and adolescents and their families.

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  • Social Justice, Minor

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

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  • 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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  • Sport Coaching, Graduate Certificate

    Students in this program prepare for a career in coaching.  They learn advanced skills that can be used for a variety of coaching situations. The courses include the psychology of coaching and legal issues in sport.

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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 Recreation Studies, Accelerated MS

    Qualified undergraduates may be admitted to a Bachelor's/Accelerated Master's program and obtain both a Bachelor's degree in any area and an MS in Sport and Recreation Studies within an accelerated time frame.

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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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  • Urban and Suburban Studies, Minor

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

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  • 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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