George Mason University

Mason Press Kit

Want to Know About Mason? You're in the Right Place

George Mason University is Virginia’s largest and most diverse public research university. Located near Washington, D.C., Mason enrolls more than 38,000 students from 130 countries and 50 states. Mason has grown rapidly over the past half-century and is recognized for its innovation, entrepreneurship and commitment to provide academic opportunities for students of all backgrounds.

George Mason University At-a-Glance

  • Located in Fairfax, Virginia, 15 miles from Washington, D.C.
  • Largest public research university in Virginia, with more than 38,000 students
  • President: Anne Holton
  • Independent since 1972, after serving as a branch college of University of Virginia from 1957-72
  • One of 131 U.S. universities to receive highest research designation from Carnegie Classification of Institutions of Higher Education
  • Two Nobel Prizes in Economics (James Buchanan in 1986, Vernon Smith in 2002)
  • One of four Virginia institutions ranked among top 100 universities in U.S., and top 300 universities in world, by ShanghaiRanking Consultancy’s Academic Ranking of World Universities
  • More than half of Mason’s undergraduates are students of color, and Mason exceeds national graduation rates regardless of race, ethnicity or wealth status
  • Ranked most diverse university in Virginia, and 37th-most diverse in country, by U.S. News & World Report
  • 34 percent of undergraduates are first in family to earn four-year degree
  • Mason in top three public universities in state for highest starting salaries
  • Student loan default rate of 2.3% less than one-third of national average
  • Motto: Freedom and Learning
  • 82 undergraduate programs, 89 master’s, 39 doctoral, law
  • Students from 130 countries, 50 states
  • Campuses in Arlington, Virginia and Manassas, Virginia
  • 200,000 alumni
  • Information:, 703-993-1000


A comprehensive look at where Mason ranks in some of the most prestigious academic surveys. (Updated March 2020)

U.S. News & World Report

Rank             University-wide                                                                                                  

18                                   Operating efficiency

 33                                   Educational innovation (best in Virginia)

 37                                   Diversity (best in Virginia)

 43                                   First-year experience

 72                                   Public universities

 73                                   High school counselor ratings

109                                  Best college for veterans

153                                  National universities  

403                                  Worldwide among 1,250 institutions ranked

Listed                              A+ School for B Students

Listed                              Teaching writing across disciplines


Rank                  Program

4                                     Part-time law

9                                     Online education curriculum and instruction (graduate)

10                                   Homeland/National security (graduate)

10                                   Online Special education (graduate)

11                                   Online education administration (graduate)

11                                   Criminology (graduate)

12                                   Online systems engineering (graduate) 

19                                   Local government management (graduate)

19                                   Online non-MBA business (graduate)

19                                   Special Education (graduate)

24                                   Online Information technology (graduate)

28                                   Public management/leadership (graduate)

30                                   Public policy analysis (graduate)

31                                   Intellectual property law

33                                   Health care management (graduate)

38                                   Constitutional law

39                                   Industrial/systems engineering (graduate)

40                                   Doctor of nursing (graduate)

42                                   Full-time law

44                                   History (graduate)

48                                   Business/corporate law

48                                   Online Education (graduate)

48                                   Part-time MBA

49                                   Public affairs (graduate)

51                                   Nursing (graduate)

51                                   Contracts/commercial law

52                                   Space science

56                                   Online business accounting

56                                   Economics and business

61                                   Social sciences and public health

65                                   Online engineering (graduate)

68                                   Computer science (graduate)

68                                   Accounting (undergraduate)

69                                   Education (graduate)

72                                   Political science (graduate)

73                                   Fine arts (graduate)

74                                   Criminal law

75                                   International law

75                                   Social work (graduate)

76                                   Teaching (undergraduate)

77                                   Computer engineering (graduate)

78                                   Economics (graduate)

78                                   Public health (graduate)

79                                   Business (undergraduate)

80                                   Sociology (graduate)

80                                   Tax law

82                                   Clinical medicine

83                                   Statistics (graduate)

86                                   Health care law (graduate)

87                                   Electronic/communications engineering (graduate)

87                                   School of Business

90                                   Psychology (graduate)

93                                   Bioengineering/biomedical (graduate)

93                                   Civil engineering (graduate)

96                                   Social work (graduate)



Rank                   Nationally

34                                       In the South

51                                      Among public institutions

77                                      A "Best Value" college

93                                      Among research universities

177                                    Among "Top Colleges"

180                                    A best employer for diversity


Rank                   Nationally

18                                     Among universities that admit 50 percent of applicants

43                                     Among public universities

64                                     A best value college

Shanghai Rankings

Rank                             Worldwide

19                                                     Law

22                                                     Public administration

36                                                     Communication

38                                                     Economics

Top 100                                             Political science

Top 100                                            Library and information science

Top 100                                            Education

Top 100                                            Geography

Rank                             Nationally

Top 95                                              Among all institutions

Washington Monthly


6                                        Best college for adult learners (best in DMV area)       

9                                        Loan repayment

18                                      Best bang for the buck (Southeast)

20                                      Mean earnings ($66,522) 10 years after college entry

51                                      Nationally

Listed                                A best college for student voting

Princeton Review


Listed                                   A "Green College"    

National Science Foundation

Rank                    Nationally

146 (top 23 percent)          Research and development expenditures (FY 2017)  

SANS Institute

Rank                          Nationally

Top 3 percent                              Identifying students with cybersecurity aptitude

Times Higher Education

Rank                         Worldwide

251-300                                      Out of 1,396 institutions evaluated

47                                                Universities under 50 years old

44                                                Law

72                                                Among U.S. institutions

Wall Street Journal/Times High Ed

Rank                          Nationally

42                                                 In the South

184                                               Out of 801 institutions evaluated (jump of 90 spots over two years)

Facts and Figures

The Office of Institutional Effectiveness and Planning is the official source of institutional information. If you want such data as an enrollment number, a unit profile, or to know what degrees are conferred, this is the place to go.