George Mason University provides nearly everything possible from different majors to campus events. The opportunities are endless and never truly runs out. This remains one of George Mason's best qualities. The most common student complaints involve parking, campus dining, advising, and quality of certain departments/ facilities. This university does not offer a college town vibe. This offers an advantage to students who dislike the party atmosphere and desire excellence in school. When I tell people of George Mason, they know the school's name. This shows the school's rising reputation in US news rankings and making it to the Final 4 in 2006. One thing I wish would change is the quality of services and the advising. At times, the quality of what this school offers doesn't always match up to what it offers. The Office of Disability Services doesn't always help students with disabilities the way they should. It has gotten a little better, since they hired someone to specifically work with Autistic students. Still, they have a long way to go to fully satisfy everyone. Also, the advisors offer advising that's more for student's who aren't as organized, or who don't check their classes fulfill major requirements. For those are, the advising is made to pointless and there's less of an incentive for them to go. In other cases, the advisors don't want to see the students at all, even if they send an email for an appointment. This university is very large. In fact, it's has the largest student population in Virginia with over 32,000 students. The school size is great for those who enjoy being independent and can stand to be alone. This students here don't show as much school or get involved in a lot of campus activities. Still, there's always Patriot Day in the fall and Mason Day in the spring. I remember Mason Day the most, because I enjoyed the food, rides, and freebies there. My advice to incoming students: take advantage of what's free.
Initially when I got to Mason, I was (a) disappointed with the general intelligence of my peers and (b) thrilled with my classes and professors. Turning inward, I focused on my studies (contrary to my high school experience) and got great grades. Since the student populace here is mostly comprised of either non-exceptional kids or brusque and professional in-and-outers, I got involved with my department and the professors I met were very receptive and friendly, as if they were refreshed to see a student who was actually interested in the material he was studying. Eventually, I obtained a job within the department and I was hanging out with professors and grad students more than I was my undergraduate peers, which was made possible by the fact that there are so few students that go to Mason who approach professors outside of class. The scarcity of excellent students also provides ample opportunity to pick up scholarships from the school, and the metropolitan area begets some high paying job offers. Sure, there's the Greek drawl and some menial on-campus activity outside of academics, but all of that is sort of subpar with a few exceptions. I've been to some really excellent parties and have drank a fair amount of beer while on campus, but in low frequency. Usually, you have to have a connection to get into a good party, but they do exist. Obviously, if you're seeking for a party school, go down the road to JMU. I find the campus quite nice; there's a lot of foliage and it isn't sprawling and empty like other campuses I've visited. The point is, if you don't mind being lonely and you're very serious about your studies, Mason is a great place to be. It's easy for a serious guy to stand out. My only gripe, academically, is that a couple of the classes could be harder. I think some of the faculty dumbs the curriculum down a little because of the average intellectual measure.
I really do enjoy Mason, it is a clean campus and I feel we are provided very nice facilities. However I do feel the burden of sending students to the Prince William campus when they pay out of state to attend GMU fairfax is a litte unfair. I think instead of spening money to build Mason Vale that space could have been better used as a Giant parking lot, and then more classroom buildings built where our current parking is located. Shuttles then could have been provided from this big main lot, so that is one thing I would change. I spend most of my time at the Pool as I am an athlete on the swim team here at Mason. I feel there is pretty good amount of school pride as you can see many students in GMU gear on your regular walks through cmpus. One experience I will always remember will not be one, but many that I have had with my team. The meets, the hangouts, the gruling practices where we had to be in the water at 5 am pushing eachother. I live for that stuff, I will very much miss it when it is over. I feel like one of the biggest complaints about the unvieristy is "there is nothing to do here". College is what you make of it. You have to get out there and make your own fun for you, no one is goign to hold your hand and drag you to the numerous events and social outings. Get up and Go!
Mason is all about diversity. They practically shove it down your throat. Also, "Mason Nation" is the new rage, after having the basketball team go to the Final-Four. If I could change one thing, it would be the atrocious parking. It is an embarassement to such a good school. It provides so much unneeded stress. In the winter it makes for some of the most depressing trips in between classes. In 2008, Mason's had everything under construction, making parking even more limited. Mason expects its students to park at the Field House across from the main part of campus, and take a shuttle in to then one to class. Students pay upwards of $170 to do this. For the price of tuition, this service should be free. Mason is just right. It'd be cool if they expanded in efficent ways to make for more opportunities. People usually say, "Oh, I hear that's a great school." Sometimes people don't understand how good academically it can be, so they act like it's just "that" local college. Mason isn't much of a college town. Mason's English administration is brilliant. The professors have such a varied amount of experience and character that no matter who you get, you are bound to grow as a person and really learn how to analyze literary works.
I've had good and bad days at Mason, but overall, it has turned out to be the perfect school for me. For locals, Mason has a bad reputation for being only one step above community college. This can be true, but only if you make it that way. It's important to get involved in some way, whether it's through a student organization, club, or greek life. GMU does not sponsor on campus greek life, but they are still a large presence on campus with high numbers of student involvement. Many people complain that weekends at Mason can be dull, Mason does not have the party atmosphere that you'd find at JMU, Tech, or Radford. However, you can always find a frat party or small parties in dorms to go to. In my opinion, one of the biggest benefits of going to GMU is it's proximity to D.C. On campus buses will take you to the Metro stop, and from there your possibilities are endless. I think the most common problem with bored students on the weekend is their laziness to go out and explore all the opportunities around them. As far as academic life goes, I have overall been very impressed with my professors. Mason prides itself on having professors who have work experience in the subjects they teach, which makes class much more interactive and applicable.
Before transferring to George Mason, I attended another school my freshman year. After an entire year, I felt no connection to the school and knew that it was not the school for me. After transferring to Mason, I can truly say that I now know what students are talking about when they say that they love their school. Finally, I have a deep connection and love for my college. Immediately, I felt like the atmosphere was so open and accepting. Students here, for the most part, are eager to learn and contribute. For almost ever class I've had I've particpated in study groups and left with great friends. Stepping on campus for class is actually enjoyable for me and I truly feel pushed to learn and grow. I love spending time in the Johnson Center, the mecca of student life on campus. I grab coffee with my friends or retreat to the upstairs library where I can study and focus for my classes. I've attended multiple concerts at the Patriot Center and saw the Moscow Ballet perform at the Performing Arts Center. There is so much to do here and so much to gain from attending Mason. I'm proud to tell everyone that I am a Patriot.
George Mason has a very diverse campus. It's not all white kids, it's not all asians, it's a great mix! With so much culture walking around campus, students can share many ideas and see so many views on everything. One thing I really wish they had though is a football team. I think football teams really bring a university together and school pride is even more apparent. I spend a lot of my time at a place called the Johnson Center. This is the main hang out place for students in between classes. It has a food court and bookstore on the main floor, a library and lots of seating on the upper floors. It's a great place for not only studying, but also catching up with friends and eating lunch/dinner/breakfast together. One of the biggest problems students have is wifi access. The wifi honestly sucks at GMU, especially in the Johnson Center. If you're there during the late morning and afternoon, good luck getting a connection! Overall, George Mason is a great school though, filled with great professors, great students, and a lovely staff.
Whenever I walk throughout George Mason Campus, I am reminded constantly of beautiful possibility and opportunity everywhere I turn. There is just something about this school that has always given me that feeling; one that no other school may ever replace. George Mason is at a ripe size of 30,000 students; this is due mainly to the fact that there are four campuses located throughout the NoVa area. The Fairfax GMU campus is very nicely sized. With the Johnson Center being the center of school, I find myself spending the majority of my time there - whether sipping a cup of coffee, reviewing for an upcoming exam, or basking in the presence of my friends, there is always something productive to do there. School pride isn't as intense as at other schools. This is because GMU is known as a "commuter school" - many students go to school and go back home every day, and while there is housing available on campus, many students go back home on the weekends. The population of students is predominantly in-state.
There is no "typical" student at George Mason University. We are a highly diverse campus with students from over 130 countries. It's very easy to find a good group of friends when you immediately step foot on campus because so many students are interested in so many different things. The administration really cares about students and wants to do everything in their power to help us really love living and studying and working at George Mason University. When I tell people that I go to George Mason University, they say "Didn't you all go to the Final Four a few years ago?" I tell them "Yes. We're very proud of that. But there's also a lot more that happens at Mason. Did you know we're going to cure cancer in the Research I lab?" There are opportunities for EVERYONE here.
Mason Mentors make it a point to discuss the Mason Community in all of their tours. Feeling welcomed into a community and comfortable at George Mason can help students avoid the dread of feeling misplaced, so they can focus on succeeding academically. I am in the Honors college and pursuing a biochem major. I don't have high recommendations for the chemistry and biology department in guiding their students well (inaccurate advising sheets), as well as selecting the best professors to teach, and tutors to work in the chemistry tutoring center. Overall, professors do have office hours and will try to help if you go to office hours, however, I have had a few who aren't great lecturers and appear unapproachable (bad attitude).