George Mason University Top Questions

What are the academics like at your school?

Michael

All professors have a lot of knowledge and experience in their subject area. Some are friendlier than others, some are better educators than others, some are easier than others. They all have experience though.

Meagan

Depending on the class size, your professor will know your name, which makes it nice because if you want to know in for help or you just have a question, they know who you are. I'm a communications major and Japanese language-studies minor, and I can honestly say that all of the professors that I've had have been more than willing to help a student. Academic-wise, hardness or easiness depends on the courses you take, and with which professor.

.

.

Vladyslav

The great majority of my professors are knowledgeable in their subject area, and they do their best to help us suceed. The students are competitive because classes are challenging, and you need to spend time doing homework and preparing for the exams. Class participation is common in most classes because it helps students to better understand the material. My major is Accounting, which is a part of the School of Management. The curriculum before you declare a major is rigorous, but the classes help you build a foundation that will help you advance in your major. The education this school provides equips you with knowledge, which in turn helps you get a job.

Jessica

George Mason University is an incredible school. At first I was intimidated by the size of the student population, but it's not like you'll be on the sidewalk with 30,000 people at one time. One thing that I've been truly impressed by is the amount of school pride everyone has here. No matter where I go, there is always someone wearing a GMU hoodie or tee shirt, or talking about last night's game or a lecture they went to for a class. People are proud to be students here. Coming here, I was thrown into a diverse group of people, and I'm a better person for it. You become so other-oriented and really learn to appreciate all the different views in this world. I have George Mason University to thank for that.

Amanda

Depending on the class size, some professors will know your name. My western civilization professor knew all of our names in a class of about 40 students which I thought was incredible. I don't think I could do that! And obviously the professors of your larger classes won't know everyone's name. But if you take initiative and speak with a professor during office hours occassionally, they'll get to know your name. My favorite class so far has been my English 101 class. We got to write a lot and the topics were our choice. We were able to argue for a topic that we stood for and it was definitely easier to write about then a lot of topics I have been given in the past. George Mason definitely challenges it's students and gets them ready for the "real world". It's great that they have a career center, with people who are always more than willing to help you find your path.

Maram

Being a Biology Major student, the type of attention I receive from professors really depends on which class type I am in. A lecture at GMU typically ranges in size from around 50-150 students. In these classes, it is unlikely that the professor will know you by name, but a relationship may always be established by approaching the professor with any questions or simply to say hello at the end of class. Contrastingly, in my recitation and lab courses, there are never more than 25 students. Lab instructors are more likely to know you by name.

Allison

* Do professors know your name? A few of the professors know me by name. I am in the Honors Program which has smaller class sizes and allows me to interact with the professors on a more personal level. A few of my lecture hall professors also know me by name because I have approached them with questions before. * Tell us about your favorite class. Least favorite? My favorite classes are my biology classes with a lab section. The most recent was ecology which involved a lot of hands on field work. My least favorite class is organic chemistry. I am not a chemistry student so I find it very difficult and the teacher is not approachable. * How often do students study? Depends on the students themselves and the work load. Some never study. Some do nothing but study. The key is to find a healthy balance between the two so you don't drive yourself insane or fail your classes. * Is class participation common? Depending on the class. Labs are mandatory participation. Small honors classes and some small upper level classes do encourage student participation and hands on projects. * Do the students have intellectual conversations outside of class? Again it depends on the students, I enjoy talking to fellow biology majors about different recent events and books on various topics. I also talk to students of other majors but not about specific topics but a wide variety. * Are students competitive? Yes. Especially when trying to get into a specific program (ie Nursing, Arts, Accelerated Masers ect) * What's the most unique class you've taken? Genetics. That class was very time consuming and the lab portion was a hands-on means of plotting specific genes in flies. We had to breed and cross breed flies to follow the exchange of genes. It was very interesting and very difficult. * Tell us about your major / department. The biology department has a vast range of classes for students to take. There are some math requirements but mainly it is science classes and labs. The biology classes that are required range from ecology, to genetics, to cell biology, to biological diversity. * Do you spend time with professors outside of class? Only if I need assistance with something regarding the class, or future career options. * How do you feel about this school's academic requirements? As a biology major I believe the requirements are very suitable and introduces students to a range of topics that may spark their interest. There is also enough elective space available for students to pursue other biology classes that interest them, or they are able to have a concentration in. * Is the education at this school geared toward getting a job, or learning for its own sake? Mason is geared towards getting a job with internships available and plenty of hands on interactive courses to encourage students to take an active role in their future.

Leonard

The academics are varied from department to department. The economics department which I am in is nationally recognized. My favorite classes have been economics and history. Students study quite often the libraries always have people studying in them throughout the semester. Class participation is very common there are always 3-5 students that carry the class. Students are competitive and often go to the teachers outside of class. The most unique class I have taken was The History of South Africa the teacher had learned several of the languages. I am an economics and global affairs major. I do not spend time with professors outside of class. The school has good academics requirements. My major is a bachelor of science and I have taken two statistics and two math classes. The education is geared towards getting a job.

Leonard

The academics are varied from department to department. The economics department which I am in is nationally recognized. My favorite classes have been economics and history. Students study quite often the libraries always have people studying in them throughout the semester. Class participation is very common there are always 3-5 students that carry the class. Students are competitive and often go to the teachers outside of class. The most unique class I have taken was The History of South Africa the teacher had learned several of the languages. I am an economics and global affairs major. I do not spend time with professors outside of class. The school has good academics requirements. My major is a bachelor of science and I have taken two statistics and two math classes. The education is geared to getting a job.

Brittany

I have largely had a great experience with my classes at George Mason. My class sizes are small which makes my professors very accessible. Because of this, my GPA is very high and I feel that it has allowed for a much greater educational experience. You will experience larger classes when completing general requirements, but once you begin classes in your major the student-teacher ratio is much better. I can honestly say that I have had a very positive relationship with all of my professors, several of whom I know I can count on for recommendations in the future. I wasn't simply a number, but a student that my teachers knew and talked to regularly. My academic experience here has probably been the high point of my experience at this school. I definitely feel prepared to go out into the workforce following graduation because of my preparation here.

Carolyn

Academics are very strong at George Mason! In general education classes, professors know the students who put themselves out there and professors really start getting to know as you get into the upper level courses. There are also tons of different options for your major.

Brooke

George Mason offers an academic environment well tailored toward jobs. Quite a few departments offer the option of internships & co-op opportunities for academic credit. This allows students to gain work experience and complete their degrees simultaneously. Also, this school offers the Conflict Resolution major so far is the only school to offer it. The most popular majors at George Mason are Communications, Business, psychology, and government. The academic opportunities here truly succeeds at preparing students for life after Mason. Still, the school offers plenty of intellectual opportunities. There are several Islamic studies, Vision series, humanities and other kinds of lectures offered throughout the year. I attended 8 to 10 lectures during freshman year, and I attended 2 of them during sophomore year Fall 2011. Then the Fall for the Book festivals run every year. I especially enjoyed the 2011 one, because I got to speak with a famous scholar and meet Stephen King for free. It never costs anything for students to attend events, except for the concerts. I enjoy these events, as I get to see what scholars in academic fields are studying. I'm a Communications and History double major. I have the advantage of a large department, which allows me the flexibility of completing major requirements. Also, I like how the Communications department now offers several online classes a semester. This allows students to test out those classes and see how they enjoy it. Also, the synthesis classes and internship sections are offered during the summer as well. The history department offers a fairly lenient class load, so the 300-400 level classes aren't too different from each other except the synthesis classes. Overall, the academics aren't overtly intellectual, though these opportunities remain available. Students engage in political discussions involving presidential candidates, government, and elections. Most the academic learning happens at career events, internship and campus job opportunities, and political events. Certainly, this school proves most the learning occurs outside the classroom.

Colleen

I'm now at the end of my first semester of my sophomore year at GMU, and overall can say that I've been very impressed with my professors. I recently declared as a Communication major with a minor in Electronic Journalism. A couple of my general education classes were large classrooms with upwards of 100 students, but most of my classes are more in the range of 20-50. Even in the large classrooms, I've never had trouble contacting a professor or TA with questions or help. This semester, every single one of my professors knows my name, and those in my major have encouraged me to stay in touch so they can advise me throughout the rest of my time at school. The intensity of the workload and difficulty of classes at Mason doesn't seem too strenuous, though everyone works at their own pace and work varies from major to major. In my major, and as far as I know, across the school, a huge emphasis is placed on finding a career after graduating. I'm enrolled in a new class next semester that grants class credit for working an internship over the course of the semester. Professors often bring in guest speakers and encourage students to network and start getting our foot in the door now, to ensure a job as soon as we have a degree, or even before.

Stephanie

I am a Communications major and have found that the communications department at Mason is excellent. They are always willing to help out and are great resources for finding internships. I have become very close with some of the communication's professors especially since the classes are fairly small. These professor's are always encouraging students to participate and think outside the box which is unique.

Maryam

Professors are very encouraging and helpful and they certainly know you by your name and my favorite course was Advertising in communication and least favorite was American History. Class participations are highly appreciated and encouraged and most students do participate in class alot.

Sydney

The academics at this school are great. Even in a large class of 200, my teacher knew my name. I'm a double major with English and Communication but the work load is manageable and interesting enough to keep from being boring.

Sophia

Freshmen classes are big but once you take upperlevel courses it gets more personal

Morgan

I am a part of a major that includes roughly only 100 students per class, there for I know each of my professors. My favorite class is probalyl my community health nursing class because the instructor is so entertaining and engaging you never want to miss a class. My least favorite would probalyl be a leadership class because it is unusually challenging. The concepts seem so easy to grasp, but when it comes to the examinations, I never seem to get the results I want. The students in my program are very competitive and I feel I always have to be on my game and study as much as I can. (My competitive side is released because of swimming) The most unique class I have taken is probally my clinical rotations because I am hands on learning 12 hours every week and getting exposed to some very random things. The nursing corse load is demanding, and requires a lot of time, however will be worth it becuase nursing is a very marketable career and health care is a place where jobs will always be needed.

Sonia

This may be biased because I am in the Honors College, but the Honors classes are the only classes that have ever really challenged me academically. They are unique in that they are smaller classes and you get to know your professor better. I have not liked the large lecture classes that I have taken outside of Honors. If I weren't in Honors, I probably would have transferred or not gone here.

Matt

My major, Government and International Politics, is taught by uniformly fantastic professors and is filled with ambitious, active students. General ed. classes at Mason are not as good. You can expect slacker students (what college doesn't have those?) and some of the professors are going through the motion. Most, however, are just fine. The foreign language department is bad. If you can, get a 3 or high on an AP language exam and exempt out of foreign language at Mason.

Rory

Excellent, despite some classes being too easy occasionally. Grades are easily obtained if you're smart because professors will often curve.

Andy

My first year at George Mason, I participated in a program called "New Century College". NCC is a smaller learning community that is great for students who are intimidated by the large student population at GMU. New Century College's First Year Experience consists of four, six week long units that are eight credits each. Because of the fast pace, I would not suggest procrastinators attempt this program. It does, however allow for a one on one experience with the professor, and close student bonds, as they are often asked to work together on projects. Be sure to ask the admissions office for more information on this program, I believe it to be one of the university's best kept secrets.

Owen

Academics as Mason are awesome. THere are a lot of different course studies available for students. Most of our classes are a lot more diverse considering all walks of life come here from different parts of the world so our academics reflects that.

Heather

The dynamics of the classroom will depend on the class. In most of my lower level classes for my majors, Physics and Astronomy, with over 150 students per class, participation was difficult, but the professors were always willing to provide help outside of class in office hours. In my upper level classes, class sizes were so small, rarely over 20, that competition was not likely. We generally tried to help everyone succeed, often splitting up homework assignments or forming study groups. The department was always willing to help decide which classes to take, provide opportunities for advising and research opportunities.

Alissa

The academic atmosphere that Mason has to offer is very impressive. Professors make an effort to learn about their students, while sharing personal experiences about themselves. Students activiely participate in class discussions, broadening their views on real world events. Diversity can be seen in every single classroom. One of the great benefits of being in the Northern Virginina/Washington, D.C. area is that GMU employs some of the most qualified professors to teach at every level. One of my favorite aspects of GMU academics is our use of adjunct professors. Especially as a government major, I am always pleased to have a professor who has practiced what they preach. For a comparative politics class, I had a professor who worked in the military for thirty years, negotiated foreign policy in Greece, and now works at a think tank in Washington, D.C. The stories he would tell my class were amazing, and this was at a 100-level course! But, learning does not come only from the professors. In that same comparative politics class, I had classmates from Iran, Iraq, Albania, Algeria, Great Britain, and Egypt. It is one thing to learn about this countries from a text book. It is entirely different to hear what really goes on from first-hand experiences of my classmates. And, everyone can speak freely and opening about current situations because that is the kind of tone Mason sets for its students. We embrace diversity and only want to enhance our learning of one another.

Jess

The lower level/general education classes are usually pretty big. Professors don't get to know you unless you make the effort to see them before or after class, or during their office hours. My favorite class was taught by a Captain with the local police department. He made a 3 hour class go by fast. He always had interesting things to talk about, kept the students attention, and always had the best guest speakers. My least favorite class was chemistry. It just didn't click well with me. The Administration of Justice Department was an excellent place to be. The classes were small, and the professors took time to get to know you. The department offered many classes that gave me an overall view and understanding of the criminal justice system. I took what I learned and used it in my internship I did my last semester. They let you do an internship for up to 12 credits which helped me out a lot.

Tim

Academics are exceptional. Most the classes have old people who are much more motivated than the students who goto college at a normal age. This makes the classes harder because they bring up the learning curve with their damn studying.

Alex

academic advising struggles in some departments, but Mason is working on improving this.

Tiffany

Starting at Mason, I thought that I wanted to major in Accounting. After my first year, I realized that I needed to change majors, so I studied the different majors offered and settled on Conflict Analysis and Resolution. I had never heard of it before, but it is perfect for me! There are three different focuses within the major: Personal, Community, and Global. The major's main research interests are religion and conflict, dynamics of change in conflict, identity issues in conflict, reflective practice, and connection between globalization and conflict. I've never heard this offered before at any other college, and I was very excited!

Claire

Classes here are really what you make them. Professors are not going to hold your hand to help you learn the material. They expect students to take an interest and make an effort outside of class to learn the material as best they can. That said, Professors are very open to questions and available for students to offer help...to those that make an effort to do the work that is. As long as you are willing to do the work and open your mind to new ideas, everyone can do great things here at Mason.

Bevan

I'm only a freshman so I am not too education on this. I took a different direction that most students in their first year called New Century College and it was interesting. It was more writings and readings but with little or no tests involved. It is a lot more work but a good way to make the transition from high school to college.

Jordan

I like the academics here I find them challenging, but I also know I can always find help my professors do know my name and are always avialable either by email or in person.

Sara

The sizes of the classes are good at GMU. Professor's attempts to know the students varies, but many try their best to get to know the student's names. Class participation is common but that also varies depending on the type of people in the classroom. I do not spend any time with my professors outside of class, but I have spoken to a few on occassion and they have been very helpful and friendly. I feel okay about GMU's academic requirements. I feel that a lot of the students are not competitive, compared to students at other schools that have a lower acceptance standard.

Tate

Most professors know my name, since my biggest class so far has been with about 50 students. The rest of my classes are small- of about 20 people, and the professors valule the one on one time, to get to know students better. So far I havent spend time with professors outside of class, but especially in the Art department, if I ask for this extra time especially in studios, they have been willing to help so far. The education here is definetly geared towards getting a job, not just for learning. For example, in my favorite class so far, Typography, when given certain projects, the professor actually treats us like we are her coleagues, and talks to us just like in a professional, job setting.

Emily

In New Century College I know a lot of the professors and staff, which I love. It's comforting to know that people there know be my name and know a lot about me. It's nice to have an extended family when you're so far away from home! NCC is also great at helping with academic things as well. They're always getting the word out to their students about upcoming events on campus and will always listen and help you when you're in a bind about planning your class schedule or doing assignments.

Alex

As inconspicuous as you might try to be, your professors to much surprise will know your name 85% of the time. Even if you are in a lecture hall of over 250 people, your professor will make an effort to know your name, or even understand you personally. I remember going into a friends psychology class my first semester to compare my class to hers, and the the professor had spent half the class period trying to figure out who I was with awkward glances towards me, while offering extra credit to certain individuals who she knew smoked habitually extra credit if they'd successfully stopped smoking by the semester's end. If you're in a small class setting, there's no question your professor will get to know your thought process. From papers, to conversations in class, you'll certainly notice the personal insight your professors will put into feedback as the semesters progress and you develop a relationship with your professors. Even if you're shy, your TA's will no doubt make an effort to help you, even when you're afraid to ask: in my STAT class, my TA would ask me "hey, did you forget to turn in your last assignment?" and if I had in fact forgotten, he'd take it right then and there, and if not then he'd make sure he'd gotten it on file. At this point, as a freshman, GMU is what you make of it. I'm still taking general-education classes and getting a feel of what I want to do and what Mason has to offer, but over time I can see Mason being beneficial to things I'd want to do towards my careers.

Scarlet

Because I'm an art major, I rarely have classes bigger than 20 some people, which is nice. Every single professor i've had so far actually knows a lot about what they're teaching and is actually interested in the subject themselves. GMU requires you to take general education courses (which will probably take you a total of two semesters unless you come in with credits from AP or IB tests) which is a little bit obnoxious to those who have a clear picture of what they want to major in. Otherwise, they're actually relatively interesting. I took courses that I ended up loving, like Indian Dance and Human Geography, that I wouldn't have taken. As for courses within my major, my professors have been amazing. It's hard to have art teachers with good critiques and advice in a field so objective, but I've had four and all of them have taught me something.

Gene

the reason that I chose George Mason is it has one of the best History programs in the nation. Professors are great and are really knowledgeable about the topics they study. George Mason has one of the best Liberal Arts educations offered, and has some award winning professors at its disposal.

Jordan

Do professors know your name? · Some do, some don't Tell us about your favorite class. History 125 with Peter Stearns, brillant and nice guy Least favorite? · IT 103 a gen ed How often do students study? · LOL No Is class participation common? · Depends on the class. Major classes yes. Gen eds no. Do GMU students have intellectual conversations outside of class? · Some do, you have to find the right friends Are students competitive? · Not really, the school is too big for that What's the most unique class you've taken? · Queer Theory Tell us about your major / department. · Global Affairs major, interdisciplinary degree Do you spend time with professors outside of class? · Yes, but I'm in a Living Learning Community I don't think most people do outside of office hours How do you feel about GMU 's academic requirements? · Middle of the road Is the education at GMU geared toward getting a job, or learning for its own sake? - Job

Amy

There are a lot of classes that are lectures, but thats to be expected with a school this big. I dont like some of the teachers, some just don't seem to care at all. its like its just a job to them.

Jessica

My experience with academics at Mason has been all in all a good one. My sophomore and junior classes have been relatively small. Ive only had two classes with over 50 people. As for classes, im a history major so thats the only department i can really speak for. MY teachers have been really good. Ive really enjoyed my classes and and most of my teachers teaching style. If you are looking tobe ahistory major then you will definitely be in good hands with masons professors. In my classes participation is actually really common. Thetre is a lot of talking back and forth with the teacher and with other students. My professors have always been good about meeting out of class if a student need to. Some of the problems i do have with acadmeics is the gen ed requirements and the class schedules. I was required to take 4 classes of spanish for my history major. I found that crazyy. I mean it was almost like just random majors were picked to have language requirements, thats one thing that made me really angry, especially since the spanish dept at mason isnt the best. As for class schedules...ok in a school of over 30,000 students it just seems like they should think more clearly when making the class schedule. There just dont seem to be enough classes and DEFINITELY not enough class times. All the classes seem to be at the same time, hmm cant take 5 classes at the same time now can you?

Alicia

Most classes that are under 35 people take role, I think taking role is not right.

Renee

The university itself is actually decent good academically, especially if you enter it with the intentions of getting a quality education and pushing yourself. Also, most of the faculty has a lot of real-world experience that is meaningful in a classroom. The university is also constantly improving its academic status, and it is really trying to make a bigger name for itself. Unfortunately, a lot of the student population does reflect the stereotype. However, there is a wide spectrum of students at Mason, so you'll find a lot of intelligent and driven people here as well.

Alex

The academic experience at GMU varies greatly from class to class. I have found that some classes are very interactive, and others are like the stereotypical professor who doesn't give a damn. However, almost all are willing to answer questions and help students out during their office hours. My major, physics, has so far not had very good professors or well, maybe they were good, but have not taught in a learning style that I am receptive to.

Harper

I love the academics at Mason. Though Mason may not be an Ivy League university, there are certainly advanced/honors courses individuals can take if they want a little extra challenge. You can also take classes at any university in the area that is a part of the Consortium (those include Georgetown, George Washington, Marymount, American University, etc.); this a great program that not many students take advantage of.

Kelly

Professors do know my name because I had smaller class settings because of NCC. Next year I will be in larger classes. Students are competitive and we do discuss what we have learned in class and share it with other people like our friends. I do not spend much time with my professors outside of class. The only time that I do is to ask them a question during their office hours. Learning at Mason, I feel, is geared to getting a job first and foremost and than about the learning for itself.

Harper

I would say that GMU is geared toward getting students jobs in their field of study. All departmental professors know the students names and get to know their situations and keep a close eye on their education. General education class teachers know that their classes are not top priority and give students their space. However, class participation is usually a must in all classes.

Carlos

My favorite class would have had to been Communications 101. My teacher was great and let us participate in a lot of hands on activities.

Hillary

No the professors forget about me after I leave there class. I'm a straight A, B+ student and have never had a real great experience with the students here. The students are competitive to the degree that they have to prove themselves and prove that they are better than their own race. I think its pretty ridiculous that I have to take and pass an intermediate level course just so I can graduate, but I have to take the class that Mason approves of. At the last college I attended, I met that requirement withh flying colors, but coming to Mason I was told that Mason goes above and beyond every other university. I was also told my transfer credit was shit and I would need to take a whole other class. Woohoo!

Save time. Let us search for you.

Narrow down over 1,000,000 scholarships with personalized results.

Get matched to scholarships that are perfect for you!

START YOUR SEARCH