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Old 08-26-2010, 12:40 AM
717 posts, read 2,808,071 times
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What was your experience at George Mason University? Were you happy with your decision to go there and would you recommend it to others?

My daughter is seriously considering GM. She eventually wants to teach elementary school. We visited the school last week so we are good with the school, city, proximity to DC, etc. She felt comfortable with everyone we talked to at the school, but they were mostly people "selling" the school.

We would just like to hear what other students think about the university. Thanks.
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Old 08-26-2010, 04:49 AM
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I am not a student or professor so take my opinion with a grain of salt.

George Mason is a good school with a good reputation that is getting even better. With the competition in Virginia colleges, in the past few years George Mason has been getting more attention and, as such, their GPA requirements to get in have steadily climbed. They are a *tad* higher than what it takes to get into Radford. Reputation-wise I don't think they are up there yet with JMU, Tech, and the like.

Historically, the school has been more of a commuter college and for those seeking masters' programs. It still is a bit like that so a student going in looking for that whole "campus feel" thing is probably going to be a bit disappointed. It is there but not as much as other schools. It's situated smack dab in a residential area of Fairfax and Fairfax City and it just doesn't have that discreet campus feel that many students seek. So that is something to consider.

Otherwise it is a good school in a safe area.
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Old 08-26-2010, 05:19 AM
Location: Loudoun County, VA
1,148 posts, read 3,738,361 times
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I guess I'm qualified to answer since I did my undergrad there and am almost done with my masters as well as worked for the university doing research for a year and a half.

GMU is not a bad school but it is still mostly a commuter school. The campus is getting bigger and they're getting more dorms so I guess the on campus student population is growing. It's definitely NOT a party school which some people find great and others don't. The students are mostly very serious about their studies and hold jobs outside the campus. The amenities on campus are good (gyms, pool, movie theatre, restaurants, libraries, banks etc.) and you're within a short distance to DC. Oh and you technically don't need a car to live on campus, there's a free shuttle that takes you to the metro station etc.

In my field they're attracting well known professors and my program has really been taking off in the past couple of years. But having GMU in my resume is still not a "wow" thing, if you know what I mean. Hopefully it'll get there though.. There is a lot of "selling" going on and sometimes it feels like the university is ran like a business where the student is definitely not the customer. But this is just the feeling I get.. All this marketing has brought in lots more students and the parking lots have not kept up with the demand. ANyway, I'm just rambling, time for coffee.. Bottom line: it's a good school. Not great, not horrible.
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Old 08-26-2010, 08:53 AM
87 posts, read 337,991 times
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I went there as well. Overall, it was fine. I got my degree and got a job, so I can't complain.

Parking though was horrible. I would spend over 45mins searching for a parking spot when I had classes on the Fairfax campus. The Prince William campus was better though, always got a close spot, and the campus was nice.

Now, it is a commuter school still, but more things are open on the weekends. When I lived on campus (2005-2007), we had very few things open on the weekends. The old dining hall was one of the few, and it was pretty bad. They have changed things since then, and I've heard the new area is not too bad.

Students/Professor ratings will depend on your major. I was in IT, and the majority of the IT professors have heavy accents and I often had a harder time understanding them. Using a site like Rate My Professor will save you from taking some of the terrible professors. I always checked this prior to my class. As for students, again will depend on the class. I've made some great friends from classes, but have also had the lab partners from hell who only wanted to copy you. It's up to you to decide how you do things.
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Old 08-26-2010, 10:28 AM
512 posts, read 1,434,523 times
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great school. very good for engineering.
got my bs and masters from there.
great commuter school with many harvard/stanford grad professors.
the price is right for instate students. parking was/is? an issue but getting better.

Best of luck.
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Old 08-26-2010, 02:50 PM
66 posts, read 100,634 times
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gmu was uva nova campus and was separated in 60's i think. good school and it is now higher in rank than jmu. jmu is now not even in the usnews rank. National Universities Rankings - Best College - Education - US News gmu has plenty of money and you can see new buildings and will see more new buildings. its ranking went up greatly recently. check out usnews and ARWU world ranking. ARWU 2010 (http://www.arwu.org/ARWU2010_2.jsp - broken link) it's in top 200 in the world. I'm not sure, but gmu has 2 or 3 Nobel prize winners. it's close to DC and you have better chance for govt employment
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Old 08-26-2010, 02:56 PM
66 posts, read 100,634 times
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U.S. News & World Report ranked George Mason University #1 in its new category of "Up-and-coming National Universities," 2008.[29]
The Systems Engineering and Operations Research Department is ranked #31 by U.S. News & World Report in 2009 for Best Engineering Schools in Industrial and Manufacturing.[30][non-primary source needed]
The School of Public Policy is ranked 1st in the nation[when?] for federally-funded public policy, public affairs, public administration and political science research.[31][non-primary source needed]
The university is ranked 58th in North America and 75th worldwide by the web-based Webometrics Ranking of World Universities[32]
4th most diverse university in the nation, by the Princeton Review in 2008.[33]
8th in the world political economy, 30th in public economics by econphd.net.[34][dead link]; As of 2008, the Southern Economic Journal ranks Mason economics as 3rd in Methodology and History of Economic Thought, 9th in General Economics and Teaching, 11th in Law and Economics, 25th in Public Economics and 25th in Microeconomics.[35]
As of 2009, the School of Law is ranked 41st in the nation by US News & World Report[36][37]
51st in the nation graduate Political Science for 2009 by US News & World Report [38]
64th in the nation graduate History program for 2009 by US News & World Report[39]
45th in the nation graduate Public Affairs program for 2008 by US News & World Report[40]
63rd in the nation graduate Nursing program for 2007 by US News & World Report[41]
65th in the nation graduate Education program for 2008 by US News & World Report[42]
74th in the 2009 list of "Best Undergraduate Business Programs" by U.S. News & World Report[43]
152nd in the nation graduate Biological Sciences programs by US News & World Report in 2007
6th in the nation[when?] graduate Industrial/Organizational Psychology doctoral program. US News and World Report[44][non-primary source needed]
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Old 08-26-2010, 10:23 PM
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GMU has a fabulous econ department! Walter Williams put together a team of world famous economists, including Noble Prize winners.
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Old 08-27-2010, 08:46 AM
Location: Virginia
18,717 posts, read 31,075,798 times
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Anyone know when the fall semester starts?
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Old 08-27-2010, 09:09 AM
89 posts, read 178,981 times
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I graduated from GMU in 2006, and you get A LOT of professors who have actual real experience working in the government (if you're path of study is adminstration of justice, government, international relations, etc.) which is quite helpful because they actually know how it works and know what they're talking about. I had a great federal judge one semester who told us about the cases he sat on, another had worked at the pentagon for like 40 years, another was currently working at ICE, etc. That's one of the perks of having it in such close proximity to the federal government.

But it IS a commuter school, and you're likely to have people in their 30s-40s in class with you who are married and/or have kids and others who are working through school, so you're getting a lot of people who don't socialize and they just drive to campus for class and leave immediately after. So if you're looking for a *typical* campus life experience, where it's 25 and under, everything is based around campus/school, you've got apartment complexes that are just student housing, most of the students just go to school and socialize, etc. than I would suggest another school.
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