Policy in Action
George Mason University’s Schar School of Policy and Government prepares undergraduate and graduate students to be leaders and managers who solve problems and advance the public good in all sectors and levels of government—in the United States and throughout the world. Located where policy happens—just 3 miles from the Pentagon, 4 miles from The White House, and 6 miles from the U.S. Capitol Building—students are connected to jobs, internships, networking, and experiences that can only be found in the Washington, D.C., area.
It’s policy in action. Learning from professors with real-world experience, students gain the applicable skills and the practical knowledge to lead government agencies and nonprofit organizations, develop public policies and programs, create innovate consulting solutions, or provide expert policy analysis.
“The Schar School challenged me to develop real solutions to real policy problems,” says Geoff Schaeffer, a 2010 Public Policy (MPP) graduate. “Then I had to defend those solutions to heavy-hitting practitioners like the former Director of the CIA. This prepared me to have an impact in Washington, D.C., long before I received my diploma.”
Schar School alumni apply what they learned in the classroom to pursue fulfilling and meaningful careers. Graduates are doing consequential work at leading employers including the U.S. Department of State, USAID, the World Bank, the United Nations, the National Endowment for Democracy, Deloitte, Booz Allen Hamilton, and many others.
Distinguished and Dedicated Faculty
Combining original research and real-world experience, Schar School faculty members come from a wide range of disciplines and are world-class academic scholars, public intellectuals who have shaped policy debates, and experienced professionals who specialize in the scholarship of practice. They all seek to create new knowledge and make a difference. Government officials and corporate executives often seek their expertise.
“We connect learning with practice, provide counsel for leaders in the private, public, and nonprofit sectors, and prepare our students to be leaders themselves,” says Schar School professor and Master of Public Administration Director Paul Posner.
Helping our Students Succeed
As one of the largest schools of its kind, the Schar School creates an environment in which students can succeed and achieve their goals. We offer 14 degree programs, so students have many options to pick the path that is best for them. We provide unequaled academic advising and career development resources. Students have more than 2,000 classmates to study with, learn from, and develop relationships with, which not only provides them a richer experience here at Mason, but also serves them throughout their careers. The Schar School also has a strong and proud community of 13,000 alumni, many of whom live and work in the Washington, D.C. area.
While the School itself is large, the Schar School remains committed to quality teaching and small classes. There are more than 80 full-time faculty, so that students can get to know their professors. As a result, students often form mentoring relationships with their professors that help them succeed in class, understand complex policy issues, conduct research that addresses public problems, and excel throughout their careers.
Most classes are offered in the evening to accommodate part-time students, making it easy for students to earn their degrees while maintaining a full-time job or internship.
A Quality Education
U.S. News & World Report ranks the Schar School’s graduate programs among the best. George Mason University is also listed by U.S. News & World Report as an up-and-coming school and a national university to watch. The Washingtonian listed the creation of George Mason University as an event that shaped Washington, D.C., saying that Mason has “a record of having broken DC universities’ monopoly on public-policy expertise.”