StudentsReview :: George Mason University - Graduate (MS/PhD) Ratings
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George Mason University

Total Grad Surveys 34
Females 16
Males 18
Avg years at University 2.6
Research Quality C+ (5.4)
Research Availability C (4.7)
Research Funding C- (4.2)
Graduate Politics C (4.3)
Not Errand Runners C (4.7)
Degree Completion C+ (5.4)
Alternative pay [ta/gsi] C (4.2)
Sufficient Pay C- (4.1)
Competitiveness C (4.3)
Education Quality C+ (5.4)
Faculty Accessibility C+ (5.1)
Useful Research C (4.6)
"Individual" treatment C- (4.1)
Friendliness C (4.6)
Safety B (7.0)
Campus Beauty B- (6.2)
Campus Maintenance B (6.8)
University Spending C+ (5.3)
Extracurriculars C (4.8)
Scholastic Success C (4.9)
Surrounding City B (6.6)
Social Life/ Environment B- (5.8)
"Individual" treatmentC-
Though I enjoyed the Masters' program in ForensicSep 09 2017Other
Though I enjoyed the Masters' program in Forensic Science, I feel the University and the Faculty failed to be realistic (and were perhaps even deceitful) about the chances for relevant employment after this course of study. My entrance essay clearly indicated I wanted to be a DNA analyst, and turns out I didn't have enough Biology in my undergraduate study to qualify. Why not tell me when I applied that I should go in a different direction?

Four years later I have yet to find a position in which to use the knowledge I gained. I feel in retrospect that I was just a meal ticket. A little advising early in the process (which I didn't know I needed at the time) could have greatly improved my chances. All it would have taken is 15-30 minutes and it might have changed the course of my life for the better.

We students actually conjectured that one key professor was slipping mentally... he let the ball drop on many things that he should have been on top of.Students, do your due diligence and find out what's really involved in your field and what job prospects there are (and what education/qualifications are necessary). It might save you some serious heartache (and wallet-ache)

Research Topic(s): Substances which may artificially inflate blood alcohol content
First, the badJun 18 2017Computer Science
First, the bad. You give them your money so that they can rob you of your aspirations, but then they won't even reimburse you with enough academic authority to win an argument against the most clueless of Internet trolls - and this is coming from a good student. Nobody ever says it, but you'll sometimes notice an unspoken "if you were at a good school instead of GMU" hidden in the professors' words. GMU was my first experience with professors who'd brush off your theories seemingly based on pure whim and without giving you their reasoning. On the plus side, it's a fast-growing campus with a chill atmosphere, and you'll find countless gorgeous people of all colors and ethnicities. However, the place reeks of narcissistic attitude control, and as a result you will perpetually feel like there's nobody you can relate to. The one-off stories of sexism and sexual favoritism (it goes both ways) about professors are so over-the-top, you'd think they're going out of their way to make you laugh. The administration sometimes seems like a hack job and sometimes seems like it's only interested in your money, and that's all to resist their alternate identity as an administration full of yes-men who unthinkingly obey the institution. You'll often find yourself in a position where you think you've been treated unfairly but have no idea who to complain to (and this might be the crux of the problem - it's not that people don't care, it's that when they do, they have no idea what to do about it). The school makes an honest challenge to my belief that any school is a good one if you're willing to put in the effort.

Now to be fair, the graduation rates are respectable; the classes will teach you what they need to; the professors are respectably competent; the area is rich with business opportunities if you're ambitious enough; the school is up-and-coming in terms of national visibility; proximity to DC is great; there's no shortage of enthusiastic students and teachers; the atmosphere is welcoming assuming you accept that a specific political party best represents a multinational and diverse student body. The place is full of resources and opportunities of various types if you know where to look (but you'll be spammed with ones you aren't interested in, so it isn't always easy to find them). If you just take it for granted that everybody has their moments of boneheadedness, you're good to go.As I mentioned earlier, the school is growing quickly. If you're in one of the expanding departments, you'll probably be fine, for the obvious reason that that's where the attention is being diverted. If you're the right kind of person (think tolerant and satisfied with a basic education; or hyper-ambitious TV star), you'll mesh well with the university. If on the other hand you're the kind who's inquisitive and holds high expectations for yourself, you'll quickly find yourself frustrated by a cloying wall of interpersonal politics.

Feb 01 2017School of Information
one of the worst decision i made, teacher had no clue what he is teaching
George Mason is barelyNov 11 2015Sociology
George Mason is barely a University, and not a party school. The frats are the only off-campus party locations and they have to try extra hard by using roofies and sexually assaulting girls. Do not, I repeat do not attempt to party at George Rapeson University.
(1) Graduate academic advisor did not answer any e-mails/phone calls regarding admission. Was not able to get TA position because I accepted late, but decided to attend anyway.

(2) Received fairly prestigious fellowship. Had to use it to fix broken equipment or buy new equipment.

(3) Classes were easy, people cheat, and I didn't learn anything least not in the amount I was paying.

(4) At one point I had a resident advisor position. Department told me they would give me a TA position. I quit the the RA position to become a TA. They changed their minds after I quit. -_-

(5) After that, another opportunity came up where I'd be able to teach 3 classes (same as a TA), but offered less than a third of the compensation.

(6) The person that took over those classes was then compensated for the TA amount...department was trying to pinch pennies and take advantage of my fellowship even though they didn't give me anything my first year.

(7) GRADUATE students here forget how to convert between degrees Celsius and Kelvin. Shoot me.
(8) Classes are fairly easy, but people cheat and that screws up the curve sometimes. Don't worry about getting anything less than a B for most professor though.

(9) Research here is in a really bad state. No funding unless you're maybe in one of the biochem labs. Students here have to buy their own chemicals.

(10) There's more, but I think you get the idea...DO NOT GO HERE. LEARN FROM ME, PLEASE. It is better to find a job as a technician than do go here and have your money sucked away from you.

I am thoroughly unimpressed by the Neuroscience PhDMay 29 2015Neuroscience/Cognitive Science
I am thoroughly unimpressed by the Neuroscience PhD program at Mason. If at all possible, absolutely go elsewhere. I regret coming here. The students in this program are generally either unhappy or arrogant. There is next to no funding, and your ability to do research you love is hampered by both politics and cash flow. The faculty are unfriendly and self-absorbed. The University itself is happy to let its graduate students fall through the cracks. The politicking in this department is unbelievable. Faculty here often seem to waste more time in politics than they do on actual research. The research facilities themselves are quite limited, and funding is scarce. I would not recommend this program for a serious student of neuroscience.
This school is only sufficient for students whoMar 15 2015Public Policy
This school is only sufficient for students who plan to attend part-time or have limited options for attending university in the United States. The resources are there to learn what you need to learn to do quality research, but you will not receive the mentoring or relationships with faculty that can advance your career at other schools. The simple reason is that the faculty are overworked due to an asymmetric focus on research volume, they have to work harder for resources and publications than faculty at other schools because the institution doesn't have great name recognition, the school doesn't prioritize research and teaching equally, and in most cases the way they interact with students has no impact on their careers.
It's the lack of skills that this degreeNov 16 2014Other
It's the lack of skills that this degree gives me that makes me wish I had never entered the program. The list of required courses is extensive, and is always an "introductory"-type course. The only rigorous course required is one "techniques" course and one "science" course. If I could have my thousands of dollars and 3 years of my life back, I would invest in a much more rigorous degree--one with a heavier emphasis on science, and one that would give me a higher likelihood of job placement. If for some reason I had to do this degree program over again, I would avoid certain departments and sections of the school entirely--unfortunately, my first two years were spent as a trial and error of who's friendly and who actually responds to emails and phone calls--and focus on the faculty that I've learned are very friendly. I'd also work towards the funding opportunities and potential projects that, now that I'm in my third year, I'm only now aware of. I'm saddened that I spent the first two years with ambition and seeking advice and even a mentor, but only in my third year can look back and see that the departments and staff that I sought help from were entirely the wrong people. But how could I have known?
Overall, I found the Graduate Department in SociologyMar 14 2014Sociology
Overall, I found the Graduate Department in Sociology to have too few faculty for the number of students. This leads to shortcomings for students in that many students did not have faculty advisors; there was little faculty support in terms of preparing a student for their comprehensive exams and writing dissertations; and seminar classes are much too large. It is a fairly new program and unfortunately still lacks in providing students with the support needed. Students don't get what they pay for.
Excellent grad plan of study in the TCOMDec 26 2013Telecommunications
Excellent grad plan of study in the TCOM field. The core subjects can be sometimes a little bit basics, but the elective are focus on interesting topics concerning to real life and practical experiences. I strongly recommend the engineering courses for grads and for certificate students (I started as a non-grad, and I am finishing my masters with the optiion to pursue my Ph.D. as a part-time student).
There have the world class faculty who areDec 19 2013Political Science
There have the world class faculty who are currently active and you will get a lot out of them if you are committed to interact with them. I've come to find that my fellow students are highly motivated and exceptionally able, and I find this setting to be stimulating and filled with exciting opportunities.
Make sure you have a plan of attackOct 24 2013Physics
Make sure you have a plan of attack if you intend to pursue doctorate studies at this university and invest time getting know the environment. As a prior college of science student, I can attest the many part time doctorate students; so the curriculum, research, and pace reflects this aspect. Look at course schedules and get an idea when courses show up, otherwise you might be surprised at how long you'll have to wait to complete your core requirements. This is NOT acceptable as a serious full-time student!! To be clear, some departments do not have an effective graduate student program to get a student from courses to research in a fair amount of time.As a prospective student pay attention to this and ask questions before you commit!
Aug 27 2013Engineering Department
Don't do a Phd at GMU they have no ethics - coaching or guidance. YOU are on your own
All I can say is that I haveAug 20 2013Unknown
All I can say is that I have made the best choice in coming to GMU. I am in the College of Education and Human Development as a grad student and going into my second semester. I cannot express enough the joy it was to have a particular professor (not sure if we can share names on here) but regardless to say, she has confirmed my thoughts about the program. Which is a great one. They look beyond how good one looks on paper and really look into the person. I cannot speak for other programs because I simply do not know enough about them. I honestly think that you get what you put in. If you want to complain about things like parking, unreliable/under qualified faculty, lack of finding friends, then perhaps Mason is not for you. GMU is a great school with a great atmosphere.
I am a Grad student with dual undergraduateMay 17 2013Engineering Department
I am a Grad student with dual undergraduate degrees, including one in Engineering. I have job experience related to teaching, engineering, product development, and statistics. Heck, I have worked at Johns Hopkins and Virginia Tech!

I have to say wholeheartedly that the Volgeneau School of Engineering at GMU has TRIED to concoct a challenging graduate Statistics program -- and has FAILED MISERABLY! The professors are unhelpful to an extreme. In my honest opinion, I have had only two of six professors there, who should EVER be allowed in a classroom. The vast majority are a detriment to society, much less to a learning environment.

Students in my program, for the most part, agree that we have all spent huge sums of money to be disheartened and made to feel stupid at every opportunity. The vast majority of us are talented and hard-working, with strong mathematical and engineering backgrounds, and should be easy to teach. The fact that the vast majority of us ALSO can spend 15 weeks in a class, and have ABSOLUTELY NO IDEA what we might have learned -- is a huge red flag.Avoid this MS in Statistics program AT ALL COSTS!

The Social Work program at George Mason isJun 19 2012Social Work
The Social Work program at George Mason is awful - it is ranked #66 in the US News & World Report survey of Social Work programs for 2012. Maryland, Catholic, Howard, and VCU are all ranked higher. Mason is dead last in Social Work Programs for the Metro DC area. It's not my opinion: You can research it yourself.

With a few exceptions, the faculty won't listen to the students - many of them have an attitude that they can't be bothered. Some of them don't seem very happy to be there. When there's some sort of problem, students get blamed for it somehow and get put on blast in an email sent to the entire student body. The program teaches students about empowering people to advocate for themselves, but when students try to actually do that, they get shut down. The way the department is run seems to vacillate between treating students like they're children, and treating them like they're on their own and need to find their own way. So the students have low morale.

The field education program is seriously jacked up - heard too many horror stories to count, and know someone who quit the program over it. The position of Field Director seems to be a revolving door. The "part-time" program really is only part-time for two years - you'll be going full-time your last year, and if you take issue with that, they'll suggest you quit your job and go into debt with student loans (in this economy, yeah right - some can't afford to quit their jobs) to go full-time. What kind of faculty person actually encourages a student to go into debt? So make sure you know up front, if you really want to go to school "part-time," it's only part-time the first two years.

Adjuncts seem to teach more classes than on-campus faculty, and in one instance, an adjunct (by her own admission) wasn't even qualified to teach the subject matter she was teaching. The amenities are lacking - cramped up offices for classrooms with no real student lounge. It feels like they converted a hallway broom closet for the student 'lounge.' The only up side is since the classes are held off-campus in an office building, the parking is free. VCU just started an Online MSW program. If you're thinking of an MSW in Northern VA, can't afford the private schools with Howard or Catholic, and don't want to pay the out of state tuition for MD - and can't decide between VCU (which is ranked #11 in US News & World Report) and George Mason, please, PLEASE consider VCU. They have the ranking, the reputation, the faculty and the resources. Mason doesn't. Graduate education is an investment of time and money, and for the effort you put into it, a degree from VCU would carry more weight and respect. Mason is killing their reputation through how they treat their students, and I don't think they care.

Looking back, I wastedApr 06 2012Other
Looking back, I wasted my money on a program that is complete baloney! There are a lot better schools in the area to study Conflict Analysis and Resolution, do NOT waste your money at GMU!
The school is notorious for not being internationalSep 08 2011Public Policy
The school is notorious for not being international student friendly. If you are an international student and you choose to "pay" this 3rd tier school to make your life miserable get ready to deal with the relevant office inside the university where the director's primary position is that international students enroll for theses and dissertations in order to exploit the system in order to stay in the USA. A very racist and manipulative woman that has caused numerous problems to many international students who are involved in high research, but the administration of the university supports her lies and manipulative behavior. This says everything about GMU! There are way better schools -do not choose GMU!
I have completed my Masters of Education throughAug 16 2010Education
I have completed my Masters of Education through the off campus cohort program but still need a few classes to finish my teacher certification. The classes I have left I will be on campus for. The process for payment and registration is filled with needless paperwork. It took five phone calls to actually get a real person on the phone to answer a simple question that could not be answered online. Every step of the way students are told to fill out multiple forms, pay extra fees (for processing), and to fax paper work or waste time to deliver it in person. God forbid you forget your password. I feel graduate students are only considered money signs for the university. When I go for my PhD I will not be going back to GMU and I will tell all of my co-workers and friends to find other universities to continue their education.
George Mason might be the most underrated universityMay 25 2010Unknown
George Mason might be the most underrated university in Virginia. Take a look at some of the impressive rankings in areas of law, nursing, economics, creative writing, public policy, and on and on. While people continue to bash Mason, Mason has quietly--and unpretentiously--grown into a highly regarded university. Mason even has a world ranking; Mason is in the top 100 of academic ranking of world universities?and that?s for two years in a row. I would recommend Mason to anyone looking for a solid education at a great value.
Dec 20 2009Telecommunications
This was a great experience for me. I would recommend this university for my brothers and family as well.
The History MA program at this university isSep 19 2009History/Histories (art history/etc.)
The History MA program at this university is huge, the largest in the country, and there is no money for MA students. Also, I have not heard one positive comment about the MA adviser. He is arrogant and unhelpful probably because of the size of the program. The faculty is friendly and helpful, but for the most part this hasn't been a good experience for me. Fairfax and northern VA are in general extremely boring places and getting into DC can sometimes be a pain.
This school is awfulJun 01 2009Education
This school is awful. I thought that I would be able to work at a school and earn credit hours to get my Master's degree in teaching. Not the case. The school tries to suck every last penny it can from you. Parking is atrocious and it is impossible to leave campus in a timely manner because the roads through campus are at a standstill when classess get out in the evening. I'm getting flack from the education department for actually getting a teaching degree before finishing there. I'm actually being told, in no uncertain terms, to quit my job and do an unpaid internship instead of staying at my current position at an elementary school. It is really unreal.
For undergraduates, this school is uniqueMar 14 2008Psychology
For undergraduates, this school is unique. The average student is about 27 or so, and most are commuters, so you will have a difficult time having a typical experience here. It seems that most people who attend already have friend circles in place, and do not use college as a place to socialize, which can make it lonely. The town of Fairfax is not college friendly at all. It is very soccer mom, yuppy suburban town. The academics are modest, as is the student body. The psychology graduate program is lacking. The graduate faculty are completely out of touch, and the curriculum is so easy, I actually stopped purchasing textbooks - and this for a PhD. The politics are sickening, and the faculty are very self-absorbed, at least in the clinical program. It will emotionally drain you, certainly, while totally depriving you of a decent education. No matter how smart you are, it will never be good enough, as you seem to be judged on esoteric personality characteristics or other bizarre criteria. You are mere pawns to the faculty, of which you are perpetually reminded. Someone once referred to this program as as "Weekend Warriors" type graduate program, as in it is totally DIY (do it yourself). I would amend that to say, it is DIY, while faculty throw a ridiculous amount of hurdles in your path for no sane reason, other than it is "supposed to" be hard. This is of course ironic, as the academic part is easy - it is the pyshcological warfare that will get you down. Please choose another school if at all possible!!!
Dec 24 2007Public Policy
Absolute frustration!
Had an outstanding graduate school experience at GMUNov 29 2007School of Information
Had an outstanding graduate school experience at GMU. Excellent on campus research facilities and opportunities for research projects and grants. The administration has done an outstanding job of position George Mason as a top 75 research university in the nation with a goal of being in the top 50 in 5 years.
My time at George Mason was very enrichingApr 12 2007School of Information
My time at George Mason was very enriching. It is a university that is growing in academic stature as well as prominence within the state of Virginia and the region.

The academic program in my field of study is nationally recognized (School Of Information, Technology, and Engineering) and provided ample opportunities for research and application of concepts learned in my professional career.

Because Mason is a relatively young school - the campus has been quickly developing into a comprehensive community with new and technologically advanced facilities, enhanced student housing, and a multitude of activities on Campus and in near-by Old Towne Fairfax. I would definitely recommend GMU to a rising high-school senior.

Apr 01 2005Business - Management and Administration
MBA Grad student, GMAT 710.Great Business School, University career services is very effective.
George Mason University
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