5 reasons to study at the Schar School of Policy and Government

Regardless of where your passion sits, it’s bound to be affected by public policy or some other form of government involvement. It’s inevitable: the government, the decisions it makes, and the policies it implements have an impact on almost everything, whether we see it directly or not.

As the modern world develops, the complexity of our issues extends, and those who strive to shape policies and advance the public good find all the tools they need to do so at the Schar School of Policy and Government at George Mason University.

Whether you see yourself at the head of a non-profit organization, as a government leader, developing public policies and programs, or in a completely different role within these sectors, the Schar School of Policy and Government offers undergraduate degrees, master’s degrees, and PhD programs that will prepare you for a meaningful career.

Students are attracted to universities for an infinite number of reasons – from flawless academics, to the local coffee scene, enthusiastic lecturers, and prestigious research facilities. There are innumerable things which make the Schar School of Policy and Government a magnificent place to study, but here are our top five…

1. A Diverse Student Body

As an international student you have a thirst for adventure; for meeting new people and exploring new cultures and lifestyles. Understandably, you want to be surrounded by likeminded people – those who have a healthy inquisitiveness for what makes the world go around – and while you want to meet the locals (both in the Washington, DC and Virginia area and to the wider country), you will also harbour desire to meet those from other cultures.

With students from over 120 countries across the globe and every single state in the US, it’s safe to say George Mason University nurtures an incredibly diverse international environment. So not only are you likely to meet people from all over the US, you will also make friends with people from all four corners of the world.

It will come as no surprise George Mason University boasts one of the most diverse student populations in the US.

2. Fantastic Location

Nestled in the capital of one of the world’s most powerful countries, the Schar School of Policy and Government is on the doorstep of where some of the biggest decisions in public policy and government are made. Washington, DC sits a few minutes’ walk from the peaceful neighborhood of Arlington, Virginia, home of the Schar School.

Students get to access the bustling corporate world of DC at a moment’s notice, but the charm of Arlington runs deeper – in fact, last year Forbes ranked Arlington as the #1 city in the US for millennials.

DC itself is home to a huge number of companies, organizations, and even the US government, boasting ample opportunity for work placements, internships, volunteering, and attending a variety of national and global events each year.

3. Inspiring Faculty

Do you want to be working under people who not only have a wealth of knowledge about policy, but who wish to share it with you, inspire you, listen to you, and help you develop academically, professionally, and personally?

Schar School professors are actively engaged in the corporate hub Washington, DC fosters, increasing networking opportunities for ambitious students. Partner this with targeted career mentorship programs and utmost dedication, and it’s no wonder that Schar School graduates go on to work in roles just as inspiring as their mentors.

How does learning directly from the former director of the CIA and NSA sound? Or from a former ambassador? How about a member of the Scientist Working Group on Chemical and Biological Weapons at the Center for Arms Control and Non-Proliferation? These are just some of the impressive positions professors at the Schar School hold.

Faculty use their real-world experience in the classroom, creating a unique and engaging learning environment that stems from their original research and pre-existing knowledge.

4. Top-Ranked Programs

The Schar School prides itself on its top-ranked programs offered at all levels of study, also holding the Carnegie Classification designation of “R1” for the highest level of research activity.

Offering eight master’s programs and three PhDs, as well as undergraduate majors and graduate certificates, the Schar School suits a majority of needs, so no matter what your interests within public policy and government or your level of study, there’s bound to be an esteemed course that’s right for you.

Due to the university’s proven track record for delivering cutting-edge research, faculty, students and staff have been awarded over US$100 million in research grants and contracts.

5. Affordable and Flexible

Not only are the programs highly ranked, but they are also both affordable and flexible. Not everyone can fit a full-time degree into their busy lives. For most Schar School students, classes are undertaken in the evenings, allowing them to pursue internship placements and employment while gaining their degree. Currently, 72 percent of students are part-time, with the remaining 28 percent pursuing their degrees full-time.

The Schar School has an interdisciplinary focus, enabling students to tailor their studies to their unique interests, all while ensuring their attentions aren’t on too narrow a topic. The programs marry theory and practice, allowing students to put ideas into action and test their knowledge in a hands-on way.

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