George mason university  fairfax  virginia   united states
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Brief background:

George Mason University was established in 1957 and is one of the largest universities in Washington D.C. the University offers more than 150 doctoral, masters, and graduate certificate programs. Students can choose to study at any of the University’s 11 graduate colleges in health care, law, business, the sciences, information technology, engineering, the arts, social sciences, education, humanities, and many more

Its engineering school, The Volgenau School of Engineering, is a popular choice for Electrical Engineering and Computer Science program for students having an average profile.


The campus of GMU is spread over 806 acres and has state-of-the-art facilities for students. There are two main libraries, which stock millions of volumes, on the campus. All the buildings on the campus are highly modern and have wireless internet connectivity. The Johnson Cinema Centre is perfect for students and staff who love watching movies. The campus is also dotted with coffee shops and bars.

Residing Options:

The University offers on-campus accommodation to its students and has numerous dorms for this purpose. Students opting for on-campus accommodation have to pay $5000 annually. However, many graduate students prefer to stay off-campus in areas such as Fairfax Square Apartments, Old Town and Margate Manor. Depending on the location, distance from campus, number of roommates and kind of room, students pay between $1,200 and $1,500 for off-campus accommodation.

Faculty and pedagogy:

The faculty at GMU is quite good. In fact, a few Nobel Prize winners have been in its faculty and every faculty here holds a Ph.D. Though a sizeable percentage of professors are busy with their research project, they are ready to help out the students too – provided the initiative is taken by the student. The student-faculty ratio here is 17:1.

Financial aid:

GMU offers a number of scholarships and grants to students. However, getting these depends on the profile of the student. Students can also apply for Research Assistantship and Teaching Assistantship.

Jobs and placements:

George Mason University has an average salary of $71K with a graduation rate of 69%. The salary range for MS (Master of Science) graduates is $53,218 - $113,659. Women’s salary ranges between $40,479 and $85,419 and men’s between $48,637 and $100,089. The location of the university attracts leading firms situated in Washington DC which offer promising career prospects to the recent graduates. Thereby the job satisfaction rate is four out of five on Payscale. Some of the top recruiters of the university are Booz, Allen, and Hamilton, Caci International Inc, Accenture, Northrop Grumman Corporation and Freddie Mac.


Some notable alumni from GMU include Nobel Prize-winning economist James M. Buchanan, U.S Congressman from Virginia Joseph Fisher and inventor of the Sono arsenic filter Abul Hussam.


GMU is an average University and is suitable for those with an average profile.


George Mason University is located on the outskirts of Washington DC covering a generous 688 acres. The most feasible access to the campus is through the bus and metro services. Those traveling from Washington can take the orange line metro from Vienna, Fairfax, GMU station as well as Metrobus routes. The CUE or City-University-Energysaver bus service provides direct access to the campus if Green One, Green Two, Gold One, and Gold Two lines are taken. Those traveling from Northern Virginia can take the Virginia Railway Express that runs through Union Station in Washington, the Manassas Line from  Burke Center station. The university also provides shuttle service from the Fairfax campus throughout Vienna, Fairfax, GMU Metro station, the Burke Center VRE station, the Science and Technology Campus, West Campus, and the downtown City of Fairfax.

The university provides on-campus accommodation for the students as well as visiting faculty with residency centers located all across the Fairfax campus such as Townhouses, Masonvale, and Global Center among many others. The university also provides help with off-campus living such as clearing queries about renting, finding roommates and providing access to student resources away from the university. There are various facilities for on-campus and off-campus dining through meal plans that students can take up.

Acceptance Rate for Indians 78%
STEM Masters Awarded to International Students 247
STEM Doctorates Awarded to International Students 23
TA Appointments 200
RA appointments 97
Research funding $21,780,735
Source : GyanDhan's analysis & partner data as of year 2018

Civil, Environmental and Infrastructure

Sid and Reva Dewberry Department of Civil, Environmental and Infrastructure Engineering at George Mason University offers professional and promising education in the sphere of sustainable infrastructure. The quality of academics is evident from its expert faculty which trains the students to question and experiment with the existing systems and come up with a foolproof solution to the challenges in the domain of Civil, Environmental and Infrastructure Engineering. It offers BS, MS, and Ph.D. programs. The Master of Science in Civil and Infrastructure Engineering program is of total 30 credits wherein the students must specialize in one of the five areas of concentration which are Construction Engineering and Management; Environmental and Water Resource, Geotechnical, Structural and Transportation Engineering. The students are required to present a Plan of Study which needs to be faculty-approved consisting of a minimum of 30 graduate credits. This includes two core courses in Infrastructure Modeling and Risk and Uncertainty in Civil Engineering. The degree requirements for the MS degree vary as per the concentration is chosen by the student, but each student needs to attend a minimum of five graduate seminars. Students can also choose to gain research credits through a thesis or a project. The undergraduate program offers a number of provisions such as the opportunity to enroll in summer courses to gain a better understanding of civil engineering, a choice of their own applicable to the Honours program, and three undergraduate scholarships.

Areas of Expertise: Structural Engineering; Infrastructure Systems; Artificial Intelligence; Data Analytics; Environmental Engineering; Geotechnical Engineering; Sustainability; Computer Vision; Transportation Engineering; Computer Visioning; Water Resources Engineering; Construction Management

Computer Science

The Department of Computer Science at GMU offers BS, MS, and Ph.D. programs. All MS programs have a total of thirty credits equivalent to ten graduate courses. The courses in MS in Computer Science are divided into two categories - Basic and Advanced. The former does not require a graduate course as a prerequisite, while the latter does have a requirement for the same. It is mandatory for students to attend two courses, namely, Mathematical Foundations of Computer Science and Computer Systems and Fundamentals of Systems Programming, which they will later be tested upon. All the courses in the Computer Science program are reduced to five main areas which are Artificial Intelligence and Databases, Programming Languages and Software Engineering, Systems and Networks, Theoretical Computer Science and Visual Computing. The students have the liberty to choose one from the two concentration areas given to them which are Cyber Security (CYSC) and Machine Learning (ML). The students also have the option of swapping six credit hours of advanced classes with a thesis or a project which has to be approved by a minimum of three faculty members. It is mandatory for students in the MS in Information Systems program to attend basic core courses, namely, Mathematical Foundations of Computer Science, Database Systems, Principles and Practices of Communication Networks, Information Systems Analysis and Design and Database Programming for the World Wide Web to understand the fundamentals of the program. Along with that, they must also select five courses out of six from a set of emphasis areas which are Database Management, Data Mining, Electronic Commerce, Software Engineering, Knowledge Management, and Information Security and Assurance. They have the same option and requirements for thesis as Computer Science.

Area of Expertise: Software Engineering, Data Mining, and Analytics, Bioinformatics, Artificial Intelligence and Robotics, Parallel and Distributed Systems, Computer Vision, Computer Graphics, Systems and Networks, Algorithms and Theory of Computation and Cyber-security.
List of Labs: Assurance Research & Engineering, Configuration Analytics, and Automation, Secure Information Systems, Learning Agents Center, Command, Control, Communications, Computing, Intelligence, and Cyber.

Electrical and Computer Engineering

The Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering at GMU provides BS in Electrical Engineering and Computer Engineering, MS in Electrical and Computer Engineering, Computer Forensics, and Telecommunications and Ph.D. in Electrical and Computer Engineering. All the MS programs are a total of 30 credits. MS in Electrical Engineering extensively works towards producing engineers who are well informed in the algorithms of electrical science. The program covers some crucial areas as specializations such as Communications and Networking, Signal Processing, Controls and Robotics, Electronics, Space-Based Systems, and  Bioengineering. MS in Computer Engineering covers areas such as Computer Architecture and Embedded Systems, Internet of Things and Network Security, Hardware Security and Cryptographic Engineering, Computer Networks, Digital System Design, and Digital Signal Processing. The thesis option for both of these programs is designed for students who are interested in pursuing a Ph.D. They must complete the Master’s thesis which is of six credits along with 24 hours of coursework. They must also attend a minimum of six graduate seminars. MS in Computer Forensics requires students to complete the degree with a GPA of 3.0 or higher and a grade not less than C in six credit hours. Its plan of study consists of core courses of 21 credit hours, a mandatory capstone course, and the choice of either a nine credit elective course or an area of concentration. The degree requirements for MS in Telecommunications include acquiring a B grade or higher in all the core courses and a C grade or higher in the remaining core courses of 6 credits.

Areas of Expertise: Adaptive Signal Processing, Digital Forensics, Detection, Estimation and Tracking, Nano-Electronics and Device Fabrication, Sonar and Array Signal Processing, Information Theory and Error Control Coding, Bioengineering Signal Analysis, Statistical Signal Processing, Electronics, Robotics, Communications, Electromagnetics, Cryptography, Digital Signal Processing,Pattern Recognition and Machine Learning, Image and Video Processing, VLSI and Embedded Systems, Wireless and Optical Communications, Green Computing and Computer Networks and Architectures.

Systems Engineering and Operations Research 

The Department of Systems Engineering and Operations Research is a domain for Systems Engineers, Operations Researchers, and Data Analysts. The department offers BS, MS, accelerated MS, Ph.D., and Graduate Certificates. MS in Operations Research guides students to be proficient in the features such as mathematical programming, queueing and network theories, applied and computational probability, and computer simulation and modeling. The program requires a total of 30 credits. 15 credits are allocated to courses which are Operations Research: Deterministic Models; Operations Research: Stochastic Models; Applied Predictive Analytics, and Discrete System Simulation; or a project, and the rest fifteen are distributed among electives chosen from any one of the five concentration areas which are Data Analytics (DNIC), Decision Analysis (DA), Financial Engineering (FNNE), Military Operations Research (MOR), Optimization (OPT) and Stochastic Models (STM) or an individual plan authorized by the graduate advisor. MS in Systems Engineering is a thirty to thirty-three credit hours course consisting of five core courses, namely, Systems Engineering Principles, Systems Definition and Cost Modeling; System Engineering Design; Systems Engineering Management I; and System Methodology and Modeling, three concentration courses, an elective, and a project on systems engineering. MS in Data Analytics Engineering is a course of 30 credits wherein the core courses are Analytics: Big Data to Information; Principles of Data Management and Mining or Theory and Applications of Data Mining; Data Analytics Project; Analytics and Decision Analysis or Operations Research: Deterministic Models; and Applied Statistics and Visualization for Analytics  or Applied Statistics I. The department entails a list of career possibilities such as data scientist, analytics expert, government analyst, policy analyst, supply-chain manager, systems analyst to name a few. 

List of Labs: Air Transportation Systems Research

Information Technology

The Department of Information Sciences and Technology at GMU provides BS, MS, Ph.D. degrees and a number of certificate and concentration choices. MS in Applied Information Technology recognizes the growing need for experts in the areas of Cyber Security, Big Data Analytics, Knowledge Mining, Data Analytics in Social Media, and Cyber-Human Interaction. The faculty of the department does not limit learning within a theoretical frame but encourages the students to tackle the pragmatic challenges faced in the IT field. It’s a 30 to 36 credit hour course. All students are required to complete a minimum of four core courses in addition to which the students must choose one out of four areas of concentration which includes six courses. MS in Data Analytics Engineering is not only restricted to data analysis but expands and covers a myriad of sectors such as data visualization, statistical models, optimization, risk analysis among many others. It’s a course of a total of 30 credit hours inclusive of core subjects and areas of concentration.

Areas of Expertise: Web Science; Big Data; Entrepreneurship and Innovation; Artificial Intelligence; Human-Centered Design; Data for Social Good; Data Analytics; Information Science; Information Science and Technology Education; Information Security and Assurance; Mobile Communications; Intelligent Agents; Personalized Learning; Educational Data Mining; Machine Learning; Learning Analytics; Social Informatics; Wearable Technologies; Semantic Web; Social Networks Systems and Security


The Department of Mechanical Engineering forms a part of the larger ambit of engineering disciplines in the college. The department narrows it down to two focal points within this wide field of study, namely, thermal fluid systems and mechanical systems. It offers a BS and a Minor in Mechanical Engineering. The BS program is of 121 credit hours touching on courses such as Engineering, Mathematics, and Science, Communications and Economics, Additional Mason Core, Writing Intensive Requirement, and Capstone Experience Requirement, while Minor in Mechanical Engineering is a 20-21 credit hours course with core subjects in Introduction to Engineering or Practicum in Engineering, Statics, Solid Mechanics, Thermodynamics and Dynamics and two elective courses.

Areas of Expertise: Composite Structure Mechanics, Variational Methods in Mechanics, Sustainable Energy Systems, Fluid Mechanics, Heat Transfer, and Dynamical Systems.

Annual fees for Indians $29,000
Annual off-campus living $8,000
Source : GyanDhan's analysis & university's website as of year 2018

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