As a Washington, D.C. area professional, interdisciplinary school that melds theory with practice, the Schar School of Policy and Government at George Mason University offers cutting-edge degree programs taught by professors with real-world experience. 

Whether you aspire to lead a government or nonprofit organization, develop public policies and programs, create innovative consulting solutions, or provide expert analysis, you will graduate from the Schar School prepared to meet the challenges of a changing world. 


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Earn your graduate or undergraduate degree from the Schar School. Get started today.

U.S. News & World Report ranks the Schar School's graduate programs among the best. 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 D.C. universities' monopoly on public-policy expertise."

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Our Programs

“The political science program is a great way to learn the skills necessary in political science, whether it’s qualitative skills, quantitative skills, conducting research, or being able to read the literature in a new way and piece together information."

Melissa Howard, Master’s in Political Science

“The program has provided me a huge leg up in issues of operations, strategy, national security, and counter-terrorism that will really make me much more competitive in my field.”

Lee Habib Roberts, Master’s in International Security



Ranked No. 2 in the world by US News & World Report for the best graduate program concentrations in Homeland/National Security and Emergency Management (2019)

In 2016, named among United States' 50 most affordable colleges with the best return on investment.


Biodefense, MS

>> Online format also available

Master the analytical skills and knowledge needed to assess national and international security risks posed by natural and man-made biological threats.

International Commerce & Policy, MA

Broader than an MBA and more focused than a degree in international affairs, this master’s program immerses you in the nexus of business, economics, international relations, and public policy.

International Security, MA

Prepare to assess and manage traditional security threats and the emerging security challenges of the 21st century.

Organization Development & Knowledge Management, MS

Develop the essential leadership, creative problem-solving, and analytical skills needed to become a change agent in your organization.

Political Science, MA

Deepen your understanding of political processes and gain research-focused expertise in American politics, comparative politics, and international relations.

Public Administration, MPA

Gain a comprehensive understanding of how leadership, management, policy, and politics intersect. Optional concentrations allow you to hone in on subjects ranging from emergency management and nonprofit management to public and nonprofit finance.

Public Policy, MPP

Effective public policies advance the public good. Master the analytical thinking and knowledge needed to address a vast range of public concerns, including terrorism, human trafficking, gender studies, environmental hazards, and hunger.

Transportation Policy, Operations & Logistics, MA

Develop the analytical thinking and critical skills needed to effectively and efficiently supply and operate transportation facilities and services.

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The Schar School's public policy and international relations programs are ranked #1 in the Washington, D.C. area.

Our graduates are among the best in their fields. From careers in government to the private sector, Schar School graduates are thriving in their professions and advancing solutions in a complex and changing world. 


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Graduate and Undergraduate program brochures available for download upon form completion. Each brochure provides additional insight into:

  • The Schar School advantage
  • Top-ranked degree programs
  • Career development and ROI
  • Faculty thought leadership
  • Next steps for admission

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Policy in Action

Master's ProgramsPhD ProgramsUndergraduate Programs


Biodefense, PhD

Gain a background in the science and technology of biodefense as well as specialized areas of threat assessment, non-proliferation, and medical and public health preparedness.

Political Science, PhD

Prepare to teach, conduct research, and influence decision-makers across the political landscape. Graduates of this program pursue leadership positions in academia as well as with think tanks, international bodies, NGOs, journals of political opinion, and congressional and executive branch offices.

Public Policy, PhD

Master policy analysis and implementation, and engage in creative and original research that helps society solve some of its most pressing problems.


Government & International Politics, BA

Learn to critically examine the complexities of national and international issues, as well as political issues, processes, and actors. Optional concentrations include International Relations, Comparative Politics, Political Analysis, and many others.

Public Administration, BS

Public administration focuses on how public policy is implemented within society. Optional concentrations include Nonprofit Management, Public Policy, Economic Policy, and more.

With your location in the national capital region, we have unprecedented access to experts in their fields. From heads of state and governors to former directors of central intelligence, attorney generals, and political correspondents, our distinguished faculty, speakers, and guests bring a wealth of experience and perspectives to our community.

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Begin Your ApplicationBegin Your ApplicationPhD Open House – Wednesday, March 18 at 7pmMaster's and Certificate Class Visit ScheduleMaster’s Open House – Thursday, March 26 at 6:30pmPhD Class Visit Schedule