Schar School of Policy and Government

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Schar School of Policy and Government
Logo of the Schar School of Policy and Government.png
Schar School Logo
Motto A Dynamic Education for an Evolving World
Type Public
Established 2000
Parent institution
George Mason University
Dean Mark J. Rozell
Address 3351, Fairfax Dr, Arlington, Virginia, United States
38°53′05″N 77°06′03″W / 38.884622°N 77.100731°W / 38.884622; -77.100731Coordinates: 38°53′05″N 77°06′03″W / 38.884622°N 77.100731°W / 38.884622; -77.100731
Campus Urban

The Schar School of Policy and Government is a school at George Mason University. Its main office and graduate programs are located in Arlington, Virginia, near Washington, D.C.. Undergraduate programs are at the university's Fairfax, Virginia campus. U.S. News and World Report ranked the school 33rd in its 2016 rankings of American graduate public policy analysis programs.[1]

In 2018, U.S. News and World Report ranked the Schar School #3 for the Best Graduate Program Concentrations in Homeland/National Security and Emergency Management.[2]


The school was founded as an institute in 1990 and developed into the graduate-level School of Public Policy (SPP) in 2000. In 2004, SPP was ranked by the National Science Foundation as the number four program in its field for federal and total research expenditures.[3] As of 2013, it remained in the top forty for political science R&D expenditures.[4]

In August 2014, SPP merged with the university's Department of Public and International Affairs to form SPGIA.[5]

Following the end of the former Governor of Virginia's term, Terry McAuliffe was invited to be a "visiting professor at George Mason University". His guest lectures at the Schar School of Policy and Government will focus primarily on “how workers can succeed in the increasingly global economy". McAuliffe will make $60,000 a year, the standard for such Schar School positions, and is expected to donate his salary to charity. [6]


In May 2016, the George Mason University School of Policy, Government, and International Affairs had received at generous $10 million donation from a long time benefactor and philanthropist Dwight Schar. In recognition of this gift, George Mason's President Ángel Cabrera (academic) and the schools Board of Visitor's approved the renaming of the school into the Schar School of Policy and Government.


While the George Mason University main campus is located in Fairfax, Virginia, graduate programs and associated centers and institutes are in Arlington, Virginia. The 5.2-acre campus is in the Virginia Square neighborhood and was established in 1979 by the Virginia General Assembly for the School of Law. In 2011, the school began offering classes in the newly built Founders Hall. Additional redevelopment of the campus is planned.[7]



The Schar School offers students PhD, Master's, Bachelor's and Certificate Programs.[8] The PhD Program includes Doctorates in Biodefense, Political Science, and Public Policy.[9]

The Master's Program includes degrees in Master's of Science (MS) for biodefense and Organization Development and Knowledge Management. Master's of the Arts degrees in International Commerce and Policy, International Security, Political Science, and Transportation Policy, Operations, and Logistics, along with a Master in Public Administration (MPA) and the Masters of Public Policy (MPP).[10]

The Undergraduate School located primarily at George Mason University's Fairfax Campus, includes two Bachelor's Degrees in both the arts and sciences. With over 700 students enrolled in the undergraduate program. The Government and International Politics, BA Major and Public Administration, BS Major. [11]