The Mason Core at Mason

Overview

All undergraduates seeking a baccalaureate degree must complete the Mason Core requirements. Additional requirements for specific degree programs can be found in the college or school sections of this catalog. At Mason, we have created several distinctive ways to develop your liberal education: the Mason Core, and, for a small group of outstanding students, the Honors College.

George Mason University, in fall 2013, approved a new Vision Statement that articulates the characteristics important for any student graduating with a Mason degree. The Mason Graduate should be: an engaged citizen, a well-rounded scholar, and someone who is prepared to act for the world. In 2014, the Mason Core was created to reframe the university general education program to better illuminate the full range of coursework that prepares students for work in their major and to align with the Mason Graduate goals. In essence, the Mason Core is the foundational aspect of a student's academic career.

Beginning in Fall 2016 with the entering freshman class, the Mason Core: Engagement Series (ENCORE) will provide an optional pathway for students interested in combining academic coursework with co-curricular activities towards a completion certificate in a specific area of engagement.

The Mason Core is comprised of elements important to all students pursuing a liberal arts education that map to the key characteristics of the Mason Graduate. The Core consists of two major areas: general education requirements and a writing intensive course in one's major. These courses are designed to complement work in a student's chosen area of study. The classes serve as a means of discovery for students, providing a foundation for learning, connecting to potential new areas of interest and building tools for success in whatever field a student pursues. Learning outcomes are guided by the qualities every student should develop as they move toward graduating with a George Mason University bachelor's degree. Through a combination of courses and experiences, the Mason Core is designed to help student become:

Critical and Creative Scholars

Students who have a love of and capacity for learning. Their understanding of fundamental principles in a variety of disciplines, and their mastery of quantitative and communication tools, enables them to think creatively and productively. They are inquisitive, open-minded, capable, informed, and able to integrate diverse bodies of knowledge and perspectives.

Self-Reflective Learners

Students who develop the capacity to think well. They can identify and articulate individual beliefs, strengths and weaknesses, critically reflect on these beliefs and integrate this understanding into their daily living.

Ethical, Inquiry-Based Citizens

Students who are tolerant and understanding. They can conceptualize and communicate about problems of local, national and global significance, using research and evaluative perspectives to contribute to the common good.

Thinkers and Problem-Solvers

Students who are able to discover and understand natural, physical, and social phenomena; who can articulate their application to real world challenges; and who approach problem-solving from various vantage points. They can demonstrate capability for inquiry, reason, and imagination and see connections in historical, literary and artistic fields.

Synopsis of Requirements

The Mason Core is divided into three sections: foundation, core and synthesis. Each section contains courses that have specific learning outcomes for students and are assessed on a regular basis.

Foundation Requirements
Written Communication6
Oral Communication3
Quantitative Reasoning3
Information Technology3-7
Core Requirements
Arts3
Global Understanding3
Literature3
Natural Science7
Social and Behavioral Sciences3
Western Civilization/World History3
Synthesis/Capstone Requirement 1
Synthesis/Capstone3
Total Credits40
1

Only well-being designated sections of the course may count to fulfill the requirement

Foundation Requirements (15-22 credits)

Foundation requirements help ensure that students master the tools and techniques necessary to succeed in college and throughout their lives and careers. These courses emphasize skills—in writing, speaking, and working with numbers and technology—that can be applied to any major field of study and career goal.

Note: The course list reflects approved courses as of press time. Please visit the Mason Core website for the most recent list of courses as the listed is update throughout the academic year. 

Written Communication (6 credits: 3 lower, 3 upper)

Learning Outcomes:

Students develop the ability to use written communication as a means of discovering and expressing ideas and meanings: in short, employing writing as a way of thinking. Students begin this process at the fundamental level in English 101 (100 for ESL students) and build higher-level skills in English 302. Writing will be emphasized in many courses throughout a student's career, and at least one course in every student's major is designated "writing intensive."

Required:

The following courses as well as an approved writing-intensive course in the major.

ENGH 100Composition for Multilingual Writers (Mason Core)4
ENGH 101Composition (Mason Core)3
ENGH 302Advanced Composition (Mason Core)3

Oral Communication (3 credits)

Learning Outcomes:

  1. Students will demonstrate understanding of and proficiency in constructing and delivering multiple message types.
  2. Students will understand and practice effective elements of ethical verbal and nonverbal communication.
  3. Students will develop analytical skills and critical listening skills.
  4. Students will understand the influence of culture in communication and will know how to cope with cultural differences when presenting information to an audience. Students develop the ability to use oral communication as a way of thinking and learning, as well as sharing ideas.

Required:

One approved course. Students will be expected to continue developing oral communication skills in additional Mason Core courses as appropriate.

COMM 100Public Speaking (Mason Core)3
COMM 101Interpersonal and Group Interaction (Mason Core)3

Quantitative Reasoning (3 credits)

Learning Outcomes:

  1. Students are able to interpret quantitative information (i.e., formulas, graphs, tables, models, and schematics) and draw inferences from them.
  2. Given a quantitative problem, students are able to formulate the problem quantitatively and use appropriate arithmetical, algebraic, and/or statistical methods to solve the problem.
  3. Students are able to evaluate logical arguments using quantitative reasoning.
  4. Students are able to communicate and present quantitative results effectively.

Required:

One approved course.

HNRT 125A Liberal Arts Approach to Calculus (Mason Core)3
MATH 106Quantitative Reasoning (Mason Core)3
MATH 108Introductory Calculus with Business Applications (Mason Core)3
MATH 110Introductory Probability (Mason Core)3
MATH 111Linear Mathematical Modeling (Mason Core)3
MATH 113Analytic Geometry and Calculus I (Mason Core)4
MATH 115Analytic Geometry and Calculus I (Honors) (Mason Core)4
MATH 124Calculus with Algebra/Trigonometry, Part B (Mason Core)3
MATH 125Discrete Mathematics I (Mason Core)3
SOCI 313Statistics for the Behavioral Sciences (Mason Core)4
STAT 250Introductory Statistics I (Mason Core)3

Information Technology (minimum 3 credits)

Learning Outcomes:

Almost no area of academic, professional, or personal life is untouched by the information technology revolution. Success in college and beyond requires computer and information literacies that are flexible enough to change with a changing IT environment and adaptable to new problems and tasks.

The purpose of the information technology requirement is to ensure that students achieve an essential understanding of information technology infrastructure encompassing systems and devices; learn to make the most of the Web and other network resources; protect their digital data and devices; take advantage of latest technologies; and become more sophisticated technology users and consumers.

Courses meeting the "IT only" requirement must address learning outcomes 1 and 2, and one additional outcome. Courses meeting "IT with Ethics component" must address outcomes 1, 2, 3, and 5. Courses meeting the only IT Ethics component must address outcomes 3 and 5.

  1. Students will be able to use technology to locate, access, evaluate, and use information, and appropriately cite resources from digital/electronic media.
  2. Students will understand the core IT concepts in a range of current and emerging technologies and learn to apply appropriate technologies to a range of tasks.
  3. Students will understand many of the key ethical, legal and social issues related to information technology and how to interpret and comply with ethical principles, laws, regulations, and institutional policies.
  4. Students will demonstrate the ability to communicate, create, and collaborate effectively using state-of-the-art information technologies in multiple modalities.
  5. Students will understand the essential issues related to information security, how to take precautions and use techniques and tools to defend against computer crimes. 

Required:

One approved 3-credit course that meets all IT requirements, or completion of an appropriate combination of courses, proficiency exams, and modules.

Courses meeting all IT requirements
ANTH 395Work, Technology, and Society: An IT Perspective (Mason Core)3
CDS 130Computing for Scientists (Mason Core)3
CS 100Principles of Computing (Mason Core)3
GOVT 300Research Methods and Analysis (Mason Core)4
HIST 390The Digital Past (Mason Core)3
IT 104Introduction to Computing (Mason Core)3
MIS 303Introduction to Business Information Systems (Mason Core)3
MUSI 259Music in Computer Technology (Mason Core)3
Courses meeting all requirements except ethics
AVT 180New Media in the Creative Arts (Mason Core)3
CS 112Introduction to Computer Programming (Mason Core)4
PHYS 251Introduction to Computer Techniques in Physics (Mason Core)3
SOCI 410Social Surveys and Attitude and Opinion Measurements (Mason Core)3
The following must be taken in sequence:
PSYC 300Statistics in Psychology4
PSYC 301Research Methods in Psychology4
PSYC 372Physiological Psychology3
Courses meeting only ethics requirements
CDS 151Data Ethics in an Information Society (Mason Core)1
CEIE 409Professional Practice and Management in Engineering (Mason Core)1
CS 105Computer Ethics and Society (Mason Core)1
ENGR 107Introduction to Engineering (Mason Core)2
IT 304IT in the Global Economy (Mason Core)3
PHIL 112Ethics and the Cybersociety (Mason Core)1

Core Requirements (22 credits)

Core requirements help ensure that students become acquainted with the broad range of intellectual domains that contribute to a liberal education. By experiencing subject matter and ways of knowing in a variety of fields, students will be better able to synthesize new knowledge, respond to fresh challenges, and meet the demands of a complex world.

The course list reflects approved courses as of press time.  See the most current list for updates.

Note: Beginning Fall 2014, certain courses within the Mason Core can count for more than one category, if approved by the Mason Core committee. Students will be allowed to double count two courses (up to six credit hours) to fulfill their Mason Core requirements. Courses that qualify for double counting will be listed in their individually approved sections. Students may not double count credits in Oral Communication, Written Communication, or Quantitative Reasoning categories.

Arts (3 credits)

Mason courses in the film making, visual and performing arts stress generative, inquiry based learning through direct aesthetic and creative experience in the studio environment. Art history courses address the intrinsic relationship of personal and cultural creativity, and the manifestation of aesthetics, visual culture and visual narrative within historical contexts.

Learning Outcomes:

Students who successfully complete a course in the Arts category must meet the first learning outcome and a minimum of two of the remaining four learning outcomes:

  1. Demonstrate an understanding of the relationship between artistic process, and a work's underlying concept, and where appropriate, contexts associated with the work.
  2. Identify and analyze the formal elements of a particular art form using vocabulary and critique appropriate to that form.
  3. Analyze cultural productions using standards appropriate to the form, as well as the works cultural significance and context.
  4. Analyze and interpret the content of material or performance culture through its social, historical, and personal contexts.
  5. Engage in generative artistic processes, including conception, creation, and ongoing critical analysis.  

Required:

One approved course.

ARTH 101Introduction to the Visual Arts (Mason Core)3
ARTH 102Symbols and Stories in Art (Mason Core)3
ARTH 103Introduction to Architecture (Mason Core)3
ARTH 200History of Western Art I (Mason Core)3
ARTH 201History of Western Art II (Mason Core)3
ARTH 203Survey of Asian Art (Mason Core)3
ARTH 204Survey of Latin American Art (Mason Core)3
ARTH 206Survey of African Art (Mason Core)3
ARTH 321Greek Art and Archaeology (Mason Core)3
ARTH 322Roman Art and Archaeology (Mason Core)3
ARTH 324From Alexander the Great to Cleopatra: The Hellenistic World (Mason Core)3
ARTH 333Early Christian and Byzantine Art (Mason Core)3
ARTH 334Western Medieval Art (Mason Core)3
ARTH 335Arts of Medieval England (Mason Core)3
ARTH 340Early Renaissance Art in Italy, 1300-1500 (Mason Core)3
ARTH 341Northern Renaissance Art (Mason Core)3
ARTH 342High Renaissance Art in Italy, 1480-1570 (Mason Core)3
ARTH 344Baroque Art in Italy, France, and Spain, 1600-1750 (Mason Core)3
ARTH 345Northern Baroque Art, 1600-1750 (Mason Core)3
ARTH 360Nineteenth-Century European Art (Mason Core)3
ARTH 362Twentieth-Century European Art (Mason Core)3
ARTH 370Arts of the United States (Mason Core)3
ARTH 372Studies in 18th- and 19th-Century Art of the United States (Mason Core)3
ARTH 373Studies in 20th-Century Art of the United States (Mason Core)3
ARTH 376Twentieth-Century Latin American Art (Mason Core)3
AVT 103Introduction to the Artist's Studio (Mason Core)3
AVT 104Two-Dimensional Design and Color (Mason Core)4
AVT 215Typography (Mason Core)4
AVT 222Drawing I (Mason Core)4
AVT 232Painting I (Mason Core)4
AVT 243Printmaking I (Mason Core)4
AVT 252Darkroom Photography I (Mason Core)4
AVT 253Digital Photography I (Mason Core)4
AVT 262Sculpture I (Mason Core)4
AVT 272Interdisciplinary Arts (Mason Core)4
AVT 385EcoArt (Mason Core)3
DANC 101Dance Appreciation (Mason Core)3
DANC 119Dance in Popular Culture: Afro-Latino Dance (Mason Core)3
DANC 125Modern/Contemporary Dance I (Mason Core)3
DANC 131Beginning Jazz Technique (Mason Core)3
DANC 145Ballet I (Mason Core)3
DANC 161Beginning Tap Dance (Mason Core)3
DANC 225Modern/Contemporary Dance II (Mason Core)3
DANC 231Intermediate Jazz Technique (Mason Core)3
DANC 245Ballet II (Mason Core)3
DANC 301What is Dance? (Mason Core)3
DANC 325Modern/Contemporary Dance III (Mason Core)1-3
DANC 331Advanced Jazz Dance (Mason Core)3
DANC 345Ballet III (Mason Core)1-3
DANC 390Dance History I (Mason Core)3
DANC 391Dance History II (Mason Core)3
DANC 425Modern/Contemporary Dance IV (Mason Core)1-3
DANC 445Ballet IV (Mason Core)1-3
ENGH 370Introduction to Documentary (Mason Core)3
ENGH 371Television Studies (Mason Core)3
ENGH 372Introduction to Film (Mason Core)3
ENGH 396Introduction to Creative Writing (Mason Core)3
FAVS 225The History of World Cinema (Mason Core)3
GAME 101Introduction to Game Design (Mason Core)3
MUSI 100Fundamentals of Music (Mason Core)3
MUSI 101Introduction to Classical Music (Mason Core)3
MUSI 102Popular Music in America (Mason Core)3
MUSI 107Jazz and Blues in America (Mason Core)3
MUSI 280Athletic and Ceremonial Ensemble (Mason Core)0-1
MUSI 301Music in Motion Pictures (Mason Core)3
MUSI 302American Musical Theater (Mason Core)3
MUSI 380Wind Symphony (Mason Core)1
MUSI 381University Chorale (Mason Core)1
MUSI 382Piano Ensemble (Mason Core)1
MUSI 383Symphonic Band (Mason Core)1
MUSI 384Symphonic Chorus (Mason Core)1
MUSI 385Chamber Singers (Mason Core)1
MUSI 387Symphony Orchestra (Mason Core)1
MUSI 389Jazz Ensemble (Mason Core)1
MUSI 485Chamber Ensembles (Mason Core)1
PHIL 156What Is Art? (Mason Core)3
THR 101Theatrical Medium (Mason Core)3
THR 150Greeks to Restoration (Mason Core)3
THR 151Romanticism to Present (Mason Core)3
THR 210Acting I (Mason Core)3
THR 230Fundamentals of Production (Mason Core)3
THR 395Theater as the Life of the Mind (Mason Core)3
THR 411Great Film Directors (Mason Core)3
THR 412Great Film Performances (Mason Core)3

Global Understanding (3 credits)

The goal of the global understanding category is to help students see the world from multiple perspectives, reflect upon their positions in a global society, and be prepared for future engagement as global citizens. While it may include historical perspective, global understanding courses focus primarily on contemporary understanding of one's place in a global society.

Learning Outcomes:

Courses in this category must meet a minimum of three of the following learning outcomes. 

1. Identify and articulate one’s own values and how those values influence their interactions and relationships with others, both locally and globally.

2. Demonstrate understanding of how the patterns and processes of globalization make visible the interconnections and differences among and within contemporary global societies.

3. Demonstrate the development of intercultural competencies.

4. Explore individual and collective responsibilities within a global society through analytical, practical, or creative responses to problems or issues, using resources appropriate to the field.

Required:

One approved course.

ANTH 302Peoples and Cultures of Latin America (Mason Core)3
ANTH 306Peoples and Cultures of Island Asia (Mason Core)3
ANTH 307Ancient Mesoamerica (Mason Core)3
ANTH 308Peoples and Cultures of the Middle East (Mason Core)3
ANTH 309Peoples and Cultures of India (Mason Core)3
ANTH 312Political Anthropology (Mason Core)3
ANTH 313Myth, Magic, and Mind (Mason Core)3
ANTH 316Peoples and Cultures of the Caribbean (Mason Core)3
ANTH 331Refugees (Mason Core)3
ANTH 332Cross-Cultural Perspectives on Globalization (Mason Core)3
ANTH 382Urban Anthropology (Mason Core)3
ARTH 319Art and Archaeology of the Ancient Near East (Mason Core)3
ARTH 320Art of the Islamic World (Mason Core)3
ARTH 382Arts of India (Mason Core)3
ARTH 383Arts of Southeast Asia (Mason Core)3
ARTH 384Arts of China (Mason Core)3
ARTH 385Arts of Japan (Mason Core)3
ARTH 386The Silk Road (Mason Core)3
BUS 200Global Environment of Business (Mason Core)3
CEIE 100Environmental Engineering around the World (Mason Core)3
COMM 305Foundations of Intercultural Communication (Mason Core)3
COMM 456Comparative Mass Media (Mason Core)3
CRIM 405Law and Justice around the World (Mason Core)3
DANC 118World Dance (Mason Core)3
DANC 318Global Perspectives: World Dance Forms (Mason Core)3
DANC 418Global Dance Intensive (Mason Core)3
ECON 360Economics of Developing Areas (Mason Core)3
ECON 361Economic Development of Latin America (Mason Core)3
ECON 362African Economic Development (Mason Core)3
ECON 380Economies in Transition (Mason Core)3
ECON 390International Economics (Mason Core)3
ENGH 362Global Voices (Mason Core)3
ENGH 366The Idea of a World Literature (Mason Core)3
FAVS 300Global Horror Film (Mason Core)3
FRLN 331Topics in World Cinema (Mason Core)3
GCH 205Global Health (Mason Core)3
GGS 101Major World Regions (Mason Core)3
GLOA 101Introduction to Global Affairs (Mason Core)3
GOVT 132Introduction to International Politics (Mason Core)3
GOVT 133Introduction to Comparative Politics (Mason Core)3
HIST 251Survey of East Asian History (Mason Core)3
HIST 252Survey of East Asian History (Mason Core)3
HIST 261Survey of African History (Mason Core)3
HIST 262Survey of African History (Mason Core)3
HIST 271Survey of Latin American History (Mason Core)3
HIST 272Survey of Latin American History (Mason Core)3
HIST 281Survey of Middle Eastern Civilization (Mason Core)3
HIST 282Survey of Middle Eastern Civilization (Mason Core)3
HIST 328Rise of Russia (Mason Core)3
HIST 329Modern Russia and the Soviet Union (Mason Core)3
HIST 356Modern Japan (Mason Core)3
HIST 357Postwar Japan (Mason Core)3
HIST 358Post-1949 China (Mason Core)3
HIST 360History of South Africa (Mason Core)3
HIST 364Revolution and Radical Politics in Latin America (Mason Core)3
HIST 365Conquest and Colonization in Latin America (Mason Core)3
HIST 387Topics in Global History (Mason Core)3-6
HIST 460Modern Iran (Mason Core)3
HIST 462Women in Islamic Society (Mason Core)3
JAPA 310Japanese Culture in a Global World (Mason Core)3
MBUS 305Introduction to International Business (Mason Core)3
MUSI 103Musics of the World (Mason Core)3
MUSI 431Music History in Society III (Mason Core)3
PHIL 243Global Environmental Ethics (Mason Core)3
PROV 105American Cultures (Mason Core)3
PSYC 379Applied Cross-Cultural Psychology (Mason Core)3
RELI 100The Human Religious Experience (Mason Core)3
RELI 211Religions of the West (Mason Core)3
RELI 212Religions of Asia (Mason Core)3
RELI 313Hinduism (Mason Core)3
RELI 315Buddhism (Mason Core)3
RELI 320Religion and Revolution in Latin America (Mason Core)3
RELI 322Religions of Africa (Mason Core)3
RELI 341Global Perspectives on Spirituality and Healing (Mason Core)3
RELI 374Islamic Thought (Mason Core)3
RUSS 354Contemporary Post-Soviet Life (Mason Core)3
SOCI 120Globalization and Society (Mason Core)3
SOCI 320Social Structure and Globalization (Mason Core)3
SOCI 332The Urban World (Mason Core)3
SPAN 322Introduction to Latin American Culture (Mason Core)3
SPAN 466Latin American Civilization and Culture (Mason Core)3
SYST 202Engineering Systems in a Complex World (Mason Core)3
THR 359World Stages (Mason Core)3
TOUR 210Global Understanding through Travel and Tourism (Mason Core)3
WMST 100Representations of Women (Mason Core)3

Literature (3 credits)

Learning Outcomes:

  1. Students will be able to read for comprehension, detail, and nuance.
  2. Identify the specific literary qualities of language as employed in the texts they read.
  3. Analyze the ways specific literary devices contribute to the meaning of a text.
  4. Identify and evaluate the contribution of the social, political, historical, and cultural contexts in which a literary text is produced.
  5. Evaluate a critical argument in others' writing as well as one's own.

Required:

One approved course.

ARAB 325Major Arab Writers/Stories (Mason Core)3
CHIN 310Survey of Chinese Literature (Mason Core)3
CHIN 311Modern Chinese Literature in Translation (Mason Core)3
CHIN 325Major Chinese Writers (Mason Core)3
CHIN 328Asian American Women Writers (Mason Core)3
CLAS 250Classical Mythology (Mason Core)3
CLAS 260The Legacy of Greece and Rome (Mason Core)3
CLAS 340Greek and Roman Epic (Mason Core)3
CLAS 350Greek and Roman Tragedy (Mason Core)3
CLAS 360Greek and Roman Comedy (Mason Core)3
CLAS 380Greek and Roman Novels (Mason Core)3
ENGH 201Reading and Writing about Texts (Mason Core)3
ENGH 202Texts and Contexts (Mason Core)3
ENGH 203Western Literary Tradition (Mason Core)3
ENGH 204Western Literary Traditions (Mason Core)3
FREN 325Major French Writers (Topic Varies) (Mason Core)3
FREN 329Problems of Western Civilization in French Literature (Mason Core)3
FRLN 330Topics in World Literature (Mason Core)3
GERM 325Major Writers (Mason Core)3
ITAL 320Topics in Italian Film and Literature (Mason Core)3
ITAL 325Major Italian Writers (Mason Core)3
JAPA 340Topics in Japanese Literature (Mason Core)3
KORE 311Modern Korean Literature in Translation (Mason Core)3
PHIL 253Philosophy and Literature (Mason Core)3
RELI 235Religion and Literature (Mason Core)3
RELI 333Spiritual Autobiography (Mason Core)3
RUSS 325Major Russian Writers (Mason Core)3
RUSS 326A Survey of Russian Literature (Mason Core)3
RUSS 327A Survey of Russian Literature (Mason Core)3
SPAN 325Major Hispanic Writers (Mason Core)3

Natural Science (7 credits total)

The Mason Core natural sciences courses engage students in scientific exploration; foster their curiosity; enhance their enthusiasm for science; and enable them to apply scientific knowledge and reasoning to personal, professional and public decision-making. Lab courses must meet all five learning outcomes. Non-lab courses must meet learning outcomes 1 through 4.

Learning Outcomes:

  1. Understand how scientific inquiry is based on investigation of evidence from the natural world, and that scientific knowledge and understanding: a) evolves based on new evidence, and b) differs from personal and cultural beliefs.
  2. Recognize the scope and limits of science.
  3. Recognize and articulate the relationship between the natural sciences and society and the application of science to societal challenges (e.g., health, conservation, sustainability, energy, natural disasters, etc.).
  4. Evaluate scientific information (e.g., distinguish primary and secondary sources, assess credibility and validity of information).
  5. Participate in scientific inquiry and communicate the elements of the process, including: a) making careful and systematic observations, b) developing and testing a hypothesis, c) analyzing evidence, and d) Interpreting results.

Required:

Two approved science courses. At least one course will include laboratory experience.

Non-lab (3 credits)
ANTH 135Introduction to Biological Anthropology (Mason Core)3
ASTR 103Astronomy (Mason Core)3
ASTR 302Foundations of Cosmological Thought (Mason Core)3
BIOL 140Plants and People (Mason Core)3
CHEM 101Introduction to Modern Chemistry (Mason Core)3
CHEM 102Introduction to Organic, Biochemical, Pharmacological, and Fuel Chemistry (Mason Core)3
CHEM 201Introductory Chemistry I (Mason Core)3
CHEM 202Introductory Chemistry II (Mason Core)3
CLIM 101Global Warming: Weather, Climate, and Society (Mason Core)3
EVPP 201Environment and You: Issues for the Twenty-First Century (Mason Core)3
GEOL 134Evolution and Extinction (Mason Core)3
GGS 102Physical Geography (Mason Core)3
NUTR 295Introduction to Nutrition (Mason Core)3
PHYS 106The Quantum World: A Continuous Revolution in What We Know and How We Live (Mason Core)3
PROV 301Great Ideas in Science (Mason Core)3
Lab (4 credits)
ASTR 111Introductory Astronomy: The Solar System (Mason Core)3
ASTR 112Introductory Astronomy Lab: The Solar System (Mason Core)1
ASTR 113Introductory Astronomy: Stars, Galaxies, and the Universe (Mason Core)3
ASTR 114Introductory Astronomy Lab: Stars, Galaxies, and the Universe (Mason Core)1
ASTR 115Finding New Worlds (Mason Core)4
BIOL 103Introductory Biology I (Mason Core)4
BIOL 104Introductory Biology II (Mason Core)4
BIOL 213Cell Structure and Function (Mason Core)4
CDS 101Introduction to Computational and Data Sciences (Mason Core)3
CDS 102Introduction to Computational and Data Sciences Lab (Mason Core)1
CHEM 103Chemical Science in a Modern Society (Mason Core)4
CHEM 104Introduction to Organic, Biochemical, Pharmacological, and Fuel Chemistry (Mason Core)4
CHEM 155Introduction to Environmental Chemistry I (Mason Core)4
CHEM 156Introduction to Environmental Chemistry II (Mason Core)4
CHEM 211General Chemistry I (Mason Core)3
CHEM 212General Chemistry II (Mason Core)3
CHEM 213General Chemistry Laboratory I (Mason Core)1
CHEM 214General Chemistry Laboratory II (Mason Core)1
CHEM 251General Chemistry for Engineers (Mason Core)4
CLIM 102Introduction to Global Climate Change Science (Mason Core)4
CLIM 111Introduction to the Fundamentals of Atmospheric Science (Mason Core)3
CLIM 112Introduction to the Fundamentals of Atmospheric Science Lab (Mason Core)1
EVPP 110The Ecosphere: An Introduction to Environmental Science I (Mason Core)4
EVPP 111The Ecosphere: An Introduction to Environmental Science II (Mason Core)4
GEOL 101Introductory Geology I (Mason Core)4
GEOL 102Introductory Geology II (Mason Core)4
GGS 121Dynamic Atmosphere and Hydrosphere (Mason Core)4
HNRT 227Scientific Thought and Processes I (Mason Core)4
HNRT 228Scientific Thought and Processes II (Mason Core)4
PHYS 103Physics and Everyday Phenomena I (Mason Core)4
PHYS 104Physics and Everyday Phenomena II (Mason Core)4
PHYS 111Introduction to the Fundamentals of Atmospheric Science (Mason Core)3
PHYS 112Introduction to the Fundamentals of Atmospheric Science Lab (Mason Core)1
PHYS 160University Physics I (Mason Core)3
PHYS 161University Physics I Laboratory (Mason Core)1
PHYS 243College Physics (Mason Core)3
PHYS 244College Physics Lab (Mason Core)1
PHYS 245College Physics (Mason Core)3
PHYS 246College Physics Lab (Mason Core)1
PHYS 260University Physics II (Mason Core)3
PHYS 261University Physics II Laboratory (Mason Core)1
PHYS 262University Physics III (Mason Core)3
PHYS 263University Physics III Laboratory (Mason Core)1

Social and Behavioral Sciences (3 credits)

Learning Outcomes:

The following three learning outcomes are required goals of disciplinary or interdisciplinary courses:

  1. Explain how individuals, groups or institutions are influenced by contextual factors;
  2. Demonstrate awareness of changes in social and cultural constructs;
  3. Use appropriate methods and resources to apply social and behavioral science concepts, terminology, principles and theories in the analysis of significant human issues, past or present.  

Required:

One approved course.

AFAM 200Introduction to African American Studies (Mason Core)3
ANTH 114Introduction to Cultural Anthropology (Mason Core)3
ANTH 120Unearthing the Past: Prehistory, Culture and Evolution (Mason Core)3
ANTH 135Introduction to Biological Anthropology (Mason Core)3
ANTH 363Humans, Disease, and Death (Mason Core)3
ANTH 372Cultures of Disaster, Risk, and Hope (Mason Core)3
ANTH 396Issues in Anthropology: Social Sciences (Mason Core)3
BUS 100Business and Society (Mason Core)3
CONF 101Conflict and Our World (Mason Core)3
CONS 410Human Dimensions in Conservation (Mason Core)3
CRIM 100Introduction to Criminal Justice (Mason Core)3
ECON 100Economics for the Citizen (Mason Core)3
ECON 103Contemporary Microeconomic Principles (Mason Core)3
ECON 104Contemporary Macroeconomic Principles (Mason Core)3
ECON 105Environmental Economics for the Citizen (Mason Core)3
ECON 367Money, Markets, and Economic Policy (Mason Core)3
EDUC 203Disability in American Culture (Mason Core)3
EDUC 372Human Development, Learning, and Teaching (Mason Core)3
GCH 325Stress and Well-Being (Mason Core)3
GGS 103Human Geography (Mason Core)3
GOVT 101Democratic Theory and Practice (Mason Core)3
GOVT 103Introduction to American Government (Mason Core)3
GOVT 367Money, Markets and Economic Policy (Mason Core)3
HEAL 230Introduction to Health Behavior (Mason Core)3
HIST 121Formation of the American Republic (Mason Core)3
HIST 122Development of Modern America (Mason Core)3
LING 306General Linguistics (Mason Core)3
PSYC 100Basic Concepts in Psychology (Mason Core)3
PSYC 211Developmental Psychology (Mason Core)3
PSYC 231Social Psychology (Mason Core)3
SOCI 101Introductory Sociology (Mason Core)3
SOCI 352Social Problems and Solutions (Mason Core)3
SOCI 355Social Inequality (Mason Core)3
TOUR 311Women and Tourism (Mason Core)3
WMST 200Introduction to Women and Gender Studies (Mason Core)3

Western Civilization/World History (3 credits)

Learning Outcomes:

Courses must meet at least three of the five learning outcomes.

  1. Demonstrate familiarity with the major chronology of Western civilization or world history.
  2. Demonstrate the ability to narrate and explain long-term changes and continuities in Western civilization or world history.
  3. Identify, evaluate, and appropriately cite online and print resources.
  4. Develop multiple historical literacies by analyzing primary sources of various kinds (texts, images, music) and using these sources as evidence to support interpretation of historical events.
  5. Communicate effectively— through speech, writing, and use of digital media—their understanding of patterns, process, and themes in the history of Western civilization or the world.

Required:

One approved course.

HIST 100History of Western Civilization (Mason Core)3
HIST 125Introduction to World History (Mason Core)3
Transfer students may substitute one of the following for HIST 100 History of Western Civilization (Mason Core)
HIST 101Foundations of Western Civilization3
HIST 102Development of Western Civilization3
HIST 301Classical Greece3
HIST 302Classical Rome3
HIST 304Western Europe in the Middle Ages3
HIST 305The Renaissance3
HIST 306The Reformation3
HIST 308Nineteenth-Century Europe3
HIST 309Europe in Crisis: 1914-19483
HIST 312Nationalism in Eastern Europe3
HIST 314History of Germany3
HIST 322Modern Britain3
HIST 388Topics in European History3
HIST 436European Society and Culture: 19th and 20th Centuries3
HIST 480Alexander the Great3
Transfer students may substitute one of the following for HIST 125 Introduction to World History (Mason Core)
HIST 202Freshman/Sophomore Seminar in Global History3
HIST 387Topics in Global History (Mason Core)3-6

Synthesis or Capstone Experience Requirement (minimum 3 credits)

The purpose of the synthesis course is to provide students with the opportunity to synthesize the knowledge, skills and values gained from the Mason Core curriculum. Synthesis courses strive to expand students' ability to master new content, think critically, and develop life-long learning skills across the disciplines. While it is not feasible to design courses that cover "all" areas of general education, synthesis courses should function as a careful alignment of disciplinary goals with a range of Mason Core learning outcomes.

Many departments may require a Capstone Experience instead of a Synthesis course. Please see your major advisor to confirm which requirement you must complete.

Learning Outcomes for Synthesis:

The Mason Core synthesis course must address outcomes 1 and 2, and at least one outcome under 3. Upon completing a synthesis course, students will be able to:

  1. Communicate effectively in both oral and written forms, applying appropriate rhetorical standards (e.g., audience adaptation, language, argument, organization, evidence, etc.)
  2. Using perspectives from two or more disciplines, connect issues in a given field to wider intellectual, community or societal concerns
  3. Apply critical thinking skills to:
    1. Evaluate the quality, credibility and limitations of an argument or a solution using appropriate evidence or resources, OR,
    2. Judge the quality or value of an idea, work, or principle based on appropriate analytics and standards

Required: One approved course.

Note: The course list reflects approved courses as of press time. See the most current list for updates.

Synthesis Courses

ANTH 400Engaging the World: Anthropological Perspectives (Mason Core)3
ARTH 394The Museum (Mason Core)3
AVT 385EcoArt (Mason Core)3
AVT 497Senior Project (Mason Core)3
AVT 498Senior Design Project (Mason Core)3
BENG 492Senior Advanced Design Project I (Mason Core)2
BENG 493RS: Senior Advanced Design Project II (Mason Core)2
BINF 354Foundations in Mathematical Biology (Mason Core)3
BIOL 301Biology and Society (Mason Core)3
BIS 490RS: Senior Project (Mason Core)3
CEIE 490Senior Design Project (Mason Core)3
COMM 326Rhetoric of Social Movements and Political Controversy (Mason Core)3
COMM 362Argument and Public Policy (Mason Core)3
COMM 454Free Speech and Ethics (Mason Core)3
CONF 490RS: Integration (Mason Core)3
CONS 490RS: Integrated Conservation Strategies (Mason Core)3
CONS 491RS: Conservation Management Planning (Mason Core)4
CRIM 495Capstone in Criminology, Law and Society (Mason Core)3
CS 306Synthesis of Ethics and Law for the Computing Professional (Mason Core)3
DANC 490Senior Dance Seminar (Mason Core)3
ECE 492Senior Advanced Design Project I (Mason Core)1
ECE 493RS: Senior Advanced Design Project II (Mason Core)2
ECON 309Economic Problems and Public Policies (Mason Core)3
EDCI 490Student Teaching in Education (Mason Core)6
EVPP 480Sustainability in Action (Mason Core)4
FAVS 352Ethics of Film and Video (Mason Core)3
FRLN 385Multilingualism, Identity, and Power (Mason Core)3
GAME 490Senior Game Design Capstone (Mason Core)3
GEOL 420Earth Science and Policy (Mason Core)3
GGS 303Geography of Resource Conservation (Mason Core)3
GGS 304Population Geography (Mason Core)3
GOVT 490Synthesis Seminar (Mason Core)3
GOVT 491Honors Seminar (Mason Core)3
HAP 465Integration of Professional Skills and Issues (Mason Core)3
HDFS 400Advanced Family Processes (Mason Core)3
HIST 300Introduction to Historical Method (Mason Core)3
HIST 499RS: Senior Seminar in History (Mason Core)3
HNRS 353Technology in the Contemporary World (Topic Varies) (Mason Core)3
INTS 308American Landscapes in Fiction, Film, and History (Mason Core)6
IT 492Senior Design Project I (Mason Core)3
LAS 499Research Seminar in Latin American Studies (Mason Core)3
MATH 400History of Math (Topic Varies) (Mason Core)3
NURS 465Examination and Integration of Professional and Health Care Issues (Mason Core)3
PHIL 309Bioethics (Mason Core)3
PHIL 343Topics in Environmental Philosophy (Mason Core)3
PHIL 377Darwin: Biology and Beyond (Mason Core)3
PHIL 378Reason, Science and Faith in the Modern Age (Mason Core)3
PHIL 379Perspectives on Time (Mason Core)3
PHYS 346Quarks to Strings (Mason Core)3
PROV 342The George Mason Debates in Current Affairs (Mason Core)3
PSYC 405Mystery, Madness, and Murder (Mason Core)3
PSYC 406Psychology of Communication (Mason Core)3
PSYC 427Community Engagement for Social Change (Mason Core)3
RELI 490Comparative Study of Religions (Mason Core)3
RUSS 353Russian Civilization (Mason Core)3
SOCI 377Art and Society (Mason Core)3
SOCI 483The Sociology of Higher Education (Mason Core)3
SOCW 375Human Behavior and the Family Life Course (Mason Core)3
SPAN 388Introduction to Latina/o Studies (Mason Core)3
SYST 495Senior Design Project II (Mason Core)3
THR 440Advanced Studies in Directing/Dramaturgy (Mason Core)3
THR 496Text in Production (Mason Core)3

Capstone Courses

ARAB 351Media Arabic II (Spoken Media) (Mason Core)3
ARAB 440Topics in Arabic Religious Thought and Texts (Mason Core)3
ASTR 402RS: Methods of Observational Astronomy (Mason Core)4
ATEP 441Senior Seminar in Athletic Training (Mason Core)3
AVT 497Senior Project (Mason Core)3
AVT 498Senior Design Project (Mason Core)3
BAS 491Applied Sciences Capstone (Mason Core)3
BENG 492Senior Advanced Design Project I (Mason Core)2
BENG 493RS: Senior Advanced Design Project II (Mason Core)2
BIOL 379RS: Ecological Sustainability (Mason Core)4
BUS 498Capstone Course: Advanced Business Models (Mason Core)3
CEIE 490Senior Design Project (Mason Core)3
CHIN 318Introduction to Classical Chinese (Mason Core)3
CHIN 355Readings in Chinese Poetry and Poetics (Mason Core)3
CHIN 475Chinese Popular Culture (Mason Core)3
CYSE 493Senior Advanced Design Project II (Mason Core)3
ECE 492Senior Advanced Design Project I (Mason Core)1
ECE 493RS: Senior Advanced Design Project II (Mason Core)2
ENGH 401RS: Honors Thesis Writing Seminar (Mason Core)3
ENGH 417RS: Topics in Folklore Research (Mason Core)3
ENGH 458RS: Topics in Literary Research (Mason Core)3
ENGH 470RS: Topics in Film/Media History (Mason Core)3
ENGH 484RS: Writing Ethnography (Mason Core)3
ENGH 486RS: Writing Nonfiction for Publication (Mason Core)3
ENGH 495Capstone and Thesis (Mason Core)3
EVPP 378RS: Ecological Sustainability (Mason Core)4
FAVS 496Advanced Visual Storytelling (Mason Core)3
FAVS 497Senior Film Practicum (Mason Core)3
FAVS 499Senior Project (Mason Core)3
GAME 490Senior Game Design Capstone (Mason Core)3
GCH 465Community Health Capstone (Mason Core)3
GLOA 400Global Affairs Capstone (Mason Core)3
HAP 489Pre-Internship Seminar (Mason Core)3
HAP 498Health Administration Internship (Mason Core)4
IT 492Senior Design Project I (Mason Core)3
IT 493Senior Design Project II (Mason Core)4
KINE 490Kinesiology Internship III (Mason Core)12
ME 444Mechanical Design II (Mason Core)3
MUSI 324Junior Recital (Mason Core)1
MUSI 424Senior Recital (Mason Core)1
MUSI 490RS: Musical Communication in Context (Mason Core)3
MUSI 491Musical Communication in Performance (Mason Core)1
MUSI 495Internship in Music Education (Mason Core)6-12
PHED 415Student Teaching in Physical Education (Mason Core)12
PHIL 421Seminar (Mason Core)3
PHIL 422Honors Seminar (Mason Core)3
PHYS 407Senior Laboratory in Modern Physics (Mason Core)4
PRLS 490Recreation Management Internship (Mason Core)12
RHBS 499Senior Capstone in Rehabilitation Science (Mason Core)3
SOCI 485RS: Sociological Analysis and Practice (Mason Core)3
SOCW 472RS: Integrative Methods in Social Action and Social Change (Mason Core)3
SPMT 490Internship (Mason Core)12
STAT 490Capstone in Statistics (Mason Core)3
SYST 495Senior Design Project II (Mason Core)3
TOUR 490Hospitality, Tourism, and Events Management Internship (Mason Core)12

Writing-Intensive Course Requirement

As part of the university's commitment to student writers in all undergraduate programs, at least one upper-division course in each major has been designated as fulfilling the "writing intensive" (WI) requirement. While other courses in the major may require written projects, teachers of the designated WI courses will devote class time to instruction on how to complete assignments successfully, assign and grade a minimum of 3500 words, provide constructive feedback on drafts, and allow revision of at least one graded assignment. See the description of each major for the specific course or courses that fulfill the WI requirement; select the following for a complete list:

The following courses have been approved to meet the writing-intensive requirement.

NOTE: students MUST select the course approved for their major.  See specific degree program for details.

Writing-Intensive Courses 

ACCT 461Assurance and Audit Services3
ANTH 490Theories, Methods, and Issues II3
ARTH 400Historiography and Methods of Research in Art History (Topic Varies)3
ARTH 420Advanced Studies in Ancient Art3
ARTH 430Advanced Studies in Medieval or Islamic Art3
ARTH 440RS: Advanced Studies in Renaissance and Baroque Art3
ARTH 460RS: Advanced Studies in 20th-Century European Art3
ARTH 471Advanced Studies in Art of the United States3
ARTH 472RS: Advanced Studies in 20th-Century Latin American Art3
ARTH 474Advanced Studies in Contemporary Art3
ARTH 482RS: Advanced Studies in Asian Art3
ARTH 490Independent Study in Art History3
ARTH 491Independent Study in Art History3
ARTH 492Honors Directed Readings3
ARTH 493Honors Directed Research3
ARTH 495RS: Objects and Archives in Art History3
ARTH 499Advanced Studies in Art History3
ASTR 402RS: Methods of Observational Astronomy (Mason Core)4
AVT 395Writing for Artists3
BENG 304Modeling and Control of Physiological Systems3
BENG 495Bioengineering Senior Seminar II1
BIOL 308Foundations of Ecology and Evolution5
BIS 390The Research Process3
CDS 302Scientific Data and Databases3
CEIE 301Engineering and Economic Models in Civil Engineering3
CHEM 336Physical Chemistry Lab I2
CHEM 465Biochemistry Lab2
CHIN 480Fourth-Year Chinese I3
CLIM 408Senior Research3
COMM 300Foundations of Public Communication3
CONF 302Culture, Identity, and Conflict3
CRIM 495Capstone in Criminology, Law and Society (Mason Core)3
CS 306Synthesis of Ethics and Law for the Computing Professional (Mason Core)3
CS 321Software Engineering3
CYSE 491Engineering Senior Seminar2
DANC 390Dance History I (Mason Core)3
DANC 391Dance History II (Mason Core)3
ECE 333Linear Electronics I3
ECE 445Computer Organization3
ECE 491Engineering Seminar1
ECON 345Introduction to Econometrics3
ECON 355The Political Economy of Nonprofit Institutions3
ECON 365Topics in Economic History3
ECON 435Economics of Energy3
ECON 470Economics of Regulation3
ENGH 305Dimensions of Writing and Literature3
ENGH 373Film and Video Forms3
EVPP 337Environmental Policy Making in Developing Countries3
FAVS 470Film and Video Screenwriting3
FAVS 496Advanced Visual Storytelling (Mason Core)3
FAVS 498Creative Producing and Development3
FNAN 498Contemporary Topics in Finance3
FREN 309Reading and Writing Skills Development6
FRSC 302Forensic Trace Analysis3
FRSC 304Forensic Chemistry3
GAME 332RS: Story Design for Computer Games3
GCH 411Health Program Planning and Evaluation3
GCH 465Community Health Capstone (Mason Core)3
GEOL 305Environmental Geology3
GEOL 317Geomorphology4
GEOL 334Vertebrate Paleontology4
GGS 415Seminar in Geography3
GOVT 490Synthesis Seminar (Mason Core)3
GOVT 491Honors Seminar (Mason Core)3
HAP 465Integration of Professional Skills and Issues (Mason Core)3
HDFS 401Family Law and Public Policy3
HIST 300Introduction to Historical Method (Mason Core)3
HIST 499RS: Senior Seminar in History (Mason Core)3
INTS 300Law and Justice3
INTS 301Science in the News3
INTS 302Argument and Advocacy6
INTS 303Introduction to International Studies3
INTS 304Social Movements and Community Activism4
INTS 305Conflict Resolution and Transformation6
INTS 308American Landscapes in Fiction, Film, and History (Mason Core)6
INTS 310Violence and Gender3-6
INTS 311The Mysteries of Migration: Consequences for Conservation6
INTS 312Images and Experiences of Childhood: Social Construct, Literature, and Film3-6
INTS 314Conflict, Trauma and Healing6
INTS 315Spirituality and Conflict Transformation6
INTS 316Introduction to Childhood Studies4
INTS 317Issues in Family Relationships4
INTS 318Exploring Virginia's Watersheds4
INTS 319Contemporary Youth Studies3
INTS 320Construction of Differences: Race, Class, and Gender6
INTS 322Teacher: A Historical Perspective3
INTS 331The Nonprofit Sector4
INTS 333The Nature of Mathematics3
INTS 334Environmental Justice4
INTS 335Ethics, Communication, and Freedom3-6
INTS 336Poverty, Wealth and Inequality in the US3
INTS 337Social Justice Consciousness and Personal Transformation3
INTS 338Animal Rights and Humane Education3
INTS 345Introduction to Multimedia5
INTS 346Art as Social Action4
INTS 347Gender Representation in Popular Culture3-6
INTS 348Digital Futures3,6
INTS 355Mindfullness, Meaning Well-Being3
INTS 360The Built Environment6
INTS 361Neighborhood, Community, and Identity3-6
INTS 362Social Justice and Human Rights3
INTS 365Independent Study1-12
INTS 375Special Topics1-18
INTS 378Medicine, Justice, and Public Policy3
INTS 381When Cultural Worlds Collide6
INTS 390International Internship1-6
INTS 391Introduction to Integrative Studies3
INTS 394Service-Learning Experience1-15
INTS 395Field-Based Work1-18
INTS 396Teaching Assistant Experience1-6
INTS 397Add-On Experiential Learning1-3
INTS 398Field-Based Work1-15
INTS 399Study Abroad1-6
INTS 400Temptress: Constructs of Sex and Power3
INTS 401Conservation Biology6
INTS 402Plants and People - Sustenance, Ceremony, and Sustainability6
INTS 404Ethics and Leadership4
INTS 405Women and Leadership4
INTS 410Contemporary Health Issues3-18
INTS 416Refugee and Internal Displacement3
INTS 420Work Effectiveness Skills3
INTS 422An Experiential Approach to American Foreign Policy3-6
INTS 431Principles of Fund Raising4
INTS 435Leadership in a Changing Environment4
INTS 436Social Justice Education4
INTS 440Death, Dying, and Decision Making3
INTS 445Multimedia Design5
INTS 446Art, Beauty, and Culture3-6
INTS 455Consciousness and Transformation in Action3
INTS 465Independent Study1-12
INTS 475Special Topics1-18
INTS 490Internship1-6
INTS 491The Senior Capstone Experience3
INTS 492Graduation Portfolio0
INTS 493Graduation Portfolio0
INTS 494Service-Learning Experience1-15
INTS 495Field-Based Work1-18
INTS 496Teaching Assistant Experience1-6
INTS 497Add-On Experiential Learning1-3
INTS 498Field-Based Work1-15
IT 343IT Project Management3
KINE 450Research Methods3
LAS 300Latin American Studies: Interdisciplinary Perspectives3
LAS 499Research Seminar in Latin American Studies (Mason Core)3
MATH 290Introduction to Advanced Mathematics3
ME 444Mechanical Design II (Mason Core)3
MGMT 313Organizational Behavior3
MIS 330Systems Analysis and Design3
MKTG 471Marketing Management3
MLAB 300Science Writing2
MUSI 332Music History in Society II3
MUSI 438Music History in Society B3
NEUR 410Current Topics in Neuroscience3
NEUR 411Seminar in Neuroscience3
NURS 465Examination and Integration of Professional and Health Care Issues (Mason Core)3
PHED 340Social and Cultural Issues in Physical Education3
PHIL 421Seminar (Mason Core)3
PHIL 422Honors Seminar (Mason Core)3
PHYS 407Senior Laboratory in Modern Physics (Mason Core)4
PRLS 450Research Methods3
PSYC 301Research Methods in Psychology4
PSYC 304Principles of Learning4
PSYC 309Sensation, Perception, and Information Processing4
RELI 420Seminar3
RHBS 499Senior Capstone in Rehabilitation Science (Mason Core)3
RUSS 302Russian Conversation and Composition3
RUSS 325Major Russian Writers (Mason Core)3
SOCI 412Contemporary Sociological Theory3
SOCW 471Research in Social Work3
SOM 301Business Models: A Communication Approach3
SPAN 370Spanish Writing and Stylistics3
SRST 450Research Methods3
SYST 489Senior Seminar3
THR 350Script Analysis3
THR 482Advanced Screenplay Workshop3

Mason Core Engagement Series (ENCORE)

Creating more opportunities for students to make meaning of the Mason Core educational offerings, to draw greater connections to the larger university community, and to develop additional marketable skill sets, the Mason Core Engagement Series (ENCORE) begins Fall 2016 with the entering freshmen class. This program is an optional pathway for students interested in combining academic coursework with co-curricular activities towards a completion certificate in a specific area of engagement.

How does the Engagement Series work?

Academic connections

Each ENCORE program combines courses within the Mason Core categories with co-curricular activities that enhance classroom learning. Courses are identified in the catalog and in the schedule of classes, enabling a student to select those relevant to the specific engagement series. Out of the approximately 40 credits of Mason Core requirements, at least 18 credits must be related to the relevant ENCORE program.

Co-curricular connections

Working in conjunction with University Life and the Patriot Experience, each Engagement Series maps to one of four pathways – career readiness, civic learning/community engagement, global/multicultural, or well-being.

What happens once the Engagement Series is completed?

After completing the Mason Core classes and the Patriot Experience pathway, students will earn a Mason Core completion certificate. This achievement will be recognized on the academic transcript and honored at graduation.

What programs are currently available? 

Mason Core: Engagement Series - Sustainability 

Required: 19 credits 

Sustainability programs at Mason seek to guide students as they critically assess the environmental, social, economic and ethical impacts of technology and policy decisions.  The Engagement Series in Sustainability identifies Green Leaf Programs and Courses designated offerings that contribute significantly to students' understanding and practice of sustainability. These offerings extend beyond environmental management, natural resources protection and conservation studies alone to embrace economic development and social responsibility.  Both sustainability-focused and sustainability-related courses may receive the green leaf designation.

Students who complete the Engagement Series in Sustainability will be able to:

  1. Characterize the meaning of sustainability (including its focus on fulfilling needs and its social, economic and ecological dimensions).
  2. Distinguish sustainable from unsustainable human activities and practices. 
  3. Integrate concepts and principles of sustainability to analyze and address complex societal issues.
  4. Present working knowledge of the University's sustainability history, goals, initiatives and pertinent decision-making processes.
  5. Demonstrate the ability to lead and apply sustainability knowledge to make a positive societal impact on campus and/or in our community.
Requirements and approved courses

All students pursuing the sustainability engagement series must take one credit of INTS 295 Field-Based Work with the topic, 'Leadership for Sustainability,' as the series' gateway. Additional requirements include 18 credits of Mason Core courses that have the Green Leaf Programs and Courses designation. (At least 6 Mason Core categories include one or more Green Leaf course options.)

The following courses have been identified as meeting the criteria for inclusion in the Engagement Series in Sustainability curriculum. The co-curricular section of the certificate is completed through the Patriot Experience, located at http://patriotexperience.gmu.edu.

AVT 385EcoArt (Mason Core)3
BIOL 140Plants and People (Mason Core)3
BUS 200Global Environment of Business (Mason Core)3
CEIE 100Environmental Engineering around the World (Mason Core)3
CHEM 155Introduction to Environmental Chemistry I (Mason Core)4
CHEM 156Introduction to Environmental Chemistry II (Mason Core)4
CLIM 101Global Warming: Weather, Climate, and Society (Mason Core)3
CLIM 102Introduction to Global Climate Change Science (Mason Core)4
CLIM 111Introduction to the Fundamentals of Atmospheric Science (Mason Core)3
CLIM 112Introduction to the Fundamentals of Atmospheric Science Lab (Mason Core)1
CONS 410Human Dimensions in Conservation (Mason Core)3
CONS 490RS: Integrated Conservation Strategies (Mason Core)3
CONS 491RS: Conservation Management Planning (Mason Core)4
ECON 105Environmental Economics for the Citizen (Mason Core)3
EVPP 110The Ecosphere: An Introduction to Environmental Science I (Mason Core)4
EVPP 111The Ecosphere: An Introduction to Environmental Science II (Mason Core)4
EVPP 201Environment and You: Issues for the Twenty-First Century (Mason Core)3
EVPP 480Sustainability in Action (Mason Core)4
GEOL 101Introductory Geology I (Mason Core)4
GEOL 102Introductory Geology II (Mason Core)4
GEOL 134Evolution and Extinction (Mason Core)3
GEOL 420Earth Science and Policy (Mason Core)3
GGS 102Physical Geography (Mason Core)3
GGS 103Human Geography (Mason Core)3
GGS 121Dynamic Atmosphere and Hydrosphere (Mason Core)4
GGS 303Geography of Resource Conservation (Mason Core)3
GGS 304Population Geography (Mason Core)3
PHIL 243Global Environmental Ethics (Mason Core)3
PHIL 343Topics in Environmental Philosophy (Mason Core)3
PHYS 112Introduction to the Fundamentals of Atmospheric Science Lab (Mason Core)1
SOCI 320Social Structure and Globalization (Mason Core)3

Mason Core: Engagement Series - Well-Being 

Required: 18 credits

The ability to thrive and succeed as students, employees, organizations, and in life, directly correlates to one's sense of well-being. Mason has committed to being a "Well-Being University" focused on helping students, faculty and staff build lives with vitality, purpose, and resilience. The Engagement Series in Well-Being identifies offerings that contribute significantly to students' understanding and practice of well-being. These offerings include both well-being-focused and well-being-related courses that are designated in the catalog and in the schedule of classes.

Students who complete the Engagement Series in Well-Being will be able to:

  1. Describe and apply methods to enhance interpersonal communication and empathy. This will help the student to create sustainable, quality relationships and social support networks, at a one-on-one and small group level.                          
  2. Demonstrate skills for communication (written, oral, and/or somatic) about well-being.                                                                                                                                   
  3. Demonstrate the ability to practice methods to enhance well-being, self-care, self-awareness, and awareness of others.                                                                                            
  4. Articulate societal factors impacting community and global well-being, and/or to engage in practices which build greater sensitivity to the needs of others and the inter-dependent nature of life on the earth.
  5. Describe the science of stress and its effects – both constructive and destructive – as well as the methodologies used to respond to stress, promote resilience, and enhance well-being. 

The following courses have been identified as meeting the criteria for inclusion in the Engagement Series in Well-Being curriculum. To complete the certification, students must select a minimum of 18 credits across the categories offered below.  Please note, in several of these courses only specific sections will count for meeting the requirement. No substitutions will be made. Information on courses that count at the section level will be included in the Schedule of Classes, found on Patriot Web. The co-curricular section of the certificate is completed through the Patriot Experience, located at http://patriotexperience.gmu.edu.

AVT 385EcoArt (Mason Core)3
DANC 125Modern/Contemporary Dance I (Mason Core)3
DANC 145Ballet I (Mason Core)3
HEAL 230Introduction to Health Behavior (Mason Core)3
PHIL 243Global Environmental Ethics (Mason Core)3
RELI 341Global Perspectives on Spirituality and Healing (Mason Core)3
Only specific sections of the following courses will fulfill the well-being requirement:
ENGH 302Advanced Composition (Mason Core)3
COMM 101Interpersonal and Group Interaction (Mason Core)3
HIST 390The Digital Past (Mason Core)3
GLOA 101Introduction to Global Affairs (Mason Core)3