Programs & Courses

UN Related Programs and Courses:  George Mason aims to leverage its intellectual resources to educate knowledgeable and responsible global citizens and focus the full range of its scholarly expertise on addressing global challenges.  Mason has built robust global programs in undergraduate and graduate degrees in support of these goals.

The Global Curriculum

Global Affairs offers both undergraduate and masters degrees BA and MA and is the hosts the UN programs and courses.  Students with a keen interest in pursuing an education that is global in scope, and can choose from a wide array of minors that focus on global processes, cultures, regions, or languages.

Two popular programs relating directly to the United Nations include the Model UN (GLOA 450 Spring) and Global Issues with UN Ambassadors (GLOA 450 Fall). The Model UN class gives students the opportunity to learn about the UN and how to research current issues impacting the international community and create solutions, including writing position papers, resolutions and speeches.  Most importantly, students practice how to listen to others and use diplomatic skills to reach consensus.

Mason’s Model UN Club began in the mid-1980’s and today, the Model UN Club is one of Mason’s most popular student organizations, attending three or more Model UN conferences each semester. (Get up to date information on the MUN Club on Facebook.  The Model UN club hosts the Mid-Atlantic Simulation Conference (MasUN) for high school students each spring since 1989.  This mega-event on Mason’s campus hosts up to five hundred students from over two dozen high schools.  Delegates also participate in the annual National University Arab League hosted by the National Council on US and Arab Relations in Washington, D.C.  Club and class members are also members of UNA-USA and work closely with many other UN related activities available to Mason as an accredited NGO to the UN Department of Public Information.

Global Issues with UN Ambassadors (GLOA 450)  Students interact directly with ambassadors and senior international civil servants at the United Nations via for video-conference each week discussing important international issues. Mason students have met ambassadors from 60 countries and over one hundred senior high-level United Nations officials, delving into the importance of international organizations in issues such as humanitarian assistance, multilateral trade, the protection of human rights, and living in a world with the threat of biological or nuclear attacks. The class visits the UN, attending briefings from senior UN officials and meeting  the diplomats and speakers met virtually, a UN tour, and briefing at the US Mission to the UN. For information, please contact Dr. Sonja Taylor.

Graduate students in Mason’s highly regarded PhD program in Conflict Analysis and Resolution engage in research and practice n various world regions beset with conflict between human groups.  Doctoral students in our College of Education and Human Development can specialize in international education and focus on matters of social justice and equity in educational systems throughout the world.  The PhD programs in Climate Dynamics and Environmental Science and Public Policy foreground the study of Earth’s natural systems and human impact on those systems.  Master’s-level programs in a range of departments enable students to engage with global issues in health, business, religion, natural science, politics and public policy.

The World as Classroom:  Experiential Learning: Mason offers a rich program of experiential learning opportunities all over the world that amplify what students learn in the classroom.  These experiences are always eye opening and sometimes life changing.

The Center for Global Education (CGE) offers a wide range of international study, research, service, and leadership opportunities to Mason students, faculty, staff, and members of the general public.  CGE also designs and implements international programs for undergraduates, graduates, and professionals seeking knowledge and skills necessary to succeed in the culturally diverse society of the 21st century.  CGE manages a variety of international programs in almost 50 countries: short-term programs during the winter break and summer term; semester and year-long exchanages; intensive language courses; internships; and an honors semester at University of Oxford.

Field-based experiential learning opportunities are offered through Social Action and Integrative Learning (SAIL), hosting a broad range of academic disciplines  with a focus from the natural world to human populations in their respective social and cultural contexts.

Creating Global Knowledge:  Scholarship:   One of the seven primary commitments in Mason’s new mission is to do research of consequence and translate discoveries into interventions and applications with social, cultural, and economic implications.  Several of Mason’s research centers and programs address global challenges from an interdisciplinary perspective and their work touches on all four of the UNGC areas.

The School for Conflict Analysis and Resolution (S-CAR) is committed to the development of theory, research, and practice that interrupt cycles of violence.  S-CAR is an innovative academic resource for people and institutions worldwide.  It comprises a community of scholars, graduate and undergraduate students, alumni, practitioners, and organizations in the field of peace making and conflict resolution.  S-CAR is a Commonwealth Center for Excellence, recognized for its leadership in the field and its world-renowned faculty.

The Center for Global Policy (CGP) in the School of Public Policy conducts research on a wide range of global policy issues such as foreign trade, democratization and state building, and transnational networks, while analyzing specific policy issues for a variety of government agencies.  CGP also develops and serves as the home to several major cross-national data projects and resources for global policy.  These include the Polity IV project of regime characteristics, the State Fragility Index, and the U.S. government’s Political Instability Task Force/State Failure project.

The Center for International Education (CIE) in the College of Education and Human Development focuses on research and development of K-12 through university-level international education projects that increase capacity in international settings.  CIE supports academic programs to enhance teaching and learning in international schools, develops international mindedness in domestic schools and programs, and promotes lifelong professional development opportunities for international teachers, principals, and higher education faculty.

Undergraduates looking for an international experience while living on the Fairfax Campus can apply to live in the Global Crossings Living Learning Community.  Domestic and international students are paired as roommates in the Hampton Roads residence hall and participate in programming that revolves around cross-cultural interaction and leadership development.