Schar School of Policy and Government

The Schar School of Policy and Government is a constituent college of George Mason University in Arlington, Virginia. Established in 2000 as northern Virginia's first public policy school, the school offers undergraduate degrees in international relations, public policy, public administration, and international security, along with master's and doctoral programs of study, to include specialized fields of study in biodefense and international commerce, as well as executive education programs.[1] While it primarily educates and conducts research in subjects related to politics, government, international affairs, and economics, as well as study of regional issues affecting the Washington D.C. metropolitan area, the school is home to several prominent centers and institutes, including the Michael V. Hayden Center and the Center for Security Policy Studies. The school is also the psephology partner of The Washington Post, collaborating on electoral polling and analysis for the paper since 2016, the two hold an A+ rating for historical accuracy and methodology in polling from FiveThirtyEight.[2][3]

Schar School of Policy and Government
Schar School Logo
Former name
School of Policy, Government, and International Affairs
MottoA Dynamic Education for an Evolving World
TypeConstituent college
Parent institution
George Mason University
Budget$18 million
DeanMark J. Rozell
Academic staff
3351 Fairfax Drive
, , ,

38.884622°N 77.100731°W / 38.884622; -77.100731
CampusUrban (Arlington)
Suburban (Fairfax)
WebsiteSchar School website
Location in District of Columbia

The school's primary campus is in the Virginia Square neighborhood of Arlington, Virginia, with the headquarters in Van Metre Hall. Undergraduate programs offered by the school are primarily held at the university's flagship campus in Fairfax, Virginia, with night school offerings in both Arlington and Fairfax. In 2013, political scientist Mark J. Rozell became Acting Dean, taking over the role in a permanent capacity in 2016.[4] During his tenure the school has averaged 80 faculty and a student body of approximately 2,000.[5] The school completed the 244,000 sq ft academic headquarters, Van Metre Hall, in 2010.[6] In 2020 the school began a $250 million expansion directly adjacent, as part of the Commonwealth of Virginia's bid to locate Amazon HQ2 in the nearby National Landing neighborhood.[7][8][9] The Schar School is accredited by the Network of Schools of Public Policy, Affairs, and Administration,[10] and is an affiliate member of the Association of Professional Schools of International Affairs (APSIA), a global consortium of prominent schools of international affairs.[11] As part of George Mason University, the school is a Very High Research Activity (R1) academic unit in the Carnegie Classification of Institutions of Higher Education. It receives approximately $2 million in sponsored funding for academic research annually.[5] The school's budget was $18 million for the 2019–2020 academic year.[12]

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