Mason #1 on U.S. News 2013 Up-and-Comers List

Posted: September 12, 2012 at 1:05 am, Last Updated: September 20, 2012 at 4:49 pm

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By Robin Herron

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When U.S. News & World Report first introduced its “Up-and-Coming” list of colleges in 2008, Mason was number one. Since then, Mason has consistently been among the top five schools in this category, and this year it’s in the top spot once again.

“I am delighted to see George Mason University recognized as a new model of excellence in American higher education,” says Mason President Ángel Cabrera. “Our commitment to innovation and the unmatched diversity on our campus make us one of the most exciting universities for students and faculty.”

According to U.S. News, the 2013 “Up-and Comers” list was developed from a survey of college administrators on what institutions they deemed “have recently made the most promising and innovative changes in the areas of academics, faculty, student life, campus or facilities.”

Mason shares the top up-and-coming spot for national universities with the University of Maryland-Baltimore County.

On the rankings released Sept. 12, Mason’s Writing Across the Curriculum Program was also cited on the U.S. News “Programs to Look For” list for the 11th consecutive year. This category lists colleges that “make writing a priority at all levels of instruction and across the curriculum. Students are encouraged to produce and refine various forms of writing for a range of audiences in different disciplines.”

Mason’s overall ranking was 139 on the national universities list.

Celebrating its 40th anniversary this year, Mason has continued its upward trajectory in enrollment, academic offerings and research, along with a facility expansion to meet its growing needs.

Some highlights of recent years include:

  • An investment of nearly $700 million in construction on the campuses since 2009, which includes new academic, residential and recreational facilities.
  • Introduction of the Students as Scholars program, which encourages and promotes undergraduate research.
  • Construction of a high-level biomedical research laboratory, one of only 13 in the country built through a competitive grant from the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases.
  • Steady growth in the university’s student residential population, now numbering 6,000.
  • Partnering with the Smithsonian Institution to create the Smithsonian-Mason School of Conservation in Front Royal, Va., where undergraduate and graduate students can study endangered species.
  • Leadership of the 4-VA program, a statewide initiative that increases student access to science, technology, engineering and math courses through technology.

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