George Mason University
George Mason University Mason
George Mason University

Mason Impact for Students

Mason Impacts Students; Students Impact the World

Use your studies to build the foundation for a future that will enable you to tackle global questions and challenges.

Students who are part of the Mason Impact program are: 

  • Well-rounded scholars: You'll participate in multi-disciplinary and foundational learning in the classroom, through field work, and with research projects. 
  • Engaged citizens: You'll partner with organizations across campus to advocate for others and get involved in the global community.
  • Prepared to act: Transformative learning experiences give you the opportunity to make a difference.

Mason Impact (MI) Courses provide the skills and knowledge for you to tackle global challenges.  These courses are offered through every college and school, so no matter what you major, your studies can leave an impact.

Your Mason Impact Course can specialize in Research and Creative Activities, Entrepreneurship, Civic Engagement, and Global Activities. Through your time at Mason, you will experience courses focusing on each of the areas.

See where you can start making an impact through this list of MI designated courses.

If you want a course that allows you to tackle a global challenge, then see if your major offers a Mason Impact Plus (MI+) Course [link to MI+Course List]. These courses require you to complete a project in one of three focus areas:

Areas of Focus

Research & Creative Activities

Students conduct research to make an intellectual or creative contribution to their fields of study, taking ownership of the project and process. Students will get support from Mason's Office of Student Scholarship, Creative Activities, and Research (OSCAR), including:

  • Help developing a project.
  • Guidance in finding a mentor.
  • Funding resources.
  • Travel grants

Find out more about undergraduate research opportunities from OSCAR.

Another source of undergraduate research support is the Patriot Green Fund which funds sustainability-focused projects.

Community Engagement & Civic Learning

Students participate in local, regional/state, national, or global community partnerships in the public or private sector that involve a mutually beneficial exchange of knowledge, resources, or services.  Goals include:

  • Inspiring engaged citizens.
  • Strengthening civic responsibility.
  • Addressing critical social issues.
  • Contributing to the public good.
  • Expanding awareness of your role and responsibilities in society.
  • Developing knowledge of systems and processes.
  • Identifying issues in partnership with community groups

Find out more about civic engagement at Mason through the Office of Community Engagement and Civic Learning (CECiL), within the Office of Undergraduate Education and through our Social Action and Integrative Learning (SAIL) program.

Entrepreneurship

Students identify a need or an issue, and develop a non-profit or for-profit project that could lead to the the creation of a business startup or a venture with social impact.

Projects, which should derive from academic research and practice, can involve:

  • A business or social-impact plan.
  • Prototypes.
  • White papers.
  • Community reports.
  • Feasibility reports.

Find out more from the Office of Entrepreneurship and Innovation and the Mason Innovation eXchange (The MIX).

Global Activities

Global Activities

Students can take classes and conduct research almost anywhere in the world through Mason's Global Education Office. You can select a course by:

Note: Not every global experience requires a project. If you are looking for a project-based course to recieve Mason Impact transcript designation, please talk to your advisor or contact masonue@gmu.edu. Find out more about becoming a global citizen and scholar by contacting the Global Education Office.

Mason Impact Projects 

Mason Impact students who choose to complete a project conduct in-depth studies that add to the world's knowledge, create something new, and enhance communities.

Upon completion of your Mason Impact Project, you'll submit it to the Office of Undergraduate Education. At graduation, you'll  receive a notation on your transcript containing your project title.

Students must submit projects by December 17, 2019, to the  student submissions page 

For more information, contact the Undergraduate Education Office.

All projects will:
  1. Be led by an individual student or a team of students.
  2. Be substantial in breadth, scope, scale, maturity, effort, and time involved.
  3. Draw from academic research and scholarly practice.
  4. Be presented to a public audience appropriate to the project and discipline.
Your faculty mentor will:
  1. Guide you through the process.
  2. Help develop and clarify your concept.
  3. Encourage you to embrace all-encompassing perspectives.
  4. Help share your knowledge with the world.
Students who choose to complete a Mason Impact project will:
  1.  Understand how academic knowledge is generated and communicated, and how it can be used to address questions or problems within your discipline and in society.
  2.  Identify and negotiate multiple perspectives, work collaboratively within and across multiple contexts, and engage ethically with your subject and with others.
  3. Design and carry out a project (individual or collaborative) that explores our original question, seeks a creative solution to a problem, applies knowledge to a professional challenge, or offers a unique perspective. 
  4. Professionally communicate knowledge from your project through a presentation, publication, or performance to an audience beyond the classroom.
  5.  Use inquiry skills to articulate a question; engage in an inquiry process; and situate the concepts, practices, or results within a broader context, including:
  •  Asking increasingly complex questions about significant problems, debates, or challenges.
  • Evaluating and choose inquiry methods that are appropriate to a project.
  • Explaining how a project has value to local, civic, professional, scholarly, or global contexts.