At the Center of It All

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The College of Humanities and Social Sciences (CHSS) is Mason’s largest college, offering 19 undergraduate majors, 65 minors, 10 doctoral degrees, 18 master’s (including a master of fine arts in creative writing and a master of arts in interdisciplinary studies), and 13 graduate certificates. In Fall 2017, it enrolled 25% of the University’s undergraduates and 14% of its graduate students. Its faculty and students are highly active in research, with external research funding to the college averaging $15-$20 million annually.

CHSS is at the educational heart of the University, and the liberal arts tradition of broad and integrative learning that our faculty support through courses for the Mason Core as well as for the college’s own majors and minors prepares students exceptionally well for economically successful and civically engaged lives. In today’s global and knowledge-based economy, the competencies that CHSS students develop—in oral, written, and digital communication; ethics and critical thinking; research and project management; inter-cultural communication and global understanding—are not a luxury  They are life and workplace skills that set students up for success in a broad array of first jobs and for career advancement across a lifetime of opportunities.

The work of CHSS was instrumental in the university’s recent attainment of R-1 Doctoral University (Highest Research Activity) classification. Our faculty take great pride in being active scholar-teachers, and research is a vital part of the undergraduate and graduate student experience here. The college is also rooted in intellectual leadership tied to real-world outcomes on regional, national, and global levels. Our faculty are committed partners in innovative programs, service offerings, and strategic alliances that strengthen the public and private sectors of the community. At this very exciting inflection point in the institution’s history, the College has tremendous opportunities to be a force for innovation in teaching, research, and community engagement at Mason.

I invite you to explore our website, follow us on social media—and reach out in person as you find occasion for greater engagement in our vibrant community. 

Dean Ann L. Ardis

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