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George Mason University Online Data Science Degrees Available

George Mason University appears in our ranking of the Top 10 Online Master’s in Bioinformatics.

Big data refers to the large amount of information that is generated by organizations. The need for individuals who can analyze that data is growing rapidly with the Bureau of Labor Statistics predicting almost a 30 percent increase in data science positions over the next decade. George Mason University offers both undergraduate and graduate programs that prepare individuals for the ever-changing world of data analytics.

The business analytics minor at George Mason University provides students with the cutting-edge knowledge and skills they need to use and gather data. They are then provided the tools necessary to identify, understand and deliver insights that may be vital to the success of an organization. The program provides an understanding of the importance of data to make better decisions and form better strategies. There is only one required course for the program, Data Mining for Business Applications, but students must also complete 12 credits in electives.

The minor in data analysis provides a background in data analysis and statistical methodology. It is designed for those who major in computer science, economics, environmental engineering, geography or systems engineering. Students must complete either Introductory Statistics I or II as well as either Probability and Statistics for Engineers and Scientists I or II. They must also complete nine credits in electives with one upper-level course included.

The Master of Science in Bioinformatics addresses the need for technically trained managers who can lead teams in both the public and private sector. The degree combines a foundation in bioinformatics research, tools, and techniques with management skills needed to address legal and ethical issues. The program consists of a bioinformatics core, management core, and a capstone research project. Students gain an understanding of molecular cell biology, biological sequence, genome analysis, corporate environmental policy, financial reporting, and marketing. The capstone research project focuses on bioinformatics management issues and techniques.

About George Mason University

In 1949, University of Virginia President and former Governor Colgate W. Darden, Jr., called C. Harrison Mann and asked him to lead a committee to determine the feasibility of an institute of higher learning in Northern Virginia. Darden realized that many soldiers returning from World War II were taking advantage of the GI Bill and that families in the area had higher incomes than in other parts of Virginia. However, there were no state colleges in Northern Virginia at the time. Initially, Darden planned a branch of the University of Virginia that would offer two-year degrees with students transferring to the main campus to earn four-year degrees. He also wanted to establish competition between Virginia Tech and the College of William & Mary.

The new school, which opened in Washington & Lee High School in 1949, was an instant success and it soon became clear that they would need their own campus. It was also clear the school needed to offer daytime classes. In 1959, the Farr tract, located just south of Fairfax, was chosen for the campus.

The school became George Mason University in 1960 although there is little explanation for why the name was chosen. It is believed it was to honor the author of the Virginia Bill of Rights who was an early abolitionist. It became an independent school in 1972.

In 2008, GMU was named as the nation’s number one university on its list of up-and-coming schools by U.S. News & World Report. GMU has also received a STARS Silver Rating from the Association for the Advancement of Sustainability in Higher Education, one of only two in Virginia to receive the distinction.

George Mason University Accreditation Details

George Mason University is accredited by the Commission on Colleges of the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools. Accreditation indicates that the school voluntarily undergoes peer review to make sure programs offered continue to meet the strict standards set forth by the Association. If any areas are deemed as needing improvement, the school agrees to address them immediately. Specific programs at George Mason University are also accredited by the following industry-related organizations:

  • American Bar Association
  • American Chemical Society
  • American Psychological Association
  • Association of University Programs in Health Administration
  • Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business
  • Commission on Accreditation of Athletic Training Education
  • Commission of Healthcare Management Education
  • Computing Accreditation Commission of ABET
  • Council on Accreditation of Parks, Recreation, Tourism, and Related Professions
  • Council on Education for Public Health
  • Engineering Accreditation Commission of ABET
  • National Association of School Psychologists
  • National Association of Schools of Art and Design
  • National Association of Schools of Music
  • National Association of Schools of Public Affairs and Administration
  • National Council for Accreditation of Teacher Education
  • US Geospatial Intelligence Foundation

George Mason University Application Requirements

For both the Business Analytics and Data Science minor, at least eight credits of the minor must be unique to the Business Analytics minor and not applied to any other degree program. Applicants may select the minor in addition to any major they plan to complete at the University.

In order to apply for the Master of Science in Bioinformatics, applicants must hold a bachelor’s degree in biology, computer science or related field. They must have a GPA of 3.0 in their last 60 credits and have taken courses in molecular biology, computer science, calculus, physical chemistry, and statistics. They must provide two official transcripts from all colleges and universities attended as well as a current resume and expanded goals statement. Three letters of recommendation and official GRE scores are required. GRE scores may be waived if the applicant holds a master’s degree from an accredited college or university.

George Mason University Tuition and Financial Aid

Undergraduate tuition at George Mason University for Virginia residents is $462.50 per credit hour and for out-of-state residents is $1,349.25 per credit hour. The Master of Science in Bioinformatics is $787 per credit hour for residents and $1,675 for non-residents.

Financial aid is available in the form of grants, scholarship, work-study, and loans. The Office of Student Financial Aid offers assistance to all students regarding aid that will help them attend the university. Students must complete the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) and submit it by March 1 each year.

George Mason University is Virginia’s largest public university and sets the standard for bold, progressive education. The school had $149 million in research expenditures in 2018. George Mason University continues to strive for excellence in academics, preparing graduates that meet the complex needs of today’s changing world.


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