In 2004, George Mason University became one of the first American institutions to participate in the US-China 1+2+1 Joint Degree Program. As part of this initiative, Mason has formed partnerships with 20 participating Chinese universities to offer dual degrees in selected fields. Students begin their study in their Chinese university and apply in the spring of their freshman year to come to the US. Students then spend two or three years of study at a US partner school and return to China for a final semester or year at their original university. Upon completing all requirements, students receive a baccalaureate degree from each university.
Each August since 2005, a new cohort of Chinese 1+2+1 students arrive at Mason to begin the U.S portion of their studies. The students may choose from among 14 majors at Mason—see “Degree options”. Required coursework at Mason usually takes two years to complete, including summer semesters, but some students remain at Mason longer due to time spent in additional English languish training or to complete additional course requirements at Mason.
There have been 400 Chinese students enrolled in Mason’s 1+2+1 program since 2005. As a group they have been highly successful, as shown by the GPA comparison in the table below. Most have earned a place on the Dean’s list at Mason, and each year several receive top academic awards in their department. They are active in student groups and international activities, enriching both the classroom and student life at Mason.
The first cohort of Mason 1+2+1 students graduated in 2008, and more than 275 students have successfully completed the program since then, earning a degree from both Mason and their Chinese university. Many program graduates have enrolled in graduate schools around the US including George Mason University, American University, University of Chicago, Columbia, Cornell, Harvard, Johns Hopkins, University of Maryland, Yale, and the University of Virginia.