The US-China 1+2+1 Program at Mason
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 “Majors Open to 1+2+1 Students at Mason”. 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 the English Language Institute 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.
The 1+2+1 program brings a select group of talented international students to Mason and has served as a catalyst for a growing list of other collaborations between Mason and its Chinese partner universities. Initiated in 2001, the US-China 1+2+1 Program operates under the auspices of, and with the support of, the American Association of State Colleges and Universities (AASCU) and the China Center for International Educational Exchange (CCIEE). The program now involves some 80 Chinese universities and 15 American universities, and is among the largest US-China collaborations in the education field.