George Mason University is the largest public research university in the U.S. state of Virginia. The university was founded as a branch of the University of Virginia in 1949 and became an independent institution in 1972. Four campuses are located in Virginia, with another in Songdo, South Korea inside the Incheon Free Economic Zone. Three of the four campuses within Virginia are within the Northern Virginia section of the Piedmont, and one is in the Blue Ridge Mountains region. On-campus housing options exist at all campus locations except Arlington. The university recognizes 500 student groups as well as 41 fraternities and sororities. Today, the Carnegie Classification of Institutions of Higher Education R1 research institution is recognized for its programs in economics, law, creative writing, computer science, and business. Mason faculty have twice won the Nobel Prize in Economics.
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