New Century College
College of Humanities and Social Sciences

About New Century College

An innovative, integrative, interdisciplinary college housed within the College of Humanities and Social Sciences, New Century College offers the benefits of a small, liberal arts college while providing access to the academic resources of a large public research university.

New Century College is a degree-granting program with 27 full-time faculty drawn from both disciplinary (e.g. natural sciences, math, psychology, English, communication, history) and integrative teaching and research backgrounds. The structured curriculum allows students to complete their general education and degree requirements through a combination of NCC courses/learning communities (designed by NCC faculty) and courses offered elsewhere in the university.

NCC's coursework is included in other Mason majors, such as conflict analysis and resolution, human development and family studies, and global affairs. The program is highly experiential and encourages students to make meaningful connections between classroom knowledge and experiences outside of the classroom (80% of our students have had a field studies experience by the time they graduate). The program attracts students who learn through active, experiential learning and increasingly draws first generation students.

NCC students are able to:

  • Pursue their passions and create an individualized degree that meets personal and career goals; 
  • Experience a variety of perspectives in integrative, hands-on problem solving classes and learn to lead and collaborate across disciplines, contexts and cultures;
  • Acquire depth and breadth of knowledge by taking disciplinary classes in subject areas from around the University;
  • Sharpen their critical thinking and problem solving abilities, leadership and teamwork skills, oral and written communication proficiency, global understanding, and digital and financial literacy;
  • Apply lessons learned to settings outside the classroom including internships and apprenticeships, field studies, study abroad, and community-based action projects; 
  • Explore the historic, cultural and natural wonders of the nontraditional classroom found in and around metro Washington, DC; and
  • Transform their education into a lasting commitment to meaningful real-world application and social action.

NCC Programs

Students in NCC receive a Bachelor of Arts or a Bachelor of Science degree. Although "integrative studies" is technically the "major," we treat our concentration requirements as majors and each student is required to declare a concentration within the college. Students must complete a minimum of 30 credits in each concentration, of which at least 12 credits must be upper division. The "umbrella" integrative studies degree allows us to create new concentrations in response to changing student needs.

The college has its own student services staff. This includes a dedicated advising staff, which allows us to provide structure to the student experience and support our extraordinary retention (89.4%, first to second year retention rate) and 4-year graduation rates (83.3% for the classes of 2004 and 2008).

We offer minors in areas such as childhood studies, leadership, nonprofit, social justice, and sustainability. Although the core coursework for these minors is largely NCC/CHSS, the majority of electives are drawn from other colleges and schools. These minors offer non-Integrative Studies students a way to supplement their traditional discipline-based degree.

Through partnerships with other programs at Mason, NCC participates in three bachelor’s/accelerated advanced degree programs. In partnership with the College of Education and Human Development, NCC offers two accelerated master’s programs, allowing qualified students the ability to earn their bachelor’s degree and a Master’s degree in Education within an accelerated time frame.  NCC also participates in the 3+3 program with George Mason University’s School of Law, allowing highly motivated students the opportunity to complete both their undergraduate degree and law degree at an accelerated pace.

New Century College’s campus-wide consortium—Social Action and Integrative Learning (SAIL)—provides students with the opportunity to participate in worldwide service-learning projects, residential living-learning communities, and field studies courses.

NCC offers a distinctive college experience grounded in integrative learning with application to 21st century social, global, and environmental challenges. Building from a liberal arts foundation, the college fosters understanding of the origins and complexities of contemporary issues and develops in students the capacity to generate imaginative and sustainable solutions to those issues in a rapidly changing world. NCC students pursue excellence in interdisciplinary liberal arts education through signature learning experiences including a common first year curriculum, problem solving and community-based practica, internships in partnership with both the public and private sector, and a senior capstone. Graduates are well-rounded global citizens and life-long learners dedicated to serving local, national and global communities.

In the News

Mason Launches Master's Degree in Social Justice and Human Rights

Mason Launches Master's Degree in Social Justice and Human Rights

This fall, students can begin their studies in an interdisciplinary master’s degree (MAIS) in Social Justice and Human Rights. Joining the current Integrative Studies concentration in Social Justice and Human Rights and the minor in Social Justice, this MAIS degree expands on Mason’s commitment to prepare the next generation of social justice advocates and change agents.

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Mason Students Become Urban Designers

Mason Students Become Urban Designers

George Mason University’s New Century College course, Digital Communities (NCLC 375), which I took this semester, has joined forces with Digital America in an ambitious and innovative project aimed at conceptualizing the future of digital sustainable cities.

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