First-Year Learning Community

Make the most of your first year at George Mason University with the Schar School of Policy and Government's learning community, "the Democracy Lab." This academic community is an immersive environment that will broaden your perspective and hone your ability to engage on difficult topics.

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Strengthen Your Connections

A Community of Change-Makers

In partnership with Mason's Housing & Residence Life, the Schar School's academic and learning community, "the Democracy Lab," is a learning experience open to all first-year Mason undergraduate students living on campus. Through the learning community, you will engage with the issues that define the journey of democracy in the United States and around the world. Plus, you'll build a strong network of students, professors, mentors, and advisors that will stay with you throughout your time at Mason and long after you graduate.

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Photo of Shreyas Adicherla

“I thought adjusting to college would be difficult, but the opportunities that George Mason University offers made it really easy. All the professors are incredible and easy to work with, especially at the Schar School. The opportunity to join the Democracy Lab allowed me to meet professors and have one-on-one discussions to analyze various topics and to make meaningful relationships with my fellow classmates while having an invaluable learning experience."

- Shreyas Adicherla

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A Memorable Year

Students will benefit from a wide-range of experiences designed to expand their skillsets and perspectives.

  • Sharing a common course, GOVT 101, with other community members

  • Guest speakers, including community activists, policymakers, journalists, and subject matter experts

  • Facilitated coffee-house discussions around current events related to democracy

Meet the Schar School First-Year Academic Community Director

Professor Jennifer Victor

For any questions or to learn more, contact: