George Mason University – named after American revolutionary and patriot George Mason – is an institution of higher learning in the Commonwealth of Virginia. It has campuses in Arlington, Fairfax, and Prince William County, Virginia, all suburbs of Washington, D.C. The school is a relatively young university whose origin traces back to 1957, when it was a part of the University of Virginia system. It became an independent university, in 1972 and now, GMU – with student strength of more than 29,000 – is the largest university in the commonwealth. George Mason University offers more than 100 degree programs, including many innovative, interdisciplinary programs that enable students to design personalized courses of study with faculty guidance. Its students represent more than 135 countries across the globe. Recently, the university opened a campus in the United Arab Emirates.