George Mason University, the largest four-year public university in Virginia, does not have a medical school — but it might soon.
GMU will study the feasibility of adding a medical school to its Science and Technology campus in Prince William County, called Innovation Park, the only university-anchored corporate park in Northern Virginia.
Prince William County is providing a $50,000 grant to support GMU’s Medical School Feasibility and Planning Study. The Claude Moore Foundation is also contributing $200,000 to fund the study. GMU will cover the remaining costs.
Preliminary results of the study are expected this fall.
In announcing its support for the study, Prince William County said the impetus for the study is driven by accelerated growth in the health care industry in the county, as evidenced most recently in Kaiser Permanente’s growing footprint and Sentara Northern Virginia Medical Center’s continued expansions, along with the Novant Health UVA Health System merger.
GMU’s Prince William campus already has a pre-med program with readily available labs and classroom space, which could help the school gain accreditation for a medical school as early as 2021.
The school would start small, with an estimated first year medical school class of 30 to 50 students and a faculty of 50 to 70.
“The benefits of a university-research based medical school here in Prince William County are profound,” said Corey Stewart, chairman of the Prince William Board of County Supervisors.
“It will not only increase educational opportunities and high-wage jobs for our residents, thereby further strengthening our talent pipeline, but it will be a significant move forward in leveraging the synergistic business opportunities that already exist here.”
George Mason University has more than 35,000 undergraduate and postgraduate students, with campuses in Arlington, Fairfax, Front Royal, Prince William and South Korea.