GMU Biodefense Program

The Biodefense Program within George Mason University’s Schar School of Policy and Government is an interdisciplinary research and education program with a unique focus on critical challenges at the nexus of health, science, and security. The program provides students with a background in the science and technology of biodefense and a foundation in the theory and practice of non-proliferation, medical and public health preparedness, counterterrorism, and global health security.

Students in the Biodefense Program acquire the knowledge and skills to assess risks to health and security, develop strategies to mitigate these risks, and bridge the gap between policy and science on security-related issues. George Mason’s biodefense program is designed to educate the next generation of biodefense and global health security professionals and scholars. It offers an MS, an online MS, and a PhD degree program.

Ways to Learn More about Mason Biodefense

Our Web Site
Our official GMU Schar School of Policy and Government web site has all the information you need to figure out whether our program is right for you.

Information Sessions
We hold several information sessions each spring and fall semester. These are a great way to meet the faculty who run the program as well as students who are currently taking classes. You will learn about the curriculum, what kinds of students we have and what they are up to, as well as details about how to apply, your chances of admission, and more. Plus, there’s free pizza. To find out when the next session is check our web site.

Master’s Open Houses
We invite you to attend an open house to learn more about the Schar School of Policy and Government. The session will provide an overview of our master’s degree programs, an introduction to our world-class faculty and research, and highlights of the many ways we position our students for success in the classroom and beyond. Our admissions and student services staff will be on hand to answer your questions.

  • Thursday, September 12, 2019 at 6:30 p.m. (Arlington Campus) – RSVP

PhD Open House

  • Thursday, September 19th at 7:00 p.m. (Arlington Campus) – RSVP

Get Connected
A core strength of our program is the vibrant network of students, scholars, and practitioners we are building together. One of the best ways to keep track of what’s going on in and beyond the program is to start with the Pandora Report. Run by a group of students and faculty, the site provides everything from student reviews of new U.S. government policies and faculty interviews in the news media to the Pandora Report, our own weekly news round up of the most important and interesting trends and issues in biodefense around the world. You can also connect with us through Linked In, Facebook, and Twitter.

Attend an Event
A big benefit for students and faculty in our program is the phenomenal list of speakers we host in our classes and at events throughout the year. Each month during the academic year, for example, we host the Biodefense Policy Seminar, the D.C. area’s premiere series focused on biodefense and biosecurity issues. Attending the seminar – free and open to the public – is a fantastic way to learn more about biodefense as well as more about the sorts of topics our students and faculty are working on every day in the classroom. To find out when the next seminar will be please visit the web site.

Summer Workshop
We’re offering a three-day workshop on health security: from Anthrax to Zika! Threats to global health security continue to evolve due to the changing nature of conflict, advances in science and technology, globalization, and the growing threat posed by emerging infectious diseases and pandemics. Pandemics, Bioterrorism and Global Health Security: From Anthrax to Zika is a three-day, non-credit summer workshop designed to introduce participants to the challenges facing the world at the intersection of national security, public health, and the life sciences. The workshop faculty are internationally recognized experts from the government, private sector, and academia who have been extensively involved with research and policy-making on public health, biodefense, and national security issues. The workshop is organized by the Biodefense Graduate Program at the Schar School of Policy and Government and will be held at the Schar School’s campus in Arlington, Virginia on July 18-20, 2018.

Come for a Visit
Not enough options for you yet!? We are always happy to meet with prospective students and tell you about the program in person. To schedule a visit please contact the Graduate Office at and we will set it up.

We look forward to hearing from you and hopefully seeing you in class or at an event in the near future.


Gregory Koblentz, Ph.D.
Associate Professor of Government & Politics
Director, Biodefense Program
George Mason University

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