We know that success requires equal parts intellect and action. At JMU, that’s what Being the Change is all about.

When students graduating from James Madison University proudly walk across the stage to receive their diplomas, they’re more than just educated. They’re members of a fellowship of doers. They know how to make things happen. They’ve honed their ability to think critically. They’ve learned the importance of a strong work ethic and they’ve become committed to and skilled at collaborating with others. Diplomas in hand, they leave campus determined to live lives of meaning and pursue careers of purpose.

Set in the beautiful Shenandoah Valley of Virginia, JMU is a tight-knit community of 22,000 undergraduate and graduate students and 4,000 faculty and staff who come from across the country and around the world. Only two hours from Washington D.C., JMU is fast becoming one of the nation’s leading lights in higher education. That’s because students enjoy unusually engaged relationships with world-class faculty who are at JMU because they want to pursue knowledge and teach talented students.

What does that mean for you and your future? A 2014 Gallup survey of more than 29,000 college graduates in the U.S. found that having a professor take a personal interest in them while they were a student leads to a higher sense of purpose and well-being. Gallup also found that JMU alumni score far above the national average on every dimension of well-being, and significantly higher than alumni of the Top 100 colleges and universities in the U.S. News & World Report rankings. At JMU, we know that a fully engaged experience makes all the difference.

JMU students, faculty and alumni are using equal parts intellect and action to succeed in every sort of pursuit: they’re boosting innovation and discovery, leading in business, advancing culture, improving health care, reforming education, renewing civil society, competing in athletics — they’re Being the Change® in every imaginable way.

Facts & Figures

Location: Harrisonburg, Va.

Established: 1908

Enrollment: 21,227

Degree Programs: 124 (bachelor's, master's and doctoral)

School Colors: Purple and Gold

Mascot: Duke Dog

Athletic Affiliation: NCAA Division I

More facts and SCHEV Profile

Rankings & Recognitions

No. 2 top public school in the South - U.S. News & World Report, 2017

Top 100 "Best Values in Public Colleges" - Kiplinger's Personal Finance, 2016

No. 1 master's institution for short-term study abroad participation - Institute of International Education, 2013/14

Our College of Business is accredited by AACSB International, reserved for the top 5 percent of business schools in the world

More rankings and recognitions

Latest faculty accomplishments


“Knowledge will forever govern ignorance; and a people who mean to be their own governors must arm themselves with the power which knowledge gives.” — James Madison


President's Office


In 1907, the citizens of Harrisonburg, a rural city two hours south of Washington D.C., campaigned vigorously to bring a new Normal School to the region. Their ultimate success gave birth to an institution that would claim a century of innovative, forward-thinking educators and legions of students eager to make the status quo obsolete. In 1908, the Madison Experience began — and it has not stopped or slowed down since. See bibliography of JMU history

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