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Humanities and Social Sciences

The teachings of Plato and Aristotle. The dynamics of world politics and how other nations' world views affect their consequent actions. Which factors affect life choices.

Our humanities and social sciences programs launch students on a constant search for knowledge and the keys to understanding the human condition.

Study of fundamental questions such as these is much more than simply a worthy academic pursuit. Study of these questions changes the way you view the world and, more profoundly, the way you see yourself.

The combination of skills and knowledge our students acquire leads to jobs and post-graduate educational choices.

Our programs will take you to new places in your mind.

English Professor Mark Facknitz leads a class discussion


  • The Washington Semester program, open to all JMU students, allows students to explore the wealth of political and cultural opportunities available in the Washington, D.C., area.
  • JMU's Philosophy and Religion program plays a huge role in preparing students to be educated and enlightened citizens because it helps us deal with otherness, or the people who differ from us in significant ways. This is a task inherent to the future of the world in this era of globalization.
  • JMU English courses include titles such as Shakespeare's Comedies and Histories, Native American Literature, Advanced Studies in Linguistics and the English Language, and African American Drama.
  • Le Cercle Français, JMU's French club, holds a Table Fançais each Wednesday at a local coffee shot. Amistad is a cultural exchange program that matches JMU students with local Latino middle-school-students. These are just two examples of training grounds for our modern foreign language students.

What do alumns say?

JMU alumnus Sergio Mendoza, political science major"JMU gives you the opportunity to completely spike in your academic area, and it is also well-rounded as a school — great academics, great people, about 350 clubs to join, great ways to help out the community and learn leadership skills. Overall, JMU just gives you a great way to explore yourself."

- Sergio Mendoza ('12), political science major