Frequently Asked Questions
Applying to JMU
- Are there specific course requirements for entrance into James Madison University?
- Is it to my advantage to take advanced, accelerated or honors courses, if available?
- Is the Admissions Committee looking for specific grades or marks in admitting applicants?
- What are the minimum required SAT I or ACT scores?
- If I take the required test more than once, which results will you consider?
- Do you require any SAT II Subject Tests?
- Is there a personal interview?
- Do you consider senior year grades?
- Do you rank the quality of secondary schools in the U.S. and abroad?
- If I submit my application before other candidates, will I have a better chance of gaining admission?
- Is it possible to ask ahead about my chances for admission?
- Does it hurt my chances if there are other applicants from my school or community?
- Is there a waitlist?
- Is it possible to be admitted for the spring semester?
- I live outside the United States, but I am a U.S. citizen/permanent resident. Which application should I use?
- Does JMU have Early Action admissions? Is it binding?
- Will I qualify for in-state tuition?
Changing Your Major, Academics and Campus Life
- What if I want to change my major?
- What majors and minors do JMU offer? How much is tuition? What's the make up of the student body?
- Does James Madison offer an Honors Program?
- Will I be able to study abroad while attending James Madison?
- Do I have to be a music major to be in the marching band or a theatre major to participate in plays?
- Must I live on campus?
- Am I allowed to bring a car to James Madison?
- Should I worry about safety at James Madison?
- Where can I find more about clubs, sports, and campus recreation?
Don't see your question?
Applying to JMU
While there is no single academic program we can expect all students to follow, our strongest candidates choose rigorous secondary school curricula. Competitive applicants challenge themselves beyond high school graduation requirements in the core academic areas of English, math, science, social science and foreign language.
Yes. We know that not all schools provide the same opportunities, but you should seek out a full and demanding college preparatory program.
Because secondary schools vary by size, academic program and grading scale, we do not have rigid requirements. The majority of our incoming freshmen are ranked in the top third of their high school with 'A's and 'B's in core classes(math, lab science, foreign languages, English and social sciences).
There are no cutoffs. Critical Reading plus Mathematics scores of 1100 to 1230 were the mid-50 percent range for students admitted for the 2008-2009 freshmen class. The mid-50 percent of ACT scores range was between 24 to 28 of the composite score. We find the SAT I and ACT test results to be useful indicators when considered thoughtfully in conjunction with many other factors.
The Admissions Committee uses your highest math and verbal scores from any test administration in reviewing your application for admission.
No. SAT II subject tests are not required for the admission process. Some majors and degrees at JMU have a foreign language requirement. If you are pursuing such a degree, we recommend that you take the SAT II Foreign Language which is used for placement purposes. Learn more about our Placement Policy.
We neither require nor grant personal interviews. However, if you visit the university and need to speak to a counselor to discuss a unique situation, we are more than happy to meet with you.
Yes, we do. We use mid-year grades in the decision process. It is also important to maintain strong grades through the end of your senior year. We reserve the right to rescind an offer of admission due to poor academic performance in the senior year.
No. We recognize that there are differences in the overall strengths of high schools, but we are most interested in how well our candidates have taken advantage of the resources available to them.
If I submit my application before other candidates, will I have a better chance of gaining admission?
No, but there are advantages to you and to us if you submit your application materials promptly. We can let you know if any documents are missing or incomplete in a timely manner. Last-minute applications often look hurried and are more likely to be missing important information.
No. Because our decisions are made in the context of the entire applicant pool, it is not possible for us to predict your chances for admission.
No. There are no quotas for individual schools or communities.
Yes. We never know precisely how many students will accept our offer of admission, therefore, we invite a group of students to be on our unranked waitlist. The waitlist is the pool of applicants we consider if we are able to admit additional students to fill the class. The extent to which we use the waitlist varies widely from year to year.
Freshmen are admitted to James Madison University to begin only in the Fall Semester.
The majority of transfers enroll in either the Summer or Fall; however, a limited number of transfers are admitted for Spring. Spring transfer applicants with associate degrees and a cumulative college GPA of 3.00 of higher are given priority.
I live outside the United States, but I am a U.S. citizen/permanent resident. Which application should I use?
ALL applicants living outside of the United States who have U.S. citizenship, U.S. permanent resident status or dual citizenship must apply by appropriate deadline using our domestic application.
JMU has a non-binding early admission process. Applications for Early Action are due Nov. 1 with decisions posted online in mid-Jan.
Applicants for admission to JMU will have their residency for tuition purposes determined based on the information provided on their complete Application for Virginia In-State Tuition Rates. This application is incorporated in our undergraduate applications for admission based on initial answers provided on your application.
You may review the Commonwealth of Virginia’s Guidelines for Residency Determination, which can be found at the following site: http://www.schev.edu/students/VAdomicileguidelines.asp
Once an application for admission is submitted you may be requested to provide additional documentation to determine your residency for tuition purposes. The Office of Admissions will notify you of your residency determination in communications throughout the application process.
Changing Your Major, Academics and Campus Life
JMU students are encouraged to explore academic areas of interest. You can change your major any time between the application process and graduation. Please know that changing your major after your sophomore year may delay your graduation.
Check out our About JMU page for a rundown of quick facts.
Yes. With three levels of participation - Honors Scholars Track I, Honors Scholar Track II, and Senior Honors Project Track III - you can find the academic challenge to meet your needs. At graduation, your level of participation will be noted on your diploma and transcripts. For more information, please visit the JMU Honors Program web site.
We offer study abroad programs in five cities: Antwerp, Beijing, London, Florence and Salamanca. A faculty member-in residence accompanies each group for the semester-long experience. There are dozens of short-term programs offered each summer offering a variety of courses, including general education courses. The OIP also works with students who choose an external study abroad program with another college or university if the destination of choice is not offered at JMU. Complete information can be found on the Office of International Programs web site.
Do I have to be a music major to be in the marching band or a theatre major to participate in plays?
Not at all. Most students involved in performing arts here are majoring in fields unrelated to the arts.
All freshmen live in university-sponsored housing. We believe students get the most from the James Madison experience by living in the residence halls. After freshmen year, students may remain on or move off campus.
Freshmen are not permitted to have cars on campus. You certainly do not need a car to get around Harrisonburg. The Harrisonburg Transit is convenient and free to students. Parking on campus, however, is not always easy to find. Upper-class students pay a parking fee to register their car for on campus parking.
Safety should be a concern everywhere. The university has a strong public safety program that includes a full campus police force, lighted pathways, an escort service, campus cadets, emergency phones and residence halls that are locked 24 hours a day.
We have 18 Division 1 intercollegiate athletics teams, a growing list of club sports teams and a vibrant intramural sports program. Our adventure program has possibilities you may never have considered before. Our 147,000-square-foot University Recreation Center is amazing. Your game is here. Read more »