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Our Unique Home in the Shenandoah Valley

Large Madison Statue at Sunset

Mountains, farmland, the wide sky full of stars are what make the Shenandoah Valley, and JMU's home in it, so unique and so beautiful.

Only two hours from Washington, D.C., JMU's 675-acre campus is situated in the city of Harrisonburg, Va., a safe, friendly community with a diverse population of approximately 42,000. Getting here is a cinch with airports within driving distance and plenty of transportation options to get you home and back to school.

We have four distinct seasons with average temperatures ranging from 33F (0 C) in January to 82F (27 C) in July. Snow in the winter and sunshine in the summer mean we have a little of everything. There are ski slopes, trails for biking, rivers for fishing, forests for camping — on any given evening you can choose between home-cooked southern-fried chicken, an edgy coffee shop, live music in a bar or ethnic cuisine.

Throw out the stereotypes and choose between country roads or downtown nightlife, farmers' markets or vintage thrift shops, live Shakespeare or live jazz.

Explore Harrisonburg

A mural outside a restaurant in downtown HarrisonburgWhat's cool in and around the 'Burg? The great outdoors, sports and recreation, a piece of history, high art and plenty of fun destinations downtown and around Harrisonburg — it's all here. While you're arranging your schedule, be sure to save plenty of time for your visit to James Madison University. The heart of our institution is our students — more than 17,000 strong. Sporting purple and gold most days, they drive the activity of our vibrant campus.

Visitors are always welcome at JMU!

Related: Schedule an undergraduate admissions visit | Virtual tour

Catch the Dukes' Top 10!

The best parts of JMU and the Shenandoah Valley according to alumni survey respondents: JMU students jump off a cliff at Blue Hole swimming hole

  1. The Quad
  2. Blue Hole and the Shenandoah River
  3. Homecoming and JMU football
  4. Massanutten and Reddish Knob (skiing, hiking, biking or exploring)
  5. Kline's Ice Cream
  6. Green Valley Book Fair
  7. D-Hall food
  8. JMU arboretumJMU's arboretum
  9. Getting a hug from Duke Dog
  10. JMU's friendly faculty and creating lifelong friendships