The Adult Degree Program provides adults over 23 years old with the opportunity to continue their education in a program that addresses individualized needs, goals, and time schedules. The program recognizes that traditional, highly structured four-year degree programs do not always accommodate the educational needs or lifestyles of adults. Physical, cultural, family, or job-related factors and commitments can make a return to school difficult even for the most intellectually motivated or qualified adults.
James Madison University's (JMU) Adult Degree Program was created in 1977 as an interdisciplinary program for adult students. The Adult Degree Program was designed specifically to make opportunities available for adults to pursue an undergraduate degree that fits their lifestyles. JMU faculty members and administrators serve as academic advisers, portfolio reviewers, independent study instructors, and departmental test administrators for Adult Degree Program students.
By design, the Adult Degree Program has no prescribed curriculum. JMU faculty members help each student create an individualized program that incorporates a professional core concentration of at least 30 credit hours and includes all the elements necessary to earn a bachelor's degree. In addition, the General Education Requirements for students in the Adult Degree Program are more flexible than those of traditional students. Students typically follow their individual paths to work toward a Bachelor of Individualized Study (BIS) degree. Students also have the option of pursuing Bachelor of Arts and Bachelor of Science degrees.