Continued enrollment at JMU depends upon an undergraduate student’s ability to maintain satisfactory academic progress toward attaining a degree. The university measures this ability by the student’s cumulative grade point average. To assist students in maintaining satisfactory progress, JMU has adopted academic standards designed to provide early identification of students who are experiencing academic difficulty and to provide timely intervention through academic support programs.
Academic Good Standing
Undergraduate students who maintain a cumulative grade point average of at least 2.0 are considered to be in academic good standing and are eligible for continued enrollment at JMU.
The status of academic warning applies to any student whose grade point average for a semester is below 2.0. Students who are placed on academic warning at the conclusion of a semester are urged to contact their advisers to devise strategies for improving academic performance.
Academic probation is an indication of serious academic difficulty and applies whenever a student’s cumulative grade point average falls below 2.0. Students who are placed on academic probation at the end of the fall semester may enroll for the spring semester; however, students on academic probation will be restricted to a course load of no more than 12 credit hours each semester until their cumulative grade point average has improved sufficiently enough to remove them from academic probation. The university might also require students on academic probation to confer regularly with their academic advisers and to participate in the Educational Skills Development Programs.
A student will be placed on academic suspension if that student’s cumulative grade point average is below the minimum required for continued enrollment. (These requirements are set forth in the following table.) As a rule, academic suspension will be invoked at the end of spring semester (and summer session for students who attend summer session); however, in exceptional cases where academic performance is persistently unsatisfactory, or in cases where students fail to meet reinstatement conditions, the institution may choose to suspend students at the end of fall semester. A student who is suspended at the end of fall semester must submit an Intent to Enroll form by April 1 to return for summer session. Suspended students who wish to rectify their academic deficiencies may enroll in the immediately following summer session. If the student uses a summer session to raise his or her cumulative grade point average to at least the minimum required for continued enrollment on academic probation, then that student will be eligible to enroll for the fall semester under the restrictions described under academic probation. Students unable to raise their grade point average to the minimum required conditions for continued enrollment will be academically suspended and ineligible for continued enrollment at JMU. The period of suspension is one calendar year following a first suspension. Following a second suspension, the period of suspension is two calendar years. Students who are academically suspended for a second time are eligible to apply to return to JMU by agreeing to apply for the Transfer Equivalent Option upon their approved return to JMU. Re-entry is not guaranteed, but is contingent upon review by an academic review committee chaired by the Associate Vice President for Academic Affairs. Such review may result in denial or conditional re-entry.
*Total Number of Hours for Standing includes all hours attempted at JMU plus 1. Credit hours transferred to JMU 2. Credit hours earned by departmental exam and AP credit and 3. Credit hours for courses taken on a credit/no credit basis (whether the final grade was CR or NC). For instance, in the example below a student has attempted 60 credit hours at JMU and received 30 credits for transfer work and 2 hours of no credit work. The hours attempted plus the no credit and transfer hours place this student in the 92 credit hour category, even though the total number of hours earned is equal to 82. With a cumulative GPA of 1.991, the student is subject to suspension.
A student who is suspended a third time will be permanently dismissed from the university. No appeal of this dismissal will be considered, nor will students dismissed for academic deficiency be allowed to exercise the transfer equivalent option.
Students are subject to the curricular and graduation requirements contained in the undergraduate catalog in effect during or subsequent to the academic year of their first enrollment at JMU. At the discretion of the academic unit head, students who leave and reenter the university after an absence of a semester or more will be subject to the catalog in effect at the time of their re-entry or the catalog used by the majority of students with whom they graduate. With the exception of undergraduates enrolled in the Individualized Studies program, students are expected to complete all baccalaureate major and degree requirements within seven years of their original entry date to JMU or previous higher educational institution(s). If required by the academic unit, academic work completed more than seven years prior to the students' anticipated graduation date might be subject to review by the major and minor academic units and the Office of General Education for applicability to the undergraduate degree program. In programs leading to licensure or certification, additional standards may apply.
Students’ participation in the work of a course is clearly a precondition
to their receiving credit in that course. Because of the wide variety
of courses and teaching methods at JMU, the university recognizes that
the nature of a student’s participation in the work of a course cannot
be prescribed on a university-wide basis. For this reason, classroom
attendance is not a matter subject to regulation by the university.
Attendance in class and in the laboratory is a matter between the student
and the faculty member in that class or laboratory.
In order to audit a class, students must have the permission of their faculty advisers and the head of the department or director of the school offering the class. Audited courses will not affect a student’s semester credit hours or grade point average.
Generally, a student is subject to the curricular and graduation requirements
contained in the catalog in effect upon the student’s first enrollment
at JMU (or, if requested for valid reasons by the student and approved
by the student’s major programs and the Office of the Registrar,
the requirements contained in a different catalog).
The classification of students depends upon the number of credit hours they have earned.
A course adjustment is any change to a student’s registered course schedule. A course adjustment can include any of the following: changing a credit option, changing a section, adding a course, dropping a course or withdrawing from a course. Deadlines for processing specific course adjustments are stated in the Registration and Student Record Services Handbook. The end of the course adjustment period (approximately one week after midterm grades are due for a regular semester) is the deadline for withdrawing without penalty from a course and changing credit options for a semester course. First semester freshmen (students who have taken 27 or fewer credit hours) must secure the prior approval of their faculty adviser for any course adjustments.
Adding a Course, Changing Sections or Changing Credit Options
Students may add a course and change sections or credit options according to deadlines and instructions published in the Registration and Student Record Services Handbook. Students should note that adding a course may result in a tuition increase.
Dropping a Course
Dropping and withdrawing both result in the termination of a student’s enrollment in the course.
Withdrawing from a Course
A student may terminate enrollment in a course by withdrawing from the course after the drop deadline. A student who withdraws from a course will receive a grade of "W" for the course, and this grade will be recorded (and remain) on the student's transcript regardless of the status of the student in the course at the time of the withdrawal. In extraordinary situations, a student who becomes unable to complete some course requirements after the course adjustment deadline has passed may request a grade of "WP" or "WF" from the instructor. The form (e.g., verbal, written) and timing of such requests are determined by individual instructors; the student is responsible for ensuring that the request is made in an appropriate manner and at an appropriate time. In response to such a request, the instructor may choose to record a grade of "WP" or "WF", but is not obligated to do so (and may record any grade other than "W"). The course instructor may also suggest that the student contact the JMU Ombudsperson about withdrawing from the university. Withdrawing from a course will not result in a tuition reduction. Students considering withdrawing from a course should be aware that graduate and professional schools and future employers might hold differing opinions on a student's withdrawal from a course. For this reason, a student should withdraw from a course only after serious consideration.
In all programs, the normal load per semester is 15 or 16 credit hours. A student with a cumulative grade point average of 3.25 or better may register for as many as 21 credit hours per semester. Any student in good standing may take a maximum of 19 credit hours without securing special permission. Students in good standing who wish to exceed these credit per semester limitations must secure permission from the head of the department or director of the school in which they are majoring. The university strongly recommends that a student on academic warning not register for more than 16 credit hours per semester. A student on probation may not take more than 12 credit hours per semester.
Academic Probation and Course Load
Students on academic probation should get the approval of the office of dean of their major college if they wish to take more than 12 credit hours per semester. Students should note that an undergraduate course load of at least 12 credit hours a semester is required for a student to live in a residence hall.
Summer Session Course Load
During summer session, undergraduate students may take six credit hours for each four-week term, nine credit hours for each six-week term and twelve credit hours for each eight and ten-week term. The head of the department or director of the school in which the student is majoring must approve overloads at the time of registration. Students are reminded that summer course work is intensive because of the condensed instructional time-frame and are encouraged to plan their summer schedules with the demanding workload in mind.
The Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act of 1974
James Madison University adheres to and annually informs students of the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act of 1974, as amended. This act, with which the institution intends to fully comply, was designated to protect the privacy of educational records. Under the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA) students have certain rights with respect to their education records.
The right to inspect and review the student’s education records
within 45 days of the day the University receives a request for access.
The right to request the amendment of the student’s education
records that the student believes are inaccurate or misleading.
The right to consent to disclosures of personally identifiable
information contained in the student’s education records, except to
the extent that FERPA authorizes disclosure without consent.
The right to file a complaint with the U.S. Department of Education
concerning alleged failures by James Madison University to comply with
the requirements of FERPA.
The credit/no-credit option has been established to encourage students to explore academic areas with which they are unfamiliar. Such academic exploration allows students to fully integrate field-based learning activities into appropriate programs of study. The design of the credit/no-credit option allows students to participate in courses outside of their major and minor fields of concentration without jeopardizing their academic records. In some cases, the credit/no-credit option might also help to reduce academic pressures and competition for grades.
Students should also keep in mind the following factors when considering the credit/no-credit option:
The university offers the following options to enable students to earn credit toward their degree outside the traditional classroom setting:
Credit by Examination
College degrees represent growth and maturity in certain fundamental knowledge and skills rather than a mere accumulation of credit hours. In recognition of the fact that some persons may achieve academic competence through nontraditional means, such as private study, technical employment or prior instruction, JMU endorses the concept of credit by examination. By permitting a student to earn credit by academic unit examination for knowledge already gained, highly motivated or academically advanced persons are able to accelerate their program. It is the student’s responsibility to ascertain what preparation and background are necessary for taking advantage of this means of acceleration, before attempting an examination. Any enrolled undergraduate student may apply to take an examination for credit in selected courses in the undergraduate curriculum. Permission to take an examination for credit must be obtained from the head of the academic unit or director of the school in which credit is sought. A student will not be permitted to take the examination for credit option with any of the following conditions:
Each academic unit will use its own discretion in developing the form of the examination and in determining the procedure to be followed. Students may earn as many as 30 credit hours through credit by school or departmental examination, with no more than 12 credit hours in any one discipline. To receive credit, a student must make a grade of “C” or better on the examination. Each academic unit shall determine what constitutes a “C” for that academic unit. No academic unit shall require a grade higher than a “C” for passing the examination. The examination for a course can be taken only once in a given semester. A nonrefundable fee must be paid prior to the administration of an examination for credit. (Refer to the fees information in the catalog, Page 51.) Each academic unit will determine its time schedule for giving examinations.
Every academic unit at JMU offers a course designed to give capable students an opportunity to do faculty-supervised independent studies. Such courses often carry more than the normal three credit hours for a semester’s work. In addition, these independent study courses allow especially capable students to work at their own, often accelerated pace. Arrangements for independent study should be made with individual faculty members.
If there are documented extenuating circumstances associated with the
academic deficiency that resulted in a student’s suspension from JMU,
the student on academic suspension may appeal for permission to re-enroll
at JMU prior to being eligible for readmission.