General Information

Admissions: Admission Requirements

Order your copy of the Undergraduate Catalog from the JMU Bookstore.



Academic Policies &

Degree Information

Student Programs &

Learning Opportunies &

Tuition & Fees

Financial Aid, Scholarships &
Student Employment

Campus Map

Faculty Listing

Link to JMU Homepage

Publisher: JMU Academic Affairs
MSC 8002, Harrisonburg, VA 22807

For more information, contact: JMU Catalog Office,

Copyright © 2006 James Madison University. All rights reserved.
Privacy Statement

This site is best viewed in
Internet Explorer 6.0 or above at
1024 x 768 pixels.

First Year Student Admission
JMU's admission process is competitive. In fact, we receive more qualified applications than we can accommodate. For the 2005 admissions process, approximately 65 percent of applicants were admitted; however, 90 percent of the applicants were competitive. There is not a prescribed formula for gaining admission. The admissions committee works to select the strongest candidates from a high quality pool.

We consider the following factors in evaluating applicants: program of study, academic achievement, standardized test scores, Secondary School Report Form and recommendation, extracurricular activities, and an optional personal statement. Each applicant is rated in the following four areas, listed in order of importance:

Academic Programs
Competitive applicants should minimally have the following:
  • four years of math (one full year beyond algebra II);
  • three years of laboratory science (preferably including biology, chemistry and physics; general science or earth science usually does not count as a lab science);
  • three to four years of the same foreign language or two years of two different foreign languages;
  • four years of English; and
  • four years of social studies.
Students who challenge themselves with the upper-level courses offered in their high school (i.e., Honors-level courses, Advanced Placement classes, dual enrollment) increase their competitiveness. Although schools provide different opportunities, applicants should pursue the most demanding college preparatory programs available. Because strong students come from many different types of schools, we evaluate applicants within the context of their high schools.
Academic Achievement
To evaluate achievement in high school, we evaluate grades in the core subject areas: mathematics, English, foreign language, social studies and lab sciences. A competitive candidate is an “A” or “B” student in core courses. We look at performance throughout the entire high school career.
  Standardized Tests
  Performance on the SAT I or ACT helps discern past academic achievements and potential for future academic success. SAT IIs are not required for or considered in the admissions process.
  Extracurricular Activities
  We are looking for quality rather than quantity. For instance, we like to see what applicants have done in clubs, organizations and athletics beyond just being members. We also consider community service and part-time jobs. We look at the variety and depth of your involvement. Applicants must be academically competitive before extracurricular activities are reviewed.
  Application Procedures for First Year Student Admission
  There are three easy ways to submit applications. Go to and select one of the following three options. The admissions office prefers use of the first or second option.
  • Apply online by filling out the application and submitting it electronically with an electronic payment.
  • Download the PDF application, type the application on a computer, print it out and send it in with a check or money order payment.
  • Download the application, print it, complete it by hand and send it in with a check or money order payment.

Students applying to James Madison University must

  • Carefully complete and submit the application, along with the $40 nonrefundable application fee.
  • Request that a counselor send a copy of their transcript and a letter of recommendation to
    • Office of Admissions, MSC 0101
    • James Madison University
    • Harrisonburg, VA 22807

  • Submit their Scholastic Aptitude Test or American College Testing Assessment scores. Applicants should request SAT or ACT scores be forwarded to James Madison University directly from the College Board or American College Testing, respectively.
Information furnished on applications and all other university documents and records must be accurate and complete without evasion or misrepresentation. Submitting inaccurate or incomplete documents is cause for rejection or dismissal from the university.

Back to top of page Transfer Admission Requirements
  To transfer to JMU, a student must
  • Have completed or be in the process of completing at least 24 credits at the college or university level, after graduating from high school or earning a GED, at the time of application. Competitive transfer applicants must successfully complete college course work in the following areas: English, math, lab science and social science. The more college level course work a student completes, the less emphasis the admission committee places on the high school transcript.
  • Be in good standing and eligible to continue or graduate from their previous institution(s). It is the student’s responsibility to provide the JMU Office of Admissions with official transcripts of work completed from all colleges attended. Concealment of previous attendance at a college or university is cause for cancellation of admission and registration. (Students with holds on their academic records will not be considered for admission until holds are released.)
  • Have earned at least a “C” cumulative grade point average (2.0 on a 4.0 scale) for consideration in a college parallel program. The university recommends students have a “B” cumulative grade point average (3.0 on a 4.0 scale) to be competitive applicants.
  Evaluation of Transfer Credits
  Credit will be awarded for those courses equivalent to courses offered at JMU in which the student has earned a grade of “C” or better. After the student has been approved for admission, the Office of the Registrar will evaluate the transcript(s) of each transfer student to show the credits accepted by the university. The academic unit head in which the student is majoring will determine the credits required for graduation. With the exception of some degrees in General Studies, General Education requirements will be waived for those students who have completed either the Associate in Arts, Associate in Sciences, or the Associate in Arts and Sciences degree at a Virginia community college. Students who complete one of these associate degrees and are offered admission will receive junior-level status. For more details, consult the JMU Virginia Community College Transfer Guide, available at
Back to top of page International Admission
The Office of International Admissions is responsible for the admission and enrollment of undergraduate international students. It also evaluates “A” Level examinations for academic credit. Credit will be awarded for those courses equivalent to courses offered at JMU in which the student has earned a grade of “C” or better. All non-U.S. citizens and nonpermanent residents of the U.S. must complete the international student application. This application and an international student information guidebook are available in the Office of International Admissions, located in Sonner Hall. In addition to regular first year student and transfer admission requirements, international students must present evidence of English proficiency and documentation of sufficient financial resources. The university welcomes international applications and is authorized by federal law to enroll nonimmigrant alien students. Requests for information concerning the admission of undergraduate international students should be directed to
  • Office of International Admissions, MSC 0101
  • James Madison University
  • Harrisonburg, VA 22807
  • (540) 568-3453
Credit for International Examinations
  JMU will follow the recommendations of the National Council on the Evaluation of Foreign Educational Credentials when awarding academic credit based on international examinations. Questions regarding the evaluation of international examinations should be directed to the Office of International Admissions.
International Baccalaureate
JMU recognizes the International Baccalaureate diploma and individual IB courses by awarding credit on IB higher-level examinations in essentially the same manner in which credit is allowed for Advanced Placement courses. Typically, credit hours will be awarded for each higher-level examination on which a score of five, six or seven has been earned. Some standard-level examinations will also be considered for credit. The university encourages the completion of the IB diploma and will give special consideration for admission to students who have completed the IB program. The grading scale is from one to seven, with seven being the highest score. For a full listing of available IB courses and credit opportunities, refer to the table below.
International Baccalaureate Courses
Higher-Level IB Courses1
International Baccalaureate Course Minimumum Required Score JMU Equivalent Credit Hours Earned
Anthroplogy (social and cultural) 5 GANTH 195 and ANTH elective 6
Art/Design 6 ART 140 and Art elective 6
  5 ART 140 3
  4 ART elective 3
Biology 7 BIO 114 and BIO 124 8
  5 BIO 000 (elective) 4
Chemistry 5 Majors: CHEM 131, 132 6
  5 Nonmajors: CHEM 131, 131L, 132, 132L 8
    GISAT 113 & BIO 000 (5 credits) 8 total
  3 GISAT 113 & BIO 000 4 total
Calculus AB2 4 MATH 235 4
Calculus BC2 4 MATH 235 & MATH 236 8
Chemistry 4 Majors: CHEM 131 & CHEM 132 6
    Nonmajors: CHEM 131, CHEM 131L, CHEM 132 & CHEM 132L 8
Computing Studies 5 CS 139 and CS 238 8
Economics 6 ECON 201, GECON 200 6
English A 5 GWRIT 103 3
Foreign Languages
(Course numbers are the same in each language)
  7 300 + elective 6
  6 231-232 6
  5 231 3
  4 102 4
Geography 6 GGEOG 200 3
  5 GEOG elective 3
History: All Regions 6 HIST elective 6
  5 HIST elective 3
History: Africa 6 HIST 263 3
  5 HIST 263 3
History: Americas 5 GHIST 225 4
History: West and South Asia 6 HIST electives 6
  5 HIST elective 3
History: East and Southeast Asia and Australia 6 HIST electives 6
  5 HIST elective 3
History: Europe 6 HIST 202 and HIST elective 6
  5 HIST 202 3
Mathematics 5 MATH 135 3
Philosophy 6 GPHIL 101 and PHIL elective 6
  5 GPHIL 101 4
Physics 5 PHYS 140 and PHYS 150 6
Psychology 4 GPSYC 101 3
Standard-Level IB Courses1
International Baccalaureate Course Minimum Required Score JMU Equivalent Credit Hours Earned
Social Anthropology 5 GANTH 195 3
Art/Design 7 ART 140 3
  6 ART elective 3
Chemistry 6 Majors: CHEM 131 3
Chemistry 6 Nonmajors: CHEM 131-131L 4
Computing Studies 5 CS 238 4
Economics 6 ECON 201 with IB diploma 3
Foreign Languages 7 232 3
  6 231 3
  5 102 4
Geography 5 GEOG elective 3
History 5 HIST elective 3
Philosophy 5 GPHIL 101 3
Physics 6 PHYS 140 & PHYS 150 6
Psychology 6 GPSYC 101 3
1 This information is subject to change at the discretion of James Madison University.
  German Abitur
  Students with the German Abitur for 13 years only may be awarded up to 30 credit hours of advanced standing. Awarding of credit will be based on a grade of “C” or better. A passing grade will be equivalent to six credit hours in the subject. The German Abitur will fulfill general education requirements with the exception of nine credit hours and the information literacy competency exams (Tech Level I and the ISST) required in Cluster One and of the four credit American Experience requirement in Cluster Four.
  United Kingdom "A" Level Examinations
  Credit will be awarded to those students who receive a “C” or higher on an “A” level exam. Credit will be comparable to completing the two-course introductory sequence (six credit hours) in the subject.
Back to top of page Special Admission Requirements
  Students unable to travel to JMU may send a videotape, color photographs or slides of their work in support of their art application. Students who intend to major in art history are not required to submit a portfolio or additional material for review but should follow the regular JMU admission process. Students who submit a portfolio will be eligible to receive a first year student art scholarship.

Portfolio reviews for art majors are conducted on campus. For the complete schedule of portfolio review/interview sessions and additional information, refer to the School of Art and Art History Web site at, contact the School of Art and Art History (540) 568-6216 or e-mail:

  Auditions for music are given on three specific dates in January and February. It is important that you indicate your intention to participate in the audition process by January 15. For more information, call the School of Music at (540) 568-3851 or e-mail:
  In addition to the regular first year student and transfer admission requirements, students who intend to major in nursing must submit a supplemental application. Applications may be obtained from
  • Department of Nursing, MSC 4305
  • James Madison University
  • Harrisonburg, VA 22807
  • (540) 568-6314
  Theatre and Dance
  Admission to the theatre and dance programs are by audition. Most theatre and dance auditions are given in late fall and early spring. For more information, contact the School of Theatre and Dance at (540) 568-6342 or (540) 568-6511.
Back to top of page Nontraditional Academic Credit
  Advanced Placement
  Applicants for admission who have completed advanced work in secondary school may apply for advanced credit in certain subjects at JMU. Students may apply to the College Board for permission to take one or more of the tests offered through the Advanced Placement program at the following address
  • Advanced Placement Examinations
  • P.O. Box 6671
  • Princeton, NJ 08541-6671
Interested students should discuss advanced placement tests with their guidance counselors or principals. The College Board reports the results of the examinations to the university. The minimum advanced placement scores required to earn college credit are shown in the table below.
  Credit for Military Service
  JMU encourages veterans to apply for admission as full-time or part-time students. Information regarding VA Educational Benefits is available from the veterans’ coordinator, Warren Hall 504.

Veterans who have one or more years of active military duty will be granted six hours of health and kinesiology elective credit (providing they have no previous credit in this area). Students must submit a Report of Separation (DD-214) to receive this credit.

Additional credit may be given for successfully completing certain service schools. This credit will be determined based on recommendations in A Guide to the Evaluation of Educational Experiences in the Armed Services. The Office of the Registrar should be consulted.

Credit is allowed for courses taken at the Defense Language Institute. The amount of credit varies with the type of courses successfully completed. JMU must receive an official transcript. Credit allowed is based on the recommendation in A Guide to the Evaluation of Educational Experiences in the Armed Services. For those languages not offered at JMU, a maximum of 12 hours is accepted.

  2006-2007 Academic Year AP Courses
  The score necessary to earn college credit at JMU, the corresponding course title at JMU and the credit hours which can be earned appear below. The grading scale is from one to five with five being the highest score. For more information and the most recent scores, refer to the Office of Admissions Web site at NOTE: This information is subject to change at the discretion of James Madison University.
Advanced Placement Course Minimumum Required Score JMU Equivalent Credit Hours Earned
Art History 4 GARTH 206 3
Art Studio: Drawing 4 Art elective 3
Art Studio: General 4 Art elective 3
Biology 5 Majors: BIO 114 & BIO 1241 8 total
    Nonmajors: GBIO 103, GSCI 104 & BIO 0001 8 total
    GISAT 113 & BIO 0001 8 total
  4 GBIO 103, GSCI 104 & BIO 0001
(4 credits)
8 total
    GISAT 113 & BIO 000 (5 credits) 8 total
  3 GISAT 113 & BIO 000 4 total
Calculus AB2 4 MATH 235 4
Calculus BC2 4 MATH 235 & MATH 236 8
Chemistry 4 Majors: CHEM 131 & CHEM 132 6
    Nonmajors: CHEM 131, CHEM 131L, CHEM 132 & CHEM 132L 8
    CHEM 120 & CHEM 120L 4
  3 GSCI 101 & GSCI 104 4 total
Comparative Government 4 POSC 240 3
Computer Science (A or AB) 4 CS 139 4
Economics (Micro) 4 ECON 201 3
Economics (Macro) 4 GECON 200 3
English Language and Composition or English Literature and Composition 4 GWRIT 103 3
Environmental Science 4 GISAT 112 & ISAT 000 8 total
    GSCI 115 & ISAT 000 8 total
  3 ISAT 000 4
French Language or French Literature 4 FR 231 3
Human Geography 4 GEOG 280 3
German Language 4 GER 231 3
Government: U.S. 4 GPOSC 225 4
Government: European 5 HIST 201 & HIST 202 6
  4 HIST 201 3
History: U.S. 4 GHIST 225 4
Italian Language and Culture 4 ITAL 231 3
Latin Language 4 LAT 231 4
Physics B 4 PHYS 140, PHYS 140L, PHYS 150 & PHYS 150L 8
  3 GSCI 101 & GSCI 104 4 total
Physics C: Mechanics 4 PHYS 240 & PHYS 140L 4
Physics C: Electricity and Magnetism 4 PHYS 250 & PHYS 150L 4
Psychology 4 GPSYC 101 3
Spanish Language or Spanish Literature 4 SPAN 231 3
Statistics 4 MATH 220 3
World History 5 GHIST 101 3
1 BIO 000 does not count toward major or minor requirements in Biology or toward general education requirements, but is elective credit towards a degree.
2 Students who receive a score of 3 may want to take a departmental examination to earn credit in either MATH 205 or MATH 235.