General Information



Academic Policies & Procedures

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

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

For more information, contact:
JMU Catalog Office, ug-catalog@jmu.edu

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Office of Admissions
Phone: (540) 568-5681
Fax: (540) 568-3332
Web site: http://www.jmu.edu/admissions

Visiting the University
First Year Student Admission
Application Deadlines
International Admission
Special Admission Requirements
Nontraditional Academic Credit



The enrollment for the university is authorized by the State Council of Higher Education in Virginia. The number of students admitted each year is limited by the resources available to the university.

Visiting the University

We encourage prospective students to attend a group information session and a walking tour of campus. To check our visitation schedule and make a reservation, visit www.jmu.edu/admissions/visit. In inclement weather, the Office of Admissions cancels conferences and tours. If weather conditions are severe, please call the Office of Admissions, (540) 568-5681, before you come.


First Year Student Admission

JMU’s admission process is competitive. In fact, we receive more qualified applications than we can accommodate. For the 2006 admissions process, approximately 62 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 Program

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 Deadlines

Early Action Admission

Early Action is more competitive than the Regular Decision process. To be admitted through Early Action, a student needs to be superior in curriculum, grades, test scores and extracurricular activities.

The university will offer non-binding early notification admission to qualified first year student applicants. The deadline for early notification is November 1. Successful candidates will be notified in mid-January and must submit a room or tuition deposit by May 1 to enroll at the university. Some students who are not selected for early notification are considered under the university’s regular admission process.

For the last two years, 30 percent of students deferred from Early Action to Regular Decision were eventually admitted. Students who apply Early Action do not have an advantage over students who apply Regular Decision.


Regular Decision Admission

Because Early Action is more competitive than Regular Decision, students who apply through Regular Decision are not at a disadvantage.

Applications must be postmarked by January 15 to be considered for regular decision admission. All applicants will receive notification of their admission status the first week of April. Admitted students must submit a room or tuition deposit by May 1 to enroll at the university.


Application Procedure for First Year Student Admission

To access the application, go to www.jmu.edu/admissions/apply/ and apply online by filling out the application and submitting it electronically with an electronic 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.


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.)
  • The university recommends students have a “B” cumulative grade point average (3.0 on a 4.0 scale) to be competitive for admission.


Application Procedure for Transfer Admission

To apply for transfer admission to the university, applicants must

  • Submit the online application for undergraduate admission along with the application fee of $40
  • This fee is not refundable or transferable and will not
    be credited to the student’s account. The application
    fee must be paid by check, money order or credit card.
  • Request official transcripts be sent from all colleges attended prior to the application deadline.
  • Submit high school transcript or a copy of a GED in addition to college transcripts, regardless of the number of college credits completed or the number of years out of high school.
  • Submit official SAT or ACT scores. If the applicant has completed more than 30 credit hours of college work at the time of application, SAT or ACT scores are not required. Applicants who are 25 years or older are not required to submit test scores.
  • Complete a one-page personal statement (optional) for review by the Admissions Committee.
  • Indicate a major.
  • All materials are due by October 15 for spring admission, January 15 for summer admission, and March 1 for fall admission.


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 http://www.jmu.edu/admissions/transfer/guide/.


International Admission

The Office of 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 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 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 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.

Higher-Level IB Courses1
International Baccalaureate Course Minimum Required Score JMU Equivalent Credit Hours Earned
Anthropology (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.


Special Admission Requirements

In addition to regular first year student and transfer admission requirements, students who want to major in music, musical theatre or dance must also complete an on-campus audition. Prospective art students who intend to major in studio art are encouraged to submit a portfolio and be interviewed.



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 http://www.jmu.edu/art/, contact the School of Art and Art History (540) 568-6216 or e-mail: art-arthistory@jmu.edu.



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: music_admit@jmu.edu.



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

Admissions 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.


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.


2007-2008 Academic Year Advanced Placement 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 http://www.jmu.edu/admissions/info/scores.shtml. NOTE: This information is subject to change at the discretion of James Madison University.

Advanced Placement Course Minimum 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.


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.