General Education

Interdisciplinary Programs

Academic Units

Academic Programs

Adult Degree Program

Pamela Brown, Learning Services Coordinator

Location: Memorial Hall, Room 3305
Phone: (540) 568-6824
Web site:

[Printable Version]

Mission Statement
Degrees Offered
Program Requirements
Mechanisms for Earning Credit

Mission Statement
The Individualized Study Major of the Adult Degree Program provides returning adult students with the opportunity to complete their bachelor's degree. This program differs from other degree programs presently offered at JMU in that ISM students tailor their major to meet their career and educational goals while still meeting JMU general education and degree requirements.

Applicants must have a lapse of at least three years in their full-time formal education and a minimum of 30 credit hours with a grade of "C" or better for each credit hour of college work. Applicants should be 25 or older.

Degrees Offered
Students in the ISM program have the opportunity to earn a Bachelor of Individualized Study (B.I.S.), a Bachelor of Arts (B.A.), or a Bachelor or Science (B.S.). The general education core requirements differ by degree.

Program Requirements

Mechanisms for Earning Credit
The number of credits, which might be accepted or earned through the following methods, is determined by the student's approved program. It is reasonable to expect that the unique educational needs, background and personal circumstances of each student will determine to a great extent the manner in which credit has been and will be earned.

Prior Learning Assessment
College level learning, acquired through other than traditional classroom experience, must be documented by the student. Procedures for doing so have been established by the ISM office. Requests for experiential learning credit are to be presented no later than midterm of the semester prior to that in which the Individualized Study major plans to graduate. Experiential learning credit is not transferable to a traditional degree program. Majors requesting experiential learning credit must complete IS 203, Portfolio Development. A fee is charged for each learning component evaluated by academic units for credit.

College Credit Recommendation Service
The Individualized Study Major accepts credit as recommended in the National Guide to Educational Credit for Training Programs and the Guide to Educational Credit by Examination prepared by the American Council on Education. Additional information on program policies and procedures is available at our Web site.

College-Level Examination Program
The Individualized Study Major at JMU participates in the College Level Examination Program. CLEP is a national program of credit by examination that offers students an opportunity to obtain recognition for achievement in specific college courses.

Interested individuals may schedule a CLEP test by directly contacting the Adult Degree Program office. Requests for specific information on CLEP examinations should be directed to:

College Level Examination Program
Box 592
Princeton, NJ 08540

Students enrolled in an IS major may take courses on a credit/no-credit basis if they have completed 28 credit hours of college course work and have a 2.25 cumulative average.

Courses in the area of concentration, including the senior project, may not be taken on a credit/no-credit basis. Other provisions of the credit/no-credit option, as described in this catalog, will also be in effect.

Service-members Opportunity College
JMU has been designated as an institutional member of Service-members Opportunity College. As an SOC member, the university recognizes the unique nature of the military lifestyle and has committed itself to easing the transfer of relevant course credits, providing flexible academic residency requirements and crediting learning from appropriate military training and experiences.

Second Degree Requirements
Students who hold a baccalaureate degree from a regionally accredited college or university may earn a second degree through this program following the general guidelines in this catalog. Second-degree students must complete a minimum of 33 credits, including a 30-hour concentration and IS 200, ISM Program Development. If appropriate, eight non-traditional hours may be included in the 30 hour concentration. Second-degree students requesting experiential learning credit must complete IS 203, Portfolio Development.

BIS Social Science Concentration
Within the BIS major there is an optional social science concentration that provides a more structured alternative for BIS majors. ADP students selecting the Social Sciences concentration will complete:

Contact the program coordinator for information on the social science concentration.

General Education
General Education course work is designed to provide returning adult students with knowledge and skills that form the foundation for completing a baccalaureate degree, including a professional concentration, in the individualized study major.

Credit Hours
Social/Behavioral Science
Any course with a number other than "000" in the areas of sociology, psychology, economics, history, anthropology, geography and political science
Any course with a number other than "000" in the areas of philosophy, religion and GHUM courses. Only the following type courses from the art, foreign languages, English, music and dance/theatre academic units count as humanities credit: art appreciation, art history, literature, theatre and dance history, theatre and dance appreciation, foreign language literature or culture, music appreciation or history.
Scientific Literacy requirement
Any course with a number other than "000" in the areas of biology, chemistry, geology, physics and GSCI.
Written Communication
Any course with a number other than "000" in the area of English composition. (If GWRIT 103 is waived through writing assessment, credits may be earned in advanced composition or Technical and Scientific Communication. Choose from WRIT 210, WRIT 320, WRIT 340, ENG 290, ENG 299, ENG 347, ENG 390, ENG 392, ENG 393, ENG 396, TSC 210, TSC 240, TSC 250, TSC 410, TSC 420, TSC 430, TSC 440, TSC 460 or TSC 480.)
Oral Communication
Choose from GCOM 121, GCOM 122, SCOM 121, SCOM 122, SCOM 242 or SCOM 243.
Quantitative requirement
Any course with a number other than "000" in the area of mathematics.
U.S. History
Choose from GPOSC 225 or GHIST 225.
Additional General Education credit
May be fulfilled through exceeding minimum in categories 1-7 or by courses accepted by General Education.



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