Academic Policies and Procedures
Academic Standing and Continued Enrollment
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.
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 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.
Students who take fewer than nine credit hours in their first semester at JMU will not be reviewed for academic standing that semester. 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 continued enrollment conditions, the university may choose to suspend students at the end of fall semester.
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 / 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 a minimum of one calendar year following a first suspension. Following a second suspension, the period of suspension is a minimum of 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 Director of Academic Student Services. Such review may result in denial or conditional re-entry.
|Total Number of Hours for Standing 1||Cumulative GPA for Academic Suspension|
|1-27||less than 1.500|
|28-44||less than 1.650|
|45-59||less than 1.750|
|60-74||less than 1.850|
|75-89||less than 1.900|
|90-104||less than 1.994|
|105-119||less than 1.999|
|120 or above||less than 2.000|
1 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.
(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 two 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.
|Trans Hrs||NC Hrs||JMU Hrs Earned||Cum Hrs Earned||Hrs for Standing||Cum Quality Pts Earned||Cum GPA|
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.
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 that course. Dropping a course must be completed before the drop deadline, which is the second Tuesday of a regular semester. There is no fee for dropping a course, and the dropped course will not appear on the student's transcript. Depending on the student's course load, dropping a course might result in a tuition reduction.
Withdrawing from a Course
A student may terminate enrollment in a course by withdrawing from the course after the drop deadline but before the course adjustment 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 unable to complete some course requirements after the course adjustment deadline (typically during the thirteenth week of a regular semester class – see term calendar for exact date) may request that the instructor consider awarding a grade of "WP" (Withdrawn Passing) or "WF" (Withdrawn Failing). A student should not assume that a late withdrawal will be provided by the instructor. There is no obligation for the instructor to assign a "WP" or "WF" grade. The instructor determines the form (e.g., verbal, written) and timing of requests for a "WP" or "WF" grade. The student must ensure 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 Office of the Dean of Students 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 academic unit in which they are majoring.
The university strongly recommends that a student who earns a semester grade point average of less than 2.0 not register for more than 16 credit hours the following semester. A student on probation may not take more than 12 credit hours per semester without appropriate approval.
Academic Probation and Course Load
Students on academic probation must get the approval of the office of the 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 academic unit 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.
A student's participation in the work of a course is clearly a precondition to his/her 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.
Instructors' policies govern how many excused absences will be allowed and how these excused absences will be handled in their classes. However, certain absences are often considered legitimate:
- Scheduled absences (known in advance at the start or within the first two weeks of the semester).
- Religious observance where the nature of the observance prevents student from attending class.
- Scheduled necessary medical procedures.
- Participation in intercollegiate athletic competitions.
- Functions or performance activity related to academics (music, debate, workshop, academic conferences, etc.).
Faculty are strongly encouraged to publish, as part of the course syllabus and/or discuss during the initial class session, how many excused absences will be allowed, any mandatory and/or unrepeatable components of the course, and the expected procedure for requesting and obtaining approval for scheduled absences.
Students are required to notify the faculty by no later than the end of the Drop-Add period the first week of the semester of potential scheduled absences and determine with the faculty if mutually acceptable alternative methods exist for completing the missed classroom, lab, clinical/field or other required activities. This allows students to drop the course if it is determined that missed academic activities cannot be rescheduled in a reasonable fashion or that the absences would prevent adequate mastery of the material. Students are to submit verification of scheduled absences to the faculty by no later than the first class period of the second week of the semester. Examples of unexpectedly rescheduled absences (initially scheduled for one time, then changed with limited notice) and unforeseeable unscheduled absences (compelling, verifiable circumstances beyond the student's control) include:
- Activity season extended due to achieving berth in playoffs (verified by athletic director).
- Death in immediate family (verified by funeral director and/or copy of obituary).
- Disaster services or armed services activation for duty (verified by copy of official notification).
- Inclement weather postponement of the event or postponement and rescheduling of the event by external parties, e.g., illness of featured speaker (verified by event coordinator).
- Jury duty or court-ordered appearance (verified by clerk of the court).
- Other unavoidable compelling verifiable absence.
- Student illness or injury (verified by health care provider).
Students are to notify the faculty of each unexpected absence and determine with the faculty if mutually acceptable alternative methods exist for completing or demonstrating mastery of missed learning activities within one week of becoming aware of the projected absence. If required by the faculty, students are to submit verification of any absence to the faculty prior to the absence if possible and upon return to class if not possible prior to the absence. Faculty may consider the absence as unexcused if the student fails to comply with published notification and verification timeframes or procedures.
In order to audit a class, a student must have the permission of the instructor and the head of the academic unit offering the class. Audited courses will not affect a student's attempted and earned credit hours or grade point average.
Catalog of Record
Students are generally subject to the curricular and graduation requirements contained in the undergraduate catalog in effect upon or subsequent to their enrollment at JMU, with approval of the students' major program and the Office of the Registrar.
Students who leave and re-enter the university must consult with their academic unit head for designation of the appropriate catalog of record.
With the exception of undergraduates enrolled in adult degree programs, 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 General Education Program for applicability to the undergraduate degree program. Additional standards may apply in programs leading to licensure or certification.
Changes in Requirements
James Madison University is a progressive educational institution, and its offerings and requirements in the undergraduate catalog are under continual examination and revision. Revisions often affect currently enrolled students. Although the university attempts to alert students to these revisions through the academic advising process, individual reports of academic progress and various campus publications, responsibility for meeting all curricular and other graduation requirements rests with the students, who are encouraged to consult regularly with their program advisers as well as Career and Academic Planning.
|First year students||Fewer than 28|
|Seniors||More than 89|
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 on the Registrar's Web site. The end of the course adjustment period (approximately one week after midterm grades are due for a regular semester) is the deadline for withdrawing from a course and changing credit options for a semester course. First semester first year students (students who have taken 27 or fewer credit hours) must secure the prior approval of their faculty adviser for any course adjustments. Each student is responsible for knowing his/her registered course schedule and for making any desired course adjustments prior to the published registration deadlines.
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. These rights include:
- 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 student should submit to the registrar, dean, head of the academic unit or other appropriate official written requests that identify the record(s) he/she wishes to inspect. The university official will make arrangements for access and notify the student of the time and place where the records may be inspected. If the records are not maintained by the university official to whom the request was submitted, that official shall advise the student of the correct official to whom the request should be addressed.
- The right to request the amendment of the student's education records that the student believes are inaccurate or misleading.The student may ask the university to amend a record that he/she believes is inaccurate or misleading. The student should write the university official responsible for the record, clearly identify the part of the record he/she wants changed, and specify why it is inaccurate or misleading. If the university decides not to amend the record as requested by the student, the university will notify the student of the decision and advise the student of his/her right to a hearing regarding the request for amendment. Additional information regarding the hearing procedures will be provided to the student when notified of the right to a hearing.
- The right to consent to disclosures of personally identifiable information contained in the student's ducation records, except to the extent that FERPA authorizes disclosure without consent. One exception, which permits disclosure without consent, is disclosure to school officials with legitimate educational interests. A school official is a person employed by the university in an administrative, supervisory, academic or research, or support staff position (including law enforcement unit personnel and health staff); a person or company with whom the university has contracted (such as an attorney, auditor or collection agent);
a person serving on the Board of Trustees; or a student serving on an official committee, such as a disciplinary or grievance committee, or assisting another school official in performing his/ her tasks. A school official has a legitimate educational interest if the official needs to review an education record in order to fulfill his/her professional responsibility. Upon request, the university may disclose education records without consent to officials of another school in which a student seeks or intends to enroll. The following is considered "Directory Information" at James Madison University and may be made available to the general public unless the student notifies the Office of the Registrar in person or in writing within five days after the first day of class registration: Student's name, telephone numbers, addresses, major and minor fields of study, college of major and year (first year, sophomore, etc.), enrollment status (full-time/part-time) including credit hours, dates of attendance, degree sought and time, degrees conferred, awards and honors conferred, participation in officially recognized activities and sports, weight and height of members of athletic teams, the most recent previous educational agency or institution attended by the student, fraternity and/or sorority and educational societies.
- 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 name and address of the office that administers FERPA is: Family Policy Compliance Office, U.S. Department of Education, 400 Maryland Avenue, SW, Washington, DC 20202-4605.
For more detailed information concerning JMU's records policy, see James Madison University, Policies and Procedures, Policy 2112, The Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act.
Credit/No-credit Course Registration
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 electing to take courses under this option should be selective in choosing the courses that they take as credit/no-credit. Graduate and professional schools and future employers, however, might hold differing opinions of such a nontraditional grading system. For this reason, students should consult with their academic advisers for information concerning the inclusion of credit/no-credit course grades within their programs.
Students are eligible to take a course on a credit/no-credit basis if they have completed at least 28 credit hours at JMU and have attained a 2.25 cumulative grade point average or higher. Transfer students may take courses on the credit/no-credit option only if they have completed 28 credit hours with at least 14 hours at JMU.
JMU allows students to register for kinesiology activity courses on a credit/no-credit basis at any time without regard to minimum hours completed or grade point average. Also, grades for student teaching are assigned on a credit/no-credit basis. Except for field-based courses (which may be defined by an academic unit as credit/no-credit), the following courses may not be taken as credit/no-credit:
- Courses used to meet General Education requirements
- Courses used to meet declared major requirements
- Courses used to meet declared minor requirements
- Any course listed by subject name in the major or minor program, even if the course does not specifically satisfy a requirement for the major or minor
- Courses being repeated that were previously taken for a letter grade
- Degree requirements
Students should also keep in mind the following factors when considering the credit/no-credit option:
- Students can take up to 15 credit hours on a credit/no-credit basis.
- The university limits the maximum number of credit/no-credit courses a student can take to four credit hours per semester or one course of more than four credit hours per semester.
Student teaching is not counted as a part of these credit/no-credit totals.
- Students registering for classes should complete the required paperwork with the Office of the Registrar for courses that they plan to take on a credit/no-credit basis, and all changes to and from the credit/no-credit option must be completed by the end of the course adjustment period.
- The credit/no-credit option will only apply to final grades. All course work and quizzes will be graded as if the student were taking the course for credit.
Students taking a course on a credit/no-credit basis will only be identified to the instructor after final grades have been submitted.
- Instructors will submit letter grades to the university registrar who will then change all grades of "A" through "C" to "CR" (credit) for those students enrolled under the credit/no-credit option. (The university makes exceptions to this process for field-based courses designated by the academic unit.) Students will receive credit hours, but they will not receive quality points for the work completed. Therefore, the grade of "CR" will not affect a student's cumulative grade point averages.
- A grade of "NC" (no-credit) will be recorded for all grades of "C-" and below, and the student will not receive credit hours or quality points for the grade of "NC." The fact that the student took the course will remain on that student's transcript, but the grade assigned in that class will not affect that student's cumulative grade point average.
- Admission of High School Students as Special Students (Refer to the Office for Admissions Web site for more information.)
- Admission of First year students With Advanced Placement (See Page 15 for information concerning the College Board Advanced Placement program.)
- Credit by Examination
- Independent Study
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 in which credit is sought. A student will not be permitted to take the examination for credit option with any of the following conditions:
- The student is presently enrolled in the course.
- The student has previously completed the course.
- The course is a prerequisite for a course in which the student is currently enrolled or has completed.
- The course is numbered at a lower level than courses in which the student is currently enrolled or has previously completed without the expressed approval of the academic unit head.
- A student's grade in a course was assigned due to a violation of the Honor System.
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 academic unit 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.) 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.
Students are expected to attend final examinations during the times scheduled for those examinations. Extenuating circumstances, however, might prompt faculty members to approve a student's request for an exception to attending the final examination. Students whose requests for exceptions are disapproved by the relevant faculty members have the right to appeal to the relevant academic unit head or academic dean. No appeal will be favorably considered without prior consultation with the faculty member.
Final Examinations Missed Due to Inclement Weather or Emergency
In response to inclement weather and other emergencies, the university may be forced to cancel final exams. When the university closes due to weather or other types of emergencies, faculty will administer regularly scheduled final examinations at an official make-up time designated by the university unless otherwise announced in the course syllabus. The official make- up time will be designated as part of the closing announcement. Unless otherwise notified, make-up examination locations will be the same as locations for regularly scheduled exams.
If it is determined that exams cannot be given because of inclement weather or other emergency, faculty will assign final grades to students based on the exams, tests and projects completed prior to the regularly scheduled exam dates.
Grade Review Procedure
Maintaining standards of excellence and the integrity of the teaching/learning process are important values to JMU faculty. The university and its faculty members also recognize that grades may sometimes be inappropriately assigned. If such disagreements occur, students have a right to voice their opinion concerning a particular course grade. Evaluation of student work and assignment of grades on the basis of academic criteria are the responsibilities and prerogative exercised by the professor. It is the student's responsibility to maintain all documentation for his/her classes, including copies of assignments and grades earned.
Grade Change Procedure
If a student (graduate, undergraduate or post-baccalaureate) believes that a grade was assigned in error, because of a mistake in calculation or an error in recording a grade, the student should consult the professor (or professors, in the case of a jointly taught course) before the Friday of the second full week of classes in the regular semester following the semester of the contested grade to resolve the discrepancy. Requests for review of spring semester or summer session grades must be initiated no later than the Monday of the third full week of classes in the subsequent fall semester. It is the student's responsibility to maintain all documentation for his/her classes, including copies of assignments and grades earned. If the professor agrees that a change should be made, the professor should submit a Grade Change Form, available from the Office of the Registrar, and forward it to the relevant academic unit head or cluster coordinator for signature. A copy of the Grade Change Form will be forwarded to the dean. The only basis for this type of change is an error in grade assignment or calculation.
Grade Review Process
If a student (graduate, undergraduate or post-baccalaureate) believes that a final course grade was unfairly awarded, that student may initiate the grade review process. Students should be aware that, as a result of review, a grade may be raised, lowered or left the same.
Evaluation of student work and assignment of grades on the basis of academic criteria are the responsibilities of and prerogative exercised by the professor teaching that particular course. Grounds for grade review are limited to two categories.
- The grade was assigned in a manner other than that listed in the course syllabus or as amended by the professor with appropriate notice.
- The grade was assigned in a manner other than that used for other students in the class.
Activating the Grade Review Process
To activate the grade review process, the student should follow these steps.
- The student submits a Grade Review Form (available at www.jmu.edu/registrar/forms.shtml or the Office of the Registrar) to the appropriate professor by Monday of the third full week of classes in the regular semester that follows the semester for which the contested grade was given. The student should attach a written explanation of reasons for the dispute, including any documentation relating to the disputed grade. Requests for review of spring semester or summer session grades must be initiated no later than the Monday of the third full week of classes in the subsequent fall semester.
- The student communicates with the professor by Friday of the third full week of classes to attempt to resolve the concern.
- If the student and the professor reach an agreement that the grade should be changed, the professor changes the grade by submitting a Grade Change Form to the appropriate academic unit head for that individual's signature. A copy of this signed Grade Change Form will be forwarded to the dean. For graduate students whose grade of "C," "U" or "F" is to be changed, notice of the grade change must be sent to The Graduate School before that change occurs.
- If no resolution is reached, the professor signs the Grade Review Form and records a written response on the reverse side of the form. The professor returns the original copy of this form to the student, retains a copy of the form for his/her personal records and forwards a copy to the relevant academic unit head by Friday of the fourth full week of classes.
- The student must contact the relevant academic unit head by the Friday of the fifth full week of classes to request review of statement and response.
- The academic unit head then meets with the student and confers with the relevant professor.
- The academic unit head signs the Grade Review Form and records a written response on the reverse side of the form by Friday of the seventh full week of classes. The student receives the original copy of this form, the relevant professor receives a copy of the form and the sender retains a copy of the form.
- If all involved parties agree that the grade should be changed, the professor submits a Grade Change Form to the academic unit head and the appropriate individual signs the form. A copy of the form will be forwarded to the dean. Notice of the grade change must also be sent to The Graduate School before the grade change occurs for graduate students who have a grade of "C," "U" or "F" changed to some other grade.
After the review process outlined has been completed, a student can also request that the form, documentation and responses be reviewed by the dean of the college in which the class was taught. The college dean's responsibility is only to ascertain whether all parties have had an opportunity to present all relevant facts and have received a fair and impartial hearing at each level. To enter this phase of the process, a student should follow these procedures.
- The student contacts the dean by Friday of the eighth full week of classes and requests that the dean review the overall process.
- The college dean reviews the process to be sure the student and the faculty member have had a fair hearing.
If the relevant college dean believes that due process was not followed during the review process, the dean consults with the relevant professor and academic unit head or cluster coordinator to resolve the dispute.
- The relevant college dean sends a written response to all involved parties by Friday of the 10th full week of classes. This written response is appended to the Grade Review Form. The dean returns the original copy to the student, retains a copy for him/herself and sends a copy to the relevant academic unit head and the relevant professor.
If it is agreed that the student's grade should be changed, the relevant professor submits a Grade Change Form to the academic unit head. The recipient then signs the form and forwards a copy to the dean. Notice of the grade change must also be sent to The Graduate School before the grade change occurs for graduate students who have a grade of "C," "U" or "F" changed to some other grade.
There is no further review beyond college dean. The entire process will not extend past the end of the semester following the contested grade with the exception of grades given for summer session courses.
Students who spend a semester abroad should submit the Grade Review Form to the relevant professor by the Monday of the third full week of classes in the semester following the semester during which the grade was given. These students must also notify the professor of their semester absence from campus.
Students can complete a written explanation of the reasons for the dispute and can submit relevant documentation upon their return to campus, but that student cannot submit the request after the end of that semester.
If a faculty member is not on campus when a student wants to initiate a grade review, the student should contact the academic unit head to begin the process.
Grades for block courses are officially recorded at the end of the semester; therefore, a grade review process for a block grade should follow the same procedure as for a semester course.
The faculty adviser and the academic unit head make the official check on major and minor course requirements for graduation. The Office of the Registrar makes the final check on courses required for the final term, total credit earned, the General Education program, degree requirements and the cumulative GPA earned at the university, as well as other university-wide requirements.
To receive a degree from JMU, a student must:
- Meet the General Education requirements.
- Have a minimum of 120 earned credit hours accepted by JMU.
- Have a cumulative grade point average of 2.0 or better at JMU.
- Have a cumulative grade point average of 2.0 or better in the major and minor subjects at JMU.
- Meet the major and degree requirements of one of the curricula leading to the degree for which they are candidates.
- Have been enrolled at JMU a minimum of two regular semesters and have earned a minimum of 30 credit hours at JMU during that period of enrollment.
- Be enrolled at JMU during the semester in which the requirements for the degree are completed.
- Have earned at least 60 credit hours accepted by JMU from accredited senior (four-year) institutions of higher education, including JMU.
- A student expecting to graduate at the end of any semester must file an Application for a Bachelor's Degree, available at the registrar's office, with the university registrar as specified in the University Calendar. Responsibility for meeting graduation requirements rests with the student.
A student who has applied to graduate may participate in commencement exercises only if the student has fulfilled or is reasonably expected to fulfill all applicable graduation requirements prior to the date of the commencement exercises. A student who is reasonably expected to fulfill all applicable graduation requirements no later than the end of summer session may participate in the spring commencement exercises immediately preceding the summer term.
Attendance at commencement exercises is expected. If a student is unable to attend commencement, the university registrar must be notified at least 21 days prior to commencement.
Permission to participate in (or actual participation in) commencement exercises does not mean or imply that a student has fulfilled all applicable graduation requirements.
Before becoming eligible for graduation with honors, a student must successfully complete the following:
- Enrollment at JMU for a minimum of four regular semesters.
- Completion of a minimum of 60 credit hours at JMU.
- A minimum cumulative grade point average of 3.50 on all course work completed at James
- Madison University, including any work completed beyond four semesters or 60 credit hours.
Graduation honors will then be determined as specified in the following table based on all course work, including course work taken at other colleges.
Cumulative Averages Required for Graduation Honors
|Magna cum laude||3.70-3.899|
|Summa cum laude||3.9 and above|
These standards apply only to students entering JMU for the first time in fall 1996 and thereafter.
Requirements for graduation with honors for students who entered JMU prior to 1996 are regulated by the catalog in effect at the time they enrolled.
All grades received in all courses attempted will be used to calculate the grade point average in consideration for graduation with honors. Grades and credits completed at other colleges will be converted to the JMU grading system.
Graduation honors will be noted in the printed commencement program. The graduation honors printed in the program will be based on the grade point average at the end of the semester preceding the semester in which final graduation requirements are met. However, for students who participate in the May ceremony but complete requirements in summer session, the honors noted in the commencement program will be based on the grade point average earned at the end of the preceding fall semester. Final graduation honors recorded on the diploma and transcript will be determined by the grade point average at the end of the semester in which all graduation requirements are met.
The title of Valedictorian is an honor bestowed by the Faculty Senate on behalf of the JMU faculty. Criteria were established by the Faculty Senate. It is given to the May graduate with the highest grade point average who has also earned at least 100 credit hours at James Madison University as of the fall semester prior to the student's May graduation. The student must have completed an average of at least 14 credit hours per fall and spring semester during his/her career at JMU. The grade point average will be calculated using grades recorded on the official transcript through the fall semester of the student's last year of undergraduate enrollment.
The Academic Excellence Award is an honor bestowed by the JMU Faculty Senate on behalf of the JMU faculty. Criteria were established by the Faculty Senate. It is for the student graduating in August or December who holds a grade point average that equals or exceeds that of the valedictorian and who has earned at least 100 credit hours at James Madison University. The student must have completed an average of at least 14 credit hours per fall and spring semester during his/her career at JMU. The grade point average will be calculated using grades recorded on the official transcript through the spring semester of the student's last year of undergraduate enrollment. When more than one student qualifies for the Valedictorian or Academic Excellence Awards, each qualified student will be recognized.
Graduation with Second Baccalaureate Degree
A student may only earn two different baccalaureate degrees through concurrent or consecutive enrollment at James Madison University. The following requirements must be met to earn a second degree:
- Earn a minimum of 150 credit hours, including a minimum of 60 hours at JMU.
- Meet all degree and university graduation requirements for both degree programs.
- Meet all prerequisite and course requirements in two different major fields.
Students who hold a baccalaureate degree from another institution may not earn a second baccalaureate degree at James Madison University.
Grievance Procedure for Students
This policy applies to student grievances against faculty that do not concern grades, discrimination or harassment. Policies for grievances concerning these matters are outlined elsewhere.
- Each academic unit head will appoint an advisery committee made up of faculty and students from the academic unit that will hear grievances of students. The advisery committee may take any of the following actions:
- Examine materials submitted by the student and the party grieved against ("respondent").
- Interview the student and the respondent.
- Interview any witnesses requested by the student, the respondent or the committee.
- Request additional materials from any person or entity relevant to the charges.
- Make a recommendation on the grievance to the academic unit head.
Following exhaustion of campus-based procedures, students may direct complaints to the State Council of Higher Education for Virginia. Additional information is available from their Web site at http://www.schev.edu/students/studentcomplaint.asp.
It is the established policy of JMU to provide a work and study environment for faculty and staff members and students free from all forms of harassment, intimidation and exploitation. Questions, assistance or violations related to this policy should be directed to the university's Office of Equal Opportunity, 1017 Harrison Street, (540) 568-6991. Prohibited harassment is offensive verbal or physical conduct when:
As an alternative, the student may deal with harassment in any of the following ways. If a student believes that he/she has been harassed by a staff member, faculty member or by a student employee, the student should take one or more of the following actions:
- Discuss the matter with the faculty or staff member involved, explaining why a particular comment or action was offensive.
- Discuss the matter with the immediate supervisor of the faculty or staff member, giving an account of the comment or action in question.
If the student believes that he/she has been harassed by a student, the student should take one or more of the following actions:
- Discuss the matter with the accused, explaining why a particular comment or action was offensive.
- Bring a charge of harassment to the Office of Judicial Affairs in Frederickson Hall, C-Section.
If a student employee believes that he/she has been a victim of harassment, he/she should take one or more of the following actions:
- Discuss the matter with the accused, explaining why a particular comment or action was offensive.
- Discuss the matter with the immediate supervisor of the accused, giving an account of the comment or action in question.
- Contact the student employment office at (540) 568-3269.
Regardless of who the alleged harasser is, a student may discuss the matter with the Associate Vice President for Student Affairs, the Director of the Counseling and Student Development Center or the Office of Equal Employment, giving full details of the alleged harassment. The student will be advised of proper university procedures that can be pursued. If requested, complaints will be held in confidence and counseling will be provided. No investigation or action against the accused person will be taken on a student's behalf unless the student consents to be identified, if necessary, to the individual accused in connection with the investigation.
A student also has the option of filing a formal charge of harassment with the U.S. Department of Education. Contact information is available from the affirmative action officer at 1017 Harrison Street.
The academic program at JMU operates under an Honor System that dates back to the 1909-10 academic session. Students adopted the present Honor System in order to uphold individual and community integrity. Each student is expected to observe complete honesty in all academic matters and to report instances where another student has violated the Honor System.
A student Honor Council administers the Honor System, and every student who matriculates at the university, whether graduate or undergraduate, becomes a member of the Honor System. The university expects the cooperation of faculty members and administrators in upholding this Honor System. The Student Handbook provides full information on the Honor System, and the Honor Council office provides students with assistance in understanding Honor System policy. All incoming JMU students are required to complete an online Honor System Tutorial and test during their first semester.
The Honor Council encourages all members of the JMU community to familiarize themselves with the Honor Code and Honor System procedures. The Honor Council office is located in Chandler Hall, rooms 133 and 133A.
Students entering JMU should confer with their advisers in order to determine a major program of study. If entering students have not decided on a specific major, they may register as undeclared. JMU encourages undeclared students to discuss their interests with representatives from the office of Career and Academic Planning, professors, academic unit heads and fellow students to find a major program best suited to each student's goals and interests.
Failure to do so could extend the time that students will need to fulfill graduation requirements. Students who would like assistance in identifying career options related to their specific majors can participate in the Major and Career Decisions Program through the office of Career and Academic Planning. The program helps students decide on career direction by assessing their career interests, skills and abilities as well as providing information about career options.
Declaration of Major
All students must declare their major by the beginning of their sophomore year. To declare a major, students should obtain a Change or Declaration of Major Form from the Office of the Registrar. Students must take this form to the head of the academic unit they wish to enter. Academic units accept students on the basis of their academic records and on the satisfaction of other criteria the academic units might establish. Academic units assign advisers for students who are beyond the level of a first year student. The Change or Declaration of Major Form is due in the Office of the Registrar by the third Friday of the first semester of sophomore year. Declaration by the deadline will ensure eligibility for continued enrollment at the university.
Transfer students who enter JMU with 30 or more credit hours must declare a major upon acceptance to the university.
Change of Major
Students who would like to change their major should obtain a Change or Declaration of Major Form from the Office of the Registrar. Students must take this form to the head of the academic unit they wish to enter. Academic units accept students on the basis of their academic records and on the satisfaction of other criteria the academic units might establish. Academic units assign advisers for students who are accepted as majors.
Makeup Days for Classes Missed Due to Inclement Weather or Emergency
When it is necessary to cancel classes due to weather or other emergencies, faculty have several options for making up the missed instructional time.
- Hold class at the regularly scheduled time on the official university make-up day, normally the Saturday immediately following the missed class.
- Hold class at a time acceptable to all class members other than the regularly scheduled time or the official make-up day. Time and location will be arranged by the academic unit.
- Accommodate the missed instructional time within remaining class meeting time.
- Hold class through electronic means.
Misconduct in Research and Other Scholarly Work
Policy 2205, concerning Misconduct in Research and Other Scholarly Work, applies to all individuals involved in the performance of scholarly and creative activity and research conducted at JMU, whether performed under external or internal funding. It applies to all scientists, trainees, technicians and other staff members, students, fellows, guest researchers or collaborators.
Misconduct as defined under this policy means fabrication, falsification, plagiarism or other practices that seriously deviate from those that are commonly accepted within the scientific and academic community for proposing, conducting or reporting research. Misconduct by a student under this policy may result in disciplinary action up to and including expulsion from the university, loss of fellowship or scholarship and potential criminal prosecution.
Nonreturning Students and Leave of Absence
Students who plan to complete their current semester but who will not return to JMU for the subsequent semester (excluding summer term) must notify the Office of the Registrar in writing to ensure cancellation of housing assignments, courses for which they have pre-registered and tuition charges.
Students who are planning a temporary interruption in their studies at JMU should formally request a leave of absence by completing a Non-Returning/Leave of Absence Notice or in the Office of the Registrar, 300 Warren Hall. Questions concerning the status of non-returning or leave of absence should be directed to the Office of the Registrar.
Prerequisite and Eligibility Requirements
Students should consult the appropriate catalog to determine prerequisite or eligibility requirements for course selections. Without special permission, students cannot take for credit a course for which the prerequisite has not been met or for which they are not eligible. In addition, students cannot take for credit a course that is a prerequisite to a course they have already taken.
Many courses require other courses as prerequisites. Students should be aware that a course in which they receive a grade below "C" probably does not adequately prepare them to take a course which requires the first as a prerequisite. Before continuing on to a succeeding course, students should discuss their level of preparation with the professor of the second course and decide whether or not they need to retake the first course to improve their understanding as well as their grade.
Re-entry to the University
Degree-seeking students who have not attended JMU for one or more semesters and who wish to return to their studies at JMU are classified as re-entry students. The re-entry process is contingent upon the student's length of absence and academic standing at the time of departure.
To avoid delays in registration, the Intent to Enroll Form (for students who have been absent from JMU for less than two years) or the Undergraduate Re-entry Form (for students who have been absent for two or more years) must be submitted by the indicated deadline for the anticipated semester of return. The Intent to Enroll Form is available on the Web. The Re-entry Form is also available on the Web. All registration holds must be cleared before the student will be eligible to register.
Re-entry after Absence of Less Than Two Calendar Years
Students in Good Standing
Students who left the university in good standing and who have been absent for one semester or more without declaring a formal leave of absence must submit an Intent to Enroll Form to the Office of the Registrar.
Students in good standing who have declared a formal leave of absence for non-medical reasons will be automatically activated and eligible to register for the stated semester of return without further action on their part (provided there is resolution of outstanding registration holds). Activation for students who take a leave of absence for documented medical or mental health reasons will be contingent on receipt of a letter from the attending physician indicating the student is able to attend classes. This letter must be received in the Office of the Registrar by the deadlines indicated previously.
Students on Academic Probation
Students who left the university on academic probation, and who have been absent for one semester or more, must submit an Intent to Enroll Form directly to the Director of Academic Student Services, MSC 7506. A personal statement citing the reason for departure and interim activities must accompany the form. Re-entry and continued enrollment are not guaranteed, but are contingent upon review by an academic review committee chaired by the Director of Academic Student Services. Such review may result in denial or conditional re-entry.
Students on Academic Suspension
Students who are placed on a first academic suspension may follow the appeal process stated in their suspension notification or apply for re-entry after the suspension period. A personal statement citing the reason for departure and interim activities must accompany all Intent to Enroll Forms. Students must submit all documents to the Director of Academic Student Services, MSC 7506. Re-entry and continued enrollment are not guaranteed but contingent upon review by an academic review committee chaired by the Director of Academic Student Services. Such review may result in denial or conditional re-entry.
With prior approval from the dean of the major college and the Office of the Registrar, a suspended student may choose to take courses at another institution. Course work completed during the period of suspension may be considered as part of the criteria for re-entry, but courses taken at another institution cannot be used to raise the grade point average at JMU, nor will the courses automatically transfer to JMU.
A maximum of 12 semester hours will be accepted as transfer credits. These hours will be considered once the student has been readmitted and has earned a minimum semester grade point average of 2.0 in at least 12 credit hours attempted during the semester of return.
Re-entry after Second Suspension or Absence Exceeding Two Calendar Years
Students who are eligible to apply for re-entry after an absence of two or more calendar years, regardless of their academic standing at the time of departure, must apply for readmission through the Office of Academic Student Services. Readmission is not automatic but subject to committee review of the application, the personal statement citing the reason for absence and evaluation of work completed at JMU as well as work completed at other institutions during the student's absence from JMU.
If a degree-seeking student leaves James Madison University after earning a portion of General Education credits and earns an approved Virginia Community College System (VCCS) Associate Degree, JMU will accept it in fulfillment of General Education requirements. Students who earn the approved degree while on academic suspension status from James Madison University are only eligible to re-enter James Madison University by agreeing to apply for the Transfer Equivalent Option upon their approved return to James Madison University.
Semester course listings are available on the university's internet accessible information system at http://ecampus.jmu.edu. The university expects all students to register on the dates indicated in the registration calendar.
Credit is not allowed in any course for which the student is not duly registered, and registration is not complete until all fees for the semester have been paid.
JMU requires students to take a series of student outcomes assessments prior to their graduation. These assessments are held at three stages of students' academic careers, including:
- as entering students
- at the mid-undergraduate point when they have earned 45 to 70 credit hours, typically their sophomore year
- as graduating seniors in their academic major(s)
Testing at the first two stages occurs on scheduled Assessment Days in the fall and spring semesters. During these assessments, students are tested on their knowledge in general education areas such as history, science, mathematics and fine arts. In addition, students may also complete tests measuring critical thinking, cultural knowledge, and intellectual and personal development. Testing of seniors in their major(s) occurs on the spring Assessment Day or is embedded in academic unit courses. The university encourages students to review program requirements for further details.
The information gained during assessment makes it possible to compare students who have completed course work in certain areas to those who have not. Transfer students' scores are compared with the scores of students who began their studies at JMU. In addition, assessment in the majors allows programs to determine if the majors are achieving the goals and objectives the academic units have specified. Because these assessments are important to the improvement of JMU's academic and student affairs programs, students are required to participate.
Entering students who miss the scheduled assessments (fall Assessment Day) will receive a hold on their records and will be unable to register for spring courses or make fall course adjustments until such time as the assessments are completed. Students who miss the mid-undergraduate assessments (spring Assessment Day) will receive a hold on their records and will be unable to register for fall courses or make course adjustments until such time as the assessments are completed.
JMU does not report individual student scores; the university does, however, report aggregated test results to measure how programs and services contribute to student learning and development and for student progression based on competency attainment in selected programs. Assessment results are reported within JMU and to external audiences. Internally, group-level assessment results are shared with faculty committees and administrators across the campus to improve university programs. Externally, JMU releases findings on how students perform in general education areas. This information is used to compare the overall performance of JMU students to students from other universities in Virginia. As a result, each student has an impact on these overall scores. The Center for Assessment and Research Studies administers assessment days and works with faculty for assessment of all academic majors and student affairs programs.
Semester Honors Lists
To qualify for the honor of being placed on the President's List, a student must earn a grade point average of 3.900 or above and carry a course load of at least twelve graded credit hours (i.e., exclusive of credit hours taken on a credit/no credit basis).
To qualify for the Dean's list, a student must meet the President's List requirement for course load and earn a grade point average of 3.500-3.899.
Moreover, student teachers cannot expect to work or participate in excessive extracurricular activities during their student teaching period as any interference with student teaching might lower the quality of the individual's performance. Students with problems or special needs must contact the Education Support Center. All student teaching grades are assigned on a credit/no-credit basis.
The permanent academic record or transcript is the official record of a student's grades earned to date, and it includes the date of graduation, degree received and date of withdrawal or dismissal.
The Office of the Registrar may release a student's transcript upon receipt of a written request from the student or former student and for authorized research purposes.
Transfer Equivalent Policy for Readmitted Students
A student who returns to JMU after a separation of two calendar years and who maintains a minimum 2.0 GPA for 12 credit hours attempted at JMU after his/her return is eligible to apply for the transfer equivalent policy. This policy allows a student a quality point status equivalent to that of a transfer student admitted to the university.
The student's new GPA will initially be that attempted in the 12 credit hours taken upon readmission. In order to exercise this option, the student must submit a Transfer Equivalent Option (TEO) Form to the Director of Academic Student Services.
The following regulations govern this option.
- The option must be exercised within 30 days of receiving written correspondence from the Director of Academic Student Services indicating TEO requirements have been met.
- A student with outstanding "I" grades is not eligible to apply.
- A student who leaves the university while in good standing is not eligible to apply.
- All grades will remain a part of the transcript.
- An eligible student will receive degree credit for only those courses for which grades of "C" or better were earned prior to readmission.
- Quality points earned for any course completed prior to readmission will not count in determining the student's new cumulative grade point average.
- A student whose application for the transfer equivalent policy has been approved may request that credit hours for pre-approved courses taken at another institution be transferred to JMU.
- The request will be reviewed by the office of the major college dean and the Office of the Registrar.
- The option will be extended only once during the student's enrollment at JMU.
A student interested in this option must re-apply to the university through the Office of Academic Student Services according to established deadlines.
Transfer of Credit from Other Institutions
A student wishing to earn credits at another institution, either in the summer or during a regular session, must obtain permission from the Office of the Registrar in advance of taking courses from another institution. Following consultation with the head of the academic unit if necessary, the Office of the Registrar will make the determination concerning the course and its application toward a JMU degree.
For a student on academic suspension status, a maximum of 12 semester hours will be accepted as transfer credits. These hours will be considered once the student has been readmitted and has earned a minimum semester grade point average of 2.0 in at least 12 credit hours attempted during the semester of return.
The General Education program allows students to transfer credit for a particular course based on a comparison of course objectives and content at JMU with those at the other institution. Once students have enrolled for classes at JMU, however, they are expected to complete the General Education program here. The Dean of University Studies, the Associate Dean of University Studies or a Cluster Coordinator must approve any exception to this policy.
After students have enrolled for classes, some restrictions will be applied to transferring in credit for the General Education program. These restrictions include the following policies:
- Students will be allowed to transfer in no more than three courses for General Education credit.
- No more than one transferred course may be applied to any one cluster.
- Transfer credit will not be awarded for course offerings in Cluster Four, The American Experience (GHIST 225, GJUST 225 and GPOSC 225) due to the content and unique features of these courses.
Special exceptions to these policies will be reviewed on an individual basis. Such exceptions may include those students who wish to participate in study abroad programs or other special circumstances.
The student is responsible for having an official transcript mailed to the Office of the Registrar when the work has been completed.
Credit hours will be awarded for approved courses carrying a "C" or better grade (2.0 quality points). Grades for courses taken at another institution are not included in grade point average calculations although they will be used in determining graduation honors for eligible students.
Undergraduate Grading System
The university keeps a complete record of each student's work and makes grades available to students through the online student information system (e-campus) at the end of each semester. Mid-semester grades in all courses are also made available through the online student information system (e-campus) to new first year students. Grades are not mailed to students.
Letter grades and quality points express the academic achievement of a student in a specific course. The quality point values listed in the previous table are earned for each semester credit hour.
A course in which a grade of "F" is received does not result in earned credit hours, but does count as credit hours attempted in computing the grade point average. A course in which a grade of "WP" or "WF" is received neither results in earned credit hours nor counts as credit hours attempted in computing the grade point average.
The academic achievement of a student in a specific course is expressed by letters as in the following table.
|CR||Credit for average or better work|
|NC||No credit awarded|
|WP||Withdrawal while passing|
|WF||Withdrawal while failing|
In certain circumstances, a grade of "NP" (denoting that an irregularity has resulted in a "Not Processed" designation) or "I" (recorded by faculty and denoting incomplete work in a given course) will be given for a course. An "NP" or "I" grade will automatically be converted to a permanent "F" grade at the end of the next regular semester. It is imperative that a student receiving any "NP" grade contact the Office of the Registrar as soon as possible to make sure that appropriate action is taken to remedy the problem. Any student receiving an "I" grade should follow the university policy on incomplete grades.
Grade Point Average
The university computes a student's grade point average for any period by dividing the number of quality points earned during that period by the number of credit hours attempted during the same period. For instance, during a period in which a student attempts 16 credit hours and earns 40 quality points, the student's GPA is 2.5.
A student's cumulative GPA is computed by dividing the total number of quality points earned at JMU by the total number of credit hours attempted at JMU.
Except as set forth under the Graduation with Honors policy, all references to grade point average denote the grade point average derived from course work taken at JMU.
The "I" symbol is used to indicate incomplete work in a given course and is awarded only when a student is unable to complete course work because of illness or another equally compelling reason.
Courses in which a student receives a grade of "I" must be completed by the end of the next regular semester, or the grade is recorded permanently as "F." (See the University Calendar for the dates by which grade changes must be reported to the Office of the Registrar.) A student seeking a grade of "I" must make that request to the relevant faculty member before the end of the semester in which that course is taking place.
The following do not affect quality points earned, credit hours attempted or GPA:
- Grades received at other institutions (except when used in determining graduation honors for eligible students).
- Audited courses.
- "I," "CR," "NC," "W," "WP" or "WF" grades.
|Quality Points Earned|
|Grade||Per Credit Hour|
|CR (Credit for work which is at the 2.0 level or above)||0|
|NC (No credit awarded)||0|
|WP (Withdrawal while passing)||0|
|WF (Withdrawal while failing)||0|
A student may repeat any of the courses that he/she has taken at JMU. All grades will be included when calculating the student's grade point average. There are, however, certain exceptions to this rule.
Students may elect to repeat up to two courses during their enrollment at JMU on a "repeat forgiveness" basis. As a result of the "repeat forgiveness" option, the university will exclude the previous grade and credit hours earned for the repeated course when it calculates the student's cumulative GPA and earned credit hours total, regardless of whether the previous grade was higher or lower than the repeat attempt. Both grades will appear on the transcript, and the recalculation of the cumulative GPA will occur after the repeat/forgiveness attempt. The student must either declare the "repeat forgiveness" option at registration or complete the appropriate adjustment form prior to the end of the course adjustment period. A student may not exercise the repeat/forgiveness option for courses in which that student was assigned a grade as a result of an Honor Code violation.
All grades will appear on the student's transcript, but a course that has been repeated will only be counted once toward satisfying graduation requirements. Courses taken at other institutions do not qualify to be taken as "repeat forgiveness."
Unit of Credit
The JMU academic calendar is based on the semester system. The unit of credit is the credit hour. A credit hour represents one 50-minute class period each week in the semester for lectures, or two 50-minute class periods for each week in the semester for laboratory or fieldwork.
Withdrawal from the University
Students withdraw from the university when their enrollment is terminated before these students have completed the semester for which they registered. Students who decide to withdraw during the first three weeks of the semester must complete the Non-Returning/Leave of Absence Notice available at and submit it to the Office of the Registrar. Students desiring to withdraw after the third week of the semester must contact the Office of the Dean of Students at (540) 568-6468.
The Office of the Dean of Students must approve such withdrawal requests, set the official withdrawal date and notify other university offices of the withdrawal. Strict compliance with this requirement is mandatory. Students who withdraw without receiving official approval will receive a grade of "F" for all courses in which they are enrolled.
Students who withdraw with official approval will receive grades based upon the following criteria:
- Students who withdraw from the university before the end of the course adjustment period will receive a grade of "W" in all their courses.
- Students who withdraw from the university for physical or mental health reasons will receive a grade of "W" in all courses and will receive a prorated refund for tuition, room and board, and fees. A letter from their appropriate health care provider must support a medical withdrawal. Re-entry to the university is contingent on receipt of a letter from their appropriate health care provider, and this letter must clearly indicate that the student is able to attend classes. Students who receive a mental health withdrawal must also be absent from the university for a period of at least 90 days. Supporting documentation for the student's return to the university must be received at least 30 days before re-entry. Students must have been in counseling to be eligible for a mental health withdrawal.
- Students who withdraw from the university because of documented extenuating circumstances after the end of the course adjustment period will receive a grade of "W" in all their courses.
- Students who withdraw from the university after the end of the course adjustment period, and who do not have documented extenuating circumstances that justify their withdrawal, will receive a grade of "W" in courses they are passing at the time of the withdrawal and a grade of "F" in courses they are failing at the time of withdrawal. These students will not receive a tuition or housing refund. Individual faculty members determine whether or not a student is passing a course.
Certain nondegree-seeking special students enrolled in an on- or off-campus course must also withdraw from the university by securing a Withdrawal Application form from the Office of the Dean of Students. This form must be completed and returned to the Office of the Dean of Students, which will process the official withdrawal. Any adjustment in charges will be calculated from the last date of attendance.
No adjustment in charges will be made unless the withdrawal form is received by the Office of the Dean of Students within 30 days after the student leaves the campus or does not attend classes.
Adjustments will not include nonrefundable fees or charges. See "Financial Aid, Scholarships and Student Employment" and "Tuition and Fees" for further information on refunds.
Armed Services Active Duty Support
James Madison University supports students called to active duty in the armed services by providing for tuition relief and refunds, and for reinstatement of students whose documented service in the uniformed services has required their sudden withdrawal or prolonged absence from their enrollment in the institution. Included is service in the uniformed services whether voluntary or involuntary on active duty in the Armed Forces, including such service by a member of the National Guard or Reserve. When a JMU student is under call or ordered to active duty for a period of more than 30 days, the following provisions will apply.
Undergraduate and Graduate Students
Students should complete Withdrawal or Leave of Absence forms and include a copy of the applicable military orders to qualify for the considerations detailed in this policy.
The Withdrawal Process is appropriate for students who are enrolled in a semester, are deployed to active duty military service and must begin that duty before the current semester has ended. Withdrawal forms are available through the Office of the Dean of Students located in Taylor Hall Room 300.
A Leave of Absence is appropriate for students who are deployed to active duty military service, but do not need to begin duty during a current semester; for example, if duty will begin during a future semester before classes begin. The Leave of Absence Form is available online.
Tuition Charges and Student Account Balances
If an enrolled student is deployed to active duty military service during the semester, the student can:
- Drop all classes and all tuition charges will be waived with:
- Personal payments refunded
- Financial aid adjusted as required
- Financial aid refunds repaid by student if appropriate
- Maintain all or part of enrollment with:
- Tuition adjusted accordingly
- Financial aid adjusted as required
- Financial aid refunds repaid by student if appropriate
If there are unpaid student account balances at time of deployment, the university will work with individual students on payment arrangements. No collection actions will occur during deployment; however, student must resolve any unpaid balances prior to subsequent enrollment
Room and Board
If an enrolled student is deployed to active duty military service during the semester, the student's dining and residence hall contract will be adjusted as follows.
- Board fees will be prorated from the dining hall opening date.
- A per diem refund of the room rent will be issued based on the student's official check-out date.
When a student is called to active duty, a full refund for textbooks purchased for the semester in progress is available through the university bookstore by presenting the textbooks and a copy of the applicable military orders.
For new students, an enrollment deposit is required to confirm their acceptance of the offer of admission. If a student is deployed to active duty military service before beginning the planned semester of enrollment, the deposit will be refunded.
For returning students, deposits made with the intent of securing facilities or services in a future session will be refunded in full.
If an enrolled student is deployed to active duty military service during the semester, the student will have three options concerning grades assigned for the semester in which the call to active duty occurs.
- If the student leaves at any time during the semester and elects to receive a full tuition refund, no notation of courses or grades will be recorded on the student's transcript.
- If the student elects to receive an "I" (Incomplete), the regulation regarding conversion of an "I" to "F" grade will be suspended until the student returns to campus. Should the student not return to JMU, the "I" will revert to a "W" (Withdrawal).
- If the student leaves at a point in the semester after which a significant amount of work has been completed, the student may request the assignment of a grade for work completed. This option requires join agreement of the student and faculty member(s).
Deferral of Enrollment
If an undergraduate student has been admitted to James Madison University and is called to active military duty or enlists in the National Guard before enrolling, the student may request a deferral of admission using the process below.
The student must submit a letter to the Director of Admissions requesting a deferment. In the letter the student should provide the reason for the request (call to active duty or National Guard boot camp will not end until after the start of the semester that the student intended to enroll) and indicate the term they wish to enroll (the term can be changed if needed).
The request is reviewed by the director of admissions who sends a letter notifying the student that his/her request has been granted and indicates when JMU expects the student to enroll. The director of admissions will also inform the following offices of the deferment: Registrar's Office; University Business Office; Financial Aid & Scholarships; Orientation Office; Residence Life, Career & Academic Planning; and University Advising (for transfer students).
During the semester prior to scheduled enrollment, JMU will send the student a letter explaining what needs to be done prior to the start of his/her enrollment at JMU.
If the student's discharge from the service is delayed, the student contacts the director of admissions and requests an extension of his/her deferment. The director will approve the delay and inform the following offices: University Business Office; Financial Aid & Scholarships; Orientation Office; Residence Life, Career & Academic Planning; and University Advising (for transfer students).
Formerly enrolled undergraduate degree-seeking students who have not attended JMU for one or more semesters and who wish to return to their studies at JMU are classified as re-entry students.
The re-entry process is contingent upon the student's length of absence and academic standing at the time of departure. To avoid delays in registration, the Intent to Enroll Form (for undergraduate students who have been absent from JMU for less than two years) or the Office of Admissions Re-entry Form (for students who have been absent for two or more years) must be submitted by the indicated deadline for the anticipated semester of return. All registration holds must be cleared before the student will be eligible to register.
Re-entry after Absence of Less Than Two Calendar Years
Undergraduate Students in Good Standing
Students who left the university in good standing and who have been absent for one semester or more without declaring a formal leave of absence must submit an Intent to Enroll Form to the Office of the Registrar. Students in good standing who have declared a formal leave of absence due to being called to active military duty will be automatically activated and eligible to register for the stated semester of return without further action on their part, provided there is resolution of outstanding registration holds.
Undergraduate Students on Academic Probation or Suspension
Students who were on academic probation or suspension when they left the university for active military duty, and who have been absent for one semester or more, must submit an Intent to Enroll Form directly to the Director of Academic Student Services. A personal statement describing the student's intended academic and study plans must accompany the form. Re-entry and continued enrollment are not guaranteed, but are contingent upon review by an academic review committee chaired by the Director of Academic Student Services. Such review may result in denial or conditional re-entry.
Re-entry after Absence of Two Calendar Years or More
Students who are eligible to apply for re-entry after an absence of two or more calendar years, regardless of their academic standing at the time of departure, must apply for readmission via the Office of Admissions Re-entry Web Application. Readmission is not automatic but subject to committee review of the application, the personal statement, and evaluation of work completed at JMU as well as work completed at other institutions during the student's absence from JMU.
If a degree-seeking student leaves James Madison University after earning a portion of General Education credits and earns an approved Virginia Community College System (VCCS) Associate Degree, JMU will accept it in fulfillment of General Education requirements. Students who earn the approved degree while on academic suspension status from James Madison University are only eligible to re-enter James Madison University by agreeing to apply for the Transfer Equivalent Option upon their approved return to James Madison University.
Reinstatement into Specific Undergraduate Program of Study
When a student with a declared major wishes to return to the same program at the university after an absence of more than two years, the course work taken prior to withdrawal must be reviewed by an advisor/academic unit head prior to the student's re-enrollment. This counseling is required to assure that the previously completed coursework is current and applicable to the major. The adviser will assist the student to develop an appropriate academic plan for degree completion.
Students without declared majors wishing to return to study should consult with an adviser in Career and Academic Planning to receive assistance in developing an academic plan.
Deferral of Enrollment
If a graduate student has been admitted to James Madison University and is called to active military duty before enrolling, the student may request a deferral of admission using the process below.
- The student must submit a request (i.e., letter or email) to the Graduate Program Director requesting a deferment. In the communication, the student should provide the reason for the request (call to active duty) and indicate the term he/she wishes to re-enroll (the term can be changed if needed).
- The Graduate Program Director approves the deferment and informs the Director of Graduate Admissions that the deferment has been approved.
- The Director of Graduate Admissions notifies the student that the request has been approved and informs the student to notify The Graduate School and their Graduate Program Director at least 30 days prior to the first class day of the return semester.
- If the student's discharge from the service is delayed, the student contacts the Director of Graduate Admissions and requests an extension of his/her deferment. The Director of Graduate Admissions will approve the delay and inform the Graduate Program Director.
Leave of Absence
A military leave of absence is granted to graduate students deployed for active military service. The graduate program director of the program in which the student is enrolled must request a military leave of absence for a student in a graduate program. The request must be approved by the dean of The Graduate School. Continuous enrollment is granted for a specified time period that may not exceed four semesters total, excluding summer session. Any extension of the approved continuous enrollment period must be requested by the student 30 days prior to the deadline and approved by the dean of The Graduate School.
When a student on leave plans to resume graduate study, he/she must inform the graduate program director and The Graduate School at least 30 days prior to the first class day of the return semester. All registration holds must be cleared before the student will be eligible to register.
In the case of a military leave of absence, the time clock related to the time limit for the completion of the degree (i.e., master's and educational specialist students must complete all degree requirements within six years; doctoral students must complete all degree requirements within eight years) will be stopped at the semester in which the leave begins. The time clock will resume upon the student's return to the program. While all academic credit, including transfer credits taken before enrollment in the graduate program, will remain on the graduate transcript, courses originally approved to be counted toward the degree program which now fall outside of the original time limit must be reviewed and approved by the program director in terms of content relevancy. In some cases, additional course work may be warranted due to outdated information.