Skip to Main Content


Catalog Banner 2014-2015
You are in the main content

University and Post-Graduate Resources

Adult Degree Program

Mission Statement

The Adult Degree Program (ADP) 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 ADP students tailor their major to meet their career and educational goals while still meeting JMU general education and degree requirements.


Applicants must have a minimum of 30 credit hours with a grade of "C" or better for each credit hour of college work. Applicants should be 22 or older.

Degrees Offered

ADP students have the opportunity to earn a Bachelor of Individualized Study (B.I.S.), a Bachelor of Arts (B.A.) or a Bachelor of Science (B.S.). The general education core requirements differ by degree.

Program Requirements

  • Completion of IS 200. Individualized Study Major Program Development is required.
  • A minimum of 120 credit hours will be required for graduation. The specific program agreement will be designed in consultation with a faculty adviser.
  • A program agreement for meeting the requirements of the degree must be submitted to the Adult Degree Program office for approval while enrolled in the IS 200 course.
  • A minimum of 41 general education credit hours in the seven areas of social and behavioral science, humanities, natural science, written communication, oral communication, mathematics and U.S. history must be completed.
  • To earn a B.S. degree, a student must earn the above 41 credit hours, plus an additional three hours to meet the quantitative requirement and an additional three hours to meet the scientific literacy requirement for a total of 47 general education credit hours.
  • To earn a B.A. degree, a student must earn the above 41 credit hour requirements, plus an additional three hours of philosophy and six hours of foreign language at the intermediate (200) level for a total of 50 general education credit hours.
  • A student’s concentration, or field of study, consists of a minimum of 30 credits, at least 24 of which must be upper-division credit (300- and 400-level courses). The concentration shall include classes from two or more academic disciplines and represent a coherent body of knowledge, which may require course work beyond the 30 minimum credit hours.
  • Academic modules, some of which are available online, have been developed in cooperation with academic units at the university. Students can use these modules when developing their concentration. Current modules include:
    • Autism Spectrum Disorders
    • Business Technology
    • Communication Studies
    • Entrepreneurship
    • Hospitality and Tourism Management
    • Human Resource Development
    • Social Science
  • No more than 30 credit hours of course work can be selected from courses taught by the College of Business. This 30 credit hour limit includes COB courses transferred from other colleges and nontraditional credit earned in the COB.
  • The concentration must be completed with a GPA of 2.0 or better.
  • A minimum of 15 credit hours in the concentration must be JMU credits.
  • IS 498, Individualized Study Project, is a capstone course that is directly related to the student’s concentration or field of study. The project is coordinated by a content area faculty member and must be completed with a minimum grade of “C”. A final oral report must be presented on the project.
  • ADP requires all students to take the Honor Code test.
  • Each graduate must have earned a minimum of 30 credit hours at JMU (a maximum of eight non-traditional credits may be applied to the JMU hours requirement).
  • At least 60 credit hours must be earned from four-year institutions.
  • ADP students are expected to participate in assessment activities. Assessment information is used to assist faculty in modifying curricula.
  • There is no residency requirement; however, program agreements that extend beyond six years may need to be amended if university policies change that affect the original program agreements.

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.

  • Transfer credit
  • Credit by departmental examination
  • Credit for sponsored learning or independent studies
  • Regular course work
  • Credit for experiential learning through portfolio evaluation (See below)
  • Credit for educational programs of the Armed Forces
  • College Level Examination Program (CLEP)
  • American Council on Education College Credit Recommendation Service (ACE)

Experiential 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 ADP office. Requests for experiential learning credit should be submitted as soon as possible after an ADP student completes IS 200 and IS 203. Experiential learning credit is not transferable to a traditional degree program. ADP students requesting experiential learning credit must complete IS 203, Portfolio Development Workshop. A fee is charged for each learning component evaluated by academic units for credit.

College Credit Recommendation Service

ADP accepts some but not all credits 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 through the ADP website.

College-Level Examination Program

The Adult Degree Program 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 ADP 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 GPA.
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.

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 courses in the areas of sociology, psychology, economics, history, anthropology, geography and political science.




Any courses in the area 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. 

Natural Sciences


Any courses in the areas of biology, chemistry, geology, physics and GSCI.


Written Communication


Any courses within the area of English composition.


(If GWRTC 103 [formerly GWRIT 103] is waived through writing assessment, credits may be

earned in advanced composition or writing, rhetoric and technical communication (WRTC). Choose from ENG 290, ENG 299, ENG 347, ENG 392, ENG 393, ENG 396, WRTC 201, WRTC 300, WRTC 301, WRTC 314, WRTC 346, WRTC 350, WRTC 352, WRTC 426, WRTC 428, WRTC 478, WRTC 484 or WRTC 488.)


Oral Communication


Choose from GCOM 121, GCOM 122, SCOM 231 or SCOM 242.




Any course 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.



*Transfer credits with the number "000" do not fulfill general education requirements.