A-to-Z Index

Degree Completion

Once admitted, it is anticipated that you will enroll in classes each semester until a degree is awarded. All requirements must be completed within 6 years. Even if you were deactivated due to a two-year lapse in course work and later reactivated, the 6-year time limit is counted from the date your course work began. Academic work, including transfer credit, taken more than six years before the date at which the master's or doctoral degree is awarded may not be used to satisfy the degree requirements. You may submit a petition to extend the deadline if you have extenuating circumstances.

Finishing Your Degree

Comprehensive Assessments
A formal assessment of mastery (a comprehensive written and/or oral exam) designed to appraise the student's competence is required of each JMU student in order to complete his or her program of graduate study. The format and timing of this assessment is at the discretion of the graduate program, provided it fairly and adequately documents the knowledge and skills the student has acquired.

The nature of the comprehensive assessment should accurately reflect the content of the student's academic program. The assessment should require the integration and synthesis of what has been learned by the student. The student must demonstrate a breadth of knowledge in the discipline and depth in specific content areas to be determined by the graduate program faculty.

Comprehensive Assessment Committees

Each graduate program must have a comprehensive assessment committee for the program and/or for the individual student. Individual student committees are selected by the student in consultation with the graduate program coordinator and/or program adviser. Each comprehensive assessment committee must consist of at least three JMU graduate faculty members with the background and interest necessary to evaluate the mastery of the student. At least two members must be from the student's graduate program.

Non-graduate faculty members of the comprehensive assessment committee, which may include persons external to the university, must be approved by the dean of TGS. Such members shall make up no more than one-third of the total committee membership. Graduate instructors may also be appointed to committees with the approval of the dean of TGS, but only when their expertise clearly qualifies them; their appointment must be in addition to the required number of graduate faculty members.

Graduate students may not serve on the comprehensive assessment committees. Only a graduate faculty member from the student's graduate program may chair a comprehensive assessment committee.

Comprehensive Assessment Failure

In the event a student fails the comprehensive assessment, the student may request a re-examination. Unless there are extenuating circumstances, the re-examination must occur within six months of the date of failure. Only one re-examination will be allowed. Cases involving extenuating circumstances must be raised or supported by the graduate program faculty and presented in writing to the dean of the relevant college for approval. If a student fails the second comprehensive assessment, his or her graduate program will be terminated.

Comprehensive Assessment Continuance
Students completing all degree requirements except the comprehensive assessment are required to enroll each semester until they have passed the comprehensive assessment. Students must register for comprehensive continuance credit hours during those semesters in which they are engaged in preparation for the comprehensive assessment.

NOTE: The continuous enrollment course GRAD 597 cannot be used as a comprehensive continuance course. Credit hours for comprehensive continuance do not count toward graduate program requirements.

Thesis, Dissertation, or Research Project

View our Thesis and Dissertation Manual

Please see the Graduate Catalog section entitled “Research and Thesis or Dissertation" for the regulations regarding thesis and dissertation advisory committees, and specifications for the final printed report.

You will be charged at the graduate tuition rate for thesis, dissertation, research project, and directed research work (course #700, #800, or #900). If you fail to complete your work after registering for the maximum hours, you must register for course continuance each semester (including Summer) until you receive your degree. Consult your department for the Summer course continuance schedule. Continuance credits do not count toward graduate program requirements.

 Teaching Licenses

Some education-related majors require a Collegiate Professional License. The requirements for licensure must be met before the degree is conferred. Consult the Office of Teacher Education Services for information.

Course Completion Deadlines

All course work must be completed by the final examination date listed in the Graduate Calendar of your final semester. If you fail to meet this deadline, your name will be removed from the current graduation list.  You will need to reapply to graduate the following semester in which you complete the required course work.


Application for Graduation
You must have a grade point average of at least 3.0 to graduate. If you expect to graduate at the end of a term, please click here for instructions and here for the application. You must submit your Application for a Graduate Degree form by the deadline. No credit for University work may be given for a diploma, teacher's license, or transfer until all debts to JMU have been paid (excluding student loans).

Please check your To Do List in e-campus. If the item "Graduation Application" is there, we have not received your application for a graduate degree. Please contact Debbie Juhasz at juhaszdj@jmu.edu or 540-568-6438 for assistance.

Students are expected to attend graduation exercises. If you are unable to attend, you must notify The Graduate School at least 21 days before commencement.
Instructions for carrying your hood


MBA Graduate Students win big in the Google online challenge!

Important Dates and Deadlines 

Fall 2013

September 27  - last day to submit an application to graduate in December

November 22 - comprehensive assessment results and thesis/research project/dissertation due to The Graduate School

December 13   - Course completion deadline for December graduation


Representatives of the JMU Alpha Sigma Chapter of Chi Sigma Iota (the international honor society for the counseling profession) received the Outstanding Chapter Individual Program Award at the American Counseling Association Annual Convention March 22, 2013. Read the details of this prestigious honor!


With a decade of military service and a freshly minted graduate degree from James Madison University, Andrew Marsh is ready to join the faculty ranks at the U.S. Military Academy.... http://www.jmu.edu/news/2013/04/29-graduate-andrew-marsh.shtml


The GSA now has an informative and entertaining blog about personal and professional development as well as fun things to do in Harrisonburg! Check it out here. http://jmugsa.blogspot.com


Jason Kopp, will complete a third-year internship at The College Board when he moves to New York City to work in the College Board’s Manhattan office. Jason’s internship will take place from August 2013 to May 2014. Jason is the 5th Assessment & Measurement doctoral student to be awarded The College Board academic year internship; others have included Pamela Kaliski, Carol Barry, Megan France, Chris Coleman and Becca Marsh. Congratulations Jason!

 Ross Markle (Ph.D., 2010), Associate Research Scientist at the Educational Testing Service's Center for Academic and Workforce Readiness and Success, will return to the JMU campus to give a talk on his work with ETS. He will be speaking on February 15 at the Center for Assessment and Research Studies on Noncognitive Factors and Student Success: A Journey of Theory, Measurement, and Applied Research. Over the past several years, the Center for Academic and Workforce Readiness at ETS has been researching and developing noncognitive assessments to improve student success in higher education. This talk will briefly review the large scope of this project, which includes assessment development, implementing a national field trial, advanced measurement and psychometric research applications, and initial results. For new and developing researchers, this talk will explore many potential applications of assessment and measurement skills in a high-profile, applied project. For faculty and staff, this talk will introduce a new and innovative assessment that is designed to impact student success. Lastly, the conversation will move to future plans for this work, including potential collaborations and expansions. Dr. Markle is one of, now, 35 graduates who have earned their Ph.D. through JMU's doctoral program in assessment and measurement.   


Assessment & Measurement PhD and Psychological Sciences MA Students and Faculty Present at NERA Conference: http://www.psyc.jmu.edu/assessment/features/nera2012.html



Dr. Anne Stewart is elected to receive the 2012 Outstanding Faculty Award by the  State Council of Higher Education for Virginia!  Read more...


Justine Schembri, a May 2011 graduate of the ISAT-Malta program is selected to receive the 2012 CSGS (Conference of Southern Graduate Schools*) Master's Thesis Award in Life Sciences.

Jason Kopp, a doctoral student in the Assessment and Measurement Ph.D. program, and graduate of the Psychological Sciences master's program, is selected to receive the 2012 CSGS Master's Thesis Award in Social Sciences, Business and Education.  Read more...

Dr. Sarah Finney, with the Center for Assessment and Research Studes and the Ph.D. progra in Assessment and Measurement is selected to receive the 2012 CSGS Outstanding Mentor Award for her work with master's and doctoral students at JMU.

*The Conference of Southern Graduate Schools (of which JMU is a member) is an organization of over 200 gradaute schools in the following 15 states: Alabama, Arkansas, Florida, Georgia, Kentucky, Louisiana, Maryland. Mississippi, North Carolina, Oklahoma, South Carolina, Tennessee, Texas, Virginia, West Virginia, and the District of Columbia.


Dr. Brenda Ryals, faculty in the Communication Sciences and Disorders progam,  is the recipient of the 2012 Jerger Career Award for Research in Audiology. Read more...


JMU Graduate Student, Sarah DiDimenco,  is Virginia Occupational Therapy Association (VOTA) scholarship award winner ....  more.

"Like" the JMU Graduate Student Association (GSA) on Facebook. Click the link below.

JMU Graduate Student Association  

If you would like to receive email notifications of GSA activities and information, please send an email to JMUGSA@gmail.com and indicate your interest.   Visit the JMU GSA webpage: www.jmu.edu/grad/gsa

Assessment Stars Aim High
(JMU's Assessment and Measurement Program):

Click here to read more.