A-to-Z Index

Successful Progression

Evaluation of a graduate student's progress is primarily dependent on the judgments of appropriate faculty members of the student's graduate program. The university, through The Graduate School, can define minimal entrance standards and prescribe general rules governing eligibility for continuation. However, the crucial agency in graduate student evaluation is the graduate program in which the student's work is focused.

Principal evaluators must be faculty members of the student's graduate program.
It is assumed that disputes over unsatisfactory progress will be informally discussed and reconciled at the program or academic unit level. Discussions of this type will commonly occur among the student, major professor and other faculty members in the graduate program.

All graduate courses (including support courses) must be taken on a letter grade basis. The "audit" option may only be used for elective courses that will not count as part of your Program of Study. University funds, including assistantships, will not cover courses taken under the "audit" option. If you feel that a grade has been awarded in error, please consult the section entitled "General Appeal Process" in the Graduate Catalog.


From Course
You may drop a course without special permission and without an extra fee during the period designated "free course adjustment period" indicated in the Schedule of Classes for the semester in which you are enrolled. You will receive a "W" grade for the course dropped. Please refer to the catalog for complete information on withdrawing from a course. http://www.jmu.edu/catalog/

From The Graduate School
If you withdraw from graduate school (drop all classes) prior to completing the semester (or Summer session), you must complete a Non-Returning/Leave of Absence Notice available in the Office of the Registrar, Warren Hall 5th floor. If withdrawing with official approval, you will receive a "W" in all courses for which you are registered. If withdrawing voluntarily without official approval, you will receive an "F" in all courses for which you are registered. You will be responsible for tuition as determined by the Office of the Registrar and may be subject to a change in enrollment status. Please refer to the catalog for complete information on withdrawal from the University.

Calculating your GPA

A grade point average (GPA) is calculated by dividing the accumulated number of grade points earned by the accumulated number of credit hours attempted. All graduate credits attempted and all graduate grades earned, whether passing or failing, will be used to calculate a student's grade point average.

  • The student's grade point average appears on his or her transcript.
  • Students must take all courses on a letter grade ("A-F") or satisfactory/unsatisfactory (S/U) basis, based on how the particular course was approved. Students do not have flexibility in choosing a grading option.
  • A grade of "W" will be assigned to students who withdraw from a course after the add/drop deadline but before the end of the course adjustment deadline.
  • A grade of "WP" or "WF" (according to the status of the student at the time of withdrawal) will be assigned to students who withdraw after the course adjustment deadline at the discretion of the instructor. The "WP" or "WF" will be recorded and remain on the student's transcript. Only the instructor can assign a "WP" or "WF."
  • If students have completed the maximum number of hours allowed by their program for thesis, dissertation or research project courses but have not completed the work, they will register for thesis, dissertation or research project continuance each semester while completing their research or writing. A grade of "NC" (no credit) will be automatically entered for continuance hours.
  • Students should keep in mind that earning a "B-" grade may bring the GPA below 3.0 and prevent students from graduating.
  • In order to graduate, students must satisfy grade requirements specified by their individual academic program.

Auditing Graduate Courses

Graduate students may enroll in graduate courses using the "audit" option for elective courses only. These courses will not count as part of the student's program of study. Students must initially register for the course using the "audit" option. Under no circumstances may a course credit option be changed from "audit" to "credit" or "credit" to "audit." Students are required to pay for courses taken as "audit." Audit courses cannot be paid for using any university sources of funding (i.e., assistantship funding).

Incomplete Grades

The grade of "I" is used to indicate incomplete work in a course. Courses in which a student received a grade of "I" must be completed by the end of the next regular semester or the grade is reported permanently as an "F."

Students should consult academic unit guidelines regarding such courses. It is the responsibility of the student to ensure grade changes are reported to the Office of the Registrar by the deadline. See the university calendar at the front of this catalog for the date by which grade changes must be submitted.

All course work must be completed by the final date of the student's final semester.  Consult the university calendar in the Registration and Student Record Services Handbook or online at http://www.jmu.edu/registrar.

Unsatisfactory Progress

If, at any time, a graduate student fails to make satisfactory progress toward the degree, the student may be denied permission to continue in the program. Such a decision may be reached by the student's adviser, academic unit head, or graduate program coordinator and will be referred to the Graduate School for final action.

Students who receive two "C" grades or a fail to maintain a GPA of 3.0 will be placed on academic warning and will receive written notification. This academic warning will be noted on the student's transcript. A student will be dismissed from the degree program if he/she receives an "F" or "U" in any graduate course or three C" grades in his/her graduate program. A student dismissed from the degree program may not enroll in any graduate-level courses for a period of one year. Students who want to return to the university must re-apply and be re-accepted in the usual manner.

All credits attempted and all grades earned, whether passing or failing, will be used to calculate a student's grade point average. In some cases, graduate students may take undergraduate courses as prerequisite to their graduate program of study. The GPA includes undergraduate courses taken during graduate study. However, if an undergraduate course places a student's GPA below 3.0, it will not place the student on probationary status or prevent the student from graduating.


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.

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

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