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Applying to the Graduate School

Frequently Asked Questions


Completing the Application

Standardized Tests

Admissions Decisions



Completing the Application

Can I apply to more than one program during an application season?

Yes, you may apply to multiple programs but you can only be admitted into one. You must apply to each program on separate applications.

How do I submit recommendation letters?

If your program requires them (not all programs do) then on page 8 of the Online Application you will enter the name, institution/company, title and e-mail address for each of your recommenders. You can submit your recommenders' information before you submit your application.

How do I know if my recommender sent my recommendation?

You can return to your online application anytime to view the status, send reminders, cancel a request, or change your recommenders. Log-in to your Online Application, click on "Review Your Activity," navigate to the "Review Page," and then click on "Manage your Recommenders."

Can I submit my application if my official test scores have not been sent to The Graduate School?

Yes, an application can be submitted, but depending on the program everything must be received by their specific deadline (if any) in order to have your application reviewed. Follow this link to the program requirements pages http://www.jmu.edu/grad/programs/all-programs/index-requirements.shtml to see deadlines and test requirements for your program.

Why was my application fee declined?

If your transaction is declined when submitting your application fee, it is recommended to try a different credit card to submit your fee payment and/or wait 24 hours to make a payment. Applicants have also reported success using a different Internet browser (eg. Internet Explorer, Firefox, Safari, etc.) or a different computer entirely. Others have requested that friends or family make the payment using their own credit cards.

You may also pay via electronic check within the online application, however, please note that it can take up to 10 working days for your application to move forward since we must wait for the check to be processed.

If you have problems after trying different methods to submit your payment, it is recommended that you contact your credit card company or issuing bank.

Note - applicants from the United States should ensure that their billing address is consistent with US Postal Service standard format. To verify the standard format for your address, enter your billing address on this page and click 'Submit.'

Whom should I contact with questions about Virginia resident status?

When filling out your online application click the SCHEV link for more information on who qualifies for Virginia in-state tuition rates.

Are you a Veteran, Vet-spouse or dependent? This link should help you understand how to qualify for Virginia in-state tuition rates: http://www.jmu.edu/registrar/veterans/ 

How do I enter two undergraduate majors from one institution?

You should enter each major on a separate line and repeat the institution's name on each line.

How do I submit transcripts?

Transcripts will be uploaded with your online application. Only upload transcripts from universities/colleges where you have earned or anticipate earning a degree (or expect to apply credit to your program at James Madison University). Do not mail or send transcripts to The Graduate School until you are accepted into a program.

When do I send my official transcripts?

AFTER you have been admitted into a program you will see TRANSCRIPTS on your TO DO list in MyMadison. Only then should you send official transcripts to The Graduate School. The preferred method is an electronic transcript sent via e-Scrip or National Student Clearing House.

If electronic submission is not possible, official paper transcripts must arrive unopened, either brought in-person or mailed to the following address:

The Graduate School
James Madison University
MSC 6702, 100 E. Grace St.
Harrisonburg, VA 22807

How do I check the status of my application?

Your application status is displayed in MyMadison. Once you log-in select the "Applicant Center" and you will see either "complete" or "incomplete", also you may see items listed on your "To Do" list.

What should I do if I experience technical difficulties?

Applicants should use the Help Link in the online application to report technical difficulties. NOTE: Clicking the HELP LINK at the bottom of any page while filling out the Online Application will resolve most problems. However, if you don't receive a response after 24 hours, then call 503-973-5213 from 7am-6pm Pacific Standard Time Monday through Friday.

Standardized Tests

Can I submit GRE scores that were taken in the old format?

Yes, GRE scores in either format are valid for up to five years. Official scores must be sent directly from the Educational Testing Service (ETS) using the institution code 5392. (If you are applying to a CSD program your test scores will be sent to CSDCAS institutional code 1043; if you are applying to the Physician Assistant program use code 7442)

Can I apply now and submit my test scores later?

Check with your program before sending  scores. http://www.jmu.edu/grad/programs/index.shtml

What are the minimum GRE or GMAT scores?

Minimum scores are determined by your program. Visit your program's requirements page for guidance http://www.jmu.edu/grad/programs/all-programs/index-requirements.shtml

What is the minimum requirement for the TOEFL or IELTS?

Graduate programs at JMU invite high levels of student engagement through class discussions, collaborative projects, and interpersonal contact with professors and peers. The ability to communicate proficiently in the English language is vital to a student’s participation and success in the graduate program. Graduate applicants who are non-native speakers of English must demonstrate English language proficiency. Candidates usually demonstrate English proficiency with any of the following options:

1. Provide a transcript of an earned Bachelor’s or Master’s degree from a college or university at which English is the primary language of instruction.

2. Submit satisfactory English language proficiency test scores. These scores are typically acceptable:

· Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL) iBT total score of 80 or above

· International English Language Testing System (IELTS) overall band score of 6.5 or above

Note that the scores on each of the subtests (reading, writing, speaking, and listening) must be satisfactory.

3. Successfully complete English language preparation programs for graduate school offered by:

· Study Group,

· Eastern Mennonite University’s Intensive English Program, or

· ELS.

Note: Candidates with extraordinary circumstances may present alternative evidence of English-language proficiency for consideration by The Graduate School. Graduate admission committees review all applications regardless of scores; if you have another way to demonstrate your English language proficiency, please submit your evidence. (For example, we would be happy to review letters from employers who can attest to your ability to conduct business in English.)

The admissions requirements of individual programs always take precedence over general university admission requirements. Some programs may have more stringent English-language proficiency requirements than those listed above, including specific expectations in the domains of reading, writing, speaking, or listening.

Send your official TOEFL scores directly to JMU institution code 5392 from Educational Testing Services (ETS) or have the IELTS center send official scores. JMU must receive TOEFL or IELTS scores directly from the testing service and before an I-20 can be issued.

Can I still apply if I do not meet the minimum requirement on standardized tests?

Yes, admissions committees will review applications that do not meet the minimum requirements.

Admissions Decisions

When are admissions decisions released?

Admissions decisions are communicated to applicants through your account in MyMadison by clicking on the Applicant Center where you can view your status. For information about the decision process you should check your program

How do I respond to my offer of admission?

To accept or decline an offer of admission, an applicant must log-in to their MyMadison account, click on the "Applicant Center", and view the decision. You must click on the accept or decline link and follow the instructions there.

How long do I have to consider my offer of admission?

You should accept your offer at least two weeks before the start of the term. Offers of admission that are not accepted by the start of a term will be withdrawn.

NOTE: Some programs have a specific date and if not accepted the offer will be withdrawn.

Deferments may be available, contact your program directly to discuss that option.

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