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Overview

The Graduate School coordinates graduate and post-graduate education throughout the university. There have been over 17,000 graduate degrees awarded through 2016, and enrollment growth and ongoing development of nationally and internationally recognized graduate programs are key strategic initiatives of the university.

Mission

It is the mission of The Graduate School to support, facilitate and promote excellence in lifelong education through graduate programs of distinction, innovative outreach programs and a diverse student body.

History

Founded in 1908 and located in the center of Virginia’s Shenandoah Valley, James Madison University is a public comprehensive university. The university offers degree programs at the bachelor’s, master’s, educational specialist and doctoral levels. The total enrollment exceeds 20,000 with over 1,800 graduate students. JMU annually receives more than 2,600 graduate applications.

The campus consists of more than 720 acres and features nearly 150 major buildings. In the more than 100 years since its founding, JMU has grown from a state normal and industrial school for women to today’s comprehensive university. In 1938 the institution was named Madison College in honor of the fourth president of the United States and in 1977, the name was changed to James Madison University. The JMU Graduate School was established in 1954, when the State Board of Education authorized the university to offer programs leading to the Master of Science in Education degree.

Currently, seven academic colleges offer nearly 40 graduate programs. For the last two decades, U.S. News and World Report has ranked JMU either first or second among the top public master's-level schools in the south; eleven graduate programs are nationally ranked. JMU is continually cited in Kiplinger's top 100 "Best Values in Public Colleges."