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Harrisonburg, VA 22807
Academically talented students at James Madison University may participate in one of three honors program tracks. All are designed to prepare students for graduate or professional school, enhance students' opportunities for rewarding careers and expand students' knowledge of themselves, others and the world.
Approximately 200 high-achieving entering first-year students are admitted as Track I honors scholars each year. Track I honors scholars participate in four years of honors study in a bachelor's degree program in any major. They take a core of general education courses designated honors, elect additional honors courses, honors seminars and honors-option courses, and complete a senior honors project. Honors scholars are required to complete 27 credit hours of honors work and maintain a cumulative grade point average of at least 3.25. Students who successfully complete this program graduate with distinction and are designated Honors Scholar in the commencement program and on their transcrips and diplomas, in recognition of their distinguished record in the program.
Current JMU students who have completed one to three semesters at JMU with a cumulative GPA of 3.5 or higher are eligible to apply to the Honors Program. The application can be found at Track II Application and is due by the end of the second week of classes.
The criteria for selection include:
After applications are reviewed, students will be notified of the decision. Spaces in the program are not limited. All qualified applicants are admitted. Applications submitted and accepted by the end of the second week of classes allow students to exercise the Honors Option in one or more classes that same semester and to enjoy priority registration for the following semester. Applications submitted after the deadline will be held until the first day of open registration.
Track II students take 24 credit hours of honors seminars, courses designated honors and/or Honors Options, and complete a senior honors project. They must maintain a cumulative GPA of at least 3.25. Students who successfully complete this program graduate with distinction and are designated Honors Scholar in the commencement program and on their transcrips and diplomas, in recognition of their distinguished record in the program.
The Honors Program does admit students who have transferred to JMU as 2nd semester freshmen through 2nd semester sophomores. Interested students should schedule an interview with the director. Candidates must complete a Track II Application and provide transcripts of previous college work. In addition to the application, decisions will be based on consideration of the type of institution (e.g., two-year, four-year, technical, etc.) from which the candidate transferred, previous participation in honors programs, the amount and type of honors work completed, and the feasibility of completing the program requirements while remaining at JMU. Any course substitutions or waivers based on previous honors work will require approval by the director.
Current JMU students in their junior year with a cumulative GPA of at least 3.50 are eligible to enter the Honors Program to pursue independent research leading to the completion of an honors project during their senior year. All honors students are required to complete a Senior Honors Project. The final product will normally be a thesis reflecting substantial scholarship or creative work that demonstrates originality and craftsmanship. The Senior Honors Project allows students with initiative, originality and intellectual maturity to synthesize information they have learned in courses with their independent study of a topic of their choice. Students have the rare opportunity of working in close association with an advising professor who becomes a mentor in the finest sense of the word and with other professors who read and evaluate the project at all stages of its development. A degree with Distinction in the major field is awarded to students completing this project with a grade of B or better.
For more information about the Senior Honors Project, please click here.