Skip to Main Content
You are in the main content

JMU Adult Degree Program (ADP) What's Your Next Step?

Do you have 30 or more completed credits toward a degree?  Are you thinking about finishing your education? Do you need a more flexible way to finish? Contact us to find out if you qualify for the JMU Adult Degree Completion Program's Individualized Study Major.

We are currently taking applications for the fall 2015 term.  The application deadline is August 1, 2015. 

To get started, take the following steps:

  1. Read the program information below and on the Prospective Student tab,

  2. Complete the Information Request form (be sure to include any other names used while attending other schools)

  3. Have all your transcripts sent to us at:

Adult Degree Program, James Madison University, 127 West Bruce Street, MSC 6906, Harrisonburg VA 22807 or, electronically at

What is the Adult Degree Program?

The Adult Degree Program (ADP) is a degree completion program that provides returning adult students with the opportunity to complete their bachelor's degree. Prospective ADP students who have 30 or more completed credits that will transfer into JMU along with a satisfactory GPA of 2.0 or higher can qualify for ADP.

This program differs from other degree programs presently offered at JMU in that ADP students tailor their Individualized Study major to meet their career and educational goals while still meeting JMU general education and degree requirements.

Since 1977, the Adult Degree Program has been providing adults, 22 years old and up, with the opportunity to continue their education in a program that addresses their individualized needs, goals, and time schedules. The program recognizes that traditional, highly structured four-year degree programs do not always accommodate the educational needs or lifestyles of adults.

We provide a pathway for adults, whether they are seeking career advancement or change, personal fulfillment or returning from active military duty, to complete their bachelor’s degree.

How does ADP Work?

The Adult Degree Program offers adults returning to college the ability to create an individualized program that meets their individual educational and professional goals. In addition, ADP gives adult students a unique educational opportunity that allows them to integrate other college-level learning such as professional or military experiences into their education at JMU. ADP students may pursue a Bachelor of Individualized Study, a Bachelor of Science in Individualized Study or a Bachelor of Arts in Individualized Study.

Some distinctive features of the ADP include the following:

  • An individually created concentration comprised of classes chosen to meet the student’s educational and/or professional goals.
  • Because college-level learning may be acquired through a variety of professional, volunteer and personal experiences, the ADP provides the means to translate experiential learning into academic credit. These can include portfolios of prior learning experience, CLEP exams, credit by exam, and various military training/certifications.

ADP students create a program plan that fulfills the James Madison University criteria to qualify for graduation with a bachelor’s degree.  Their major is in Individualized Study, which means it is interdisciplinary.  They will complete the required General Education credits, along with a selection of courses from two or more areas of study offered at JMU creating a concentration

Example of an incoming ADP Student

Robert Madison has professional experience as a loan officer at a local banking facility.  His career goals are to take on a senior management position in the loan department within the next 5 to 7 years.  The problem he faces is he did not complete his college degree when he was younger. He would like to return to complete his degree by taking classes that will enhance the skills and abilities he has learned in the workforce.  Because he lives over an hour away from campus, he will need to complete his coursework online. How can he do that with the JMU Adult Degree Program?

First, Robert will have official transcripts send to ADP from any colleges or universities he received college credit from in the past.  A Transfer Credit Evaluation determines how many of those credits are accepted at JMU.  If there are 30 or more transferrable, credits accepted at, JMU and he had a GPA of 2.0 or higher, he qualifies for entry into JMU as an Adult Degree Program student.

Next, Robert applies and is accepted into the program. After he pays the tuition deposit, he will be matriculated as a JMU student and will be registered to take an 8-week Introduction to Individualized Study course where he will develop his Individualized Study program plan

In his individualized Study program plan, Robert decides to select courses from the ADP Online Modules that will meet his educational and career goals.  Robert creates his concentration from the Entrepreneurship and Communication modules.  In addition, he wants to submit a Portfolio of Experiential Learning to the Management and Marketing departments in attempt to earn credit based on what he has learned in his career that would equate to courses taught in those departments.

Robert continues taking classes until he meets all the JMU requirements to qualify for graduation.

What is Return to Madison?

Former JMU students who did not complete their degrees due to an Academic Suspension or unforeseen life event causing an interruption in their college careers are invited to contact the ADP office to discuss options for returning to JMU and finally completing their degree.

In order to gain reentry to JMU, former students may need to meet additional requirements set forth by the Student Academic Services office to ensure they are now ready to complete the work and finish their degree.

The JMU Adult Degree Program believes in second chances.  What are you waiting for?