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Common JMU Academic Policies Required for All Course Syllabi


A student's participation in the work of a course is clearly a precondition to his/her receiving credit in that course. Because of the wide variety of courses and teaching methods at JMU, the university recognizes that the nature of a student's participation in the work of a course cannot be prescribed on a university-wide basis. For this reason, classroom attendance is not a matter subject to regulation by the university. Attendance in class and in the laboratory is a matter between the student and the faculty member in that class or laboratory.

The attendance policy for specific courses are provided by the class instructor.

Academic Honesty

Making references to the work of others strengthens your own work by granting you greater authority and by showing that you are part of a discussion located within an intellectual community. When you make references to the ideas of others, it is essential to provide proper attribution and citation. Failing to do so is considered academically dishonest, as is copying or paraphrasing someone else's work. The results of such behavior will lead to consequences ranging from failure on an assignment to failure in the course to dismissal from the university. Please ask if you are in doubt about the use of a citation. Honest mistakes can always be corrected or prevented.

Academic dishonesty is not limited to plagiarism. Other examples of academic dishonesty include cheating on tests or homework, taking an exam or writing a paper for someone else, and selling or uploading unauthorized documents from a class. Talk with your instructor if you have questions regarding academic honesty.

The JMU Honor Code is available from the Honor Council website:


In this course one or more of your writing assignments may be submitted to the instructor through Blackboard’s SafeAssign plagiarism prevention service as approved by JMU.  Your writing assignment will be checked for plagiarism against Internet sources, millions of academic journal articles, the JMU SafeAssign database and the SafeAssign Global Reference Database. SafeAssign generates an originality report for the instructor that highlights any blocks of text in your paper that match the above reference sources and allows a line-by-line comparison of potentially unoriginal text from your paper with the matching document sections in the reference sources. Each paper you submit through SafeAssign for this or any class at JMU will be added to the JMU SafeAssign database and later used only to check against other JMU paper submissions. Neither Blackboard nor JMU claim any copyright ownership of your writing submitted through SafeAssign. When you submit your paper through SafeAssign you will be given the choice of whether or not to "opt in" and permanently contribute a copy of your paper to Blackboard's Global Reference Database.  This would protect your original writing from plagiarism at other institutions.  Opting in and voluntarily contributing your work to the global database is an individual student decision and not required by your instructor or JMU. For more information about SafeAssign refer to the website

Adding/Dropping Classes

Students are responsible for registering for classes and for verifying their class schedules on MyMadison

Fall 2015

The deadline for adding a fall 2015 regular semester class through MyMadison without academic unit permission are as follows:

Semester class – September 8, 2015

First eight-week class – September 8, 2015

Second eight-week class – October 26, 2015

The deadlines for adding a class with instructor and academic unit permission are as follows:

Semester class – September 17, 2015

First eight-week class – September 17, 2015

Second eight-week class – November 4, 2015

The deadlines to drop a regular semester class with a "W" grade are as follows:

Semester class – October 29, 2015

First eight-week class – September 29, 2015

Second eight-week class – November 19, 2015

Corresponding tuition charges will apply for all classes assigned a grade of "W." No exceptions will be made to these deadlines.

For more information and information on block courses, refer to the Registrar's website

Disability Accommodations

JMU abides by Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973 and the Americans with Disabilities Act, which mandate reasonable accommodations be provided for students with documented disabilities. If you have not already done so, you will need to register with the Office of Disability Services, the designated office on campus to provide services for students with disabilities. The office is located in Wilson Hall, Room 107 and you may call (540) 568-6705 for more information.

If you have a disability and may require some type of instructional and/or examination accommodations, please contact your instructor early in the semester so that he/she can provide or facilitate provision of accommodations you may need.

Disruptive Behavior

Instructors and students are equally responsible for creating an environment that will facilitate learning within the JMU community. Disruptive conduct disrupts the process of teaching and learning, and such behavior will not be tolerated in the classroom, lab, online discussion or other place of student learning.

Disruptive behavior is inappropriate student behavior that a reasonable faculty member would view as interfering with the ability of instructors to teach and students to learn. It may constitute a violation of law, a violation of the student conduct code or a violation of an instructor’s established rules of conduct for a particular class.

Civil expression, disagreement or debate as permitted within the class by a faculty member is not disruptive behavior. Each student has a right to the freedom of thought and expression, including a right to reasoned dissent, in his or her classes. A student’s right to exercise academic freedom carries with it concomitant responsibilities. These responsibilities are owed to other students, faculty members and the institution. Failure to live up to these responsibilities carries with it the possibility of sanctions, up to and including removal from a class, removal from a program and/or removal from the university.

To view the full policy regarding class disruptions, go here (

Inclement Weather

James Madison University is primarily a self-contained campus with a large number of residential students requiring a variety of support services, regardless of inclement weather conditions or emergency situations. For the safety and well-being of its students and employees, the university may close or limit its services based on inclement weather or other emergencies. Refer to the following sources for information on closings or delays:

  • JMU Weather Line: (540) 433-5300
  • JMU radio station 1610AM
  • JMU's home page
  • Area radio and television stations
  • JMU Office of Public Safety, who in turn is responsible for announcements on Emergency Notification System

When the university is closed due to inclement weather or other emergencies, all classes are cancelled. Policies regarding class cancellations are specified in the syllabus for each course.

Makeup Days for Classes

When the university is closed due to inclement weather or other emergencies, all classes are cancelled. When it is necessary to cancel classes due to weather or other emergencies, faculty have several options for making up the missed instructional time.

  • Hold class at the regularly scheduled time on the official university make-up day, normally the Saturday immediately following the missed class.
  • Hold class at a time acceptable to all class members other than the regularly scheduled time or the official make-up day. Time and location will be arranged by the academic unit.
  • Accommodate the missed instructional time within remaining class meeting time.
  • Hold class through electronic means. 

For additional information, refer to

Religious Accommodations

All faculty are required to give reasonable and appropriate accommodations to students requesting them on grounds of religious observation. The faculty member determines what accommodations are appropriate for his/her course. Students should notify the faculty by no later than the end of the Drop-Add period the first week of the semester of potential scheduled absences and deter­mine with the instructor if mutually acceptable alternative methods exist for completing the missed classroom time, lab or activity. Contact the Office of Equal Opportunity at (540) 568-6991 if you have additional questions.