JMU Graduation Requirements

To earn a bachelor’s degree at James Madison University, all students are required to complete a minimum of 120 credit hours.  Students earn these credit hours by taking General Education, major, degree and elective courses.  You may also choose to study a minor or pre-professional program. 

Transfer students should take into account their Transfer Credit Report and the information contained in these modules to determine which transfer credits may be used to satisfy academic requirements at JMU. 

General Education

General Education: The Human Community is JMU's core curriculum.  All students must fulfill JMU’s General Education requirements. Transfer students who have completed an approved associate’s degree at a Virginia community college have fulfilled their General Education requirements at JMU.  Students transferring credit from four-year institutions, from a community college outside Virginia or from an institution outside the US may need to take additional courses at JMU to satisfy General Education requirements.


Your major classes provide an in-depth study of a specific area of academic interest.  The number of credit hours needed to fulfill major requirements varies from 36 to 78 credit hours.  Students should consult the undergraduate catalog and their academic department for current information about their academic requirements. 


JMU offers eight different bachelor’s degree programs.  The most common degrees students earn are a Bachelor of Arts or a Bachelor of Science.  The type of degree a student earns is largely determined by his or her major.  Some majors offer a choice between degrees. The courses used to satisfy degree requirements vary widely. 


The courses you take to fulfill your General Education, major, and degree are the main elements of your graduation requirements.  Any additional classes that you may need to take to reach 120 credits are called electives. Electives provide you the opportunity to simply take classes that are of interest to you or offer time to pursue a pre-professional program, minor, or double-major.

Refer to the JMU Undergraduate Catalog or the Academic Advising website for more detailed information on academic requirements at JMU.

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