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Honors College Frequently Asked Questions


 Do I need to apply separately to the Honors College?

Yes – the Honors College requires a separate application. You should receive an email after you submit your JMU application asking if you would like to apply. You can also access the application on the Honors College website. Please note: you MUST apply to JMU before applying to the Honors College.

 When is the deadline to apply to the Honors College as an incoming student?

The deadline for admission in the Honors College as an incoming student is November 29, 2020.

 How does being an Honors student benefit my experience at JMU?

Honors students are part of a welcoming community that values inquiry. The Honors experience affords students with opportunities such as innovative interdisciplinary learning, undergraduate research, and cultural enrichment. Together, these equip our students with new ideas that prepare them for advanced study and the ability to make a difference in the world upon graduation.

 How does the Honors College help students choose and enroll in classes?

The Honors College is an active partner in your college journey. In addition to priority registration, we have a dedicated Honors advisory team, including Jared Diener, Director of Honors Advising and Global Initiatives, and two student Honors Madison Advising Peers (MAPs). Based on their guidance, we hope that students are able to fully explore where their interests lie.

 Is an Honors student able to participate in other academic and extracurricular programs at JMU outside of the Honors College?

Absolutely! Honors students are encouraged to pursue opportunities that mesh with their academic interests and enrich and deepen their campus engagement. The Honors College strives to be flexible so that students are able to reach their academic goals.

 Is the Honors College only about courses?

No. The curriculum is an important component of the Honors College experience; however, the Honors College is first and foremost a community of scholars – students and faculty – committed to excellence in and beyond the classroom. Other opportunities for Honors College students include specialized programming, dedicated mentoring and advising, and special lectures and symposia. Honors College students are encouraged to live in Shenandoah Hall, our Residential Learning Community. The ability to study, work, and live among outstanding fellow scholars is an exciting opportunity for incoming students. Hillcrest House is also a home away from home for many of our students. In addition to welcoming space for programs and socializing, the historic home also offers a study lounge, quiet room, and computer lab with free printing.

 Am I required to live in Shenandoah Hall?

Honors students are strongly encouraged to live in Shenandoah Hall, but it is not a requirement. For many students, living in the Honors Residential Learning Community feels like a family and it is where they meet many of their lifelong friends.

 Are Honors courses harder?

Not necessarily. Honors instructors are challenged to make courses more enriching. Smaller classes allow for more interaction with faculty and among students. Collaborative projects, civic learning, and research-based activities are encouraged.

 Will the Honors College be a good fit for me?

Honors students are active learners with a passionate interest in their education. They find joy in learning. They are looking for courses that challenge them to read and think widely and deeply. They are excited by ideas. They are eager for educational experiences outside the classroom, including independent research and cultural enrichment. Even if they are uncertain of their future path, they know that learning will be an integral part of it. They reflect a diversity of backgrounds and interests. If this sounds like you, you’ll feel like you are at home in the Honors College and we look forward to seeing you on campus.

 Can I visit the Honors College?

Unfortunately, the JMU Honors College is not able to invite prospective students to visit campus at this time. However, we are more than happy to answer your questions: please reach out to Dr. Alysia Davis, Director of Student Engagement. Also please note these additional opportunities:

  • If you are interested in connecting directly with a current student Honors Ambassador, let Dr. Davis know and she will get you introduced.
  • Dr. Davis will host drop-in Admitted Student Q&A Zoom sessions through October on Fridays at 4:00 p.m. To join in a session, RSVP to Dr. Davis to receive a Zoom link.
  • Take a virtual tour of Hillcrest House.

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