Academic Policies and Procedures
The Schedule of Classes, published before the beginning of each
semester, contains a detailed outline of the registration procedure.
Students are urged to study these schedules carefully and to keep
them available for immediate reference during the registration
period and throughout the semester. All students are expected
to register on the dates indicated in the calendar. Although registration
is permitted after these dates, a late registration fee is charged,
and there is no reduction in other fees.
Credit is not allowed
in any course for which the student is not duly registered. Registration
is not complete until all fees for the semester have been paid.
Unit of Credit
The James Madison University academic calendar is based on the
semester system. The unit of credit is the credit hour. A credit
hour represents one 50-minute class period each week in the semester
for lectures, or two 50-minute class periods for each week in
the semester for laboratory or field work.
The credit/no-credit option has been established to encourage
students to explore academic areas with which they are unfamiliar.
It is designed to allow students to select courses of interest
to them which are outside their major and minor fields of concentration,
especially those of exceptional challenge, without jeopardizing
their academic record. It may also be used in some cases to reduce
academic pressures and competition for grades.
to take courses under this option should be selective in choosing
which courses to take credit/no-credit. Graduate and professional
schools, as well as future employers, may view the use of non-traditional
grading systems adversely. Students should consult their academic
advisers for information concerning the inclusion of credit/no-credit
course grades within their program.
- Students are eligible to take a course on a credit/no-credit
basis if they have completed
at least 28 credit hours at JMU and have attained a 2.25 cumulative
average. Transfer students may take courses
on the credit/no-credit option if they have completed 28 credit
hours with at least
14 hours at JMU.
NOTE: Students are permitted to register
for kinesiology activity courses on a credit/
no-credit basis at any time without regard
to minimum hours completed or grade point average. The grade for
student teaching is assigned on a credit/no-credit basis.
following courses may not be taken credit/no-credit.
- Courses used to meet liberal studies
requirements (except for kinesiology).
- Courses within a major program.
- Courses within a minor program.
- Courses listed by name and number in a
major or minor program but offered outside
the major and minor department or school.
- Courses being repeated that were previously
taken for a letter grade.
- Degree requirements.
- A total of up to 15 credit hours may be taken
on a credit/no-credit basis with a maximum of four credit hours
per semester or one course of more than four credit hours. Student
teaching is not counted as a part of these totals.
- Students should
declare at registration the
course or courses they plan to take on a credit/no-credit basis.
All changes to and from the credit/no-credit option must be completed
by the end of the course adjustment period.
- Credit/no-credit will
apply only to final grades. All course work and quizzes will be
graded as for other students in the course.
- Students taking a
course on a credit/no-credit basis will not be identified to the
instructor until after final grades have been submitted.
grades will be submitted by instructors to the university registrar
who will change all grades of "A" through "C" to "CR" (credit)
for those enrolled under the credit/no-credit option. Students
will receive credit hours, but not quality points, for the work
completed. Therefore, the grade of "CR" will not affect the students'
cumulative grade point averages.
- A grade of "NC" (no-credit) will
be recorded for all grades of "D" and "F." The student will not
receive credit hours or quality points for the grade of "NC."
The fact that the course was attempted will remain on the transcript,
but the grade will not affect the student's cumulative grade point
In all programs the normal load per semester is 16 or 17 credit
hours. Any student in good standing may take a maximum of 19 credit
hours without securing special permission. A student with a cumulative
grade point average of 3.25 or better may register for as many
as 21 credit hours. Permission to exceed these limits must be
secured from the head of the department or director of the school
in which the student is majoring.
It is strongly recommended that
a student on academic warning not register for more than 16 credit
hours. A student on probation may not take more than 12 credit
An undergraduate course load of at least 12 credit hours
a semester is required for a student to live in a residence hall.
teaching should be a full-time experience. Only in exceptional
cases will additional course work be approved during the student
teaching period. Moreover, student teachers cannot expect
to work or participate in excessive extracurricular activities
during the student teaching period as any interference with student
teaching might lower the quality of the performance. Students
with problems or special needs must contact the director of teacher
education services for prior approval. All student teaching grades
are on a credit/no-credit basis.
During summer session, a student
may take four credit hours for each four-week term and seven credit
hours for each six-week term. Overloads must be approved at the
time of registration by the head of the department or director
of the school in which the student is majoring.
Students may audit courses only with permission of their faculty
advisers and the head of the department or director of the school
offering the class. Audited courses will not affect a student's
credit hours or grade point average.
A course adjustment is any change to a student's registered course
schedule, including any of the following: changing a credit option,
changing a section, adding a course, dropping a course or withdrawing
from a course. Depending on the student's course load, adding
a course may result in a tuition increase. The deadlines for processing
specific course adjustments are stated in the Schedule of Classes.
Freshmen (0-27 credit hours) must secure the prior approval of
their faculty advisers for any course adjustments.
The end of the
free period (approximately one week after the start of a regular
semester's classes) is the deadline for:
The end of the course adjustment period (approximately one week
after midterm grades are due for a regular semester) is the deadline
- adding a course or changing a section without prior approval
of the instructor and the head of the department or director of
the school offering the course,
- dropping a course, or
- making any
course adjustment without paying
a fee of $10 for each day on which an adjustment is made.
- changing a credit option, or
- withdrawing from a course.
Dropping or Withdrawing
from a Course
Dropping and withdrawing are different actions that have different
results, although both result in the termination of a student's
enrollment in the course. Dropping a course must be completed
by the end of the free period. There is no fee to drop a course,
and the dropped course will not appear on the student's transcript.
Depending on the student's course load, dropping a course may
result in a tuition reduction.
Withdrawing from a course occurs
after the end of the free period, but prior to the end of the
course adjustment period. A grade of "W" for the course will be
recorded (and remain) on the student's transcript regardless of
the status of the student in the course at the time of withdrawal.
Withdrawing from a course will not result in a tuition reduction,
and a $10 charge will be assessed for the day on which the withdrawal
occurs. Withdrawal from a course after the end of the course adjustment
period will not be permitted. Students are responsible for knowing
their registered course schedules and for making any desired course
adjustments prior to the published deadlines. Failure to attend
class does not constitute a withdrawal. After the end of the course
adjustment period, a grade other than "W" must be issued for all
Students considering withdrawing from a course
should be aware that graduate and professional schools, as well
as future employers, may view withdrawal from courses adversely.
Accordingly, a student should withdraw from a course only after
Students withdraw from the university when enrollment is terminated
before completing the semester for which they registered. A degree-seeking
student desiring to withdraw must have a conference with a staff
member in the Office of the Associate Vice President for Student
Affairs/Student Life and complete the withdrawal request form.
Students who are unsure about withdrawing are encouraged to talk
to a member of the Counseling and Student Development Center staff
before initiating withdrawal procedures.
The Office of the Associate
Vice President for
Student Affairs/Student Life must approve such requests, set the
official withdrawal date and notify other university offices of
the action. Strict compliance with this requirement is mandatory.
Students who withdraw without receiving official approval will
receive a grade of "F" for all courses in which they are enrolled.
of students withdrawing with official approval will be determined
Special students, non-degree seeking, enrolled in an off- or on-campus
course must withdraw from the university by securing a request
for withdrawal form from the Office of Continuing Education and
External Programs. This form should be completed and returned
to the Office of Continuing Education and External Programs where
the official withdrawal will be processed .
- Students who withdraw from the university before the end of the
course adjustment period will receive a grade of "W" in all their
- Students who withdraw from the university for medical
reasons will receive a "W" in all courses and will receive a prorated
refund for tuition, room and board, and fees. A medical withdrawal
must be supported by a letter from
the attending physician.
Readmission to the university is contingent on receipt of a letter
from the attending physician indicating that the student is able
to attend classes.
Medical withdrawals for psychological reasons must include a
90-day absence from the university. Supporting documentation for
the student's return to the university must be received at least
30 days before readmission.
- Students who withdraw from the university
because of documented extenuating circumstances after the end
of the course adjustment period will receive a grade of
"W" in all their courses.
- Students who withdraw from the university
after the end of the course adjustment period without documented
extenuating circumstances will receive a grade of "W" in courses
they are passing and a grade of "F" in courses they are failing
at the time of withdrawal. The grade will
be determined by each individual faculty member.
An adjustment in charges
will be figured from the official day of withdrawal. No adjustment
in charges will be made unless the withdrawal form is received
in the Office of the Associate Vice President for Student Affairs/Student
Life or the Office of Continuing Education and External Programs
(special students) within 30 days after the student leaves the
campus. Adjustments will not include non-refundable fees or charges.
Students whose connection with the university terminates because
of disciplinary actions or enforced withdrawal will receive a
prorated refund of all fees except room charges. (Further information
on refunds may be found on page 27).
All students who plan to complete their current semester but do
not intend to return to JMU for the subsequent semester should
notify the Office of the Associate Vice President for Student
Affairs/Student Life in writing. This notification is necessary
without regard to whether students have registered or paid. Questions
concerning non-returning status should be directed to the Office
of the Associate Vice President for Student Affairs, Alumnae Hall,
The classification of students depends on the number of credit
hours they have received.
Classification Credit Hours
Freshmen Fewer than 28
Seniors More than 89
The university keeps a complete record of each student's work
and sends a grade report to the student's permanent address at
the end of each semester.
Mid-semester reports on courses in which
a student is doing failing work are sent to students and their
advisers. Mid-semester grades in all courses are sent to freshmen.
academic achievement of a student in a specific course is expressed
by letters as follows:
A - Superior
B - Good
C - Average
D - Passing
F - Failure
I - Incomplete
CR - Credit for average or better work
NC - No credit awarded
W - Withdrawal
Plus or minus
symbols may be added to "A," "B" and "C" grades. These will appear
on the student's transcript but will have no effect on GPA.
in which a grade of "F" is received does not result in earned
credit hours, but does count as credit hours attempted in grade
point average computations.
In certain circumstances, a grade of
"NP" (denoting that an irregularity has resulted in a "Not Processed"
designation) will be given for a course. Since an "NP" grade will
automatically be converted to a permanent "F" grade at the end
the next regular semester, it is imperative that a student receiving
any "NP" grade contact the Office of Registration and Records
as soon as possible to make sure that appropriate action is taken
to remedy the problem.
The "I" symbol is used to indicate incomplete work in a given
course and is awarded only when a student is unable to complete
the course work because of illness or some other equally compelling
reason. Courses in which a student receives a grade of "I" must
be completed by the end of the next regular semester, or the grade
is recorded permanently as "F." See the University Calendar for
the dates by which grade changes must be reported to the Office
of Registration and Records. A student seeking a grade of "I"
should speak to the faculty member.
Grade Appeal Procedure
A student who wishes to appeal a grade must do so by the last
day of classes of the next regular session and must follow the
steps of this procedure in the order listed:
At each level of appeal there is the responsibility to confer
with the faculty member who may be required to review the basis
used in determining the grade which was awarded to the student.
- Confer with the faculty member.
The student should state at this conference
the reason or reasons on which the request for
a change of grade is based. At this meeting the faculty member
has the obligation to explain to the student the basis for determining
the grade which the student was awarded.
If the faculty member does not feel that a change of grade is
warranted, the student may then appeal, in the following order,
- Head of the department or director of the school in which
the course is offered.
- Dean of the college in which the course
- Vice president for academic affairs.
agreement to a grade change at any level of appeal, the faculty
member initiates the change of grade.
Students' participation in the work of a course is clearly a precondition
of their 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 laboratory
is a matter between the student and the faculty member in that
class or laboratory.
Students are expected to attend final examinations at their scheduled
periods. With extenuating circumstances, however, faculty members
may approve a student's request for an exception. Students whose
request for an exception is disapproved by a faculty member have
the right to appeal to the department head or school director,
academic dean or vice president for academic affairs, respectively.
No appeal will be favorably considered without prior consultation
with the faculty member.
Grade Point Average (GPA)
A student's grade point average for any period is computed by
dividing the number of quality points earned during that period
by the number of credit hours attempted during the same period.
For instance, for a period in which a student attempts 16 credit
hours and earns 40 quality points, the student's GPA is 2.5.
student's cumulative GPA is computed by dividing the total number
of quality points earned at JMU by the total number of credit
hours attempted at JMU.
Grade Earned Per Credit Hour
For example, a grade of "B" in a three credit-hour course would
earn nine quality points; a grade of "C" in the same course would
earn six quality points.
The following do not affect quality points
earned, credit hours attempted or GPA:
- Grades received at other institutions.
- Plus and minus symbols.
- "I," "CR," "NC" or "W" grades.
A student may repeat any course. All grades will be included in
calculating the student's GPA with the following exception. Each
student may elect to repeat up to two courses during enrollment
at JMU on a "repeat forgiveness" basis, which will result in the
previous grade in the repeated course being excluded from the
calculation of the student's GPA. The student must either declare
the "repeat forgiveness" option at registration or complete the
appropriate adjustment prior to the end of the course adjustment
period. A course for which a grade was assigned due to a violation
of the Honor System may not be taken on a "repeat forgiveness"
All grades will appear on the student's transcript, but
a course that has been repeated will only be counted once toward
satisfying graduation requirements.
Semester Honors Lists
To qualify for the honor of being placed on the President's List,
a student must earn a grade point average of 3.75 and carry a
course load of at least 14 hours, 12 of which must be in addition
to any courses taken on credit/no-credit or in school or departmental
To qualify for the Dean's List, a student must meet the
above requirement for course load and earn a grade point average
The retention policy defines the minimum scholarship requirement
for good standing and permission to enroll in a subsequent semester.
Credit Quality Point Deficiency
Hours Academic Academic Academic
Attempted Warning Probation Suspension
0-34 1-12 13-23 24 or more
35-68 1-9 10-17 18 or more
69-102 1-6 7-11 12 or more
103 1-5 6 or more
Quality point deficiency is twice the
number of credit hours attempted at JMU minus the number of quality
points earned at the university.
Retention standards are the same
for transfer students and students who have earned JMU credits
without quality points as any other students, except all credit
hours earned are added to the credit hours attempted to determine
the classification of the student (0-34, 35-68, 69-102, or 103
Academic Good Standing
A student is in good standing if a cumulative grade point average
of 2.0 or above is maintained.
The status of academic warning indicates that a student has a
cumulative grade point average of less than 2.0, but that the
quality point deficiency is not sufficient to warrant being placed
on academic probation.
Students placed on academic probation may not take more than 12
credit hours of course work. Students on academic probation are
expected to confer regularly with their academic advisers and
are encouraged to participate in the Educational Skills Development
A student who is academically suspended is ineligible to attend
the following two regular semesters but may attend summer school.
there are extenuating circumstances associated with an academic
deficiency, students may appeal, in writing, to the dean of the
college in which they are enrolled for reinstatement the following
Students will not receive credit for work taken at other
institutions during a period of academic suspension from the university.
academically suspended student may apply for readmission after
the end of the suspension. The decision regarding readmission
will be made by the Office of Admissions.
The transcript of a student's permanent academic course record
is released by the registration and records office only upon the
written request of the student or former student and for authorized
research purposes. The transcript is the official record of grades
earned to date and includes the date of graduation, degree received,
and date of withdrawal or dismissal. Official transcripts and
other documents with the university seal attached are not released
to the student, but are mailed directly to another college or
Reserve Graduate Credit
(Admission to Graduate Courses by Undergraduates Seeking Graduate
Undergraduate students nearing completion of their undergraduate
degrees may take up to three graduate courses for reserve graduate
credit during their senior year upon being accepted to the Graduate
School in the usual manner. This graduate credit, earned prior
to completion of an undergraduate degree, is held in reserve to
apply later toward a graduate degree.
Written permission to seek
reserve graduate credit must be obtained in writing from the dean
of the Graduate School prior to enrollment in these courses. Forms
are available in the Graduate School office. It is the student's
responsibility to obtain all required signatures.
in five-year programs must abide by the policies stated above
governing reserve graduate credit.
Approval for reserve graduate
credit does not imply approval that credit so earned will be accepted
at another graduate school. Credit for the same course is not
given toward both graduate and undergraduate degrees.
Transfer of Credit
from Other Institutions
A student wishing to earn credits at another institution, either
in the summer or during a regular session, must obtain permission
in advance from the registration and records office. The registration
and records office will make the determination concerning the
course and its application toward a JMU degree following consultation
with the head of the department or director of the school, if
necessary. The student is responsible for having an official transcript
mailed to the registration and records office when the work has
Transfer Equivalent Policy for Readmitted Students
Students who return to JMU after a separation of two calendar
years and who maintain a 2.0 GPA for 12 credit hours may be given
the option of requesting a quality point status equivalent to
that of transfer students admitted to the university.
regulations govern this option:
- The option must be exercised immediately after completing 12
- Consultation with the dean of the college in which
the student is majoring is required;
- All grades will remain a
part of the transcript;
- Eligible students will receive degree
credit for only those courses for which grades of "C" or better
were earned prior to readmission;
- Quality points earned for any
course completed prior to readmission will not count in determining
the student's new cumulative GPA; and
- The option will be extended
only once during the student's enrollment at JMU.
Choice of Catalog
The particular catalog under which a student meets degree requirements
is determined by the following policies:
- Freshmen at James Madison University enter under the current
catalog. Freshmen who enter in the summer meet the catalog requirements
for the class entering the following fall semester.
- Transfer students
may elect the current catalog or the catalog used by most of the
members of their graduating class.
- Students who re-enter the university
after an absence of a semester or more return under
the current catalog or the catalog of their graduating class.
Change in Catalog
Students who wish to change catalogs may elect the current catalog
or, in the case of transfer or
re-entry, the one used by most of the members of their graduating
class. There is no limit to the number of catalog changes students
may make as long as they have the approval of the major department
or school and adviser.
James Madison University is a progressive
educational institution. Curricular changes occur periodically
and are reflected in subsequent issues of the undergraduate catalog.
These changes may affect all currently enrolled students. Every
effort is made to alert students to these changes through the
academic advising process, individual reports of academic progress
and various campus publications. Responsibility for meeting all
graduation requirements rests with the student.
The faculty adviser and the department head or school director
make the official check on major and minor course requirements
for graduation. The registration and records office makes the
final check on courses required for the final term, total credits
earned, the liberal studies program, degree requirements and the
cumulative GPA earned at the university, as well as other university-wide
To receive a degree from James Madison University,
a student must:
A student expecting to graduate at the end of any semester must
file an Application for a Degree with the university registrar
as specified in the University Calendar.
- Meet the liberal studies requirements;
- Have a minimum of 120
earned credit hours;
- Have a grade point average of 2.0 or better;
Have a grade point average of 2.0 or better
in the major and minor subjects;
- Meet the major and degree requirements
one of the curricula leading to the degree for which they are
- Have been enrolled at JMU a minimum of two regular
semesters and have earned a minimum of 32 credit hours at JMU
during that period of enrollment;
- Be enrolled at JMU during the
semester in which the requirements for the degree are completed;
Have earned at least 60 credit hours from accredited senior (four-year)
Responsibility for meeting
the requirements for graduation rests with the student.
at commencement exercises is expected. If a student is unable
to attend commencement, the university registrar must be notified
at least 21 days prior to commencement.
Graduation with Honors
In order to be eligible for graduation with honors, the student
must have been enrolled at JMU a minimum of four regular semesters
and have completed a minimum of 60 credit hours at JMU during
that period of enrollment. The student must maintain a minimum
cumulative grade point average of at least 3.25 at James Madison
University and have a cumulative average as given below in all
course work, including that taken at other colleges. All grades
received in all courses attempted will be used in calculating
a student's grade point average in consideration for graduation
with honors. Credits completed at other colleges will be converted
to the JMU grading scale.
The average for determining honors is
computed at the end of the semester preceding the semester in
which final graduation requirements are met.
Required for Honors
Cum laude 3.25-3.499
Magna cum laude 3.50-3.749
Summa cum laude 3.75 and above
Earning a Second Baccalaureate Degree
JMU does not confer two degrees concurrently. A student who has
already received a baccalaureate degree (or graduate degree) may,
however, earn a second but different baccalaureate degree by meeting
the following requirements:
- Complete a minimum of 32 credit hours of additional course work
and two regular semesters (including the semester in which
the requirements for the second baccalaureate degree are met)
at JMU after the date on
which the first degree (undergraduate or graduate) was earned;
Meet all prerequisite and course requirements
in the major field, as well as degree requirements for the second
baccalaureate degree program; and
- Earn a cumulative grade point
average of 2.0
or higher in course work completed for the major and second baccalaureate
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Last reviewed: Sept. 10, 1994
Information Publisher: Academic Services