James Madison University recognizes that many people cannot or do not want to attend college on a full-time or degree-seeking basis and that many potential students have educational needs that do not conform to traditional academic programs. Courses for in-service instruction, new licensure or relicensure for school personnel, and programs leading to off-campus graduate degrees are offered where there is demand and sufficient enrollment to support these programs.
The university also provides graduate courses pursuant to the Master of Business Administration in the Charlottesville area. A variety of other courses are available for off-campus delivery if accreditation and enrollment requirements are met.
A student enrolled for credit courses who is not presently seeking a degree is classified as a special student. This classification applies to students who enroll for day and/or evening classes on or off campus.
Special students by definition have not been admitted to a degree program at James Madison University. The taking of courses as a special student does not imply later applicability of these courses toward a program, or imply preferential regular admission consideration. Special students who subsequently seek admission to work toward a degree will have courses taken in "special" status evaluated to determine their applicability toward the degree sought.
An individual who has been academically dismissed from any institution because of low academic standing must wait for a period of at least two calendar years before enrolling as a special student. An individual who has been denied regular degree-seeking admission to JMU must wait for a period of one calendar year before enrolling as a special student. To qualify as an adult special student there must be an interruption of at least two years in the student's formal education.
Graduates of accredited institutions who want to take courses and do not want to pursue advanced degrees may enroll as special students. These non-degree, post-baccalaureate/post-master's students may register for classes but are not admitted to the undergraduate program or the graduate school.
Students may choose to take classes on a non-degree basis if they currently do not desire to work toward an undergraduate or graduate degree or if there is no higher degree available in their department or field of interest.
Any student who holds a bachelor's degree or master's degree and wants to pursue a graduate degree or a second graduate degree should apply through the Graduate School Office.
The post-baccalaureate/post-master's student may enroll for undergraduate and 500-level courses. They may also register with prior written approval for 600-700 graduate-level courses. Students who receive this permission should understand that graduate work taken in this status carries full graduate credit but does not necessarily apply toward a degree at James Madison University. If the student later applies for and enrolls in the Graduate School, a maximum of nine hours taken at the post-baccalaureate/post-master's level may be applied to a degree program upon the recommendation of the department head and approval of the dean of the Graduate School.
Graduates of an accredited institution who want to enroll in 600-level graduate courses offered by the College of Business must be admitted as degree-seeking graduate students.
Term/Transient Special Students
An undergraduate student working toward a degree at another accredited institution is known as a term special. A graduate student holding a baccalaureate degree from an accredited institution and presently working toward a graduate degree at an accredited institution other than JMU is known as a transient special.
A term/transient special student may enroll at James Madison University to take up to 11 credit hours per semester and must enroll each semester. In addition to the enrollment form for special students, term/transient special students must submit documentation of good standing at their home college or university and must specify that the courses undertaken at JMU are to be transferred to the home institution. These requirements must be completed prior to registration each semester. Generally, these courses should not be available at the home institution for that semester.
International Special Students
Students from foreign countries who are attending JMU for one semester, or in certain cases a full academic year, under a program sponsored by the university and a foreign institution of higher education are classified as international special students. These students will be accorded all rights and privileges and will be expected to meet the same responsibilities as regular JMU students.
These students will be permitted to take more than 11 credit hours with the approval of the international student adviser.
Adult Special Students
Undergraduate students may enroll at JMU as adult special students and register for up to 11 credit hours per semester for college credit without qualifying credentials under the following conditions:
Persons who have reached the age of 60 and have had legal domicile in the state for one year may take courses without paying tuition or fees (except for course materials) under certain conditions. If the senior citizen had a federal taxable income of not more than $10,000 in the preceding year, the individual may take a course for academic credit without paying tuition. Determination of eligibility for this benefit will include a review of the IRS 1040 form. If the person's taxable income exceeded $10,000 the individual may audit the course for free or pay the tuition if credit is desired.
A senior citizen who is not enrolled for academic credit may take no more than three audit courses per semester. There is no restriction on the number of courses which an eligible senior citizen may take for credit.
Senior citizens must meet the appropriate admissions or enrollment requirements. Tuition waivers are granted on a "space available" basis after all tuition-paying students have been accommodated.
High School Special Students
High school students who have completed their junior year may enroll at JMU as special students. They may enroll for classes in the summer term preceding their senior year and/or during their senior year. After graduating from high school, a student is no longer eligible for this program.
Students enrolling in this program may register for no more than two courses during the summer term and one course each term while attending high school classes.
High school students seeking to enroll at James Madison University under this program must submit the enrollment form as a special student, a supportive recommendation from the high school principal or guidance counselor, and an acceptable transcript of high school grades. High school special students must complete these enrollment requirements to attend each subsequent semester.
Course request forms must be approved by the head of the department in which the student desires to register. If the student is admitted as a degree-seeking student at James Madison University following high school graduation, credits earned, where appropriate, will apply toward degree requirements. Transfer of these credits to other colleges would be at the discretion of the institution concerned.
JMU will also award Advanced Standing credit to high school senior students who successfully complete equivalent courses at other accredited institutions of higher learning.
Persons who do not wish to receive credit for a course(s) may register to audit the course(s). Course request forms must be approved by the head of the department(s) in which the student wishes to audit a course(s).
Fees for audit will be assessed on the same basis as fees for credit.
The university coordinates noncredit, instructional programs through the Office of Continuing Education and External Programs.
Noncredit courses are available for supplementing and updating knowledge, skills and abilities.
Some noncredit courses award continuing education units as a uniform measure of occupational development.
The Office of Continuing Education and External Programs serves as a referral center for the external community to access the university's noncredit resources.
The continuing education and external programs office delivers a variety of public service programs in an attempt to extend the resources of the university to the citizens of the region and build educational partnerships among all levels of education, business and industry. A variety of camps, conferences, institutes and other outreach programs are offered by the continuing education and external programs office to achieve this goal.
Information pertaining to these courses, programs and services is available upon request from The Office of Continuing Education and External Programs, James Madison University, Harrisonburg, VA 22807.
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