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What is an Exchange Program?

An exchange program offers JMU students the opportunity to study at one of our partner institutions while being immersed in the cultures of some of the world's most exciting and innovative cities. JMU Exchange offers participants a more self-directed and authentic study abroad experience. Instead of traveling with a group of JMU students, exchange participants are generally the only, or one of few, representing JMU at their host institution and in the classroom.

While in the classroom, participants work alongside students and professors from across the globe. As an exchange participant, it is not required to be fluent in a particular language. All our university partners, apart from the University of Salamanca, offer courses taught in English.

Exchange programs are available only for the fall or spring semesters or a full academic year. Exchange programs are not available during the summer.

Application Process

Applying to an exchange institution is a multi-step process and requires students to work closely with CGE, their host university, and their academic advisor.

Start by browsing our university partners below and find a location that interests you and offers coursework that fits into your academic plan. Browse the course catalog of your host university to find classes that could transfer to meet your degree requirements and determine how many credit hours you need to complete at your host university to equal a full-time semester or full academic year at JMU.

Once you have constructed a potential course list, submit it to your academic advisor or department head for their approval. It is at this point that you can formally start an application for a specific exchange program, using the purple “Apply Now” buttons nested in each host university’s page. These will direct you to our online application portal, Terra Dotta.

The JMU Exchange application requires many components, all of which must be received by the Center for Global Engagement (CGE) before your application can be fully processed. Please make certain that you have completed all steps in the application process.

After your acceptance from JMU, you will then apply directly to the host institution. Access to the host’s application will be provided by the Center for Global Engagement. Once officially accepted by the host institution, you will be provided with a list of next steps and required documents, including transfer credit forms, visa applications, lodging arrangements, and flights.

Applicant Requirements:
All students must be in good academic standing and hold a minimum 3.0 GPA (or the minimum GPA required by your host university) to be considered for admission.

Students must have also completed their first year at JMU before going abroad. There are exceptions for Transfer Students.

Application Deadlines

Applications for the following academic year (next Fall and Spring Semester) open September 1 each year.

Application Deadline: February 1st
Application Decision: March 1st

Applications will be accepted on a rolling basis for the remaining spaces after the deadline. If the application deadline falls on a Saturday or Sunday, applications will be accepted until 5 p.m. on the next business day.

Exchange Partner Universities

Most of our international partners offer the same disciplines as JMU. Most of the universities offer courses in English, so proficiency in that country's native language will not always be required. 

Meet with Academic Advisor
It is highly recommended that you meet with your academic advisor during the application process. Your advisor will be able to inform you if the courses you intend to take through the exchange program will be appropriate for your academic plan. (Credits will be evaluated and approved by individual department heads or advisors in each department.)

Transfer Credit Process
In order to receive academic credit, all exchange participants must “Permission to Take Courses for Transfer Credit” form, provide a course description and/or syllabus, and get the required department signatures.


Exchange programs are often the most cost-effective way for students to study abroad for a semester. Students continue to pay their tuition to JMU, but pay room and board fees to the host university, which can be less expensive than housing in the states. 

Paying for Exchange:
Since the participant will pay JMU tuition, the charge will be posted on the student’s M3 account. Charges for housing and meal plans will be paid directly to the host institution. For most institutions, these payments are made upon arrival.

Financial Aid:
JMU offers financial aid for students on JMU programs subject to the standard restrictions. For more information, please contact JMU's Financial Aid Office.


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