Cover Photo Image

Graduate applicants who are non-native speakers of English must demonstrate English language proficiency. Graduate programs at JMU invite high levels of student engagement through class discussions, collaborative projects, and interpersonal contact with professors and peers. The ability to communicate proficiently in the English language is vital to a student’s participation and success in the graduate program.

Candidates demonstrate English proficiency using one of these options:
Option One

Provide a transcript of an earned Bachelor’s or higher degree from an accredited college or university in the U.S. or an accredited college or university outside the U.S. at which English is recognized as the primary language of instruction.

Option Two

Submit satisfactory English language proficiency test scores. These scores are typically acceptable*

  • Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL) iBT total score of 80 or above
  • International English Language Testing System (IELTS) overall band score of 6.5 or above

*The scores on each of the subtests (reading, writing, speaking, and listening) must be satisfactory.

Option Three

Successfully complete English language preparation programs for graduate school offered by one of the following:

How to submit scores

Send your official TOEFL scores directly to JMU institution code 5392 from Educational Testing Services (ETS) or have the IELTS center send official scores to: The Graduate School, James Madison University, MSC 6702, 100 E. Grace St., Harrisonburg, VA 22807

JMU must receive all scores directly from the testing service.

Candidates with extraordinary circumstances

If you believe that you have an extraordinary way to demonstrate your English-language proficiency, after you submit your application, please send an e-mail to and include your evidence.  Note that alternative ways of demonstrating English-language proficiency can take extra time because we must verify the information that you submit.  JMU programs consider requests for exceptions on a case by case basis.

Back to Top