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The deadline for incoming first-year students to apply to the Honors College for Fall 2023 has passed. Incoming transfer students and current JMU students may still apply. Please see below for details.

Please click here to access the JMU Honors College application.


Applicants who have successfully completed the application will see the following message on the confirmation screen:

"Thank you for applying to the Honors College at James Madison University. Honors College decisions are released two weeks after JMU decisions."

If you don't see this message, please go back and resubmit your application.

Application Criteria

Applicants will report unweighted GPA, demographic information, and answer one of four essay prompts. Students are admitted on the strength of their application essay. The essay should be well-written, contain a coherent argument, and sufficiently address the prompt as well as demonstrate a passion for critical thinking and lifelong learning. The essay word limit is 250 words. 

For 2023-2024, the essay prompts are:

  • Critically discuss why you believe what you believe about social justice. Using one specific example from your life, how do you anticipate that your future will be connected to social justice issues?
  • Which is the better approach - focusing on what is going right or focusing on what is going wrong? Justify your answer with one specific example from your life.
  • Think of your personal and career aspirations. Using a specific example from your life, discuss the implications of changing demographics for your future.
  • Choose one specific example from your life to explain how science AND literature can be used to address a current problem. 
Deadlines and Decisions

The Honors College welcomes applications from incoming first-year students, current JMU students, and incoming transfer students.

Incoming first-year students and transfer students desiring admission to the JMU Honors College must apply to both JMU and to the Honors College. The Honors College requires a separate online application. Both completed applications must be received by the following dates to be considered.

Current JMU students desiring admission to the Honors College must complete an Honors College application and should have a cumulative GPA of 3.3.


Deadlines for Incoming First-Year Students:

  • Honors Early Action (EA) Deadline: November 8, 2022
  • JMU Early Action (EA) Deadline: November 1, 2022

Scholarship eligibility: After applying to both JMU (by Nov. 1) and the Honors College via EA (by Nov. 8), applicants must apply through Madison Scholarships Hub to be eligible for the Honors College Dingledine-Bluestone Scholarship and many university-level merit-based scholarships.

Important note: Once a prospective student has applied to JMU and the Honors College, it will take 2-3 business days for the Honors College Dingledine-Bluestone scholarship application to open in Madison Scholarship Hub. Scholarship applications must be completed by November 15, 2022 to receive full consideration.

  • Honors Regular Decision (RD) Deadline: February 2, 2023
  • JMU Regular Decision (RD) Deadline: January 15, 2023

Decisions for Incoming First-Year Students:

Honors EA/RD decisions will be released in MyMadison two weeks after JMU Office of Admissions releases decisions. Decisions made by the Honors College have no bearing on decisions made by the JMU Office of Admissions. 

If an Honors early action applicant is deferred by the JMU Admissions Office, the Honors decision will be deferred to regular decision. 


Transfer Students

Deadlines for Transfer Students:

Applications are accepted on a rolling basis after notification of acceptance to JMU.

Students in honors programs at select Virginia community colleges may transfer directly into the Honors College. 

Decisions for Transfer Students:

Transfer students will be notified by email and through their MyMadison accounts within 3 weeks of applying. Students must be accepted to JMU prior to submitting an Honors College application.

Current JMU Students

Deadlines for Current JMU Students:

  • January 12, 2023 (Spring Admission)
  • May 15, 2023 (Fall Admission)

To inquire about admission prior to these deadlines, contact Dr. Alysia Davis.

Decisions for Current JMU Students:

Current students will be notified by email within 3 weeks of the application deadline. Students must declare the minor in MyMadison in order to be formally admitted.

In most cases, the minimum length of study required to complete the Honors curriculum at JMU is 5 semesters. Students who anticipate graduating in four semesters should explain in the optional "additional information" section of the application how they expect to complete their Honors coursework within their anticipated timeframe. It is always advised that you contact the Honors Advisor for assistance in planning and projecting your time to degree.

For more information on admissions to the Honors College, please contact

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