The Honors College welcomes applications from incoming first-year students, current JMU students, and incoming transfer students. The College seeks students interested in building a community of students, faculty, and staff united by their commitments to reach their full potential, learn with and from those around them, and address local, national, and global challenges.

The most important component of the Honors application is a 250-word student essay. For first-year and transfer applicants, the Honors Admissions Committee also reviews information on high school and college academic performance that students submit as part of their application to JMU. The Honors Admissions Committee reviews JMU grades for current JMU student applicants.

2024 Honors Application Essay Prompts

The mission of the James Madison University Honors College is to develop a diverse community of inquisitive and aspirational learners from all parts of campus through distinctive and challenging educational experiences. Our core values are 1) independent, student-centered learnings, 2) interdisciplinary training, 3) collaboration, and 4) active and informed service and leadership.

Respond to one of the prompts below to illustrate how participation in Honors education at JMU is aligned with your plans and values. Please limit your response to 250 words.

  1. Choose one of the core values listed below and explain its significance to your college or post-graduate plans.
    1. Independent, student-centered learning
    2. Interdisciplinary training
    3. Collaboration
    4. Active and informed service and leadership
  2. The Honors College provides a source of community for students, faculty, and staff. How would you participate in and contribute to the community of scholars in the JMU Honors College?

Optional: If you feel your prior grades are not a reliable signal of your potential to succeed academically at JMU and in the Honors College, the application provides space for you to provide additional context for the admissions committee.

Direct Admission for Honors Transfers

Direct Admission allows JMU-admitted transfer students meeting certain criteria to join the Honors College without going through the standard application.

To be eligible for Direct Admission to the JMU Honors College, transfer students must:

  • Be admitted to JMU.
  • Complete one year of courses (minimum of 24 credit hours) at another institution of higher education (these credits must be completed post-high school graduation). 
  • Complete at least 9 credits of Honors coursework at their previous institution.
  • Present a minimum cumulative GPA of 3.5 (4.0 scale) upon application to JMU. If a student has attended multiple institutions, they must have earned a minimum GPA of 3.5 (4.0 scale) at all previous institutions. 

Additional Terms

  • The JMU Honors College may recognize up to 12 Honors credits completed at another institution as Honors Electives at JMU. 
  • Students who are not eligible for Direct Admission to the Honors College may still apply through the standard process. 

If you would like to be admitted to the Honors College under this policy, please DO NOT submit the standard application; instead, reach out to the Associate Dean for the Honors College, Dr. Fawn-Amber Montoya.

Deadlines and Decisions

Deadlines and decision releases vary depending on your applicant type.

First-Year applicants should complete the Honors application after they have submitted their application to JMU.

Fall 2024 Honors Early Action

  • Honors Application deadline: November 8
  • Decisions released: mid-Janaury
    • If an Honors EA applicant is deferred to Regular Decision by the JMU Admissions Office, the Honors decision will also be deferred to Regular Decision

To be considered for the Dingledine-Bluestone Scholarship, students must apply Early Action to both JMU and the Honors College, and complete the Dingledine-Bluestone Scholarship through Madison Scholarships Hub by November 15.

Fall 2024: Honors Regular Decision

  • Application deadline: January 22
  • Decisions released: early April

Transfer applicants should complete the Honors application after they have applied and been admitted to JMU.

Spring 2024

  • Application deadline: November 15
  • Decisions released: early December

Fall 2024

  • Application deadline: May 15
  • Decisions released: early June

There are two application deadlines each semester for current JMU students. Students must apply by priority deadline to be eligible for priority enrollment or Honors housing for the next semester. The Honors College can rarely be completed in fewer than three semesters; please reach out to Honors Advising if you would like to discuss the feasibility of your proposed timeline.

Spring 2024 Admissions to the Honors College:

  • Priority deadline: October 1
  • Decisions released: late October
  • Final deadline: November 15
  • Decisions released: early December

Fall 2024 Admissions to the Honors College:

  • Priority deadline: March 1
  • Decisions released: late March
  • Final deadline: May 15
  • Decisions released: early June

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