Many students declare IdLS with multiple college credit hours earned at another school. Understandably, they're hoping this academic coursework satisfies many IdLS major requirements so that they may graduate in their initial timeframe. The reality is a bit more complicated. Here, then, are questions commonly asked by transfer students. While the following answers are a good first step to help you transition to JMU's IdLS major, you should contact a JMU transfer advisor in Roop Hall well before you matriculate to JMU.

Does JMU have any formal orientation for transfer students?

Yes, and a very good one! In fact, you must complete a series of workshop modules and attend an orientation appointment before you can enroll in any JMU courses. These modules and the mandatory orientation will help smooth your transition to JMU and ensure a successful first semester. More information about this orientation and the steps to complete beforehand are found on the web page 1st Semester Advising and Enrollment Information. Or send a note to University Advising at or call 540.568.7350.

Will I be able to get into classes when I attend my Transfer Orientation appointment?

Yes. You'll get the courses you need to progress in the major. When you come to your orientation appointment, advisors will work with you to plan a reasonable semester schedule that meets major and/or minor requirements. And before you leave, you will have time to enroll in those classes. However, when you return to JMU, please schedule a follow-up appointment with the IdLS academic advising coordinator. Together we'll ensure all your transfer credit information has been received by the JMU Registrar and will map out future semester schedules so you stay on track to graduate on time.

I'm finishing an associate degree from a VA community college. Will that satisfy all my IDLS core courses?

An approved associate degree will waive JMU's General Education requirement--read about that here. But as a classroom teacher licensed to teach in Virginia, you will need more content knowledge from the Gen Ed curriculum than the typical mainstream JMU student. The IDLS core is designed to give you this content knowledge and will require some coursework beyond what's needed to satisfy JMU's Gen Ed requirement. Please contact the IdLS academic advising coordinator to find out what courses beyond the associate degree you'll need to take to satisfy the IdLS core.

I'm transferring to JMU with a high number of college credit hours but no associate degree. Will my General Education requirement be automatically be waived?

No. An approved associate degree waives the Gen Ed requirement, not specific Gen Ed courses. And depending on your major, specific course options in a given Gen Ed cluster area may be preferred over others. Please view this short video for more about this distinction. Please contact the IdLS academic advising coordinator for more details.

I hear that 120 credit hours earn students a JMU degree. I'm tranferring to JMU with 60 credit hours from another school. Does that mean I will graduate in two years? 

Not necessarily. First, 120 is the minimum number of credit hours needed to earn a degree. Depending on your major, you may need to well exceed that minimum. Second, your target graduation date depends on what major, gen ed, and degree requirements your transfer credit hours satify for your JMU degree. That's determined by the JMU Registrar when you forward your school's transcript; JMU's transfer credit evaluation team will then determine the JMU equivalents of the courses you are transferring in, and you'll be able to see which satisfy major requirments and which did not. Once your transcripts have been sent to JMU, please meet with a transfer advisor in the JMU Advising Office or with an advising coordinator in the department you're majoring in. That advisor can assess the course credit you're bringing into JMU and map out a major planner to determine what requirements you still have to meet--and in how many semesters. 

I'm a high school student wanting to complete coursework at a Virginia community college (VCCS) before enrolling at JMU. What classes should I take if I want to major in IdLS? 

Your VA community college will have an advisor familiar with JMU majors. Make a point to meet with this person in order to take the classes that will count for the IdLS core. Additional information related to transferring to JMU including specific VCCS/JMU course equivalents can be found here.

I was told the JMU Registrar has reviewed the college course credit I've earned elsewhere and determined what JMU course equivalents I have credit for. Where can I find the transfer credit report, and how do I interpret it? 

You'll find the Registrar's transfer credit report on your Student Center page in MyMadison. For help accessing it and interpreting its results, visit the transfer students web page here.

Will everything I took at my community college transfer?

If you earned a "C" or better in your college classes, the credits will likely transfer. But that doesn't mean everything you took at a community college will "count" where you need it. For example, some college credit earned elsewhere may "count" at JMU but only as elective credit needed to meet the 120 credit hours minimum to graduate from JMU. For help determining what requirements your incoming credit will satisfy toward the IDLS major or BS degree, please contact the IdLS office at 540-568-5260 or  

I will be transferring from a four-year college (in- or out-of state) and have taken some college-level education courses. Will they meet education program requirements? 

Your first stop for answers to such questions is the JMU Registrar. Their transfer credit team will review the official transcript you requested from your current school to see which credit hours JMU will "count" for general education or IdLS requirements. Be sure to have this evaluation done before you start coursework at JMU. Once that's done, direct all questions about your education-related coursework to an advisor in the College of Education program you're minoring in. If you don't yet have an education advisor, visit or contact one of the advisors in the Education Support Center, Memorial Hall Rm. 7230/7240.

As a transfer student, do I have to take the Math Placement Exam?

That will depend on your major. Please visit this page, and complete the short "decision tree, which will tell you if the MPE is optional for you.

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