James Madison University awarded new Carnegie Classification aligning university with national prominence

JMU News

by Mary-Hope Vass


Harrisonburg, Virginia – James Madison University’s world class academic excellence and national prominence has been validated with a new Carnegie Classification of R2 Doctoral University with high research activity through the Carnegie Commission.

“Our rise to such levels of recognition is a direct result of JMU’s decades of excellent teaching, support for students and commitment to a premier undergraduate and graduate experience,” explains JMU President Jonathan Alger. “This transition has been intentional as the university grows and better aligns us with our peer institutions, while allowing JMU to maintain its uniqueness.”

As an R2 university, JMU will have new opportunities to elevate the academic mission of the university, while expanding research and scholarship for faculty and students and participating in larger, national conversations.

JMU was previously considered a master’s-level institution. This transition to R2 will continue emphasizing the university’s core commitments of providing close faculty and student interactions; high-quality undergraduate and graduate education enhanced by research and scholarship; and extraordinary teaching faculty who provide opportunities that are collaborative, interdisciplinary and engaging within the community.

“I am tremendously proud of our faculty for establishing an environment in which JMU can remain distinctive in its emphasis on strong mentoring and high-quality teaching at all levels and on providing students with rich opportunities to learn through hands-on experiences and participation in research,” said JMU Provost and Senior Vice President of Academic Affairs Heather Coltman. “We arrived at this milestone through the increasing national reputation and success of our graduate and doctoral programs, combined with our continued growth and prominence in research, scholarship and creative activities.”

“While these changes are critically important to the growth of JMU, we have not lost sight of what makes JMU special. The university will continue to be a place where students can develop into their full potential and be their best and authentic selves. This is an exciting and important milestone for JMU, and we’re fortunate to be surrounded by such talented students and colleagues,” said Alger.

To read more about JMU’s classification, visit www.jmu.edu/being-seen.  Additional information about the Carnegie Classification can be found online.  

Watch these clips to learn more about this transition and hear from senior leaders and Dr. Lynn Pasquerella, president of the American Association of Colleges and Universities.



Media contact: Mary-Hope Vass, vassmg@jmu.edu


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Published: Friday, February 18, 2022

Last Updated: Thursday, January 4, 2024

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