JMU moves up in Best Colleges national rankings

JMU Headlines

HARRISONBURG, Virginia — In only its second year of being ranked among national universities, James Madison University jumped eight spots to No. 64 among public institutions in U.S. News & World Report’s 2024 Best Colleges rankings.

Overall, JMU moved up 27 spots to No. 124 nationally. U.S. News & World Report defines “national universities” as offering “a range of undergraduate majors, plus master’s and doctoral programs, and [emphasizing] faculty research or [awarding] professional practice doctorates.”

In 2022, JMU earned a Carnegie Commission classification of R2 Doctoral University with “high research activity.”

JMU’s U.S. News ranking profile places it in the top tier of academic institutions in the country.

This year’s rankings reflect a change in methodology, including an increased emphasis on how often a school’s students from all socioeconomic backgrounds earned degrees as well as graduation rates. Other measures included peer assessments, first-year retention rates, performance of first-generation students and Pell Grant recipients, graduates’ earnings, faculty salaries and financial resources per student.

JMU’s notable rankings in the 2024 Best Colleges report include: 

  • National Universities — No. 124
  • Top Public Schools — No. 64
  • Best Undergraduate Business — No. 103
  • Best Undergraduate Engineering — Non-Doctorate No. 30
  • Best Undergraduate Nursing — No. 86 
  • Best Undergraduate Economics — No. 145
  • Best Undergraduate Psychology — No. 98

Additional information on JMU as well as other notable rankings can be found here.


Media Contact: Mary-Hope Vass,

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Published: Monday, September 18, 2023

Last Updated: Wednesday, November 1, 2023

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