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First Year Student Information

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Explore Majors

Answers to some common questions:

Why should I choose a major now?

Some majors require several courses within the first semester or first year. Other majors have more requirements in the sophomore, junior and senior years.

Your major, in addition to General Education, is a substantial part of your undergraduate curriculum. By the beginning of your sophomore year you will need to decide on a major. Until then you have time to explore.

If you already know your major, you may officially declare the major when you submit your Summer Springboard reservation through The One Book website.

Can I change my major?

Of course, and it's not uncommon to change your major once you've had some time to figure out your interests, strengths, values as well as your likes and dislikes.

Sometimes you need experience with a major before you know if it's the right fit. Be aware that with a few majors you need to begin taking major courses in your first semester or your first year to be on sequence to graduate within the traditional four-year time frame.

We encourage you to take this time to evaluate your interests. What do you enjoy doing in your spare time? Is there anything that you happen to be a "natural" at? If nothing comes to mind right away, that's OK. You have your first year to explore a variety of classes through the General Education program.

JMU's Career and Academic Planning office offers a helpful online self-assessment to help you discover majors that match your interests, skills, and career goals. Visit Focus to explore this useful tool.

If you need to submit a change of major request, follow the specific instructions found under FAQs after you log in to The One Book website.

Can I have more than one major?

We would expect you to have various interests and encourage you to explore the various majors via this web site. However, you can only declare one major when submitting your orientation reservation. You are encouraged to explore your interest in other majors when you meet with your academic advisor at Orientation.

Can I be Undeclared?

It's OK to be Undeclared. Many first year students choose Undeclared because they are still exploring a variety of majors. Here are a few things to keep in mind if you select Undeclared:

  • Be aware that with a few majors and pre-professional programs you need to begin taking major courses in your first semester or your first year to be on sequence to graduate within the traditional four-year time frame.
  • Being Undeclared means being committed to exploring majors and careers beginning with the Career Guide to JMU Majors link.
  • When you select Undeclared as your major on your Orientation reservation please use the comment box to indicate what majors interest you.

A Guide to Exploring Majors at JMU

There are many majors that can lead you to the same career path, and many career paths can come from one major. Selecting a major may seem like a daunting process, but whether you've already decided on a major or are still exploring your options this guide offers several ways to explore the majors, minors, and pre-professional programs offered at JMU.

Alphabetical Listing of majors

Find a specific major using this alphabetized index.

Career Guide to JMU Majors

Use this reference to research how JMU majors relate to various career fields. Review the guide.

Explore Majors by Category



Education and Teacher Licensure

You should major in the discipline associated with your specific teacher licensure area of interest. Please refer to the table below. Programs noted with an asterisk are 5-year teacher licensure programs leading to a master's degree. English as a Second Language can be a four or five year program.

Teaching Licensure Area JMU Major
Art (PreK-12) Studio Art
Dance (PreK-12) Dance
Elementary Education (PreK-6) Interdisciplinary Liberal Studies (1)
English as a Second Language (PreK-12) Modern Foreign Language or English is suggested (2)
Health and Physical Education (PreK-12) Kinesiology (1)
Inclusive Early Childhood Education (PreK-3 and Special Education Birth-age 5) Interdisciplinary Liberal Studies (1)
Middle Education Interdisciplinary Liberal Studies (1)
Music Education Music
Secondary Education (6-12) Select the major that represents your content area of interest (1, 3)
Social Studies History or Political Science
Special Education (K-12) Interdisciplinary Liberal Studies or Psychology suggested (1)
Theatre Education (PreK-12) Theatre

1. These are five-year teacher licensure programs with a required master’s degree.
2. This can be a four or five-year program.
3. Declare one of the following majors: biology, chemistry, Earth science, English, history, mathematics, modern
foreign languages, physics or political science.

Health and Human Services

Hospitality, Sport and Recreation Management

Humanities and Social Sciences

Pre-professional Programs

Pre-professional programs are not majors. Pre-professional programs outline a set of JMU courses and requirements that commonly serve as prerequisites for admission to doctoral and masters-level professional programs.

Pre-forensic Studies
Pre-occupational Therapy
Pre-physical Therapy
Pre-physician Assistant
Pre-veterinary Medicine

Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM) Majors

Visual and Performing Arts Majors

Sound-Alike Majors

Some majors at JMU have names that are easy to confuse such as the majors listed to the right. Read the names of these majors carefully and then go ahead and simply click on the links to learn more.

Communication Sciences and Disorders
Communication Studies
Writing, Rhetoric and Technical Communication

Computer Science
Computer Information Systems

International Affairs
International Business