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Congratulations! The Office of Residence Life welcomes all incoming first year students!

All first year students are required to live in university residence halls for the entirety of their first academic year at James Madison University (fall and spring semesters). First year students that join JMU in the spring will be housed only for the spring semester.

Exceptions to the first year residency requirement may be made for:

  • First year students who commute daily within a 60-mile radius from the permanent home address of their parents or legal guardians as indicated on their application for admission to JMU.
  • First-year students who are 21 years of age or older.
  • Prior active duty military service.
  • Married first year students.

Requests for exceptions must be made in writing to the Housing Office. All requests must be made by the incoming student and must come from their @dukes account.


The One Book is comprised of several steps you need to complete, including signing your First Year Housing Contract, to prepare for your transition to JMU.

New first year students for fall 2022 will be able to access the Online Housing System on April 1, 2022. Students can access the Online Housing System within 24–48 hours of paying their Admissions deposit.

The deadline to sign the First Year Housing Contract is May 31, 2022.  Students who sign their contract by that date will select their room during Online Room Selection in July 2022.


Move-In Fall 2022

First year students: Friday, August 19 and Saturday, August 20.

Students will select their specific move-in time during the first week of August.  More information about move in including how students will sign up for their move in time will be sent out during the last week of July.


Frequently Asked Questions

General Residence Life Questions
  • Yes, all residence halls are coed. Most first year halls are assigned same-gender floors or sections.
  • All bathrooms are designated as female, male or gender inclusive.
  • Gender specific bathrooms may not be used by the opposite gender.
  • Gender inclusive bathrooms are single-occupancy.
  • All first year students are required to live on-campus
  • Exceptions to this requirement include first year students admitted as commuter students and first year students that receive a residency waiver approval from Residence Life.
  • While returning students are not guaranteed housing subsequent years, there is upperclass housing on campus for sophomores, juniors and seniors.
  • Each year we are able to house approximately 35% of the sophomore class, so you should definitely think about living on campus after your first year!
  • Almost all first year students will select rooms in halls that are exclusively first year.
  • Paul Jennings Hall houses both first year and upperclass students. First year students live on floors 1-3 and upperclass students on floors 4-5.
First Year Housing Questions

We have five residential areas on campus. In those areas, the following halls will be available to first year students:

  • Bluestone: Harper Allen-Lee, Hoffman, Spotswood, and Wayland
  • Hillside: Bell, Hillside, and McGraw-Long
  • Lake: Eagle and Shorts
  • Skyline: Chesapeake, Chandler, Shenandoah and floors 1-3 of Paul Jennings
  • Village: Chappelear, Dingledine, Frederikson, Garber, Hanson, Huffman, Ikenberry, Weaver and White

Incoming first-year students can apply online starting April 1.

  • About 95% of our first year halls feature community or suite style bathrooms.
  • If you have a medical condition that requires special accommodations, please download the Housing Accommodation Form.
  • Rooms vary from hall to hall and sometimes from room to room within each hall.
  • Floor plans and more information about each hall can be found via our Res Hall Descriptions page.
  • Bedrooms are not cleaned by university staff.
  • Common areas and community bathrooms are cleaned regularly.
  • Private suite baths are not cleaned by university staff. Remember: if a bathroom is behind a locked door the housekeeper does not clean it.
  • Each hall has one or more laundry rooms with JACard (Flex, not dining dollars) operated washers and dryers. All machines also accept quarters.
  • All halls have high efficiency (HE) washers that recommend special HE detergent.
  • Apartments on Grace, Bluestone Residence Halls, Hillside Residence Halls, and Skyline Residence Halls all have A/C throughout the buildings.
  • All Village hall suite areas and TV lounges have AC.
  • Eagle and Shorts Hall TV lounges have AC.
  • We will not be utilizing these options for the 2022-2023 academic year.
  • All beds measure 36” wide by 80” long, commonly called Twin XL.
  • If you are over 6’8” and are interested in a longer bed, please contact us at res-life@jmu.edu.
  • How high a bed can be raised and/or lofted depends on the hall. You can check your res hall's bed type and details can be found on the Move-In Page or in your res hall's full description.
Roommate Questions

Students are encouraged to, but not required to, select a roommate. If you do not select a roommate, you will go through First Year Online Room Selection (ORS) as an individual and another student will select the other space in your room.

  • While first year students can select their roommate(s), they cannot select suitemates.

While you can select your roommate(s), you cannot select suitemates.

  • Room capacities vary within halls and from hall to hall.
  • Most rooms are doubles and house two students. A very small number of specific rooms are designated as singles and some are designated as triples.
  • Room rates are the same for all residence hall rooms.
  • While first year students can select their roommate(s), they cannot select suitemates.
  • During the first week in the semester, roommates are required to complete a roommate agreement for and are given tips and strategies for getting along. Roommates discuss typical living issues such as cleanliness, studying and borrowing items and complete the roommate agreement stating their decisions.
  • Hall staff encourages residents to initially address concerns directly with roommates. If personal communications fail, Resident Advisers (RAs) and Hall Directors (HDs) intervene and help mediate a roommate agreement for peaceful coexistence. Students are encouraged to resolve conflicts.
  • Although room changes are not encouraged, a change can be made (if space is available) by submitting a Room Change Request Form and the approval of the Housing Office three weeks after the beginning of the semester.
Live on Again! Contract for 2022-2023 Questions
  • Starting on May 1, incoming students have the option to sign a Live On Again! Contract for on campus housing for 2022-2023.
  • This contract guarantees them a space in one of our upperclass residence halls for their second year at JMU.
  • Students may sign this contract through the same Online Housing System that they used to sign their 2021-2022 first year housing contract.
  • Approximately 6,700 of JMU’s 22,000 full-time undergraduate students are housed in University-sponsored residence halls. The remaining students live at home or in nearby apartments.
Move-in Questions
  • First year students are expected to check in on their assigned move-in day.
  • Only students coming with an approved organization, such as the marching band, a fall sport, or international students will be allowed early check in.
  • If you are a member of one of those groups, their group leader will contact you with those details.
  • Carts are not available in all buildings and availability is not guaranteed.
  • Hand carts are an excellent item to bring with you on Move-in Day!
  • Harper Allen-Lee, Hoffman, Wayland, Eagle, Shorts, Chandler, Chesapeake, Paul Jennings and Shenandoah have elevators.
Things to Bring Questions
  • A bed, desk, desk chair, dresser and wardrobe/closet area are provided for each student.
  • Each room also has overhead lighting, data jacks, roller shades/mini-blinds and cable hook-up (not including cable cords) are provided.
  • Room Contents Key
  • Basic purchases include bed linens, towels, school supplies and storage bins.
  • Please visit our Move-In page for a complete list of what to bring and what NOT to bring.
  • Lofts can be purchased or built.
  • All lofts must comply with Residence Life specifications, which can be found on our Hall Policies page under “Loft Beds”).
  • Residence Life currently partners with College Savers.
  • Students interested in purchasing desk hutches can visit College Savers website for ordering information.
    • Orders will be sent via Fed-Ex to the central mail room.
  • Residence Life does not currently partner with any refrigerator, loft, carpet/rug or linen rental companies. 
  • Wall types differ hall to hall. Wall type for each hall can be found via our hall descriptions.
    • For cinderblock: use poster putty (the white, NOT blue kind) or hooks with non-damaging adhesive (i.e. Command Hooks)
    • For drywall: use thumb tacks/push pins.
  • DO NOT use duct tape on any walls, doors or furniture.
  • Failure to use the appropriate adhesives on walls can result in fines at move-out at the end of the year.
  • One 5 cubic foot total capacity, or smaller, refrigerator per room is permitted.
  • No microwaves are permitted in residence hall rooms, but they are available in hall lounges or kitchens.
  • Microfridges (refrigerator/microwave combo) are prohibited.
  • Traditional extension cords are prohibited.
  • Please use a UL approved power strip/circuit breaker for additional electrical outlets.
  • These must be plugged directly into the wall. Lamps with an outlet in the base and bed risers with electrical outlets are prohibited.
  • Yes, each hall office has at least one vacuum that students may check out during office hours.
  • Mini-vacuums and hand vacuums are great to bring with you.
Policy Questions

A room adequately accommodates the persons to whom it is contracted and a few guests. Overcrowding rooms is a safety concern and an issue of community welfare. Residents may have no more than one guest per resident per night; overnight capacity in the bedroom may not exceed one guest per resident.

  • If students plan to have overnight guests, they must obtain agreement from their roommate in advance. Roommates must have full use of their room at all times and must give consent to overnight guests. If roommates do not agree on having an overnight guest, the right of the student who does not want the guest takes priority. The overnight guest must already reside in the same residence hall as the host. No outside overnight guests are permitted this year.
  • Guests may stay overnight in student bedrooms only (residents and guests may not sleep in suite rooms, apartment living rooms, lounges, or other public areas) and must use gender-appropriate or gender-neutral bathrooms.
  • Hosts are responsible at all times for the activities and actions of their guests. Guests who violate any residence hall or university policies may be required to leave and the host held accountable. Damages attributed to guests may be charged to the hosting students.
  • Hosts may not give their room key or JMU Access Card (JAC) to their guest. Guests are only allowed to visit their host, and are not permitted to wander the halls or visit other residents or rooms unless they are explicitly invited and escorted by their host.
  • Students may not have overnight guests during final examination weeks.
  • Roommates or other hall residents who believe their rights are being violated or that they are being imposed upon should first discuss the matter with the other party. If this does not lead to a resolution of the problem, residents should contact their RA or residence hall director.

A room adequately accommodates the persons to whom it is contracted and a few guests. Overcrowding rooms is a safety concern and an issue of community welfare. Residents may have no more than one guest per resident per night; overnight capacity in the bedroom may not exceed one guest per resident.

  • If students plan to have overnight guests, they must obtain agreement from their roommate in advance. Roommates must have full use of their room at all times and must give consent to overnight guests. If roommates do not agree on having an overnight guest, the right of the student who does not want the guest takes priority. The overnight guest must already reside in the same residence hall as the host. No outside overnight guests are permitted this year.
  • Guests may stay overnight in student bedrooms only (residents and guests may not sleep in suite rooms, apartment living rooms, lounges, or other public areas) and must use gender-appropriate or gender-neutral bathrooms.
  • Hosts are responsible at all times for the activities and actions of their guests. Guests who violate any residence hall or university policies may be required to leave and the host held accountable. Damages attributed to guests may be charged to the hosting students.
  • Hosts may not give their room key or JMU Access Card (JAC) to their guest. Guests are only allowed to visit their host, and are not permitted to wander the halls or visit other residents or rooms unless they are explicitly invited and escorted by their host.
  • Students may not have overnight guests during final examination weeks.
  • Roommates or other hall residents who believe their rights are being violated or that they are being imposed upon should first discuss the matter with the other party. If this does not lead to a resolution of the problem, residents should contact their RA or residence hall director.
  • No, however, there are quiet hours and courtesy hours.
  • There are numerous policies and regulations which govern community living in the residence halls, including rules related to alcohol, illegal drugs, pets, cooking, etc.
  • A full list of policies with explanations is available on our website under Hall Policies.
  • Although we know students come to college with ideas and expectations about alcohol and drug use, we have policies that are enforced in the residence halls.
  • We neither condone nor ignore violations of university policies.
  • Our staff members are trained to respond to a variety of behavioral incidents and conduct duty tours of their respective buildings several times each evening.
  • In order to be effective, we encourage residents to report where and when violations occur.
  • All halls close for Winter Break.
  • Students needing to remain at JMU for Thanksgiving and/or Spring break should select a room in Chandler, Chesapeake, Shenandoah, Paul Jennings, or Eagle Hall. These halls remain open for those two breaks.
    • You may leave your belongings locked in your room for all breaks until the end of the spring semester.
    • Check the JMU academic calendar with dates for all breaks.
Computer and Telephone Questions
  • Yes, residential students have access to MyResNet wifi throughout their residence hall, including their bedroom. MyResNet access has already been included in your student fees.
  • All residential student are also provided with a wired MyResNet connection in their bedroom.This enables your computer to access the internet and the campus network from your room. MyResNet access has already been included in your student fees.
  • You can access more information about computing at JMU on our Wireless Internet & TV page or with JMU IT.
  • Please note: Wireless routers are prohibited in residence halls. Wireless printers are also discouraged.
  • Yes, courtesy phones are located in each residence hall for students to place on campus, local and toll-free calls. Students can use calling card with 1-800 numbers at these phones as well.
  • Residents may request an individual residence hall room phone by working with JMU Telecom and submitting a Student Telephone Installation Form found on their website.
  • Parents with concerns about their student can call the 24-hour campus emergency number. Campus police will respond to calls with appropriate counseling, medical or law enforcement assistance.
Miscellaneous Questions
  • Students can change their meal plan through the Student Center in MyMadison.
    • Under the finances section, select “other financials” from the drop-down menu.
    • If a student tries to make a change to their meal plan and it tells them to see Card Services, this means changes are not allowed to be made at that time.
  • If students cannot change their meal plan in MyMadison, they will need to go to Card Services in Student Success Center once school starts to make changes. There is a time frame for students to do this that can be found on their website.
  • Terms and conditions of all meal plan options, including payment/credits for changing options, may be obtained from JMU Dining Services.
  • If you have any further questions about meal plans, contact card services at 540-568-6446 or cardsrvc@jmu.edu.
  • There are three planned fire drills in each hall per semester. These are an important part of our safety program.
  • False fire alarms are a concern to staff and residents alike. Much effort is put into communicating the importance of community respect for property and other residents.
  • All residence halls close on the last day of exams in May for non-graduating students.
  • Students should plan to check out of their hall within 24 hours of their last exam.
  • At the end of the year, be sure to check out our Check Out & Move Out page for more information.
  • The Office of Residence Life is not able to store students’ items over the summer.
  • There are private companies you can use to store items near campus.

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