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Students who participate in a Residential Learning Community get the unique opportunity to live and take classes with a small group of students who share similar interests.

The benefits of living in a Residential Learning Community include:

    • Special interaction with faculty members
    • Convenient, natural study group
    • Community service possibilities
    • A smooth start that weaves connections all across JMU


Be sure to check out all the RLC Descriptions and RLC FAQs below! 

RLC Application opens on April 1, 2019 and closes on May 15, 2019. *If you have any questions about this deadline, please contact our Housing Office via email at or give us a call at 540-568-HOME. 

Apply Today!

RLC Descriptions


For students interested in majors in the College of Visual and Performing Arts

Together students will participate in a one credit seminar class that will:

Participate in the artistic and academic culture within the College of Visual and Performing Arts
Engage diversity in all its forms, specifically the ways diversity is portrayed and explored through the arts
Emphasis on the creative and interdisciplinary connection between the arts and other fields of study
Explore the processes of various artistic practices
The arts experience will be comprised of music, theatre and exhibition experiences shared in the newly renovated Wayland Hall, in venues throughout campus, and field trips to off campus venues. This will include student and faculty produced as well as field trip experiences and guest artists produced performances and exhibitions. This will be a wonderful experiences for all selected to participate.

For more information, contact The Office of Residence Life at or 540-568-4767.

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College of Business (MadisonBiz)

The College of Business (MadisonBiz) Community complements the College of Business mission to prepare students to be engaged, principled business professionals and leaders, and advance scholarship in business disciplines. The MadisonBiz Community provides experiences and facilities for highly motivated first-year students interested in majoring in business to live and work together to explore their mutual interests in business.

The goal of the College of Business (MadisonBiz) Community is to create a living and learning environment in which students learn to integrate their undergraduate coursework with preparation for a professional business career, while gaining early experience interacting with a variety of faculty and business professionals. Pre-professional students who become adept at skills in reflection, professionalism, teamwork, and networking will be those who will provide leadership in the rapidly evolving and expanding world of business.

For more information contact Molly Brown at or (540) 568-1697 or Samantha Collier at or (540)568-7415. You may also contact The Office of Residence Life at or 540-568-4767.

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The Honors Living and Learning Center

For students admitted to the JMU Honors College

The Honors College vision is a vibrant and diverse community of students and faculty excited to be engaged in intellectual discovery. The Honors Living and Learning Center strongly complements the College’s mission to develop and enrich this community. The Honors Living and Learning Center provides experiences and facilities for high achieving, highly motivated, and intellectually curious students to live and work together with one another, with other Honors students, and with faculty members to explore their mutual interests in learning and discovery, promoting the intellectual culture that is at the core of the Honors College’s vision and mission. Intellectual engagement is the driving force in programming for the Honors Living and Learning Center. In addition, the Honors Living and Learning Center encourages its members to participate in leadership and service activities.

Freshmen Honors Scholars will live together with a number of upperclass Honors Scholars in the Honors Learning and Living Center, which is typically housed in Shenandoah Hall. Entering freshmen Honors students are expected, but not required, to live in the Honors residence hall. Honors students who come to JMU planning to live with a non-Honors student may be able to live in the Honors residence if space permits. For more Honors College info see 

For more information contact the Honors College Office at 540-568-6953 or 

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Madison International

For students from the United States and around the world who want to live and learn together as global citizens.

Each year, freshman students from the United States and around the world come together to live and learn in a dynamic, international residence hall (Hoffman Hall) in the heart of JMU’s campus.

What is the Mission of Madison International?

The mission of Madison International is to provide a rich array of living and learning opportunities for student-residents at James Madison University so they may:

  1. think and act locally and globally;
  2. learn from and contribute to the multiple communities in which they are embedded; and,
  3. cultivate the values and competencies of informed and enlightened global citizens who are prepared to lead productive and meaningful lives.

What Do We Do in Madison International?

The Madison International learning community provides an extraordinary opportunity for a diverse cohort of students to learn from and about each other through a series of dynamic experiential and classroom-based activities including, but not limited to, the following:

  • academic course work that is uniquely tailored to the participants in Madison International;
  • experiential learning trips;
  • interaction with the international student population at JMU.

Academic Requirements:

By design, the residents of Hoffman Hall complete coursework together, which are developed and taught keeping their unique experiences in mind; such courses also satisfy other curricular or programmatic requirements at JMU.

MI participants are required to participate together in:

UNST150: Global Learning and Living: Madison International (1 hour of credit)

Global Learning and Living: Madison International provides an opportunity for a diverse cohort of international and American students to learn from and about each other through stimulating discussions, shared class projects, engaging activities in the larger community, intercultural residence hall programs, and the opportunity to participate in service learning.

UNST151: Making Sense of Beliefs and Values: A Guided Tour for Global Citizens (3 hours of credit)

Making Sense of Beliefs and Values: A Guided Tour for Global Citizens explores the origin and nature of beliefs and values and how they are linked to actions, policies and practices around the world. These processes are examined through a range of big picture issues (e.g., religious, political, environmental, gender-based, cultural) that are relevant to all global citizens. Through dynamic speakers, discussions, readings, activities and lectures, this course helps students develop a deeper understanding of self, others and the larger world.

For more information contact Madison International at 540-568-2993 and visit Madison International's web page. You may also contact The Office of Residence Life at or 540-568-4767.

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For Psychology majors or students with a strong interest in psychology

The Psychology Learning Community (PLC) is designed for first-year students who have a strong interest in pursuing a major in Psychology and a future career in a Psychology-related field.  As a member of the PLC, you will take part in a unique introduction to the field of Psychology and jump-start to the major through a series of courses and experiences designed to increase your engagement with the major. 

During the fall semester, students will enroll in two courses together—General Psychology (Psyc 101) and Orientation to the Psychology Major (Psyc 200). In Psyc 200, you will learn about the diverse range of study in the field of Psychology, different careers and career paths, different fields of research, and opportunities to become involved in the major. Students will also have the opportunity to meet faculty in the program and learn about research and directed study opportunities with them. In General Psychology (Psyc 101), you will learn introductory content while focusing on critical thinking and depth of understanding. You will engage in projects designed to implement content and skills developed in the course. For example, you will develop a strategy to raise mental health awareness on campus and study a social issue from psychological perspectives.

During the spring semester, students will enroll in a small section of Psychological Measurement and Statistics (210).  Statistics and research methods are foundational for understanding the field of Psychology and are the first courses that students take in the major. Learning community students will have the opportunity to learn about statistics, but in an environment focused on applying those concepts to psychological content and in a small class environment. 

When selecting students for our community, we are interested in freshmen who have declared Psychology as a major and are interested in getting involved in the Psychology major as first-year students. We are also looking for students who are interested in working in a community that promotes diversity, collaboration, interest in exploring psychology as a science of behavior, and willingness to engage in experiential learning opportunities.

For more information, email either Dr. Jessica Irons ( or Dr. Tracy Zinn (

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Roop Teacher Education Learning Community

If you plan to follow a career path teaching pre-K through 12, then the Roop Teacher Education Learning Community (RTLC) is for you. Imagine living and taking classes with a small group of students who share your interests in teaching!

The RTLC is open to all Education students; Early Childhood, Elementary, Middle, IDLS, Secondary, Special Education, Art, Music, and Physical and Health Education.

Students in the RTLC take General Education science core classes and core education classes together in addition to living in the same residence hall (Gifford Hall). Over the course your first two years, specific classes include: ISCI 171, ISCI 172, ISCI 173, ISAT 180, EDUC 300 and MSSE 101. You will be taking either 1 or 2 classes together each semester. All of these classes are taught in an interactive, interdisciplinary setting.

Roop Learning Community students also participate in community service projects, take field trips and visit local schools. This is

If you are looking for an integrated learning experience that will help you build a sense of community and develop friendships that will last a lifetime and, at the same time, complete many of your required core classes, you are invited to apply.

For more information, contact Professor Cindy Klevickis at  or (540) 568-2726 or Professor Robbie Higdon at or (864)979-5336. You may also contact The Office of Residence Life at or 540-568-4767 or The Roop Teacher Education RLC at 

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Sports & Recreation Management (SRM)

The Sports & Recreation Management (SRM) Residential Learning Community will provide first year Sports & Recreation Management majors with a group of students and mentors who share interest in exploring and experiencing recreation and wellness activities as a group.

Students will enroll in Foundations of Hospitality and Sport Management (SRM 201 fall and SRM 202 spring). The proximity of this RLC to UREC encourages participation and time spent interacting with those in the SRM field and participating in events together.  Students will have an integrated experiential learning and support group as part of their RLC experience made up of other first-year students, SRM faculty, and UREC staff and student leaders.

Additionally, students will have more access to UREC and SRM faculty through unique events tailored specifically to the learning community including, but not limited to the following: 

  • Academic experiences which allow students to connect on a broad level to the disciplines of hospitality, sport, and recreation management.

  • Experiential learning opportunities such as the TEAM Challenge Course, and additional team-based activities and service opportunities facilitated by UREC staff.

  • Participation in UREC’s fall and spring service programs (Warm a Winter Wish and Spring Break Service Trip)

  • Professional co-curricular experience such as networking events with the HART School Visiting Committee and membership in the Sports and Leisure Association of Madison

For more information, you may contact Dr. Julie Wallace Carr ( or Kristin Gibson (

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For Biology First-Year Students with Interests in Science, Biology and Research

The Trelawny Learning Community (TLC) is designed for a small group of 10-12 first-year Biology students with interests in any aspect of biology, biotechnology or medicine – and especially research. TLC students will live together, participate in our Trelawny Seminar class in both Fall and Spring, and become involved in faculty research programs. The central goal of the TLC is to offer a select group of motivated students a unique opportunity to engage in the scientific process.

Research Experience

The cornerstone of the Trelawny Learning experience will be the unique opportunity as a first year student to participate as a team member in a faculty research program. Each student will be matched to a research laboratory in Biology or Biotechnology where they will have a hands-on experience (see for more information on faculty research interests).

Academic Courses (BIO 140, 150, 201, 202)

TLC students will enroll in Fall (BIO 201, 1 credit) and Spring (BIO 202, 2 credits) Trelawny Seminars designed to support the TLC program. The rigorous seminars, through discussion, and extensive reading and writing, will explore both the scientific process and what it means to be a scientist. In particular, we will study the role and responsibilities of biologists in the local and global communities. We will see how science integrates in diverse fields such as medicine, biological research, environmental policy, philosophy and religion.

Incoming students are required to take our two first year core courses (BIO 140 and 150). TLC students will take these classes and if possible the lab sections together.

Off Campus Activities

An integral part of the TLC experience will be off campus activities – many scientific and others just plain fun. In the past we have visited zoos, watched whales, and toured scientific facilities. Anticipate two off-campus activities each semester.


An important part of the TLC is mentoring. Former TLC students and lead faculty of the TLC will individually mentor each TLC student. Further, each student will have the opportunity to become a mentor for local high school research students.


The goal of the TLC is to provide a select group of students opportunities well beyond the typical biology student’s first year requirements. TLC students will be expected to read and write extensively in the Trelawny Seminar and spend several hours per week participating in research. While we believe the TLC is a fantastic opportunity, please carefully consider if you are prepared for the commitment.

For more information contact Dr. Corey Cleland at 434-284-0543 or  You may also contact The Office of Residence Life at or 540-568-4767.

The Trelawny Learning Community is named after Dr. Gilbert Trelawny. Dr. Trelawny was head of the Department of Biology at James Madison University for 22 years. Through his work, Dr. Trelawny made a lasting impact on the University. He is admired for his work in building the department and supporting the development of undergraduate research programs.

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How do I apply?

Incoming first-year students can apply online starting April 2, applications are due by May 18th.

    • Be sure to read about all each Learning Community before filling out an application.
    • Students are selected for Residential Learning Communities through a multi-step process. Completing an application does not guarantee a spot in a learning community.
    • A note for applicants: the eRezLife system makes the application look similar to a job application

General questions regarding RLCs can be sent to Tripp Purks or by calling: (540) 568-2882

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If I am in a RLC will I be able to meet other people?

Yes, you will meet lots of other people. The RLC will be just one group of friends you are sure to make here at JMU.

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How large are the Learning Communities?

RLCs range in size from 18-30 depending upon the year and specific group.

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What day is move in from the RLCs?

Move in for the RLCs is Tuesday. Wednesday is a special lunch for all RLC members. It is the first opportunity you will have to meet with your faculty members.

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How much time will be involved with the RLCs outside of the classroom?

This really depends on the RLC but they tend to have lots of fun activities outside the classroom like trips to Kings Dominion, Baltimore aquarium, local service projects, etc.

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Is there an advantage to applying for a RLC?

Yes, you get to know faculty members right from the beginning of your college career. Ask a senior, knowing your faculty members can provide different opportunities for you here at JMU.

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Are there RLCs for second year students?

Yes, Roop, Honors and Madison International all offer an optional second year component.

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How do I get selected to participate in a RLC?

You will complete a special interest housing application and the faculty working with each of the RLCs will determine who is accepted.

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When do I have to decide if I want to participate?

Applications are due at the same time as your housing contract; however, we will continue to accept applications until the RLCs are full. To have the best chance to get into your first choice of RLC be sure to apply by the deadline. All late applications are decided upon a rolling admission based on space available.

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How do I find out if I got accepted into a RLC?

You will get an email to your JMU email account providing your status.

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If I get chosen to participate in a RLC, will my roommate have to be in the same one?

No, in fact your roommate does not have to be in any of the RLCs.

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Can my roommate and I be in the same RLC?

Yes. Please, remember roommates are only assigned together if they mutually request one another.

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Can my roommate and I be in different RLCs?

Yes, as long as both RLCs are housed in the same building.

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What halls are the RLCs in?

The RLCs are all in handicap accessible, air conditioned buildings. Currently, the RLCs are in Chesapeake, Jennings, Hoffman, and Wayland.

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Do I have to take all the courses associate with the RLC or can I pick and choose?

Once accepted you will need to take all the courses associated with the RLC. If you drop one you will be dropped from the community and your housing assignment may be changed before your arrival.

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Who are the RLC Faculty Coordinators?
Residential Learning Community (RLC) Faculty Coordinator Email Campus Phone
Honors Living and Learning Center Dr. Brad Newcomer 540-568-5535
MadisonBiz (College of Business) Molly Brown, Samantha Collier 540-568-1697, 540-568-7415
Madison International Dr. Craig Shealy, Jonathan Kratz, 540-568-6477, 540-568-5978
Psychology Learning Community Dr. Jessica Irons, Dr. Tracy Zinn 540-568-6565, 540-568-6309
Roop (Education)

Dr. Cindy Klevickis, Dr. Robbie Higdon,

Bev Walker,,

540-568-2726, 540-568-6791, 540-568-1685
Sports & Recreation Management (SRM) Kristin Gibson 540-568-8728
Trelawny (Biology Research focus) Dr. Corey Cleland 464-584-0543
Visual & Performing Arts Sam Suggs, Sheena Ramirez 540-568-2299, 540-568-7138

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