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What is it like to earn a degree through JMU’s Adult Degree Program?

One common reason people hesitate to return to school as adults is that they don’t know what to expect. So, what is it like to earn your degree online at JMU?

James Madison is committed to helping adults return to school and earn their bachelor’s degree. We founded our Adult Degree Program 40 years ago and have been helping adults earn degrees ever since. Students in JMU’s Adult Degree Program can take classes online, in-person, or a mix of both. Several of our major courses are offered in an online-only format, so all of our students will be exposed to online learning during their time in the Adult Degree Program. Online learning is still new and many have not experienced it. We offer a wide range of online courses so you can finish your degree while balancing your family, work, and social obligations. Our faculty and staff are ready to connect you with academic resources that JMU offers for all students.

Read about a few of our previous students of the Adult Degree Program on our blog page.

Your Personalized Program of Study

After applying and being accepted into our Adult Degree Program, you will work with our advisors and faculty to develop a unique Program of Study that incorporates JMU’s general education requirements and your chosen concentration. As an incoming ADP student, your first course will be IS 200: Orientation to Individualized Study. This course is a 3-credit class that prepares you for college-level learning at James Madison and guides you through the process of building your Program of Study.


After completing IS 200: Orientation to Individualized Study, you will work with your advisor to enroll in courses at your own pace. Some students take two or more courses per term, others choose to take just one. You can determine the amount of time and energy you can contribute toward your education while balancing other commitments. The important thing is that you’ll be making steady progress toward earning your degree.

Attending Class

Some students will take classes online, and some students will come to campus to complete coursework. Several required courses are only offered in an online format, therefore all students will be exposed to online learning during their time in the Adult Degree Program.

For courses completed online, all class sessions, homework, exams, and projects can be completed online through JMU’s online learning management system and a combination of email and phone calls with your professors and classmates.

All Adult Degree Program students have access to JMU’s career services, tutoring, JMU Libraries, and other student resources.

Other Benefits

While completing your coursework, an additional benefit of being a James Madison student is that you’ll be eligible for a subscription to Microsoft Office 365 ProPlus at no cost through the Microsoft Student Advantage program. You’ll be able to use Microsoft Word, Excel, PowerPoint, and other software for as long as you remain enrolled at JMU.

As you can see, we’re committed to helping adults return to school to continue their education. If you have any questions about our Adult Degree Program, or how to apply, please contact us today

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