Our Adult Degree Program (ADP) is an undergraduate degree completion program that allows you to create a personalized interdisciplinary concentration or focus of study to meet your educational and career objectives. You can complete your major in Individualized Study through online courses and/or courses on our main campus. The Individualized Study major also offers you the opportunity to integrate other college-level learning such as professional or military experiences into the completion of your degree.

You have the option to earn a:

  • Bachelor of Individualized Studies
  • Bachelor of Arts in Individualized Studies
  • Bachelor of Science in Individualized Studies

Your Academic Program Plan

As an Individualized Study major, you’ll work with ADP staff, advisors, and faculty to develop a personalized Academic Program Plan that focuses on your unique skills, interests, and career goals. Your program plan will incorporate JMU’s general education requirements and courses from two or more subject areas. Once created, you’ll work through your plan by taking courses each term until graduation.

As an incoming ADP student, you are automatically enrolled in 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 Academic Program Plan.

Course Tracks

Our tracks are a structured way of developing your personalized program plan. Each track offers a strong foundation in a subject area such as entrepreneurship, human resource development, or autism spectrum disorder. You can combine two or three tracks to create your Individualized Study major, and you can blend online and face-to-face classes if you are able to commute to campus. Click here for more information about our tracks and a list of those currently available.

Degree completion requirements

ADP students must complete required General Education courses as well as concentration-based courses. Depending on the particular courses you choose, you will earn one of three degrees:

Bachelor of Individualized Studies

To earn a Bachelor of Individualized Studies, you must complete the following course requirements:

  • Complete IS 200: Orientation to Individualized Study (3 credits) discussed above.
  • General Education: Social/Behavioral Sciences (6 credits), Humanities (6 credits), Natural Science (6 credits), Written Communication (6 credits), Oral Communication (3 credits), Mathematics (3 credits), U.S. History (4 credits), GeBneral Education Electives (7 credits).
  • Individualized Studies Concentration: The Concentration consists of courses from two or more areas of study offered by JMU, for example, Communication and Business Technology (minimum of 30 credits. At least 24 credits must be taken at the 300 level or higher).
  • Electives: You’ll need 120 total credits to graduate, including transfer credits and credits earned at James Madison. You may take additional electives to reach the 120 credits. Here are examples.
  • Complete IS 498 Senior Research Project (3 or 6 credits) prior to graduating. You can learn more about this project here.

Bachelor of Arts in Individualized Studies

To earn a Bachelor of Arts in Individualized Studies, you must complete the requirements for the Bachelor of Individualized Studies and the following additional credits:

  • Philosophy (3 credits) and Foreign Language (6 credits of 200-level or higher)

Bachelor of Science in Individualized Studies

To earn a Bachelor of Science in Individualized Studies, you must complete the requirements for the Bachelor of Individualized Studies and as the following additional credits:

  • Natural Science (3 credits) and Mathematics (3 credits)

Non-Traditional Ways of Earning Credit

We offer several non-traditional ways to earn credit toward your degree, including:

  • Portfolios of Prior Learning Experience
  • College Board Examination Program
  • Departmental Reviews
  • Independent Study and Sponsored Learning
  • Transfer Credit

Click here for more details about these options or contact an admissions advisor with any questions you may have!

Course tracks

How our tracks work

ADP online tracks are clustered courses that satisfy concentration requirements. Tracks may be paired together or combined with face-to-face courses offered on campus. Academic units at JMU developed course content within the tracks to deliver a strong foundation for each area of discipline. Track structure and content vary based on the specific subject matter; however, all courses are offered online to provide added flexibility. You can combine two or three tracks to create your Individualized Study major, and you can blend online and face-to-face classes if you are able to commute to campus.

Combine two or three tracks based on your professional, educational, or personal goals. For example:

  • Healthcare Leadership + Business & Information Technology + Human Resource Development & Management
  • Small Business Management & Entrepreneurship + Human Resource Development & Management
  • Human Resource Management Development & Management + Business Technology
  • Professional and Workplace Communication + Human Resource Development & Management
Healthcare Leadership

The Healthcare Leadership track provides students with key skills and knowledge for an exciting professional role in public healthcare.

Required: 4 courses/12 credits:

  • NGS 325 Concepts of Aging
  • NSG 462 Issues in Contemporary Nursing
  • NSG 460 Informatics
  • NSG 471 Leadership & Management in Healthcare

Select from 2 courses/6 credits:

  • SCOM 370 Introduction to Health Communication
  • SCOM 471 Culture and Health Communication
  • WRTC 458 Scientific and Medical Communication
Business & Information Technology

The Business & Information Technology track provides students with the key skills and knowledge to master the basics of computer systems and applications that support businesses. This track introduces students to database design and analysis, web systems development, and computer systems security issues and solutions.

Required: 4 courses/12 credits

  • CIS 204 CIS for Non-Business Majors
  • CIS 311 Analyzing Data in Organizations
  • CIS 312 Systems Planning & Analysis
  • CIS 313 Designing for the Web 

Required: 2 courses/6 credits

  • LTLE 370 Instructional Technology
  • LTLE 385 Foundations of Instructional Design
  • LTLE 372 Visual Literacy
  • WRTC 332 Digital Storytelling
Human Resource Development & Management

The Human Resource Development & Management track provides students with the key skills and knowledge to develop and implement effective professional development and performance improvement programs. Students will enhance their interpersonal and leadership skills, while developing competencies to work with diverse populations within functional areas of human resources.

Required: 4 courses/12 credits

  • HRD 240 Principles of Human Resource Development
  • HRD 245 Leadership in Organizational Settings
  • HRD 480 Learning in Adulthood
  • HRD 485 Materials & Program Development

Select from: 2 courses/6 credits

  • HRD 380 Performance & Task Analysis
  • LTLE 150 Information in a Contemporary Society
  • LTLE 370 Instructional Technology
  • LTLE 385 Foundations of Instructional Design
  • SCOM 331 Communication & Conflict
  • WRTC 318 Intercultural Professional Communication
Small Business Management & Entrepreneurship

The Small Business Management & Entrepreneurship track provides students with the key skills, practical knowledge, and approach necessary for creating successful new ventures that attracts customers in a consumer driven market. Students learn the basics of management functions and the formulation, financing, and operation of starting and maintaining a business. 

Required: 4 courses/12 credits

  • CIS 498 Special Topics – Network Security
  • MGT 305 Management & Organizational Behavior
  • MGT 405 Special Topics – Intro to Entrepreneurship
  • MGT 405 Special Topics – Designing Your Bus. Venture

Select from: 2 courses/6 credits

  • CIS 311 Analyzing Data in Organizations
  • LTLE 150 Information in Contemporary Society
  • SCOM 248 Intercultural Communication
  • SCOM 358 Business & Professional Communication Studies
  • WRTC 340 Writing as Leading
Professional Workplace Communication

The Professional Workplace Communication track provides students with a better understanding of the principles and theories of the complex communication systems within professional and organizational settings. Students will gain key skills and knowledge of communication interactions, increase their awareness of diversity, and explore conflict intervention and mediation in various contexts. This track complements any course of study as it provides essential skills for effective interaction and leadership in communities, workplaces, and groups.

Requirements: SCOM 121, 122, or 123 is the prerequisite for this track.

Required: 4 courses/12 credits

  • SCOM 248 Intercultural Communication
  • SCOM 331 Communication & Conflict
  • SCOM 350 Organizational Communication
  • SCOM 358 Business & Professional Communication Studies

Select from: 2 courses/6 credits

  • LTLE 370 Instructional Technology
  • LTLE 372 Visual Literacy
  • LTLE 490 Special Studies
  • WRTC 332 Computers & Writing
  • WRTC 334 Intro to Popular Writing
  • WRTC 434 Advanced Popular Writing
  • WRTC 316 Research Methodologies in WRTC
Early Childhood Education (2+2)

The Early Childhood Education track is designed for students who have earned their Associate Degree in Early Childhood from a Virginia Community College. Completers of this program earn a four-year degree and are eligible for a Virginia teaching license in PK-3rd Grades.

Course Number

Course Title

JMU Credits

ECED 372

Introduction to ECED

3

ECED 310

Diversity in ECED

3

ECED 412

Natural and Social Sciences for Young Children

3

ECED 444

Children and Math in Grades PK-3

3

READ 355

Inclusive Early Literacy Development & Acquisition

3

READ 456

Inclusive Early Literacy Learning in the Primary Grades

3

ECED 442

The Young Child

3

ECED 443

Practicum in Primary Grades

1

ECED 461

The Integrated Day Practicum

1

ECED 480 A&B

Student Teaching

8

IS 498

Interdisciplinary Research (required for BIS degree)

3

 

Course Number

Course Title

VCCS Credits

CHD 118

Language Arts for Young Children

3

CHD 120

Introduction to Early Childhood Education

3

CHD 145

Art, Music and Movement

3

CHD 146

Math, Science and Social Studies for Young Children

3

CHD 165

Observation and Participation in Early Childhood Settings

3

CHD 166

Infant and Toddler Programs

3

CHD 205

Guiding the Behavior of Children

3

CHD 216

Early Childhood Programs, Schools, and Social Change

3

CHD 265

Advanced Observation and Participation in Early Childhood Settings

3

CHD 270

Administration of Early Childhood Programs

3

EDU 235

Heath, Safety and Nutrition

3

CHD 210

Introduction to Exceptional Children

3 (in lieu of required IS 200 course)

EDU 200

Introduction to Teaching

3 (in lieu of required IS 200 course)

 

Total

73

Manufacturing Operations and Production Management 2+2 (UNDER CONSTRUCTION)

The Manufacturing Operations and Production Management option will enable students who have only work experience, an associate of science degree or other VCCS degree, or a limited amount of VCCS coursework to participate.

Course Number

Course Title

 Credits

ISAT 211

Issues in Modern Production Systems

3

ISAT 330

Sustainable Manufacturing Systems

3

ISAT 331

Cyber-Physical Industry

3

ISAT 303

Production Systems Automation Lab

1

ISAT 430

Materials and Manufacturing Processes

3

ISAT 433

Foundations of Lean and Six Sigma

3

ISAT 435

Lean Six Sigma Applications

3

ISAT 480

Special Topics in Production Systems

3

ISAT 480

Special Topics in Production Systems

1

ISAT 492 & 493

Capstone

4

IS 200

Individualized Study Major Program Development

3

IS 498

Interdisciplinary Research

3

 

Course Number

Course Title

 Cognate Credits

MGT 305

Organizational Behavior

3

HRD 245

Leadership in Organizational Settings

3

SCOM 248

Intercultural Communication

3

Select 1 of the following: 

3

CIS 311

Analyzing Org Data

 

CIS 498

Special Topics-Network Security

 

HRD 480

Learning in Adulthood

 

SCOM 358

Business & Professional Communication Studies

 

Senior Research Project

All Individualized Study majors complete IS 498, the BIS Senior Project. The Senior Project is the capstone of your Individualized Study program — and it is when “individualized” shines the brightest.

During the course, you’ll conduct a personalized research project connected to your concentration. It can be a research paper, a video, training workshop or even a novel. The possibilities are endless — as long as it is related to your concentration and contains a research component. You and your instructor will also identify learning goals and outcomes, what you will do to achieve that learning and how you’ll be evaluated.

This course is a 3-credit interdisciplinary research course taught by an instructor. You may register for this class any time after accumulating 90 hours on your JMU transcript. Generally, students earn three credits for the Senior Project, but can earn up to six with special permission.

IS 498: Individualized Study Project | 3-6 credits | Offered fall, spring, and summer

Fulfills 3 credits toward major requirements.

An in-depth study of an interdisciplinary topic directly related to the student’s area of concentration.

Additional Online Courses

These courses may be used to fulfill certain general education requirements, major requirements, or general elective credits as indicated below.

AMST 200: Introduction to American Studies | 3 credits | Offered fall

Fulfills 3 credits toward the Humanities general education requirement.

This interdisciplinary course will highlight the student’s role in interrogating the cultural and political function of representations of America in literature, history, philosophy, religion, popular culture, music and art. Students will gain an understanding of why definitions of American identity matter and learn about the contemporary debates that inform the discipline of American Studies today. Questions about the changing role of national studies in the face of globalization are central.

ART 200: Art in General Culture | 3 credits | Offered fall and spring

Fulfills 3 credits toward the Humanities general education requirement.

An exploratory course that aims to develop a non-technical, general cultural understanding of the space arts, such as architecture, painting, sculpture and industrial design. Emphasis is on the contemporary. May be used for general education credit.

HIST 225: U.S. History | 4 credits | Offered fall and spring

Fulfills the US History general education requirement.

A survey of U.S. history from the Colonial period to the present, emphasizing the development of American civic life, the involvement of the U.S. in world affairs and the cultural richness of the American people. This course stresses the analysis and interpretation of primary sources.

IS 200: Individualized Studies Major Program Development | 3 credits | Offered fall, spring, and summer

Fulfills 3 credits toward major requirements.

An introductory course designed to prepare students for transition into higher education programs. Specific content includes focusing a concentration, selecting an academic advisor, creating an individualized program, technology in higher education, accessing career resources, career decision making skills, self-awareness, life planning, identifying college level experiential learning, documenting experiential learning, determining a credit request, and organizing a portfolio for assessment.

IS 206E: Prior Learning Experience: Research and Writing the Portfolio | 3 credits | Offered fall and spring

Fulfills 3 credits toward general electives.

This course provides an opportunity for students to analyze and articulate college-level learning they have acquired outside a classroom context. Specific content includes identifying college-level learning, writing narrative evaluations of learning, integrating multiple sources of learning and disciplinary theory, producing and arranging sufficient documentation of learning, and organizing a portfolio for assessment.

 

ISCI 101: Physics, Chemistry, and the Human Experience | 3 credits | Offered fall, spring, and summer

Fulfills 3 credits toward the Natural Science general education requirement.

A survey of the fundamental concepts, principles, and ideas of chemistry and physics. Particular emphasis is placed on understanding the development of the principles and their application in understanding the world around us. Prerequisite: MATH 103, 107, 205, 220, 231, 235, or the transfer equivalent.

PSYC 160: Life Span Human Development | 3 credits | Offered fall, spring, and summer

Fulfills 3 credits toward the Social and Behavioral Science general education requirement.

An introduction to human development. Emphasis is on life span processes within physical, emotional, cognitive, psychosexual, social, personality and moral development.

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