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), General 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 the following additional credits:

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

Course Tracks

Our 18-credit interdisciplinary tracks are clustered courses that satisfy concentration requirements.

Senior Project and Additional Online Courses

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: Select from 2 courses/6 credits:
NSG 325 Concepts of Aging
NSG 460 Healthcare Informatics
NSG 462 Issues in Contemporary Nursing Practice
NSG 471 Leadership & Management in Healthcare

SCOM 370 Introduction to Health Communication
SCOM 471 Culture and Health Communication
WRTC 458 Scientific and Medical Communication
IS 300 Sponsored Learning

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: Required 2 courses/6 credits:
CIS 204 Computer Information Systems Fundamentals for Non-Business Majors
CIS 311 Analyzing Data in Organizations
CIS 312 Systems Planning and Analysis
CIS 313 Designing for the Web 
LTLE 370 Instructional Technology
LTLE 372 Visual Literacy
LTLE 385 Foundations of Instructional Design
WRTC 332 Creative Approaches to Digital Storytelling
IS 300 Sponsored Learning
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: Select from 2 courses/6 credits:
HRD 240 Introduction to Human Resource Development
HRD 245 Leadership in Organizational Settings
HRD 480 Learning in Adulthood
HRD 485 Development of Materials and Programs
HRD 380 Performance and Task Analysis in Human Resource Development
LTLE 150 Information in Contemporary Society
LTLE 370 Instructional Technology
LTLE 385 Foundations of Instructional Design
SCOM 331 Communication and Conflict
WRTC 318 Intercultural Professional Communication
IS 300 Sponsored Learning
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 attract 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: Select from 2 courses/6 credits:
CIS 498 Special Topics in Computer Information Systems – Network Security 
CIS 498 Special Topics in Computer Information Systems – Designing Web Systems
MGT 305 Management and Organizational Behavior
MGT 405 Special Topics – Intro to Entrepreneurship
MGT 405 Special Topics – Designing Business Venture
CIS 311 Analyzing Data in Organizations
LTLE 150 Information in Contemporary Society
SCOM 248 Intercultural Communication
SCOM 358 Business and Professional Communication Studies
WRTC 340 Writing as Leading
IS 300 Sponsored Learning
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: Select from 2 courses/6 credits:
SCOM 248 Intercultural Communication
SCOM 331 Communication and Conflict
SCOM 350 Organizational Communication
SCOM 358 Business and Professional Communication Studies
LTLE 370 Instructional Technology
LTLE 372 Visual Literacy
LTLE 490 Special Studies
WRTC 316 Research Methodologies in WRTC
WRTC 332 Creative Approaches to Digital Storytelling
WRTC 334 Introduction to Popular Writing
WRTC 434 Advanced Popular Writing
IS 300 Sponsored Learning
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. For additional information, please refer to our advising site: BIS in ECED Advising

JMU Courses: VCCS Courses:
ECED 310 Diversity, Equity, and Justice in Early Childhood Education
ECED 372 Introduction to Early Childhood Education
ECED 412 Natural and Social Sciences in Grades PK-3
ECED 444 Mathematics Content and Pedagogy for Early Childhood Education I
ECED 445 Mathematics Content and Pedagogy for Early Childhood Education II
ECED 461 Integrated Day Practicum
ECED 480 Student Teaching ECED
LED 355 Early Literacy Development
LED 456 Literacy Learning in the Elementary Grades
EXED 402 Behavioral Supports and Interventions
EXED 490 Inclusive Practices
IS 498 Individualized Study Project
CHD 118 Language Arts for Young Children
CHD 120 Introduction to Early Childhood Education
CHD 145 Art, Music and Movement
CHD 146 Math, Science and Social Studies for Young Children
CHD 165 Observation and Participation in Early Childhood Settings
CHD 166 Infant and Toddler Programs
CHD 205 Guiding the Behavior of Children
CHD 210 Introduction to Exceptional Children
CHD 216 Early Childhood Programs, Schools, and Social Change (in lieu of required IS 200 course)
CHD 265 Advanced Observation and Participation in Early Childhood Settings
CHD 270 Administration of Early Childhood Programs
EDU 235 Heath, Safety and Nutrition
EDU 200 Introduction to Teaching (in lieu of required IS 200 course)
Senior Research Project

As of spring 2019, the required senior capstone project, IS 498 Senior Research Project, was re-designed into an online interdisciplinary research course, IS 498 Individualized Study Project, offered in 3-credit and 6-credit sections each semester. The difference between the two is the breadth and depth. Previously, students worked with a faculty member on an independent study project. At the end of the semester, a Senior Project Forum was held for students to present their projects using a PowerPoint presentation evaluated by faculty and staff. The format of the presentation has been modified into a Senior Research Symposium to which students create a poster and present their project before a group of faculty and staff reviewers. This aligns with capstone projects and/or learning experiences in other JMU undergraduate programs.

Course Description

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. At the end of the class, students who have completed all of the assignments will have the components of a portfolio ready for submission for credit evaluation. May not be repeated.

IS 498: Individualized Study Project
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
Fulfills 3 credits toward the Humanities general education requirement.

ART 200: Art in General Culture
Fulfills 3 credits toward the Humanities general education requirement.

HIST 225: U.S. History
Fulfills the US History general education requirement.

IS 200: Individualized Studies Major Program Development
Fulfills 3 credits toward major requirements.

IS 206: Researching, Writing and Documenting Prior Learning 
Fulfills 3 credits toward general electives.

ISCI 101: Physics, Chemistry, and the Human Experience
Fulfills 3 credits toward the Natural Science general education requirement.

PSYC 160: Life Span Human Development
Fulfills 3 credits toward the Social and Behavioral Science general education requirement.

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