Admission to the School of Media Arts and Design is limited and competitive. There are two pathways to full admission to the SMAD major. 

Direct Admission

Entering freshmen and transfer students who are awarded a competitive scholarship by the university, the College of Arts and Letters, or by the School of Media Arts and Design will be fully and directly admitted to SMAD in the concentration of their choice. Such scholarship holders are exempt from the admission application requirement but must fulfill any conditions attached to their awards.

Admission by Application

Students interested in majoring in the programs offered by the school must apply for a limited number of spaces in the major. An admission committee in the school reviews applications and offers admission based on availability to the most qualified students. A student may apply no more than two times for admission to the school. 

September Application Period

The September application process is only for transfer students matriculating to JMU in the current fall semester or the immediately preceding spring or summer semesters and have declared the SMAD major. These students must be officially admitted to JMU as transfer students and must have earned at least 30 hours of JMU approved post high school college credit. They must be degree-seeking students and must be enrolled in at least 12 hours at JMU during the fall semester. The application is due on Friday of the second week of the fall semester. 

January Application Period

Currently enrolled JMU students (including transfer students matriculating in January or in previous semesters) may apply during the January application period. Students applying to the major at JMU must be degree-seeking and have completed at least 12 hours or be enrolled in at least 12 hours at JMU. The application is due on the last Friday in January. 

Process

Students interested in applying for admission to this major must "declare" SMAD as a major and apply to become a "fully admitted" major. Declaring a SMAD major does not guarantee the student will be fully admitted into the SMAD major. Students must declare SMAD as a major prior to being eligible to enroll in SMAD 101. A declared SMAD student may take SMAD 101, but the student is restricted from SMAD courses beyond SMAD 101 until being fully admitted into the major. 

A complete application to the major includes the following:

  • An application letter/personal essay expressing reasons for your interest in your first choice and second choice concentrations. Conduct research and then indicate what you know about careers in the concentration. 

  • A completed change of major form (in MyMadison).

  • A completed SMAD major card (available in the SMAD office).

  • A completed SMAD Questionnaire (available in the SMAD office).

  • Unofficial transcripts (Transfer students must include the record of JMU transfer credit evaluation).

  • Completed SMAD Application Package Checklist

The student will present the required information in a manila folder to the main SMAD office with the student’s last name, first name and student identification number on the tab of the folder. The student must supply the folder.

Following the review by the SMAD Admission Committee, students will be notified of the committee’s decision. If accepted, students will be eligible to register for SMAD courses. Students not accepted into the major may reapply the following January or a later January. Students may apply to the major no more than two times. 

Change of Concentration

Students accepted into the major must pick a concentration. Students who wish to change concentrations after being accepted into the major may do so only during the annual application period. To change a concentration, a letter must be submitted explaining why you want to change concentrations. This letter should be addressed to the Admission Committee and be no more than two pages in length. A Change of Concentration form must accompany the letter. A student, after consulting with his/her adviser and gaining approval of the admissions committee, will be permitted to change concentrations; however, there are no guarantees that the change request will be granted. 

Minimum Grades

If a student enrolled in SMAD 101 is accepted in the major and makes an “F” in the course, the student will be dropped from the major. In order to be eligible to reapply for the major, the student must re-take SMAD 101 and reapply. If a student enrolled in SMAD 101 is accepted in the major and makes a “D+,” “D” or “D-“ in the course, the student may continue to take classes in the major; however, the student must retake SMAD 101 the next semester and earn at least a“C-“. Students are limited to taking SMAD 101 twice. Failure to achieve a grade of at least a “C-“ after the second time will result in the student being dropped from the major, including being dropped from any SMAD courses for which the student is preregistered, and the student may not reapply for admission to the major.

To graduate with a degree in media arts and design, a student must have a grade point average of 2.0 (“C”) or better in the major. 

Degree and Major Requirements

A student must complete a minimum of 39 SMAD credits. In addition to courses in the School of Media Arts and Design, students must complete at least 75 non-SMAD credits. 

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