Looking for Answers?

Students can find answers to their questions about academic issues here. For general university information, refer to the University Response Page

Transitioning Online
Course Attendance
Online Course Resources
Outside of the Classroom
Student Academic Support
Counseling Services
Graduate Students
International Students
Prospective Students
Masks and Accommodations

Frequently Asked Questions

Transitioning Online

Course Attendance

Online Course Resources

Outside of the Classroom

Student Academic Support

Counseling Services

Graduate Students

International Students

Prospective Students

Masks and Accommodations

Transitioning Online

I ordered my books from the JMU Bookstore for pickup and left campus before they arrived. What can I do?

If you placed an online order with the JMU Bookstore for in-store pickup and were unable to pick it up due to leaving campus, the order can be shipped (for a $6.99 fee), cancelled, or refunded. Email 0712mgr@follett.com with your name, order number, phone number, and instructions for handling. 

What happens to my financial aid if I don’t attend this school year?

Visit What Happens To My Aid If I Don’t Attend in 2020-21 if you have questions about your financial aid and not attending this school year.

What criteria are being used to determine if I can stay in the dorm?

You’ll find the most information about remaining on campus, and the application for an exemption, on the Office of Residence Life website

Course Attendance

Is there a university-wide attendance/ absence policy in fall 2020?

JMU does not have a university-wide policy on attendance, as presence is tied so closely to a faculty member’s teaching methods and the discipline. At the same time, all faculty are required to develop their own policies for their courses and share those policies with their students. In the Fall 2020 semester specifically, faculty are encouraged to be flexible with their expectations and should urge students who are ill to not attend face-to-face classes.

How do instructors find out if I missed class because I’m in isolation or quarantine due to COVID-19?

If you have been exposed to or tested positive for COVID-19, you must self-report through the University Health Center (UHC) website, using the “Self-Reporting of COVID-19” button on their front page, even while taking courses online.  


If I'm not in Harrisonburg, do I still have to report to the UHC to work with the Dean of Students Office?

Yes. If you have been exposed to or tested positive for COVID-19, you must self-report through the University Health Center website, using the “Self-Reporting of COVID-19” button on the front page. This is the required process even if you are taking courses online, whether you are living in Harrisonburg or somewhere else.

Can the Dean of Students make my instructors excuse my absence?

No. The DoS office cannot make instructors excuse absences. They will provide you with official documentation to share with your instructors. It is important for you to communicate with your professors directly as soon as possible.

If I am diagnosed with COVID-19 and quarantined, will I be able to continue my classes online?

We are actively working to provide students with good options to participate in classes should they not be able to be physically present. How this might work will vary by course, and some courses may not have great solutions (e.g., a piano workshop, or a course on instrumentation where students need to work with a specialized piece of equipment).

If you become ill and can’t attend courses, in many circumstances you can work with faculty to complete course material though you are unable to come to class. Those are handled case-by-case, as different courses have different requirements. You may also be able to work with your instructors to receive an “I” (Incomplete) grade for courses you were unable to complete during the semester.  Information about incomplete grades are noted in the Undergraduate Catalog. Look on the page for the section titled Incomplete Grades. There is also a withdraw option for individual courses on the same page.

If you need to with withdraw from all courses and from the university due to medical or other reasons, the you must follow the appropriate withdrawal process as outlined here. More information on withdrawal from the university, including information about refunds, is available from the Dean of Students Office.

Online Course Resources

I’ve never taken an online course. Where should I start?

You can start by evaluating your online readiness.

What kind of computer or other technology do I need for online classes?

Some technology, like software, will vary by course, so be sure to check with your instructor. For general information on hardware, look here.

How can I find help with my online courses?

Check out the resources offered by various offices, which are compiled here.

Outside of the Classroom

What are the recommended safety guidelines for spaces other than classrooms?

The health and safety of the JMU community are our top priorities. Guidance for general campus operations is updated as new requirements are announced.

How can students and other members of the JMU community maximize health and safety for all?

Here are several expectations that will maximize the health and safety of our campus community:

  • Provide your own mask (cloth or clear) while on campus
  • Utilize good personal hygiene (i.e., self-monitoring of symptoms, hand-washing, application of hand-sanitizer, etc.).
  • Practice social distancing when going between classes, waiting for class session in hallways and other public spaces.
  • Follow visual cues such as colored tape and directional signage to maximize physical distance, when possible.

How can I maximize my health when using public transportation and what is JMU doing to minimize my risk?

JMU is finalizing public transportation plans for Fall 2020. All passengers will be required to wear masks, and limits to the number of passengers/riders are being considered. The final plan will be in accordance with guidance from the CDC, the governor’s office, and other relevant health and safety sources.

Student Academic Support

What academic support services are available?

The Learning Centers and Libraries are here to support you, in person and online! The Learning Centers are continuing to offer online tutoring, consultations and study sessions. Likewise, JMU Libraries continues to offer students help with finding information for assignments and projects, as well as providing support for moving to online learning. For support with online classes, check out these resources.

Learning Centers:

JMU Libraries:

What if I have a question about the Honor Council?

Online reporting will operate as normal. Investigations will be delayed until Fall 2020. Changes will be posted on the Honor Council website.

Counseling Services

Are there counseling services available for students?

You can speak with a Counseling Center clinician by calling the Counseling Center at (540) 568-6552, Monday–Thursday, 8:00 a.m.– 5:00 p.m., and Friday, 8:00 a.m.– 12:00 p.m.

The clinician will help you develop a plan to respond to the situation and connect you with the appropriate resources.

There are more resources available from the Counseling Center's website.

What can I do if I am worried about a friend's mental health?

If you are concerned about a student, please consider sending a Madison Cares referral. Madison Cares is a centralized program for departments, students, parents, and community members to refer or consult about students of concern. We operate as an extended arm to students experiencing varying levels of social, emotional, academic, or mental-health stressors.

Students, university personnel, community members, or family members can submit a referral online about a student they are concerned about through the Madison Cares program. We will respond and address any concerns by providing care outreach, university resources, and direct support.

Graduate Students

Where can I find academic policies for graduate students?

Your program faculty should be your first point of contact, and The Graduate School is here to assist however they can. We've developed a series of FAQs specific to graduate students, found here.

What if I have already withdrawn from the university?

Graduate students who have officially withdrawn from the university and who wish to return for Summer or Fall 2020 should contact The Graduate School as soon as possible at grad@jmu.edu or 540-568-6131.

I’m a graduate student. Should I work with the Dean of Student’s office?

Yes.  All students can work with the DoS office.

International Students

I’m an international student. How do I get updates?

The Center for Global Engagement is committed to supporting our International Students and Faculty. Visit our website (https://www.jmu.edu/global/) for the latest information.

I'm an international student planning to study at JMU. What do I need to know?

If you're coming to Harrisonburg this fall, International Student and Scholar Services has all the answers and information you'll need.

Prospective Students

Will JMU still accept transfer courses and dual enrollment credit?

Yes! JMU will maintain its current policy of accepting credit for courses with grades of “C” or higher. The Office of the Registrar will verify that students earned the equivalent of “C” or higher for any course with a grade of “credit,” “pass” or “pass+.” This policy will apply to all transfer course work, including dual enrollment credit.

Does JMU give credit for AP, IB and Cambridge exams?

Yes, the university will maintain its current policies for accepting these prior learning assessments taken during Spring 2020. See more information on Advanced Placement, International Baccalaureate and Cambridge

For more information, visit JMU Admissions

Masks and Accommodations

Are students required to wear masks in class?

Faculty, staff and students are required to wear face masks covering their nose and mouth when in classrooms, labs and other public settings, indoors and outdoors, where physical distancing measures are difficult to maintain.

What will happen if a student refuses to comply with JMU COVID-19 classroom guidelines?

Possible outcomes are addressed in Academic Affairs Policy #12, which address classroom disruption.

I have a compromised immune system and would like to have the choice of taking online courses. Who should I contact?

Any student with a compromised immune system or other health issues should work directly with the Office of Disability Services to identify their needs and discuss accommodations.
When registering for classes through MyMadison, the published schedule will indicate the delivery mode of each class so you can choose courses with the appropriate delivery method.

I have a medical condition and am worried about classes this fall. What can I do?

If you need an accommodation related to a medical condition, contact our Office of Disability Studies.

What if I can’t attend classes in person?

The way a course is delivered will vary by course and course instructor.  Please contact your adviser or academic unit head to assist you in exploring your options.

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