Looking for Answers?

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

Frequently Asked Questions

Course Attendance

 Is there a university-wide attendance/absence policy?

Policies related to class absences and attendance are determined by the instructor for each course taught. As the faculty member is most knowledgeable of the course content, and presence is tied so closely to their teaching methods and the discipline, the instructor is best positioned to create the requirements for their individual courses. All faculty are required to develop their own policies for their courses and share those policies with their students in the course syllabus.

Faculty are expected and encouraged to be flexible and understanding in working with their students regarding absences to find reasonable options for covering class material and assignments. This is especially true while students are in quarantine or isolation, as avoiding contact with others benefits the entire JMU community.

If you have questions or concerns about class policies, your first action should always be talking with your instructor.

 What should I do if I have to quarantine or isolate and miss class?

Students should always work directly with their instructors for class-specific questions or issues, including attendance. Talk with your instructor in advance of missing a class.

 If I am in quarantine or isolation, will I be able to continue my classes online?

Faculty and students are expected collaborate to find the best options for class participation if students are unable to be physically present. The method of how you proceed will vary by course.

While some classes are well suited for virtual delivery, 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). The best option may be an online accommodation, but virtual delivery of classes is not required.

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 in 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.

 Can I get a note from the Dean of Students Office if I miss class?

The Dean of Students office will not provide documentation for students who are in isolation or quarantine due to COVID. You are responsible for notifying and working directly with your instructors.

You may choose to work with the Dean of Students for extended absences unrelated to COVID.

 Do I have to have a doctor's note if I miss class?

Faculty may not require documentation from UHC, VDH or a doctor’s office for absences due to COVID.

Students and faculty are strongly encouraged to quarantine if exposed and isolate if they are sick to protect the health of the JMU community. 

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.

 What should I do if I don’t have reliable internet access?

Be sure to let your instructor know if you have problems accessing the internet. The Libraries have gathered resources to assist in securing reliable internet access.

Classroom Behavior

 Can I get in trouble for disrupting class?

Yes. Causing a distruption to a class, whether the class is virtual or in person, may be reported by your instructor to the Office of Student Accountability and Restorative Practices (OSARP) and result in sanctions. 

 Do I have to wear a mask during classes?

Yes. All members of the JMU community are required to wear a mask in indoor spaces while on owned or leased university property. 

Refusal to wear a mask or refusal to wear a mask properly in the classroom is a policy violation and may be reported by your instructor to the Office of Student Accountability and Restorative Practices (OSARP) and result in sanctions.   

 Can I eat and drink during class?

In some classrooms all food or drink is prohibited. These restrictions will be posted in the room for in person classes.

With the instructor's permission, eating or drinking during the class may be allowed, and you should ask your faculty member prior to bringing food or drink into class. Also remember that masks should be worn at all times while indoors. 

 If I am exposed to or test positive for COVID, do I have to tell my whole class?

If you test positive for COVID, you should:

VDH will not be conducting contact tracing, so we strongly encourage you to contact anyone they have been in close contact with to help protect the health of the entire JMU community.

 Will my instructor have in person or online office hours?

Faculty members may hold their required office hours in person or online. If you are unsure, ask your instructor!

 Does my instructor have to provide me with a recording of the class?

Instructors may choose to record none, some or all of their classes to share with students, but recording is not required. 

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. Details are posted on the Honor Council website.

Counseling Services

 Are there counseling services available for students?

The Counseling Center is open Monday–Friday, 8:00 a.m.– 5:00 p.m. To access services and speak to a Counseling Center clinician, visit the center during walk-in hours, 10 AM to 3 PM, Monday-Friday. Emergency services are available throughout the workday.

After regular business hours or on weekends, emergency assistance can be obtained by calling the Counseling Center at 540-568-6552 and selecting “Option 1” to connect to the afterhours crisis line.

For more information about services and resources, visit 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, 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. They operate as an extended arm to students experiencing varying levels of social, emotional, academic or mental health stressors.

Anyone can submit a referral online for a student they are concerned about through the Madison Cares program. They 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 Spring 2022 should contact The Graduate School as soon as possible at grad@jmu.edu or 540-568-6131.

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, 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 this year. See more information on Advanced Placement, International Baccalaureate and Cambridge

For more information, visit JMU Admissions

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