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Common JMU Academic Policies Required for All Course Syllabi
Attendance | Academic Honesty and TurnitinAdding/Dropping Courses | Disability Accommodations | Disruptive Behavior | Inclement Weather | Religious Accommodations


A student's participation in the work of a course is clearly a precondition to their receiving credit in that course. Because of the wide variety of courses and teaching methods at JMU, the university recognizes that the nature of a student's participation in the work of a course cannot be prescribed on a university-wide basis. For this reason, classroom attendance is not a matter subject to regulation by the university. Attendance in class and in the laboratory, studio or learning space is a matter between the student and the faculty member in that class.

The attendance policy for specific courses are provided by the class instructor.

In light of COVID-19, instructors may find these considerations helpful. 

Faculty may not require students to submit notes or other documentation of illness from the Virginia Department of Health (VDH) or the University Health Center (UHC).

Faculty should refer students reporting illness to the University Health Center, who will communicate with the Office of the Dean of Students. Students should not contact the Dean of Students directly; this will be handled through the UHC.

The DoS is the only office on campus that can facilitate an extended absence for medical reasons or other extenuating circumstances. The Dean of Students will provide students with documentation that they may use to notify instructors of absences for students working with their office. The DoS will not contact instructors directly. The email will state a student will be absent due to illness.

Academic Honesty

Making references to the work of others strengthens your own work by granting you greater authority and by showing that you are part of a discussion located within an intellectual community. When you make references to the ideas of others, it is essential to provide proper attribution and citation. Failing to do so is considered academically dishonest, as is copying or paraphrasing someone else's work. The results of such behavior will lead to consequences ranging from failure on an assignment to failure in the course to dismissal from the university. Please ask if you are in doubt about the use of a citation. Honest mistakes can always be corrected or prevented.

Academic dishonesty is not limited to plagiarism. Other examples of academic dishonesty include cheating on tests or homework, taking an exam or writing a paper for someone else, and selling or uploading unauthorized documents from a class. Talk with your instructor if you have questions regarding academic honesty.

The JMU Honor Code is available from the Honor Council website: https://www.jmu.edu/honor/code.shtml.

Turn It In

The JMU community uses a plagiarism detection system called Turnitin. Turnitin is integrated into Canvas and is available for use by all JMU faculty and students.  For more information about Turnitin, refer to https://www.jmu.edu/academicintegrity.

Adding/Dropping Classes

Students are responsible for registering for classes and for verifying their class schedules on MyMadison

Fall 2021 Deadlines

To Add or Drop a Class

Withdrawing from a class after the drop deadline results in a “W” grade and corresponding tuition charges, if applicable.

  • Semester and First Block: 9/3/21
  • Second Block: 10/25/21

To Add with Departmental Permission

Student must register for the course on MyMadison; permission only saves a seat for a student.

  • Semester and First Block: 9/13/21
  • Second Block: 11/2/21

To Withdraw from University with a Full Tution Refund

Students must submit a non-returning/LOA Notice to be eligible. "W" grades apply.

  • Semester, First Block, and Second Block: 9/14/21

To Withdraw with a "W" Grade or Change a Course Credit Option (including repeats)

Students will receive a "W" if they withdraw between the last day to add/drop and this date. After this date, they will receive an "F" unless other arrangements made with their instructor.

  • Semester: 10/27/21
  • First Block: 9/23/21
  • Second Block: 11/16/21

Corresponding tuition charges will apply for all classes assigned a grade of "W." No exceptions will be made to these deadlines.

If you have questions about tuition and refunds, contact the University Business Office.

Disability Accommodations

JMU abides by Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973 and the Americans with Disabilities Act, which mandates reasonable accommodations be provided for students with documented disabilities. If you have not already done so, you will need to register with the Office of Disability Services, the designated office on campus to provide services for students with disabilities. The office is located in the Student Success Center, room 1202, and you may call (540) 568-6705 for more information.

If you have a disability and may require some type of instructional and/or examination accommodations, please contact your instructor early in the semester so that they can provide or facilitate provision of accommodations you may need. 

In light of COVID-19, see messaging regarding accessible face coverings. The Office of Disability Services will notify faculty of students with an ODS accommodation to not wear a mask.

Disruptive Behavior

Instructors and students are equally responsible for creating an environment that will facilitate learning within the JMU community. Disruptive conduct disrupts the process of teaching and learning, and such behavior will not be tolerated in the classroom, lab, online discussion or other place of student learning.

Disruptive behavior is inappropriate student behavior that a reasonable faculty member would view as interfering with the ability of instructors to teach and students to learn. It may constitute a violation of law, a violation of the student conduct code or a violation of an instructor’s established rules of conduct for a particular class.

Civil expression, disagreement or debate as permitted within the class by a faculty member is not disruptive behavior. Each student has a right to the freedom of thought and expression, including a right to reasoned dissent, in their classes. A student’s right to exercise academic freedom carries with it concomitant responsibilities. These responsibilities are owed to other students, faculty members and the institution.

Failure to live up to these responsibilities carries with it the possibility of sanctions, up to and including removal from a class, removal from a program and/or removal from the university. The full policy regarding class disruptions is available from the Academic Affairs website.

In light of COVID-19, students and instructors should be aware that complying with university health and safety regulations, including wearing a face mask, is covered under this policy. 

Inclement Weather

James Madison University is primarily a self-contained campus with a large number of residential students requiring a variety of support services, regardless of inclement weather conditions or emergency situations. For the safety and well-being of its students and employees, the university may close or limit its services based on inclement weather or other emergencies. Refer to the following sources for information on closings or delays:

  • Area radio and television stations
  • JMU emergency notification systems
  • JMU radio station 1610 AM
  • JMU weather line (540) 433-5300
  • JMU website

Makeup Days for Classes

When it is necessary to cancel classes due to weather or other emergency, faculty members have several options for making up missed instructional time:

  • Hold class at the regularly scheduled time on the official university make-up day.
  • Hold class at a time acceptable to all class members other than the regularly scheduled time or the official make-up day. Time and location will be arranged by the academic unit.
  • Accommodate the missed instructional time within the remaining class meeting time.
  • Hold class through electronic means.

Faculty are encouraged to provide a written statement, in their syllabus/syllabi, of their method for addressing class cancellations due to inclement weather conditions or emergency situations.

If the university is closed because of inclement weather conditions or emergency situations, faculty members are prohibited from requiring students to attend events, classes, laboratories, or any other functions on campus. Students who are participating in off-campus activities such as internships, practica, student teaching or health services placements, or other assigned course work at locations remote from campus, will still be required to keep and attend their assigned placements, unless the placement site is closed or the student is unable to safely reach the placement site. It is the responsibility of the student to contact the placement site to receive instructions on attendance at the site, and to notify the instructor of record in the course of any closings of the placement site or inability to reach the placement site because of closings or inclement weather conditions.

Final Examinations Rescheduled or Cancelled Due to Inclement Weather or Emergency Closing

In response to inclement weather and other emergencies, the university may be forced to reschedule or cancel final examinations. Decisions to close university operations will be made by the president or a designee. If the decision to close the university and reschedule or cancel final examinations is made, announcements will be made as noted above.

When the university closes due to weather or other type of emergency, faculty will administer regularly scheduled examinations at a time designated by the university. The official make-up dates and times will be designated as part of the closing announcement or shortly thereafter. Unless otherwise notified, examination locations will be the same as the location for the regularly scheduled exam. 

If it is determined that exams cannot be given because of inclement weather or other emergency, faculty will assign final grades to students based on course requirements completed prior to the regularly scheduled exam date.

For additional information, refer to JMU Policy 1309.

Religious Accommodations

All faculty are required to give reasonable and appropriate accommodations to students requesting them on grounds of religious observation. The faculty member determines what accommodations are appropriate for their course. Students should notify the faculty by no later than the end of the Drop-Add period the first week of the semester of potential scheduled absences and determine with the instructor if mutually acceptable alternative methods exist for completing the missed classroom time, lab or activity. Contact the Office of Equal Opportunity at (540) 568-6991 if you have additional questions.

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