Statue of James Madison in the fall
Common JMU Academic Policies Required for All Course Syllabi
Attendance | Academic Honesty and TurnitinAdding/Dropping Courses | Disability Accommodations | Disruptive Behavior | Inclement Weather | Religious Accommodations


In addition to classroom-based learning, the university acknowledges that participation in extra-curricular and co-curricular activities are an integral part of students’ educational experience. Although students are expected to attend class sessions, there are legitimate circumstances that may cause students to be absent from class or are unable to attend a scheduled class activity. Faculty must excuse absences and provide equitable and reasonable adjustments to graded assessments under the conditions listed in Academic Affairs Policy #16. Attendance and Excused Absences. At their discretion, faculty may grant excused absences without the conditions listed in the policy having been met.

Faculty are responsible for providing an attendance policy for each course, and the attendance policy must state any mandatory and/or unrepeatable components of the course and the procedures for notifying faculty of expected excused absences.

Students are responsible for reviewing and understanding the attendance policy and communicating with their faculty in a timely manner when they need an excused absence. Where possible, excused absences must be approved in advance of the absence. Students are also responsible for providing the necessary written documentation for all excused absences and requests for excused absences. Students who plan to have multiple absences should discuss this matter with their faculty member at the beginning of the semester so that the impact of these multiple absences can be understood prior to the add/drop deadline for the course.

As a condition of the Honor Code, students are required to tell the truth about their absences or face an Honor Code violation.


Faculty must not require documentation from University Health Center (UHC), Virginia Department of Health (VDH) or a doctor's office for absences due to COVID. Faculty must not require students to submit proof of COVID testing, as they constitute personal, confidential medical records.

Students are expected to make decisions related to attendance due to known exposures and/or positive tests, neither of which require outside documentation. In addition, part of the UHC’s role on campus is to educate students on the appropriate use of health care. Most illnesses can be treated with self-care and do not require a medical appointment. 

Dean of Students

Students may contact the Dean of Students Office for assistance with an extended absence if they are ill, hospitalized or experience extraordinary circumstances. The Dean of Students will send an official notification to their professors. Such notifications do not excuse the student's absence. It is the responsibility of the student to contact each professor upon their return regarding the professor's policy for missed classes, assignments, etc.

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:

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. You can find more information online.  

Adding/Dropping Classes

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

Spring 2024 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: 1/26/24
  • Second Block: 3/25/24

To Add with Departmental Permission

These deadlines are for adding classes with instructor and academic unit head permission. Students will not be allowed to add classes after these deadlines and may not attend a class which is not on their MyMadison class schedule.

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

  • Semester and First Block: 2/5/24
  • Second Block: 4/3/24

To Withdraw from the university with Cancellation of Tuition Charges

Students must submit a Non-returning/Leave of Absence notice to be eligible.

  • 2/6/24

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.

  • Spring Semester: 3/22/24
  • First Block: 2/12/24
  • Second Block: 4/18/24

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. 

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

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. 

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, as stated in the Faculty Handbook, III.A.17. The faculty member determines what accommodations are appropriate for their course.

You can find more information on cultural and religious observations online.

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.

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