How to Take a Class in the Virginia Community College System and Transfer Credit to JMU

Please note, JMU offers many classes online and in person during the JMU Summer Session. Current and continuing JMU undergraduate students may enroll in JMU summer courses in MyMadison during the summer open enrollment period.  

These instructions are for current international students studying on a visa at JMU who wish to take courses at a community college in Virginia and transfer credit back to JMU.  Current JMU students who are US citizens or permanent residents should follow these instructions

1. Choose the class(es) you want to take. 

2.  Submit the Permission to Take Courses for Transfer Credit Form.

3. Complete the community college’s online application.

  • For application and instructions, look on the community college's website or go to  
  • The application is free and should take about 15-20 minutes to complete.  Virginia community colleges have an open admission policy.  This means anyone who is 18 years old or older and holds a high school diploma can take classes there.  
  • Be sure to indicate that you plan to take credit classes, you will be studying as a transient student, and you are not planning to complete a degree at the college.
  • At the end of the application, you will be given a student ID number (also called SIS ID or EMPLID) and a username and password. Write this information down and keep it in a safe place.  You will need it again.  

4. Obtain verification of your immigration status.

  • Contact JMU's Center for Global Engagement (CGE-ISSS) and ask them for verification of your F-1 immigration status. 
  • International students need to prove to the community college that their F-1 status is active at JMU.  
  • Some community colleges may require students to show additional documentation to demonstrate their immigration status.  Additional documents may include things like a photocopy of your I-20, visa and passport photo page.  

5. Download a copy of your unofficial JMU transcript. 

  • Students can access this from the Academics tab in MyMadison. If needed, review the tutorial on how to View an Unofficial Transcript.
  • Your unofficial transcript will demonstrate to the community college that you have completed any pre-requisites needed to enroll in the course.  
  • For example, if the class you wish to take has a prerequisite of ENG 112, ENG 112 in the VCCS is equivalent to WRTC 103 at JMU.  

6. Submit all required documents to the community college. 

Provide the community college with . . . 

  • the verification of your immigration status from CGE-ISSS. 
  • a copy of your unofficial transcript from JMU.
  • the course title, course code, section number and semester you would like to enroll in.  

NOTE: The application and enrollment process at each community college is different.  They may ask you to submit these documents by email, by regular mail or in person.  Contact the community college directly to find out what they need and how they will accept it. Be sure to include your student ID number (also called SIS ID or EMPLID) in your communications.  

7. Pay tuition at the community college.

  • Current tuition rates will be published on the college’s website. 
  • Be sure to check the tution payment deadline.  Depending on when you enroll, it can sometimes be as soon as one business day after you enroll. 

8. Take the class AND any exams for the class. 

  • If you are taking the class in person, make sure you have transportation there and back.
  • If you are taking an online class, be sure to check and make sure you have reliable internet connection and that you are able to access the community college online learning system (like Blackboard or Canvas). 
  • If you plan to take the class online and won’t be on campus to take the exam in person, be sure to find out about exam proctoring procedures before you enroll in the course.

9. Request a copy of your transcript from the community college.

  • After your final grade for the class has been posted on your transcript, request the college send a copy of your transcript to JMU’s Office of the Registrar.    
  • The credit will appear on your Transfer Credit Report in MyMadison and on your official transcript.  
  • You must earn a grade of "C" or better to receive transfer credit at JMU.  Review the Registrar’s Offices website for more Transfer Credit policies and procedures. 

Note About Online Classes . . . 

JMU offers many online classes during the JMU Summer Session.  Current and continuing JMU undergraduate students may enroll in these classes through MyMadison.  

Many JMU students who wish to take courses in the VCCS for transfer credit choose to study at Northern Virginia Community College.  

  • You will need to take exam or complete "proctored events" for any class you take in the VCCS.  Be sure to find out about exam policies and procedures and make sure you have the ability to take the exam or proctored event before you enroll in the course.  
  • Northern Virginia Community College's Extended Learning Institute offers a large number of online classes.  Contact ELI at NOVA to find out which courses offer the option to take the exam by ProctorU online proctoring.  
  • If you will be in Harrisonburg, you may be able to take the exam or proctored event on JMU's campus.  Review the Assessment & Testing Center's Remote Proctoring Info or contact the ATC in Ashby Lab.  

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