The Transfer Admission Process

JMU defines a transfer student as any student who has completed college-level course work after graduating from high school. For those not competitive out of high school, we recommend that you complete or be in the process of completing 24 credit hours post high school graduation.  Go to Transfer Applicants, and select the kind of college or university from which you wish to transfer for more specifics.

  • Competitive transfer applicants should aim for a minimum 3.0 cumulative college GPA and successfully complete college course work with a grade of C or better in at least one class in each core subject area: English, Mathematics, Social Science, and Lab Science.
  • JMU considers transfer applicants' college courses, college GPA, high school program and high school grades. The more credit hours you have earned in college, the less emphasis is placed on your high school record.

No, not at all! We consider all coursework taken at an accredited institution to be equal. JMU appreciates the affordability of the community college pathway and encourages you to consider that option.  

Go to Facts and Figures and scroll to the middle of the page.

For the answer to this question and all other questions regarding the waitlist, please go to Transfer Waitlist FAQs.

Yes! We accept transfer students for Fall, Spring and Summer terms. Also, in many years, we offer a Spring Freshman process and encourage you to reach out to your Admissions Counselor with questions you may have.

Yes, it very well may. Any grade below a C should be repeated at least one semester prior to applying to JMU, and the repeated grade should be a C or higher.

Core courses are college-level math, English, lab science and social science. If you have questions about whether a course would be considered as a core class, reach out to your Admissions Counselor.

It might. Admission decisions will be made before final grades for that semester are posted. Not having a grade in one or more of the core areas could result in you being denied or waitlisted. It depends on the competitiveness of the rest of your academic record.

*The Guaranteed Admission Agreement is a list of requirements that students must meet in order to be guaranteed admission to JMU from a Virginia Community College. You must have a cumulative and core GPA of at least a 3.0, at least one course in each core area completed at the time of application, no more than two grades below a C (including C-) in your entire college career and they must have been repeated at the time of application, and completion of a transferable associate degree. These requirements apply to all colleges you have attended. Students who meet the GAA must sign a letter of intent (available at the first link) and submit it by the application deadline.


*JMU also has GAAs with Richard Bland College, Montgomery College (Maryland) and Mercer County Community College (New Jersey).

No. All transfer applicants are evaluated equally.

Admissions is looking for consistent 3.0 or higher GPAs from all colleges attended. If you had a rough start at a college with grades below a C, you should repeat those courses and earn Cs or higher (remember, As and Bs are best). If it's not possible to repeat them at the same college, you may take equivalent courses at a different college.

No, but they all need to be there by the application deadline.

Yes, most students completing an associate degree are finishing it during the same semester they are applying to JMU, or over the summer. Just remember to apply for graduation from your community college and send a final transcript with your final grades and the degree posted to JMU so that we can apply your transfer credit and waive general education.

No, the GAA is only for transfer students. A student earning their high school diploma simultaneously with an associate degree must apply as a first-year student, which means adhering to the first-year application requirements.

No. See the answer above.

No, they are not required for transfer applicants.

Yes, especially if you have not taken a college course in a particular core area but have received AP/IB/CIE credit for it from your current college. JMU may have a different score requirement; acceptable scores for credit can be found in the current catalog.

Follow the instructions to apply for re-entry to JMU. If you took courses at another college while on leave, you need to have an official copy of your transcript sent to the JMU Office of the Registrar.

Follow the instructions to apply for re-entry to JMU. If you took courses at another college while on probation/suspension, you can include an unofficial transcript with your application for re-entry. An official copy should be sent to the JMU Office of the Registrar once you have been re-admitted.

JMU Academics
The Transfer Credit Equivalency Guide contains courses by college/university which have been approved for transfer. You will need to create an account through Transferology to access the guide. Credit is accepted only for grades of C and higher; grades of C- and below do not transfer. Elective credit is designated by "000", e.g. ENG 000 indicates an English course that will count toward the total number of credits required for graduation from JMU.

No, under university policy there is no limit to the amount of credit that can be transferred to JMU. However, students must meet certain criteria to be eligible to graduate from JMU, including earning at least 50% of the bachelor's degree (60 credits for degree programs of 120 credits) from an accredited senior/4-year institution, including JMU. That means if you are transferring from a community college, you must earn 50% of your degree from JMU. If you are transferring from a 4-year college or university, the credits that transfer to JMU from that institution may be counted in that 50%. All students must complete at least 25% of the bachelor's degree (30 credits for degree programs of 120 credits) at JMU.

Credit is accepted only if a student has earned a grade of "C" or better in a course. Credit is not awarded for "C-" and lower grades. Credit is not given for "D", "F", "no credit", "unsatisfactory" or any other grade that indicates unsatisfactory progress.

Yes! An approved transfer associate degree waives the general education curriculum at JMU in addition to being one of the requirements for guaranteed admission to the University.

No, not all associate degrees are transferable. The degrees that do transfer are the Associate of Arts (A.A.), Associate of Science (A.S.) and the Associate of Arts and Sciences (A.A.S.). View the complete list of transferable associate degrees. Please note that an associate degree in General Studies does not transfer from all community colleges.

The community colleges also offer applied degrees (Associate of Applied Arts/Science). These are known as "straight-to-work" degrees and are not designed to transfer to a 4 year college or university.

It is university policy that all matriculating transfer students and current JMU students must declare a major upon completion of 30 credit hours (this includes transfer credit hours from another institution). Therefore, it is very important that you research your major of interest and learn more about the discipline, any progression or admission standards, and course requirements. See major snapshots for all JMU's undergraduate majors. If you are still unsure, take a look at the Career Guide to JMU Majors for a more in-depth look at the major and career opportunities. 

Students with fewer than 30 JMU approved transfer credits may choose Undeclared as their major upon entering JMU. The university has great resources for undecided students, including Academic Advising where experienced advisors will assist you in choosing a major. 

It depends on the major. Some are open, which means you can start taking major classes in your first semester here. Other majors have separate applications, auditions, portfolio reviews, or progression standards you have to complete before you can be accepted and start taking classes. It's a good idea to research your intended major before transferring to see if there are separate admission requirements. You may be able to take prerequisite courses at your current institution to be better prepared to move into the major when you transfer; in other cases you will need to wait until you transfer to start that process. Read about Admission and Progression Standards. If you have additional questions about majors, contact one of the JMU Transfer Advising Coordinators.

Most likely, yes. Every college develops their own core curriculum, known at JMU as general education. All students are required to complete the program regardless of their major. Read about JMU's General Education Program. See guidelines for choosing courses at your current institution that will meet JMU's requirements. Transfer students from 4 year institutions are often granted elective credit, which is designated by "000" (e.g. HIST 000). Elective credit is appealable; if you believe a course or courses you took at your previous institution meet JMU requirements, you may appeal the creditIt is a good idea to keep course materials and syllabi if you plan to transfer.

Unfortunately, no. Only transferable associate degrees from a Virginia community college fulfills JMU's general education requirements. Once you are admitted to JMU, your courses will be evaluated on a course-by-course basis and some may potentially count in general education. To plan ahead, review the guidelines for choosing courses that may satisfy our requirements. Transfer students from out-of-state are often granted elective credit, which is designated by "000" (e.g. HIST 000). Elective credit is appealable; if you believe a course or courses you took at your previous institution meet JMU requirements, you may appeal the creditIt is a good idea to keep course materials and syllabi if you plan to transfer.

It depends on your intended major and how well you have prepared at the community college. If you want to declare a major that has progression standards or additional admission requirements, it may take longer than two years. Likewise, if you choose a major that has prerequisite courses that are available at your community college, but you didn't take them, it will most likely take longer than two years. That's why it's important to touch base with one of the JMU Transfer Advising Coordinators well before you transfer so you can be best prepared.

Students transferring from one of the Virginia community colleges who complete the degree will see most, if not all, of their credits transfer to JMU. Check the VCCS Transfer Guide to see how courses will transfer.

No - you need to request them from College Board in order for JMU to grant credit for AP scores. Keep in mind your previous school may have different score requirements. For example, you received credit for a score of 3 on the AP English exam; JMU requires a 4. See our AP, IB and CIE score requirements.

No - only credits transfer, not grades so you will start off with a 0.0 in your first semester at JMU.

Yes there are. The B.A. degree requires intermediate proficiency in a foreign language and a philosophy course. The B.S. degree requires a math course and a science or social science course that do not also count for general education. Read more about the B.A. and B.S. degree requirements.

Tuition and Financial Aid

Current tuition rates are listed on the University Business Office’s web site

Tuition is due by the end of the first week of classes.

No, JMU does not drop for non-payment, however you may be assessed a late fee. There are tuition payment plans available.  

There are some – you’ll find information on the admissions web site.  

Yes. The priority filing deadline is March 1. You can find more information about financial aid at JMU on the financial aid web site. There are also helpful short videos on numerous financial aid topics.

Most of the time you will need to pay for them out-of-pocket. However, in some cases, a book voucher may be available. Read more about refunds.

JMU needs your final transcript from your current school so they can apply your transfer credit and update your class standing. Once that has been done, you need to contact the Financial Aid Office and let them know your class standing has changed. Class standing affects the amount of federal student loan money you are allowed to borrow.

No, JMU will not provide financial aid for you to take classes at another college.

You're Admitted - Now What?

The first thing to do is accept the offer by paying a $250 tuition deposit – that will hold your spot for the next semester. Once you do that, you will be prompted to change your password in MyMadison and then you can begin to complete the One Book steps on the orientation web site. Some of the steps must be completed before you can register for orientation.

Yes – when you register for orientation, your advisor will be assigned. He/she/they will be listed in your Student Center in MyMadison.

It's in your Student Center – go to the drop-down box and click on “Transfer Credit: Report”. For courses that are pending (prior to your final transcript arriving), or to see if there are courses that are not eligible for transfer credit, click on “View Transfer Credit Info”.

See the credit analyst in the office of the registrar if you have any questions about missing credit. Here are some common reasons for missing credit:

  • Some credits may not be transferable (e.g. SDV 100 and ITE 115 do not transfer because JMU does not offer comparable courses).
  • If the courses you took in your most recent semester are missing, make sure you have requested that a final transcript be sent with those grades.
  • Did you get AP or IB credit from your previous college? AP/IB score requirements may be higher at JMU, e.g. you need at least a 4 on many AP tests to get JMU credit. You also must request that an official copy of your scores from The College Board or International Baccalaureate be sent to JMU.
  • JMU cannot grant credit from test credits listed on your college transcript. JMU does not grant credit for CLEP exams.
  • If you took the 101-102 (introductory) levels of a foreign language that you also studied for two or more years in high school, those courses will not transfer.*

*It is JMU’s policy that students who study a foreign language for two or more years in high school may not enroll in the introductory (101 or 102) level of the same language. This policy is applied to transfer students, however if there was a gap of several (3 or more) years between studying the language in high school and enrolling in it in college, this may be appealed. See the foreign language department head if this applies to you. 

It means general elective credit that counts toward the total number of credits required for graduation. 

If you think a “000” course should be a specific course (to count as a general education or major requirement), you may appeal. To appeal for general education credit, use the link in your MyMadison account that says “Transfer Credit Appeal for General Education”. Here you can upload course descriptions and syllabi, and submit them electronically. For major credit, bring course descriptions/syllabi to the academic unit head for review.

If you earned an approved transfer associate degree from a Virginia community college, be sure that you have requested a final official transcript with the degree listed. Once JMU receives it, your general education will be waived. 

Yes, see above. Without your final transcript, your last semester’s courses can’t be transferred. In addition, if you earned an approved transfer associate degree from a Virginia community college, JMU needs your transcript with the degree recorded in order to waive general education. 

It needs to go to the admissions office: Holland Yates Hall, MSC 0101, 100 East Grace Street, Harrisonburg, VA 22807. They will then forward it to the registrar’s office.

Your admission is contingent upon successful completion of your coursework – your final transcript will verify that. 

Admissions will handle that on a case-by-case basis. Someone will likely contact you to find out what happened if you earned a D or F in one or more of your classes. 

Yes. For summer and fall transfers, orientation is in early June. For spring transfers, it is in December.

It is highly recommended that you attend – you will learn about resources, meal plans, student organizations, financial aid, etc. You will also meet with your advisor and register for classes.

Summer and fall transfer students who do not attend orientation should select “unable to attend” on the orientation registration site. This will prompt the University Advising office to build a schedule for you. This is not an option for spring transfer students - you should contact your advisor ASAP for help choosing classes.

All new transfer students must take JMU’s math placement exam before they can register for orientation. If you finished all your math at your previous college, you will not be required to take more math if you don’t do well. However, it’s in your best interest to do your best in case you decide to change your major to one that requires more math. 

If your major requires calculus (MATH 235 or MATH 231-232), applied calculus (MATH 205), or statistics/business statistics (MATH 220/COB 191) and you did not complete an equivalent course at your previous college, you must test into it via JMU's math placement exam.

Yes, and you must test into calculus or you may be required to take a lower-level math course first.

In general, this is not allowed except in very specific cases. That’s why it’s important to do your best!

Only if you want to take a course in a foreign language which you have studied previously, but don’t have transfer credit for.

Example #1: Jimmy took 4 years of Spanish in high school, but did not take any Spanish courses at Reynolds Community College and wants to take it at JMU – he should take the Spanish placement exam.

Example #2: JoAnn took SPA 101, 102 and 201 at Northern VA Community College and received transfer credit for all three at JMU. She can enroll in SPAN 232 (second semester intermediate) without taking the placement exam.

Example #3: Jenny studied Latin in high school, took no foreign language courses at her previous college, and would like to study Spanish at JMU. She can enroll in SPAN 101 and does not need to take the placement exam. 

If you are not sure if you should take it or not, complete the foreign language placement exams questionnaire.

It depends on your major and degree. International affairs and international business majors need foreign language at the 300-level. If you are pursuing a B.A. degree, you must demonstrate proficiency in a foreign language at the intermediate level. This can either be through credit (for FL 232 or higher), or through the foreign language placement exam. Read more about foreign language placement exams.

Students who transfer a few credits short of completing an approved transfer associate degree from a Virginia community college may elect to do a reverse transfer – you can take equivalent courses at JMU that will meet degree requirements at the community college and transfer them back to complete the associate degree. You will need to apply for graduation from your community college, and send JMU an official transcript once the degree is posted. JMU will then waive general education.

An approved associate degree from the VCCS waives all general education requirements at JMU. Without it, it’s possible you will need additional courses to meet our requirements. We have seen students who needed two or three courses to complete the associate degree, but as many as 15-18 credits to complete general education at JMU. In this case, doing the reverse transfer saves a student both time and money!

Transfer Questions for High School Students

No – you must apply as a first-year student. A student earning their high school diploma concurrently with an associate degree must apply as a first-year student which means adhering to the first-year application requirements. 

No, standardized test scores are not required for applicants to JMU.

No, freshmen are not eligible for guaranteed admission.

JMU will grant credit for any transferable course, regardless of whether it was taken during or after high school.

Yes, as long as it is an approved transfer associate degree from a Virginia community college. 

It’s confusing! Socially, we treat you as a first-year student, meaning you apply and submit materials required of all first-year applicants, and you are required to live on campus. Academically, you are a junior and technically don’t need any general education.

Not necessarily! You must earn 50% of your bachelor’s degree at a 4-year institution. An associate degree is completed at a 2 year college, so in general that means you need to complete at least 60 credits at JMU. The number of credits required for each major can vary widely – from 78 for a B.F.A. in art to 36 for a B.A. in English. In addition, some majors have admission requirements; for example, the admission process for nursing requires you to be at JMU for at least 3 years, and students who declare a major in the College of Business must complete 8 lower-level B.B.A. core classes before they can be fully admitted to the major. Because you had to use dual enrollment courses to meet high school graduation requirements, you likely did not have as much flexibility in choosing courses for a particular major at a 4 year institution and that may result in you spending more time at JMU. 

Freshmen register themselves for classes after viewing orientation modules on-line and before coming to campus for Summer Springboard, JMU's orientation program for first year students. If you earned an associate degree in high school, or completed a significant amount of dual enrollment credits, you should be in contact with your First Year Advisor about additional courses for which you may be able to register. Your advisor is listed in your Student Center in MyMadison.

Yes, you can. Check the Transfer Credit Equivalency Guide to make sure that it is transferable.

Back to Top