JMU Graduation Requirements

To earn a bachelor's degree at James Madison University, all students are required to complete a minimum of 120 credit hours. Students earn these credit hours by taking General Education, major, degree, and elective courses. You may also choos to study a minor or pre-preofessional program. See Understanding Graduation Reguirements below for more information on graduation requirements. 

Transfer students should take into account their Transfer Credit Report and the information contained in these modules to determine which transfer credits may be used to satisfy academic requirements at JMU. 

General Education (see Module 4)

General Education: The Human Community is JMU's core curriculum. All students must fulfill JMU’s General Education requirements. Transfer students who have completed an approved associate degree at a Virginia community college or Richard Bland College have fulfilled their General Education requirements at JMU. Students transferring credit from four-year institutions, from a community college outside Virginia or from an institution outside the U.S. may need to take additional courses at JMU to satisfy General Education requirements.

Major (see Module 5)

Your major classes provide an in-depth study of a specific area of academic interest. The number of credit hours needed to fulfill major requirements varies from 36 to 78 credit hours. Review the information on your major in Module 5: Information by Major, which will help you register for courses.

Degree (click the links to read about B.A. and B.S. requirements)

JMU offers eight different bachelor’s degree programs.  The most common degrees students earn are a Bachelor of Arts or a Bachelor of Science.  The type of degree a student earns is largely determined by his or her major.  Some majors offer a choice between degrees. The courses used to satisfy degree requirements vary widely. 

Electives (see Module 5)

The courses you take to fulfill your General Education, major, and degree are the main elements of your graduation requirements.  Any additional classes that you may need to take to reach 120 credits are called electives. Electives provide you the opportunity to simply take classes that are of interest to you or offer time to pursue a pre-professional program, minor, or double-major.

Refer to the JMU Undergraduate Catalog or the Academic Advising website for more detailed information on academic requirements at JMU.

Understanding Graduation Requirements

Transfer students who have attended another two-year or four-year institution besides JMU must meet the following requirements for graduation:

  • Earn at least 50% of credit hours accepted by JMU from an accredited four-year institutions of higher education, including JMU.
  • Earn a minimum of 25% of credit hours at JMU.
  • Meet course prerequisites for the major regardless of where general education requirements were completed. 

Additional information may be found on the Office of the Registrar’s website for Graduation.

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