James Madison University

800 South Main Street, Harrisonburg, VA 22807

School Details

In the heart of an agricultural valley of Virginia, the Virginia Assembly approved the opening of the Normal and Industrial School for Women in 1908 in small town Harrisonburg. The town and school grew simultaneously through the century. Progressing from a public all girls teaching college to a full-fledged co-educational liberal arts institution, James Madison University adopted its “University” status by the 1970s, under the guidance of the then school’s president, Dr. Ronald Carrier. Today, nearly 20,000 students attend James Madison University which encompasses more than seven hundred acres, and students can choose from over one hundred degree programs.

James Madison University issues undergraduate and graduate degrees through eight colleges.

  •     College of Arts and Letters
  •     College of Business
  •     College of Education
  •     College of Health and Behavioral Sciences
  •     College of Integrated Science and Technology
  •     College of Science and Mathematics
  •     College of Visual and Performing Arts
  •     The Graduate School

James Madison University continues to receive national attention. The Carnegie Foundation for the Advancement of Teaching awarded the University with the Community Engagement Classification in 2010 for its community engagement efforts. In the same year, JMU’s Army ROTC earned the MacArthur award ranking JMU in the nation’s top eight ROTC units. And James Madison ranked number 28 in The Kiplinger 100 best values in public colleges.

James Madison University is accredited by the Commission on Colleges of the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools to award Bachelor’s, Master’s, and Doctorate degrees. Individual colleges and programs also have additional accreditation from multiple organizations, some of which include the American Psychological Association, the Commission for Collegiate Nursing Education, and the Council for Accreditation of Counseling and Related Educational Programs. James Madison University also retains a large number of memberships, including the American Association of Colleges for Teacher Education, the Association of American Colleges and Universities, and the Council of Southern Graduate Schools.

James Madison’s Outreach & Engagement department manages distance learning opportunities for adults, nontraditional, and professional students offering credit and noncredit programs, one-time courses, certificate programs, and complete degree programs.

Online Certificate/Endorsement programs include:

  •     Autism Spectrum Studies
  •     Educational Technology
  •     Educational Technology eLearning
  •     Educational Technology Leadership
  •     Higher Education Assessment Specialist
  •     K-12 Specialist in Gifted Education Endorsement
  •     Advanced Manufacturing

Each Certificate/Endorsement program retains specific prerequisite admission requirements and is designed to support working professionals and learners interested in supplementing their knowledge and skills. The twelve month Advanced Manufacturing Certificate requires the completion of 15-credit hours and students must have a minimum of two years work experience in a manufacturing or industry-related environment.  The Autism Spectrum Studies Certificate incorporates an 11-credit hour graduate and 9-credit undergraduate program. The graduate program includes a practicum for professionals to gain in-depth experience, while the undergraduate program is an introduction to Autism. The Educational Technology Certificate requires the completion of 12-credit hours. Students completing the Educational Technology  Certificate can choose to apply it to the online  Master of Education Degree (M.Ed.) with a concentration in Educational Technology. The Higher Education Assessment Specialist program requires that students have, at minimum, a Bachelor’s degree and a working knowledge of basic statistics while the K-12 Gifted Education Endorsement is intended for both educators and parents of gifted children.

Tuition for distance learning Certificate/Endorsement programs are degree-specific and students should check with JMU Outreach & Engagement for rates.

In addition to the educational-related Certificate/Endorsement programs, K-12 personnel can also choose to complete online credit courses for re-certification points and development purposes. 

JMU’s Corporate Training and Professional Development in conjunction with Outreach & Engagement also offers online training programs and courses targeting individuals and groups. Most of these programs are charged flat rates and include costs of materials and e-Textbooks.The above online courses vary in formatting. For example, the healthcare online training classes are delivered asynchronously, and self-paced. On the other hand, the Lean Six Sigma and Paralegal Certificate programs are delivered online through a combination of virtual instructor-led evening/weekend sessions and asynchronous, self-paced studies. For example, students pursuing the Lean Six Sigma Black Belt Certificate must complete 40 hours of self-paced lessons in addition to 40 hours of instructor-led sessions. All students enrolled in classes at James Madison University may access resources, such as the library, computer labs, and the University Writing Center.

Degree seeking students are eligible for financial aid through James Madison University. In addition, non-degree seeking students working towards teacher licensure are also eligible for financial aid. Non-degree seeking students are not eligible for federal aid, but may seek private funding. The University participates in the following federal aid programs:

  •     Federal Pell Grant
  •     Federal Supplemental Educational Opportunity Grant
  •     Federal Direct Subsidized/Unsubsidized Loans
  •     Federal Perkins Loan
  •     Parent PLUS Direct Loan
  •     Federal Parent PLUS Direct Loan

In addition Virginia state aid for qualifying students includes the the Virginia Guaranteed Assistance Program, the Commonwealth Award, and the College Scholarship Assistance Program. James Madison also sponsors both merit-based and need-based aid, including the Centennial Scholarship and the JMU Grant. Madison Achievement Scholarships recognize students academic successes while the Second Century Scholars Program (STEM) provides awards for eligible students pursuing studies in the fields of Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics. Individual departments also support students through multiple scholarships and students are also encouraged to seek additional outside scholarships through private resources.

G.I. Jobs Magazine awarded James Madison University a Military Friendly School for 2013. Realizing deployments cause disruption in education, JMU works with eligible active duty personnel, including members of the Armed Forces, and the National Guard and Reserve, to provide tuition relief and refunds, along with reinstatement upon return to the school. James Madison also supports multiple scholarships, like the American Vets and the Dolphin Scholarship Foundation. JMU also partners with the following benefit packages for qualifying military personnel and their spouse/dependents:

  •     The Post 9/11 GI Bill
  •     The Montgomery GI Bill, Chapters 1606, 1607, 30, 31, & 35.
  •     Virginia Military Survivors and Dependents Education Program
  •     State and Federal Tuition Assistance


Southern Association of Colleges and Schools, Commission on Colleges


School Overview:

  • Sector Of Institution:
    4-year, Public
  • Religious Affiliation:


  • Highest Level Of Offering:
    Doctor's degree
  • Total Enrollments:
  • Adult Age Enrollments:
  • Percent Admitted:
  • Calendar System:



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