James Madison University
|Institution type:||Public University|
|Student population:||19,434 (320 international)|
|Campus setting:||Urban - small city|
International First Year from equivalent of TOEFL iBT 45 (no official score required)
Success after graduation
International student population
See a full list of majors available at this university in the right column.
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James Madison University (JMU) is an outstanding, very highly ranked major state university offering excellent value for money. The quality of the JMU experience has been recognized repeatedly in many national publications.
An average class size of 29 promotes the strong relationships found between University professors and students. James Madison University provides the ultimate American undergraduate experience - one that has a broad ranging education as its foundation, encompasses an extensive variety of professional and pre-professional programs, and offers a multitude of learning experiences outside the classroom. All this adds up to an education that offers students an opportunity to apply what they learn.
Undergraduate academic programs
Note: Entry to a bachelor's degree is through the International First Year only. This specialized pathway will save you money, and if you need to improve your English, fast-track your preparation.
JMU offers 69 innovative and traditional bachelor's degrees. All students, regardless of major, participate in a liberal arts core curriculum through which they develop a foundation for learning and explore the academic offerings open to them for their college careers. In addition, employers are consulted to identify the areas and skills they seek, and JMU faculty incorporate these skills into the curriculum.
The Bachelor of Business Administration program is designed to prepare students for positions of leadership and responsibility in business, industry, government and not-for-profit organizations, and graduate study. JMU's College of Business is ranked by BusinessWeek #4 out of all undergraduate business schools in the USA for return on investment. Job placement rate is about 90% for the University's business graduates.
Science, Technology, and Mathematics (STM)
Recognized nationally for undergraduate research opportunities, STM degrees are all about innovative, hands-on learning that prepares students to be catalysts for real change in their communities around the world. James Madison University gives students what they need to stay ahead and succeed in the rapidly changing science world.
The engineering major offers a single, interdisciplinary engineering degree. The curriculum focuses on sustainability, engineering design, and integrated systems analysis. Graduates will improve the sustainability of our world by analyzing problems and designing solutions in the context of technical, economic, environmental, and social impacts.
Humanities and Social Sciences
JMU humanities and social sciences degrees launch students on a constant search for knowledge and the keys to understanding the human condition. Study of fundamental questions such as these changes the way you view the world and, more profoundly, the way you see yourself. The combination of skills and knowledge our students acquire leads to jobs and post-graduate educational choices.
Communication and Media
Communications degrees at JMU touch nearly every corner of this broad, fast-paced academic arena - from print journalism and corporate communication to computer software and digital video. The curriculum has a firm grasp of what goes on in the real world because knowledge and skills are so much more valuable to our students when they can be applied again and again.
Health and Behavioral Studies
These degrees encourage exploration of our personal, social and institutional wellbeing. Students are prepared to recognize and understand the contributions they may offer for health and human services, businesses, governments, innovative community agencies and the advance of knowledge in the 21st century. Graduates have interdisciplinary and interprofessional opportunities for inquiry, critical reflection, research and practice.
On-campus: university residences
There are 35 residence halls on the JMU campus, and 26 are for first year students. Each hall includes laundry and vending facilities, TV lounges, recreation rooms, study areas, kitchens and storage.
All rooms are double occupancy meaning you share with another JMU student. Some residences have a traditional design of long corridors with rooms on either side and community baths located on each floor. Some halls are arranged in suites of three bedrooms that share a common lounge. Two suites share a community bath. All rooms have 2 single beds, 2 desks with chairs, 2 closets, 2 chests of drawers, telephone, TV cable hookup and internet access (wired). Students have high-speed access to e-mail, the internet and other network resources from their rooms.
Off campus: private student housing
Undergraduate students can choose from numerous off-campus housing options close to the University campus. Off-campus accommodation offers spacious and comfortable private rooms, independent living arrangements and often a variety of recreational facilities. You will be given lists of available off-campus accommodation and plenty of guidance on finding a place to live nearby.
Meal plan (included in your fee if you live on campus)
- '14 plus Meal Plan': 14 meal punches per week and $250 in Dining Dollars per semester
- A punch can be used in several ways including gaining entrance to an "all-you-care-to-eat" location, for meals labeled "Duke Deal" and as $5 towards a purchase
- Dining Dollars can be spent at any of JMU's 20+ dining venues on campus
- James Madison University campus food is ranked 4th in America for "great campus food", by Princeton Review's Best Colleges guide 2013.
- vegetarian options always available and religious preferences accommodated
Campus facilities and activities
- International student services: dedicated advisors, special orientation; social programs, living-learning international community, International Week, International Student Leadership Conference, International Career Week
- Student clubs and organizations: 332 including Astronomy Club, Breakdance Club, Habitat for Humanity and Outdoor Adventure Club
- International student organizations: Muslim Student Association; African Student Organization; Asian Student Union; Black Student Alliance; Chinese Student Association; International Student Association; Korean Students Association; Latino Student Alliance; National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP); Sigma Iota Alpha (Hermandad de); Vietnamese Student Association
- Sports: 18 intercollegiate athletics teams compete in College Athletics division 1
- Books in library: 700,000 volumes, including books, periodicals, and audiovisual materials, and over a million microform pieces
- Computers for student use: 500 with two labs open 24 hours a day, seven days a week
- Security services: 24-hour campus patrols, after-dark safety escorts, SafeRides program, 24-hour emergency telephones, Student Cadet program, lighted walkways, card-access to residence halls
The JMU campus is set in the rolling Shenandoah Valley hills and includes more than 100 buildings. The University Recreation Center has a swimming pool, indoor track, weight rooms, cardio exercise equipment, basketball courts, and aerobics studios. Other athletic facilities include Performance Center, Bridgeforth Stadium and Sinclair Gymnasium.
The University's athletic teams use the name 'Dukes' in competition. James Madison University's two national championships ranks them tied for the third most national titles in Virginia. James Madison's baseball team advanced to the 1983 College World Series. The JMU women's field hockey gave the university their first national title in 1994. JMU American Football also won the NCAA Division I-AA national title in 2004 and appeared in the playoffs in 2006, 2007 and 2008.
Campus entertainment venues include:
- Region: South USA
- Nearest large cities: Washington DC (2 hours), Richmond (2.5 hours)
- Airport transfer on initial arrival: Washington Dulles International (IAD) in Washington DC - 85 miles from campus
- Nearest airport: Shenandoah Valley Airport (SHD) in Weyers Cave (15 miles)
- Nearest train station: Staunton (25 miles)
- Nearest bus station: Charlottesville (50 miles)
- Public transport: serves campus
JMU is located in the heart of the beautiful Shenandoah Valley of Virginia:
The University is in the center of Harrisonburg - a small progressive city of over 40,000 people. The town offers many amenities, such as shopping, restaurants, a 14-screen movie theater, numerous parks, and free public transportation for students. It was named a 5-star Quality of Life Metro by Expansion Management Magazine.
Shenandoah Valley is both a geographic valley and cultural region, spanning 200-miles of natural wonders, extraordinary history, and breathtaking scenery. The area has the Blue Ridge Mountains to the east and the Allegheny Mountains to the west.
Shenandoah National Park
The National Park has 500 miles of hiking trails, two visitor centers, historic sites, wildlife, ranger programs, horseback riding, fishing, and camping. National Scenic Byway, Skyline Drive, meanders for 105 miles with 75 overlooks along the crest of the mountains. The nearest entrance is a 30 minute drive from JMU.
JMU is within a 2-hour drive of the national capital of the United States. The US federal government is located in the city, as are 174 foreign embassies, and the headquarters organizations such as the World Bank, the IMF, the Pan American Health Organization. Many of America's monuments and museums are in Washington, D.C. National treasures include the White House, the Washington National Cathedral, the Thomas Jefferson Memorial, the United States Capitol; and the National Archives.
ISC student ambassadors
Tzu-Jung Liu and Xiao Song
"JMU provides us with a program to improve our English and to help us fit in with the American education system."
Life at JMU video
International Study Center students (in order of appearance) Sang Bok Sung from South Korea, Mailizar from Indonesia, Sojin Kim from South Korea, and Yan Jun from China, take you on a campus tour:
JMU student blog
Students at the International Study Center blog about their experiences adjusting to American culture, learning English, and life on campus:
James Madison University ISC on Flickr
Visit the James Madison University ISC photostream to see what student life is really like at University in the USA.
James Madison University news
- Prices are for programs starting in the 2013 -14 academic year
- US university fees are given in United States Dollars (USD). Canadian university fees are given in Canadian Dollars (CAD).
- Find out the price in your local currency using an online currency converter
- Prices are estimated and subject to change without notice
The prices listed above are a COMBINED TOTAL, showing the amount you will need to pay for tuition, university facilities and services, accommodation and meals*, insurance coverage and airport transfer.
- Undergraduate price is for Year 1 of a bachelor's degree (on the International First Year). When you progress onto a degree program, fees are paid directly to the University.
- Degree preparation price is for the shortest program offered. The duration of the program will be longer (and therefore the fee higher) for students with lower English levels.
- Download the James Madison University ISC pricelist ( PDF, 473kB)
Below is a breakdown of James Madison University costs for international students:
|International First Year||$18,480||$26,095||$32,080|
|Bachelor's degree (semesters 3-8)||$11,827 per semester|
Mandatory and university fees
|Program duration||2 semester||3 semester||4 semester|
|Comprehensive fee †||$4,072||$6,108||$8,144|
|Orientation fee||$180 (one-time only)|
† Comprehensive fee is charged to all JMU students throughout their study program. It is used by the University as follows: athletics 30%, debt services and reserves 22%, auxiliary services 17%, student activity 16%, facilities 8%, student health 5%, transportation 2%.
Accommodation and meal fees
|Type of housing/meal plan||Price||Duration and details|
and resident meal plan
|$4,260||per semester - available to International First Year students who meet the housing confirmation deadline|
|Internet connection fee||$60||per semester - charged to students in on-campus housing|
|Off-campus accommodation||Around $300 to $500, depending on housing type||per month - private housing is available to all students|
|Non-resident meal plan||Between $613 and $2,078, depending on meal plan chosen||per semester - optional for students who live off-campus|
Supplementary and admission fees
|Transfer from Dulles International Airport (IAD) to campus (optional)||$310 by private taxi|
|$150 by university shuttle from airport area hotel|
|Deposit for release of I-20 immigration document||$500-$3,000 (varies by country) on acceptance|