The Graduate School
James Madison University
Harrisonburg, VA 22807
Madison Hall, Room 4050
100 E. Grace Street
Harrisonburg, VA 22807
All applicants to individual graduate programs at JMU must first satisfy the general application requirements of The Graduate School. These are:
- Graduation from a regionally accredited college or university (see accrediting agencies below).
- Satisfactory grade point average.
- Consult information regarding individual graduate programs for specific entry test requirements (http://www.jmu.edu/grad/programs/all-programs/index-requirements.shtml).
- Official transcripts from all colleges and universities attended.
Students may not substitute experiential learning for required academic credit.
An application is not considered complete until all required credentials and supporting documents have been received by The Graduate School. Prospective students must submit their application and upload transcripts for each institution listed and any supplemental materials required by the program.
In accordance with the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges guidelines, graduate programs must have both qualitative and quantitative requirements that result in the admission of students whose educational preparation indicates the potential for a high level of performance. Admission procedures include the requirement that an applicant submit, as part of the formal application process, evaluations by professionals in the field as to the readiness of an applicant for graduate work and, if appropriate, credential evaluations. Standardized test admission criteria for each graduate program are established by the faculty responsible for instruction in that program. Contact the program directly or see The Graduate School website for specific requirements.
Acceptable Regional Accrediting Agencies for Colleges and Universities
- Middle State Association of Colleges and Schools
- North Central Association of Colleges and Schools
- New England Association of Colleges and Schools
- Northwest Association of Colleges and Schools
- Southern Association of Colleges and Schools
- Western Association of Colleges and Schools
General Application Procedures
Prospective students must submit their application online through The Graduate School website. For details, refer to http://www.jmu.edu/grad/prospective. Upon successful submission of an application, the applicant will receive an electronic response confirming receipt of the online application, as well as instructions on how to track the status of their application. Once the application has been reviewed by the program to which the prospective student has applied, the program will submit a recommendation to The Graduate School. Applicants will be able to view their admission decision within their Activity Page. Students who need a paper format due to a disability should contact the Office of Disability Services to determine their eligibility for accommodations in the application process.
JMU does not allow students to apply to more than one graduate program per application form. Information regarding financial aid may be accessed online at http://www.jmu.edu/finaid. Class schedules are available online at http://www.jmu.edu/registrar.
Submission of Materials for Application
The following information must be submitted online:
- Official graduate application
- $60 nonrefundable fee
- Transcripts of all prior undergraduate and graduate course work and degree confirmations should be submitted with the electronic application in the space provided, which will be used by the department for consideration for admission. Accurate but unofficial transcripts are acceptable for review purposes. Do not have official transcripts sent to The Graduate School unless notified to do so by The Graduate School.
- The official standardized tests scores (GRE, GMAT, etc.) sent directly from the testing center (if applicable —see www.jmu.edu/grad/programs/all-programs/index-requirements.shtml for requirements). The JMU graduate institution code is 5392 (1043 for CSDCAS applicants; 7442 for Physician Assistant applicants).
- Letters of Recommendation (if applicable)
- Program specific requirements (if applicable)
Graduate applications will not be processed without application fees. Payment must be made online using Visa, MasterCard, American Express or Discover. The application fee may also be paid by electronic check, but it may take seven to ten business days to clear, which will delay the review of application.
Application Fees and Fee Waivers
All applicants to James Madison University are required to pay a non-refundable application fee to be considered for admission.
Eligibility Requirements for Admissions Application Fee Waivers
Certain applicants may qualify for an application fee waiver. Email email@example.com for the Request for Graduate Application Fee Waiver form or go to our website at http://www.jmu.edu/grad/prospective/application-fee-waivers.shtml. Additional documentation is required as shown below.
Fee Waiver Types
McNair Scholars are eligible for a fee waiver. Email firstname.lastname@example.org to request the Certification of McNair Program Participation Form and let us know you are a McNair Scholar seeking a fee waiver. You will receive instructions by email.
Senior Citizens Higher Education Act of 1974
Eligible Virginia residents who have been a legal resident of the State of Virginia for one year prior to the term for which enrollment is sought, 60 years or older with a taxable income of less than $23,850 may qualify for an application waiver. Email email@example.com and request the Senior Citizen Higher Education Act Waiver Form.
Honorably discharged members of the U.S. armed forces: Please submit a completed Request for Graduate Application Fee Waiver form and submit a copy of your Leave Earning Statement (LES) or DD214.
JMU applicants seeking a need-based application fee waiver should provide a GRE Fee Reduction Certificate. Non-JMU applicants seeking a need-based fee waiver should provide a FAFSA sent from a representative at the institution where the applicant is currently enrolled as a student, which indicates an expected family contribution (EFC) of $0 toward tuition for the current academic year.
When applying online and claiming one of these application fee waivers, your application will not be processed unless the Request for Graduate Application Fee Waiver Form is completed and submitted with all required documentation prior to the application deadline.
Submission of Materials for After Admission
The following information must be sent to The Graduate School once the student is accepted:
Official transcripts sent directly from all previously attended institutions of all prior undergraduate and graduate coursework and degree confirmations. Official transcripts may be mailed or sent electronically through the eSCRIP-SAFE® global electronic transcript delivery network. For graduates of James Madison University after 1996, only transcripts for post-baccalaureate course work taken elsewhere need to be sent.
Refer to specific academic programs for details.
International Student Applications
JMU encourages applications for graduate study from qualified international students. However applicants should be aware that student visas cannot be issued for programs that are exclusively online. Applicants should check with their program's requirements page before sumitting an application.
To assure that the university qualifies with the U.S. government as an educational institution serving international students, certain criteria must be met. Because academic programs vary among countries, student who complete degree porgrams outside of the United States must document all courses completed to earn their degree. Applicants are permitted to submit unofficial documentation of their prior course work during the initial admission review. However, applicants should consider that your admission review is based on the materials that you provide to us, and you are more likely to be admitted when you provide us information that allows us to be confident about your prior experiences. So please consider:
- The best information you can send us is a course-by-course credential evaluation from a NACES member agency.
- If the curriculum for your degree is similar to programs offered in the United States, then a copy of university document that shows the courses you have taken and your grades will be acceptable if this document is in English.
If your course-by-course record in not in English, we will accept an unofficial English translation. Please send a copy of your course record in the official university language and also an English language translation. List the courses you have taken and the grades you have earned. Keep in mind that while we will accept this form of documentation, this may not be considered strong evidence of prior academic work by some program admission committees. Admission committees have the right to not accept a candidate because they do not have sufficient evident of preparation for graduate school which includes their prior course history.
As described above, transcripts from universities in the United States and official course-by-course credential evaluations for universities outside of the Unites States are considered the best documentation of prior academic work. We advise applicants to submit the best documentation available, given their circumstances.
Admitted students who are accepted based on unofficial documentation, and students who completed credential evaluations prior to the completion of their degree, will be required to sumbit official documentation by the end of their first semester of enrollment.
Initial inquiries for international admissions must be directed to The Graduate School. Applicants residing outside the United States are encouraged to allow 12 months between application for admission and the requested enrollment semester.
In addition to the general application requirements of The Graduate School, international applicants applying for admission to a graduate program must:
- Have the necessary ability and educational background to benefit from experiences in this institution.
- Graduate programs at JMU invite high levels of student engagement through class discussions, collaborative projects and interpersonal contact with professors and peers. The ability to communicate proficiently in the English language is vital to a student's participation and success in the graduate program. Graduate applicants who are non-native speakers of English must demonstrate English language proficiency. Candidates usually demonstrate English proficiency with any of the following options:
- Provide a transcript of an earned bachelor's or higher degree from an accredited college or university in the U.S. or an accredited college or university outside the U.S. at which English is recognized as the primary language of instruction.
- Submit satisfactory English language proficiency test scores. These scores are typically acceptable:
- Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL) iBT total score of 80 or above
- International English Language Testing System (IELTS) overall band score of 6.5 or above
Note that the scores on each of the subtests (reading, writing, speaking, and listening) must be satisfactory.
Successfully complete English language preparation programs for graduate school offered by:
- Study Group
- Eastern Mennonite University's Intensive English Program
Note: Candidates with extraordinary circumstances may present alternative evidence of English-language proficiency for consideration by The Graduate School. Graduate admission committees review all applications regardless of scores. For prospective students who believe they have an extraordinary way to demonstrate English language proficiency should send an email including that evidence to firstname.lastname@example.org, after an application is submitted. For example, The Graduate School will review letters from employers who can attest to a student's ability to conduct business in English. Note that alternative ways of demonstrating English language proficiency can take extra time because The Graduate School must verify the information that is submitted. JMU programs consider requests for exceptions on a case-by-case basis.
Some programs may have more stringent English-language proficiency requirements than those listed above, including specific expectations in the domains of reading, writing, speaking or listening.
Send your official TOEFL or IELTSscores directly to JMU institution code 5392 from Educational Testing Services (ETS). JMU must receive TOEFL or IELTS scores directly from the testing service.
- Have all funds necessary for expenses during the entire period of the student's stay without resorting to employment while in the United States. If you are admitted into a program and are on an F-1 or J-1 visa you will receive instructions within your acceptance letter to complete and submit the Financial Declaration form along with your proof of funds. International students are permitted to apply for graduate assistantships.
- If the applicant is currently in the U.S. on a student (F-1 or J-1) visa and wishes to transfer his or her visa to JMU, complete an International Student Adviser's Report form.
- Enter the United States on a valid student or other visa.
International students requiring English language preparation should refer to the website for more details. Students who are conditionally admitted to JMU's graduate degree programs must fulfill their English language requirements by completing the highest level of an approved English language training program within one year of acceptance.
For further information regarding international student applications, contact:
International Graduate Admissions
James Madison University
The Graduate School, MSC 6702
100 E. Grace Street
Harrisonburg, VA 22807
Requests for information concerning federal regulations, visa and health insurance should be directed to:
Director, Center for Global Engagement Office of International Student and Scholar Services (CGEISSS)
James Madison University
Harrisonburg, VA 22807
Offer of Admission to The Graduate School
Once an applicant's application has been reviewed by the appropriate program, the program will submit a recommendation to The Graduate School. Applicants will be able to view the admission decision in their Activity Page. The Graduate School will send official written offers of admission to applicants who have been accepted. This letter specifies the effective date of admission (which normally coincides with the semester requested on the application) and the classification of admission being offered (unconditional, conditional or provisional). After being accepted into a graduate program, applicants can then log into their Activity Page and either accept or decline the offer of admission. Students who want to defer enrollment may do so only with the written approval of the graduate director of their academic program and The Graduate School. Under no circumstances may the deferral be for more than one calendar year.
Some programs specify dates by which notice of accepting or declining an offer of admission is due. These dates will be indicated in the letter of admission. Regardless, all applicants must log into their Activity Page and either accept or decline the offer of admission at least two weeks prior to the start date of the semester in which they have been admitted, unless another specific deadline is indicated in the letter of admission. This allows the specific program to invite other candidates. A student who enrolls at another institution is considered to have declined the university's offer of admission. An applicant who has received an offer of admission but who has not responded by at least two weeks prior to the start date of the semester is considered to have declined the university's offer of admission and must submit a new application and fee to be reconsidered for admission at a later date.
Applicants may be admitted to The Graduate School under three classifications: unconditional, conditional or provisional admission.
Unconditional admission indicates that an applicant has met all the entry criteria of The Graduate School and the specific graduate program.
Conditional admission indicates that the graduate program has identified specific conditions that must be met before the applicant attains unconditional admission status.
Individual graduate programs determine the conditions of a conditional acceptance and decide when the conditions can be modified or removed. It is the student's responsibility to notify his or her adviser when the conditions of acceptance have been met. The adviser or graduate program director then contacts The Graduate School indicating the change of status. While applicants are encouraged to attain unconditional acceptance as soon as possible, some graduate programs' conditions often cannot be completed until just before graduation, e.g., teacher licensure or competency in a foreign language(s). Master's and educational specialist students have a maximum of six years and doctoral students have a maximum of eight years to complete their graduate programs. All students must attain unconditional status prior to program completion.
Provisional admission indicates a probationary status; applicants who have not met all of the requirements of the graduate program to which they are applying may be granted admission under provisional status as prospective candidates for a degree. Such students must have the removal of provisional conditions as a primary objective. An applicant may be admitted to a graduate program under provisional status if:
- the previous academic record is weak.
- prerequisite course work is insufficient.
- the applicant has majored in another field and has not yet clearly demonstrated abilities in the proposed new field.
The requirements for advancement to unconditional status are specified in each applicant's provisional admission letter. It is the student's responsibility to notify his or her adviser when the conditions of acceptance have been met. The adviser or graduate director then contacts The Graduate School indicating the change of status.
The Graduate School determines if graduate credit earned while enrolled in a provisional status is acceptable based on the recommendation of the academic unit head. A student is limited to nine hours of graduate credit in this status. Regulations concerning unsatisfactory progress apply to this classification. See Unsatisfactory Progress for more information.
Appeal of Admission Decision
Although an applicant's admission classification or denial of admission into a program emanates from The Graduate School, all admission decisions, including the denial of admission to a program, are made by the reviewing faculty of the program to which the prospective student applies. As such, any appeal of an admission decision, including denial of admission, must be directed to the individual graduate program.
Change of Program
Admission to The Graduate School and a graduate program does not entitle a student to transfer to a program in another academic unit as defined by The Graduate School.
Any student wishing to change graduate programs must submit a new application for admission, application fee. The student is responsible for meeting all academic unit requirements for the desired program.
Criminal Background Check
Programs may require a criminal history check as part of the final admissions process. The applicant should consult the program to which he or she is applying for more detailed information. Applicants are responsible for any fees associated with background checks.
All students enrolled in graduate degree programs must enroll each regular semester for a minimum of one graduate credit hour. This registration must continue with no breaks from enrollment in the first graduate program course to graduation. This policy does not include summer sessions.
Students should enroll in courses relevant to their graduate program to facilitate timely completion. If it is not possible to do so, however, The Graduate School has established a one-credit Continuous Enrollment course, GRAD 597 . The tuition for this course is $50.00. No grade will be assigned for this course. For more information, refer to the General Regulations section of the catalog.
Master's and Educational Specialist Students
Master's and educational specialist students must complete all degree requirements within six years. Academic credit, including transfer credits taken before enrollment in the graduate program, completed more than six years before the date at which the master's or educational specialist degree is awarded may not be used to satisfy the degree requirements. Students may submit a written petition through their adviser, graduate program director and academic unit head to The Graduate School to receive extensions of time in the event of extenuating circumstances. Such requests must be received at least one month prior to the end of the student's original six-year time limit.
A student whose status is deactivated but later is reactivated through reapplication to The Graduate School may not count the six-year time limit as beginning on the date of reactivation.
Doctoral students must complete all degree requirements within eight years. Academic work, including transfer credits taken before enrollment in the graduate program, that was completed more than eight years before the date at which the doctoral degree is awarded may not be used to satisfy the degree requirements. Students may submit a written petition through their adviser, graduate program director and academic unit head to The Graduate School to receive extensions of time in the event of extenuating circumstances. Such requests must be received at least one month prior to the end of the student's original eight-year time limit.
A student whose status is deactivated but later is reactivated through reapplication to The Graduate School may not count the eight-year time limit as beginning on the date of reactivation.
Graduate students must register a local address with The Graduate School office prior to initial registration for classes. All changes in local address must be completed through the Student Portal of MyMadison. Official correspondence from the university will be sent to this address.
Admission of Veterans
The Graduate School encourages veterans to apply for admission as full- or part-time students. For information, contact:
James Madison University
Office of the Registrar, MSC 3528
Harrisonburg, VA 22807
JMU does not determine eligibility for federal veterans' education benefits. Apply through the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs (VA). The U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs website will guide students through the process, and the VA will notify JMU of veterans' eligibility. The Registrar's Office processes the claims and other paperwork required so students receive payments on time.
Passing a third-year foreign language course, a reading knowledge of a foreign language or successful completion of a foreign language exam is required in those academic units which so specify. Consult the degree requirements of the academic programs for individual requirements.