Academic Standing and Continued Enrollment
Continued enrollment at JMU depends upon an undergraduate student's ability to maintain satisfactory academic progress toward attaining a degree. The university measures this ability by the student's cumulative grade point average.
To assist students in maintaining satisfactory progress, JMU has adopted academic standards designed to provide early identification of students who are experiencing academic difficulty and to provide timely intervention through academic support programs.
Academic Good Standing
An undergraduate student who maintains a cumulative grade point average of at least 2.0 is considered to be in academic good standing and is eligible for continued enrollment at JMU.
A student with a cumulative grade point average of 2.0 or above who earns a semester/term GPA below 2.0 is given an "academic notice." Academic notice alerts a student to the consequences of continued poor academic performance and is communicated to the student and the student's adviser. Academic notice does not appear on the student's permanent academic record and the transcript notation for the semester/term will reflect "Academic Good Standing."
Academic probation is an indication of serious academic difficulty and applies whenever a student's cumulative grade point average falls below 2.0. A student who is placed on academic probation at the end of a semester/term may enroll for the following semester/term; however, a student on academic probation will be restricted to a course load of no more than 13 credit hours each semester until their cumulative grade point average has improved sufficiently enough to remove them from academic probation. The university might also require students on academic probation to confer regularly with their academic advisers, participate in academic skills development programs and/or utilize specific JMU academic resources.
Academic Suspension Threshold
A student will be placed on academic suspension alert or academic suspension if that student's cumulative grade point average falls below the academic suspension threshold for a student with their total number of hours for standing.
|Total Number of Hours for Standing1
||Cumulative GPA for Academic Suspension Threshold
||less than 1.500
||less than 1.650
||less than 1.750
||less than 1.850
||less than 1.900
||less than 1.994
||less than 1.999
|120 or above
||less than 2.000
1 Total Number of Hours for Standing includes all hours attempted at JMU plus:
- Credit hours transferred to JMU.
- Credit hours earned by departmental exam and AP credit.
- Credit hours for courses taken on a credit/no credit basis (whether the final grade was CR or NC). For instance, in the example below a student has attempted 60 credit hours at JMU and received 30 credits for transfer work and two hours of no credit work. The hours attempted plus the no credit and transfer hours place this student in the 92 credit hour category, even though the total number of hours earned is equal to 82. With a cumulative GPA of 1.991, the student is subject to suspension.
|Hrs. for Standing
||Quality Points Earned
Academic Suspension Alert
A student will be placed on academic suspension alert if:
- their cumulative GPA is below the academic suspension threshold at the end of their first semester of enrollment at JMU,
- their cumulative GPA is below the academic suspension threshold at the end of a summer session, but their academic status was better than academic suspension at the end of the immediately preceding spring semester,
- their cumulative GPA is below the academic suspension threshold at the end of a fall semester, and they have no prior academic suspensions.
A student who is placed on academic suspension alert may enroll for the following semester/term; however, a student on academic suspension alert will be restricted to a course load of no more than 13 credit hours each semester until they reach academic good standing. The university might also require students on academic suspension alert to confer regularly with their academic advisers, participate in academic skills development programs and/or utilized specific JMU academic resources.
A student will be placed on academic suspension if:
- their current term of enrollment is better than the first term of enrollment and their cumulative GPA is below the academic suspension threshold the end of a spring semester.
- their cumulative GPA is below the academic suspension threshold at the end of a summer session, and their academic status was academic suspension at the end of the immediately preceding spring semester
As a rule, academic suspension will be invoked at the end of spring semester (and summer session for students who attend summer session); however, in exceptional cases where academic performance is persistently unsatisfactory, or in cases where students fail to meet continued enrollment or conditions, the university may choose to suspend students at the end of fall semester.
The period of academic suspension is a minimum of twelve months following a first suspension, and a minimum of twenty-four months following a second suspension. A student who is academically suspended for a second time is eligible to apply to return to JMU by agreeing to apply for the Transfer Equivalent Option (TEO) upon their approved return to JMU. Re-entry is not guaranteed.
A student who is suspended a third time will be permanently dismissed from the university. No appeal of this dismissal will be considered, nor will a student dismissed for academic deficiency be allowed to exercise the Transfer Equivalent Option (TEO).
Academic Standing If Enrolled in Fewer than Nine Credit Hours During First Term of Enrollment
A student who takes fewer than nine credit hours in their first term/semester at JMU will not be reviewed for academic standing that term/semester.
Adding a Course, Changing Sections or Changing Credit Options
Students may add a course and change sections or credit options according to deadlines and instructions published on the Registrar's website. Students should note that adding a course may result in a tuition increase.
Dropping and withdrawing both result in the termination of a student's enrollment in that course.
Dropping a Course
Dropping a course must be completed before the drop deadline. There is no fee for dropping a course, and the dropped course will not appear on the student's transcript. Depending on the student's course load, dropping a course might result in a tuition reduction.
Withdrawing from a Course
A student may terminate enrollment in a course by withdrawing from the course after the drop deadline but before the course adjustment deadline. A student who withdraws from a course will receive a grade of "W" for the course, and this grade will be recorded (and remain) on the student's transcript regardless of the status of the student in the course at the time of the withdrawal. Additionally, tuition charges will apply for a withdrawn course.
In extraordinary situations, a student unable to complete some course requirements after the course adjustment deadline (approximately one week after midterm grades are due for a regular semester) may request that the instructor consider awarding a grade of "WP" (Withdrawn Passing) or "WF" (Withdrawn Failing). A student should not assume that a late withdrawal will be provided by the instructor. There is no obligation for the instructor to assign a "WP" or "WF" grade. The instructor determines the form (e.g., verbal, written) and timing of requests for a "WP" or "WF" grade. The student must ensure that the request is made in an appropriate manner and at an appropriate time. In response to such a request, the instructor may choose to record a grade of "WP" or "WF," but is not obligated to do so and may record any grade other than "W." The course instructor may also suggest that the student contact the Office of the Dean of Students about withdrawing from the university. Withdrawing from a course will not result in a tuition reduction.
Students considering withdrawing from a course should be aware that graduate and professional schools and future employers might hold differing opinions on a student's withdrawal from a course. For this reason, a student should withdraw from a course only after serious consideration.
The university considers full-time enrollment in a term to be a minimum of 12 credit hours. In all programs, the normal load per semester is 15 or 16 credit hours. A student with a cumulative grade point average of 3.25 or better may register for as many as 21 credit hours per semester. Any student in academic good standing may take a maximum of 19 credit hours without securing special permission.
Students in academic good standing who wish to exceed these credits per semester limitations must secure permission from the head of the academic unit in which they are majoring.
A student on academic suspension alert or probation may not take more than 13 credit hours per semester without appropriate approval.
Academic Probation and Course Load
Students on academic probation must get the approval of the office of the dean of their major college if they wish to take more than 13 credit hours per semester. Students should note that an undergraduate course load of at least 13 credit hours a semester is required for a student to live in a residence hall.
Summer Session Course Load
During summer session, undergraduate students are advised to carefully consider their academic course load. Students are reminded that summer course work is intensive because of the condensed instructional time-frame and are encouraged to plan their summer schedules with the demanding workload in mind.
A student's participation in the work of a course is clearly a precondition to receiving credit in that course. Because of the wide variety of courses and teaching methods at JMU, the university recognizes that the nature of a student's participation in the work of a course cannot be prescribed on a university-wide basis. For this reason, classroom attendance is not a matter subject to regulation by the university. Attendance in class and the laboratory is a matter between the student and the faculty member in that class or laboratory but due to Federal Financial Aid regulations all students will be reported as having initially attended, or participated in academic activity, by the instructor of record after census date. Students being reported as having not attended, nor participated in academic activity, may be withdrawn administratively from the class. Do not assume that your lack of attendance or participation will result in your administrative removal from the class. If you wish to drop or withdraw from a class you need to do so via the enrollment process and by prescribed deadlines.
Instructors' policies govern how many excused absences will be allowed and how these excused absences will be handled in their classes. Certain absences are often considered legitimate:
- Scheduled absences (known in advance at the start or within the first two weeks of the semester).
- Religious observance where the nature of the observance prevents student from attending class.
- Scheduled necessary medical procedures.
- Participation in intercollegiate athletic competitions.
- Functions or performance activity related to academics (music, debate, workshop, academic conferences, etc.).
Faculty are strongly encouraged to publish, as part of the course syllabus and/or discuss during the initial class session, how many excused absences will be allowed, any mandatory and/or unrepeatable components of the course, and the expected procedure for requesting and obtaining approval for scheduled absences.
Students are required to notify the faculty by no later than the end of the Drop-Add period and determine with the faculty if mutually acceptable alternative methods exist for completing the missed classroom, lab, clinical/field or other required activities. This allows students to drop the course if it is determined that missed academic activities cannot be rescheduled in a reasonable fashion or that the absences would prevent adequate mastery of the material. Students are to submit verification of scheduled absences to the faculty by no later than the first class period of the second week of the semester. Examples of unexpectedly rescheduled absences (initially scheduled for one time, then changed with limited notice) and unforeseeable unscheduled absences (compelling, verifiable circumstances beyond the student's control) include:
- Activity season extended due to achieving berth in playoffs (verified by athletic director).
- Death in immediate family (verified by funeral director and/or copy of obituary).
- Disaster services or armed services activation for duty (verified by copy of official notification).
- Inclement weather postponement of the event or postponement and rescheduling of the event by external parties, e.g., illness of featured speaker (verified by event coordinator).
- Jury duty or court-ordered appearance (verified by clerk of the court).
- Other unavoidable compelling verifiable absence.
- Student illness or injury (verified by health care provider).
Students are to notify the faculty of each unexpected absence and determine with the faculty if mutually acceptable alternative methods exist for completing or demonstrating mastery of missed learning activities within one week of becoming aware of the projected absence.
If required by the faculty, students are to submit verification of any absence to the faculty prior to the absence if possible and upon return to class if not possible prior to the absence. Faculty may consider the absence as unexcused if the student fails to comply with published notification and verification timeframes or procedures.
In order to audit a class, a student must have the permission of the instructor and the academic unit head offering the class. Audited courses will not affect a student's attempted and earned credit hours or grade point average, but tuition will be billed for the course.
Catalog of Record
For General Education and university degree requirements, students are generally subject to the curricular and graduation requirements contained in the undergraduate catalog in effect upon their initial enrollment at JMU. Students who leave the university and return after a minimum two calendar years absence will have their requirements updated to reflect the curricular and graduation requirements contained in the undergraduate catalog in effect for the term in which they return to JMU.
A student who declares or changes a major, minor, preprofessional program or concentration will complete the requirements in effect for the catalog year in which the declaration or change was made. With approval from the academic unit overseeing the academic program, the catalog requirement term can be adjusted forward or backward.
With the exception of undergraduates enrolled in adult degree programs, students are expected to complete all baccalaureate major and degree requirements within seven years of their original entry date to JMU or previous higher educational institution(s). If required by the academic unit, academic work completed more than seven years prior to the students' anticipated graduation date might be subject to review by the major and minor academic units and the General Education Program for applicability to the undergraduate degree program. Additional standards may apply in programs leading to licensure or certification.
Changes in Requirements
James Madison University is a progressive educational institution, and its offerings and requirements in the undergraduate catalog are under continual examination and revision. Revisions often affect currently enrolled students. Although the university attempts to alert students to these revisions through the academic advising process, individual reports of academic progress and various campus publications, responsibility for meeting all curricular and other graduation requirements rests with the students, who are encouraged to consult regularly with their program advisers.
The classification of students depends upon the number of credit hours they have earned.
||Fewer than 28
||More than 89
A course adjustment is any change to a student's registered course schedule. A course adjustment can include any of the following: changing a credit option, changing a section, adding a course, dropping a course or withdrawing from a course. Deadlines for processing specific course adjustments are stated on the Registrar's website. The end of the course adjustment period (approximately one week after midterm grades are due for a regular semester) is the deadline for withdrawing from a course and changing credit options for a semester course. Each student is responsible for knowing his/her registered course schedule and for making any desired course adjustments prior to the published registration deadlines.
Confidentiality of Educational Records
The Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act of 1974
James Madison University adheres to and annually informs students of the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act of 1974, as amended. This act, with which the institution intends to fully comply, was designated to protect the privacy of educational records. Under the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA), students have certain rights with respect to their education records. These rights include:
- The right to inspect and review the student's education records within 45 days of the day the university receives a request for access.
- The student should submit to the registrar, dean, head of the academic unit or other appropriate official written requests that identify the record(s) he/she wishes to inspect. The university official will make arrangements for access and notify the student of the time and place where the records may be inspected. If the records are not maintained by the university official to whom the request was submitted, that official shall advise the student of the correct official to whom the request should be addressed.
- The right to request the amendment of the student's education records that the student believes are inaccurate or misleading.
- The student may ask the university to amend a record that he/she believes is inaccurate or misleading. The student should write the university official responsible for the record, clearly identify the part of the record he/she wants changed, and specify why it is inaccurate or misleading. If the university decides not to amend the record as requested by the student, the university will notify the student of the decision and advise the student of his/her right to a hearing regarding the request for amendment. Additional information regarding the hearing procedures will be provided to the student when notified of the right to a hearing.
- The right to consent to disclosures of personally identifiable information contained in the student's education records, except to the extent that FERPA authorizes disclosure without consent.
One exception, which permits disclosure without consent, is disclosure to school officials with legitimate educational interests. A school official is a person employed by the university in an administrative, supervisory, academic or research, or support staff position (including law enforcement unit personnel and health staff); a person or company with whom the university has contracted or outsourced institutional services or functions (such as an attorney, auditor, food service or bookstore provider, or collection agent); a person serving on the Board of Visitors; a volunteer performing services for the institution; or a student serving on an official committee, such as a disciplinary or grievance committee, or assisting another school official in performing his/her tasks.A school official has a legitimate educational interest if the official needs to review an education record in order to fulfill his/her professional responsibility. Upon request, the university may disclose education records without consent to officials of another school in which a student seeks or intends to enroll.
The following is considered "Directory Information" at James Madison University and may be made available to the general public unless the student notifies the Office of the Registrar in person or in writing within five days after the first day of class registration: Student's name, major and minor fields of study, college of major and year (first year, sophomore, etc.), enrollment status (full-time/part-time) including credit hours, dates of attendance, degree sought and time, degrees conferred, awards and honors conferred, participation in officially recognized activities and sports, weight and height of members of athletic teams, the most recent previous educational agency or institution attended by the student, and fraternity and/or sorority and educational societies.
Enrolled students may "opt in" to three additional data elements of directory information: address, email address and telephone number. By "opting in" to these additional data elements, the student is authorizing JMU to release this information to any third party entities who request any directory information on JMU students. If a student wishes to "opt-in" to these additional three elements, email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Students have the right to file a complaint with the U.S. Department of Education concerning alleged failures by James Madison University to comply with the requirements of FERPA.
The name and address of the office that administers FERPA is: Family Policy Compliance Office, U.S. Department of Education, 400 Maryland Avenue, SW, Washington, D.C. 20202-4605 or http://www2.ed.gov/policy/gen/reg/ferpa/index.html.
More detailed information concerning JMU's records policy is available from the James Madison University Policies Manual Policy 2112, The Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act, at https://www.jmu.edu/JMUpolicy/.
The JMU academic calendar is based on the semester system. The unit of credit is the credit hour. Each credit hour represents the combination of in-class and out-of-class work:
- A minimum of one 50-minute class period of faculty instruction or its equivalent each week over a 15-week semester for all forms of instruction (or equivalent total time for blocks of instruction different than 15-week semesters). For purposes of this definition, instruction consists of regular and substantive interaction or guided interaction, which may include in-person lectures, synchronous or asynchronous online lectures, seminar, discussions, studios, supervised group work, and examinations, OR
A minimum of two 50-minute class periods for each week in the semester (or equivalent total time for blocks of instruction different than 15-week semesters) for laboratory, studio or fieldwork,
- A minimum of two hours of out-of-class student work or academic engagement each week to meet appropriate course objectives (or equivalent total time for blocks of instruction different than 15-week semesters). For purposes of this definition, out-of-class student work consists of time student spends outside of direct faculty instruction to fulfill course objectives, which may include reading assignments, problem assignments, quizzes and examinations, online and face-to-face group work, writing papers(s), and preparation/follow up for labs or field experience.
Credit/No-credit Course Registration
The credit/no-credit option has been established to encourage students to explore academic areas with which they are unfamiliar. Such academic exploration allows students to fully integrate field-based learning activities into appropriate programs of study. The design of the credit/no-credit option allows students to participate in courses outside of their major and minor fields of concentration without jeopardizing their academic records. In some cases, the credit/no-credit option might also help to reduce academic pressures and competition for grades.
Students electing to take courses under this option should be selective in choosing the courses that they take as credit/no-credit. Graduate and professional schools and future employers, however, might hold differing opinions of such a nontraditional grading system. For this reason, students should consult with their academic advisers for information concerning the inclusion of credit/no-credit course grades within their programs.
Students are eligible to take a course on a credit/no-credit basis if they have completed at least 28 credit hours at JMU and have attained a 2.25 cumulative grade point average or higher. Transfer students may take courses on the credit/no-credit option only if they have completed 28 credit hours with at least 14 hours at JMU.
JMU allows students to register for kinesiology activity courses on a credit/no-credit basis at any time without regard to minimum hours completed or grade point average. Also, grades for student teaching are assigned on a credit/no-credit basis. Except for field-based courses (which may be defined by an academic unit as credit/no-credit), the following courses may not be taken as credit/no-credit:
- Courses used to meet General Education requirements
- Courses used to meet declared major requirements
- Courses used to meet declared minor requirements
- Any course listed by subject name in the major or minor program, even if the course does not specifically satisfy a requirement for the major or minor
- Courses being repeated that were previously taken for a letter grade
- Degree requirements
Students should also keep in mind the following factors when considering the credit/no-credit option:
- Students can take up to 15 credit hours on a credit/no-credit basis.
- The university limits the maximum number of credit/no-credit courses a student can take to four credit hours per semester or one course of more than four credit hours per semester.
- Student teaching is not counted as a part of these credit/no-credit totals.
- Students registering for classes should complete the required paperwork with the Office of the Registrar for courses that they plan to take on a credit/no-credit basis, and all changes to and from the credit/no-credit option must be completed by the end of the course adjustment period.
- The credit/no-credit option will only apply to final grades. All course work and quizzes will be graded as if the student were taking the course for graded credit.
- Students taking a course on a credit/no-credit basis will only be identified to the instructor after final grades have been submitted.
- Instructors will submit letter grades on the grade roster and the student administration system will convert all grades of "A" through "C" to "CR" (credit) for those students enrolled under the credit/no-credit option. (The university makes exceptions to this process for field-based courses designated by the academic unit.) Students will receive credit hours, but they will not receive quality points for the work completed. Therefore, the grade of "CR" will not affect a student's cumulative grade point averages.
- A grade of "NC" (no-credit) will be recorded for all grades of "C-" and below, and the student will not receive credit hours or quality points for the grade of "NC." The fact that the student took the course will remain on that student's transcript, but the grade assigned in that class will not affect that student's cumulative grade point average.
The university offers options for students to earn credit toward their degree outside the traditional classroom setting:
- Admission of High School Students as Special Students pursuing dual enrollment credit
- Admission of first year students with Advanced Placement, or other approved test scores that result in course credit
- Independent Study while enrolled as a student
Credit by Examination
College degrees represent growth and maturity in certain fundamental knowledge and skills rather than a mere accumulation of credit hours. In recognition of the fact that some persons may achieve academic competence through nontraditional means, such as private study, technical employment or prior instruction, JMU endorses the concept of credit by examination.
By permitting a student to earn credit by academic unit examination for knowledge already gained, highly motivated or academically advanced persons are able to accelerate their program. It is the student's responsibility to ascertain what preparation and background are necessary for taking advantage of this means of acceleration, before attempting an examination.
Any enrolled undergraduate student may apply to take an examination for credit in selected courses in the undergraduate curriculum. Permission to take an examination for credit must be obtained from the head of the academic unit in which credit is sought. A student will not be permitted to take the examination for credit for a course which satisfies any of the following:
- The student is presently enrolled in the course.
- The student has previously completed the course.
- The course is a prerequisite for a course in which the student is currently enrolled or has completed.
- The course is numbered at a lower level than other courses in which the student is currently enrolled or has previously completed, unless the express approval of the academic unit head is secured.
- The course appears previously on the student's record with a grade assigned due to a violation of the Honor System.
Each academic unit will use its own discretion in developing the form of the examination and in determining the procedure to be followed. Students may earn as many as 30 credit hours through credit by academic unit examination, with no more than 12 credit hours in any one discipline. To receive credit, a student must make a grade of "C" or better on the examination. Each academic unit shall determine what constitutes a "C" for that academic unit. No academic unit shall require a grade higher than a "C" for passing the examination. The examination for a course can be taken only once in a given semester. A nonrefundable fee must be paid prior to the administration of an examination for credit. (Refer to Tuition and Fees .) Each academic unit will determine its time schedule for giving examinations.
Every academic unit at JMU offers a course designed to give capable students an opportunity to do faculty-supervised independent studies. Such courses often carry more than the normal three credit hours for a semester's work. In addition, these independent study courses allow especially capable students to work at their own, often accelerated pace. Arrangements for independent study should be made with individual faculty members.
Students are expected to attend final examinations during the times scheduled for those examinations. Extenuating circumstances, however, might prompt faculty members to approve a student's request for an exception to attending the final examination. Students whose requests for exceptions are disapproved by the relevant faculty members have the right to appeal to the relevant academic unit head or academic dean. No appeal will be favorably considered without prior consultation with the faculty member.
Final Examinations Missed Due to Inclement Weather or Emergency
In response to inclement weather and other emergencies, the university may be forced to cancel final exams. When the university closes due to weather or other types of emergencies, faculty will administer regularly scheduled final examinations at an official make-up time designated by the university unless otherwise announced in the course syllabus. The official make-up time will be designated as part of the closing announcement. Unless otherwise notified, make-up examination locations will be the same as locations for regularly scheduled exams.
If it is determined that exams cannot be given because of inclement weather or other emergency, faculty will assign final grades to students based on the exams, tests and projects completed prior to the regularly scheduled exam dates.
Grade Review Procedure
Maintaining standards of excellence and the integrity of the teaching/learning process are important values to JMU faculty. The university and its faculty members also recognize that grades may sometimes be inappropriately assigned. If such disagreements occur, students have a right to voice their opinion concerning a particular course grade. Evaluation of student work and assignment of grades on the basis of academic criteria are the responsibilities and prerogative exercised by the faculty member. A faculty member has the responsibility to evaluate student performance on a fair and scholarly basis in accordance with university policy.
It is the student's responsibility to maintain all documentation for his/her classes, including copies of assignments and grades earned.
Grade Change Procedure
If a student (graduate, undergraduate or post-baccalaureate) believes that a grade was assigned in error, because of a mistake in calculation or an error in recording a grade, the student should consult the faculty member (or faculty members, in the case of a jointly taught course) before the Friday of the second week of classes in the regular semester following the semester of the contested grade to resolve the discrepancy.
Requests for review of spring semester or summer session grades must be initiated no later than the Monday of the third week of classes in the subsequent fall semester. It is the student's responsibility to maintain all documentation for his/her classes, including copies of assignments and grades earned. If the faculty member agrees that a change should be made, the faculty member should initiate a Grade Change request through the MyMadison Faculty Tab.
The only basis for this type of change is an error in grade assignment or calculation.
If the faculty member does not agree to change a grade based on an error in recording the grade, the student may activate the grade review process listed below.
Grade Review Process
If a student (graduate, undergraduate or post-baccalaureate) believes that a final course grade was unfairly awarded, that student may initiate the grade review process. Students should be aware that, as a result of review, a grade may be raised, lowered or left the same. Evaluation of student work and assignment of grades on the basis of academic criteria are the responsibilities of and prerogative exercised by the faculty member teaching that particular course. Grades should be assigned on a fair and scholarly basis. Grounds for grade review are limited to two categories.
- The grade was assigned in a manner other than that listed in the course syllabus or as amended by the faculty member with appropriate notice.
- The grade was assigned in a manner other than that used for other students in the class.
Activating the Grade Review Process
To activate the grade review process, the student should follow these steps.
- The student submits a Grade Review Form (available from the Registrar's website) to the appropriate faculty member by Monday of the third week of classes in the regular semester that follows the semester for which the contested grade was given. The student should attach a written explanation of reasons for the dispute, including any documentation relating to the disputed grade. Requests for review of spring semester or summer session grades must be initiated no later than the Monday of the third week of classes in the subsequent fall semester.
- The student communicates with the faculty member by Friday of the third week of classes to attempt to resolve the concern.
- If the student and the faculty member reach an agreement that the grade should be changed, the faculty member changes the grade by initiating a Grade Change request through the MyMadison Faculty Tab.
- If no resolution is reached, the faculty member signs the Grade Review Form and records a written response on the reverse side of the form. The faculty member returns the original copy of this form to the student, retains a copy of the form for his/her personal records and forwards a copy to the relevant academic unit head by Friday of the fourth week of classes.
- The student must contact the relevant academic unit head by the Friday of the fifth week of classes to request review of statement and response.
- The academic unit head then meets with the student and confers with the relevant faculty member.
- The academic unit head signs the Grade Review Form and records a written response on the reverse side of the form by Friday of the seventh week of classes. The student receives the original copy of this form, the relevant faculty member receives a copy of the form and the sender retains a copy of the form.
- If all involved parties agree that the grade should be changed, the faculty member initiates a Grade Change request through MyMadison Faculty Tab.
After the review process outlined has been completed, if the academic unit head and faculty member agree that a grade should not be changed, a student can also request that the form, documentation and responses be reviewed by the dean of the college in which the class was taught. The college dean's responsibility is to ascertain whether all parties have had an opportunity to present all relevant facts and have received a fair and impartial hearing at each level, and to review whether the faculty member has acted appropriately in assigning the grade. To enter this phase of the process, a student should follow these procedures.
- The student contacts the dean by Friday of the eighth week of classes and requests that the dean review the overall process.
- The college dean reviews the process to be sure the student and the faculty member have had a fair hearing, and whether the faculty member has acted appropriately in assigning the grade. If the relevant college dean believes that due process was not followed during the review process, or that the faculty member has not acted appropriately in assigning the grade, the dean consults with the relevant faculty member and academic unit head or cluster coordinator in an attempt to resolve the dispute.
- The relevant college dean sends a written response to all involved parties by Friday of the tenth week of classes. This written response is appended to the Grade Review Form. The dean returns the original copy to the student, retains a copy for him/herself and sends a copy to the relevant academic unit head and the relevant faculty member. If it is agreed that the student's grade should be changed, the relevant faculty member initiates a Grade Change request through the MyMadison Faculty Tab.
If the dean determines that the grade will not be changed, there is no further review available to the student. The entire process will not extend past the end of the semester following the contested grade with the exception of grades given for summer session courses.
Students who spend a semester abroad should submit the Grade Review Form to the relevant faculty member by the Monday of the third week of classes in the semester following the semester during which the grade was given. These students must also notify the faculty member of their semester absence from campus.
Students can complete a written explanation of the reasons for the dispute and can submit relevant documentation upon their return to campus, but that student cannot submit the request after the end of that semester.
If a faculty member is not on campus when a student wants to initiate a grade review, the student should contact the academic unit head to begin the process. The academic unit head will contact the faculty member for his/her decision on whether the grade should be changed.
Grades for block courses are officially recorded at the end of the semester; therefore, a grade review process for a block grade should follow the same procedure as for a semester course.
The academic unit head, or designee, verifies completion of major and minor course requirements for graduation. The Office of the Registrar verifies total credits earned, the General Education program, degree requirements and the cumulative GPA earned at the university, as well as other university-wide requirements.
To receive a degree from JMU, students must:
- Meet the General Education requirements.
- Have a minimum of 120 earned credit hours accepted by JMU.
- Have a cumulative grade point average of 2.0 or better at JMU.
- Have a cumulative grade point average of 2.0 or better in the major and minor subjects at JMU.
- Meet the major and degree requirements of one of the curricula leading to the degree for which they are candidates.
- Have been enrolled at JMU a minimum of two semesters.
- Have earned a minimum of 25% of credit hours at JMU (30 credits for degree programs of 120 credits).
- Have earned at least 50% of credit hours accepted by JMU from accredited senior (four-year) institutions of higher education, including JMU (60 credits for degree programs of 120 credits).
A student expecting to graduate at the end of any semester must apply to graduate via MyMadison. Responsibility for meeting graduation requirements rests with the student.
A student who has applied to graduate may participate in commencement exercises only if the student has fulfilled or is reasonably expected to fulfill all applicable graduation requirements prior to the date of the commencement exercises. A student who is reasonably expected to fulfill all applicable graduation requirements no later than the end of summer session may participate in the spring commencement exercises immediately preceding the summer term.
Attendance at commencement exercises is expected.
Permission to participate in (or actual participation in) commencement exercises does not mean or imply that a student has fulfilled all applicable graduation requirements.
Graduation with Honors
Before becoming eligible for graduation with honors, a student must successfully complete the following:
- Enrollment at JMU for a minimum of four semesters (fall and spring).
- Completion of a minimum of 60 attempted and earned credit hours at JMU.
- A minimum cumulative grade point average of 3.50 on all course work completed at James Madison University, including any work completed at JMU as a dual enrollment student prior to undergraduate matriculation and/or any work attempted and earned beyond four semesters or 60 credit hours.
Graduation honors will be determined as specified based on all course work attempted and earned at JMU.
|Cumulative Averages Required for Graduation Honors
|Magna cum laude
|Summa cum laude
||3.9 and above
These standards apply only to students entering JMU for the first time in fall 2015 and thereafter. Requirements for graduation with honors for students who entered JMU prior to 2015 are regulated by the catalog in effect at the time they enrolled.
All grades received in all courses attempted at JMU will be used to calculate the grade point average in consideration for graduation with honors.
Graduation honors will be noted in the commencement program. The graduation honors listed in the program will be based on the grade point average at the end of the semester preceding the semester in which final graduation requirements are met. However, for students who participate in the May ceremony but complete requirements in summer session, the honors noted in the commencement program will be based on the grade point average earned at the end of the preceding fall semester. Final graduation honors recorded on the diploma and transcript will be determined by the grade point average at the end of the semester in which all graduation requirements are met.
The title of Valedictorian is an honor bestowed by the Faculty Senate on behalf of the JMU faculty. Criteria were established by the Faculty Senate. It is given to the May graduate with the highest grade point average who has also earned at least 100 credit hours at James Madison University as of the fall semester prior to the student's May graduation. The student must have completed an average of at least 14 credit hours per fall and spring semester during his/her career at JMU. The grade point average will be calculated using grades recorded on the official transcript through the fall semester of the student's last year of undergraduate enrollment.
The Academic Excellence Award is an honor bestowed by the JMU Faculty Senate on behalf of the JMU faculty. Criteria were established by the Faculty Senate. It is for the student graduating in August or December who holds a grade point average that equals or exceeds that of the valedictorian and who has earned at least 100 credit hours at James Madison University. The student must have completed an average of at least 14 credit hours per fall and spring semester during his/ her career at JMU. The grade point average will be calculated using grades recorded on the official transcript through the spring semester of the student's last year of undergraduate enrollment. When more than one student qualifies for the Valedictorian or Academic Excellence Awards, each qualified student will be recognized.
Grievance Procedure for Students
This policy applies to student grievances related to the instructional process that do not concern grades, discrimination or harassment. Policies for grievances concerning these matters are outlined elsewhere.
To initiate the grievance procedure, the student should submit to the academic unit head a written statement explaining the reason for the grievance. Supportive documentation should also be included. The academic unit head meets with the student and confers with the relevant faculty member. Following these meetings, the unit head initiates the process as follows.
- Each academic unit head will appoint an advisory committee made up of faculty and students from the academic unit that will hear grievances of students. The advisory committee may take any of the following actions:
- Examine materials submitted by the student and the party grieved against ("respondent").
- Interview the student and the respondent.
- Interview any witnesses requested by the student, the respondent or the committee.
- Request additional materials from any person or entity relevant to the charges.
- Make a recommendation on the grievance to the academic unit head.
- The academic unit head may accept the recommendation of the committee, reject the recommendation, or partially accept and partially reject the recommendation. The academic unit head will take any action he/she deems appropriate on the grievance.
- If either the student or the respondent is dissatisfied with the action taken by the academic unit head, the action may be appealed to the dean. The decision of the dean is final.
- If the academic unit head is the party against whom the grievance is filed, the dean will receive the report of the committee and stand in the place of the head of the academic unit for the purpose of making the decision on the grievance. If the dean is the party against whom the grievance is filed, the Provost and Senior Vice President for Academic Affairs will handle any appeal.
- Following the final disposition of the grievance, a brief written summary of the complaint and outcome is filed with the dean as per University Policy 3110.
Following exhaustion of campus-based procedures, students may direct complaints to the State Council of Higher Education for Virginia. Additional information is available from their website at http://www.schev.edu/index/students-and-parents/resources/student-complaints.
It is the established policy of JMU to provide a work and study environment for faculty and staff members and students free from all forms of harassment, intimidation and exploitation. Prohibited harassment is offensive verbal or physical conduct. Questions, assistance or violations related to this policy should be directed to the university's Office of Equal Opportunity, 1017 Harrison Street, (540) 568-6991.
As an alternative, the student may deal with harassment in any of the following ways. If a student believes that he/she has been harassed by a staff member, faculty member or a student employee, the student should take one or more of the following actions:
- Discuss the matter with the faculty or staff member involved, explaining why a particular comment or action was offensive.
- Discuss the matter with the immediate supervisor of the faculty or staff member, giving an account of the comment or action in question.
If the student believes that he/she has been harassed by a student, the student should take one or more of the following actions:
- Discuss the matter with the accused, explaining why a particular comment or action was offensive.
- Bring a charge of harassment to the Office of Student Accountability and Restorative Practices.
If a student employee believes that he/she has been a victim of harassment, he/she should take one or more of the following actions:
- Discuss the matter with the accused, explaining why a particular comment or action was offensive.
- Discuss the matter with the immediate supervisor of the accused, giving an account of the comment or action in question.
- Contact the student employment office at (540) 568-3269.
Regardless of who the alleged harasser is, a student may discuss the matter with the Associate Vice President for Student Affairs, the director of the Counseling Center or the Office of Equal Employment, giving full details of the alleged harassment. The student will be advised of proper university procedures that can be pursued. If requested, complaints will be held in confidence and counseling will be provided. No investigation or action against the accused person will be taken on a student's behalf unless the student consents to be identified, if necessary, to the individual accused in connection with the investigation.
A student also has the option of filing a formal charge of harassment with the U.S. Department of Education. Contact information is available from the affirmative action officer at 1017 Harrison Street.
The academic program at JMU operates under an Honor System that dates back to the 1909-10 academic session. Students adopted the present Honor System in order to uphold individual and community integrity. Each student is expected to observe complete honesty in all academic matters and to report instances where another student has violated the Honor System.
A student Honor Council administers the Honor System, and every student who matriculates at the university, whether graduate or undergraduate, becomes a member of the Honor System. The university expects the cooperation of faculty members and administrators in upholding this Honor System. The Student Handbook provides full information on the Honor System, and the Honor Council office provides students with assistance in understanding Honor System policy. All incoming JMU students are required to complete an online Honor System Tutorial and test during their first semester.
The Honor Council encourages all members of the JMU community to familiarize themselves with the Honor Code and Honor System procedures.
Inclement Weather or Emergency
When the university is closed due to inclement weather or other emergencies, all classes are cancelled. Policies regarding class cancellations are specified in the syllabus for each course.
Makeup Days for Classes
When it is necessary to cancel classes due to weather or other emergencies, faculty have several options for making up the missed instructional time.
- Hold class at the regularly scheduled time on the official university make-up day, normally the Saturday immediately following the missed class.
- Hold class at a time acceptable to all class members other than the regularly scheduled time or the official make-up day. Time and location will be arranged by the academic unit.
- Accommodate the missed instructional time within remaining class meeting time.
- Hold class through electronic means.
Students entering JMU should confer with their advisers in order to determine a major program of study. If entering students have not decided on a specific major, they may register as undeclared. JMU encourages undeclared students to discuss their interests with representatives from University Advising, professors, academic unit heads and fellow students to find a major program best suited to each student's goals and interests.
Failure to do so could extend the time that students will need to fulfill graduation requirements. Students who would like assistance in identifying career options related to their specific majors can utilize the University Career Center, which helps students decide on career direction by assessing their career interests, skills and abilities as well as providing information about career options.
Declaration of Major
All students must declare their major by the beginning of their sophomore year. To declare a major, students will make their request through the Major Minor Change link on the student center in MyMadison. The request will be forwarded to the academic unit they wish to enter. Academic units accept students on the basis of their academic records and on the satisfactory completion of other criteria the academic units might establish. Academic units assign advisers for students who are beyond the level of a first-year student.
Transfer students who enter JMU with 30 or more credit hours must declare a major upon acceptance to the university.
Change of Major
Students who would like to change their major will make their request through the Major Minor Change link on the student center in MyMadison. The request will be forwarded to the head of the academic unit they wish to enter. Academic units accept students on the basis of their academic records and on the satisfactory completion of other criteria the academic units might establish. Academic units assign advisers for students who are accepted as majors.
Misconduct in Research and Other Scholarly Work
Policy 2205, Misconduct in Research and Scholarship, applies to all individuals involved in the performance of scholarly and creative activity and research conducted at JMU, whether performed under external or internal funding. It applies to all scientists, trainees, technicians and other staff members, students, fellows, guest researchers or collaborators.
Misconduct as defined under this policy means fabrication, falsification, plagiarism or other practices that seriously deviate from those that are commonly accepted within the scientific and academic community for proposing, conducting or reporting research. Misconduct by a student under this policy may result in disciplinary action up to and including expulsion from the university, loss of fellowship or scholarship and potential criminal prosecution.
Non-returning Students and Leave of Absence
Students who plan to leave JMU, either temporarily or permanently, must officially notify the university. To initiate a proper separation from JMU, students should visit the Registrar's website for more information.
Prerequisite and Eligibility Requirements
Students should consult the appropriate catalog to determine prerequisite or eligibility requirements for course selections. Without special permission, students cannot take for credit a course for which the prerequisite has not been met or for which they are not eligible. In addition, students cannot take for credit a course that is a prerequisite to a course they have already taken. Many courses require other courses as prerequisites. Students should be aware that a course in which they receive a grade below "C" probably does not adequately prepare them to take a course which requires the first as a prerequisite. Before continuing on to a succeeding course, students should discuss their level of preparation with the instructor of the second course and decide whether or not they need to retake the first course to improve their understanding as well as their grade.
Re-entry to the University
Degree-seeking students who have not attended JMU for one or more semesters and who wish to return to their studies at JMU are classified as re-entry students. The re-entry process is contingent upon the student's length of absence and academic standing at the time of departure.
To avoid delays in registration, the Intent to Enroll Form (for students who have been absent from JMU for less than two years) or the Undergraduate Re-entry Form (for students who have been absent for two or more years) must be submitted by the indicated deadline for the anticipated semester of return. The Intent to Enroll form and the Re-entry Form are available online. All registration holds must be cleared before the student will be eligible to register.
Fall Semester................................................... July 1
Spring Semester.................................... November 1
Summer Session............................................. April 1
Re-entry after Absence of Less Than Two Calendar Years
Students in Good Standing
Students who left the university in good standing and who have been absent for one semester or more, but less than two calendar years, must submit an Intent to Enroll Form to the Office of the Registrar.
Activation for students who take a leave of absence for documented medical or mental health reasons will be contingent on receipt of a letter from the attending physician indicating the student is able to attend classes. This letter must be received in the Office of the Dean of Students by the deadlines indicated previously.
Students on Academic Probation
Students who left the university on academic probation, and who have been absent for one semester or more, must submit an Intent to Enroll Form directly to the Assistant Vice Provost for Academic Student Services, MSC 7506. A personal statement citing the reason for departure and interim activities must accompany the form. Re-entry and continued enrollment are not guaranteed, but are contingent upon review by an academic review committee chaired by the Assistant Vice Provost for Academic Student Services. Such review may result in denial or conditional re-entry.
Students on Academic Suspension
Students who are placed on a first academic suspension may follow the appeal process stated in their suspension notification or apply for reentry after the suspension period. A personal statement citing the reason for departure and interim activities must accompany all Intent to Enroll Forms. Students must submit all documents to the Assistant Vice Provost for Academic Student Services, MSC 7506. Re-entry and continued enrollment are not guaranteed but contingent upon review by an academic review committee chaired by the Assistant Vice Provost for Academic Student Services. Such review may result in denial or conditional re-entry.
With prior approval from the dean of the major college and the Office of the Registrar, a suspended student may choose to take courses at another institution. Course work completed during the period of suspension may be considered as part of the criteria for re-entry, but courses taken at another institution cannot be used to raise the grade point average at JMU, nor will the courses automatically transfer to JMU. A maximum of 12 semester hours will be accepted as transfer credits. These hours will be considered once the student has been readmitted and has earned a minimum semester grade point average of 2.0 in at least 12 credit hours attempted during the semester of return.
Re-entry after Second Suspension or Absence Exceeding Two Calendar Years
Students who are eligible to apply for re-entry after an absence of two or more calendar years, regardless of their academic standing at the time of departure, must apply for readmission through the Office of Academic Student Services. Readmission is not automatic but subject to committee review of the application, the personal statement citing the reason for absence and evaluation of work completed at JMU as well as work completed at other institutions during the student's absence from JMU.
If a degree-seeking student leaves James Madison University after earning a portion of General Education credits and earns an approved Virginia Community College System (VCCS) Associate Degree, JMU will accept it in fulfillment of General Education requirements. Students who earn the approved degree while on academic suspension status from James Madison University are only eligible to re-enter James Madison University by agreeing to apply for the Transfer Equivalent Option upon their approved return to James Madison University.
Semester course listings are available on the university's internet accessible information system at https://mymadison.jmu.edu/. The university expects all students to register on the dates indicated in the registration calendar.
Credit is not allowed in any course for which the student is not duly registered, and registration is not complete until all fees for the semester have been paid. Students must complete course work during the semester in which they are registered for a course.
James Madison University requires students to take a series of student outcomes assessments prior to their graduation. These assessments are held at three stages of students' academic careers, including:
- as entering students
- at the mid-undergraduate point when they have earned 45 to 70 credit hours, typically their sophomore year
- as graduating seniors in their academic major(s)
Testing at the first two stages occurs on scheduled Assessment Days in the fall and spring semesters. During these assessments, students are tested on their knowledge in general education areas such as history, science, mathematics and fine arts. In addition, students may also complete tests measuring critical thinking, cultural knowledge, and intellectual and personal development. Testing of seniors in their major(s) occurs on the spring Assessment Day or is embedded in academic unit courses. The university encourages students to review program requirements for details.
The information gained during assessment makes it possible to compare students who have completed course work in certain areas to those who have not. Transfer students' scores are compared with the scores of students who began their studies at JMU. In addition, assessment in the majors allows programs to determine if the majors are achieving the goals and objectives the academic units have specified. Because these assessments are important to the improvement of JMU's academic and student affairs programs, students are required to participate.
Entering students who miss the scheduled assessments (fall Assessment Day) will receive a hold on their records and will be unable to register for spring courses or make fall course adjustments until such time as the assessments are completed. Students who miss the mid-undergraduate assessments (spring Assessment Day) will receive a hold on their records and will be unable to register for fall courses or make course adjustments until such time as the assessments are completed.
JMU does not report individual student scores; the university does, however, report aggregated test results to measure how programs and services contribute to student learning and development and for student progression based on competency attainment in selected programs. Assessment results are reported within JMU and to external audiences. Internally, group-level assessment results are shared with faculty committees and administrators across the campus to improve university programs. Externally, JMU releases findings on how students perform in general education areas. This information is used to compare the overall performance of JMU students to students from other universities in Virginia. As a result, each student has an impact on these overall scores. The Center for Assessment and Research Studies administers assessment days and works with faculty for assessment of all academic majors and student affairs programs.
Semester Honors Lists
To qualify for the honor of being placed on the President's List, a student must earn a grade point average of 3.900 or above and be considered by the registrar to be carrying a full-time course load of graded credit hours (i.e., exclusive of credit hours taken on a credit/no credit or audit basis).
To qualify for the Dean's list, a student must meet the President's List requirement for course load and earn a grade point average of 3.500- 3.899.
Students Seeking Second Baccalaureate Degrees
Students Currently Enrolled
A currently enrolled student may earn two different baccalaureate degrees through concurrent or consecutive enrollment at James Madison University. To earn a second degree, students must:
- Earn a minimum of 150 credit hours, including a minimum of 60 hours at JMU.
- Meet all degree and university graduation requirements for both degree programs.
- Meet all prerequisite and course requirements in two different majors.
A student who has met graduation requirements for one degree may participate in the commencement activities for that degree and continue with the second degree provided the following occur:
- The student has officially declared the second degree and major prior to the submission of the graduation application for the first degree, and both degrees and majors appear on the student's academic transcript.
- At the time of completion of the first degree, the student must have completed at least 12 credit hours in the major required for the second degree. A student who has earned fewer credits may not continue with the second degree if he/she decides to complete the first degree and participate in commencement exercises.
- No lapse in enrollment (not including summer) occurs between the completion of the first degree and the continued pursuit of the second degree.
Students Not Currently Enrolled
Students who have earned a baccalaureate degree from JMU or from another accredited college or university and want to pursue an additional bachelor's degree or major program have limited options. Students may earn a second baccalaureate degree at JMU in the following programs:
Student teaching should be a full-time experience. Only in exceptional cases will additional course work be approved during the student teaching period.
Moreover, student teachers cannot expect to work or participate in excessive extracurricular activities during their student teaching period as any interference with student teaching might lower the quality of the individual's performance. Students with problems or special needs must contact the Education Support Center. All student teaching grades are assigned on a credit/no-credit basis.
The permanent academic record, or transcript, is the official record of a student's grades earned to date, and it includes the date of graduation, credential received and date of withdrawal or dismissal, if applicable. Conferral information displayed on the transcript will include degree type, major, concentration, minor, and certificate names.
The Office of the Registrar may release a student's transcript upon receipt of an approved request from the student or former student.
Transfer Equivalent Option Policy for Readmitted Students
A student who returns to JMU after a separation of twenty-four months and who maintains a minimum 2.0 GPA for 12 credit hours attempted at JMU after his/her return to JMU is eligible to apply for the transfer equivalent policy. This policy allows a student a quality point status equivalent to that of a transfer student admitted to the university.
The student's new GPA will initially be that attempted in the 12 credit hours taken upon readmission. In order to exercise this option, the student must submit a Transfer Equivalent Option (TEO) Form to the Assistant Vice Provost for Academic Student Services.
The following regulations govern this option:
- The option must be exercised within 30 days of receiving written correspondence from the Assistant Vice Provost for Academic Student Services indicating that TEO requirements have been met.
- A student with outstanding "I" grades is not eligible to apply.
- A student who leaves the university while in good standing is not eligible to apply.
- Credit/no credit courses do not count toward the 12 attempted credit hours needed for application.
- If a student's TEO requirements are met over multiple terms/semesters, and/or more than 12 credit hours are attempted while working toward application of TEO, eligibility for TEO will be determined by the average earned on all credit hours attempted after his/her return to JMU.
- All grades will remain a part of the transcript.
- An eligible student will receive degree credit for only those courses for which grades of "C" or better were earned prior to re-entry.
- Quality points earned for any course completed prior to readmission will not count in determining the new cumulative GPA.
- A student whose application for the transfer equivalent policy has been approved may request that credit hours for pre-approved courses taken at another institution be transferred to JMU. The request will be reviewed by the office of the major college dean and the Office of the Registrar.
- The option will be extended only once during a student's enrollment at JMU.
A student interested in this option must apply for re-entry to the university through the Office of Academic Student Services according to established deadlines.
Fall Semester................................................... July 1
Spring Semester.................................... November 1
Summer Session............................................. April 1
Transfer of Credit from Other Institutions
A student wishing to earn credits at another institution, either during the summer or during a regular session, must obtain permission in advance of registration elsewhere. Multiple approvals may be required. The transfer credit approval form should be submitted to the Office of the Registrar for approval routing. To earn General Education credit, permission will need to be secured from the General Education Program even if the course is currently listed in the transfer equivalency guide. Approvals for General Education courses will be based on the extent to which the course meets cluster objectives and whether the student has already transferred the maximum allowed (see restrictions below). Transfer requests for courses not listed in the transfer equivalency guide should be accompanied by course descriptions and/or syllabi.
For a student on academic suspension status, a maximum of 12 semester hours will be accepted as transfer credits. These hours will be considered once the student has been readmitted and has earned a minimum semester grade point average of 2.0 in at least 12 credit hours attempted during the semester of return.
The General Education program allows students to transfer credit for a particular course based on a comparison of course objectives and content at JMU with those at the other institution. Once students have enrolled for classes at JMU they are expected to complete the General Education program here. The Associate Vice Provost for University Programs or a cluster coordinator must approve any exception to this policy.
After students have enrolled for classes, some restrictions will be applied to transferring in credit for the General Education program. These restrictions include the following:
- Students will be allowed to transfer in no more than three courses for General Education credit.
- No more than one transferred course may be applied to any one cluster.
- Transfer credit will not be awarded for course offerings in Cluster One; Critical Thinking, Cluster Four: The American Experience, or Cluster Five: Wellness due to the content and unique features of these courses.
Special exceptions to these policies will be reviewed on an individual basis. Such exceptions may include those students who have been discontinued from JMU, or those who wish to participate in study abroad programs or other special circumstances.
The student is responsible for having an official transcript sent to the Office of the Registrar when the work has been completed and final grades have been posted. Credit hours will be awarded for approved courses carrying a grade of "C" or better (2.0 quality points).
Undergraduate Grading System
Maintaining standards of excellence and the integrity of the teaching/learning process are important values to JMU faculty. Evaluation of student work and assignment of grades on the basis of academic criteria are the responsibilities and prerogative exercised by the faculty member. A faculty member has the responsibility to evaluate student performance on a fair and scholarly basis in accordance with university faculty.
The university makes grades available to students through the online student information system (MyMadison) at the end of each semester. Mid-semester grades, if assigned, in all courses are also made available through the online student information system (MyMadison) to new first year students. Grades are not mailed to students.
The academic achievement of a student in a specific course is expressed by letters as in the following table.
||Credit for average or better work
||No credit awarded
||Withdrawal while passing
||Withdrawal while failing
A course in which a grade of "F" is received does not result in earned credit hours, but does count as credit hours attempted in computing the grade point average. A course in which a grade of "NC", "WP", "WF" or "W" is received neither results in earned credit hours nor counts as credit hours attempted in computing the grade point average.
In certain circumstances, a grade of "I" (recorded by faculty and denoting incomplete work in a given course) will be given for a course. An "I" grade not resolved prior to the applicable incomplete grade deadline will automatically be converted to an "F" grade at the end of the next regular semester. Any student receiving an "I" grade should follow the university policy on incomplete grades.
Grade Point Average
The university computes a student's grade point average for any period by dividing the number of quality points earned during that period by the number of credit hours attempted during the same period. For instance, during a period in which a student attempts 16 credit hours and earns 40 quality points, the student's GPA is 2.5.
A student's cumulative GPA is computed by dividing the total number of quality points earned at JMU by the total number of credit hours attempted at JMU.
The "I" grade is used to indicate incomplete work in a given course and is awarded only when a student is unable to complete course work because of illness or another equally compelling reason.
Courses in which a student receives a grade of "I" must be completed by the end of the next regular semester, or the grade is recorded as an "F." (See the University Calendar for the dates by which grade changes must be reported to the Office of the Registrar.) A student seeking a grade of "I" must make that request to the relevant faculty member before the end of the semester in which that course is taking place.
Letter grades and quality points express the academic achievement of a student in a specific course. Quality point values are earned for each semester credit hour. The grade of "B" in a three credit hour course earns nine quality points; the grade of "C" in the same course would earn six quality points.
|Quality Points Earned
||Per Credit Hour
|CR (Credit for work which is at the 20 level or above)
|NC (No credit awarded)
|WP (Withdrawal while passing)
|WF (Withdrawal while failing)
The following do not affect quality points earned, credit hours attempted or GPA:
- Grades received at other institutions.
- Audited courses.
- "I," "CR," "NC," "W," "WP" or "WF" grades.
A student may repeat any of the graded courses that he/she has taken during an undergraduate career at JMU. All grades will be included when calculating the student's grade point average. There are, however, certain exceptions to this rule.
Students may elect to repeat up to two courses during their enrollment as an undergraduate at JMU with a "repeat/forgiveness" option. As a result of the "repeat/forgiveness" option, the university will exclude the previous grade and credit hours earned for the repeated course when it calculates the student's cumulative GPA and earned credit hours total, regardless of whether the previous grade was higher or lower than the repeat attempt.
Both grades will appear on the transcript, and the recalculation of the cumulative GPA will occur after the "repeat/forgiveness" option attempt. The student must either declare the "repeat/forgiveness" option at registration or "edit" the course repeat option via MyMadison prior to the end of the course adjustment period. A student may not exercise the "repeat/forgiveness" option for courses in which that student was assigned a grade as a result of an Honor Code violation. Courses taught on a topic basis are generally repeatable; however, these courses may only be designated with a "repeat credit" option or "repeat/forgiveness" option if both course attempts have the same topic (i.e. a second attempt of the course HUM 200 . Western Classics may only be assigned as a repeat credit or repeat/forgiveness credit if the original attempt of HUM 200 was taken with the topic "Western Classics").
All grades will appear on the student's transcript, but a course that has been repeated will only be counted once toward satisfying graduation requirements. Courses taken at other institutions do not qualify to be taken as "repeat forgiveness." Courses taken under the Credit/No Credit grading basis may not be repeated if credit was awarded for the first attempt. Courses taken in a different JMU career (i.e. Continuing Education) and subsequently transferred to an undergraduate JMU career are not repeatable. Students may request approval to retake these courses utilizing the audit grading basis only.
Withdrawal from the University
Students withdraw from the university when their enrollment is terminated before these students have completed the semester for which they registered. Students who decide to withdraw during the first three weeks of the semester must complete the Non-Returning/Leave of Absence Notice available at https://www.jmu.edu/registrar/students/forms.shtml and submit it to the Office of the Registrar. Students desiring to withdraw after the third week of the semester must contact the Office of the Dean of Students at (540) 568-6468 to schedule an appointment.
Academic Terms and Definitions
A degree is an academic title conferred on students who complete a unified program of study. Degrees vary according to the major program. JMU offers eight undergraduate degrees that incorporate course requirements unique to the degree and major discipline. Majors culminating in Bachelor of Arts and Bachelor of Science degrees share common sets of course requirements appropriate to the degree with specific distinctions.
Bachelor of Arts degree – The B.A. is distinguished by its humanistic emphasis. Students who complete a B.A. may satisfy the degree requirements by taking courses that advance their understanding of human culture through analysis of ideas; perception of differences; appreciation of art and creative products through understanding art forms, beauty, and symmetry; knowledge of theories and principles of form, substance, argument and philosophy; understanding of the interaction between language and culture; and achievement of linguistic competency in a second language.
Bachelor of Science degree – The B.S. is distinguished by its scientific emphasis. Students who complete a B.S. may satisfy the degree requirements by taking courses that advance their understanding of the use of scientific analysis, experimentation and the application of scientific principles and facts in solving problems; understanding of the crucial role of mathematical reasoning; and understanding analysis and techniques in comprehending problems in the natural or social sciences.
A list of courses that satisfy either Bachelor of Arts or Bachelor of Science degree requirements is available on the Registrar's website.
Program of Study Components
A program of study, or course of study, refers to any set of courses and experiences identified by the university as satisfying the requirements of a program or program component for a student or students. The following terms describe programs of study at James Madison University.
Major – A coherent set of required and elective courses approved by the Board of Visitors and meeting state criteria that, when completed by a student, signifies a degree of preparation in a field or fields of study. The credit hour requirements for the major are set by the respective colleges and academic units and may not consist of fewer than 30 hours. A student must formally declare a major.
Minor – A cohesive set of required and elective courses that, when completed by a student, connotes knowledge and skills in a discipline, region or topic area, but not at the depth of a major. The minor is designed for students who are not majoring in the same area (students may not earn a major and minor in the same discipline) and typically requires between 18-24 credit hours, as set by the respective academic unit and college. A student must formally declare the minor for it to appear on the transcript of record. A minor is not required for graduation except when a student's declared major requires it.
Concentration – A prescribed set of courses associated with a major that is designed to focus a student's course of study according to interest and/or career goals. A concentration is not a required component of all majors. The student must formally declare the concentration for it to appear on the transcript of record.
Cognate – A set of courses outside the major that is designed to complement other components of the student's course of study and to support selected professional goals. A cognate is not a required component of a program, unless specifically incorporated as such by the major. A student does not have to formally declare a cognate and it will not appear on the transcript of record.
Core – A defined group of courses within a particular major or minor that is required of all students completing that major or minor.
Track – A prescribed set of courses within a concentration. A track is not a required component of all concentrations. A student does not have to formally declare a track and it will not appear on the transcript of record.
Pre-professional Program – A defined set of courses or course options and requirements that serve as prerequisites to upper or graduate-level professional program components or courses. A pre-professional program may coincide with a major, minor or concentration, or it may be comprised of courses from two or more disciplines and concentrations.
Pre-professional Advisory Program – This program includes a set of recommended courses for students who wish to shape their undergraduate experience toward a related professional goal beyond the undergraduate degree, such as the pre-law and pre-forensics programs. Pre-professional advisory programs appear on the transcript during a student's undergraduate career, but do not appear on the transcript after graduation.
Pre-professional Licensure and Degree Program –This program must be related to a student's major as part of a planned progress toward professional credentialing, such as the pre-professional teacher education programs. It creates a distinct set of knowledge or skills that qualifies one to practice in a particular area or work in a specific field. This designation appears on the transcript.
Licensure Program – A set or sequence of courses and experiences required for a student to be eligible to obtain a license issued by an agency, group or professional organization.
Certificate Program – A prescribed set or sequence of courses that results in a student receiving a certificate issued by the university when the identified courses and experiences are completed satisfactorily and when all other conditions have been met in accordance with the definitions and policies governing certificates.
These definitions apply to all programs of study except in cases where program nomenclature specified by the accrediting agency differs from the nomenclature stated by James Madison University.
Class Registration for Active Duty Students
James Madison University supports active duty students in the armed forces by providing assistance with class registration when necessary and by request. Active duty students needing assistance should provide a copy of their active duty orders to the Office of the Registrar prior to the first day of class to qualify for assistance under this policy. The Office of the Registrar will serve as an additional resource for the student and the academic unit(s) to assist with the creation of an appropriate class schedule to ensure the service member remains on track to degree completion in a timely manner.
Section 103 Policy
In accordance with Section 103 of the Veterans Benefits and Transition Act of 2018, James Madison University has adopted the following policy for compliance, effective August 1, 2019:
James Madison University will allow an individual to attend and participate in a course of education if the individual provides a Certificate of Eligibility under Chapter 31 or Chapter 33. The individual is permitted to attend the course beginning the date the student provides the Certificate of Eligibility until the earlier date VA provides payment to the school or 90 days after the school certifies tuition and fees. James Madison University will not impose any penalty, including late fees, denial or access to classes, libraries or facilities, or require the student to borrow additional funds due to the inability to meet his or her financial obligations to the institution as a result of delayed payments for education assistance under Chapter 31 or Chapter 33. This policy only pertains to the VA payment of the tuition, comprehensive fee and individual course fees that are paid directly to the university. All other charges on a student's account, including but not limited to out-of-state tuition difference, remaining percentage of in-state tuition if not 100% eligible for Post 9/11, room rent, meal plan, parking fines and/or health center charges are required to be paid upfront by the student by the University Business Office deadline each semester. Late fees and holds may be assessed for these charges.
Section 103 allows the university to require additional actions in order to qualify for this policy. James Madison University requires Chapter 31 and Chapter 33 eligible students to submit their JMU Request for Veterans Educational Benefits form by the first Friday of the semester to the School Certifying Official to avoid a hold or late fee on the account for the VA issued tuition/fee payment. Additional documents – Student Agreement form, Certificate of Eligibility – are also required for first time benefit users at James Madison University.
Veterans Access, Choice and Accountability Act of 2014
James Madison University complies with veteran student regulations regarding tuition rates. The following individuals shall be charged a rate of tuition not to exceed the in-state rate for tuition and fees purposes:
- A Veteran using educational assistance under either chapter 30 (Montgomery G.I. Bill – Active Duty Program) or chapter 33 (Post-9/11 G.I. Bill), of title 38, United States Code, who lives in the Commonwealth of Virginia while attending a school located in the Commonwealth of Virginia (regardless of his/her formal State of residence).
- Anyone using transferred Post-9/11 GI Bill benefits (38 U.S.C. § 3319) who lives in the Commonwealth of Virginia while attending a school located in the Commonwealth of Virginia (regardless of his/her formal State of residence).
- Anyone described above while he or she remains continuously enrolled (other than during regularly scheduled breaks between courses, semesters, or terms) at the same institution. The person so described must be using educational benefits under either chapter 30, chapter 33, or chapter 31 of title 38, United States Code.
- Anyone using transferred Post-9/11 GI Bill benefits (38 U.S.C. § 3319) who lives in the Commonwealth of Virginia while attending a school located in the Commonwealth of Virginia (regardless of his/her formal State of residence) and the transferor is a member of the uniformed service who is serving on active duty.
- A spouse or child using benefits under the Marine Gunnery Sergeant John David Fry Scholarship (38 U.S.C. § 3311(b)(9)) who lives in the Commonwealth of Virginia while attending a school located in the Commonwealth of Virginia (regardless of his/her formal State of residence).
- An individual using educational assistance under chapter 31, Vocational Rehabilitation and Employment (VR&E) who lives in the Commonwealth of Virginia while attending a school located in the Commonwealth of Virginia (regardless of his/her formal State of residence) effective for courses, semesters, or terms beginning after March 1, 2019.
The in-state tuition provisions do not apply to those individuals on active duty using benefits under the Post-9/11 GI Bill and Montgomery GI Bill-Active Duty.
To be considered for instate tuition through the Veteran Access, Choice and Accountability Act of 2014, the student must submit their Post 9/11 Certificate of Eligibility to the Veteran Benefit's Coordinator in the JMU Office of the Registrar no later than the first day of classes for the semester.
Please visit the GI Bill website for more information regarding the Choice Act.
Veterans Educational Benefits Grievance Procedure:
The Virginia State Approving Agency (SAA), is the approving authority of education and training programs in Virginia. SAA investigates complaints of GI Bill beneficiaries. While most complaints should initially follow the school grievance policy, if the situation cannot be resolved at the school, the beneficiary should contact the SAA office via email email@example.com.
GI Bill Advertising Statement:
This institution is approved to offer GI Bill® educational benefits by the Virginia State Approving Agency.
Short Term Military Leave
For Mobilizations and Activations of One Day to Three Weeks
Faculty members are expected to make reasonable academic accommodations or opportunities for students to complete course assignments and/or exams without penalty to the course grade for class absence(s) or missed deadlines due to mandatory military training or obligations. Students will provide faculty members with official military documentation (paper, electronic orders or a unit's memorandum) with as much advance notification as possible for absences that will result from temporal responsibilities of their military obligations. For time-sensitive state or federal emergencies/activations where written documentation may not be available until the end of the obligation, the student is responsible for securing those orders to provide to faculty members upon return to the university. For active duty deployments that exceed three weeks, students should refer to the university policy for "Students Called to Active Duty" on the Registrar's website.
Support for Armed Services Active Duty
Relief, Refund and Reinstatement Tuition Guidelines
James Madison University supports students called to active duty in the armed services by providing for tuition relief and refunds, and for reinstatement of students whose documented service in the uniformed services has required their sudden withdrawal or prolonged absence from their enrollment in the institution. Included is service in the uniformed services whether voluntary or involuntary on active duty in the Armed Forces, including such service by a member of the National Guard or Reserve. When a JMU student is under call or ordered to active duty for a period of more than 30 days, the following provisions will apply.
Tuition Charges and Student Account Balances
If an enrolled student is deployed to active duty military service during the semester, the student can:
- Drop all classes and all tuition charges will be waived with:
- Personal payments refunded
- Financial aid adjusted as required
- Financial aid refunds repaid by student if appropriate
- Maintain all or part of enrollment with:
- Tuition adjusted accordingly
- Financial aid adjusted as required
- Financial aid refunds repaid by student if appropriate
If there are unpaid student account balances at time of deployment, the university will work with individual students on payment arrangements. No collection actions will occur during deployment; however, student must resolve any unpaid balances prior to subsequent enrollment.
Room and Board
If an enrolled student is deployed to active duty military service during the semester, the student's dining and residence hall contract will be adjusted as follows:
- Board fees will be prorated from the dining hall opening date.
- A per diem refund of the room rent will be issued based on the student's official check-out date.
When a student is called to active duty, a full refund for textbooks purchased for the semester in progress is available through the university bookstore by presenting the textbooks and a copy of the applicable military orders.
For new students, an enrollment deposit is required to confirm their acceptance of the offer of admission. If a student is deployed to active duty military service before beginning the planned semester of enrollment, the deposit will be refunded.
For returning students, deposits made with the intent of securing facilities or services in a future session will be refunded in full.
If an enrolled student is deployed to active duty military service during the semester, the student will have three options concerning grades assigned for the semester in which the call to active duty occurs.
- If the student leaves at any time during the semester and elects to receive a full tuition refund, no notation of courses or grades will be recorded on the student's transcript.
- If the student elects to receive an "I" (Incomplete), the regulation regarding conversion of an "I" to "F" grade will be suspended until the student returns to campus. Should the student not return to JMU, the "I" will revert to a "W" (Withdrawal).
- If the student leaves at a point in the semester after which a significant amount of work has been completed, the student may request the assignment of a grade for work completed. This option requires joint agreement of the student and faculty member(s).
Deferral of Enrollment
If an undergraduate student has been admitted to James Madison University and is called to active military duty or enlists in the National Guard before enrolling, the student may request a deferral of admission using the process below.
The student must submit a letter to the director of admissions requesting a deferment. In the letter the student should provide the reason for the request (call to active duty or National Guard boot camp will not end until after the start of the semester that the student intended to enroll) and indicate the term they wish to enroll (the term can be changed if needed).
The request is reviewed by the director of admissions who sends a letter notifying the student that his/her request has been granted and indicates when JMU expects the student to enroll. The director of admissions will also inform the following offices of the deferment: Registrar's Office; University Business Office; Financial Aid and Scholarships; Orientation Office; Residence Life, Career and Academic Planning; and University Advising (for transfer students).
During the semester prior to scheduled enrollment, JMU will send the student a letter explaining what needs to be done prior to the start of his/her enrollment at JMU.
If the student's discharge from the service is delayed, the student contacts the director of admissions and requests an extension of his/her deferment. The director will approve the delay and inform the following offices: University Business Office; Financial Aid and Scholarships; Orientation Office; Residence Life, Career and Academic Planning; and University Advising (for transfer students).
Students should complete Withdrawal or Leave of Absence forms and include a copy of the applicable military orders to qualify for the considerations detailed in this policy.
The Withdrawal Process is appropriate for students who are enrolled in a semester, are deployed to active duty military service and must begin that duty before the current semester has ended. Withdrawal forms are available through the Office of the Dean of Students located in Madison Union Room 300.
A Leave of Absence is appropriate for students who are deployed to active duty military service, but do not need to begin duty during a current semester; for example, if duty will begin during a future semester before classes begin. The Leave of Absence Form is available online from the Registrar's website.
Reinstatement: Re-entry to the University (military)
Formerly enrolled undergraduate degree-seeking students who have not attended JMU for one or more semesters and who wish to return to their studies at JMU are classified as re-entry students. The re-entry process is contingent upon the student's length of absence and academic standing at the time of departure. To avoid delays in registration, the Intent to Enroll Form (for undergraduate students who have been absent from JMU for less than two years) or the Office of Admissions Re-entry Form (for students who have been absent for two or more years) must be submitted by the indicated deadline for the anticipated semester of return. All registration holds must be cleared before the student will be eligible to register.
Re-entry after Absence of Less Than Two Calendar Years
Undergraduate Students in Good Standing
Students who left the university in good standing and who have been absent for one semester or more must submit an Intent to Enroll Form located on the Registrar's website.
Undergraduate Students on Academic Probation or Suspension
Students who were on academic probation or suspension when they left the university for active military duty, and who have been absent for one semester or more, must submit an Intent to Enroll Form directly to the Assistant Vice Provost for Academic Student Services. A personal statement describing the student's intended academic and study plans must accompany the form. Re-entry and continued enrollment are not guaranteed, but are contingent upon review by an academic review committee chaired by the Assistant Vice Provost for Academic Student Services. Such review may result in denial or conditional re-entry.
Re-entry after Absence of Two Calendar Years or More
Students who are eligible to apply for re-entry after an absence of two or more calendar years, regardless of their academic standing at the time of departure, must apply for readmission via the Office of Academic Student Services. Readmission is not automatic but subject to committee review of the application, the personal statement and evaluation of work completed at JMU, as well as work completed at other institutions during the student's absence from JMU.
If a degree-seeking student leaves James Madison University after earning a portion of General Education credits and earns an approved Virginia Community College System (VCCS) Associate Degree, JMU will accept it in fulfillment of General Education requirements. Students who earn the approved degree while on academic suspension status from James Madison University are only eligible to re-enter James Madison University by agreeing to apply for the Transfer Equivalent Option upon their approved return to James Madison University. If readmission is approved, the student will be subject to the curricular and graduation requirements contained in the undergraduate catalog in effect for the term in which they return to JMU.
Reinstatement into Specific Undergraduate Program of Study
When a student with a declared major wishes to return to the same program at the university after an absence of more than two years, the course work taken prior to withdrawal must be reviewed by an adviser/academic unit head prior to the student's re-enrollment. This counseling is required to assure that the previously completed course work is current and applicable to the major. The adviser will assist the student to develop an appropriate academic plan for degree completion.
Students without declared majors wishing to return to study should consult with an adviser in University Advising to receive assistance in developing an academic plan.
Evaluation of Undergraduate Transfer Credits for Military Students
Credit will be awarded for those courses equivalent to courses offered at JMU in which the student has earned a grade of "C" or better.
The Office of the Registrar and the academic unit head of the program in which the student is majoring will determine the credits required for graduation.
With the exception of some Virginia community college degrees in General Studies, JMU General Education requirements will be waived for those students who have completed either the Associate of Arts, Associate of Science, or the Associate of Arts and Sciences degree at a Virginia community college. For the complete listing of degrees associated with a Virginia Community College that waive all General Education requirements, go to the Transfer Advising website at http://www.jmu.edu/transfer. Students who complete one of these associate degrees and are offered admission will receive junior-level status; however, due to varying major and degree requirements, junior-level status does not guarantee graduation in two years. For more details, consult the Office of Admissions or the JMU Virginia Community College Transfer Guide.
Types of Credit Awarded
|Type of Credit
|Office of the Registrar and the academic unit head of the major program of study
|Office of the Registrar using the ACE guide recommendation on the military transcript
||Students in the
|Adult degree program and the academic unit heads
||Students in the
|Adult degree program and the academic unit heads
|Students in the
RN to BSN
|Nursing department and the Office of the Registrar
|Students in the
|Adult Degree Program
|Office of the Registrar
For questions pertaining to transfer credit for military education and training, contact the Office of the Registrar at (540) 568-6281 or firstname.lastname@example.org.