May 19, 2024  
2021-2022 Graduate Catalog 
2021-2022 Graduate Catalog [ARCHIVED CATALOG]

About the University

James Madison University is a public, comprehensive university and is the only university in America named for James Madison. The university places great emphasis on the quality of the undergraduate student experience in its bachelor’s level programs and offers a complementary array of distinguished master’s, educational specialist and doctoral programs aimed at meeting specific state and national needs. JMU provides a total education to students – one that has a broad range of the liberal arts as its foundation and encompasses an extensive variety of professional and pre-professional programs, augmented by a multitude of learning experiences outside the classroom. The value and quality of the JMU experience has been recognized repeatedly in many national publications.

Enhancing quality in student learning is a priority for JMU. A national study found that 81 percent of employers want colleges to place more emphasis on “critical thinking and analytic reasoning” and 75 percent want more emphasis on “ethical decision making” (Raising the Bar: Employers’ Views on College Learning in the Wake of the Economic Downturn, AAC&U and Hart Research Associates (2010)). In 2013, JMU launched a major university-wide effort called Ethical Reasoning in Action with the purpose of teaching ethical reasoning skills to every student at the university.

First year students are introduced to Ethical Reasoning in Action during orientation, and exposure continues through campus programming, the General Education curriculum and courses in majors. It teaches students how to apply a set of reasoning skills to evaluate implications of different courses of action in their personal, professional and civic lives. Ethical Reasoning in Action ties directly to the university’s mission of “preparing educated and enlightened citizens.”


We are a community committed to preparing students to be educated and enlightened citizens who lead productive and meaningful lives.


Since its establishment in 1908, James Madison University has grown from a small state normal and industrial school for women to today’s coeducational comprehensive university with a fall 2019 enrollment of 21,820 students.

The university was founded in 1908 as the State Normal and Industrial School for Women at Harrisonburg, with Julian Ashby Burruss as its first president. The school opened its doors to its first student body in 1909 with an enrollment of 209 students and a faculty of 15. Its first 20 graduates received diplomas in 1911. In 1914, the name of the school was changed to the State Normal School for Women at Harrisonburg. The school received authorization to award bachelor’s degrees in 1916. During this initial period of development, Burruss’ administration established the campus plan and constructed six buildings.

After Burruss resigned in 1919, Dr. Samuel Page Duke became the second president. Duke’s administration erected nine major buildings.

In 1924, the university became the State Teachers College at Harrisonburg and continued under that name until 1938, when it was named Madison College in honor of James Madison, the fourth president of the United States. In 1946, the Duke administration admitted men as regular day students.

Following the retirement of Duke, Dr. G. Tyler Miller became the third president of the university in 1949 and remained until 1970. Miller’s administration enlarged the campus by 240 acres and constructed 19 buildings. The administration also revamped the curriculum. In 1954, the expanding school received authority to grant master’s degrees. The university became a coeducational institution in 1966. Dr. Ronald E. Carrier became JMU’s fourth president in 1971. His administration changed Madison College into a university. In 1977, the university adopted its current name, James Madison University. The Carrier administration nearly tripled the number of students and university faculty members and constructed some 30 major campus buildings. Doctoral degrees were authorized in 1994.

Dr. Linwood H. Rose was named JMU’s fifth president in September 1998. Under his leadership, JMU was continually recognized in national publications as one of the nation’s finest institutions of its type. More than 20 new academic programs were implemented, 25 major buildings were constructed, a Phi Beta Kappa chapter was installed and the university successfully completed its first capital campaign. Before being named president, Rose had served as a member of the institution’s administration for 23 years.

Jonathan Alger took office in July 2012 as the sixth president of James Madison University.  Under his leadership, JMU has developed a new vision to be “the national model of the engaged university: engaged with ideas and the world,” along with a new strategic plan focused on engaged learning, community engagement and civic engagement.  President Alger is a nationally recognized expert in higher education law and policy and held previous positions at Rutgers University, the University of Michigan, the American Association of University Professors, and the U.S. Department of Education.


The general responsibility for the administration of the university has been assigned to the president, who is appointed by the JMU Board of Visitors. When the board is in recess, its executive committee may exercise the power of the board.

Assisting the president in the administration of the university are the provost and senior vice president for academic affairs, the senior vice president for administration and finance, the vice president for student affairs, the vice president for access and enrollment management, the vice president for university advancement, the executive director for campus and community programs for access and inclusion, university counsel, vice provost for faculty and curriculum, associate vice president for business services, and the executive advisor to the president.

Appointment to these positions and to the university’s instructional and administrative faculty is made by the JMU Board of Visitors upon the recommendation of the president.

James Madison University Administration

Board of Visitors

Lara P. Major (Rector), Purcellville, VA
Deborah Tompkins Johnson (Vice Rector), Woodbridge, VA
Vanessa M. Evans-Grevious, Charlottesville, VA
Christopher Falcon, Annandale, VA
Frank T. Gadams, Norfolk, VA
Jeffrey E. Grass, Arlington, VA
Matthew A. Gray-Keeling, Richmond, VA
Maribeth D. Herod, Herndon, VA
Lucy Hutchinson, New York, NY
Maria D. Jankowski, Richmond, VA
John C. Lynch, Virginia Beach, VA
Maggie A. Ragon, Staunton, VA
John C. Rothenberger, Great Falls, VA
Kathy J. Warden, Great Falls, VA
Craig B. Welburn, Manassas, VA
Xaiver S. Williams, (student representative), Hampton, VA
Donna L. Harper (Secretary), JMU/Harrisonburg, VA

Chief Administrative Officers

Jonathan R. Alger, J.D.

President’s Cabinet

Cynthia M. Bauerle, Ph.D.
Interim Vice Provost for Faculty and Curriculum

Jeffrey T. Bourne, M.S.
Director of Athletics

Brian J. Charette, Ed.D.
Special Assistant to the President for Strategic Planning and Engagement

Heather J. Coltman, D.M.A.
Provost and Senior Vice President for Academic Affairs

Michael K. Davis, Ph.D.
Executive Adviser to the President

Arthur T. Dean, II, M.Ed.
Executive Director for Campus and Community Programs for Access and Inclusion

Donna L. Harper, Ed.S.
Vice President for Access and Enrollment Management

Charles W. King, Jr., M.A.
Senior Vice President for Administration and Finance

John F. Knight, J.D.
University Counsel/Assistant Attorney General and Special Counsel

Nicholas L. Langridge, Ph.D.
Vice President for University Advancement

Brent E. Lewis, Ph.D.
Associate Vice President for Diversity, Equity and Inclusion

Melissa M. Lubin, Ph.D.
Dean of Professional and Continuing Education

Marsha E. Mays-Bernard, M.S.
Associate Vice President for Wellness, Orientation and Multicultural Engagement

Timothy M. Miller, Ed.D.
Vice President for Student Affairs

Rudy M. Molina, Jr., Ph.D.
Vice Provost for Academic Student Success and Enrollment Management

Towana H. Moore, M.B.A.
Associate Vice President for Business Services

David Owusu-Ansah, Ph.D.
Associate Provost for Diversity

Andrew D. Perrine, B.A.
Associate Vice President for Communications and Marketing

Caitlyn L. Read, M.B.A.
Government Relations

Mary-Hope Vass, B.S.
Director of Communications and University Spokesperson


Robert D. Aguirre, Ph.D.
Dean, College of Arts and Letters

Michael E. Busing, Ph.D.
Dean, College of Business

Rubén G. Graciani, M.F.A.
Dean, College of Visual and Performing Arts

Robert A. Kolvoord, Ph.D.
Dean, College of Integrated Science and Engineering

Mark E. L’Esperance, Ph.D.
Dean, College of Education

Sharon E. Lovell, Ph.D.
Dean, College of Health and Behavioral Studies

Melissa M. Lubin, Ph.D.
Dean, Professional and Continuing Education

Bradley R. Newcomer, Ph.D.
Dean, Honors College

Bethany P. Nowviskie, Ph.D.
Dean, Libraries.

Samantha Bates Prins, Ph.D.
Interim Dean, College of Science and Mathematics

Linda M. Thomas, Ph.D.
Dean, The Graduate School


JMU consists of the following colleges and academic administrative units:

JMU Alumni

Office of Alumni Relations
Phone: (540) 568-6234

JMU benefits from an active, enthusiastic and supportive alumni association. With more than 145,000 graduates, the JMU Alumni Association strives to develop a continuing interest in the university by providing opportunities for service, fellowship, networking and loyalty for JMU alumni. The association provides scholarship opportunities for incoming JMU students. Alumni chapters across the globe sponsor socials, programs, scholarships, community service and various events to engage alumni in their area. The alumni association also hosts annual programming on campus, including homecoming, reunions and an annual alumni volunteer conference. The e-newsletter, Madison Update, is a popular way for alumni to stay informed about alumni and campus activities.

The JMU Alumni Association is directed by a board of directors who represent the interests of all graduates by reviewing and setting the strategy for the association. The board represents the interests of all graduates by reviewing and setting the strategy for the association. All active members of the JMU Alumni Association are eligible to serve as directors.

Find out more about the JMU Alumni Association and upcoming events at

JMU Foundation


The James Madison University Foundation, Inc. a 501(c)(3) organization, was formed in 1969 to support the university — its students, faculty, staff, programs and facilities.  The foundation receives, manages and stewards all charitable contributions for JMU.  The foundation accepts gifts of cash, securities, real estate, personal property and more.  The foundation’s mission is to support and serve the James Madison University community. Its vision is to provide an ever-growing and sustainable source of private support for the university community by promoting a culture of philanthropy, prudent investment, stewardship and excellence. The foundation is guided by an abiding commitment to the university, valuing generosity and fiscal responsibility.


James Madison University is accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges (SACSCOC) to award baccalaureate, masters, educational specialist and doctorate degrees. Questions about the accreditation of James Madison University may be directed in writing to the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges at 1866 Southern Lane, Decatur, GA 30033-4097, by calling (404) 679-4500, or by using information available on SACSCOC’s website (

Additional Accreditation

ABET, Incorporated
AACSB International – The Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business
American Chemical Society
Accreditation Council for Occupational Therapy Education
American Psychological Association
Association for Advancement of Health Education
Association for Information Technology Professionals
Association of University Health Programs in Health Administration
Accreditation Review Commission on Education for Physician Assistants, Inc.
Commission for Collegiate Nursing Education
Commission on Accreditation for Dietetics Education, the accrediting agency for The American Dietetic Association
Commission on Accreditation of Athletic Training Education
Council for Interior Design Accreditation
Council on Academic Accreditation in Audiology and Speech Language Pathology of the American Speech-Language and Hearing Association
Council for Accreditation of Counseling and Related Educational Programs
Council on Social Work Education (baccalaureate level)
Education Commission on Accreditation on Social Work
Educational Standards Board of the American Speech-Language-Hearing Association
International Association of Counseling Services
National Association of College and University Attorneys
National Association of School Psychologists
National Association of Schools of Art and Design
National Association of Schools of Dance
National Association of Schools of Music
National Association of Schools of Theatre
National Council for Accreditation of Teacher Education
Review Commission on Education for the Physician Assistant
Society for Public Health Education
Virginia Board of Nursing
Virginia State Board of Education


American Association of Colleges for Teacher Education
American Association of State Colleges and Universities
American Council on Education
Association of American Colleges and Universities
Association of Virginia Colleges and Universities
College and University Personnel Association
Council of Graduate Schools in the United States
Council of Southern Graduate Schools
National Association of College and University Business Officers
National Association of Student Personnel Administrators
Southeastern Universities Research Association
Southern Regional Education Board Doctoral Scholars Program

Institutional and Educational Membership

Association of Computing Machinery

Corporate Membership

American Association of University Women