Jul 22, 2024  
2022-2023 Undergraduate Catalog 
2022-2023 Undergraduate 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.”

Mission Statement

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 2021 enrollment of 21,496 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 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 and first enrolled Black students in 1966.

Dr. Ronald E. Carrier became JMU’s fourth president in 1971. His administration transformed Madison College into a university. In 1977, the institution 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.

Jonathan R. Alger, JD, took office in July 2012 as the sixth president of James Madison University. Under his leadership, JMU developed a vision to be “the national model of the engaged university” with a strategic plan focused on engaged learning, community and civic engagement. Under his leadership, JMU’s Carnegie classification was elevated to R2, establishing JMU as a Doctoral University with High Research Activity, and the highly successful Unleashed comprehensive campaign raised over $250M. The university has become a national model for high-impact learning practices, service learning, civic engagement, promoting access with programs such as Valley Scholars, and ranked as the “top college in Virginia for getting a job.” The university has also expanded its focus on diversity, equity and inclusion to ensure that students of all backgrounds can attend and succeed at JMU. New degrees and programs have been developed in areas such as information technology, cyber intelligence, health professions, and 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 vice president for access and enrollment management, the vice president for administration and finance, the vice president for student affairs, the vice president for university advancement, the chief of staff, associate provost for diversity, associate vice president for diversity, equity and inclusion, associate vice president for university marketing and branding, associate vice president for wellness, orientation and multicultural engagement, dean of professional and continuing education, director of athletics, director of government relations, executive director for campus and community programs for access and inclusion, executive director of communications and university spokesperson, special assistant to the president for strategic planning and engagement, university counsel, vice provost for academic student success and enrollment management, vice provost for faculty and curriculum, and the vice provost for research and scholarship.

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

Maribeth D. Herod (Rector), Herndon, VA
Christopher Falcon, (Vice Rector), Annandale, VA
Jeffrey E. Grass, Arlington, VA
Matthew A. Gray-Keeling, Richmond, VA
Maria D. Jankowski, Richmond, VA
John C. Lynch, Virginia Beach, VA
Lara P. Major, Purcellville, VA
Maggie A. Ragon, Staunton, VA
John C. Rothenberger, Great Falls, VA
Deborah Tompkins Johnson, Woodbridge, 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

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

Malika Carter, Ph.D.
Vice President for Diversity, Equity and Inclusion

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

Michael K. Davis, Ph.D.
Chief of Staff

Arthur T. Dean, II, M.Ed.
Associate Vice President for Diversity, Equity and Inclusion

Hollie Hall, Ed.D.
Dean of Students

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

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

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.
Interim Vice President for Administration and Finance

Elizabeth Oldmixon, Ph.D.
Vice Provost for Faculty, Curriculum and Policy
Chris Orem, Ph.D.
Director of Institutional Research

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

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

Narketta Sparkman-Key, Ph.D.
Associate Provost for Diversity
Anthony Tongen, Ph.D.
Vice Provost for Research and Scholarship

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


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

Bethany Blackstone, Ph.D.
Dean, Honors College

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

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

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

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


JMU consists of the following colleges and academic administrative units:

  • College of Arts and Letters
  • College of Business
  • College of Education
  • College of Health and Behavioral Studies
  • College of Integrated Science and Engineering
  • College of Science and Mathematics
  • College of Visual and Performing Arts
  • Honors College
  • University Studies
  • School of Professional and Continuing Education
  • The Graduate School
  • Libraries
  • Center for Global Engagement

JMU Alumni

Office of Alumni Relations
Phone: (540) 568-6234
Website: http:// alumni.jmu.edu/

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 http://www.alumni.jmu.edu.

JMU Foundation

Website: http://www.jmu.edu/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. As we carry out that obligation, our VISION, is to provide an ever-growing and sustainable source of private support for the university community by promoting a prudent investment policy, stewardship and earning the trust of our constituents. As we seek to fulfill our ambitions, we are guided by an abiding commitment to the university, VALUING trust, collaboration, innovation, accountability and excellence in all we do.


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 (www.sacscoc.org).

Additional Accreditation

ABET, Incorporated

AACSB International – The Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business

American Chemical Society

Accreditation Council for Education in Nutrition and Dietetics

Accreditation Council for Occupational Therapy Education

American Psychological Association Commission on Accreditation

Association for Information Technology Professionals

Association of University Health Programs in Health Administration

Accreditation Review Commission on Education for the Physician Assistant, Inc.

Commission for Collegiate Nursing Education

Commission on Accreditation of Athletic Training Education

Computing Accreditation Commission of ABET, Inc.

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 for the Accreditation of Academic Programs for Speech Pathology and Clinical Audiology

Council for the Accreditation of Educator Preparation

Council on Social Work Education (CSWE), Commission on Accreditation (COA)

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

Network of Schools of Public Policy, Affairs and Administration

Review Commission on Education for the Physician Assistant

Virginia Board of Nursing


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