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James Madison University

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James Madison University Overview

James Madison University is a public institution located in Harrisonburg, Virginia. Harrisonburg is a great location for students who prefer city over country life.

What Is James Madison University Known For?

4,665 Undergraduate Awards
$38,521 Avg Cost After Aid
75% Acceptance Rate
  • Students at JMU have an easier time paying back their loans. The school's student loan default rate is only 2%, compared to the national rate of 10.1%.
  • The highest award offered at JMU is the doctor's degree.
  • For the 2017-2018 academic year, 80% of the faculty were full-time.
  • A student who earns a bachelor's degree from JMU makes roughly $56,600 a year. This is 39% more than their peers from other colleges and universities.
  • On average, it takes about 4.2 years for students from JMU to earn a bachelor's degree. This is excellent when compared to the average of 4.4 years.

Best Schools

James Madison University Rankings

JMU landed the #154 spot in our 2021 ranking of best colleges. We analyzed 2,320 colleges and universities across the nation to determine this ranking. This puts it in the top 10% of all schools in the nation. Out of the 54 colleges in Virginia, it is ranked at #5.

Our rankings are based on an outcomes-based approach rather than subjective ones used by other media outlets. As such, we utilize data from the Integrated Postsecondary Education Data System (IPEDS) and the College Scorecard, among other sources. Visit our rankings and methodology section to learn more.

JMU has also been awarded the following overall awards by our latest rankings.

Rank Ranking Name Share
#92 Best Master’s Degree Schools Tweet It - Post It
#96 Best Bachelor’s Degree Schools Tweet It - Post It

Program Level Awards

These are highlights of some of the most noteworthy awards granted to specific programs at JMU.

Rank Ranking Name Share
#3 Best Information Science Bachelor’s Degree Schools Tweet It - Post It
#6 Best Geography & Cartography Bachelor’s Degree Schools Tweet It - Post It
#8 Best Business/Managerial Economics Bachelor’s Degree Schools Tweet It - Post It
#9 Best Hospitality Management Bachelor’s Degree Schools Tweet It - Post It
#16 Best Computer & Information Sciences Bachelor’s Degree Schools Tweet It - Post It
#18 Best Fine & Studio Arts Bachelor’s Degree Schools Tweet It - Post It
#20 Best Parks, Recreation, Leisure, & Fitness Studies Bachelor’s Degree Schools Tweet It - Post It
#23 Best Finance & Financial Management Bachelor’s Degree Schools Tweet It - Post It
#43 Best Business, Management & Marketing Bachelor’s Degree Schools Tweet It - Post It
#44 Best Health Professions Master’s Degree Schools Tweet It - Post It

Awards From Around the Web

The following table lists some notable awards JMU has earned from around the web.

Rank Ranking Name Source
#2 Best Colleges for Mental & Social Health Services College Factual
#17 Best Colleges for Computer Information Systems College Factual
#32 Best Colleges for Public Administration & Social Service College Factual
#63 Best Nursing Schools Nursing Degree Search
#83 Best Colleges for Health Professions College Factual
#111 Best Colleges for Business, Management & Marketing College Factual

Where Is James Madison University?

Location of James Madison University

Contact details for JMU are given below.

Contact Details
Address: 800 South Main Street, Harrisonburg, VA 22807
Phone: 540-568-6211
Website: www.jmu.edu/
Facebook: http://www.jmu.edu/jmuweb/facebook
Twitter: https://twitter.com/JMU

How Do I Get Into JMU?

You can apply to JMU online at: www.jmu.edu/admissions/apply/

Admission Requirements for JMU

Submission Required?
High School GPA required
High School Rank neither required nor recommended
High School Transcript required
College Prep Program required
Recommendations recommended
SAT or ACT Scores considered but not required
TOEFL required

How Hard Is It To Get Into JMU?

75% Acceptance Rate
63% Of Accepted Are Women
87% Submit SAT Scores
The acceptance rate at James Madison University is 75%. This means that is not quite as selective as some schools, but you'll still need to submit a good application if you want to be considered by the admissions department.

Approximately 37% of accepted students are men and 63% are women. The acceptance rate for men is 68%, and the acceptance rate for women is 80%.

Average Test Scores

About 87% of students accepted to JMU submitted their SAT scores. When looking at the 25th through the 75th percentile, SAT Evidence-Based Reading and Writing scores ranged between 560 and 640. Math scores were between 540 and 620.

SAT Reading and Writing Scores for James Madison University  ( 560 to 640 )
200
800

SAT Math Scores for James Madison University  ( 540 to 620 )
200
800
JMU received ACT scores from 35% of accepted students. When looking at the 25th through the 75th percentile, ACT Composite scores ranged between 23 and 28.

ACT Composite Scores for James Madison University  ( 23 to 28 )
1
36

Can I Afford James Madison University?

$38,521 Net Price
43% Take Out Loans
2.3% Loan Default Rate
The overall average net price of JMU is $38,521. The affordability of the school largely depends on your financial need since net price varies by income group.

The net price is calculated by adding tuition, room, board and other costs and subtracting financial aid.

Student Loan Debt

Almost 66% of college students who graduated with the class of 2018 took out student loans, but that percentage varies from school to school. At JMU, approximately 43% of students took out student loans averaging $8,401 a year. That adds up to $33,604 over four years for those students.

The student loan default rate at JMU is 2.3%. This is significantly lower than the national default rate of 10.1%, which is a good sign that you'll be able to pay back your student loans.

James Madison University Undergraduate Student Diversity

18,881 Full-Time Undergraduates
59% Women
21% Racial-Ethnic Minorities*
There are 19,923 undergraduate students at JMU, with 18,881 being full-time and 1,042 being part-time.

 Full-Time vs. Part-Time Undergraduate Students at  JMU

There are also 1,828 graduate students at the school.

Gender Diversity

Of the 18,881 full-time undergraduates at JMU, 41% are male and 59% are female.

Undergraduate Student Gender Diversity at  JMU

Racial-Ethnic Diversity

The racial-ethnic breakdown of James Madison University students is as follows.

Racial-Ethnic Diversity of JMU Undergraduate Students
Race/Ethnicity Number of Grads
Asian 844
Black or African American 906
Hispanic or Latino 1,274
White 14,139
International Students 397
Other Races/Ethnicities 1,321

Geographic Diversity

Virginia students aren't the only ones who study at James Madison University. At this time, 33 states are represented by the student population at the school.

Over 73 countries are represented at JMU. The most popular countries sending students to the school are China, Vietnam, and South Korea.

Online Learning at James Madison University

545 Took All Classes Online
1,632 Took At Least One Class Online
11.2% Avg Growth Over 4 Years
There are 2 bachelor’s degree and 3 master’s degree programs available online at JMU. In 2017-2018, 1,632 students took at least one online class at the school.

The following chart shows how the online learning population at JMU has changed over the last few years.

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This school is the 15th most popular in Virginia for online learning according to the online graduations recorded by the Department of Education for the academic year 2017-2018.

Online Growth Rankings of JMU

The average growth rate over the last four years of online students at James Madison University was 11.2%. This is the #1,251 largest growth rate of all schools that are only partially online. This refers to all students at JMU regardless of major.

The following table shows the 1-year growth rate of JMU majors that offer at least one online course. This table only includes majors with positive growth.

Major 1-Year Growth Rate
Communication Sciences 6%
Educational Assessment 75%
Health Professions 3%
Special Education 41%

The table below shows how the average growth rate over 4 years at JMU ranks compared to all other partially online schools that offer a specific major. Note that the majors may or may not be offered online at JMU.

Major Growth Rate Rank
Communication Sciences #9
Computer Information Systems #79
Special Education #86
Teacher Education Subject Specific #98
Computer & Information Sciences #173
Nursing #268
Education #336
Business Administration & Management #405
Health Professions #436

When we speak of partially online, we are referring to schools whose online population is less than 50% of its total student body. Mostly online refers to those with online populations greater than or equal to 50%.

James Madison University Undergraduate Concentrations

The table below shows the number of awards for each concentration.

Major Bachelor’s Graduate Certificate Master’s Doctor’s TOTAL
Mental & Social Health Services 467 0 0 0 467
Communication & Media Studies 415 0 12 0 427
Health & Physical Education 240 0 28 0 268
Nursing 228 0 28 8 264
General Education 0 0 257 0 257
General Psychology 228 0 12 4 244
Liberal Arts General Studies 237 0 0 0 237
Business Administration & Management 146 0 54 0 200
General Biology 173 0 11 0 184
Finance & Financial Management 171 0 0 0 171
Accounting 105 0 63 0 168
Marketing 168 0 0 0 168
Information Science 151 0 0 0 151
Hospitality Management 120 0 0 0 120
Communication Sciences 74 0 36 8 118
Science, Technology & Society 97 0 17 0 114
Fine & Studio Arts 107 0 3 0 110
Political Science & Government 93 0 16 0 109
International Relations & National Security 101 0 0 0 101
Health & Medical Administrative Services 91 0 0 0 91
Computer Information Systems 86 0 2 0 88
Mathematics 78 0 0 0 78
Economics 77 0 0 0 77
Public Administration 65 0 12 0 77
Social Work 74 0 0 0 74
Geography & Cartography 70 0 0 0 70
Music 54 0 8 6 68
General English Literature 60 0 4 0 64
Legal Research 63 0 0 0 63
General Engineering 62 0 0 0 62
History 56 0 6 0 62
Drama & Theater Arts 61 0 0 0 61
Linguistics & Comparative Literature 58 0 0 0 58
Systems Theory 51 0 0 0 51
Writing Studies 41 0 9 0 50
Allied Health Professions 19 0 30 0 49
Special Education 0 1 45 0 46
Geological & Earth Sciences 40 0 0 0 40
Sociology 39 0 0 0 39
International Business 32 0 0 0 32
Anthropology 32 0 0 0 32
Biotechnology 29 0 0 0 29
Chemistry 28 0 0 0 28
Food, Nutrition & Related Services 27 0 0 0 27
Other Philosophy & Religious Studies 24 0 0 0 24
Student Counseling 0 2 21 0 23
Rehabilitation & Therapeutic Professions 0 0 22 0 22
Physics 14 0 0 0 14
Clinical, Counseling & Applied Psychology 0 0 9 5 14
Business/Managerial Economics 13 0 0 0 13
Other Education 0 10 0 0 10
Teacher Education Grade Specific 0 0 10 0 10
Educational Assessment 0 8 0 0 8
Other Multi/Interdisciplinary Studies 0 0 0 4 4
Educational Administration 0 3 0 0 3
Instructional Media Design 0 3 0 0 3
Other Computer & Information Sciences 0 2 0 0 2
Child Development & Psychology 0 0 0 2 2
Teacher Education Subject Specific 0 0 1 0 1
TOTAL 4,665 29 716 37 5,447

References

*The racial-ethnic minorities count is calculated by taking the total number of students and subtracting white students, international students, and students whose race/ethnicity was unknown. This number is then divided by the total number of students at the school to obtain the racial-ethnic minorities percentage.

More about our data sources and methodologies.

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