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Virginia is for lovers of learning.
Hands-on and Happy
JMU is a rapidly growing research institution, but one that remains dedicated to teaching. Large lecture classes may be common in the first year, but professors are consistently described as accessible and eager to help. Freshmen admitted to the JMU Honors Program have access to smaller, high-level courses. JMU’s six undergraduate colleges offer sixty-seven possible majors, including traditional liberal arts concentrations and specialized occupational tracks. The acclaimed College of Business draws a large number of students. The College of Education has a five-year dual BA/MA program in teaching, and the School of Media and Art Design (SMAD) provides hands-on training in cinema studies, interactive media, and print journalism, among other subjects. The College of Integrated Science and Technology (CISAT) offers innovative programs that focus on real-world application. Excellent lab facilities and ample research opportunities allow students to work on socially and environmentally relevant projects at home or abroad.
Life on the Quad
Dukes are a laid-back bunch content with all JMU has to offer (and some are more than content with the 3:2 girl-to-guy ratio). The large quad on central campus is always filled with students studying or just hanging out. The informal gathering spot known as Taylor Down Under, located under Taylor Hall, is perfect for a quick nap between classes. And the robust recreation facility, UREC, boasts a climbing wall, yoga sessions, and dozens of fitness classes. About 15 percent of students go Greek. Other diversions include over three hundred clubs and organizations, intramural and club sports, weekly movie screenings, theater productions, and live music. Although Dukes aren’t wild about their varsity athletics, everyone goes to the huge homecoming bash. Nearly 70 percent of the student body is native Virginian, and many students give back through some form of community service. Thirty-five residence halls are spread over the large campus’s six divided areas, but many upperclassmen move to apartments or houses off-campus, where most of the partying takes place.
Interstate 81 runs right through the middle of campus and through the heart of Harrisonburg, a lovely town located in the Shenandoah Valley of central Virginia. “The Burg” doesn’t offer much in the way of nightlife, but students appreciate its welcoming atmosphere and the great hiking and mountain biking close by. Eastern Mennonite University and Bridgewater College are in or near town, and the frats and bars of UVA are an hour away. For students hankering for a bit of city life, Richmond and Washington, D.C. are just a two-hour drive away.