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James Madison University

the basics
Location
800 South Main Street
Harrisonburg VA 22807
Undergrad Enrollment
16,500
Type
Public
Setting
N/A
In-State Tuition
$ 7,000
Out-of-State Tuition
$ 19,000
Room & Board
$ 7,000
5 reasons it’s cool
  • Toss a Frisbee or just lounge on the quad with the rest of the friendly, relaxed student body.
  • Take an innovative approach to science at the College of Integrated Science and Technology.
  • Get hands-on experience in filmography, video editing, or feature magazine production at the School for Media and Arts Design.
  • Be part of a student body nationally recognized for its focus on social responsibility and civic service.
  • Oh Shenandoah! Go for a hike or bike ride in the lovely Blue Ridge Mountains surrounding quaint, historic Harrisonburg.

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.

Growing Up

Founded in 1909, JMU was initially a school for women with an enrollment of just over two hundred students. My, how times have changed! Not only is JMU coed, but the institution has also nearly doubled in size in the past twenty years and now boasts an undergrad population of over sixteen thousand.

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.

The Burg

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.