See what students say:


James Madison University has a reputation as “a school that values education, respect, and integrity.” The university boasts “one of the best BA programs for musical theater on the East Coast,” and an “amazing” business school. A communication major says, “James Madison offered a positive, enriching, and supportive learning environment,” and most students agree that JMU is an “inspiring environment filled with students striving to be productive members of society.” A senior says, “I found the JMU environment to be comfortable and conducive to learning,” and it seems clear that “JMU is all about taking your academics seriously.” Professors get consistently high marks for being “available to help” and “interested in student achievement.” Although they’re often described as “challenging,” students say professors are “willing to facilitate your education in any way possible” and “are very down to earth, approachable, and huge supporters of discussion-based classes.” Like any large university, there are “some professors you want to avoid,” and students grumble that “registering for classes, if you don’t have priority, is a pain.” It’s worth noting, however, that “classrooms and facilities are always well kept and very up-todate with all the best teaching technology.”

Student Body

At JMU, “the typical student is friendly, smart, open-minded, and fun.” Students describe themselves as “excellent [at] maintaining a round, balanced life,” and say, “Everyone seems relaxed and knows how to have fun but keep their school work a priority.” One student jokes that the typical student is “probably a girl considering our ratio seems like eighty to twenty at times,” and another concurs, “more males would be nice.” Students tend to be “white from the upperto middle-class,” and an International Affairs major says, “Although we do have all types here, most people consist of your typical prep wearing Uggs and a North Face.” Some complain, “There is party atmosphere here that can seem dominating,” and say, “If you do not go out and party you stand out.” Others note, however, “Greek life is small,” and parties “are usually open to everyone,” adding that partying isn’t “all students here think about. People will get together and drink for fun, but it isn’t a necessity.” A sophomore says, “On the weekends, students can go to downtown Harrisonburg to the various restaurants and shops,” or enjoy on-campus movies at a reduced rate. Still others take advantage of the “great places to hike and spend time outdoors” and JMU’s easy accessibility to nearby ski resorts.

Campus Life

Located in Virginia’s Shenandoah Valley, JMU is known for its “beautiful” campus, and students rave about the “benefits of walking in the mountains.” An English major says, “The moment I walked on campus I was captured by the student spirit and how beautiful it is.” School spirit is generally high, and students say, “There’s a huge sense of JMU pride, everyone loves the Dukes!” A senior adds, “We have so much pride for our school. There is a friendly, collaborative ambiance here that is unparalleled anywhere else.” The university is known for its Southern hospitality, and one student describes the student body as “the ‘door-holding freaks of America’ because even when people are several feet away, we stand there to hold the door for them.” There are numerous ways to get involved on campus, and the “sheer number of student activities is stellar.” Students rave about the “personal involvement that JMU offer(s),” and say, “They make you feel like a part of the campus, not just another number.” Food services and facilities get high marks across the board, and most agree that the “administration and faculty are always willing to talk to students and point them in the right direction,” noting that one of “the greatest strengths of the school is the ability to get any sort of assistance when needed.” Regardless, there are complaints about traffic on campus, and many feel, “the school could improve on parking, by a long shot.”

Contact & Visit

Campus Visits Contact

Office of Admissions MSC0101
481 Bluestone Drive
Harrisonburg, VA 22807


Experience College Life

Most Popular Places On Campus
Taylor Down Under
University Recreation Center
East Campus Dining Hall
Student Success Center

Most Popular Places Off Campus
Downtown Harrisonburg
Shenandoah National Park
George Washington and Jeffereson National Forests
Massanutten Resort
Harrisonburg Farmer's Market

Campus Tours

Campus Visiting Center
M - F, some Saturdays
8am - 5pm, (Saturday and Summer Hours Vary)

Campus Tours
Appointment Required: Yes
Dates: Year-round
Average Length: 2 hours

On Campus Interview

Campus Interviews

Information Sessions


Faculty and Coach Visits

Dates/Times Available

Contact Coach Directly

Advance Notice
1 week

Contact Email Address for Visit

Class Visits

Dates/Times Available

Check with academic department; contact information for academic departments can be found at: http://www.jmu.edu/catalog/13/index.html

Overnight Dorm Stays

Overnight Dorm Stays
Not Available


Types of Transportation Available to Campus
Harrisonburg City Transit buses provide free transportation around campus and around Harrisonburg. There is an Amtrak train station in Staunton, VA (about 30 minutes away). The closest airport is Shenandoah Valley Regional Airport (about 20 minutes away). There are major airports in Charlottesville (about 1 hour away), Richmond (about 2 hours away) and Washington DC (about 2 hours away). There are several bus services that offer transportation to/from larger metropolitan areas on weekends and holiday breaks.

Driving Instructions to Campus
I-81 traveling North: Take EXIT 245 - Port Republic Rd/ VA-253. Turn LEFT on Port Republic Road and turn RIGHT at the second light onto Bluestone Drive. Pass the lake. The Office of Admissions, in Sonner Hall, will be on the LEFT. I-81 traveling South: Take EXIT 245 - Port Republic Rd/ VA-253. Turn RIGHT on Port Republic Road and take the first RIGHT, at the stoplight, onto Bluestone Drive. Pass the lake. The Office of Admissions, in Sonner Hall, will be on the LEFT.

Local Accommodations


Applicants: 21,099
Acceptance Rate: 75%



Tuition & Aid

Student Body

Campus Life

Articles & Advice