James Madison University, or JMU, is situated in Harrisonburg, Virginia. Established in 1908 as a public research university, JMU was first known as the State Normal and Industrial School for Women at Harrisonburg. It was later on changed to Madison College to commemorate President James Madison. In 1977, the institution changed its name to James Madison University. It is nestled west of Massanutten Mountain, in the Shenandoah Valley.

James Madison University, Harrisonburg, VA

There is a diverse choice of organizations and clubs on campus. Whether you want to feed your interest in scuba diving or join the Cinemuse Film Club and express your love for film, there is something in store for you on campus. Entertainment and educational activities are overseen by the University Program Board. There are over 30 small but steadfast fraternities and sororities in the campus community. Students must stay in one of the university’s residential halls during their first year on campus.

James Madison University is composed of seven colleges that accommodate undergraduate and graduate students. The College of Business, College of Integrated Science and Technology, College of Education, and other colleges offer graduate programs. There are over 70 majors that undergraduates can select from. JUM is also known for its comprehensive study abroad curriculum where students have an opportunity to study in Beijing, Antwerp, Spain, or London. Competitive exchange programs are also available for students to take advantage of in collaboration with JMU’s extensive list of partner universities all around the world.

JMU is known to be selective when it comes to accepting new enrollees with a rate of 77 percent. Students who are accepted have SAT ratings between 1120 and 1290. The female population makes up 40 percent of the total students enrolled. The student community is diverse, with about 38 percent of it from outside Virginia and others from foreign countries. James Madison University was awarded a chapter—a first for the university by the Phi Beta Kappa academic honor society in 2009.

JMU’s campus is composed initially of Jackson and Maury Halls. At present, there are 148 buildings on campus. The campus is among the most photographed sites on Twitter and Instagram. There are five sections to the campus, which are comprised of Hillside, Bluestone, Lakeside, Skyline, and the Village. The campus houses an urban botanical garden, Edith J. Carrier Arboretum, and Newman Lake.

Construction of new buildings was a part of the education bond package of Governor Tim Kaine. His proposal assigned over $96 million on James Madison University projects, including a Centennial Hall and a biotechnology building. The restoration of Duke Hall is also part of the budget, as well as the final installment for the acquisition of the Rockingham Memorial Hospital.

JMU’s athletic teams are collectively called the “Dukes.” The official mascot is a bulldog wearing a crown and a purple cape. The moniker “Dukes” gives honor to the second president of JMU, Samuel page Duke. Gold and royal purple are JMU’s official colors. The university’s athletic teams contend in the Eastern College Athletic Conference and NCAA, first division.

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