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Colleges / James Madison University

About JMU

Founded in 1908, James Madison University is a public university located in Virginia’s Shenandoah Valley. Location: Harrisonburg, VA Undergrad students: 19,883 #2 most innovative regional university by U.S. News & World Report #1 Best College for Employment in Virginia according to U.S. Department of Education statistics compiled by Zippia. JMU has the highest post-graduation job levels of all Virginia colleges. 96% of 2018 JMU graduates were employed, in graduate school or involved in other career endeavors within six months of graduation #1 graduation rate in the US for large, master's level public universities

James Madison University is a public, state school located in the small town setting of Harrisonburg, VA

Founded in 1908, JMU currently enrolls around 21,594 students a year, including 19,727 undergrads. The institution runs on a semester academic calendar.

2021 Admissions Facts About JMU

Acceptance rate: 80%

Early Decision or Early Action: No/Yes

2022 Regular Decision Deadline: January 15

2022 Regular Decision Notification Date: March 15

JMU Acceptance Rate 2021

It is very difficult to get into James Madison University. JMU accepts around 80 percent of applicants each year.

In 2021, 2,800 applicants were waitlisted and 1,117 students were ultimating offered a spot off the waitlist.

Is JMU a good school?

There is no one way to define a "good" college or university. Admissions difficulty and admitted student statistics can give you a sense of how competitive a school is, but they don't say much about the quality of the education or the student experience. However, there are a few good ways to get a better sense how satisfied students are and how well a school supports its student body.

Retention and graduation rates

About 89 percent of students who start at JMU come back the next year. Out of the 4,358 students who started at JMU as first-time freshman, 2,942 graduate within four years.

JMU's six-year graduation for undergrads is 82 percent. The average six-year graduation rate for U.S. colleges and universities is 61 percent for public schools, and 67 percent for private, non-profit schools.

Job outcomes and student debt

Job placement and student debt statistics for recent graduates can give you a sense of the return on investment a school offers. The average student debt for graduates in the class of 2021 was around $30,524 per student, not including those with no debt. For context, compare this number with the average national debt, which is around $36,000 per borrower.

Based on this information, how does JMU sound? Remember, the best school for one person may be a terrible fit for another! So the real question to ask yourself: is JMU a good school for YOU?

Interested in applying to James Madison University?

Click the heart icon to save JMU to your own personal list of schools that you'd like to attend!

January 15 is the final deadline to submit an application for next Fall. All applicants will receive an admissions decision by March 15.

Read on to find out more about the admissions requirements and deadlines, student life, academics and majors and more. Or, visit the College Confidential forums to join the conversation about JMU and get personalized recommendations for colleges and universities that offer what you're looking for in a school.

College Info

JMU Application Deadline

First-Year Applications are Due

Feb 1

Transfer Applications are Due

Feb 1

The deadline for Fall first-year applications to JMU is Feb 1.

The deadline for Fall transfer applications to JMU is Feb 1.

Check the school website for more information about deadlines for specific programs or special admissions programs


Wondering what your chances are of getting into James Madison University?

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JMU ACT Scores


ACT Range

23 - 28

Estimated Chance of Acceptance by ACT Score

ACT Score

Estimated Chance

28 and Above


23 to 28


23 and Less


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JMU SAT Scores


Composite SAT Range

1130 - 1280


Math SAT Range

550 - 640


Reading SAT Range

570 - 650

JMU Tuition & Fees

Tuition & Fees


In State


Cost Breakdown
In State
State Tuition

Student Life

Wondering what life at JMU is like? There are approximately 21,820 students enrolled at JMU, including 19,895 undergraduate students and 1,925 graduate students. 94% percent of students attend school full-time, 78% percent are from VA and 22% percent of students are from other states.


Full Time


Part Time


In State



Data provided by IPEDs and Peterson's Databases, © 2020 Peterson's LLC. All rights reserved.

Quick Facts

Total Enrollment


Campus Setting

Small Town

Acceptance Rate


Tuition and Fees

In State




Fall Freshmen
Application Deadline

Feb 1
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