James Madison University Admissions: Everything You Want to and Need to Know

Overview of James Madison University

James Madison University is a public research university situated in Harrisonburg, Virginia. JMU has 74 undergraduate degree programs and high retention and graduation rates. A healthy student/faculty ratio backs students, and professors take a personalized approach to the teaching and learning process. Outside of the classroom, students will find plenty of opportunities to engage with the campus community via the university’s many clubs and organizations.


  • Total Enrollment: 21,787 (19,923 undergraduates)
  • Gender Breakdown: 42 percent male/58 percent female
  • 95 percent full-time

Cost of Attendance Information

  • Tuition and Fees: $11,576 (in-state); $28,790 (out-of-state)
  • Books: $1,056
  • Room and Board: $10,582
  • Other Expenses: $3,982
  • Total Cost: $27,196 (in-state); $44,410 (out-of-state)

Financial Aid Information

  • Percentage of New Students Receiving Aid: 63 percent
  • Percentage of New Students Receiving Types of Aid
    • Grants: 30 percent
    • Loans: 43 percent
  • Average Amount of Aid
    • Grants: $6,998
    • Loans: $6,082

Academic Programs Offered

  • Most Popular Majors: Health Professions and Related Programs; Business, Management, Marketing, and Related Support Services; Communication, Journalism, and Related Programs; Social Sciences; and Liberal Arts and Sciences, General Studies and Humanities

Retention and Graduation

  • First-Year Student Retention (full-time students): 90 percent
  • 4-Year Graduation Rate: 60 percent
  • 6-Year Graduation Rate: 84 percent

NCAA Athletic Programs

  • Men’s Sports: Baseball, Basketball, Football, Golf, Soccer, Tennis
  • Women’s Sports: Basketball, Cross Country, Field Hockey, Golf, Lacrosse, Soccer, Softball, Swimming and Diving, Tennis, Track and Field, Volleyball
  • In athletics, the JMU Dukes play in the NCAA Division I Colonial Athletic Association and Eastern College Athletic Conference

Overview of James Madison University Admissions

James Madison University is a selective public university. Students whose SAT/ACT scores and GPA are within the institution’s requirements have a good chance of being admitted. Applicants must complete an online application, and send test scores from either the SAT or ACT and high school transcripts. Glowing recommendation letters can bolster your application, along with being involved with student organizations and attempting a challenging course load. Students with unique talents and accomplishments can still receive strong consideration even if their GPAs are outside the admission offices’ mean range. After applying, students will receive a message from an admissions counselor about the next steps of the application process. Interested students should check out the university’s website, which has helpful tips and contact information for the admissions offices.

Admissions Data                        

During the 2018-19 admissions phase, James Madison University had an acceptance rate of 71%.  for every 100 students who submitted applications, 71 students gained admission, making James Madison’s admissions process somewhat less competitive.

SAT Requirements and Scores

During the 2018-19 admissions cycle, 74% of admitted students provided SAT scores. This admissions data reveals to us that of the JMU students who provided scores, most fall within the top 35% on the SAT. 50% of students admitted to James Madison scored between 570 and 650 For the evidence-based reading and writing section, while 25% scored below 570 and 25% scored above 650. 50% of students scored between 550 and 640 on the math section, while 25% scored below 550, and 25% scored above 640.

ACT Requirements and Scores

During the 2018-19 admissions cycle, 21% of admitted students provided ACT scores. This admissions data reveals that of the JMU admitted students who provided scores, most fall within the top 31% on the ACT test. The middle 50% of admitted students received a cumulative ACT score between 23 and 28, and 25% scored over 28, and 25% scored under 23.

Safety Net Schools: Easy to Gain Admission

If past admission data predicts that you would be a competitive candidate for James Madison University, it should be easy for you to gain admission to the schools below. If James Madison University is currently out of your reach, then you are sure to be a competitive candidate for the schools below.

Ohio University, University of Alabama, Pace University, University of North Texas, California State University Long Beach, Florida Gulf Coast University, Washington State University

Same Tier: Just As Hard to Gain Admission

If you’re a competitive candidate for James Madison University, you should have an equal chance of gaining admission to these schools.

Temple University, Seton Hall University, Howard University, University of Houston, San Diego State University, University of California, Riverside, University of Arizona

Reach Institutions: Gaining Admissions Will Be More of a Challenge

These schools are more challenging to gain admission into than James Madison University. If you improve your GPA and SAT/ACT scores, you’ll be a competitive candidate.

Stony Brook University, University of Texas at Dallas, Rochester Institute of Technology, University of Massachusetts Amherst, Syracuse University, Penn State University Park, United States Military Academy

Applying to James Madison University

Application Deadline: January 15

Undergraduate Admissions Website:


Undergraduate Application Link(s):


Graduate Admissions Website:


Graduate Application Link(s):


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