James Madison University
Harrisonburg, VA, USA

Reviews

James Madison University
4.18 Average Rating

Samuel from Chesterfield, VA

a current student here
26 people found this review useful
Categories Comments
Am learning a lot
I started off with five luck-of-the-draw classes. They were all challenging and all required a lot of work but I never really had to push myself. However, my grades weren't the highest of any of my classes either. JMU has a great college atmosphere and you just have to be wary that it doesn't take away from your work ethic.
Am enjoying being here
This is a great campus. Right size, right people, and the right locations nearby. You can't have a car first year on campus but you don't need it. Nowhere is farther than a 15 minute walk. Also, sunsets and snow make for beautiful landscapes, and you will find that that does mean a lot when you end up spending four years of your life at whichever college you go to.
Bang for the buck
Normal priced but it offers everything. And hey, if not, there are plenty of job opportunities around. Some job fairs come to the college as well as job pamphlets through the mail. I got a job within two months of being there. Just watch out for the Vector Marketing scam.
Tips for prospective students
I thought location meant nothing. It does. I thought party life meant nothing. It does. One sounds good; one doesn't. The atmosphere and location around JMU make for a great life around JMU. You will enjoy it here. The problem is, is that there is a pretty big party life here, and if that is not for you then I'd still recommend coming here, providing you have the power to say no.
Great for these types of students
Students who want to enjoy their next four years. If you know what major you want or don't then that's fine, you have quite a while to decide and quite a few majors to choose from. There is diversity also. The only problem is that JMU does suffer from a bit of grade inflation, so if you're looking to end up being a lawyer or something who stands out from the rest, you may want to look into another college. You may still want to come here, but you'd have to engage yourselves in quite a variety of extracurricular activities I should assume, which JMU has a lot of.
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Rebecca from Ashburn, VA

a current student here
13 people found this review useful
Categories Comments
Am learning a lot
JMU has an amazing General Education program that all incoming students must complete. The program is great because it really ensures that you're getting a well-rounded education and that you're gaining exposure to many different fields of study. For example, I'm a Nursing major and I ended up taking an Art History class that focused on Renaissance to Modern art. I was blown away by the class, which was something I never thought was possible. I found something new that interested me and learned a great deal about art in the process. The program is useful for students who haven't declared a major, too, because they gain exposure to many realms of study.
Am enjoying being here
I love it so much here, I can't imagine being at any other college. I've really enjoyed the people, specifically. The people on my hall are all very close and I was able to make many friends easily. Word of advice: Pick your roommate. You never know who you'll end up with. I ended up with a beginner alcoholic that thought it was okay to pre-game in our room two times a week. Even if you don't know the person amazingly well that you've decided to room with, you're better off. As a disclosure, some people love their randomly-chosen roommates, so don't let my experience be the end-all-be-all of situations.
Bang for the buck
In-state tuition is set at $3,622.00 and out-of-state tuition is $9,688.00. When compared to other out-of-state prices, it could be a lot worse! The food is expensive, but well worth it! The bus system is free and very necessary.
Tips for prospective students
Definitely tour the campus and get a feel for yourself. Get a good idea about what the dorms look like, because a lot of them are amazing, but some aren't so great. Pick your roommate, trust me. Having a bad roommate (really at any college) can change your whole living situation. Don't buy a printer, it's only five cents at the library and you aren't printing novels so it's cheaper that way.
Great for these types of students
James Madison University is really great for a student that's looking to get involved and receive a well-rounded education. Students are challenged by the classes, and forced to really work for their grades. So if you're up to it, you'll receive a great education at a great school.
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Alexandra from Norfolk, VA

a current student here
11 people found this review useful
Categories Comments
In three sentences
James Madison University is one of the most amazing colleges you will ever attend. The campus is beautiful, the people are friendly, and the academics are superb. I could not be more proud to be a part of the Duke family.
Tips for prospective students
Don't be afraid to you be yourself when you come here. There are so many different kinds of people that will accept you for who you are. Find out what interests you and get involved. You are surely bound to find something you're passionate about, especially when you get to choose from over 3,000 organizations. Also, be ready to bleed purple and gold. This is the most spirited school I've ever experienced!
Academic Rigor
The General Education program here is AMAZING. Even if you have no idea what you want to do, the GenEd classes are sure to lead you in the right direction. You take anything from Art History to Computer Science and everything in between. The professors are amazing and genuinely care about your education and are usually willing to help you whenever you need it!
Dorm Life
The dorms are sort of hit or miss here. They're spread all around campus and there are several different types. Some are traditional hall style and some are arranged in suites that have a common room. It all depends on what you like. The most popular are The Village (suites), East Campus (hall style), and The Lake. I think dorm life really depends on if you get a roommate/suite mates who you are compatible with. In regards to this, Residence Life is usually very good at assigning roommates. Personally, my roommate is my best friend so it worked out very well for us.
Food and Dining
Our food is AMAZING! We're ranked 5th best in the nation, which isn't too shabby. We have so many dining facilities to choose from, so whatever you are in the mood for you can most likely find. The food is high quality as well, and I've never had a complaint.
What to do for fun
There are so many things to do on campus! Aside from participating in our many organization, we have several events that go on. The university holds concert, comedy shows, and more. We also have a movie theater on campus that shows current movies for cheaper than the regular movie theater. There are also countless plays and music programs that play at our performing arts center. In other words, you will never be bored here at JMU!
Bang for the buck
I'm out of state, and tuition for us is more than double what the in-state tuition is. So, sometimes I feel a little ripped off because I have to pay so much more. But I love it here, so I wouldn't have it any other way. In state tuition on the other hand, is incredibly cheap, so if you're looking for a quality education and want a reasonable price, look no further!
Share any unusual traditions or locations on campus
Football games are full of traditions! Every time there is a touchdown the entire student section throws purple and gold streamers! It makes for a really cool effect. Also, our freshman orientation is probably one of the most amazing experiences every student has here. It's called 1787 and each freshman is assigned to a group that lives in their dorm and they go around and go to presentation and do fun activities. It's a really good way for everyone to make friends and really get to know the campus.
Great for these types of students
James Madison is great for anyone who wants to get a good education and have fun doing so. Anyone who comes here can see that this is the most spirited campus, full of friendly and outgoing people. So, if you want to be a part of a very tightly knitted community and have a ton of school spirit, this is the place for you!
Clubs and Activities
The clubs here are amazing. Every semester the university holds Student Org Night which is an event for all of the organizations on campus to come and present to students what they're all about. With over 3,000 organizations, anyone can find something that interests them. Even if you don't find anything, you can start an organization yourself!
Campus Safety
The campus police are amazing here. I've never felt like I was in any danger. All around campus they have call boxes set up so that if you feel like you're in danger, you just press the button and the campus police will come to you. Also, campus is very well lit, so even at night you can see everything.
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Sara from Wallingford, CT

a current student here
7 people found this review useful
Categories Comments
Am learning a lot
I love my classes here. Some people mock the general education classes, but my English class and Psychology classes have been two of my favorites here thus far. The teachers are always here to help. They have office hours, are so accommodating to your schedules, and are genuinely great people. Of course there are exceptions, but they are far and few in between. I cannot even put into words how huge of a change JMU has had on me as a person. The classes have taught me so much and really have a large influence on the way I look at certain topics.
Am enjoying being here
I love being here and so does everyone else. I work at the calling center, and talk to many alumni. Not one of them had a bad experience here and tell me how much I am going to miss it after graduation, which I already know. The people here are fantastic. Everyone is friendly and I find myself talking to everyone. There are so many opportunities for social events, community service, and support groups. I do not know that any school is a happier place to be. Going home for vacations are usually my least favorite times of the year.
Bang for the buck
I am an out of state student, so it is more expensive. However, it is still not insane, and totally worth it. My only criticize is that they do not give out much financial aid. However, I have never been happier, I am getting a great education, and would never want to go anywhere else. So basically, it is worth every penny.
Tips for prospective students
Apply early! I would also say live on the Quad or East Side of campus. And walk the campus; don't take the buses. They are stuffy and annoying. I used to take them, but walking around JMU really improves the way you feel about it (it is so beautiful). In general, apply here. I can't think of anything negatives as to why you would want to go anywhere else.
Great for these types of students
I think the reason I love JMU so much is because it is really conducive to helping students find their place in life. I had no idea what path I wanted to take, but JMU has so much to offer, it really gave me the chance to find where I belong. So, students that are a little lost, JMU will make you into something more than you could have expected.
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Luisiana from Hammonton, NJ

a current student here
6 people found this review useful
Categories Comments
In three sentences
JMU is what I would call the Disney Land of universities. From first glance, it is a beautiful campus with fantastic people, both physically and mentally. Yet, behind the scenes, like Disney, it is a strategic series of difficult tasks that create such a great outcome.
Tips for prospective students
A tip for prospective students would be to learn your limits as soon as possible. JMU is a work hard play hard institute. Students here push themselves in the classroom just as hard as they do at the beer bong table. And, always be comfortable with who you are. With 18,000+ students, this small feeling university has so much to offer that there is no need to conform.
Academic Rigor
Ranked number one in the nation right now for the Accounting Program, JMU pushes its students just as hard as any private institute. However, unlike a private university or an IVY league, our professors are always there to assist and give us the answers to any questions. There theory is to educate, not fail a student.
Dorm Life
The village lacks air conditioning. East campus dorms are amazing and the rest are equally nice. The housing situation is really great.
Food and Dining
Ranked as the nations 5th best food, JMU prides itself on options and taste. Between all the places to choose from (over 10) you will never be bored or upset with lunch or dinner. And now, double punching on the weekend is allowed, meaning more food for your week.
What to do for fun
With so many organizations and all the assistance you need to join them, there should never be a dull moment at JMU. They want you to get out and have fun.
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Joshua from Dale City, VA

a current student here
5 people found this review useful
Categories Comments
Am learning a lot
The professors at James Madison Univeristy should not be taken lightly. Do not think you know more than them for a second because they will put you in your place and beat you with experience. If you ask most professors at JMU why they teach, I guarantee all of them mention how they love the student pool and that they enjoy the laid-back lifestyle on campus. The professors are not washouts from real-life careers, they are professionals who are they to help guide you through your own career.
Am enjoying being here
James Madison University has such a laid back environment. It was refreshing to leave all the high school drama behind and go to JMU. The campus is beautiful, I will put money on that fact that you cannot find a better looking campus in Virginia. JMU is also very eco-friendly, you will notice the huge recycling program and the biomass powerplant as soon as you walk on campus.
Bang for the buck
JMU was voted one of the top colleges for your money. Tuition and all the fees for in-state students will run you about 22k, a fraction of the cost of most colleges in Virginia. If you are out of state, I highly recommend looking into Army ROTC, because if you contract, they will offer you a scholarship AND in-state rates. Contact the ROTC department and ask for the national guard recruiter so you can go SMP!
Tips for prospective students
Studying is more important that partying, but you have to relax and have fun nonetheless. Do not let your room-mate bring you down, talk to your RA and get a new one. Do not think that campus police is a bunch of rent-a-cops, they will arrest you, trust me.
Great for these types of students
Laid-back, self-disciplined, and open-minded!
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Isaac from Richmond, VA

researching this school
4 people found this review useful
Categories Comments
Will learn a lot
I recently visited JMU and despite my insistance on not falling in love, I did! I feel that JMU only accepts the best of the best and to be accepted is a true honor. That being said, anyone who plans on attending JMU should expect to be competitive. The only way to really survive at JMU is to learn and hunger for knowledge. Most students are on top of their game and are a constant reminder that you have to do the same. So yes I think you'll learn a lot at JMU DUKES!! Lol
Will enjoy being here
Yes! OMG the campus is GORGEOUS. You can expect to get lost once or twice but the campus is great. And I think the food is ranked like #3 in the US or something like that lol. They have many cultural events so EVERYBODY can find someplace where they fit in. And I do mean EVERYONE! The professors for the most part are generally nice and understanding. I think that you'll absolutely love being at JMU!
Bang for the buck
The cost to live on JMU's campus in addition to tuition is around 17,000. That's a great price for an education! There's not much debt after graduation and they do work with you financially even if it's arranging loans for you. The meal plan may run you a bit (hey, the food is great!) but other than that you are getting a great education for almost nothing.
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Lauren from Royersford, PA

a current student here
4 people found this review useful
Categories Comments
Am learning a lot
Overall, yes. I'm a sophomore so most of my courses so far have been gen eds and on average they're really good. In other words, some have been phenomenal and some I kind of had to muddle through, but you get that everywhere. I've learned a lot outside of the classroom, too, whether through conversations with the people here, in clubs I've joined, or at activities on campus.
Am enjoying being here
I love JMU and I love being here. I'm so proud to be a duke and I feel so fortunate to be a part of this community. When I visited I knew JMU was right for me because it just has such a great atmosphere. The people are friendly, there's so much to get involved in, and I've made the best friends. Now, it didn't happen right away; it's something you have to work for, but we do our best to help you out, what with orientation week and all the organizations and activities to get involved in.
Bang for the buck
Ok, I'm an out of stater so it's definitely not cheap. However, you get a lot for your money and it includes everything. I know at some schools you have to pay to use the gym facility or other things like that, but at JMU everything is included. It's really nice because I never really have to spend money. It's different once you move off campus and have to buy groceries, but it's up to you when you want to do that.
Tips for prospective students
Honestly, just be yourself. For the most part, JMU is really non judgmental. Also, have an open mind, be engaged, and work hard. JMU is amazing, and you should come here!!
Great for these types of students
JMU is great for all types of students, and you can find your niche in so many different places. Mostly, though, we want friendly, hard-working people who are going to be active members of our community.
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Jeanne from Chantilly, VA

a current student here
3 people found this review useful
Categories Comments
In three sentences
james madison university is located in one of the most beautiful places i have ever seen. the scenery is amazing and the school itself has a great campus. every one who comes here is extremely friendly, including the professors.
Tips for prospective students
definitely visit the campus in order to see if you like it. it would be nice to drop in on a class to see one of the many teaching styles that professors possess.
Academic Rigor
studying is definitely necessary but it is easy to build great study skills. you must earn your grades but the outcomes are extremely rewarding.
Dorm Life
the dorms range in comfort levels depending on where you are located. in general, the dorms are all comfortable and bathrooms are readily available. there are kitchens in all dorm buildings. in addition, the dorms contain recreation rooms in which there is a tv and some dorms have pool tables.
Food and Dining
i have never had food as great as campus food. there are so many choices to pick from and they are all fantastic. the dining facilities are only a few minutes away from academic buildings and this makes it easy to grab and go as you please.
What to do for fun
urec is an amazing facility that is located on the east side of campus. it contains excellent free weights and weight machines. in addition, there is a hot tub, pool, and sauna. there are also opportunities to sign up for group fitness classes that are fun. jmu also has a lounge named taylor down under that contains couches and tables. many people explore downtown, go for a jog, join clubs, or go to one of the various hang out spots on campus.
Bang for the buck
jmu is not as expensive as other colleges in the area. the cost of tuition as well as room and board is definitely worth the experience. people love it here and it is sad once it is time to leave jmu.
Share any unusual traditions or locations on campus
currently, we have a student who dresses up as james madison and we call her james madison girl. she speaks and acts as if she is james madison. it is quite entertaining.
Great for these types of students
this school is ideal for students who enjoy having fun but are also extremely dedicated to school work.
Clubs and Activities
there are numerous amount of clubs here at jmu. it is very unlikely to not find a club that is of interest to you simply because there are so many options.
Greek Life
there are various sororities and fraternities on campus. they range from social, cultural, major-based, and religion. they are all rewarding and have a lot to offer.
Campus Safety
it is very likely to walk through campus after a long night at the library but it is extremely safe here. there are call posts all over campus just in case there is an emergency. in addition, we have campus cadets that patrol the grounds.
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Joy

a current student here
3 people found this review useful
Categories Comments
Academic Rigor
Many don't realize the academic value found in James Madison. Professors care, even on the Gen'ed levels. One of my Gen'ed history professors, for example, made it a requirement to meet with him more than once during the semester. He taught, at minimum, 300 students that semester, but still made a point to get to know each one to the best of his ability. This helpfulness and outreach is much more common than uncommon with teachers, making the learning environment much more pleasant.
Also, one thing that I feel always goes under the radar is the advisers. As a freshman, you have 3. As you move on in your college career, you are assigned ones specific to your major. They are not only wonderful people, they are incredibly helpful and knowledgeable. In comparison to my friends' experiences from several different schools, JMU has a terrific support system for students through staff.
Am enjoying being here
Hands down, the best experience of my life. Not too much to do in the surrounding area, but the liveliness of campus and the amazing people you will meet more than make up for it.
Bang for the buck
Instate, a total steal. Coming from out of state, however, it's more pricey, yet manageable.
Tips for prospective students
Smile at people while walking through campus, it's normal. Make laying on the quad a habit. Try new foods on campus, it's all superb. VISIT THE GYM, it's beautiful. And lastly, get out and experience the night life, but remember what the library is for.
Great for these types of students
Friendly, down to earth people with a love for knowledge, fun, and experiences.
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