James Madison University is a public institution that was founded in 1908. It has a total undergraduate enrollment of 17,281, its setting is urban, and the campus size is 712 acres. It utilizes a semester-based academic calendar. James Madison University’s ranking in the 2011 edition of Best Colleges is Regional Universities (South), 3.

James Madison University is a publiccoeducationalresearchuniversity located in Harrisonburg, Virginia, U.S. Founded in 1908 as the State Normal and Industrial School for Women at Harrisonburg, the university has undergone four name changes before settling with James Madison University. The university is situated in the Shenandoah Valley, with the campus quadrangle located on South Main Street in Harrisonburg.

James Madison University is considered “More Selective” by the Carnegie Foundation for the Advancement of Teaching. For the Class of 2012, the university received more than 23,141 applications, with their currently being 3,960 freshman spots available for the 2008-2009 academic year.


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Currently, James Madison University offers 108 degree programs on the bachelor’s, master’s, educational specialist and doctoral levels. The university comprises seven colleges and 78 academic programs.

On October 2, 2009, James Madison University was granted a chapter by the Phi Beta Kappa academic honor society. Only about 10 percent of the country’s colleges and universities have Phi Beta Kappa chapters.

The University is also ranked 22nd overall in value for money in the nation amongst public colleges and universities, according to Kiplinger Magazine’s 100 Best Values in Public Colleges. According to BusinessWeek magazine in its 2011 ranking of undergraduate colleges of business, JMU’s undergraduate business school is ranked 28th in the nation, and 3rd in Virginia.

Money Magazine, in 1996 ranked JMU 5th in the nation for best value among in-state students.Princeton Review, in its 2007 rankings, called JMU one of “America’s Best Value Colleges”. And in 2010, the food at JMU was ranked number 3 in the nation.

The Princeton Review also recognized James Madison as one of 81 schools in America “with a conscience”, and in the latest year ranked behind only the University of Virginia in the number of Peace Corps volunteers it sent from its student body among “medium-sized” universities.

James Madison University’s athletic teams use the name “Dukes” in competition, with the Duke Dog, a gray bulldog dressed in a purple cape and crown, as the school’s mascot. “Dukes” is in honor of Samuel Page Duke, the university’s second president. Madison competes in the NCAA’s Division I (Football Championship Subdivision for football), the Colonial Athletic Association, and the Eastern College Athletic Conference.

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