Situated in Harrisonburg, Virginia, James Madison University has a long and storied history dating back to the start of the 20th century. The school was originally established in 1908 by the Virginia General Assembly as the State Normal and Industrial School for Women at Harrisonburg, however, it wasn't until 1916 that the school began granting bachelor's degrees. After several name changes during its early years, the institution became known as Madison College in 1934 in honor of President James Madison. An all-female school for much of its history, Madison College began admitting men in 1966, which coincided with many other institutional changes, including an expanded campus and the start of doctoral programs. Eleven years later, the school changed its name to James Madison University and has since become one of the most respected institutes for higher education in the nation.
According to its mission statement, James Madison University is "a community committed to preparing students to be educated and enlightened citizens who lead productive and meaningful lives." This mission includes a vision "to be the leading comprehensive university" with the institutional values of "excellence, integrity and mutual respect."
Those living in student housing or an off campus apartment at James Madison University have access to the school's distinguished academic programs and fields of study. Students may pursue undergraduate, graduate and doctoral degrees through the departments of Business, Communications, Humanities & Social Sciences, Health & Human Services, Education, Science, Technology, Engineering & Mathematics and Visual & Performing Arts.
Student living and university living at the university revolve around a variety of traditional campus student activities and organizations. The JMU Dukes compete in men's and women's sports including football, basketball, tennis, golf, lacrosse, track and field, soccer and cross country.
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