James Madison University (also known as JMU, Madison, or James Madison) is a public coeducational research university located in Harrisonburg, Virginia
James Madison University was founded in 1908 as the State Normal and Industrial School for Women at Harrisonburg, the institution was renamed Madison College in 1938, in honor of President James Madison. On March 22, 1977, Virginia Governor Mills Godwin (whose wife was an Alumna) signed legislation renaming the university 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 22,648 applications, for an entering freshmen class of 4,325 for the 2012-2013 academic year. The retention rate for the 2011-2012 freshman class was 91.4%, and the ratio of female to male students is 60/40. Approximately 28% of all students are from out-of-state, representing all 50 states and 89 foreign countries.
Currently, James Madison University offers 115 degree programs on the bachelor’s, master’s, educational specialist and doctoral levels. The university comprises seven colleges and 78 academic programs. The university includes the College of Arts and Letters; the College of Business; the College of Education; the College of Health and Behavioral Studies; the College of Integrated Science and Engineering; the College of Science and Mathematics; the College of Visual and Performing Arts; and The Graduate School. Total enrollment beginning the Fall 2012 academic year was 19,927; 18,392 undergraduates and 1,820 graduate students. JMU granted 4,908 degrees in 2012; 4,096 undergraduate degrees, and 812 graduate degrees.
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. James Madison University’s Chapter of Phi Kappa Phi was the first academic honor society chartered at JMU. The Honor Society of Phi Kappa Phi (or simply Phi Kappa Phi or ΦΚΦ) is an honor society established in 1897 to recognize and encourage superior scholarship without restriction as to area of study and to promote the “unity and democracy of education”. It is the third academic society in the United States to be organized around recognizing academic excellence, and is the oldest all-discipline honor society.