The following reviews are the views of students or alumni at this school and are unrelated to the school data and other editorial content on usnews.com. These reviews neither reflect nor impact a school's position within the Best Colleges rankings.
The think I like most about JMU is the community. Everyone is really nice and welcoming, even to freshmen. The professors are more than eager to help those that come to them with problems or questions. The campus is beautiful, even if the "ode d' dog food" comes with the morning mist. We have a student paper that even if it doesn't always print the most accurate news it makes for a great laugh in the opinion section. The campus is so safe during the day that students often leave their cellphones, iPods, and JACards (cards that are a student's lifeline at JMU) just sitting on tables while students get food. At night, our campus is so well-lit and heavily patrolled by the police department that nothing dangerous threatens the campus. In addition, free escorts are provided to students who need to go anywhere for any reason. But the best part of JMU, is our school pride. Every student at JMU bleeds purple and gold and we are THE University of Virginia.
James Madison University is the best fit for me. It is just right in size, classes, and extracurricular activities. There is no one best thing about JMU, the students, the atmosphere, the accessibility of professors, the beautiful campus, and so much more make JMU spectacular. Lately, most of my time on campus is spent either in class or in the clubhouse. The clubhouse is free to all students and it is a place to make banners, advertisements, and posters for different clubs and organizations. It is a great place to hang out and bond with the people in your organizations as well as do something great for the campus through advertisements of fund raisers and events. The professors at JMU are always there for their students. Emails are answered within the day, phone numbers are given out, appointments and office hours are available. The professors really want to be involved in their students academic achievement. 80% of all of JMU professors have a terminal degree in their field, meaning the highest degree possible in that field. I do not really hear a lot of complaints on campus. All students love JMU and when walking across campus you can always see a sea of purple and gold. There is so much school spirit and pride in being a JMU Duke.
The best thing about James Madison: The people that go here! IÕm not solely talking about the students but its the faculty and staff as well. When someone told me that at JMU people open doors for you I thought it was a joke or exaggeration. False! Literally, the first time I stepped foot on campus people held doors for me. The people on this campus have certain energy: one that is specific to being at this school. Faculty is engaging and generally loves to help their students as well. Even the people who work in the dining halls have smiling faces and positive attitudes. One thing I would change: This school is just right. It is big enough that you don't know everyone. You always have opportunities to meet someone that you have never met. And it is small enough that you still see people you know around campus and around town. Since I am from out of state people don't always know what and where James Madison is located. So normally I say, "I go to James Madison in Virginia". However, when people do recognize the school they have nothing but wonderful things to say about it. They remark on how beautiful the campus is, how their son/daughter/friend/relative loved their experience there etc. Most of my time on campus is spent in Harrison hall. This is where my major is located. Most of my classes are in this building. Since I am required to work in the labs for my projects I spend after hours their as well. At first glance Harrisonburg would totally be given title," what college town?Ó when i was a freshman all i knew of the town was Walmart, Target and Sheetz. However, as I grew older and more acquainted with the town I found a lot of hidden gems. The downtown area of Harrisonburg may not be "city exciting" but there are plenty of quaint boutique, restaurants and cafes that ware worth checking out. The biggest recent controversy that I can remember is the SGA president resigned because many of his plans for the campus were stolen from another school's SGA. I was in Florence at the time though. I only heard about it after. J-M-U DUUUUKES! This school has an overwhelming amount of school pride. People love being able to say they go to JMU. Football games are always a sure fire way to show your school spirit and within 30 minutes of being there once will have heard 4 JMU cheers and 2 recitings of the fight song. ItÕs strange because most school has a lot of school pride because their athletic teams are nationally recognized. JMU is not in a huge conference and is not normally televised for such. However, I think it is because of the general student body that there is so much love and respect for this school. Unlike other big names schools that worship their athletes and athletic schedule, JMU students worship the entire student body. We love each other and are so proud to all be a part of something so special. One JMU complaint that is most prevalent is that registering for classes is very difficult. Classes fill up very fast and priority is mostly given to upperclassmen. In this case it's best to be patient and plan your entire four-year schedule ahead of time. Another option is to take a course during the summer. "Maymester" as we call it is either a four-week or 8 week course taken immediately following the spring semester. Courses donÕt usually fill up and maymester can be a lot of fun.
The best thing about JMU is the people, most of the students and faculty here are very friendly and eager to help and serve others. We show that in a variety of ways, from holding doors to giving away free alcohol. We are also very involved, there are hundreds of organizations and everyone finds their niche. If I could change one thing, I would make it so it was illegal to smoke on campus. JMU is the perfect size, it is not too small, you don't know EVERYONE, not EVERYONE knows your business, but you still see someone you know every where you go. When I tell people I got to JMU, I usually get a good response, that they've heard good things. Occasionally people tell me what a party school it is, and I simply say it's like any other college, and I don't drink, if that says anything. I spend most of my time on campus in academic buidlings such as ISAT, if not academic buildings, eating! If not eating, in the SafeRides office. College town, Harrisonburg wouldn't be much without JMU, although there are lots of unknown secrets! JMU has pretty good administration, students have a lot of say, it feels like a student-run campus. We have some great administators that are so personable, and others you barely see. The biggest recent controversy on campus was probably title 9, last year when they got rid of a lot of male sports to be proportionate to our female, male ration. We have a ton of school pride! Purple and gold is everywhere, lots of people go out to the football games, nobody cares who we are compared to or if other schools think they are better, we are outstanding students who stay classy. Lots of things are unusual about JMU, we are the only school to have a main road, a railroad, and a highway run through our campus! It's unusual to go to a party and not have to pay for alcohol apparently, we have an unusual design to our campus, with buildings that are classic bluestone, traditional red brick, and modern white brick. One experience I'll always remember is mudsliding down a hill in front of my dorm freshman year, good times! The most frequent complaints will be about the expansion of our campus, some don't think it should get any bigger because it's perfect!
The people are the best thing about JMU! Our campus is known for it's enthusiasm and politeness (holding doors, smiling). I think the size of JMU is perfect - it's not too big where you just get lost in a crowd, but too small where everyone knows your entire life story. On sunny days - everyone on the Quad - playing frisbee, studying, hanging out, or sun bathing. On rainy days - I like Taylor Down Under (TDU) or Airport Lounge (APL) for studying, watching tv in APL, or playing board games, watching open mic, or grabbing a drink from Java City in TDU. I think the JMU administration is very helpful and hands on. During freshmen move in day this year, I saw many of them rolling up their sleeves and helping move students into their dorms. I think they care about us as much as our professors do. There is a TON of school pride; I don't know anyone who can't belt out the fight song on command. One experience I'll always remember is the first night freshmen year when I met my RA, my Orientation Guides, and my suitemates (who are my best friends). I think it was a momentous night since we were all nervous to be away from home for the first time. Also, we had to play an icebreaker where everyone had to give themselves a nickname and we still refer to some of our friends by the nicknames, so it's pretty funny. Lack of parking is probably the most frequent student complaint.
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