Our central pursuit is to become the national model for what it means to be engaged.


James Madison University is a public university in the heart of Virginia's Shenandoah Valley. The beautiful mountainous range is a pocket of endless opportunity. The university is quickly becoming one of the nation's leading institutions in higher education, ranking as #5 in the nation by The Wall Street Journal and Times Higher Education for "students who made the right choice." The student-faculty relationship is one of JMU's proudest qualities. Our faculty make teaching their No. 1 priority.

The university was also ranked #1 for the best college for employment in Virginia by the U.S. Department of Education statistics compiled by Zippia. JMU has the highest post-graduation job levels in all of Virginia. The array of options for both undergraduate and graduate areas of study offer something for everyone. Our world-class faculty makes what is learned in the classroom about more than just a grade, but about preparing students for engagement out in the real world once they leave JMU.


JMU's reputation certainly precedes it, being known for its "air of genuine friendless." The connection to the university begins from that very first campus tour, and stays with you. The Madison Experience, as it's called, is truly what a student makes of it. The people at JMU – students, professors, facutly, staff – are what make it unqiue. The people at JMU love JMU. They make it known and you can sense that just by visiting.

We're a campus that bleeds purple and gold, but especially on Fridays, we wear purple. Our beloved mascot, Duke Dog, comes out to greet and interact with the students. It's tradition to get your photo taken with Duke Dog (at least once, if not more) before graduating. There are several opportunities to do so, walking around campus, on game day or by the statute outside the Athletic Performance Building.

Kindess is part of the JMU DNA as we have a tradition here of holding doors open. It's a constant reminder that acts of kindness are a responsibility of those who make the world a better place, and that's certainly the case here.

Walking around campus you'll come across several special spots with rich history and tradition behind them. The quad, the "Little Jimmy" statue, the spirit rock, the seal on the quad, and others have fascinating stories behind them. Some even hold superstitions part of the JMU students' core. Visit campus for yourself to find out more.


A community committed to preparing students to be educated and enlightened citizens who lead productive and meaningful lives.


JMU Website

Downtown Overview


Parking Map

Scenic Hikes