James Madison

Harrisonburg, VA: Located in the breathtaking Shenandoah Valley, James Madison University offers a rare combination of size and intimacy. During my stay, I was continually impressed with the warmth and accessibility of the student body. My tour guide was especially friendly, answering my questions and speaking honestly about the rigors and rewards of college life.

Academically, JMU is nationally known for its programs in business, education, and the social sciences. Undergraduate teaching is its top priority, a unique characteristic for a school of its size. Contact between students and professors outside of class is common; some professors even make their home phone numbers available. The academic climate is competitive, but not to the point where students are involved in back stabbing. From a prospective student’s standpoint, I find this very encouraging.

For those individuals inclined to leave the confines of rural Harrisonburg, both Washington, D.C. and Richmond lie in close proximity. Closer to home, on-campus activities range from attending a JMU Dukes basketball game to going to a play at the experimental theater.

In today’s world of budget cuts and downsizing, it is refreshing to discover that affordable, high-quality schools such as JMU still exist. So, if you are interested in a school with the price and diversity of a flagship state university, but still want the intimacy of a small liberal arts college, make plans to visit JMU. You won’t be disappointed. f

Reviewed in 1997