#7 Best Public Universities in Virginia

JMU Admission Requirements

Harrisonburg, Virginia

 3 Reviews

Your chances of getting into James Madison University

Admission Rate & Difficulty

Percent Admitted 

Admission Difficulty for James Madison University
Measure Difficulty
Admission Standards Difficult 
Applicant Competition Very Low 

Acceptance Rate

The acceptance rate at JMU is 86.3%.  Its admission rate is the 25th lowest in Virginia.

Admission Selectivity

How hard is it to get into JMU and can you get accepted?

James Madison University is an easy school to get into and you have a very good chance of acceptance if you meet the admission criteria. Last year, 18,265 out of the 21,176 who applied were admitted.

The school has difficult admission requirements, generally admitting students who can score in the top 30 percent on standardized admission tests. James Madison University typically accepts and attracts "B+" average high school students with an average GPA around 3.57. Most incoming freshmen graduate in the top half of their high school class. 26% of those admitted chose to enroll in the school.

Can you get into JMU?

86% are accepted, can you get in? Use the admission calculator to see if you have the grades and test scores needed to get in. See your admission chances based on your extracurriculars, intended major, background, and more.

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Calculate your admission chances

Admission Requirements in Brief

To have the best chance of getting into to James Madison University you should:

  • Have a high school GPA of 3.57 or better
  • Earn B+ grades in high school
  • Score 1230 on the SAT
  • Score 26 on the ACT
  • Graduate in the top half of your high school class
  • Submit letters of recommendation from your teachers


GPA Requirements & Average GPA

Avg. High School GPA 


Typical High School Grades 


What GPA do you need to get into James Madison University?

GPA Requirements

The GPA requirements for getting into JMU are to have around a 3.57 high school GPA. You are required to have very good grades in high school.

If your high school grades are above the average 3.57 GPA, you have a very good chance of being admitted as JMU accepts 86% of applicants.

Average GPA

The average unweighted GPA at JMU is 3.57 on the 4.0 scale. To achieve the average GPA for admission, you need to earn B+ letter grades and regularly score around 87-89 percent on tests and assignments in high school.  The school ranks #17 in Virginia for highest average GPA.

Importance of GPA

Since JMU is a test optional college, extra focus will be placed on your GPA when the school considers your application. As a result, it is very important that you meet the GPA requirements.

See additional colleges accepting applicants in the 3.6 GPA range.

*This school has not published high school GPA data for its incoming freshman class. In these cases, CollegeSimply uses an algorithm to predict GPA based on this school's test scores and a large sample of college GPA data. 3.57 is a prediction of the school's average incoming freshman GPA.

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JMU SAT Scores

Test Optional

Submission of SAT or ACT scores is not required for admission to James Madison University. If you submit test scores, they will be considered with your application, but they are not mandatory. 26% of students submitted SAT scores and 5% submitted ACT scores for admission for the most recent academic year..

SAT Requirements & Average SAT Score

SAT Range 


Applicants Submitting SAT 

SAT Scores for James Madison University
SAT Test 25th Percentile Score
Reading 25th Percentile 580
Math 25th Percentile 560
Composite 25th Percentile 1140
SAT Scores for James Madison University
SAT Test 75th Percentile Score
Reading 75th Percentile 660
Math 75th Percentile 650
Composite 75th Percentile 1310
Average SAT Score 1230

SAT Scores you need to get in

What are the SAT requirements for you to be admitted to James Madison University?

Average Score & Range

The average SAT score at JMU is 1230 out of 1600 and the range for the middle 50% of accepted students is 1140-1310. Students who get into James Madison University score in the top 34 percent of all SAT test takers..  JMU ranks #9 in the state of Virginia for highest average SAT composite score.

Score for Acceptance

You should target scoring 1230 or above to be most competitive with other applicants. JMU regularly admits students with SAT scores down to 1140 on a 1600 scale. However, three quarter of admitted students score higher. If you score below a 1140, admission should be considered a reach. Some students may be accepted with minimum SAT's as low as 1050, but scores this low are outside the normal range.

Score Submission Requirements

James Madison University is a test optional school meaning do not have to submit SAT scores with your application. The position on SAT scores from the college is "considered but not required".

View other colleges which accept students in the 1230 SAT score range.

Data Sources, IPEDS for Fall 2021 starting class

Chance of Acceptance by SAT Score

The table below outlines your predicted admission chances based on SAT score alone. If you are an average applicant with a score of 1225, you have around a 86% chance of being admitted. A 1310 places you well ahead of most other applicants and gives you about a 92% chance of getting in.

James Madison University admission chances by SAT score
SAT Score (1600 scale) Competitiveness  Admission Chances 
1310 and Above Good >92%
1225 to 1310 Avg + 86%-92%
1140 to 1225 Avg - 76%-86%
1055 to 1140 Reach 63%-76%
Less than 1055 Low <63%
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JMU ACT Scores

ACT Requirements & Average ACT Score

ACT Range 


Applicants Submitting ACT 

ACT Scores for James Madison University
ACT Test 25th Percentile Score
Reading 25th Percentile N/A
Math 25th Percentile N/A
Composite 25th Percentile 24
ACT Scores for James Madison University
ACT Test 75th Percentile Score
Reading 75th Percentile N/A
Math 75th Percentile N/A
Composite 75th Percentile 29
Average ACT Score 26

ACT Scores needed to get accepted

What are the ACT requirements for students to get into JMU?

Score Range

The average ACT score for admitted students to JMU is 26, while the middle 50% of students (25th to 75th percentile) score between a 24 and 29.  The school ranks #12 in Virginia for highest average ACT composite score.

Score for Acceptance

For the best chance of admission, you should have an ACT of 26. This will place you in solid competition against other applicants. At a minimum, you should aim for a 24 and score in the score in the top 27 percent nationally. The lowest ACT score likely to be admitted is a 22.

5 percent of applicants submit ACT scores to James Madison University.

Score Submission Requirements

You do not have to to submit ACT scores with your application as James Madison University is test optional. The policy from the school on ACT scores is "considered but not required".

Find other colleges with similar ACT score requirements

Data Sources, IPEDS for Fall 2021 starting class

Chance of Acceptance by ACT Score

Here are your predicted chances of getting into JMU for different ACT score ranges. A typical applicant with a 26 score has around 86% chance of getting in. Your odds increase to about 93% with a 29 ACT score.

James Madison University admission chances by ACT score
ACT Score Competitiveness  Admission Chances 
29 and Above Good >93%
26 to 29 Avg + 86%-93%
24 to 26 Avg - 79%-86%
22 to 24 Reach 69%-79%
Less than 22 Low <69%
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High School Class Rank

85% of James Madison University freshman are in the top half of their high school graduating class and 28% are in the top quarter.

High School Class Rank for admitted James Madison University students
High School Class Rank Freshmen Within Range
Top 10% of class 14.7%
Top 25% of class 28.2%
Top 50% of class 85%
Data Source, Peterson's Data


Admission Statistics

Admission and enrollment rates by gender are detailed the the table below.

James Madison University admission statistics
Women Men Total
Applied 13,126 8,050 21,176
Accepted 11,700 6,565 18,265
Acceptance Rate 89% 82% 86%
Enrolled 2,743 2,024 4,767
Percent of Admitted Who Enrolled (Admission Yield) 23% 31% 26%
Data Sources, IPEDS for Fall 2021 starting class

Fall 2024 Application Deadline

Applications Due

Jan 15, 2024

Days left to Apply


The application deadline for Fall 2024 has passed. Applications were due on Jan 15, 2024.

Application Fee

The cost for prospective students to apply to James Madison University is $70.

Application Requirements

What are the requirements for admission to James Madison University and what student information is used for admission decisions?

James Madison University Application Requirements
Test Scores Considered but not required
High School GPA Required
High School Class Rank Neither required nor recommended
Completion of College Preparatory Program Required
Recommendations Recommended
Demonstration of Competencies Neither required nor recommended

Credits Accepted

High School Credits Accepted at James Madison University
AP Credit Yes
Dual Credit Yes
Credit for Life Experiences Yes

Admission Requirements Summary

Because James Madison University is lightly competitive to get into, you have a very good chance of acceptance with the right GPA and test scores. If you have a 3.57 GPA, you are almost certain to getting in. Combining this with an SAT score of 1230 and ACT of 26 will almost guarantee your admission.

Other Colleges to Apply To 

Students applying to James Madison University often consider these colleges

Primary data source, U.S. Department of Education https://nces.ed.gov/collegenavigator/?id=232423 IPEDS survey data for James Madison University.


Does James Madison University prefer SAT or ACT?

26% of students submit their SAT scores to JMU. 5% of applicants send their ACT scores when applying.

What is my chance of getting into James Madison University?

86% of those who apply are granted admission to JMU. Admission competition is and the college has difficult admission standards. See if your grades and scores are good enough for admission.

What SAT score is required for James Madison University?

The middle 50% of addmitted applicants have SAT scores between 1140 and 1310. The average SAT score is 1225. See if your SAT score is good enough for admission.

What ACT score is required for James Madison University?

The middle 50% of addmitted applicants have ACT scores between 24 and 29. The average ACT score is 26. See if your ACT score is good enough for admission.