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National recognition

In addition to rankings, James Madison University has been recognized as a leading institution in many ways:

  • Many well-known speakers and artists come to campus for free public presentations. In 2007, Desmond Tutu was awarded the Mahatma Gandhi Global Nonviolence Award at JMU, and, in 2008, Barack Obama honored JMU with a stop on his campaign trail.
  • James Madison University sent 20 undergraduate students to the 22nd National Conferences on Undergraduate Research in April 2008.
  • JMU earned a place on the 2008 President's Higher Education Community Service Honor Roll for commitment to volunteering, service learning and civic engagement.
  • The former education editor of The New York Times, included JMU in his highly regarded book, The Fiske Guide to Colleges 2010, which features America's "best and most interesting colleges and universities."
  • The University was included in The Princeton Review's 2005 book, Colleges with a conscience: 81 great schools with outstanding community involvement, as one of the USA's best universities for fostering social responsibility and public service.

Top ranking and best value public University in USA

James Madison University has been frequently highly ranked for its academics and named as one of the top universities in the USA:

Rank Category detail Awarded by Year
#2 Top public regional* university in south of USA JMU is named in America's Best CollegesU.S.News & World Report's America's Best Colleges - the highly regarded annual poll on academic quality 2013
#6 Top regional* university in the South
#1 Highest graduation rate (82%) within 6 years among regional universities in the south
#3 Best Undergraduate Teaching in its category
#107 Best undergraduate business program in USA
Named Best Graduate Business schools in US U.S. News & World Report's America's Best Graduate Schools 2013
#17 Top Audiology master's program in US
#35 Top Speech-language pathology master's program in US
#38 Top Physician Assistant master's program in US
#93 Top Master of Fine Arts program in US
Top 50 Best Value Public Colleges in US - recognizes universities that provide high-quality academics at a reasonable price Princeton Review's Best Value Colleges 2012
Named Best Colleges in the United States Princeton Review logoPrinceton Review's Best 377 Colleges - based on student surveys 2013
Named Best 133 Colleges in the Southeastern United States
#4 "Best Campus Food"
#32 Best undergraduate Business School in USA (Grade A+ for Facilities and Services; Grade A for Teaching Quality; Grade A for Job Placement) James Madison University ranked as one of the best undergraduate Business SchoolsBloomberg Businessweek magazine 2012
#12 Best undergraduate Business School at a public university in USA
#16 Best undergraduate Business School in USA based on student feedback
#157 America's Best Colleges America's Best colleges logoForbes magazine - a ranking of the top 15% of US universities (650 institutions)  2012
#39 Best Colleges in southern USA
#38 America's Best College Buys
#20 Best values in Public Colleges in USA – "deliver a quality education at an affordable price" 100 Best Value Public Colleges, published in Kiplinger's Personal Finance magazine 2013
named Top 240 US universities providing "first-rate education at a reasonable price" Barron's Best Buys in College Education 2008
named Top in the USA: competitive colleges that attract the best and the brightest Peterson's 440 Great Colleges for top students 2010
Top 300 'Best and most interesting public and private schools' in USA Fiske Guide to Colleges 2011
Top 45 'Best Buy Schools' in America
#69 Best master's-level university in USA Washington Monthly College rankings 2012

* The Regional Universities category includes 570 institutions across the USA that provide a full range of undergraduate and master's programs, but offer few, if any, doctoral programs.


Review of the University

The Insider's Guide to the Colleges 2007 positively reviews James Madison University, writing:

  • "In the midst of the stunning Shenandoah Valley lies a purple and gold gem"
  • "JMU is incredibly friendly"
  • "Its social graces tend to alleviate what might otherwise be a stressful academic lifestyle. Additionally, the campus accommodates students' busy schedules exceedingly well."
  • "Professors [...] make themselves extremely accessible."
  • "JMU provides a terrific liberal arts education and continues its history of producing successful alumni today, while fostering an inclusive and high-spirited atmosphere that complements its beautiful area."