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James Madison College provides a liberal education in public affairs for undergraduates. Our curriculum cultivates in our students skills of rigorous thought, lucid prose writing, and articulate speech. Our courses draw insight from various social sciences and related fields, including political science, economics, literature, sociology, philosophy, and history. The multi-disciplinary perspective and focus on applied social science prepares students to face real world challenges with maturity, creativity, and responsibility.

  • JMC Majors

    After the completion of the first year curriculum, students choose at least one of the following majors to pursue: 

    International Relations
    Comparative Cultures & Politics
    Social Relations & Policy
    Political Theory & Constitutional Democracy

    Learn more about those majors here! 


  • The 4-Year Plan

    In their first year, students will take two Madison courses in the fall semester:

    • MC111 Identity & Community. Taken in the fall semester, this course develops students' college-level writing abilities while exploring the overarching theme of identity and community through a variety of historical, cultural, and intellectual contexts. 
    • MC201 Introduction to the Study of Public Affairs I. Taken in the fall semester, this course introduces students to some of the political, economic, and social dimensions of American civilization, and how they shape our approach to public and international affairs. 
    • MC202 Introduction to the Study of Public Affairs II. This spring semester course will allow students to explore topics within the social sciences and humanities through a writing-intensive research seminar. Students will engage through the research process to create research proposals.

    Following their first year in JMC, students will declare their JMC major(s), and will begin coursework in that track their second year. By graduation, about half of a student's coursework will have come from within JMC, with the other half coming through other disciplines at MSU. JMC students often supplement their JMC majors with additional majors and minors offered through other MSU departments. 

  • Academic Advising & Support
    JMC was created in a way that centers supporting undergraduate students in all that we do. Professional staff advisors serve first year students as they transition into college, and after a student's major is declared, they are typically matched with a faculty advisor within their field of study. Advisors can help students understand their academic requirements, work on degree plans, review progress toward degree, connect students with important campus resources, discuss strategies for success, and explore students' interests and related opportunities, and serve as mentors. Additionally, JMC offers specific advising around education abroad and internships through our Field Experience Office, as well as career and graduate/law school guidance through our Careers Consulting office.  
  • Field Experience

    A common interest for JMC students is exploring opportunities to study abroad and to seek internships. On staff at the college is a Field Experience Coordinator, whose role it is to guide students through the process of pursuing these opportunities. Getting real world experiences outside of the classroom is an important part of the development of skills, knowledge, and networks that shape how students pursue their longer term career paths.

    Internships: Given the importance that JMC places on students applying their education in professional settings in the policy world, JMC students have a field experience (link to FE page) requirement. During either the junior or senior year, at least one semester is spent in an internship with an agency, organization, business, or legislative office, instead of in the classroom. JMC can even assist students in coordinating a field experience abroad (link to international internships page), allowing them to gain valuable work experience while learning how to communicate and operate in remote and international contexts. Beyond this required experience, students are encouraged to engage in additional internships throughout their time as a student.

    Education Abroad: With a focus on international affairs within JMC, it is no surprise that many of our students have an interest in learning more about the world and cultures through first-hand experience. Whether it is spending a semester abroad enrolled at another institution, learning with their JMC peers and faculty in internationally-based JMC coursework, engaging in field research overseas, or gaining professional experience through an internationally-based internship, our students have support through our Field Experience Office as well as MSU’s Education Abroad Office to seek these opportunities.