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James Madison College provides an undergraduate education in public affairs and international relations with four distinct majors. 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 pursue a variety of careers with a heightened social awareness and global responsibility.  

  • JMC Majors

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

    International Relations (IR)
    Comparative Cultures & Politics (PTCD)
    Social Relations & Policy (SRP)
    Political Theory & Constitutional Democracy (PTCD)

    Learn more


  • The 4-Year Plan

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

    • MC 111: Identity and Community - 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.  
    • MC 201: Introduction to the Study of Public Affairs I - 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.
    • MC 202: Introduction to the Study of Public Affairs IIThis course allows 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. 

    Students declare JMC major(s) at the end of their first year and begin coursework in the specific area of study during the second year. By graduation, about half of a students’ 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 advisers serve first-year students as they transition into college and after a student's major is declared. Students are typically matched with a faculty adviser within their field of study. Advisers 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 for education abroad and internships through our Field Experience Office, as well as career and graduate/law school guidance through JMC Career Services.


  • Field Experience

    JMC offers a long list of education abroad, study/internship away programming. James Madison’s very own Field Experience Coordinator guides students through the process of pursuing these opportunities.  

    Internships: JMC students have a field experience requirement. During either the third or fourth 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 assist students in coordinating a field experience abroad, allowing them to gain valuable work experience while learning how to communicate and operate in remote and international contexts. 

    Education Abroad: Ranked #1 in education abroad, MSU provides over 275 different options for students to pursue. Whether spending a semester abroad enrolled at another institution or learning with their JMC peers and faculty in internationally-based JMC coursework, students have support from both JMC’s Field Experience Office as well as MSU’s Education Abroad Office to choose the program that best meets their needs and budget. 

Learn about undergraduate research programs at JMC