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Frequently Asked Questions

  • How do I apply?
    Students interested in James Madison College should apply directly to Michigan State University and indicate James Madison College as their preferred major.  For more detailed information, visit our page on application instructions.
  • When should I apply?
    Since James Madison College has limited enrollment, we suggest that students apply early in their senior year of high school, or by November 1.
  • Is there a separate application for James Madison College?

    No. interested students should apply to Michigan State University and indicate James Madison College as their preferred major. See here for more details. 

  • If I select James Madison College, am I still an MSU student?

    Yes. As a James Madison College student you are first and foremost a Michigan State University Student. You will have access to all of MSU's resources and will take classes both inside of JMC and through the greater university as well.

  • Where will I live as a James Madison College student?

    All first year James Madison College students living on campus are required to live in Case Hall, which is based in MSU's South Neighborhood. Beginning Fall 2021, MSU students will be required to live on campus for two years, though JMC students will have options outside of Case Hall in their second year.

    Gender Inclusive Housing is available in South Neighborhood, and students can work directly with the Housing Assignments Office on placement in those spaces.

  • When can I select my major?
    All first year James Madison College students enter the college with “James Madison – No Preference” as their major. At the end of the first year, students will select from one of the four majors offered at James Madison College.
  • Can I double major?

    Yes. Selecting a second major is a very popular option for students at Michigan State University. You will be required to select a primary major within James Madison College. Once you arrive on campus, your academic advisor can assist you with adding a second major. While there is no limit to the combinations students will select, we frequently work with students who select an additional major in a world language, journalism, secondary education, psychology, economics, history, or business.

  • Can I visit James Madison College?

    Yes. We encourage you and your family to visit James Madison College

  • What careers options will I have after I graduate?
    James Madison College is a multidisciplinary program that prepares students for decision-making positions in government and politics, in business and non-profit organizations, and in a variety of professional and private enterprises. Madison graduates work in a variety of law and professional positions in Michigan, Washington, D.C., and major metropolitan areas around the nation and throughout the world. You can check out some examples from our recent placement data.
  • Is James Madison College the right place for me if I want to go to law school?

    James Madison is a rigorous program that develops a student’s ability to think critically, write analytically, and argue persuasively. Our students have traditionally done very well on their LSAT and have attended top law schools like Harvard, Duke, and the University of Michigan. While James Madison does not offer a specific “pre-law” major, you can attend law schools with an undergraduate major offered at James Madison College. Many JMC alumni now have very successful careers in law.

  • Is James Madison College the same as the Honors College?

    No. However, the Honors College at Michigan State University happens to be one of the most distinctive and extensive honors programs in the country. Students may combine their participation in the Honors College with any degree program at MSU, including the majors offered at JMC.

  • What if I decide that James Madison College isn’t the right fit for me?

    While we have one of the highest retention rates on campus and maintain waiting lists for enrollment in the college, it is true that from time to time students find that their interests lie in a major outside of JMC. Students are encouraged to work with their academic advisor before making this important decision. The first year courses that students complete as James Madison students will then transfer with them as university requirements in social science and writing, should they decide to switch majors.

  • If I already applied to MSU and did not indicate James Madison College as my preferred major, is it too late to be considered?

    No, it is not too late to indicate an interest in James Madison College. Students who have applied to MSU can change their major by logging into the MSU Admissions portal, and clicking on the “Change Major” link. Once you have submitted your request, the major change process usually takes 3-5 business days. Once the major change has been completed, James Madison College will be listed as your major on the portal. In the event that JMC has reached our enrollment limit and your major change request cannot be processed, please send an email requesting the change of major to jmcadmin@msu.edu. Include your name and date of birth, and you will be placed on a waiting list for consideration in subsequent semesters.

  • What is a Residential College?
    Of the 17 colleges at MSU, 3 are considered Residential Colleges: James Madison College for Public and International Affairs, The Residential College in Arts and Humanities, and Lyman Briggs College for students interested in science and math based majors. Each of these 3 colleges is housed inside a residence hall where many of their students reside while on campus. These buildings feature classrooms, computer labs, help rooms, dining halls, faculty and advising offices, and much more. Each program has limited enrollment, which keeps class sizes small and allows us to offer personal attention to each student. Within the residential college setting, there is a sense of community shared between students, faculty, and staff. Many students say that attending a Residential College at MSU gave them a small college experience without sacrificing the amazing opportunities that come from studying at a world class public research institution like Michigan State University. Read more about JMC's residential college setting here.
  • As a first-year student in James Madison College, am I required to live in Case Hall? If so, may I room with a non-Madison student?

    First-year students in James Madison College are required to reside in Case Hall. If space permits first-year Madison students may live with non-Madison students in Case Hall.

    James Madison College Statement on Non-James Madison College Mutual Roommate Requests:
    James Madison College's first priority is to assign all first-year Madison students to Case Hall.
    The Housing Assignments Office and James Madison College will honor mutual non-Madison roommate requests if space is available in Case Hall.
    If space for the non-Madison roommate is not available in Case Hall then the non-Madison roommate will be assigned to another residence hall and the roommate request will not be honored.
    For more information please visit www.LiveOn.msu.edu
    Room and roommate assignment notifications will be sent by early August by the Housing Assignments Office.
    James Madison College staff does not have access to housing assignment information.

    Gender Inclusive Housing is available in South Neighborhood, and students can work directly with the Housing Assignments Office on placement in those spaces. 

  • Can I study abroad?

    Yes! Michigan State University has the largest Education Abroad program of any public university in the US. This means that as a James Madison Student at MSU you have access to 275 different programs in 60 countries around the world. Study Abroad trips range from a few weeks to an entire year. MSU even offers you the opportunity to study abroad during the summer between your senior year of high school and your first semester at MSU. In addition to university level programs, JMC offers its own education abroad opportunities that students can connect with their JMC studies and use toward their major requirements.

  • I’ve been admitted to MSU, but how do I know if I’ve also been admitted to James Madison College?

    If you have been admitted to MSU and your major is listed as “James Madison” when you log into the MSU Admissions portal, then you have been admitted to James Madison College.

  • How much course work will I do outside of James Madison College?

    Approximately half of a student’s credits will come from James Madison College and the rest will be satisfied by taking classes throughout the University. Each semester will vary, but typically half of a student's schedule will be comprised of JMC courses.