The Residential College Experience
The finest qualities of small liberal arts colleges combined with those of a large research university allow The Residential Colleges of Michigan State University to offer students a distinctive educational atmosphere. These living-learning communities unite students with similar interests in designated residence halls on the campus of MSU. Faculty offices, academic advisors, classrooms, labs, libraries, and seminars are also located in these buildings; giving students unique access to campus resources and creating a learning environment that transcends classroom walls.
James Madison is located in Case Hall, on the west side of campus near the Breslin Center and Spartan Stadium. All first year JMC students are required to live in our building, and many students opt to make Case Hall their home for sophomore, junior, and senior year. The building acts as a home-base for our students, as they explore all 5,200 acres of MSU - one of the largest college campuses in the country.
One benefit of the Residential College is small class sizes. In our first-year courses, the average section size is about twenty-five. Our sophomore and junior courses enroll no more than thirty-five students per section, with most sections remaining closer to thirty students. Senior seminars are limited to fewer than twenty students.
As a result, most classes are conducted as lively discussions in which students are encouraged and expected to participate. They draw insights from various social sciences and related fields, including political science, economics, literature, sociology, philosophy, and history. The faculty at Madison teach. Our instructors are hired with the understanding that we place a high value on excellent teaching. Each of our tenure-track faculty members also serves as an academic advisor to students; this, too, is a practice that makes us special.