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Uniquely JMC

The finest qualities of small liberal arts colleges combined with those of a large research university allows James Madison College 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, the JMC library, and seminars are also located in Case Hall; giving students unique access to campus resources and creating a learning environment that transcends classroom walls.

  • The Residential College Experience

    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.

  • Beyond the Classroom

    Student Life

    James Madison provides a host of activities that relate to students' common readings, courses, and career interests. You can expect hallways filled with lively debate well after classes have ended for the day, frequent guest speakers, career nights, panel discussions on current events, and non-academic socializing. Residence Life staff also offer a variety of activities to enrich your experience. By its nature, James Madison attracts students who are active, seeking participation in extra curricular activities and opportunities for leadership. These activities, clubs, organizations, and events happen both inside the college and throughout the greater university.

    Unique Programs

    Learn about some of the programs unique to James Madison College:


  • The MSU Connection

    James Madison College is one of three Residential College options at Michigan State University. While our students get the best of both worlds: The benefits of a small liberal arts college combined with the richness and diversity of Michigan State University; our students are first, and foremost, Spartans.

    MSU Academics

    Madison students are able to double major and minor with the over 200 other academic programs offered at MSU. See all of the academic opportunities the university has to offer here

    Student Groups and Organizations

    Michigan State University has a variety of student-run organizations to join.  The Student Activities Office within the Department of Student Life publishes a directory listing all registered organizations. To learn more about MSU's student organizations, visit the Department of Student Life.

    Athletics at Michigan State University

    Michigan State University has one of the strongest varsity athletic programs in the Big Ten.  Visit the Spartans Online website for more information on your favorite varsity sport. If you're not a career athlete, but love to play sports, MSU's intramural sports league may be for you. Intramural Sports and Recreational Services offers team sports leagues, individual sports, and club sports.  Where ever you may live on campus, there is an Intramural Sports Center close to you.  

    Diversity at Michigan State University

    Diversity in the faculty, students and staff is a major source of MSU's intellectual vitality and innovative spirit. MSU strives to be a community where people of different cultures, intellectual positions and lifestyles can reach their full potential. Such an environment develops respect for differences while fostering caring relationships, cross-cultural understanding, and common educational commitments.

    MSU encourages people to become fully engaged in the challenging issues of diversity within community. MSU seeks to be a University where a broad spectrum of informed perspectives gives rise to spirited, mind-opening discussions that prepare us for life in an increasingly diverse world.

    Pride Points

    As Spartans, our students have every opportunity to explore the amazing benefits offered at Michigan State. Here is a sample of some of the prestigious rankings and awards that MSU has received:

    • The national leader in study abroad participation among U.S. public universities for five consecutive years
    • One of the nation’s top five campuses for sustainability, according to the National Wildlife Federation’s Campus Environment 2008 Report Card
    • Member of the prestigious Association of American Universities, a group of 60 U.S. and two Canadian universities regarded as the top research-intensive institutions in North America
    • Recognized for seven consecutive years as one of the top 100 universities in the world by Shanghai Jiao Tong University in its annual Academic Ranking of World Universities
    • Sixth largest producer of Peace Corps volunteers since the corps was founded in 1961
    • Ranked 29th among the nation’s public universities by U.S. News & World Report
  • Life After Madison

    The JMC curriculum, with its multidisciplinary perspective and focus on applied social science, prepares students to face real world challenges with maturity, creativity, and responsibility. Consequently, the College’s name garners considerable respect. Across Michigan, throughout the Midwest, and increasingly, throughout the country and world, new graduates find many opportunities available to them based on previous contact by employers with Madison students and graduates.

    Change maker, entrepreneur, reformer, activist, strategist, regulator, advocate, these are just some of the words that describe our graduates. We often get asked, "So, what can I do once I graduate?” The answer is just about anything. Take a look at the variety of positions that our graduates hold:

    Advertising Manager, Sprint
    Adviser, US House of Representatives Foreign Affairs Committee
    Analyst, National Security Administration
    Budget Analyst, MI State Budget Office
    Community Services Coordinator, American Red Cross
    Consultant, IBM Global Services
    Economist, US Department of Housing and Urban Development
    English Instructor, Peace Corps
    Lawyer, US Department of Justice
    Middle School Teacher, Portland Public Schools
    Prosecutor, Oakland County, MI
    Refugee Processing Case Manager, US Conference of Catholic Bishops – Refugee Services
    Research Associate, Federal Reserve Bank of NY
    Second Lieutenant, US Air Force Intelligence

    Additionally, many of our students are interested in attending graduate and law school. These schools hold Madison students in high regard and look favorably upon students who have done well in our program. Madison students have gone on to graduate programs in Business, Economics, Public Health, International Relations, Sociology, Russian Literature, Urban Affairs, Resource Development, and Journalism.

    James Madison College offers exceptional prelaw and graduate study preparation. Today, approximately 20% of our graduates go directly on to pursue advanced degrees. Our graduates have been accepted to some of the most prestigious law programs in the nation, including Harvard University, Stanford University, Columbia University, University of Michigan, and the University of Chicago.

    For more information on JMC's career outcomes, visit the Career Services Network