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I transferred from VCU to JMU and it was one of the wisest decisions I’ve ever made. I’ll go ahead and get the bad out of the way before I discuss this university’s positive aspects. Upon entering the campus it is immediately evident that this is not a very diverse school. Surprisingly though, there are not any noticeable racial problems, but the groups on campus tend to stick to their own races, but occasionally you will even see an interracial couple. My one real gripe with JMU is the GenEd program. It is an enormous waste of time, which would almost be laughable until you realize that it will probably end up making you spend an extra year in school. You have to take so many classes that have nothing to do with your major, and it is just such a pain. Besides those two points James Madison is a great university to obtain an undergraduate degree. I am double majoring in Economics and Finance, and I must say that the College of Business (COB) is wonderful. The course work and load is difficult if you’re going for an A average, but is worth it and is very rewarding. Most of my professors (excluding some GenEd) have been very competent, approachable, and willing to help. Some of the core requirements in COB are rather difficult, but nothing worthwhile is ever easy. A lot of what you learn in class is related to the real world, and many of the professors work, or have worked in the fields they are teaching. Some other good points about this school are its aesthetics and its student body. While JMU is not located in the most happening of towns, its scenic location is superb. The BlueRidge Mountains can be seen in the distance, and look amazing in the winter when they are snow-capped. JMU has a very unique campus, with several different themes. ISAT (a massive building on the ‘other’ side of campus) has a modern-architectural look, but it goes well with the rest of the school. The lakeside area is probably the least visual-pleasing part of campus. This is the part of campus that circles around the lake, and is mostly composed of brown coloring. The bluestone buildings that are around the Quad look amazing. All of these different areas of JMU’s large campus are different, yet somehow they all go well together. The student body is also a major plus. It is true that a large portion of the student population is from NorthernVA; I myself am, and I don’t see anything wrong with that. Almost everyone you meet on campus will greet you with a smile, and complete strangers will ask you how you are doing. People hold doors open like their life depends on it; sometimes you have to jog to get to a door, because someone will hold it for you when you’re like twenty yards away. While almost all of the students are friendly, they can be broken down into two basic groups. One half are the bright, intelligent over achievers, and the other half are the partiers who had an A average when they left high school (you have to to get in), but now are happy with a C. Making friends here is not hard, and there are plenty of clubs, and activities to meet new people. I think that JMU is a great school, and would recommend it to anyone. Be prepared to work if you want good grades, but you will have many memorable and enjoyable experiences as you receive your education.
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