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James Madison University

How this student rated the school
Educational QualityA+ Faculty AccessibilityA
Useful SchoolworkA+ Excess CompetitionA+
Academic SuccessA- Creativity/ InnovationA+
Individual ValueB+ University Resource UseA-
Campus Aesthetics/ BeautyA+ FriendlinessA+
Campus MaintenanceA+ Social LifeB+
Surrounding CityB Extra CurricularsA-
SafetyA+
Describes the student body as:
Friendly, Approachable, Snooty

Describes the faculty as:
Friendly, Helpful

Male
SAT1950
Quite Bright
Lowest Rating
Surrounding City
B
Highest Rating
Educational Quality
A+
He rated most things higher than other students did.
Date: Jun 14 2010
Major: Music Education (This Major's Salary over time)
JMU is exactly what you make it.

I'm a music education major, and I've just completed my first year at JMU. First, I'll talk about the school as a whole, and I'll follow with my opinion of the music department.

There's the conception that JMU is a party school, and I must admit that it is. However, this is not a reason to turn away from JMU. The school promotes a "private school" experience for a "public school" price, and it delivers that promise. Class sizes are small and personable - I had one class over 100, and all the rest were in the 30's or less. There is a wide variety of a students as far as intelligence goes. I've met people who are here only for sports and can't hold a conversation beyond that, and I've also met some of the brightest and most scholarly students you'd find anywhere. You simply have to look! A lot of people get caught up with the party scene, but there are also genuine, intelligent, diligent individuals.

All but a couple of professors I had were very knowledgeable, most of them using their own books or currently writing one. JMU professors are extremely dedicated people. They love their jobs and they love their students, and it's a nice feeling when you know you'll get a response to an email within hours (and sometimes less than that). Assignments feel just about right - there is never busywork, but lots of reading.

The School of Music, however, should not be assessed at the same level as the rest of the university. While JMU is a good school, the music department is where it soars (and the school knows it - it's easily the most funded department). With newly built incredible facilities, multifaceted and dedicated professors, and an endless amount of playing opportunities, this school is easily one of the most underrated and fastest growing music schools not only in Virginia but on the east coast. After many years of being exposed to JMU through camps and otherwise, I've seen the growth of the program and it's incredible how much influence it has on the state of Virginia. Every other music school in the state has JMU's professors teaching in them. If you play saxophone, clarinet, trumpet, or especially trombone, this is the place to come. Members of the Marching Royal Dukes are scouted out and placed in the top DCI corps every single year, and the trombone studio is simply killer.

The top ensembles at JMU make recordings and premier pieces almost every year, and they bring in some of the nation's top composers to critique their own work.

All in all, I am very happy about my first year at JMU, but the opportunities to tarnish it's reputation are definitely there. If you want to take advantage of what the passionate faculty have to offer, you will succeed. Undergraduates that apply to grad school from JMU get accepted across the board to their schools of choice. This is a great "stepping stone" university. Don't waste your 4 years - make a difference during your undergraduate studies.

                                                                                                                     
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