James Madison University
School of Media Arts & Design
SMAD Application Procedure
Approved February 2012
Admission to the School of Media Arts and Design is limited and competitive. Students interested in majoring in the programs offered by the school must apply for a limited number of spaces in the major. An admission committee in the school reviews applications and offers admission based on availability to the most qualified students. A student may apply no more than two times to the school for admission.
There are two application periods for admission to SMAD - September and January.
September Application Period
The September application process is only for new transfer students matriculating to JMU in the fall semester who have declared the SMAD major. These students must be officially admitted to JMU as transfer students for the fall semester and must have earned at least 30 hours of JMU approved post high school college credit. They must be degree-seeking students and must be enrolled in at least 12 hours at JMU during the fall semester. The application is due on Friday of the second week of the fall semester.
January Application Period
Currently enrolled JMU students (including transfer students matriculating in January) may apply during the January application period. Students applying to the major at JMU must be degree-seeking and have completed at least 12 hours or be enrolled in at least 12 hours at JMU. The application is due on the last Friday in January.
Students interested in this major must “declare” SMAD as a major and apply to become a “fully admitted” major. Declaring a SMAD major does not guarantee the student will be fully admitted into the SMAD major. Students must declare SMAD as a major prior to being eligible to enroll in SMAD 101. A declared SMAD student may take SMAD 101, but the student is restricted from SMAD courses beyond SMAD 101 until being accepted (fully admitted) into the major.
In your Application Letter/Personal Essay, consult resource materials and tell us: 1) why you are interested in our program; 2) what you know about your chosen concentration and why it interests you; 3) how that concentration will contribute to your university education and intellectual growth; 4) how that concentration will prepare you to meet your career goals; and 5) why you have an interest in your second choice concentration. Your double-spaced, typed and signed letter should be approximately 500 words. Do not quote any resource material. We will evaluate your essay’s form and content. The letter must be submitted in person, along with your other application materials, to Harrison Hall 0276 by 4:00 p.m. on the last Friday in January. (Second Friday of the semester for the September Application Period). Be aware that the James Madison University Honor Code applies to this assignment.
The student will present the required information in a manila folder to the main SMAD office with the student's last name, first name and student identification number on the tab of the folder. The student must supply the folder.
Following the review by the SMAD Admission Committee, students will be notified about their acceptance into the major. If accepted, students will be eligible to register for SMAD courses. Students not accepted into the major will be notified and may reapply the following January or in a later January.
If a student enrolled in SMAD 101 is accepted in the major and makes an "F" in the course, the student will be dropped from the major and can reapply. If a student enrolled in SMAD 101 is accepted in the major and makes a "D+" or "D" in the course, the student may continue to take classes in the major; however, the student must retake SMAD 101 again in the next semester and earn at least a "C- ." Students are limited to taking SMAD 101 twice. Failure to achieve a grade of at least a C- after the second time will result in being dropped from the major and the student may not reapply. To graduate with a degree in media arts and design, a student must have a grade point average of 2.0 ("C") or better in the major.
Change of Concentration:
Students accepted into the major must pick a concentration. Students who wish to change concentrations after being accepted into the major may do so only during the January application period. To change a concentration a letter must be submitted explaining why you want to change concentrations. This letter should be addressed to the Admission Committee and be no more than two pages in length. A Change of Concentration form must accompany the letter. A student, after consulting with his/her advisor and gaining approval of the admissions committee, will be permitted to change concentrations. Remember there are no guarantees that the change will be granted.