International Year

Student taking notes in lecture hall at James Madison University

Preparing for your degree

If you meet the academic entry requirements of a James Madison University bachelor's degree and need to improve your English language IELTS score, we offer the International Year program.

International Year (IY) is a fast-track pathway to second-year placement into a James Madison University bachelor's degree. It includes specialized courses in American culture, Intensive English Program (IEP) and study skills to help you adjust to US teaching methods and resources. You’ll also take courses from year 1 of your chosen degree program.

Benefits of the International Year

  • Dedicated academic support to prepare you for university
  • Graduate in four years, similar to direct entry students
  • Be a part of the university community from Day One
  • Taught at the on-campus International Study Center (ISC)

Program content

The program is split into courses across semesters. Your program duration will depend on your English language skill level on entry.

1-semester program Students will matriculate with up to 12 credits
Semester 1
  • Research Skills
  • American Culture
  • Pathways to Success IV
  • Strategic Learning Lab
  • WRTC 100: Reading & Writing Workshop (3 credits)
  • 1 JMU Math Course (3 Credits)
  • SCOM 123: Fundamental Human Communication: Group Presentations (3 credits)
  • ISAT 160: Problem Solving Applications in Science & Technology (3 credits)
2-semester program Students will matriculate with up to 21 credits
Semester 1
  • Reading & Writing 3
  • Grammar 3
  • Strategic Learning + Lab
  • Pathways to Success III
  • 1 JMU Math Course (3 Credits)
  • SCOM 123: Fundamental Human Communication: Group Presentations (3 credits)
  • KIN 100: Lifetime Fitness and Wellness (3 credits)
Semester 2
  • Research Skills
  • American Culture
  • Pathways to Success IV
  • WRTC 100: Reading & Writing Workshop (3 credits)
  • ISAT 160: Problem Solving Applications in Science & Technology (3 credits)
  • PSYCH 160: Lifespan Human Development (3 credits)
  • ECON 200: Introduction to Macroeconomics (3 credits)
3-semester program Students will matriculate with up to 27 credits
Semester 1
  • Reading 2
  • Writing 2
  • Listening & Speaking 2
  • Grammar 2
  • Pathways to Success II
  • 1 JMU Math Course (3 Credits)
  • KIN 100: Lifetime Fitness and Wellness (3 credits)
Semester 2
  • Reading & Writing 3
  • Grammar 3
  • Strategic Learning + Lab
  • Pathways to Success III
  • SCOM 123: Fundamental Human Communication: Group Presentations (3 credits)
  • HIST 101: World History to 1500 (3 credits)
  • ECON 200: Introduction to Macroeconomics (3 credits)
Semester 3
  • Research Skills
  • American Culture
  • Pathways to Success IV
  • WRTC 100: Reading & Writing Workshop (3 credits)
  • ISAT 160: Problem Solving Applications in Science & Technology (3 credits)
  • COB 204: Computer Information Systems (3 credits)
  • PSYCH 160: Lifespan Human Development (3 credits)
4-semester program Students will matriculate with up to 28 credits
Semester 1
  • Reading 1
  • Writing 1
  • Listening 1
  • Speaking 1
  • Grammar 1
  • Language in Academic Contexts
  • Pathways to Success I
  • UNST 102 : Career & Academic Planning (1 Credit)
Semester 2
  • Reading 2
  • Writing 2
  • Listening & Speaking 2
  • Grammar 2
  • Pathways to Success II
  • 1 JMU Math Course (3 Credits)
  • KIN 100: Lifetime Fitness and Wellness (3 credits)
Semester 3
  • Reading & Writing 3
  • Grammar 3
  • Strategic Learning + Lab
  • Pathways to Success III
  • SCOM 123: Fundamental Human Communication: Group Presentations (3 credits)
  • HIST 101: World History to 1500 (3 credits)
  • ECON 200: Introduction to Macroeconomics (3 credits)
Semester 4
  • Research Skills
  • American Culture
  • Pathways to Success IV
  • WRTC 100: Reading & Writing Workshop (3 credits)
  • ISAT 160: Problem Solving Applications in Science & Technology (3 credits)
  • COB 204: Computer Information Systems (3 credits)
  • PSYCH 160: Lifespan Human Development (3 credits)

Pathway-specific academic courses

(27 credits total)

  • College Algebra (3- and 4-semester program only)
  • Introductory Calculus1
  • Computer Information Systems
  • Business Statistics
  • Economics

(31 credits total)

  • College Algebra (3- and 4-semester program only)
  • Calculus 1
  • Calculus 2
  • University Physics 1
  • University Physics 2
  • Physics Lab

(27 credits total)

  • College Algebra
or
  • Introductory Calculus 1
  • Economics
  • Introduction to Global Music
  • Personal Wellness

(30 credits total)

  • College Algebra (3- and 4-semester program only)
  • Calculus 1
  • University Physics 1
  • Physics Lab
  • Organisms
  • Economics
or
  • Introduction to Global Music

When will you progress to continue your degree program?

Intake Study plan Progression to degree program*
Summer 2020 2-semester January 2021
3-semester May 2021
4-semester August 2021
Fall 2020 1-semester January 2021
2-semester May 2021
3-semester August 2021
4-semester January 2022

*A student's ISC study plan is determined by their arrival English placement test and can be longer or shorter than their original study plan in the offer letter. Student are required to complete their study plans at the ISC consecutively without skipping a semester. Students who have completed their ISC programs are eligible to take summer break. 

Academic credit

You will take 9 first-year-level courses - and have the opportunity to earn up to 28 credits. These credits count towards your bachelor's degree graduation requirements.

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