JMU Business School Experience

We love the JMU campus and it’s in-state for us. How has the instruction in business courses been? Have they received good support for internships and connecting with alumni for networking? If your child went in for finance (investment banking), did they get positions on Wall Street?

I’ve read people on here call the business school a direct admit program, but on the JMU Parents’ FB page, I see comments saying you don’t actually get into the business school until junior year, and it can be hard to get into. We are trying to compare JMU to IU (Kelley), OSU (Fisher) and Miami Ohio (Farmer), which are direct admit, but much more $$ for us (private schools, we are comparing are Elon and Fordham). My brain says JMU is best because it’s the most affordable and we know kids are happy there. But will it be a solid choice for an investment banking career compared to our other options?

Costs matter - you have to be able to afford the school - but reputationally JMU doesn’t approach any of the three you mentioned. It just doesn’t - especially IU. But it’s not worth putting your self in financial strain - even IU doesn’t do great with I Banking.

At IU, from last year, they report a mean salary of $74K and Median of $71K. Of course it’s major dependent. 1.7% are seeking employment.

Compare to JMU where the average is about 10% lower but 29% were seeking employment.

It doesn’t mean you shouldn’t choose JMU - and the savings may be worth it. A great kid with drive and determination will find their way.

COB_Viewbook_2022 - Powered by

Outcomes – KelleyConnect | Kelley School of Business (

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I didn’t realize 29% were still seeking employment when I last looked at these reports–that is not good. This report shows the 2021 class, at least for Finance, as being 90.5% employed (I think this is within 6 months of graduation):

We can probably get Elon and OSU to w/in $10K of the cost of JMU per year. Fordham would be nearly double even with their merit aid. I think out of these 4, JMU places the least in NYC/Chicago which could be why the salary is less.

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I mean JMU is a regional name. Where IU is near elite. OSU and Miami very solid.

There will be kids at JMU at Iu level and many successes. But it’s not a strong name.

Nor is Elon but it places really well and has become popular with the wealthy from the NE. Beautiful campus. Really nice but little in the immediate surrounds. I liked JMU but my daughter didn’t like due to the freeway and power plant on campus. Honestly all the big 4 Va Schools and CNU are really nice. Haven’t seen others but UVA, Va Tech, W&M and JMU - VA residents have great options for aesthetics.

Agree on salary.

If you’re confident in your kids hustle - so much today is based on indeed/linked so they can be fine if driven. they have to be there four years, day after day.

People on here would say Fordham for IB but it doesn’t show up on the feeder lists that I’ve seen.

Good luck. If cost and proximity to home matter then go JMU and don’t look back.

Or ask profs/career center about their IB track record. They showed a quant finance degree on the career page.

I didn’t realize there was a power plant right on campus. Where did your daughter decide to go? My kid doesn’t hustle compared to what I’ve seen with peers. I’m worried he’d take it too easy at JMU. Some of the ratemyprofessor reviews about JMU business profs are troubling and not the “one-off” comments, and I see similar statements in the JMU FB page. I don’t see that as much about the other schools, except IU (probably because their program is so large so one can expect some profs who really can’t teach material).

There are likely not great profs everywhere. But can you visit. See if these schools even work for you ? Talk to kids. IU is huge for example - in the B School.

If he’s not a hustler/ driven, IB not likely anyway. That’s a hard field. Hard driven, hours, etc.

Might have been this. As I recall we parked below or near the stadium. You walk past it onto campus. It turned my kid off but mainly the freeway did even though kids there say you don’t notice. She’s picky.

She’s at Charleston but not in business she’s in Poli Sci. She chose it over bigger publics including IU. It’s a preference / fit thing. But she has a tough major for job seeking. Business is much better !!

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@GKUnion might be able to help.

My D was accepted to JMU OOS and other business schools including UMD and Syracuse. She chose Elon because she preferred the small class sizes and Business Fellows opportunities. Each year Elon grads get jobs at Goldman Sachs and Big 4 accounting firms. If you don’t get many knowledgeable responses here, I’m sure JMU has the info somewhere about where their grads get jobs.

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Yes, Elon + Business Fellows = awesome (plus everyone was as happy as the students I met at JMU–did not get that sense at IU, but did at OSU). I just want to make sure we are doing our due diligence with these schools, and especially JMU at then in-state price point.


I graduated from the business school back in the dark ages. The overall program is strong and the new business building is very impressive. I don’t have IB specific information, but I can tell you I sat in classes with two Fortune 200 CEO’s and one Fortune 500 one. My non-business son that graduated in 2022 was employed within 40 days at around the IU mean mentioned above. His roommate had a pharma job lined up prior to graduation at a significantly higher salary.

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JMU’s College of Business is in a brand new building, which is nice. Students are directly admitted into the COB as freshmen, and they take core business classes during freshman and sophomore year. Like Micro and Macro Economics, two accounting classes, etc. The great thing is that unlike some place like UVA, JMU students are NOT competing against each other for a spot. As long as they meet the GPA requirements, they get to stay. That encourages more teamwork and makes for a less cut throat environment.

They take COB 300 fall of junior year. It’s a 12 credit curriculum and very unique to JMU. Students must get a certain grade in those classes in order to proceed with the business program. Info here: COB 300 - JMU

UVA and JMU share some of the same business professors. Someone I know who went to JMU said her professor told the class that JMU had a better program and was more intensive than UVA.

The only negative I heard was from a marketing major, who was annoyed that she didn’t get to take any marketing classes until spring of her junior year. (with the exception of the COB 300 marketing class). The same student, who graduated last year, got her dream job in fashion marketing for a well known company.

I have heard from JMU students that JMU alums are very helpful when they reach out for assistance. Lots of school spirit at JMU for sure.

That said, some prestigious investment banks will not stoop to recruit at JMU. They want more elite schools. But none of the others on your list really fit that profile either.


Do you think the BA degree that JMU offers makes a difference with the IB job hunt? The only BS degree we have seen in business at JMU is Quantitative Finance–the professor ratings are all over the map for them. With such difficult courses, I think you need really good teachers. My son is hesitant about getting a BA business degree since his interest if finance and IB.

Every school has bad profs. No question he will have to work harder from JMU than say IU but if you’re not busting tail you won’t get into IB anyway. And he can always work, get an MBA, then jump to IB.

You said your kid is not a hustler. So it may not be the right profession anyway. Does he even know what IB is ? Most don’t.

Bottom line - no matter where you go IB will be tough. IU and OSU might be considered stronger but all will be tough to land an IB job and unless he’s willing to work 60 hours or much more, he may decide it’s not right for him anyway.

It sounds like you want JMU sue to cost and are hoping someone can say - yes you can do IB.

And the answer is yes it’s possible but not likely. But that’s the same answer for the others although their general placement stats are stronger.

Good luck !!

My son committed to JMU last night and is going to be a business major. I am an alum but 20 years is a long time ago.

I am wondering if anyone here has experience with the CIS major with a concentration in business analytics?


Based on the data (see above), If you want to work in IB on Wall Street, prestige does matter so your best chances are a T30 school. Otherwise you probably have to make your own opportunities.

if you want to work for a Big 4 accounting firm, they recruit everywhere.

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My child is currently a junior at JMU and in the business school. Students are NOT directly admitted to COB. They have to earn a 2.7 GPA in a set of required prerequisite classes - including economics, business statistics, financial accounting, and more. That sounds easy enough, but you have to factor in the difference in professors. Will your child have any AP or college credits coming in? If not, they will get the last spots to register for classes because registration is based on how many credits you have. Those with more credits get to register first. Plus there are variations by professor - one ECON 200 professor may curve grades and award “+” or “-” grades, while another does not. Yet both count toward that minimum GPA you need for COB. So one student could earn a 79.56 and get a B- on their transcript (2.7), while another student with a different professor could get that same 79.56 and get a C on their transcript (2.0). That happened to my child. That being said my child has made it work. Good luck with the decision!

Yes, the difference in professors seems to be a common issue at JMU based on what I read in the parent FB group. I read that some give absolutely no feedback until the final exam because they don’t grade anything until then. I would find that unnecessarily stressful and unnerving as a student. Is there an online database of grades that people can access? This is something I see IU has and is used by students (along with ratemyprof) to smartly choose their classes.

I don’t know about a database of grades, but I highly recommend using rate my professor. Everyone is going to get bad reviews, but you can see overall trends which can be very enlightening. Also - if your child can get into the honors college (mine did after first semester freshman year), they get priority registration which bumps them to the front of the list (for their year) when registering for classes. Worth its weight in gold IMO.

JMU students essentially ARE directly admitted to the College of Business. Unless this was recently changed, when they get their JMU acceptance, it indicates that. Then, when they go to orientation, they are grouped together as COB majors. They take COB classes during freshman and sophomore year.

The “application” is really just a formality later on. Accordingly to the JMU website:

Students seeking a B.B.A. business degree will need to apply for formal acceptance to the College of Business to begin the COB 300 course and enroll in upper level business courses.

There is an application, but it is only to ensure that you have completed your lower core business courses with a GPA of 2.7 or above and are in good academic standing. There is no essay or other component required, and you are not put in competition with other students for placement."

It is NOT the same as at other schools where you apply to start your junior year with a big application and there is a chance you won’t get in. If you meet the GPA requirements, you stay. They aren’t competing against each other.

It is true that the students are not competing against each other and the application is simple once all requirements are met. However, it is not just a formality and there are numerous threads on the parent FB page where students have dropped their business majors and moved on to plan B because they could not meet the requirements for COB. My child lived this stress firsthand because he struggled in the business statistics classes COB 191 and 291 - both of which are notoriously difficult. So he spent a lot of time doing GPA calculations “If I get a C in COB 191 then what do I need to get in Accounting to make sure I still can get into COB” That’s not direct entry. It’s an additional requirement to get into COB, beyond just admission to JMU.

I think we are saying the same thing - just I’m pointing out that meeting the 2.7 GPA requirement may not be as easy as some people think it is. It’s not a slam dunk. And students considering JMU for business should go into it with their eyes open. If my child had a 2.6 GPA in the 7 required courses at many different schools, he could still be a Marketing major. At JMU, he would have to pick something else outside of COB.