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James Madison College

A dynamic undergraduate experience in public affairs and international relations, combining the best of a small liberal arts college with a large research university

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What is James Madison College?

James Madison College (JMC) is a residential college where students studying public affairs and international relations receive personalized instruction while living together in the same residence hall. JMC offers students easy access to a wide range of campus resources, including faculty offices, academic advisers, classrooms, dining facilities and a library. Beyond traditional classroom learning, the college encourages civic engagement and global perspectives, promoting diversity, critical thinking and social justice.

Why James Madison?

  • Small class sizes
  • Lively class discussions that encourage participation
  • Faculty double as advisers
  • First-year mentorship program and other extracurriculars
  • Diverse career options upon graduation
  • All the benefits of a small liberal arts college combined with the opportunities of a large, Big Ten university


student-faculty ratio


employed or enrolled in graduate programs post graduation

No. 2

learning community among all public colleges and universities


Four majors. Endless possibilities.

Comparative cultures and politics

The comparative cultures and politics major explores global cultural perspectives, their role in power dynamics, and their interaction with politics and economics, equipping students with interdisciplinary skills to tackle global challenges.

International relations

The international relations major focuses on international security, global governance, foreign policy of the United States and other countries, and comparative, regional and cultural studies.

Political theory and constitutional democracy

The political theory and constitutional democracy major uses history and philosophy to examine political communities and the principles that animate them.

Social relations and policy

The social relations and policy major focuses on sociology, history and politics of intergroup relations. Intersectionality of class, race, ethnicity, sex/gender, religious belief and national identity are closely examined.

What can you do with a degree from James Madison?

Madison graduates pursue opportunities in a diverse array of professional spaces, including roles in business, education, government, intelligence, international affairs, law, media, nonprofits, politics, public health, public relations, research and sustainability.

Alumni work at: 

  • Central Intelligence Agency
  • Google
  • The New York Times
  • Peace Corps
  • United Nations

Alumni work as: 

  • Diplomats
  • Consultants
  • Educators
  • Government Affairs Specialists
  • Policy Analysts

How to apply

To apply, simply select “James Madison College” as your major preference on your MSU undergraduate application for admission.