Jacksonville State began in 1883 as a state teacher’s college. The normal school operated for nearly fifty years until, in 1930 it was renamed Jacksonville State Teachers College and given an increasingly important role in higher education. The College was accredited five years later and in 1957 created its first graduate program. It was given University status in 1966.
Jacksonville State University is accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools. Its mission statement characterizes the university as student-centered and says in part, “Jacksonville State University seeks to produce broadly educated graduates with skills for employment, citizenship, and life-long learning.” It is classed as a Master’s College and University I by the Carnegie Institute.
Jacksonville State University has academic programs at both the undergraduate and graduate level. There are 4 colleges: the College of Arts and Sciences, the College of Commerce and Business Administration, the College of Education and Professional Studies, and the College of Nursing and Health Sciences. There is also a Department of Military Science.
Bachelor’s degrees are offered in a variety of fields within the various academic colleges. Degrees at the bachelor’s level can be received in such areas as art, biology, English, emergency management, music, psychology, accounting, marketing, communication, education, and nursing. There are pre-professional programs in engineering, law, and many health areas. Minors can be taken in some fields.
Graduate programs include 22 master’s level programs in fields such as biology, criminal justice, education, liberal studies, library media, nursing, and public administration. The Educational Specialist (Ed.S.) degree is offered through the College of Education in education and in educational administration, with several different concentrations.
JSU’s largest College, Arts & Sciences, offers numerous majors in the arts and sciences, along with minors in a variety of disciplines. Some of the most popular majors include education, nursing, and criminal justice. The University’s teacher preparation program graduates more educators than any other Alabama university and has been training educators for more than 100 years. JSU offers a number of biological “subdisciplines,” including ecology, evolution, and molecular biology. There are also a number of pre-professional programs in medicine, dentistry, and physical therapy. The business, computer science, and technology disciplines are also very popular at JSU.
Most Popular Fields of Study
The Institute for Emergency Preparedness offers a Bachelor of Science in Emergency Management and three possible minors: Homeland Security, Public Safety Telecommunications, or Emergency Management. It is home to the Association of Public Safety Communication Officials International (APCO) “Virtual College” program, a web-based distance learning application for emergency professionals.
The Department of Criminal Justice is one of the most popular majors at JSU, and offers a Bachelor of Science in Criminal Justice. Many graduates go on to practice law or become law enforcement officials. Concentrations are available in Forensic Investigations, Law Enforcement, Security Administration/Loss Prevention, and Corrections. Internships are also available.
JSU offers a Bachelor of Arts in Political Science, including at least one course in Criminal Justice. Fields of specialization/concentration include Theory and Methodology, American Government, and Global Studies.
Jacksonville State University has an undergraduate Honors Program. Students who seek admission to the Honors Program need to meet the following requirements: 25 or higher in the English section of the ACT (610 or higher on the SAT verbal). Once admitted to the Honors Program, students will take smaller courses and be able to participate in special activities.
Distance learning programs are offered in some undergraduate and graduate programs. Students enrolled in distance learning programs will take part in courses on-line or through video-conferencing; some courses are also available on video tape.
Early in 2005, Jacksonville State University shipped over 11,000 books and many classroom supplies to Baghdad, to help in the revitalization of Baghdad University.
Jacksonville State offers a variety of options that make it possible for nearly any student from any educational background to gain admission to the University. For unconditional admission (with no additional curricular requirements), applicants who have completed high school or college prep courses and score either a 20 on the ACT or a 950 on the SAT will qualify. Students can still qualify for admission, though under specific conditions dictated by the Admissions office, if they score between a 17-19 on the ACT or between a 830-940 on the SAT. Students who have scored below 17 on the ACT or below 830 on the SAT may still qualify for admission under the ExSEL admission program. The ExSEL program requires students to participate in a summer developmental program and then complete the same curriculum required for conditional admission. For students who are interested in seeing the actual campus, campus tours are given hourly between 9:00 am and 3:00 pm (with a break for lunch between noon and 1:00 pm) Monday through Friday. Tour participants will not only get to see the campus, but also consult with an admissions counselor and have lunch with actual students who are available to answer questions.
Jacksonville State University has an open undergraduate admissions deadline of. The application fee is $30. Applications can be submitted on-line. Students who are enrolled in high school at the time of application will need to have their official final high school transcripts sent after graduation to the Admissions Office.
As part of their application, students should submit high school transcripts and ACT or SAT test scores. Students must generally meet the following minimum requirements: high school graduation and an ACT score of 20 or SAT score of 950.
Transfer students and international students will have varying requirements depending upon their prior educational background.
Students applying to the graduate programs at Jacksonville State University should consult the individual department and/or school to which they are applying. Applications can be submitted on-line, and the application fee is $20. General requirements include the GRE or other appropriate test scores (such as the GMAT) and a bachelor’s degree. The graduate application deadline is a minimum of three months prior to the desired term of enrollment.
Three quarters of JSU students receive some kind of financial aid package. Over $30 million in aid was awarded during the most recent academic year, the largest program being the Federal Stafford Loan. Other programs include Pell Grants, SEOG grants, work-study, the Alabama State Grant, and other forms of federal and state aid. JSU requires a scholarship application separate from the admissions application, and students are encouraged to complete it along with their FAFSA as soon as possible. Departmental scholarships are common, and students with a particular major in mind should consult with their department of choice to determine what opportunities exist for them. University scholarship opportunities include Elite Scholars (3.5 GPA, full tuition and housing), Faculty Scholars (3.0 GPA, 75% – 100% tuition), and Leadership scholarships (2.5% GPA, based on proven leadership roles). There are also a number of athletic scholarships available.
Tuition at Jacksonville State University is $2,020 per semester for the 2005-2006 academic year for in-state, undergraduate students attending full-time. Students applying from out of state and graduate students have higher costs.
Financial aid is available in the form of grants, scholarships, and loans. Work-study programs are also available for some students; applicants should consult the Financial Aid Office for the deadline, as work-study and some other programs have limited funding. Students who seek financial aid will need to fill out the Federal Student Financial Aid Form, available on-line.
Graduate students may also receive financial aid in the form of assistantships, including a stipend and a waiver of some or all of the tuition and other fees. Graduate students should consult with their individual department about what sort of assistantships or fellowships are available and about the details of the application process. Many of the positions are non-teaching and administrative positions.
Student Financial Aid Details
A unique aspect of Jacksonville State is that every student is a member of the Student Government, and there is even a special segment for freshmen. JSU is home to nine fraternities and eight sororities, and all Greek organization members must maintain a minimum grade point average to continue participating. JSU is home to dozens of other professional clubs and special interest groups. There are a number of residential and academic communities available, including International House, where every year 20 American and 20 international students reside together and share their studies. There are also 18 different musical organizations available for students to join. Residence opportunities include two male halls, two female halls, and three co-ed residences.
Student life at Jacksonville State University includes opportunities in a diverse range of activities and organizations. Special interest groups include the Society for Creative Anachronism, the Virgin Scribes Guild, and the Model Arab League. Other organizations include professional, religious, and service groups, fraternities and sororities. Intramural sports include badminton, flag football, putt-putt golf, and volleyball. Students have the opportunity to write for the newspaper, help produce the yearbook, or work for the campus radio station.
Student Enrollment Demographics
Student Graduation Demographics
The Jacksonville State University Gamecocks compete in the NCAA and the Ohio Valley Conference. Sports include baseball, cross country, football (Division I-AA), rifle, softball, volleyball, women’s soccer, women’s track & field, and men’s and women’s basketball, golf, and tennis. The Gamecocks have a fan base known to be supportive and have some very good turnouts at all of their athletic events. The Gamecocks football team won their division’s title in 2003 and 2004. In 2004 the volleyball team posted a 21-9 overall record, with an impressive 9-1 record at home. They were 10-6 against conference opponents. The men’s basketball team posted a 12-2 home record while finishing the 2004 season at 14-14 overall. The women’s basketball team also had a good record at home, 11-2, while their overall record was somewhat better than the men’s team at 18-10. the athletics department provides student-athletes with access to various academic support services to ensure their participants excel in the classroom and on the field of play. The CHAMPS/Life Skills program provides academic advising, mentoring, and a curriculum for all incoming athletes that supports academic achievement.
Jacksonville State University is an NCAA Division I School. Teams compete in the Ohio Valley Conference. Men’s sports include baseball, basketball, cross country, football, golf, rifle, and tennis. Women’s sports include basketball, cross country, golf, rifle, soccer, softball, tennis, track & field, and volleyball. The sports teams are supported by a spirit squad, which includes co-educational and an all-women’s cheerleading squads. There is also a mascot, “Cocky.” The team nick-name is the Gamecocks.
Athletic facilities at Jacksonville State University include the Pete Mathews Coliseum, tennis courts, fields for baseball, soccer, and softball, and a recently improved football stadium.
Among the championships and awards that Jacksonville State University has received are conference championship appearance in 2005 in baseball, the 2004-2005 women’s all-sports trophy in the Ohio Valley Conference, and a men’s conference championship in tennis in 2005.
Student athletes receive academic support from the university from the Academic Center foe Excellence. Athletes also participate in the CHAMPS/ Life Skills Program, which includes a mentor program, advising, and student community service.