James Madison University


In 1988, driven by change at an unprecedented speed and the need for Virginia to maintain a strong leadership position among states,

Virginia’s General Assembly created the Commission on the University in the 21st Century to recommend changes in higher education in Virginia. 

In November 1989, the Commission called for innovative approaches to education that would help meet part of the demand created by a predicted 25,000 additional students in Virginia’s higher educational system early in the next century.

James Madison University established its own Commission for a Greater University, anticipating the Virginia Commission’s recommendations for change, which formulated several initiatives, the most significant being a proposal to establish a new College of Applied Science and Technology. 

In August 1989, President Ronald Carrier named the members of a blue-ribbon panel to review this proposal.  This college, subsequently renamed The College of Integrated Science and Technology (CISAT), embodied the spirit as well as the specifics of the reforms needed in Virginia’s higher education. 

In January 1990, the blue-ribbon panel presented its report, urging that
the Commonwealth commit to the creation of CISAT, and that JMU proceed with preparations for the new college.

In January 1992, the Commonwealth committed to the creation of CISAT, and a pilot program was begun.  At that point, the college included two programs: Computer Science, and the new and innovative undergraduate degree program in Integrated Science and Technology (ISAT).

In 1993, the State Commission of Higher Education for Virginia (SCHEV) officially approved the ISAT Program, and in the fall of that year, 65 freshmen declared themselves ISAT majors.  The 1993-94 school year became the first full year of the ISAT program.

In 1996, realizing their common, interdisciplinary, applied-science approach to problem solving, the Geographic Science program (GS) split off from the Geology Department and joined the ISAT Department.

In 2008, the Intelligence Analysis program (IA) began. The program was added to the ISAT Department in an effort to meet the needs of the government and industry for highly trained intelligence analysts.  IA shares the cross-disciplinary focus of both ISAT and GS and adds new sets of analytical tools to a department that is continually growing and adapting to meet the needs of life in the 21st century.

In 2008, ISAT receives a ABET accreditation in the Applied Science category.  The program is the first such accreditation of a four-year university in that category, and is awarded a full six-year accreditation, plus retroactive accreditation for the previous two years. 

In 2012, The ISAT Department joins the Departments of Engineering and Computer Science in the new College of Integrated Science and Engineering (CISE), when the College of Integrated Science and Technology (CISAT) splits. 


  • University Hours
    May 11 - August 21
    8:00 a.m. - 5:00 p.m. Monday Thursday.
    8:00 a.m. - noon on Friday.

ISAT Study Abroad Opportunities