West Virginia University (WVU) is a public research university located in Morgantown, West Virginia. In addition to its central campus in Morgantown, the university also has campuses in Montgomery (West Virginia University Institute of Technology), Keyser (Potomac State College of West Virginia University), and Charleston (where the University has a small clinical campus for its medical and dental schools at the Charleston Area Medical Center). Through its extension service, WVU provides outreach for students located throughout the state of West Virginia.
Annual enrollment at WVU's main campus is roughly 29,000. Total university enrollment for all campuses is about 32,000. WVU offers an extensive selection of 193 degree programs at the bachelor's, master's, and doctoral level. The University also offers professional degree programs through its academic colleges.
West Virginia University offers excellent academic programs and over the years has produced 39 Goldwater Scholars, 24 Rhodes Scholars, 22 Truman Scholars, 3 winners of the Morris K. Udall Undergraduate Scholarship, and 5 members of USA Today's "All-USA College Academic First Team".
While WVU is well-known for its academic programs, it's just as well-known for its "vibrant" student life and extra-curricular activities. For the first time ever, WVU achieved the #1 ranking on Princeton Review's list of top 20 party schools in the United States; an achievement that most WVU administrators may not be particularly proud of, but a noteworthy achievement nonetheless.
The Carnegie Foundation for the Advancement of Teaching classifies WVU as a Research University with "High Research Activity". WVU, along with external sources, invests nearly $200 million a year in research projects. The university is involved in research relating to Alzheimers and other brain diseases (through the Blanchette Rockefeller Neuroscience Institute), and is the FBI's main academic partner in biometrics research.
Over the years WVU has received top rankings as a research college and top national university in many areas. According to the Wall Street Journal, WVU's engineering program was ranked 23rd in the nation by employers for producing the most qualified graduates.
Colleges and Schools
West Virginia University is composed of 15 academic colleges and schools, and also an Honors College, and the University College which provides coordinated academic services to Undergraduate Studies students (previously General Studies students and pre-majors). Each college offers a variety of degree programs for students to choose from. Colleges at WVU include:
- Benjamin M. Statler College of Engineering and Mineral Resources
- College of Business and Economics
- College of Creative Arts
- College of Education and Human Services
- College of Physical Activity and Sports Sciences
- Davis College of Agriculture, Natural Resources, and Design
- Eberly College of Arts and Science
- Honors College
- Reed College of Media
- Potomac State College of WVU
- School of Nursing
- School of Pharmacy
- University College
- West Virginia University College of Law
- West Virginia University Institute of Technology
- West Virginia University School of Public Health
- West Virginia University School of Dentistry
- West Virginia University School of Medicine
Of its 15 colleges, the Eberly College of Arts and Sciences is by far the largest, oldest, and most diverse. Established in 1895, the college includes many of the University's main academic disciplines, including: literature and humanities; social and behavioral sciences; mathematics; and natural resources.
Unique Areas of Study offered at WVU
One of the most renowned areas of study at WVU is in Forensic and Investigative Science. WVU's Forensic and Investigative Science program was developed through a partnership with the FBI, is nationally recognized, is accredited by the American Academy of Forensic Sciences, and is the official library repository for the International Association of Identification (IAI). Specific areas of focus within the program include: forensic entomology; forensic accounting and fraud; bloodstain pattern analysis and biological evidence aging; dactylography and fractal analysis of fingerprints; criminology and investigative science; forensic toxicology; computer forensics; forensic odontology; and forensic textile research. The Forensic and Investigative Science program at WVU includes traditional laboratory and classroom experience as well as hands-on training in "crime-scene" houses and vehicles that can be manipulated to provide students a more real world experience.
Another unique area of study at WVU is Biometrics. This field of study is an engineering-centric discipline that focuses on the identification of humans (both individuals and groups) by certain unique characteristics and traits. WVU is the first institution of higher learning in the world to offer a bachelor's degree (Bachelor of Science) in Biometric Systems. The program is designed to help students develop an in-depth understanding of the computer and electrical engineering disciplines employed in biometrics. In 2003, WVU founded the Student Society for the Advancement of Biometrics (the first student society of its kind) and in 2008 was recognized as the national leader for the FBI's biometric research. WVU collaborates with several other academic institutions in its research efforts.
U.S. News and World Report ranks Western Virginia University as a Tier 1 University with a National University rank of 164. Among public colleges and universities in the United States WVU is ranked 89. Many of the University's colleges, departments, and programs are also ranked independently. In 2012, WVU's Medical School was ranked 9th in the nation for rural medicine by U.S. News and World Report.
The main campus for Western Virginia University is the Morgantown campus, sometimes referred to as the Downtown Campus. It is the University's original campus and includes three sub-campuses. This campus is situated in the Monongahela River Valley near the fringes of Morgantown and includes 8 historic buildings that are now registered with the National Register of Historic Places.
Located a few miles northwest of the Downtown Campus, on a rise above the Monongahela River flood plain, is the Evansdale Campus. This campus was established in the 1950s to accommodate a large influx in the number of students at the Downtown Campus (which lacked growing space).
The third campus, the Health Sciences Campus, is also located on the fringes of Morgantown and is home to the Erma Byrd Biomedical Research Facility, Robert C. Byrd Health Sciences Center, Ruby Memorial Hospital, Chestnut Ridge Hospital, WVU Healthcare Physicians Office Center, Mary Babb Randolph Cancer Center, Blanchette Rockefeller Neurosciences Institute, the WVU Children's Hospital, and the WVU Eye Institute.
The Health Sciences Campus is located just over a ridge from the Evansdale Campus.
In 1972 the University constructed the Personal Rapid Transit (PRT) system in order to link WVU's three main campuses (Downtown, Evansdale, and Health Sciences) and make commuting between each campus easy and affordable for students and faculty. Students, faculty, and staff at WVU can take advantage of the PRT system by paying a low fee at the beginning of each semester. Each time they enter a PRT station all they do is swipe a magnetically encoded ID card through the turnstiles. WVU's PRT system employs about 70 cars that transport about 16,000 riders a day.
The PRT system has about 9 miles of track and five terminals: Beechurst, Walnut, Engineering, Medical/Health Sciences, and Towers. Each electric transportation car has 8 seats and can hold up to 20 people. The PRT system at Western Virginia University was recognized as one of the top 10 engineering achievements by the National Society of Professional Engineers in 1972. However, due to its high maintenance costs, the system has not been replicated at other locations.
Reader's Digest recently ranked WVU as one of the safest college campuses in the United States. The university employs a text-based quick alert system for communicating emergencies to faculty, students, and staff, and there are 37 emergency phones strategically placed throughout all WVU campuses.
As we already mentioned, in addition to a superb academic program, WVU offers quite a "vibrant" student life. In fact, Princeton Review recently ranked Western Virginia University as the #1 party school in the nation for 2013, up five spots from #6 in 2012. So if you want a top-rated education from a top-ranked party school, then WVU may be just the place for you.
However, WVU has much more to offer than non-stop partying. It's the University's events, recreational activities, and myriad of student organizations that make WVU's campus life worth talking about.
The first day of classes each year, the University sponsors its Fallfest celebration at the Mountainlair Student Union building to usher in a new year and welcome students back to school with an evening of food, fun, and entertainment. Fallfest was established in 1995 as an alternative to wild partying and is now one of the largest student events at WVU. Renowned artists and musicians including Black Eyed Peas, Third Eye Blind, Daughtry, and Ludacris have all performed at Fallfest. Other traditional Fallfest activities include a comedy show, film festival, dance party and various musical performances. While over 15,000 students attend or participate in Fallfest, it does not appear to have curbed the University's appetite for partying.
Other popular campus events include Mountaineer Week (a celebration of WVU's Appalachian heritage), a beard-growing competition, the Lighting of Woodburn Hall (a Christmas celebration), Fall Family Weekend (an opportunity for students and family members to experience WVU together), Homecoming at West Virginia (includes a popular homecoming parade), and Greek Week (which provides a venue for various competitions between the University's numerous fraternities and sororities).
The Mountainlair Student Union, referred to as "the Lair" by WVU students, encompasses three floors of the the University's student union building. The Lair offers students a variety of recreational opportunities, including ballrooms for dancing, an extensive video game arcade, a bowling alley, movie theater, a cafeteria, and a large selection of fast food restaurants.
On weekends students can participate in "Up All Night" which provides a safe environment for socializing into the wee hours of morning. During spring and fall semesters, "Up All Night" is hosted by the Mountainlair every Thursday through Saturday. Common "Up All Night" activities include comedy caravans, astro bowling, casino night, game shows, and laser tag. The "Up All Night" program costs the University a reported $350,000 a year.
WVU has a 177,000 square-feet student recreation center that offers students a six-lane Olympic size swimming pool, an extensive weight lifting and cardio facility, a Jacuzzi, an elevated running track, volleyball and badminton courts, basketball courts, racquetball courts, and a very tall climbing wall. Services provided at the recreation center include personal training, exercise classes, wellness programs, various intramural activities, and day care.
The Mountaineer Adventure Program (MAP), designed to provide guidance to first and second year students, offers various outdoor orientation activities and expeditions such as Challenge Course, Adventure WV, and International Trips. The Challenge Course teaches students teamwork and problems solving skills and the International Trips program offers students the opportunity to study abroad and visit exotic destination locations. Best of all, many MAP activities allow students to earn credit hours while they're participating in their outdoor activities.
Finally, WVU has an Outdoor Recreation Center designed to help students find fun outdoor recreational activities in the local area and throughout West Virginia. Activities sponsored by the University's outdoor recreation center include hiking through the Monongahela Forest, rafting the whitewater of Cheat River, and climbing, fishing, biking, and skiing in various regions of West Virginia. A unique aspect of WVU's main campus is that it's situated among a plethora of walking, running, and biking trails that provide access to a large variety of outdoor recreation activities and allow for fun, fulfilling daytrips.
There are over 300 academic, religious, military, cultural, political, athletic, and recreational student-run organizations and clubs at West Virginia University – and more are added each year. In fact, by completing and submitting the required paperwork, any group of students can form their own student organization that can be officially recognized by the University. Some of the larger students groups and organizations at WVU include the following:
- Student Government Association (SGA) represents the needs and desires of WVU students and acts as liaison between students and University administration. By enacting resolutions and representing student's interests, SGA attempts to improve campus life for all WVU students. Each year SGA seeks to fill many positions which include President, Vice President, Attorney General, Secretary, Treasurer, Housing Director, Elections Chair, Public Relations Chair, and the Executive Director of the "Mountaineer Maniacs".
- The Mountaineer Maniacs is the WVU student section for all athletic events and is the largest student organization on campus. Due to its popularity, the Maniacs have capped enrollment to 3,000 students. The mission of the organization is to promote athletic team awareness and engender good sportsmanship.
- Society of Women Engineers (SWE) was established to help women get involved, and succeed, in the fields of engineering. SWE activities, projects, and initiatives aim at helping women reach their full potential as students, professionals, and leaders within the discipline of engineering.
- Students for Sensible Drug Policy (SSDP) is a liberal, grassroots network of students who believe that the war on drugs causes more damage than the drugs themselves. SSDP attempts to create awareness of current drug policies and advocates for the introduction of "more sensible" drug policies and education. Specifically, SSDP members are proponents of medical amnesty policies, comprehensive drug education, and safe access to medical marijuana.
Greek Life, Fraternities, and Sororities
About 15% of students at West Virginia University are involved in Greek life. Currently WVU recognizes 17 fraternities and 9 sororities. Recognized fraternities include Alpha Gamma Rho, Beta Theta Pi, Phi Gamma Delta (FIJI), Kappa Sigma, Phi Kappa Psi, Phi Sigma Kappa, Pi Kappa Alpha, Kappa Alpha Order, Pi Kappa Phi, Sigma Alpha Mu, Sigma Alpha Epsilon, Sigma Chi, Sigma Phi Epsilon, Phi Delta Theta, Sigma Nu, Tau Kappa Epsilon, and Theta Chi. Recognized sororities include Alpha Phi, Alpha Omicron Pi, Delta Gamma, Alpha Xi Delta, Chi Omega, Pi Beta Phi, Kappa Kappa Gamma, and Sigma Kappa. There is also a chapter of Zeta Delta Phi, but it is not officially recognized.
Athletics at WVU is part of the school's history, culture, and everyday student life. The Mountaineer Maniacs, the student section for all athletic events, is by far the largest and most popular student organization/club on campus. Sports teams at WVU are collectively referred to as the Mountaineers and they compete in the NCAA's Division I. Currently WVU has 17 college sports teams and has a long history of winning national championships in various events.
Admissions and Records Office
PO Box 6009
Morgantown, WV 26506-6009
Fax: (304) 293-3080
Contact: Marlynn Potts
Director of Admissions and Records
PO Box 6201, President's Office
Morgantown, WV 26506-6201
Total undergrads: 21,930
First-time degree-seeking freshmen: 5,135
Degree-seeking undergrads: 21,930
Graduate enrollment: 5,529
College has an application fee: Yes
Regular application fee: $25
Out-of-state application fee: $40
Online application fee: $25
Percent applicants admitted: 88%
Percent students who return for sophomore year: 81%
Tuition & Fees
|Estimated Expenses for Academic Year||2008-'09||2009-'10||2010-'11||2011-'12||% change 2010-'12|
|Tuition and fees||$4,722||$5,100||$5,304||$5,406||+1.92%|
|Books and Supplies||$900||$1,160||$1,178||$1,144||-2.89%|
|Living Arrangement – On Campus|
|Room and Board||$7,046||$7,202||$7,770||$7,868||+1.26%|
|Living Arrangement – Off Campus|
|Room and Board||$7,670||$7,056||$6,786||$7,317||+7.82%|
|Total Expenses||2008-'09||2009-'10||2010-'11||2011-'12||% change 2010-'12|
|In-state On Campus||$14,608||$15,422||$16,034||$16,642||+3.79%|
|In-state Off Campus||$15,712||$15,636||$15,734||$16,091||+2.27%|
|In-state with Family||$5,622||$6,260||$6,482||$6,550||+1.05%|
|Average Graduate School Tuition & Fees|
|Tuition for In-state Students||$6,180|
|In-state Student Fees||$0|
|Tuition for Out-of-state Students||$17,704|
|Out-of-state Student Fees||$0|
|Full-time Beginning Undergraduate Students|
|Type of Aid||Students||Percent||Amount||Average Per Student|
|All students financial aid||4,299||84%|
|Grant or scholarship aid||3,642||71%||$20,001,703||$5,492|
|– Federal grants||1,065||21%||$4,127,070||$3,875|
|– Pell grants||997||20%||$3,287,052||$3,297|
|– Other federal grants||778||15%||$840,018||$1,080|
|Institutional scholarships or grants||2,079||41%||$8,649,908||$4,161|
|Institutional grants or scholarships||2,610||51%||$7,224,725||$2,768|
|Student loan financial aid||2,595||51%||$12,864,755||$4,958|
|– Federal student loans||2,595||51%||$12,852,080||$4,953|
|– Other student loans||5||0%||$12,675||$2,535|
All Degrees and Programs
|Program Completions for Most Recent Year||BA/BS||MA/MS||Doctor||AA/AS||CERT|
|Total of All Education Programs||3979||1475||597||–||–|
|Plant Sciences, Other||16||4||–||–||–|
|Architecture and Related Services||27||–||–||–||–|
|Biology and Biomedical Sciences||261||15||20||–||–|
|Biochemistry and Molecular Biology||–||–||5||–||–|
|Biology and Biological Sciences, General||137||1||2||–||–|
|Cell/Cellular Biology and Anatomical Sciences, Other||–||–||2||–||–|
|Microbiological Sciences and Immunology, Other||–||–||3||–||–|
|Business, Administration, Management, Marketing, etc.||497||217||7||–||–|
|Business Administration and Management||128||–||–||–||–|
|Business Administration, Management and Operations, Other||–||21||–||–||–|
|Labor and Industrial Relations||–||38||–||–||–|
|Management Information Systems||29||–||–||–||–|
|Communication and Journalism Programs||348||147||2||–||–|
|Communication, Journalism, and Related Programs, Other||119||65||2||–||–|
|Public Relations, Advertising, and Applied Communication, Other||–||78||–||–||–|
|Computing and Information Sciences||34||9||3||–||–|
|Computer and Information Sciences, Other||7||–||–||–||–|
|Agricultural Teacher Education||18||8||–||–||–|
|Counselor Education/School Counseling and Guidance Services||–||30||–||–||–|
|Educational Leadership and Administration||–||39||–||–||–|
|Elementary Education and Teaching||–||106||–||–||–|
|Physical Education Teaching and Coaching||78||107||–||–||–|
|Reading Teacher Education||–||45||–||–||–|
|Secondary Education and Teaching||–||78||–||–||–|
|Special Education and Teaching||–||65||–||–||–|
|Aerospace, Aeronautical and Astronautical/Space Engineering||45||3||–||–||–|
|Computer Software Engineering||–||13||–||–||–|
|Electrical and Electronics Engineering||41||24||–||–||–|
|Environmental/Environmental Health Engineering||–||2||–||–||–|
|Mining and Mineral Engineering||10||4||–||–||–|
|English Language, Composition and Literature/Letters||103||22||–||–||–|
|English Language and Literature||103||9||–||–||–|
|Professional, Technical, Business, and Scientific Writing||–||2||–||–||–|
|Foreign Languages, Literatures, and Linguistics||36||34||–||–||–|
|Foreign Languages and Literatures||36||34||–||–||–|
|Health Services and Allied Health Sciences||334||180||295||–||–|
|Audiology/Audiologist and Speech-language Pathology/Pathologist||42||–||–||–||–|
|Clinical Laboratory Science/Medical Technology/Technologist||26||–||–||–||–|
|Community Health Services/Liaison/Counseling||–||10||–||–||–|
|Dental Clinical Sciences||–||6||–||–||–|
|Pharmaceutics and Drug Design||–||–||6||–||–|
|Registered Nursing/Registered Nurse||243||44||–||–||–|
|Vocational Rehabilitation Counseling/Counselor||–||21||–||–||–|
|Homeland Security, Law Enforcement, Firefighting and Related Protective Services||46||2||–||–||–|
|Forensic Science and Technology||46||2||–||–||–|
|Legal and Law Studies||–||11||130||–||–|
|Legal Professions and Studies, Other||–||11||–||–||–|
|Liberal Arts and Sciences, General Studies and Humanities||223||1||–||–||–|
|Liberal Arts and Sciences/Liberal Studies||86||1||–||–||–|
|Mathematics and Statistics||22||25||3||–||–|
|Multi-/Interdisciplinary Studies, Other||406||–||–||–||–|
|Science, Technology and Society||–||1||–||–||–|
|Natural Resources and Conservation||71||19||11||–||–|
|Forest Management/Forest Resources Management||26||–||–||–||–|
|Forest Sciences and Biology||–||–||6||–||–|
|Natural Resource Economics||–||–||5||–||–|
|Wildlife, Fish and Wildlands Science and Management||36||7||–||–||–|
|Wood Science and Wood Products/Pulp and Paper Technology||9||–||–||–||–|
|Parks, Recreation, Leisure, and Fitness Studies||113||6||3||–||–|
|Health and Physical Education/Fitness||94||–||–||–||–|
|Health and Physical Education/Fitness, Other||–||–||3||–||–|
|Parks, Recreation and Leisure Facilities Management||19||6||–||–||–|
|Geology and Earth Science||22||9||3||–||–|
|Political Science and Government||88||16||6||–||–|
|Visual and Performing Arts||173||19||6||–||–|
|Art History, Criticism and Conservation||1||–||–||–||–|
|Design and Visual Communications||72||–||–||–||–|
|Drama and Dramatics/Theater Arts||14||–||–||–||–|
|Theater Literature, History and Criticism||8||–||–||–||–|
|Visual and Performing Arts||–||1||–||–||–|
|Work and Family Studies||42||–||–||–||–|
Above data represent first majors only.
(-) Indicates that program is not offered at this award level.
Agriculture & Related Sciences
Agricultural Business B
Architecture & Related Programs
Landscape Architecture B
Arts, Visual & Performing
Art – General B
Biological & Biomedical Sciences
Business, Management, & Marketing
Communications & Journalism
Computer & Information Sciences
Biometric systems B
Agricultural Education B
Aeronautical/Aerospace Engineering B
English Language & Literature
English Language & Literature – General B
Family & Consumer Sciences
Child Development B
Foreign Language & Literature
Foreign Language & Literature – General B
Health Professions & Clinical Sciences
Athletic Training/Sports Medicine B
History – General B
Liberal Arts & Sciences
General Studies B
Mathematics – General B
Natural Resources & Conservation
Forest Management B
Parks, Recreation & Fitness
Exercise Sciences B
Philosophy & Religion
Psychology – General B
Public Administration & Services
Social Work B
Security & Protective Services
Criminalistics/Criminal Science B
Degree levels for each major are designated by the following letters:|
B = Bachelor's degree
C = Certificate or diploma
*We do not guarantee the accuracy of information on this page. All information is subject to change. You should confirm all information with a college admissions officer.