This is an archived copy of the 2012-13 Catalog. To access the most recent version of the catalog, please visit http://catalog.wvu.edu.

Advising, Degrees, and Graduation

Page Contents:

Abbreviations Used in Course Listings

Abbreviation Description
Ia course given in the first (fall) semester
IIa course given in the second (spring) semester
I, IIa course given each semester
I and IIa course given throughout the year
Yra course continued through two semesters
Sa course given in the summer
HRcredit hours per course
Leclecture period
Recrecitation period
Lablaboratory period
GLABgraded lab
WEBWeb-based course
ConcMust register prior to or at the same time
PRprerequisite
Coreqcorequisite
Consentconsent of instructor required
CRcredit but no grade

Academic Advising

Freshmen and transfer students enter West Virginia University as general studies, pre-majors or direct admits to their majors, depending on individual academic program admission requirements. The requirements to enter a major may include a minimum number of credit hours, specific prerequisite coursework, a minimum or competitive grade point average, and/or an entrance exam. For specific program entry requirements, refer to individual degree and major programs in this catalog.

Every student at West Virginia University has access to academic advising. Direct admit students who have matriculated into their majors and some first and second-year pre-majors are advised by staff and faculty in their respective academic units. The Undergraduate Advising Services Center (UASC) advises the majority of first-year pre-majors, many second year pre-majors, as well as ACCESS, part-time, and non-degree students. Students who are undecided on their majors also are advised in the UASC under general studies until they select a major.

WVU students are required to meet with their academic advisors prior to registering for classes each semester. Advisors assist students in understanding major and university requirements; course registration planning and processes; program and course prerequisites; the General Education Curriculum (GEC); and academic standing (e.g. probation and suspension); In addition, advisors and academic mentors may assist students with planning for post-baccalaureate education and careers

Students are expected to become familiar with the Undergraduate Catalog, as it relates to their academic goals and standing; be able to articulate their major and University requirements and prepare for their own course planning and registration processes; use the various majors’ websites; and make full use of academic advising. 


Commitment to Assessment

The West Virginia University Assessment Council (WVUAC) works with the main WVU campus and divisional campuses to provide resources devoted to sharing best assessment practices, and enhancing student learning through assessment activities. The WVUAC holds monthly meetings to review and provide counsel to program-level assessment activities submitted as part of BOG Program Reviews, and its goals includes strengthening the effectiveness of assessment programs at all levels aimed at enhancing students learning; assisting and helping to create an institutional culture of assessment; aligning the institutional assessment plan with the WVU mission, and serving as an institutional clearinghouse for assessment best practices from around the country.


Credit Hours

West Virginia University courses offered for credit are based on semester hours. Semesters are 15 weeks long plus one week for final exams. A single credit hour is equivalent to 50 minutes of guided instruction within the classroom. An hour of preparation, or related activity outside of the classroom, is equivalent to 60 minutes.

Face-to-Face Classroom Learning

One credit hour is equivalent to one hour of guided instruction (50 minute class) and a minimum of two hours of out-of-class student work each week for approximately 15 weeks for one semester or the equivalent amount of work over a different amount of time such as during the summer sessions, which may be variable. One credit hour in other academic activities, as established by the institution, including laboratory work, internships, practicums, studio work, study abroad, experiential learning opportunities, online learning and other academic work is defined at least by an equivalent amount of work as required in the preceding paragraph and outlined in more detail below.

Online Classroom Learning

One credit hour of online learning is equivalent to 15 hours of direct instruction via computer-assisted (modules), multi-media interaction, discussions, and/or engagement for exams/quizzes/assessments as documented in the course syllabus and approved to meet best practices in online learning, and 30 hours of student work (e.g. readings, supplemental home work) to complete the course requirements as set forth by the course instructor. Online courses developed from existing face-to-face instruction adhere to the defined learning outcomes and assessments of the original face-to-face format for the course. All WVU online programs are reviewed for nationally accepted standards for online learning.

Experiential Learning

In experiential learning, including opportunities representing laboratory/lecture courses, undergraduate research (with or without laboratory), professional development internships, and service learning, a total of three hours of classroom and preparation time per week over a period of fifteen weeks for one credit hour or the equivalent amount of work over a shorter period of time is required. Courses must incorporate adequate opportunities to document student progress and student completion of the stated learning objectives for each experience.

Study Abroad

One credit hour is equivalent to 15 hours of guided instruction and 30 hours of cultural, linguistic or other types of engagements as described by the syllabus and approved by the faculty, department Chair, Dean, and Associate Provost. Exceptions to this general rule would need to be justified and approved on an individual basis.

Studio/Ensemble Work

In studio courses representing the arts, design, and theatre, one credit hour is equivalent to 1.5 hours of guided instruction and three hours for studio class preparation each week for 15 weeks as defined by the National Association of Schools of Art and Design (NASAD). In accordance with the National Association of Schools of Music standards, one credit hour of ensemble work in the music field represents three hours of practice each week, on average, for a period of fifteen weeks plus the necessary individual instruction as defined by the major subject.

Variable Credit Offerings

Variable credit courses often represent student experiences that range in contact hours based on the focus and discipline of the experience. Practicums (teaching and research), field experience, undergraduate and graduate research and laboratory rotations and credit, and independent studies offer a range of contact. One credit hour is equivalent to 15 contact hours of guided instruction (e.g., student progress meetings, assessment) and 30 hours of student work to complete the requirements set forth by the advisor or course instructor (e.g., team meetings, review sessions, thesis/dissertation preparation)over a 15 week period. Instructors/Mentors and students should discuss the appropriate number of total credit hours for a given course based on the time needed to attain outcomes of the particular endeavor.


Credits Required

All students entering WVU as an undergraduate student with fewer than 29 hours must take and earn a passing grade in WVUE 191 in their first semester at WVU. Those who do not pass the course must re-enroll for subsequent semesters until they earn a passing grade. In certain majors, alternate courses are acceptable. These courses will be identified for students by their advisors.

Every undergraduate degree program at WVU requires that students satisfactorily complete the General Education Curriculum which includes an approved writing course and a capstone experience prior to graduation.

Each degree program is based upon a combination of required courses and electives. Certain University requirements are listed below. In addition, the various colleges and schools determine their own credit requirements and course grades and grade point averages for graduation.  The required minimum grade point average for all programs is 2.0 or higher.  Bachelors degrees conferred by West Virginia University must require at least 120 credit hours.  Most degree programs require additional hours (see specific requirements for each major).  


Degree Programs Offered by WVU

College of Business and Economics

Program Bachelor's Master's Doctoral/Professional
AccountingB.S.B.Ad.
Business AdministrationM.B.APh.D.
Business ManagementB.S.B.Ad.
EconomicsB.S.M.A.Ph.D.
FinanceB.S.B.AdM.S.
Industrial RelationsM.S.
Management Information SystemsB.S.B.Ad.
MarketingB.S.B.Ad.
Professional AccountancyM.P.A.

College of Creative Arts

Program Bachelor's Master's Doctoral/Professional
ArtM.A.
Art HistoryB.A.
Art and DesignB.F.AM.F.A
MusicB.A, B.M.M.M.D.M.A, Ph.D.
Multidisciplinary StudiesB.M.D.S.
TheatreB.A., B.F.AM.F.A.

Benjamin M. Statler College of Engineering and Mineral Resources

Program Bachelor's Master's Doctoral/Professional
Aerospace EngineeringB.S.A.EM.S.A.E.
Biometric SystemsB.S.B.S.
Chemical EngineeringB.S.Ch.E.M.S.Ch.E.
Civil EngineeringB.S.C.E.M.S.C.E.
Computer EngineeringB.S.Cp.E.
Computer ScienceB.S.M.S.C.SPh.D.
Electrical EngineeringB.S.E.E.M.S.E.E.
EngineeringM.S.E.Ph.D.
Industrial EngineeringB.S.I.EM.S.I.E
Industrial HygieneM.S.
Mechanical EngineeringB.S.M.E.M.S.M.E.
Mining EngineeringB.S.Min.E.M.S.Min.E.
Petroleum & Natural Gas EngineeringB.S.PNGE.M.S.PNGE.
Safety ManagementM.S.
Software EngineeringM.S.S.E

College of Human Resources and Education

Program Bachelor's Master's Doctoral/Professional
AudiologyAu.D.
Child Development and Family StudiesB.S.
Communication Sciences and DisordersPh.D.
CounselingM.A.
Counseling PsychologyPh.D.
EducationEd.D., Ph.D.
Educational LeadershipM.A.
Educational PsychologyM.A.
Elementary EducationB.A.M.A.
Instructional Design and TechnologyM.A.Ed.D.
Multidisciplinary StudiesB.M.D.S.
ReadingM.A.
Rehabilitation CounselingM.S.
Secondary EducationM.A.
Special EducationM.A.
Speech Pathology and AudiologyB.S.
Speech PathologyM.S.

College of Law

Program Bachelor's Master's Doctoral/Professional
LawJ.D.

College of Physical Activity and Sports Science

Program Bachelor's Master's Doctoral/Professional
KinesiologyPh.D.
Physical EducationB.S.M.S.Ed.D.
Sport StudiesB.S.

Davis College of Agriculture, Forestry, and Consumer Sciences

Program Bachelor's Master's Doctoral/Professional
Agricultural and Resource EconomicsM.S.
Agricultural and Extension EducationB.S. Agr.M.S.
Agricultural SciencesPh.D.
Agriculture, Forestry, and Consumer SciencesM.Agr.
Animal and Nutritional SciencesB.S., B.S. Agr.M.S.
Design and MerchandisingB.S.M.S.
Forest Resources ManagementB.S.F.
Forest Resource SciencePh.D.
ForestryM.S.F.
Genetics and Developmental BiologyM.S.Ph.D.
Landscape ArchitectureB.S.L.A.M.L.A.
Multidisciplinary StudiesB.M.D.S.
Plant and Soil SciencesB.S., B.S.Agr.M.S.
Recreation, Parks, and Tourism ResourcesB.S.R.M.S.
Reproductive PhysiologyM.S.Ph.D.
Resource ManagementB.S., B.S. Agr.
Resource Management and Sustainable DevelopmentPh.D.
Wildlife and Fisheries ResourcesB.S.M.S.
Wood Science and TechnologyB.S.

Eberly College of Arts and Sciences

Program Bachelor's Master's Doctoral/Professional
BiologyB.A., B.S.M.S.Ph.D.
ChemistryB.A., B.S.M.S.Ph.D.
Communication StudiesB.A.M.A.Ph.D.
Computer ScienceB.S.
Creative WritingM.F.A
EconomicsB.A.
EnglishB.A.M.A.Ph.D.
Forensic and Investigative ScienceB.S.M.S.
GeographyB.A.M.A.Ph.D.
GeologyB.A., B.S.M.S.Ph.D.
HistoryB.A.M.A.Ph.D.
Interdepartmental StudiesB.A., B.S.
Legal StudiesM.L.S.
Liberal StudiesM.A.L.S.
MathematicsB.A., B.S.M.S.Ph.D.
Multidisciplinary StudiesB.M.D.S., B.A.
PhilosophyB.A.
PhysicsB.A., B.S.M.S.Ph.D.
Political ScienceB.A.M.A.Ph.D.
Professional Writing and EditingM.A.
PsychologyB.A., B.S.M.A., M.S.Ph.D.
Public AdministrationM.P.A.
Regents Bachelor of ArtsR.B.A.
Social WorkB.S.W.M.S.W.
SociologyM.A.
Sociology and AnthropologyB.A.
StatisticsM.S.
World Languages, Literature, and LinguisticsB.A.M.A.

Perley Isaac Reed School of Journalism

Program Bachelor's Master's Doctoral/Professional
Integrated Marketing CommunicationsM.S.
JournalismB.S.J.M.S.J.

School of Dentistry

Program Bachelor's Master's Doctoral/Professional
Dental HygieneB.S.M.S.
Dental SpecialtiesM.S.
DentistryD.D.S.

School of Medicine

Program Bachelor's Master's Doctoral/Professional
Biochemistry and Molecular BiologyPh.D.
Biomedical SciencesM.S.
Cancer Cell BiologyPh.D.
Cellular and Integrative PhysiologyPh.D.
Clinical and Transitional ScienceM.S.
Exercise PhysiologyB.S.M.S.Ph.D.
Immunology and Microbial PathogenesisPh.D.
Pathologist's Assistant (Master's in Health Sciences)M.H.S.
Medical Laboratory ScienceB.S.
MedicineM.D.
NeurosciencePh.D.
Occupational TherapyM.O.T.
Physical TherapyD.P.T.

School of Nursing

Program Bachelor's Master's Doctoral/Professional
NursingB.S.N.M.S.N.D.N.P., Ph.D.

School of Pharmacy

Program Bachelor's Master's Doctoral/Professional
Pharmaceutical and Pharmacological SciencesPh.D.
PharmacyPharm.D.

(Emerging) SCHOOL OF Public health

Program Bachelor's Master's Doctoral/Professional
Community Health PromotionM.S.
Public HealthM.P.H.
Public Health SciencesPh.D.


Degree Works

Degree Works is the official, online advising and degree auditing tool at WVU. All undergraduate students should have a completed audit for graduation. Please refer to this system regularly. You can access Degree Works through your MIX account. More information is available at http://registrar.wvu.edu/dw .


Dual Degrees/Double Majors

Simultaneous completion of dual baccalaureate degrees require a student to complete an additional 30 hours beyond their primary degree (for a minimum of 158 hrs). Completion of double or multiple majors within a single degree require a student to meet requirements of all programs. Graduation with double or multiple majors can only be achieved simultaneously.

General Education Curriculum (GEC)

For General Education Curriculum (GEC) definitions, please see list of approved GEC/Writing/Capstone  courses.


Goals of Undergraduate Education

West Virginia University is committed to providing a high-quality education to students without regard to race or color, sex, sexual orientation, veteran status, religion, age, disability, national origin, creed, ancestry, or political affiliation.

WVU’s undergraduate education is designed to help students acquire a basic foundation in a variety of academic areas, in addition to their major field. Nine General Education Curriculum (GEC) objectives are met through the completion of courses designated as GEC courses. For a description of the General Education Curriculum, visit the Office of Registrar’s website: http://registrar.wvu.edu/ . B.A. candidates in certain degree programs are also required to reach a specified level of proficiency in a language other than English.

Other goals:

  • Integrate the perspectives of the humanities, social sciences, and natural sciences, and an appreciation of the arts with coursework in the major to facilitate an understanding of the world at large. This foundation for lifelong learning should provide the knowledge and skills necessary to deal with social, cultural, and technological change.
  • Develop critical thinking and problem-solving skills sufficient for life in contemporary society. These skills include the ability to read critically, listen critically, ask appropriate questions, gather relevant information, and apply critical analysis to reach logical conclusions. Central to these skills are mathematical literacy and proficiency in oral and written communications.
  • Attain proficiency in their major fields. This proficiency should enable them to be competitive in the job market or in admission to graduate or professional schools.
  • Acquire knowledge, understanding, and an appreciation of diversity in languages, cultures, ideas, and peoples, along with a desire to work so that all individuals are treated in a manner consistent with social justice.
  • Maintain a lifelong commitment to ethical behavior, responsible citizenship, and public service.

Graduation

In order to graduate, a student must file an application for graduation in the academic dean’s office of his or her major department during the first month of the semester or summer term in which he or she expects to graduate. If a student is uncertain about graduation requirements, the department chairperson may be contacted for clarification. The student should also meet with their academic advisor for guidance.


Graduation with Honors

WVU recognizes distinguished academic achievement by awarding degrees cum laude, magna cum laude, and summa cum laude. This distinction can be awarded on initial or second baccalaureates and specified entry-level professional degrees. All candidates for a baccalaureate with a GPA of 3.8 or higher graduate summa cum laude. Those with a grade point average of less than 3.8, but equal to or above 3.6, graduate magna cum laude. Those with a GPA of less than 3.6, but equal to or above 3.4, graduate cum laude.

Grade point average for honors consideration for a baccalaureate is based on baccalaureate-level college work attempted through the next-to-the-last semester or the last semester, whichever GPA is higher. This calculation includes transferable baccalaureate-level college work attempted at all regionally-accredited higher education institutions attended. Credit hours earned with a grade of P or S are not considered in the determination. Grades of F, however, are computed as hours attempted.

The GPA for honors consideration for entry-level professional degrees is based on baccalaureate-level and professional-level work attempted through the next-to-the-last semester or through the last semester, whichever GPA is higher. This calculation includes transferable baccalaureate-level and professional-level college work attempted at all regionally accredited higher education institutions attended. Credit hours earned with a grade of P or S are not considered in the determination. Additionally, GPA on WVU work must meet the requirements stated for the level of honors to be designated. If a student’s GPA on WVU work indicates a lower level of honors, then the WVU GPA shall govern the specific designation.

Students entering and completing a second baccalaureate program following completion of the initial degree at the University are eligible to receive the honors designation. Grade point averages for graduation with honors on second baccalaureates shall be computed on the last 80 semester hours of baccalaureate-level work, excluding credit earned with a P or S. At least 30 semester hours must have been completed in the second degree program through the penultimate semester.

Plan for Numbering Courses

For convenience, each course of study is designated by the name of the department in which it is given and by the number of that course. The plan for numbering courses is as follows:

Courses 1–99 Developmental and community college certificate courses (does not require WVU Faculty Senate approval) and undergraduate professional development courses (courses that are designed for professional development and require students to possess a high school diploma but the course would not count toward graduation).

Courses 100 Freshman/Lower Division: Intended primarily for freshmen, although by upper-division students may take them if needed to complete degree requirements.

Courses 200 Sophomore/Lower Division: Intended primarily for sophomores. These courses may have 100 or 200-level prerequisites.

Courses 300 Juniors/Upper Division: Intended primarily for juniors. These courses may have extensive prerequisites or be limited to specific majors.

Courses 400 Seniors/Upper Division: Intended primarily for seniors and selected graduate students. These courses are typically limited to advanced undergraduates within a particular major or degree program and selected graduate students. No more than 40 percent of the credits counted for meeting requirements for a graduate degree can be at the 400 level.

Courses 500 Undergraduate Seniors and Master’s Level: Courses intended for advanced undergraduate and graduate students. Undergraduates in any class carrying a 500-level course number must have a 3.0 cumulative grade point average and written approval on an Application for an Advanced Undergraduate Student to Enroll in a Course Numbered 500-599 for Undergraduate Credit from the course instructor, student’s advisor(s) and academic dean. Seniors may count these courses for graduate credit only after completion and approval of a senior petition.

Courses 600 Master’s Level: Courses intended for master’s degree students (no undergraduates permitted).

Courses 700 Master’s and Doctoral Degree Level: Courses intended for doctoral students and advanced master’s students (no undergraduates permitted).

Courses 900 Professional Development: Courses intended for professional development and require students to possess a bachelor’s degree; these courses do not count toward graduation and are not applicable towards a graduate degree. Grading is S/U only.

Note: Graduate degree credit-hour requirements must include at least 60 percent at the 500–level and above.

Common Course Numbers and Descriptions

199. Orientation to [subject/field]. 1 Hr. Orientation to degree programs and requirements, departmental resources, curriculum options, student responsibilities, and opportunities.

293. Special Topics. 1-6 Hr. PR: Consent. Investigation of topics not covered in regularly scheduled courses.

393. Special Topics. 1-6 Hr. PR: Consent. Investigation of topics not covered in regularly scheduled courses.

490. Teaching Practicum. 1-3 Hr. PR: Consent. Teaching practice as a tutor or assistant.

491. Professional Field Experience. 1-18 Hr. PR: Consent (may be repeated up to a maximum of 18 hours.) Prearranged experiential learning program, to be planned, supervised, and evaluated for credit by faculty and field supervisors. Involves temporary placement with public or private enterprise for professional competence development.

492. Directed Study. 1-3 Hr. Directed study, reading, and/or research.

493. Special Topics. 1-6 Hr. PR: Consent. Investigation of topics not covered in regularly scheduled courses.

494. Seminar. 1-3 Hr. PR: Consent. Presentation and discussion of topics of mutual concern to students and faculty.

495. Independent Study. 1-6 Hr. Faculty-supervised study of topics not available through regular course offerings.

496. Senior Thesis. 1-3 Hr. PR: Consent.

497. Research. 1-6 Hr. Independent research projects.

498. Honors, 1-3 Hr. PR: Students in Honors Program and consent by the honors director. Independent reading, study, or research.

499. Global Service Learning. 3 Hr. PR: Consent. Theory and practice of global service-learning. The main objective will be to pair the experiential aspects of meaningful and sustained service in the host community with work from the student’s anchor course by offering a methodological framework for cultural immersion and community service as well as adding to the content of the anchor course.

590/690/790. Teaching Practicum. I, II, S. 1-3 hr. PR: Consent. Supervised practice in college teaching of ________ (Subject matter determined by department/division/college/school offering the course). Note: This course is intended to insure that graduate assistants are adequately prepared and supervised when they are given college teaching responsibility. It also provides a mechanism for students not on assistantships to gain teaching experience.

591/691/791. Advanced Topics. I, II, S. 1-6 hr. PR: Consent. Investigation in advanced topics that are not covered in regularly scheduled courses.

592/692/792. Directed Study. I, II, S. 1-6 hr. Directed study, reading, and/or research.

593/693/793. Special Topics. I, II, S. 1-6 hr. A study of contemporary topics selected from recent developments in the field.

594/694/794. Seminar. I, II, S. 1-6 hr. Special seminars arranged for advanced graduate students.

595/695/795. Independent Study. I, II, S. 1-6 hr. Faculty-supervised study of topics not available through regular course offerings.

696/796. Graduate Seminar. I, II, S. 1 hr. PR: Consent. Each graduate student will present at least one seminar to the assembled faculty and graduate student body of his or her program.

697/797. Research. I, II, S. 1-15 hr. PR: Consent. Research activities leading to thesis (697), problem report (697), research paper or equivalent scholarly project (697), or a dissertation (797). (Grading Will be S/U.)

698/798. Thesis or Dissertation. 2-4 hr. PR: Consent.
Note: This is an optional course for programs that believe that this level of control and supervision is needed during the writing of students’ reports (698), theses (698), or dissertations (798).

699/799. Graduate Colloquium. I, II, S. 1-6 hr. PR: Consent. For graduate students not seeking coursework credit but who wish to meet residency requirements, use the University’s facilities, and participate in its academic and cultural programs. Note: Graduate students who are not actively involved in coursework or research are entitled, through enrollment in their department’s 699/799 Graduate Colloquium, to consult with graduate faculty, participate in both formal and informal academic activities sponsored by their program, and retain all of the rights and privileges of duly enrolled students. Grading is S/U; colloquium credit may not be counted against credit requirements for masters programs. Registration for one credit of 699/799 graduate colloquium satisfies the University requirement of registration in the semester in which graduation occurs.

Plan of Study

Within the first academic year, the student submits a plan of study to the Health Sciences Center Graduate Programs Office. Once approved, the plan of study becomes part of the student’s record. It serves as a formal agreement between the student and program faculty as to the requirements for completing the graduate degree. Any changes to the plan of study must be made through mutual agreement, and the student must submit a memorandum of changes to the Health Sciences Center Graduate Program’s Office.

Official Program Designations

Degree program: an area of study approved as such by the institution and the Board of Governors (BOG) and listed on the official inventory of degree programs (e.g., English, social work, physical education, foreign languages). The degree is represented by the official degree designation (e.g., B.A.—bachelor of arts, B.S.—bachelor of science, B.M.D.S.—bachelor of multidisciplinary studies, M.A.—master of arts, B.S.J.—bachelor of science in journalism, B.S.P.Ed.—bachelor of science in physical education, etc.)

Major: a field of study within an approved degree program, having its own prescribed curriculum. A degree program may have more than one major.

Area of Emphasis: a specific subject area within an approved degree program and major. Normally, a minimum of 12 credit hours and no more than 18 credit hours are expected for an area of emphasis.

Minor: strategic work in an area of study that encourages students to pursue a secondary field. Students may not earn a minor in the same field as their major. Requirements for a minor are set by the academic unit offering the minor and must include at least 15 hours of coursework, with a minimum of nine hours at the upper division level (course numbers 300 or above).


Official Transcripts

Students can order official transcripts through their MIX account at any time or go to http://registrar.wvu.edu/transcripts . All orders require a valid e-mail address and a credit/ debit card which will be charged by e-Pay West Virginia once the transcript request has been entered and a confirmation number is provided.
Before ordering a transcript, students should log on to their MIX account to ensure that all grades and degree(s) have been posted. Transcript requests are processed im­mediately. They are not held for posting of final grades and/or degrees.
All financial obligations to West Virginia University must be cleared before transcripts can be released. Transcripts may not be picked up by another party unless the student has given written authorization with the request. The designated person will be expected to show a picture I.D. before obtaining the transcript.
A West Virginia University transcript is a complete record of a student’s enrollment at WVU. This includes all undergraduate, graduate, and professional courses. Partial transcripts are not available.

 


Regulations Affecting Degrees

All degrees are conferred by the WVU Board of Governors as recommended by the faculties of the various colleges and schools. A degree is granted at the end of the semester or summer term in which a student completes all the requirements for that degree, provided the student has submitted an application for graduation at his or her major department’s academic dean’s office and the dean has certified completion of all degree requirements.

A student becomes eligible to graduate when he or she completes the requirements of the University, college or school, and major degree program according to the Undergraduate Catalog in effect at the time the student first entered WVU.  With the consent of the student's advisor and dean, a student may choose to meet the conditions published in a later catalog.  If a student entered WVU more than seven years previously, the student must complete the requirements in a catalog that is no more than seven years old.  

Students must observe any program changes that are enacted by the West Virginia University Faculty Senate, West Virginia University Board of Governors, the West Virginia Higher Education Policy Commission, or by local, state, or federal law.

WVU policy dictates that, in view of their professional responsibilities to the general public, the faculty of a professional school may recommend to the president of the University, in writing, that a student be removed from its rolls. The recommendation of the faculty must indicate that the student is not fit to meet the qualifications and responsibilities of the profession.

WVU will not issue a diploma or a transcript to any student until payment of all tuition, fees, and other indebtedness to any unit of the University is made.

Second Degrees

Students who have earned one bachelor’s degree from WVU or another institution may earn another bachelor’s degree by completing, at a minimum, an additional 30 hours beyond the first degree. All program and university requirements must be satisfied for the second degree, as well as, residency requirements. Second degree candidates must meet all requirements of their major, College or School and the University. GEC requirements however are generally considered satisfied by completion of the first undergraduate degree.

Student Responsibility

Students are responsible for their own academic well-being, including knowing their scholastic standing as it relates to the published regulations and standards of WVU. This responsibility includes familiarity with the regulations and requirements of their academic college or school or the Undergraduate Advising Services Center and the regulations and requirements of the department or division in which they are pursuing a degree. Students are encouraged to meet with their university advisor or academic advisor when questions arise or when the student is confronted with multiple challenges.

Residency Requirements

If transferring to WVU from another institution of higher learning, the transfer should occur no later than the start of the student’s third year. Under no circumstances will a student who enters WVU after October 1 in any year be allowed to receive a degree at the next commencement.

In some special cases, students can leave WVU at the end of their third year, and still receive a degree from WVU. The student must enter another accredited institution with the purpose of taking a combined program that will lead to two degrees or prepare for graduate study. Before leaving, the student must apply to the college’s Academic Standards Committee to request permission to do the work of the fourth year, or a part thereof, at the other institution but still receive the degree from WVU. The student will receive a degree when the proper records from the other school are presented.

A transfer student who has completed all undergraduate work in another school in the West Virginia system of higher education must complete either the last 30 hours of work at WVU or at least 36 hours of work at WVU, of which 16 of the last 32 hours must be on campus. Transfer students whose undergraduate work has been completed outside of the West Virginia system of higher education must complete a total of 90 hours or at least the last 30 hours of work in residence at WVU. Students may be required to earn up to 15 hours in a major field regardless of the number of hours or the nature of the courses transferred.

Students’ Committees

Doctoral dissertation committees will consist of no fewer than five members, the majority of whom, including the chairperson, will be regular graduate faculty. No more than one person may be a non-member. At least one member of every doctoral committee must be from a department other than the one in which the student is seeking a degree.

Master’s committees of programs requiring a thesis will consist of no fewer than three members, the majority of whom will be regular graduate faculty, including the chairperson. No more than one person may be a non-member.

Master’s committees of programs not requiring a thesis will consist of no fewer than three members, one of whom must be a regular graduate faculty member. No more than one person may be a non-member, and the non-member cannot chair or advise.

Committee approval must be obtained prior to the second semester for a master’s degree and prior to the fourth semester for the doctorate. Committee approval for the nursing program is after the third semester.

 Committee Approval

All graduate committees are subject to the approval of the school dean or designate and the Health Sciences Center Graduate Programs Office.

Schedule of Courses

Before the opening of each term, a Schedule of Courses is posted to http://courses.wvu.edu/ announcing the courses that will be offered by the colleges and schools of WVU.

Work Done Out of Residence

WVU’s policy is to discourage taking regular residence courses in absentia. If a student begins a course at WVU but fails to complete it due to illness or some other acceptable reason, he or she may receive permission to complete the work in absentia. Permission must be granted by the Academic Standards Committee of the college or school concerned, and the work must be completed under the guidance of a WVU professor. Credit in such cases is allowed only upon a report of a grade of C or better on the final examination. This regulation does not apply to WVU off-campus courses or to courses offered through Extended Learning or Study Abroad.

A student who fails a course (receives a final grade of F) taken at WVU must repeat the course at WVU or at a regional campus to receive credit for that course. The dean of the college or school in which the student is enrolled may authorize an exception to this regulation. If so, then the dean should provide a letter to be placed in the student’s folder, authorizing the exception and explaining its basis.

Students should be aware of the requirements for residence and specific degree requirements described in the catalog when transferring credit from other institutions.

Graduate Committee

General requirements for all graduate committees — The majority of the members of any graduate committee must be members of the graduate faculty, including the chair of the committee. No more than one person may be a nonmember of the graduate faculty. No family member may serve on the graduate committee of his or her relative. All graduate committees are subject to the approval of the chairperson or designee of the department/division and the dean or designee of the college/school. Once a graduate committee has been officially established, it will not be necessary to alter it if the graduate faculty status of member(s) of the committee is downgraded.

Master’s committees consist of no fewer than three members. It is recommended that at least one member of the committee be from outside the student’s department. Master’s committees of students choosing a thesis option must be chaired by a regular graduate faculty member and the majority of the committee must have regular graduate faculty status. Master’s committees of programs not requiring a thesis generally consist of no fewer than three members, one of whom must be a regular graduate faculty member. No more than one person may be a non-member, and the non-member cannot chair or advise.

Plan of Study

Shortly after entrance into a degree program and usually before nine to 12 hours of graduate coursework have been completed, the student, the advisor, and the committee (if appointed) draw up a plan of study (or prospectus). Depending on the degree sought and the field of study, the plan may also contain an outline of the research problem to be undertaken. In some graduate programs, the student and committee meet at a later date to delineate the research project more formally. The plan of study is subject to approval and becomes a formal agreement between student and program faculty regarding the conditions to be met to complete the degree. Any subsequent changes in the plan of study or prospectus can be made only through mutual agreement because of the binding nature of these documents. Should a disagreement arise at any time, the responsibility for arbitration rests with the dean of the school or college.

Master’s Degree Coursework Requirements

Students in a master’s program must complete a minimum of 24 hours of coursework other than thesis credit. A minimum of 30 total hours is also considered standard.

Master’s Degree Time Limit

Graduate work planned with the student’s advisory committee (e.g., plan of study) must be satisfactorily completed within a period of eight years immediately preceding the conferring of the degree. A course taken more than eight years previously must be revalidated if it is to be used towards meeting degree requirements. Revalidation can be accomplished by submitting the following information for approval to the Office of Graduate Education and Life:

  • A letter from the course instructor listing the criteria used to revalidate the course material;
  • A copy of the student’s performance on the student’s revalidation examination; and
  • A letter from the college/school graduate coordinator and/or dean supporting the revalidation.

Thesis Research

Many master’s degrees require the completion of a research project under the direction of the faculty of the University on some topic in the field of the major subject. The thesis must present the results of the master’s degrees candidate’s investigation.

Thesis Defense

In cases where a thesis is a component of the master’s student’s plan of study, the student must present the thesis to the committee for evaluation. After the committee has tentatively approved the student’s written thesis, the final presentation and defense of the thesis can be scheduled. This presentation is not given until the term in which all other requirements for the degree are to be met. The student’s committee chairperson must indicate in advance the time, place, and committee members and receive clearance from the office of the school or college dean before the thesis is presented. Such notifications of thesis presentations must be received at least three weeks before the defense date.

The student cannot be considered as having satisfactorily passed their master’s program if there is more than one unfavorable vote among members of the thesis committee. Results of each defense must be reported to the school or college dean within 24 hours. Re-examination may not be scheduled without approval of the request by the school or college dean. All committee members are to be present for the thesis defense. One committee member (but not the chair) may attend by audio or videoconference, but should be available electronically during the entire time of the defense. If an examination cannot be scheduled at a time convenient to all committee members, the dean or designee may permit another faculty member to substitute for the original committee member, provided that the original committee member was not the chair. There can be no substitute for the chair. Only one substitute is allowed, and the request for a substitute must be made in writing prior to the examination. The request for a substitute should be signed by the committee chair, the student, and both the original faculty member and the substitute faculty member. A substitute faculty member must have the same or higher graduate faculty status as the original faculty member and represent the same academic discipline or specialization.

Thesis Submission

The requirements for a master’s degree include acceptance of the thesis defense and submission of the electronic thesis (as noted below). If there is a substitute faculty member scheduled for the defense, the substitute signs the shuttle sheet; however, the original committee member is to sign printed copies of the thesis if generated. The electronic thesis must be presented to the University not later than the last day of classes of the semester or summer session in which the degree is expected to be granted.

Additional Master’s Degrees

University policy permits students to obtain more than one master’s degree. In these cases, a separate application is required for each program. Each application must be accompanied by payment of a nonrefundable application fee.

A student desiring to obtain more than one master’s degree must successfully complete sufficient additional credit hours to constitute 75 percent of the credit hours required by each additional master’s degree program as well as any specific program requirements. Individual graduate units may require higher percentages to be earned under their direction.

Concurrent Master’s Degree Programs

West Virginia University offers several concurrent or dual master’s degree programs. Concurrent degree programs are programs in which courses between collaborating units are accepted for credit by each unit. Total coursework credit requirements for the concurrent degrees must be at least 75 percent of the summation of the separate degree programs. Students in such programs must also successfully complete any specific program requirements. Individual graduate units may require higher percentages of credit to be earned under their direction. Students should inquire of the individual units regarding admission and academic requirements and regulations for these concurrent degree programs.

Combined Undergraduate and Master’s Degree Programs —
Accelerated Master’s Degree Programs (4+1, 3+2 Programs)

The purpose of the Accelerated Master’s Degree (AMD) program is to allow academically talented students the opportunity to obtain both a bachelor’s and master’s degree from West Virginia University. In many cases, this option might be selected early in a student’s academic career as an opportunity to gain an advanced degree through a guiding curriculum designed to accelerate degree completion. Students may apply to departments/academic programs offering AMD programs for admission after having completed a minimum of two semesters as a full-time student at WVU, with a minimum of 24 credit hours, provided they have a minimum 3.0 GPA. Individual units may establish more stringent requirements.

Accelerated Master’s Degree students are permitted to take graduate courses leading to the master’s degree when prerequisites for such courses have been fulfilled. Up to 12 credit hours of graduate coursework may be applied towards the requirements for the bachelor’s degree. The bachelor’s degree is awarded at the end of the normal senior year (determined by program specific credit hours). During the remaining period of study, accelerated degree students complete the remaining courses and any other degree requirements needed to complete the master’s degree and must maintain satisfactory academic standing at the graduate level determined by the individual academic units.

 

The program of doctoral study is planned with the student’s graduate advisor and committee to combine any or all of the following: graduate courses of instruction, special seminars, independent study, supervised research, and supervised training designed to promote a broad and systematic knowledge of the major field and to prepare the student for the comprehensive qualifying and final examinations and writing of the dissertation.

Graduate Committee

General requirements for all graduate committees — The majority of the members of any graduate committee must be members of the graduate faculty, including the chair of the committee. No more than one person may be a nonmember of the graduate faculty. No family member may serve on the graduate committee of his or her relative. All graduate committees are subject to the approval of the chairperson or designee of the department/division and the dean or designee of the college/school. Once a graduate committee has been officially established, it will not be necessary to alter it if the graduate faculty status of member(s) of the committee is downgraded.

Doctoral dissertation committees consist of no fewer than five members, the majority of whom must be regular graduate faculty, including the chairperson. At least one member of the committee must be from a department other than the one in which the student is seeking a degree.

Plan of Study

Shortly after entrance into a degree program and usually before nine to 12 hours of graduate coursework have been completed, the student, the advisor, and the committee (if appointed) draw up a plan of study (or prospectus). Depending on the degree sought and the field of study, the plan may also contain an outline of the research problem to be undertaken. In some graduate programs, the student and committee meet at a later date to delineate the research project more formally. The plan of study is subject to approval and becomes a formal agreement between student and program faculty regarding the conditions to be met to complete the degree. Any subsequent changes in the plan of study or prospectus can be made only through mutual agreement because of the binding nature of these documents. The responsibility for arbitration rests with the dean of the school or college should a disagreement arise at any time.

Doctoral Degree Coursework Requirements

The doctorate is a research or performance degree and does not depend on the accumulation of credit hours. The three requirements of the degree are admission to candidacy, residency, and completion and defense of a dissertation. The degree signifies that the holder has the competence to function independently at the highest level of endeavor in the chosen profession. Hence, the number of years involved in attaining or retaining competency cannot be readily specified. Rather, it is important that the doctoral student’s competency be assessed and verified in a reasonable period of time prior to conferral of the degree, generally five years from the admission to candidacy.

Graduate education, especially at the doctoral level, involves many learning experiences that take place outside the formal classroom setting. These involve observing and participating in activities conducted by the graduate faculty, using departmental and University libraries, attending lectures presented by visiting scholars, informally debating other students, and similar activities. To insure that graduate students experience these kinds of informal learning, doctoral programs at WVU generally require one year in residence in full-time graduate study. However, because of the contractual nature of graduate study, an individual student or graduate committee may propose an alternative plan by which the student can gain equivalent educational experience. For example, the plan of study may require the student to spend time in residence at a national or foreign laboratory, institute, archive, or research center as partial fulfillment of the residency requirement.

Regulations described in the preceding sections governing admission, registration, scholarship, etc., must be followed. In addition, the student must satisfy requirements specified by the faculty responsible for the major field. Students applying for admission to a doctoral program, after having received a master’s degree at WVU, must file a new application for graduate work with the Office of Admissions.

Competence in one or more foreign languages may be a requirement in some graduate degree programs. The faculty in the program specifies the language or languages and the level of competence to be demonstrated. Language examinations are arranged by the Department of Foreign Languages. Students should contact the graduate program coordinator or chair in that department for more information.

When only reading competence is required, the foreign language examiner may waive the examination in those cases where the student’s transcript shows, at a date that falls no earlier than seven years before promotion to doctoral candidacy, either completion of 12 semester hours or equivalent coursework in an approved foreign language with a grade of B or better in the last three hours or completion of one course at the 300-level with a grade of B or better at WVU.

Promotion to Candidacy

Admission to graduate study and enrollment in graduate courses do not in themselves imply acceptance of the student as a candidate for a doctoral degree. This is accomplished only by satisfactorily passing a comprehensive or qualifying examination (either oral, written, or both) and by meeting specified language and/or other requirements.

A student will be given a comprehensive examination to demonstrate knowledge of the important issues in the field of study, their relation to other fields, and the ability to employ the instruments of research. The examination is intended to determine whether the student has the academic competence to undertake independent research in the discipline and to insure that the student possesses a thorough grasp of the fields outlined in the plan of study. The exam is generally taken as soon as a student has completed the major portion of the course requirement. Successful passage of this examination is the University-wide minimal determination of acceptance to candidacy: it is at this point that the five-year to completion rule begins. Individual degree programs may require additional requirements such as the acceptance of a prospectus, a grant exercise, or other form of student evaluation.

It must be the consensus of the doctoral committee that the student has passed the examination, although the committee may permit one dissenting vote. A single portion of the examination may be repeated at the discretion of the committee, but, if two or more members are dissatisfied, the entire qualifying examination must be repeated. The student must petition through the doctoral committee in order to be permitted to repeat a qualifying examination. Academic tradition does not allow a qualifying examination to be administered more than three times; many units limit administration to two times.

Doctoral Degree Time Limit

Because the qualifying examination attests to the academic competence of the student who will become an independent researcher or practitioner, the examination cannot precede the conferring of the degree by an extended period. Consequently, doctoral candidates are allowed no more than five years in which to complete remaining degree requirements. In the event a student fails to complete the doctorate within five years after admission to candidacy, an extension that may be obtained only by repeating the qualifying examination and meeting any other requirements specified by the student’s committee, including the setting of deadlines by which all degree requirements must be completed. A request for an extension of time in order to complete degree requirements should include the following:

  • A statement documenting the circumstances that justify the request;
  • A statement of the impact the proposed extension would have on the validity of the student’s coursework and program; and
  • Evidence of endorsement of the request from the student’s advisory committee and the office of the dean. Extension requests are made to the Associate Provost for Graduate Academic Affairs, 249 Mountainlair, P.O. Box 6897.

Dissertation Research

The candidate must submit a dissertation pursued under the direction of the faculty of the University on some topic in the field of the major subject. The dissertation must present the results of the candidate’s individual investigation and must embody a definite contribution to knowledge. While conducting research or writing a dissertation, the student must register at the beginning of each term or summer during which credit is being earned. No residence credit will be allowed for special field assignments or other work taken off the University campus without prior approval by the associate provost for Graduate Academic Affairs.

Final Examination/Dissertation Defense

The final examination/dissertation defense is not given until the term in which all other requirements for the degree are to be met. After the candidate’s dissertation has been tentatively approved, the final oral defense of the dissertation may be scheduled. At the option of the faculty responsible for the degree program, a comprehensive final written examination also may be required. The student’s committee chairperson must indicate in advance the time, place, and recommended examining committee members, and receive clearance from the office of the school or college dean before the examination can be given. Such notifications of doctoral examinations/defenses must be received at least three weeks before the examination date. All doctoral final examinations and dissertation defenses are to the public and the university community.

The student cannot be considered as having satisfactorily passed the final examination/dissertation defense if there is more than one unfavorable vote among members of the examining committee. Results of each examination/defense must be reported to the school or college dean within 24 hours. Re-examination may not be scheduled without approval of the request by the school or college dean. All committee members are to be present for the final examination/dissertation defense. One committee member (but not the chair) may attend by audio or videoconference, but should be available electronically during the entire time of the defense. If an examination cannot be scheduled at a time convenient to all committee members, the dean or designee may permit another faculty member to substitute for the original committee member, provided that the original committee member was not the chair. There can be no substitute for the chair. Only one substitute is allowed, and the request for a substitute must be made in writing prior to the examination/defense. The request for a substitute should be signed by the committee chair, the student, and both the original faculty member and the substitute faculty member. A substitute faculty member must have the same or higher graduate faculty status as the original faculty member and represent the same academic discipline or specialization.

Dissertation Submission

The requirements for a doctorate include acceptance of the dissertation and submission of the electronic dissertation. If there is a substitute faculty member scheduled for the final examination, the final examination, the substitute signs the shuttle sheet; however, the original committee member is to sign printed copies of the dissertation. The dissertation must be presented to the University not later than the last day of classes of the semester or summer session in which the degree is expected to be granted.

The candidate is required to maintain close contact with the supervisor or chairperson of the graduate committee on these matters in developing a dissertation so as to incorporate the special requirements of the subject discipline.