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

Undergraduate Catalog ~ 2012-2013

General Information

Established in 1867, West Virginia University (WVU) is the state’s only research, doctoral degree granting, and land-grant University. WVU provides high-quality programs of instruction, offering over 185 degree programs at the undergraduate, graduate, and first professional levels. WVU fosters basic and applied research and scholarship and engages in and encourages other creative and artistic work. Health science programs are taught at the WVU Robert C. Byrd Health Sciences Center through schools of medicine, dentistry, nursing, and pharmacy, including allied health programs and graduate programs in basic health sciences. WVU is also home to the state’s only law school at the undergraduate, graduate, and first-professional levels. WVU fosters basic and applied research and scholarship and engages in and encourages other creative and artistic work. Health science programs are taught at the WVU Robert C. Byrd Health Sciences Center through schools of medicine, dentistry, nursing, and pharmacy, including allied health programs and graduate programs in basic health sciences. WVU is also home to the state’s only law school.

Only ten other state universities share WVU’s complex mission as a land-grant, research-oriented, public university with a comprehensive health sciences center. The term “land-grant” derives from the congressional Morrill Acts of 1862 and 1890, which gave federally owned land to each state, to be sold for funds to establish colleges offering programs in agriculture and engineering. Since its founding in 1867, WVU has developed into a center of graduate and professional education, research, and extension programs in West Virginia.

WVU combines the breadth of academic opportunities offered by a major research institution with the atmosphere of a small school. Currently, WVU, including the regional campuses of Potomac State College of West Virginia University and West Virginia University Institute of Technology, enrolls approximately 31,952 students, of which more than 7,178 are graduate and professional students. However, the undergraduate student/faculty ratio is 27:1 and enrollment in one of the University’s 15 colleges and schools offers students the warmth and friendliness of a small academic community. The diversity of our student body is evident in its student body, with all 55 counties of West Virginia, 50 states and D.C., and nearly 100 other countries represented. The WVU system has an annual budget in excess of $850 million and a research budget of more than $129 million.

WVU campuses combine traditional and modern architectural styles; nine full buildings, a portion of White Hall on the downtown campus, and two buildings at Coopers Rock are listed on the National Register of Historic Places. Many of these original buildings, including Stalnaker Hall, have been restored and renovated. The downtown campus is linked to the Evansdale campus and the Robert C. Byrd Health Sciences Center by the Personal Rapid Transit (PRT) system, which uses automated, electric-powered cars that operate on a concrete-and-steel guideway. The PRT permits quick and easy access to major locations within the University and downtown Morgantown.

WVU programs and services are accessible throughout West Virginia. Regional campuses include Potomac State College of West Virginia University and West Virginia University Institute of Technology. WVU operates the Charleston Division of the Robert C. Byrd Health Sciences Center and the Wheeling Division of the School of Medicine. In addition, there are several Extended Learning Regional Centers throughout the state.

WVU operates eight experimental farms in Hardy, Jefferson, Monongalia, Monroe, and Preston counties; five experimental forests in Monongalia, Preston, Randolph, and Wetzel counties; and the state 4-H Camp and a museum of mid-nineteenth century life at Jackson’s Mill.

The Mission of West Virginia University

Founded in 1867, West Virginia University is the flagship land-grant, doctoral degree-granting research university in the state of West Virginia. As such, the institution occupies a unique position within the state.

West Virginia University’s primary mission is to provide high-quality programs of instruction at the undergraduate, graduate, and professional levels; to stimulate and foster both basic and applied research and scholarship; to engage in and encourage other creative and artistic work; and to bring the resources of the University to all segments of society through continuing education, extension, and public service activities.

Opportunities to conduct pioneering research and scholarship help attract high quality faculty and students. Students and faculty work together to create exciting and productive paths for investigation and development. WVU nurtures these symbiotic interactions to build intellectual, social, and economic development for all of West Virginia.

WVU’s special responsibility is to seek out, challenge, educate, and help create opportunities for those West Virginia citizens who can benefit from its programs, especially those who have demonstrated high achievement or who possess excellent potential.

West Virginia University recognizes that diversity enriches the institution and the society it serves. The University is committed to social justice and to practicing the principles of equality of opportunity and affirmative action.


Degrees are awarded at the baccalaureate, master’s, doctoral, and professional levels. The University offers approximately 77 undergraduate programs 122 graduate degree programs as well as numerous certificate programs through the departments/divisions of 15 colleges and schools:

  • The College of Business and Economics, which includes:
    • Accounting
    • Business Management
    • Economics and Finance
  • The College of Creative Arts, which includes:
    • Art
    • Music
    • Theatre and Dance
  • The College of Engineering and Mineral Resources, which includes:
    • Chemical Engineering
    • Civil and Environmental Engineering
    • the Lane Department of Computer Science and Electrical Engineering
    • Industrial and Management Systems Engineering
    • Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering
    • Mining Engineering
    • Petroleum and Natural Gas Engineering
  • The College of Human Resources and Education, which includes:
    • Counseling/Rehabilitation Counseling/Counseling Psychology
    • Curriculum & Instruction/Literacy Studies
    • Educational Leadership Studies
    • Special Education
    • Speech Pathology and Audiology
    • Technology/Learning & Culture
  • The College of Law
  • The Davis College of Agriculture, Natural Resources, and Design, which includes:
    • Animal and Nutritional Sciences
    • Design and Merchandising
    • Plant and Soil Sciences
    • Forestry
    • Resource Management
  • The Eberly College of Arts and Sciences, which includes:
    • Africana Studies
    • Biology
    • Chemistry
    • Communication Studies
    • Creative Writing
    • Cultural Research Management
    • English
    • Forensic and Investigative Science
    • Geology and Geography
    • History
    • International Studies
    • Leadership Studies
    • Mathematics
    • Multidisciplinary Studies
    • Native American Studies
    • Philosophy
    • Physics
    • Political Science
    • Psychology
    • Public Administration
    • Regents
    • Religious Studies
    • Slavic and Eastern European Studies
    • School of Social Work
    • Sociology and Anthropology
    • Statistics
    • World Languages, Literatures, and Linguistics
  • The Perley Isaac Reed School of Journalism, which includes:
    • Journalism
    • Advertising
    • Public Relations
    • Television
    • Integrated Marketing Communications
  • The School of Dentistry, which includes:
    • Dental Hygiene
    • Endodontics
    • Orthodontics
    • Prosthodontics
    • Dental Surgery
  • The School of Medicine, which includes:
    • Anesthesiology
    • Behavioral Medicine and Psychiatry
    • Community Medicine
    • Emergency Medicine
    • Exercise Physiology
    • Family Medicine
    • Medicine
    • Neurology
    • Neurosurgery
    • Obstetrics and Gynecology
    • Occupational Therapy
    • Ophthalmology (Eye)
    • Orthopedics
    • Otolaryngology
    • Pathology
    • Pediatrics
    • Physical Therapy
    • Radiology
    • Surgery
    • The HSC branch campus at Charleston
  • The School of Nursing, which includes:
    • Health Promotion and Risk Reduction
    • the Department of Health Restoration
    • Departments of Nursing at WVU-Charleston and WVU-Tech
  • The School of Pharmacy, which includes:
    • Basic Pharmaceutical Sciences
    • Clinical Pharmacy
    • Pharmaceutical Systems and Policy
  • The College of Physical Activity and Sport Sciences, which includes:
    • Coaching and Teaching Studies
    • Sport Studies
  • Potomac State College of West Virginia University
  • West Virginia University Institute of Technology

Research and Scholarship

Research, scholarship, or creative activity of distinction is expected within every school or college of the University. Indeed, most of the advanced research and scholarship carried out in West Virginia finds its home at West Virginia University. The assessment of the quality both of research and teaching is given heavy weight in tenure, promotion, and other personnel decisions affecting faculty members.

The University supports and is supported by numerous institutes for the promotion of interdisciplinary studies and research. These units include the National Research Center for Coal and Energy, the Regional Research Institute, the Mary Babb Randolph Cancer Center, the Center on Aging, the Institute for Public Affairs, the Center for Women’s Studies, the Bureau of Business and Economic Research, the Harley O. Staggers National Transportation Center, the West Virginia Water Research Institute, the Appalachian Hardwood Center, the Concurrent Engineering Research Center, the Institute of Occupational and Environmental Health, the Center for Excellence in Women’s Health, and others.


By virtue of its service mission as a land-grant institution and its position as the major center of research and development in West Virginia, the University has a responsibility to work with business and government leaders to promote the economic development of West Virginia. Through credit and non-credit educational programs and working partnerships with industry, government, and public schools, the University plays an important role in all geographic regions in West Virginia.

WVU contributes to the development and enhancement of West Virginia’s economic, educational, social, and health status through its programs of instruction and research and through its programs of outreach. To serve the State and its people, the University offers instructional and service programs in every county through the West Virginia University Extension Service. Additionally, the WVU Agricultural and Forestry Experiment Station sponsors applied and basic research throughout West Virginia, directly benefiting industries critical to the state. The West Virginia University Health Sciences Center (HSC) serves the people of all 55 counties of West Virginia through direct patient care both at its campuses and at outreach clinics located throughout the state. The HSC maintains a cancer information service, a drug information service, and a poison control center. It provides extensive support services for rural physicians, including a free telephone consultation program, specialty care support, monthly educational opportunities, and computerized access to resources in the Health Sciences Center Library. The health professionals of the HSC conduct basic research focusing on the specific needs of West Virginians.

Government and Organization of WVU

Effective July 1, 2001, the West Virginia Board of Governors is vested by law with the authority for the control and management of the University. The board includes 13 lay members, two faculty members, and one student member. The University president, appointed by the Board of Governors, is the chief executive officer of the University.

The West Virginia Higher Education Policy Commission is responsible for policy development and other statewide issues. The commission consists of seven members appointed by the governor, the secretary of education and the arts, and the state superintendent of schools.

The Faculty Senate is the vehicle for faculty participation in the governance of the University. It is a legislative body with original jurisdiction over all matters of academic interest and educational policy that concern the entire University or affect more than one college or school. The senate’s decisions are subject to review and approval by the president and the Board of Governors. Senators are elected by members of the University faculty to represent their colleges and other constituencies. Each senator represents 20 members of the University faculty. The senate is presided over by an elected chair.

Three faculty members serve on the Vice Presidents’ Advisory Committee for Promotion and Tenure. The president meets regularly with the cabinet and monthly with the Faculty Senate Executive Committee, the Staff Council, and Student Government Association. The University Faculty Assembly includes the president as presiding officer, professors, associate professors, assistant professors, instructors holding appointments on a full-time basis, and other persons engaged in full-time professional activities. The assembly meets once a year.

West Virginia University has a tradition of strong student administration that represents student opinion to the administration and faculty. Student administration has three main units: the executive branch, the board of governors, and the judicial board. Students also serve on University-wide committees and on the Mountainlair Advisory Council.

The Staff Council is an advisory council to the president of the University and a means for all classified employees to express their opinions about job conditions, fringe benefits, employee relations, or other areas that affect their jobs.

Local 814 of the Laborers’ International Union of North America, AFL-CIO, represents employees throughout the University and its affiliates. These employees are in craft/maintenance, service, clerical, and technical job categories, with a wide variety of job classifications. Laborer’s Local 814 is the only recognized union at the University by agreement through the Memorandum of Accord.