This is an archived copy of the 2013-14 Catalog. To access the most recent version of the catalog, please visit

Undergraduate Catalog ~ 2013-2014

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, public health, 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 32,000 students, of which more than 7,000 are graduate and professional students. However, the undergraduate student/faculty ratio is 27:1, and enrollment in one of the University’s fifteen 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 fifty-five counties of West Virginia, fifty 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

As a land-grant institution in the 21st century, West Virginia University will deliver high-quality education, excel in discovery and innovation, model a culture of diversity and inclusion, promote health and vitality, and build pathways for the exchange of knowledge and opportunity between the state, the nation, and the world.


West Virginia University is a member of the Higher Learning Commission. The University’s educational programs are accredited by the Higher Learning Commission North Central Accreditation (NCA) of Colleges and Schools and by the appropriate accreditation agencies for professional programs. 


Degrees are awarded at the baccalaureate, master’s, doctoral, and professional levels. The University offers approximately seventy-seven undergraduate programs and 122 graduate degree programs, as well as numerous certificate programs through the departments/divisions of fifteen 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 Benjamin M. Statler College of Engineering, 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 Education and Human Services, 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

Regional Campuses

  • 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 fifty-five 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 thirteen 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 twenty 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 the 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.

West Virginia University is a member of the Higher Learning Commission. The University’s educational programs are accredited by the Higher Learning Commission North Central Accreditation (NCA) of Colleges and Schools and by the appropriate accreditation agencies for professional programs.

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 include 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.