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Undergraduate Catalog

General Information - West Virginia University

West Virginia University (WVU) was founded in 1867 as a result of the 1862 Land-Grant Act, otherwise known as the Morrill Act. As the state’s flagship, land-grant university, WVU’s mission reflects its dedication to serving the state and citizens of West Virginia through access to higher education, research and scholarship, and comprehensive health sciences. WVU and its divisional campuses enroll approximately 32,000 students, who represent all 55 counties of West Virginia, 50 states and the District of Columbia, and nearly 100 other countries. West Virginia University’s educational programs are accredited by the Higher Learning Commission . Many West Virginia University programs hold specialized accreditation.

WVU’s main campus in Morgantown, WV, provides high-quality programs of instruction through 15 colleges and schools and offers over 190 degree programs at the baccalaureate, master’s, doctoral, and professional levels, as well as numerous certificate programs. WVU’s Morgantown facilities are built on more than 1,000 acres and include several buildings on the National Register of Historic Places.

The West Virginia University Robert C. Byrd Health Sciences Center has five schools - Dentistry, Medicine, Nursing, Pharmacy, and Public Health. Undergraduate, graduate, and professional students learn on three campuses in Morgantown, Charleston, and Martinsburg.

WVU also has two divisional campuses. Potomac State College of West Virginia University, situated in West Virginia’s Eastern Panhandle in Keyser, offers associate and baccalaureate degree programs and serves both residential and commuting students. The West Virginia University Institute of Technology has locations in Montgomery and Beckley, and serves the region and the state by offering baccalaureate degree programs.

The WVU Extension Service has an office with a faculty presence in all of West Virginia’s 55 counties. WVU operates experimental farms and forests throughout the state, in addition to the state 4-H Camp and Lifelong Learning Center at Jackson’s Mill near Weston, WV.

Visit About WVU for updated WVU facts and achievements.

In this section:

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.


As West Virginia’s flagship research institution, WVU undertakes scholarly activity that addresses the challenges most critical to today’s world and the practice of multidisciplinary research. WVU is classified as a Doctoral University—Highest Research Activity (R1) in the Carnegie Classification of Institutions of Higher Education.


West Virginia University’s land-grant mission underscores its obligation to serve the public and the state of West Virginia by promoting economic development, enhancing the well-being and the quality of life of the people of West Virginia, and increasing opportunities for the citizens of the state through workforce education, lifelong learning, and outreach to every county.

West Virginia University is the only institution in West Virginia – and one of only 6% of institutions nationwide – to earn the Carnegie Foundation for the Advancement of Teaching “Community Engagement Classification.”

WVU’s dedication to its service mission is manifested through its instructional programs, educational outreach, initiatives and centers, and through four structures that engage external constituencies and support public service.

Economic Development

The Office of Research and Economic Development assists WVU researchers in advancing their results and putting that knowledge to work improving lives. The research enterprise of West Virginia University is diverse, richly talented, progressive, and focused on the goal of making people’s lives better in the highest tradition of an American land-grant institution of higher education.

Well-being and Quality of Life

The Robert C. Byrd Health Sciences Center advances the health of West Virginia’s residents and addresses health challenges that face the state and the nation.


The Smith-Lever Act of 1914 created a Cooperative Extension Service for each land-grant institution. The purpose of the Extension Service was to disseminate the findings of the universities’ agricultural stations and provide training and programs on home economics and other practical subjects. WVU has sustained its commitment to the state by supporting an Extension Service office with a faculty presence in all of West Virginia’s 55 counties, staffed by faculty county agents.

The educational programs and initiatives of the WVU Extension Service focus on service to the state and exemplify West Virginia University’s commitment to the public good by connecting the knowledge and research of WVU with citizen and community needs. The Extension Service’s programs are driven by four major initiatives: (1) 4-H youth development; (2) family and health; (3) agriculture and natural resources; and (4) community, workforce, and economic development.

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Commitment to Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion

West Virginia University is committed to ensuring that all persons, including women, people of color, persons with disabilities, veterans, and persons of different religions, sexual orientations, ages, and international, ethnic, and economic backgrounds have the opportunity to benefit from the programs and services the University offers. The University helps students, faculty, and staff study and work in a climate of academic freedom and social responsibility, and develop the skills, knowledge, and self-esteem necessary to contribute positively as world citizens.

In keeping with this commitment, members of the academic community are expected to demonstrate civility and mutual respect for all persons, understanding and appreciation for all persons, to express that perspective in every dimension of the institution’s life and mission, and to work cooperatively, representing not only the interests of their own groups but also those of the wider community.

Individuals believing they may have been illegally discriminated against by West Virginia University may file a complaint with the Division of Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion .

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Center for Excellence in Disabilities

The West Virginia University Center for Excellence in Disabilities (WVU CED) works closely with the WVU Division of Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion to connect WVU students, staff, and faculty members with disabilities to services they need throughout the WVU communities and state.

The mission of the WVU CED is to improve the lives of West Virginians with disabilities by building more diverse, inclusive communities. WVU CED is recognized, and trusted, as a leader and innovative agent in a statewide network of individual and community supports that promote respect, inclusiveness, interdependence, and access for everyone.

Located at 959 Hartman Run Road (near Morgantown Airport) and in Big Chimney, WV, the WVU CED is a federally-funded Center that provides:

  • Direct and indirect disability services;
  • Training opportunities;
  • A variety of information on best practices, services throughout the state, and policy; and
  • Technical assistance

WVU CED priority areas include, but are not limited to: WV surveillance statistics and reviews, employment, health and wellness, social service needs and accountable community supports (e.g., transportation, housing), and transitions experienced throughout the lifespan.

For more information about the WVU CED and center services, go to: or call 304-293-4692 (Morgantown), 304-720-3200 (Charleston), or 800-518-1448.

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Office of Accessibility Services

The Office of Accessibility Services is dedicated to helping students achieve their academic goals regardless of any physical, learning, psychological, sensory, or other documented disability. West Virginia University’s process for providing disability-related accommodations follows guidelines of the Americans with Disabilities Act, Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973, and current case law.

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Commitment to Assessment

West Virginia University conducts comprehensive assessment of student learning across all campus locations and online offerings. Continuous improvement of student learning is faculty-driven, conducted at the course, program, and institutional levels, and grounded in the work of the Undergraduate Council, the Graduate Council, and the University Assessment Council (UAC). UAC members from the WVU Morgantown campus, the West Virginia University Institute of Technology, and Potomac State College align assessment with the WVU mission and strategic plan and oversee assessment of the General Education program.  The Council works to strengthen the effectiveness of assessment across all programs by:

  • Facilitating faculty professional development in assessment
  • Providing peer consultant teams to work with departments to enhance their assessment planning and reporting
  • Compiling supporting documentation and evidence of the assessment work at WVU
  • Serving as an institutional-level clearinghouse for assessment best practices.

In this section:

Governor of West Virginia

  • Earl Ray Tomblin, Governor

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West Virginia Higher Education Policy Commission

  • Paul L. Hill, Chancellor, Charleston
  • Bruce Berry, Chair, Morgantown
  • Jenny Allen, Vice Chair, Shepherdstown 
  • Kathy G. Eddy, Secretary, Parkersburg
  • Michael J. Farrell, Huntington
  • Kay H. Goodwin, Ex-Officio, Cabinet Secretary, Department of Education and the Arts, Charleston
  • John Leon, Fairmont
  • Michael J. Martirano, Ex-Officio, State Superintendent of Schools
  • Andrew A. "Drew" Payne III, Charleston
  • Clarence Pennington, Ex-Officio, Chair, WV Council for Community and Technical College Education, Martinsburg

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West Virginia University Board of Governors

  • Thomas V. Flaherty, Chair, Charleston
  • William D. Wilmoth, Vice Chair, Wheeling
  • Diane Lewis, Secretary, Morgantown
  • David B. Alvarez, Bridgeport
  • Gregory Babe, Pittsburgh, PA
  • Ellen S. Cappellanti, Charleston
  • James W. Dailey II, Martinsburg
  • Robert K. Griffith, Faculty Representative, Morgantown
  • J. Thomas Jones, Morgantown
  • Raymond J. Lane, Menlo Park, CA
  • Dixie Martinelli, Classified Staff Representative, Morgantown
  • Julie Merow, Student Representative, Morgantown
  • William O. Nutting, Wheeling
  • Edward L. Robinson, Charleston 
  • J. Robert "JR" Rogers, Hurricane
  • Richard Turton, Faculty Representative, Morgantown
  • Kimberly Weaver, Baltimore, MD

The WVU Board of Governors is the governing body of WVU. The Higher Education Policy Commission in West Virginia is responsible for developing, establishing, and overseeing the implementation of a public policy agenda for the state's four-year colleges and universities.

West Virginia University is an Equal Opportunity/Affirmative Action Institution. The University does not discriminate on the basis of race, sex, age, disability, veteran status, religion, sexual orientation, color, or national origin in the administration of any of its educational programs or activities or with respect to admission or employment. Further, faculty, staff, students, and applicants are protected from retaliation for filing complaints or assisting in an investigation under the University’s Equal Opportunity/Affirmative Action Plan. Inquiries regarding the University’s non-discrimination policy may be sent to the Office of Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion.

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West Virginia University Administration

  • E. Gordon Gee, President
  • Joyce McConnell, Provost and Vice President for Academic Affairs 

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  • Benjamin M. Statler College of Engineering and Mineral Resources, Eugene V. Cilento
  • College of Business and Economics, Javier Reyes
  • College of Creative Arts, Paul K. Kreider
  • College of Education and Human Services, Gypsy Denzine
  • College of Law, Gregory W. Bowman
  • College of Physical Activity and Sport Sciences, Dana D. Brooks
  • Davis College of Agriculture, Natural Resources, and Design, Daniel J. Robison 
  • Dean of Students, G. Corey Farris
  • Eberly College of Arts and Sciences, Gregory Dunaway
  • Honors College, Kenneth P. Blemings
  • Reed College of Media, Maryanne Reed
  • School of Dentistry, Tom Borgia
  • School of Medicine, Clay Marsh
  • School of Nursing, Tara Hulsey
  • School of Pharmacy, Mary K. Stamatakis (Interim)
  • School of Public Health, Gregory A. Hand
  • University Libraries, Jon Cawthorne

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Distinguished Professors

  • James Abraham, Bonnie Wells Wilson Eminent Scholar and Distinguished Professor
  • Daniel Alkon, Toyota Chair for Neurodegenerative Disease Research
  • James Anderson, Davis Michael Professor of Forestry and Natural Resources
  • Brian Anderson, GE Plastics Materials Engineering Professorship
  • Gerald G. Ashdown, James H. “Buck” and June M. Harless Professor of Law
  • Karl Barth, Samples Professorship of Civil and Environmental Engineering
  • Robert M. Bastress, John W. Fisher II Professor of Law
  • Christopher J. Bise, Robert E. Murray Chair for the Department of Mining
  • Robert E. Blobaum, Eberly Family Distinguished Professor of History
  • Forest Bowman, Jackson and Kelly Professor of Law, Emeritus
  • Laura Brady, Eberly Distinguished Professor of Outstanding Teaching
  • James E. Brick, Dr. Edmund B. Flink Chair of Internal Medicine
  • Jim Brown, K-Mart Corporation Chair of Marketing
  • Vincent P. Cardi, Bowles, Rice, McDavid, Graff and Love Professor of Law
  • Tim Carr, Marshall S. Miller Energy Professor of Geology
  • Linda M. Carson, Ware Distinguished Professor, Emerata
  • William H. Carter, Warren Point Chair of Internal Medicine
  • Judie F. Charlton, Jane McDermott Shott Chair of Opthalmology
  • Patricia Chase, Gates E. Wigner Dean for the School of Pharmacy
  • Nigel N. Clark, George B. Berry Chair of Engineering
  • Franklin D. Cleckley, Arthur B. Hodges Professor of Law, Emeritus
  • Roger Congleton, BB&T Chair of Economics
  • Patrick W. Conner, Eberly College Centennial Professor of English Emeritus
  • Robert Dailey, Davis-Michael Professor of Animal and Nutritional Sciences
  • Walter Dekeseredy, Anne Deane Carlson Endowed Chair of Social Sciences
  • Lisa DiBartolomeo, Armand E. and Mary W. Singer Professor in the Humanities
  • Robert DiClerico, Eberly Family Professor Outstanding Teaching, Emeritus
  • Charles R. DiSalvo, Woodrow A. Potesta Professor of Law
  • James Ebel, Harrison/Omnicom Professorship in Integrated Marketing Communications
  • Barry A. Edelstein, Eberly Family Distinguished Professor of Clinical Psychology
  • James Elkins, Arthur S. Dayton Professor Law
  • Eloise Elliott, The Ware Family Distinguished Professorship
  • Sanford Emery, RTF Cline Chair in Orthopedic Surgery
  • Eve Faulkes, J. Bernard Schultz Endowed Professor of Art
  • Ali Feliachi, Electric Power Systems Chair
  • John W. Fisher, II, William J. Maier, Jr. Dean Emeritus
  • Paula F. Fitzgerald, Nathan Haddad Professor of Business Administration
  • Kenneth Fones-Wolf, The Stuart and Joyce Robbins Chair in History
  • Mathis P. Frick, O. F. Gabriele Chair of Radiology
  • James J. Friedberg, Hale J. and Roscoe P. Posten Professor of Law
  • Hota Gangarao, Wadsworth Professorship
  • Laura Gibson, Alexander B. Osborn Distinguished Professor in Hematological Malignancies Research
  • Ronald L. Gross, Jane McDermott Shott Chair of Ophthalmology
  • Rakesh K. Gupta, George and Carolyn Berry Chair of Chemical Engineering
  • Ludwig Gutmann, Hazel Ruby McQuain Chair of Neurological Research
  • Joseph Hagan, Barnette Professor of Political Science
  • Trevor M. Harris, Eberly Family Professor of Geography
  • Keith Heasley, Charles T. Holland Professor of Mining Engineering
  • Erik Herron, Eberly Family Professor of Political Science
  • JoAnn Hornsby, Interim Hazel Ruby McQuain Arthritis/Rheumatic Disease Chair
  • Tara Hulsey, E. Jane Martin Professor of Nursing
  • Arthur I Jacknowitz, Arthur I. Jacknowitz Distinguished Chair in Clinical Pharmacy Emeritus
  • Glen P. Jackson, Ming Hsieh Teaching Professor of Forensic and Investigative Science
  • Abnash Jain, Abnash C. Jain Distinguished Professorship in Cardiology
  • Thomas Kammer, Eberly College Centennial Professor of Geology
  • Vlad Kecojevic, Massey Foundation Professor of Mining Engineering
  • Kennon A. Lattal, Eberly College Centennial Professor of Psychology
  • Richard D. Layne, Grace Kinney Mead Chair of Geriatrics
  • Huey Hannah Lin, J. Vance and Florence Highland Johnson Teaching Professor of Chinese Studies
  • Diana Martinelli, Widmeyer Professorship in Public Relations
  • Michael Mays, Eberly Distinguished Professor of Outstanding Teaching
  • Joyce E. McConnell, William J. Maier, Jr. Dean and Thomas R. Goodwin Professor
  • Marjorie A. McDiarmid, Steptoe and Johnson Professor of Law and Technology
  • Patrick C. McGinley, Charles H. Haden, Jr. Professor of Law
  • James McGraw, Eberly Family Professor of Biology
  • James A. McLaughlin, Robert L. Shuman Professor of Law
  • Maura McLaughlin, Eberly Family Distinguished Professor of Physics and Astronomy
  • Daniel McNeil, Eberly Family Professor for Outstanding Public Service
  • Keith Morris, Ming Hsieh Distinguished Professor of Forensic and Investigative Science
  • Tracy Morris, Eberly Family Professorship for Outstanding Teaching
  • William Neal, James H. Walker Chair of Pediatric Cardiology
  • Peter Ngan, Branson-Maddrell Endowed Professorship in Orthodontics
  • Daniel Panaccione, Davis Michael Professor of Plant and Soil Sciences
  • John Parker, N. Leroy Lapp Professorship of Pulmonary and Critical Care Medicine
  • Syd S. Peng, Charles E. Lawall Chair in Mining Engineering
  • William P. Petros, Mylan Chair of Pharmacology
  • Jason Phillips, Eberly Family Professor of Civil War Studies
  • Christopher Plein, Eberly Family Professor for Outstanding Public Service
  • Joseph Prudomme, Christopher Cline Chair in Orthopedic Surgery
  • Lois Raimondo, Shott Chair of Journalism
  • Hayne W. Reese, Centennial Professor of Psychology, Emeritus
  • Scot Remick, Laurence and Jean DeLynn Chair of Oncology
  • Patricia Rice, Eberly Family Professor for Outstanding Teaching, Emerita
  • Richard A. Riley, Louis F. Tanner Distinguished Professor of Public Accounting
  • Terry L. Rose, Ernest L. Hogan Chair of Life Insurance
  • Greg Rosencrance, Patricia T. Ayash Distinguished Professorship/Internal Medicine Charleston Div.
  • J. Michael Ruppert, Jo and Ben Statler Eminent Scholar and Chair, Breast Cancer Research
  • Terry Schwinghammer, The Arthur I. Jacknowitz Distinguished Chair of Clinical Pharmacy, Emeritus
  • Earl Scime, Oleg D. Jefimenko Professor of Physics
  • Vicky Sealy, The Russell and Ruth Bolton Eberly College Professorship
  • Mohindar Seehra, Eberly Professor in Physics, Emeritus
  • Kenneth Showalter, C. Eugene Bennett Chair of Chemistry
  • David Siderovski, E. J. Van Liere Medicine Professorship
  • Gay Stewart, Eberly Professor of STEM Education
  • Donley Studlar, Eberly Family Professor of Political Science, Emeritus
  • Timothy Sweet, Eberly Professor of American Literature
  • Richard Turton, Russell and Ruth Bolton WVU Professorship for Outstanding Teaching
  • Michael Vernon, Sanger Chair of Family Planning and Reproductive Physiology
  • Kung Wang, Eberly Family Professorship of Chemistry
  • Stephen Wetmore, Romeo Lim and Maria Lim Chair of Otolaryngology
  • Joshua Blackmer Williamson, Mabel DeVries Tanner Endowed Professor of Theatre
  • Brian D. Woerner, Stephanie and Raymond J. Lane Endowed Professor
  • John Zaniewski, Asphalt Technology Professorship of Civil and Environmental Engineering
  • C. Q. Zhang, Eberly Family Professorship of Mathematics