In 1862, President Abraham Lincoln signed the Morrill Act, offering land grants of federally-owned land to each state that agreed to use either the land or the proceeds from sale of the land to establish an institute of higher education offering programs in agriculture and mechanical arts. The following year, the state of West Virginia was formed and the legislature accepted the Morrill Act terms.
In 1867, the Agricultural College of West Virginia opened in Morgantown, an all-male, all-white institution. The school used the former Woodburn Female Seminary building as its residence hall and, Alexander Martin, the first president of the school, lived in the building with the students. Today, Woodburn Hall stands on the site of the former seminary. The school became West Virginia University in 1868.
Initially, the university offered programs in the humanities and sciences disciplines. To meet the requirements of the Morrill Act, which required the school to offer an agricultural program, students planted a garden in Woodburn Circle, then left for summer vacation. When they returned in the fall, the garden was full of weeds. Because the Morrill Act also required a cadet corps, the school established one which eventually became the ROTC Program during World War I. Tuition in 1867 was just $8 for a 13-week term and board was 43.50 per week. For a full academic year, the average student paid between $187.50 and $249.
Women were admitted to the program in 1889. Until 1895, students were required to attend chapel each moring and one church service on Sunday. The requirement was eliminated in 1898. During the Great Depression, students were provided the ability to work and study at the same time in an effort to ease the financial burdens many faced. After the start of World War II, male enrollment dropped significantly and women became more dominant on campus. Men enlisted in the 48th College Training Detachment lived, trained and studied on campus.
After the war, enrollment grew significantly due to the establishment of the G.I. Bill. Classes ran from 8 AM until 10 PM and on Saturday to meet the demand. Today, there are 28,776 enrolled at West Virginia University. The school has produced 24 Rhodes Scholars, 22 Truman Scholars and 40 Goldwater Scholars.
West Virginia University Accreditation Details
West Virginia University is accredited by the Higher Learning Commission which certifies that the school provides students with excellence in education by meeting specific criteria. Programs at the university are also accredited by organizations that monitor degree programs in their specific industry.
West Virginia University Application Requirements
Freshmen who have not earned any college credits must have completed:
- Four units of English
- Four units of Mathematics that includes Algebra I & II and Plane Geometry
- Three units of social studies
- Three units of science all in laboratory science
- Two units of foreign language
- One unit of fine arts
West Virginia residents must have a 2.0 grade point average while non-residents must have a 2.5 grade point average. Students must provide an official transcript.
Students who have more than 24 credits at an institute of higher learning are considered transfer students. They must have a grade point average of 2.0 in all college work and must provide official transcripts from any college or university attended.
Graduate students must submit an online application and provide official transcripts from any college or university attended. Students must provide GRE scores and contact a program director for program specific information. Each graduate program has specific requirements for admission, so students should discuss those requirements with the program director.
West Virginia University Tuition and Financial Aid
Undergraduate tuition for West Virginia residents is $318 per credit hour and $893 per credit hour for non-residents. Graduate tuition is $476 per credit hour for West Virginia residents and $1,230 for non-residents.
Financial aid is available to students based on financial need and eligibility. Aid is available in the form of scholarships, grants, student employment and loans. Students must complete the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) in order to qualify for financial aid.
West Virginia University Online Degree(s) Available
Online Nursing R.N. to B.S.N.
West Virginia University offers an online Registered Nurse to Bachelor of Science in Nursing designed for licensed practical nurses who wish to further their education in the nursing profession. The program is accredited by the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education. Students who already hold an R.N. license are admitted directly into the School of Nursing with 50 credit hours of undifferentiated nursing credit. The program requires 28 credit hours of nursing coursework which can be completed in three semesters if attending full-time and six semesters if attending part-time. Students without a nursing degree must meet pre-requisites before entering the program.
Online Master of Science in Nursing
The Master of Science in Nursing allows students to concentrate their studies as a Family Nurse Practitioner, Pediatric Nurse Practitioner or Nursing Leadership. The program is 44 credits and can be completed in two years of full-time study. Courses are offered online but students are required to attend a special session at the Morgantown or Charleston campus at least five times through the assessment course and two days in practicum for Family Nurse Practitioner students. Graduate students meet the requirements for national certification in their specialty areas. The program offers strong theory and research components, providing students with a firm foundation for doctorate study.
Forensic and Fraud Examination, M.S.
Students interested in careers related to investigating white-collar crime, litigation disputes, the illegal international movement of money and terrorism financing will find the Master of Science in Forensic and Fraud Examination. The program provides students with the flexibility of online learning with the benefit of two on-campus residencies for two days. The program provides students with the tools and knowledge necessary to address requirements under the Dodd-Frank Act of 2010 and the Sarbanes-Oxley Act of 2002. Students develop an understanding of anti-fraud, forensic accounting as well as business and professional experience.
Sport Coaching, M.S.
The Master of Science in Sport Coaching provides students with the knowledge and skills necessary to be an effective coach of youth and adolescents. The program focuses on developing the whole athlete with curriculum that includes talent, life skills and character development. In-state tuition is available to all students who enroll in this program and it is offered completely online. Teachers who coach at the scholastic, community or club levels will benefit from this program.
Business Data Analytics, M.S.
The Business Data Analytics Master of Science degree at West Virginia University provides students with the expertise they need to analyze and interpret statistical data. Students are provided instruction in statistical techniques, data mining, utilizing databases and analytical tools. The program is 12-months and is offered online, although students must attend two on-campus residencies.
West Virginia University offers students a wide variety of degrees offered in an online format. This format provides flexibility that allows students who have work, family and social obligations to achieve their higher education goals in order to move into a new career or advance in a current career.