West Virginia University

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Updated August 7, 2020

West Virginia University is one of the largest public colleges in West Virginia. Founded in 1867 as the Agricultural College of West Virginia, it took over a campus formerly owned by three different schools. It offered classes for both young men and women, and it was one of the first colleges to operate a law school in the state. The university originally required that all students attend church services every day before or after their classes, and while the campus still has its own chapel, it now lets students decide whether or not to attend. The university has its flagship campus in Morgantown but also operates a medical/dental campus in Charleston and a school of technology.

Also known as WVU, this is one of the only state schools in West Virginia with a national ranking. Forbes placed it at number 360 on its list of colleges in the country, while U.S. News & World Report placed it in the 170th spot. According to Washington Monthly, WVU is the 120th best college in the nation. The university has a forensic science program that has a strong reputation, and this program was the joint effort of both WVU and the FBI. Other popular programs available through WVU include its information technology, biometrics, rural medicine and nursing programs.

Accreditation Details

WVU most recently received a continuation of its regional accreditation in 2016. The Higher Learning Commission upheld its accreditation and after an extensive investigation determined that it met all the requirements in place for accreditation. If you have an interest in engineering or technology programs, you'll also appreciate that the university has accreditation from the Accreditation Board for Engineering & Technology, Incorporated. Also known as ABET, this professional organization accredited the WVU programs in chemical engineering, civil engineering, computer engineering, electrical engineering, electronic engineering technology, engineering technology, mechanical engineering technology and mechanical engineering. All of these programs award graduates a bachelor's degree.

Application Requirements

Any student who is a recent high school graduate and has not yet attended college can apply as a new freshman student. Even if you completed some college credits as part of your high school curriculum, you can still use the new student application. WVU requires that you submit an official transcript from the college you attended to gain credit for those classes. All new freshmen must also show that they took at least four years of English and college prep math classes, three years of lab science and social studies classes, two years of American Sign Language or a foreign language classes and at least one fine art class like drama or band. The high school transcript that you submit when applying will show those classes.

Those coming from West Virginia must have a high school grade point average of 2.0 or higher and score at least 910 on the reading and math sections of the SAT or score at least 19 on the ACT. Students from other states must have a GPA of 2.5 or higher and score 990 or higher on the same sections of the SAT or score 21 or higher on the ACT. If you have a higher test score and a GPA of 3.5 or higher, you can apply for early admission at the end of your junior year. WVU asks prospective students to complete an online application, submit their test scores and submit an official high school transcript. Those applying to certain programs may need to meet other requirements.

Tuition and Financial Aid

Though West Virginia University charges a tuition rate per credit hour, it charges slightly more for those coming from outside of the state. In-state tuition starts at $280 per credit hour. When you factor in the miscellaneous fees charged by the university, you'll pay right around $4,000 a semester to take a full course load of 12 credit hours. Tuition for residents of other states is nearly $900 per credit hour. Those students pay just over $11,000 a semester for tuition and all miscellaneous fees. Taking more than 12 credit hours of classes each semester will increase your costs. You must also pay for your own textbooks, supplies and personal expenses, and those living on-campus must pay for room and board too.

When applying to WVU, also fill out the FAFSA in the late winter or early spring. Enter the appropriate school code for WVU when you submit that form. Based on the amount of financial assistance your parents can give you, you might qualify for grants or loans. Those living on-campus or near the campus can also take part in the university's work-study program, which helps them earn a few hundred dollars every month. Make sure that you talk with the WVU financial aid department to see if you qualify for any scholarships too.

Online Degrees

West Virginia University offers a bachelor's degree program in computer science that serves as an introduction for those with an interest in information technology. Available through the campus's Lane Department of Computer Science and Electrical Engineering, this program teaches students how to find the flaws in existing software, design software of their own and understand the basic algorithms that computers use. It includes courses like introduction to data structures, file structures, design of algorithms, computer construction and data mining. Other undergrad programs available in the same field of study include biometric systems and computer engineering. WVU also offers dual degree programs that let you earn two bachelor's degrees in computer science and biometric systems or computer engineering.

If you already have your bachelor's in computer science or IT, you might enroll in a graduate program like its information assurance and biometrics. This program looks at modern biometric systems, the ethical issues of creating those systems and biometric technology. The university also has a graduate program in instructional design and technology open to those who want to teach IT subjects. To apply to one of the university's graduate programs, you must apply in the spring or summer before the next semester starts and submit an official college transcript that lists the classes you took, the GPA you earned in your major classes and your cumulative GPA. West Virginia University has an acceptance rate of more than 80% among undergrads but a lower acceptance rate among grad students.

Related Resource: 30 Most Affordable Online Master's in Information Technology

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