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Where the Monongalia Academy once stood, West Virginia University was founded in 1862 under the Morrill Land-Grant Colleges Act as an agricultural college. President William Howard Taft's "World Wide Speech" was made from the front porch of WVU's Purinton House. Today, WVU is a premier comprehensive public land-grant and space-grant institution with "very high research activity." West Virginia University is located on a 913-acre urban campus in Morgantown along the banks of the Monongahela River just 10 miles from Pennsylvania. Extension centers are operated in Montgomery, Charleston, and Keyser. Every year, WVU enrolls around 22,500 undergraduates and 6,600 post-graduates with a student-faculty ratio of 21:1.

According to the U.S. News, West Virginia University is ranked the 175th best national college, 98th top public school, and 139th best college for veterans. In particular, WVU hosts America's 217th best online bachelor's programs, 36th best online MBA program, and 30th best graduate online computer science programs. Forbes ranked WVU the 166th best research university nationally. For four straight years, WVU has been designated "Military Friendly" in GI Jobs magazine. Washington Monthly chose West Virginia University as the 120th best master's-level institution for civic engagement. Princeton Review crowned WVU among its "Best 380 Colleges" and ranked it the 7th top party school in America.

West Virginia University Accreditation Details

Reaffirmed for the maximum 10 years in 2014, West Virginia University is accredited by the Higher Learning Commission of the North Central Association (HLC-NCA). This regional accrediting agency is recognized by the Council on Higher Education Accreditation (CHEA). Furthermore, over 130 programs have been approved by specialized accreditors. Technical degrees meet the standards of the Accreditation Board for Engineering and Technology (ABET) and Computing Accreditation Commission (CAC). Management programs align with the elite Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business (AACSB). Forensic degrees are accredited by the Forensic Science Education Programs Accreditation Commission (FEPAC).

West Virginia University Application Requirements

Although there's an average acceptance rate of 85 percent, getting into West Virginia University isn't easy. First-time freshmen must be graduating high school seniors, obtain a diploma, or hold a TASC/GED certificate. WVU mandates having at least four units of English, four units of math, three units of social studies, three years of lab science, two units of foreign language, and one unit of fine arts. In-state applicants must hold a minimum cumulative high school GPA of 2.0. Non-residents are held to cumulative GPA of 2.5 or higher. Applicants must score at least 21 on the ACT or 990 on the SAT, Math and Critical Reading only.

Transfer students must carry at least 24 transferable undergraduate credits from a regionally accredited college. If less, applicants must fulfill the above criteria for freshmen. ACT and SAT scores must be submitted unless transfers are 23 years or older. WVU transfer students must maintain a minimum collegiate GPA of 2.0 or better. Non-U.S. citizens must complete English 101 with a B average or score above 500 on the paper-based TOEFL. Graduate applicants must have already attained a four-year bachelor's degree or higher. Most programs mandate a minimum undergraduate GPA of 2.75, though some are 3.0. Students should also receive a combined GRE score of at least 300.

During the rolling admissions process starting every September 15th, students applying to West Virginia University will be reviewed after receiving:

• Completed WVU online application
• Official transcripts of all academic work
• College entrance exam scores
• Proof of English proficiency (if applicable)
• $45 non-refundable application fee

Tuition and Financial Aid

Full-time undergraduates from West Virginia will pay $3,816 for tuition and fees each semester. Non-resident undergrad students are charged $10,716 per full-time semester. Part-time students are billed $318 (in-state) or $893 (out-of-state) per credit hour. Room and board is estimated to cost $4,986 and $4,626 respectively each year. Total cost of attendance is $16,932 (in-state) and $30,732 (out-of-state) for full-time undergraduates. At the graduate level, WVU charges $4,284 per semester for full-time West Virginia residents. Non-residents are billed $11,070 in tuition and fees for full-time graduate enrollment. Part-time graduates can pay $476 (in-state) or $1,230 (out-of-state) per credit.

About 88 percent of beginning full-time WVU students receive financial aid. This equates to around $26 million in tuition assistance annually. Through the MountaineerHub, students can manage their Federal Perkins, Stafford, and Grad PLUS loans. There's also the Elizabeth M. Stalnaker Loan. Free gift aid could be provided with the Federal Pell Grant, FSEOG Grant, TEACH Grant, or Iraq and Afghanistan Service Grant. In-state residents may qualify for the West Virginia Higher Education Grant or Higher Education Adult Part-time Student (HEAPS) Grant. Veterans and vocational rehabilitation benefits are available. Federal Work-Study can be given for part-time and seasonal campus employment. Many scholarships are awarded, including the Promise Scholarship, University Merit Scholarship, Bucklew Scholarship, Transfer Scholarship, and Leadership Scholarship.

Degrees Available at West Virginia University

West Virginia University is split into 15 academic colleges granting more than 190 bachelor's, master's, and doctoral degrees. Professional degrees like the Medical Doctor (M.D.), Doctor of Pharmacy (Pharm.D.), Juris Doctor (J.D.) are also conferred. Around 36 percent of WVU classes have fewer than 20 students to personalize learning. With over $174 million in external funding, many students participate in cutting-edge research, such as at the Blanchette Rockefeller Neuroscience Institute. For example, two degrees offered are:

B.S. in Mining Engineering

Within the ABET-accredited Benjamin M. Statler College of Engineering, the B.S. in Mining Engineering program is offered to undergraduate Mountaineers preparing to enter the state's thriving coal mining industry. As one of only 15 programs of its kind nationally, the B.S. requires the completion of 134 total credits. Students take courses in chemistry, soil science, mechanical engineering, thermodynamics, calculus, physics, mine surveying, mine ventilation, rock mechanics, safety management, and geology. Undergraduates benefit from working in the Coal and Mineral Processing Laboratory for hands-on experience.

M.S. in Forensic Science

Well-known for partnering with the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI), the M.S. in Forensic Science program at WVU has FEPAC accreditation to prepare tomorrow's leading forensic investigators and laboratory analysts. Areas of emphasis are offered in Forensic Examiner, Forensic Biology, and Forensic Chemistry & Toxicology. Consisting of 40 credits, the rigorous curriculum covers coursework from microscopy and trace evidence to forensic informatics and criminalistics. All students work with a faculty mentor to complete master's thesis research and an applied field practicum.

Other unique degrees granted at West Virginia University include the B.S. in Agroecology, M.A. in Autism Spectrum Disorders, B.S. in Biometric Systems, Ph.D. in Cancer Cell Biology, M.F.A. in Costume Design, M.S. in Endodontics, B.S. in Immunology, M.S. in Plant Pathology, and B.S. in Wood Science.

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