Updated on May 23, 2024
Edited by Evelyn Keener
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West Virginia University (WVU) is a public land-grant research institution located in Morgantown, West Virginia. Founded in 1867, the school is ranked as a Research University with the highest research activity in the 2021 Carnegie Classification of Institutions of Higher Education. The WVU System also includes the WVU Institute of Technology in Beckley and WVU Potomac State College in Keyser. There are also two health sciences centers located in Charleston and Martinsburg.

Overview of West Virginia University (WVU)

The university is dedicated to creating a diverse and inclusive culture that advances education, healthcare, and prosperity. West Virginia University (WVU) seeks to do this by providing access and opportunity, by advancing high-impact research, and by leading transformation in the world through local, state, and global engagement.

There were approximately 25,500 students enrolled at West Virginia University in fall 2021. Of those, 19,600 were pursuing undergraduate degrees. Total full-time faculty employment was about 2,475, with 1,300+ focusing efforts on instruction and 1,150 performing research and public service. There were also 697 part-time faculty members, 488 of whom were instructors and 209 of whom performed research. This makes the student-to-faculty ratio 18:1, which is about average among institutions in the United States. It is also worth noting that the university maintains 656 instructional graduate assistants and 735 research graduate assistants.

General Information

School Type Public
Campus Setting City: Small
Campus Housing Yes
Student Faculty Ratio 18:1
Graduation Rate 64%
Year Founded 1867

Student Enrollment

Total Students25,474


Undergraduate Student

Male 9,408
Female 10,191

Graduate Student

Male 2,820
Female 523,055

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WVU Acceptance Rate and Admissions


Male 7,761
Female 9,313


Male 6,830
Female 8,475

Acceptance Rate90%

Male 88%
Female 91%

Enrollment 4,303

Male 2,049
Female 2,288
Application Fee $50
High School GPA Required
High School Rank Recommended
High School Transcripts Required
College Prep Courses Required
Recommendations NA
SAT/ACT Required
TOEFL (Test of English as a Foreign Language) Required
Application Deadline August 1
Common Application Accepted Yes

WVU Tuition Cost & Financial Aid

Tuition rates at West Virginia University vary based on the enrollment status and the number of courses taken. The institution estimates that in-state, undergraduate students enrolled in a minimum of 12 credit hours per semester will pay $9,384 in tuition and fees per year. Out-of-state students with the same course load will pay approximately $26,568 a year, however. Room and board costs are projected to be $11,618 per year, but may vary depending on the selections made. The estimate provided by West Virginia University assumes the use of a double occupancy room in a residence hall and a 13-meal plan.

The cost of attendance is different for graduate students. In-state students can expect to pay $10,098 per year, while non-residents will be charged $25,632 in tuition and fees per year. While graduate students do not usually require room and board, the institution offers it for an estimated $11,860 per year.

It’s worth noting that West Virginia University offers many of the same programs online with few out-of-state tuition rates. Remote undergraduate students from all over the nation pay between $376 and $528 per credit hour, including program fees. The tuition rate for online graduate students is slightly higher, with those enrolled paying $652 to $1200 per credit hour, including program fees.

In all cases, students are also responsible for paying for books, supplies, transportation, parking, and personal needs. The overall expense of enrollment can be offset, however, with financial aid. All incoming students are encouraged to apply for West Virginia University’s merit scholarships. The institution also uses the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) to determine eligibility for federal grants, scholarships, work-study, and loans. As of the 2020-2021 academic year, 95% of beginning undergraduate students enrolled at West Virginia University received some form of financial aid. While the majority of assistance came in the form of scholarships and grants, 55% of students still required student loans to attend.

Average net price 2020-2021
Net Price $13,422
Average Total Aid $10,867
Students Receiving Financial Aid 95%
Room & Board $10,948

Sticker Price

  • Tuition In-State - $8,976
  • Tuition Out-of-State - $25,320
  • Books and Supplies - $950
  • Room & Board - $10,948
  • Other - $3,250


West Virginia University leverages its talents and resources to create a better future for West Virginia and the world at large. From groundbreaking research to career-oriented programs, students can choose from an array of exciting academic experiences. Degrees are designed to provide those enrolled with the most up to date knowledge and skills demanded by today’s employers.

There are 355 majors to consider within the institution’s 13 colleges and schools:

  • Benjamin M. Statler College of Engineering and Mineral Resources
  • College of Applied Human Sciences
  • College of Creative Arts
  • College of Law
  • Davis College of Agriculture, Natural Resources, and Design
  • Eberly College of Arts and Sciences
  • Honors College
  • John Chambers College of Business and Economics
  • Reed College of Media
  • School of Dentistry
  • School of Medicine
  • School of Nursing
  • School of Pharmacy
  • School of Public Health

The university also offers flexible, online degree and certificate programs. Students can choose from over 600 virtual classes and programs that are entirely online or a combination of remote and on-campus learning.

According to the National Center for Education Statistics (NCES), the retention rate for first-time students pursuing bachelor’s degrees full-time in 2021 at West Virginia University is 81%. This is notable, as the national average for all higher education institutions is 68%. The retention rate for part-time students, on the other hand, was only 20%. While part-time retention is relatively low, this still indicates that the mass majority of those enrolled at the university were pleased with their experiences and decided to return for a second year of study.

Graduation rates are slightly lower. The overall graduation rate for full-time, first-time degree or certificate-seeking students who began their studies at West Virginia University in fall 2015 was 68%, with a transfer-out rate of 23%. This data is significant, as it indicates the number of students who successfully earned their degrees or certificates within 150% of the standard completion time, which is about six years. Most students strive to graduate within four years of enrollment, however. Approximately 44% of those who began their studies in fall 2015 achieved this. However, it’s important to note that this graduation rate is still above the national average and, as many students transfer in order to graduate from another institution, as many as 90% or more may have graduated from WVU or their transfer institution.

West Virginia University is accredited by the Higher Learning Commission, an institutional accreditation agency recognized by the United States Department of Education and the Council for Higher Education Accreditation (CHEA). The university also holds many specialized accreditations.

Student Population Total

Student Population 25,474

Evening Classes : No
Online Learning : Yes

Most Popular Programs & Majors

(# of Diplomas Awarded by Subject)

All Engineering Majors 693 Total Graduates / 15%
Mechanical Engineering 156 Graduates
Industrial Engineering 126 Graduates
Civil Engineering, General 88 Graduates
Aerospace, Aeronautical, and Astronautical/Space Engineering, General 82 Graduates
All Business Majors 657 Total Graduates / 14%
Finance, General 125 Graduates
Marketing/Marketing Management, General 124 Graduates
Accounting 93 Graduates
Business Administration and Management, General 88 Graduates
Health Professions and Related Programs 434 Total Graduates / 10%
Registered Nursing/Registered Nurse 216 Graduates
Audiology/Audiologist and Speech-Language Pathology/Pathologist 84 Graduates
Public Health, General 58 Graduates
Health Information/Medical Records Administration/Administrator 35 Graduates
All Biological & Biomedical Majors 336 Total Graduates / 7%
Exercise Physiology and Kinesiology 137 Graduates
Biology/Biological Sciences, General 132 Graduates
Biochemistry 27 Graduates
Microbiology and Immunology 24 Graduates
Multi/Interdisciplinary Studies 262 Total Graduates / 6%
Multi-/Interdisciplinary Studies, General 248 Graduates
Sustainability Studies 14 Graduates
All Other Diplomas 48%

Outcome & Salary

While West Virginia University does not have any graduate outcomes data posted, the institution does host an extensive career services center for alumni. This initiative provides a wide variety of resources applicable to those seeking new job opportunities and recruiting. The university provides helpful guidance regarding the job search process, resumes, and career events. Alumni also have access to Handshake, which is a platform containing current employment opportunities available in the area.

According to Payscale, graduates from West Virginia University’s main campus earn an average base salary of $72,000 per year.

Graduates Salary
College Grads Early Career Salary $58,000
College Grads Average Salary $73,000
College Grads Mid Career Salary $105,600
Return on Investment (ROI)
10 Year Salary Earnings Potential $730,000
20 Year Salary Earnings Potential $1,786,000
Cost of Education (Net Price) 4 Year $53,688
10 Year Projected ROI $676,312
20 Year Projected ROI $1,732,312
No College Education Salary Comparison
National Average Salary $38,792
10 Year Projected Income $387,920
20 Year Projected Income $775,840

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