Founded as a land-grant university in 1867, West Virginia University enjoys a longstanding history of providing higher education opportunities. The school originally offered training in agriculture and engineering, but over the course of its nearly 150 years, West Virginia University has evolved to meet the demands of contemporary students. Today, students can choose from 193 programs at the undergraduate, graduate and professional levels. As of fall 2015 enrollment, the school has a total population of more than 31,500 students across all platforms.
Students at West Virginia University enjoy access to 475 student organizations, 17 intercollegiate varsity sports and five distinct research libraries. Those who study here will also benefit from a highly skilled staff as 85 percent of the full-time faculty hold the highest degrees in their respective fields. Eighteen faculty members have been recognized as Carnegie Foundation Professors of the Year, and 65 percent of classes are taught by full-time professors.
News and World Report ranks West Virginia University at number 93 on its list of the best public colleges in the country for 2015. The school has also earned recognition for a number of its graduate programs, its affordable tuition rate, and its work environment for people over 50. At the student level, West Virginia University boasts 40 Goldwater Scholars, 24 Rhodes Scholars, 22 Truman Scholars and four Fulbright Scholars.
West Virginia University Accreditation Details
West Virginia University holds institutional accreditation from the Higher Learning Commission, most recently reaccredited in 2014. Many of the school’s individual programs and colleges also hold accreditation from various accrediting bodies. The Bachelor of Science in Computer Science, for example, has been accredited by the Computing Accreditation Commission of the Accreditation Board for Engineering and Technology.
West Virginia University Application Requirements
Applying to West Virginia University is a straightforward process, but interested applicants should note that there are 12 classifications for applying, including first-time freshman, transfer students, senior citizens, readmitted students, and faculty and staff who want to take classes for enrichment. The admission requirements for each category vary. For example, first-time freshmen will need to meet the following criteria in order to apply:
- Completion of all high school units set forth by the state and university
- A 2.0 minimum GPA with a minimum ACT score of 19 or SAT score of 900
- A 2.5 GPA and ACT score of 21 or SAT score of 990 for non-residents
- All official transcripts
Applicants can submit their application using the university’s online portal or the Common Application. The nonrefundable application fee is $45 for everyone except international students, who will pay $60.
For official transcripts and standardized test scores, students will need to submit these items via mail. The university also notes that individual programs may require additional documentation, and other applicant types will need to read through the admissions page for specific requirements.
Tuition and Financial Aid
Forbes magazine ranked West Virginia University 30th overall on its Best Buy Colleges list for 2012 and 6th for land-grant institutions. Students will pay varying rates of tuition and fees based on residency status, program of choice and other factors. The university offers an estimator on its financial aid website to help students figure out how much they might spend per academic year. For a non-resident, undergraduate computer science major living on campus, the fees are as follows:
- Tuition: $841 per credit hour
- University fees: $52 per credit hour
- College tuition: $71 per credit hour
- Room and board: $4,643 per semester
With additional fees and personal expenses combined, the total cost of attending West Virginia University for one academic year is about $35,722. For residents of West Virginia, the cost drops to about $21,370. Students from Ohio, the District of Columbia, or Garrett College in Maryland may be eligible for the in-state tuition rate due to a reciprocity agreement.
Students who need financial assistance should submit the Free Application for Federal Student Aid or FAFSA, which determines eligibility for grants, federal and state loans, and work-study opportunities. In addition to these options for paying for school, students at West Virginia University can apply for various institutional scholarships, including:
- Freshman scholarships
- Transfer student scholarships
- International scholarships
- Leadership scholarships
- College-specific scholarships
The school offers scholarships for both resident and non-resident students. Each scholarship award is based on different criteria. For example, the Leadership scholarships are awarded to freshmen who “have achieved the highest levels of honor or leadership within nationally acclaimed organizations.” Recognized organizations include the Boy Scouts of America, the Girl Scouts of America and Civil Air Patrol. Interested applicants should check with the financial aid office to find out more about institutional awards.
Degree in Focus: Bachelor of Science in Computer Science
West Virginia University’s Bachelor of Science in Computer Science program enables students to earn an undergraduate degree in one of today’s fastest-growing industries. According to the department’s website, the school seeks to prepare graduates of the computer science program to “achieve success and proficiency in their profession, be recognized as leaders, and contribute to the well-being of society.”
Students must complete 124 credit hours in order to earn the degree. Of these credit hour requirements, between 38 and 45 come from general education courses. The remaining courses draw from major-specific subjects, general electives and concentration areas to give students a broad education in the field of computer science. Core subject requirements for the major include an introduction to digital logic design, microprocessor systems, compiler construction and principles of programming languages.
Students may concentrate their degrees in one of three areas: computing theory, software and engineering knowledge, and computer systems. Regardless of concentration, all computer science majors will take courses in each focus area. A typical bachelor’s degree takes four years to complete, and the university outlines a specific course schedule on its website to help students finish the degree on time.
The undergraduate degree in computer science is available through the Benjamin M. Statler College of Engineering and Mineral Resources or the Eberly College of Arts and Science, but either path leads to a Bachelor of Science. Students who are interested in the computer science program offered by West Virginia University can fill out a form on the school’s website to learn more about each track and specific program requirements.
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