Mountain State University

Mountain State University is a private non-profit university located in Beckley, West Virginia. It believes in the importance of lifelong learning experiences and the ability of knowledge to significantly change lives. Its mission is to provide accessible and innovative undergraduate and graduate degree programs that help students achieve professional and personal success. Its core values include excellence, knowledge, integrity, vision, responsiveness, uniqueness, accessibility, and collaboration. Mountain State University offers programs at the certificate, associate, bachelor’s, master’s, and doctoral degree levels.

Mountain State University offers online learning programs to supplement or replace traditional campus-based education. The online programs feature flexible learning schedules that enable students to study at their own time and pace. Online programs are available in a variety of areas including accounting, aviation, business administration, computer science and information technology, criminal justice, diagnostic medical sonography, fire science, legal studies, medical assisting, medical coding and billing, occupational health and safety, organizational leadership, and psychology. Online degrees and courses are delivered via the Blackboard and WebCT course management systems. The learning platforms feature unlimited access to course materials and students are able to submit assignments, take exams, and communicate regularly with instructors and fellow classmates. Online students have access to the Cougar bookstore, career service center, and technical assistance.

Mountain State University was founded in 1933 as Beckley College. It began as a junior college that strived to provide accessible higher education to young adults in the southern West Virginia area. Throughout the first 25 years, the college had slow but steady growth. In 1991, the college received status as a four-year institution and changed its name to The College of West Virginia. In 2001, the college became Mountain State University. It began offering doctoral programs in 2009. The college continues to grow and expand and constantly adds new degree programs.


The Higher Learning Commission of the North Central Association of Colleges and Schools accredits Mountain State University.

Schools of Education

School of Arts and Sciences: dedicated to offering quality education programs in humanities and the social, natural, and mathematical sciences that provide a well-rounded background in liberal arts. Degree programs include biology, crime scene investigation, elementary teacher preparation, general engineering, liberal studies, occupational health and safety, psychology, and wildlife management.

School of Business and Technology: offers programs in the business and technical fields that prepare students for challenging positions in various business and industry, education, and government organizations. Degree programs include accounting, aviation, business administration, computer networking, culinary, information technology, legal studies, and office administration.

Patsy H. Haslam School of Health Sciences: committed to providing quality programs in health sciences and health care. Offers programs in advanced diagnostic imaging, diagnostic medical sonography, emergency medical services, health studies, medical assisting, occupational therapy assistant, phlebotomy, physician assistant, and radiologic technology.

Charles H. Polk School of Leadership and Professional Development: offers programs in organizational leadership that prepare students to become effective problem solvers and team leaders. Programs include strategic leadership, executive leadership, criminal justice administration, and hospitality leadership.

School of Nursing: committed to providing quality nursing programs. Offers programs in nursing, nurse anesthesia, and nursing administration.

School of Graduate Studies: offers programs through the other schools of education that combine expertise of faculty members with reality-based curricula. Programs include interdisciplinary studies, psychology, health science, strategic leadership, and family nurse practitioner.

Scholarships Offered

Mountain State University offers scholarships to help students pay educational costs including the Gift Scholarships, High School Valedictorian Scholarships, High School Salutatorian Scholarships, Presidential and Trustee Scholarships, USAF: Technical Degree Sponsorship Program (TDSP), and Ambassador Scholarship. Students are also encouraged to apply for scholarships offered from outside organizations.

Financing Options

Mountain State University participates in a variety of financial aid programs such as the Federal Pell Grant, Federal Stafford Subsidized Loan, Federal Stafford Unsubsidized Loan, Federal Supplemental Educational Opportunity Grant (FSEOG), West Virginia Higher Education Grant (WVHEG), Federal PLUS Loan, Higher Education Award for Part-Time Students (HEAPS), Pennsylvania State Grant Program, Work Investment Act (WIA) Grant, Federal Work Study, International Fellowships, and alternative loans. The university also offers a payment plan.

Credit Earning Options

Mountain State University grants transfer credit for courses completed at other colleges and universities. All transfer courses must have a grade of a C or better. Students may receive credit for examinations such Advanced Placement (AP) tests, College Level Examination Program (CLEP) or DANTES Subject Standardized Tests (DSST). Students are required to submit official transcripts from all colleges and universities previously attended as well as official exam transcripts. Students may also receive credit for military experience that has been assessed by the American Council on education (ACE). Mountain State University enables students to receive credit for learning associated with life experiences such as work, professional training, recreational activities, and other meaningful experiences. The prior learning assessment program requires students to submit a learning portfolio that documents their prior learning experiences.