Mountain State University (MSU) was founded in 1933 and was then known by the name of the Beckley College. It was established with the objective of providing accessible higher education to the youth of West Virginia. Beckley College held its first classes in rooms rented from a local church. Over the years, the college transitioned from being a two-year college to a four-year college and eventually a master’s level institution offering doctoral programs. Beckley College was renamed Mountain State University in August 2001. Mountain State University believes in the value of lifelong learning and the power of knowledge in transforming lives.
Mountain State University is located in the center of downtown Beckley, West Virginia which is about 50 miles south of Charleston. The university is a not-for-profit institution and offers both undergraduate and graduate-level programs. The other campuses of the Mountain State University include Center Township – Pennsylvania, Martinsburg – West Virginia, Mooresville – North Carolina, Orlando – Florida, and Washington, D.C.
Mountain State University is accredited by the Higher Learning Commission and is a member of the North Central Association. However, a show-cause notice has been served to the Mountain State University giving it the time till December 2011 to demonstrate why its regional accreditation should not be revoked.
The academic programs offered by Mountain State University are administered through six schools: School of Business and Technology, School of Arts and Sciences, Charles H. Polk School of Leadership and Professional Devel¬opment, Patsy H. Haslam School of Health Sciences, School of Graduate Studies, and the School of Nursing. The degrees offered to undergraduates include Associate of Applied Science (A.A.S.), Associate of Arts (A.A.), Associate of Science (A.S.), Bachelor of Arts (B.A.), Bachelor of Science (B.S.), Bachelor of Science in Nursing (B.S.N.), and Bachelor of Social Work (B.S.W.).
- The School of Business and Technology offers certificate, associate, and bachelor’s programs in business and technical fields such as accounting, business administration, legal studies, information technology, and airline transport professional pilot operations.
- The School of Arts and Sciences offers degree programs in various professional and academic fields such as criminal justice, biology, environmental sustainability, and fire science.
- The Charles H. Polk School of Leadership and Professional Devel¬opment offers bachelor’s, master’s, and doctoral programs related to the different aspects of leadership such as executive leadership, strategic leadership, and organizational leadership.
- The Patsy H. Haslam School of Health Sciences offers undergraduate and graduate-level programs in health sciences and social work. The programs offered at the school include areas such as advanced diagnostic imaging, emergency medical services, health studies, medical coding and billing, and physician assistance.
- The School of Nursing offers bachelor’s and master’s programs related to the different aspects of nursing such as nursing administration and education and nurse anesthesia. The School of Graduate Studies offers master’s programs in psychology, interdisciplinary studies, and criminal justice administration.
The programs and courses offered at the Mountain State University are delivered in various formats such as traditional classroom study, team learning, independent study, accelerated online study, and blended (online and classroom) format.
Mountain State University has an open-door admissions policy. To apply to Mountain State University, students are required to submit an application for admission, application fee, and an official high school transcript or GED test scores or home schooling documents. The SAT/ACT scores are not required unless it is a specific requirement for the program in which the student wants to apply. Transfer applicants should have attended a regionally accredited institution and need to get their transfer credits evaluated by Mountain State.
Students interested in non-degree programs are also required to submit their official transcripts from the high school/college last attended. International students are required to submit their application form for admission, original/attested transcripts, TOEFL/IELTS scores (if English is not their first language), and a statement from an institution showing availability of funds to finance the academic and living expenses.
Mountain State University students can apply for various forms of financial aid to help them meet their academic expenses. Different forms of financial aid available to students at Mountain State include grants, scholarships, work-study employment, and student loans. Financial aid is either need-based or merit-based. To receive financial aid, students are required to submit the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) to the U.S. Department of Education. The deadline for submitting the FAFSA to be eligible for state aid is March 1.
The different grant options available to Mountain State University students include Federal Pell Grant, Federal Supplemental Educational Opportunity Grant (FSEOG), Academic Competitiveness (AC) Grant, and National Science and Mathematics Access to Retain Talent (SMART) Grant.
There are three federal loan options available to the students of Mountain State University. These include Federal Direct Loan (subsidized and unsubsidized), Federal PLUS Loan for parents of dependent students, and Federal Grad Plus Loan, available to graduate students.
Students can also receive work-study part-time employment options. International fellowships are available to students wherein international students can work part-time on the campus to meet their educational expenses.
The Mountain State University merit-based scholarships include Ambassador Scholarship, Presidential Scholarship, and Valedictorian Scholarship. The PROMISE (Providing Real Opportunities for Maximizing In-state Student Excellence) scholarship is available for students graduating from West Virginia schools.
Student Financial Aid Details
The Mountain State University encourages the development of a well-rounded personality and therefore provides numerous options to students to get involved in extracurricular activities. Students with musical talent can be a part of the MSU Pep band and the New River Area Concert band. The Career Center provides valuable career and job advice to students. The Robert C. Byrd Learning Resource Center features a library having numerous books and electronic resources. The campus police ensure the safety of the students. The MSU Cougar shop stores textbooks and merchandise such as apparels, athletic gear, electronics, and gifts and accessories.
There are two residence halls in the campus of the Mountain State University. The University hall offers accommodation to about 200 students with private rooms organized in four-room clusters. The Hogan Hall provides double rooms arranged in two-room suites. The residence halls have facilities such as wi-fi, group study areas, and balconies and common areas. The Cougar Den offers buffet-style meals.
Student Enrollment Demographics
Student Graduation Demographics
The Mountain State University participates in the NAIA Division I men’s basketball and soccer and women’s softball, volleyball and soccer. The women’s team won the Kentucky Intercollegiate Athletic Conference volleyball title in 2007. Other university sports are cross country, track and field, and cheerleading. The sports teams of the Mountain State University are known as Cougars.
- Mountain State University. Why MSU? Web. 25 July 2011.
- Mountain State University. Quick Facts. Web. 25 July 2011.
- Mountain State University. MSU Student Handbook. 2009. Print.