West Virginia University School of Medicine


The West Virginia School of Medicine first opened in 1902, but did not begin to provide a 4-year program until 1960 when the University Hospital opened. The school became known as the West Virginia University Health Sciences Center, Charleston Division, in 1972 when the Charleston Area Medical Center joined the university. In 1974 theWheeling Division of the Health Sciences Center was established. It is currently known as the Robert C. Byrd Sciences Center of West Virginia University. Beside the School of Medicine, the Center contains schools of Dentistry, Nursing, and Pharmacy.


4-year semitraditional. First and second years: Introductory and advanced basic sciences. Student is introduced to community medicine and clinical medicine, including the foundations for histories and physicals. The first-year basic science courses are integrated, and have common test methods and problembasedlearningclinicalapplications.Thirdyear:Thetraditional clerkships, including neurology and family medicine. Fourth year: This year is partially structured and partially elective. Five months are devoted to a required rotation, 2 months involve rural primary care, 1 month in critical care/anesthesia, 1 month in surgery or a surgical subspecialty, and 1 month in internal medicine, family medicine, or a pediatric subinternship.The balance of the program is elective. Each student, in consultation with an advisor, develops the program best suited to attain his or her goals. The Office of Student Services has a list of approved electives. Third- and fourth-year experiences are primarily based in Ruby Memorial Hospital or Eastern Charleston Division, with some approved rotations at other institutions. During the third and fourth years, students spend a minimum total of 3 months in rural clinic locations.

Unique Programs

Minority admissions: The school has a minority recruitment program and offers a 1-month summer enrichment program. Other degree programs: Combined MD-PhD programs are offered in the basic medical sciences and other disciplines.


Requirements include the basic premedical science courses and 1 year each of English and of behavioral or social sciences. Courses in biochemistry and molecular biology are very desirable. Computer literacy is required. Minimum of 90 hours of college work is required at a grade of C or higher from an accredited U.S. or Canadian school. Transfer and advanced standing: Transfer applications for admission to the third-year class are accepted.


All courses are graded on an Honors/Satisfactory/ Unsatisfactory plus narrative grading system. Taking and passing Steps 1 and 2 of the USMLE is required. Teaching: The Health Sciences Building opened for instructional purposes in 1957. Ruby Memorial Hospital opened in 1988; adjoining is the new Physician Office Center. Also on the Health Sciences Campus are the Chestnut Ridge Psychiatric Hospital, Mountainview Regional Rehabilitation Hospital, an outpatient center, and a cancer center. Library:The Health Sciences Center Library has more than 265,000 bound volumes and 60,000monographtitles,andreceives2227journals.The Library and Health Sciences Center provide free internet access to National Library of Medicine data bases for affiliated students, faculty, and staff. Special services are offered to support medical students on rural rotations. Housing:Anewadditionwillbecompletedinearly2007.

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