Aug 20, 2017

West Virginia

Noted for its mountains and diverse topography, West Virginia is bordered by Pennsylvania to the north, Ohio to the northwest, Maryland to the northeast, Virginia to the southeast, and Kentucky to the southwest. The state’s capital and largest city is Charleston. Other cities in the state include Huntington, Parkersburg, Morgantown, Wheeling and Weirton.

West-VirginiaThe United States Census Bureau estimates that the population of West Virginia was 1,854,304 on July 1, 2013. Major industries in the state include energy, manufacturing, metals, chemicals, biotechnology, woodworking, and tourism. West Virginia is one of the top wood-producing states in the nation, ranking third nationally in terms of forest coverage – 79 percent of the state is covered by forest. The state accounts for over one-tenth of U.S. total coal production and has discovered significant natural gas resources. The 6,000 foot-deep Marcellus Shake rock formation is believed to contain more than 50 trillion cubic-feet of recoverable natural gas.

Many manufacturing companies are attracted to West Virginia by the state’s relatively lower operating costs and accessibility. Energy costs, for instance, are up to 12 percent lower in West Virginia, compared to competitor states. West Virginia is home to the nation’s largest inland port.

The West Virginia Higher Education Policy Commission oversees the state’s four-year public education system, which includes 12 campuses. In addition, there are several independent colleges.

Top Reasons to Study in West Virginia

  • Cost of Living: West Virginia residents benefit from low property taxes and a cost of living that is 8 percent below the U.S. average. Overall, the cost of living is among the lowest in the country.
  • Employment Prospects: Potential graduate employment opportunities in West Virginia largely reflect the state’s economic structure and tend to be in the major industries – energy, manufacturing and tourism. With over 140 companies operating in the state, the chemicals and polymer manufacturing industry employs 12,800 workers. There are over 1,350 metal working and machinery manufacturing companies, including global giants like ArcelorMittal, Novelis Corporation, and Wheeling-Nisshin Inc.

Featured Colleges and Universities

Below are some of the popular colleges in the state. You can also use our college finder search tool to find the right college for you based on your preferred area of study.

For a full list of accredited colleges and universities in West Virginia, contact the West Virginia Higher Education Policy Commission.


College Popular Majors Type of Institution Enrollment
Davis and Elkins College Business,Communication/ Information Sciences,Health Private >10,000 Request Info
Marshall University Biomedical Sciences,Finance,Marketing Public >10,000 Request Info
West Virginia University Economics,Government,Psychology Public >10,000 Request Info

References and Useful Links