List of Online College Programs in West Virginia

POPULATION (2021): 1.8 million

CAPITAL: Charleston

LARGEST PUBLIC UNIVERSITY IN West Virginia: West Virginia University

LARGEST PRIVATE UNIVERSITY IN West Virginia: Wheeling University

With more than 40 colleges and universities, and proximity to many larger cities on the East Coast and Northwest, West Virginia is a surprisingly appealing place for college for many students. The cost of living is very low, and the lifestyle is very relaxed, at least outside of any demanding coursework you may encounter at one of these colleges. Both of those make it very appealing to many potential students.  

Southern hospitality is in full swing in West Virginia, and if you like to disappear into the mountains camping/hiking/etc. for a couple of days, your options are nearly endless. Neighboring Virginia offers many beaches and a few more big cities if you do, indeed, need a break from the laid-back feel in West Virginia.

Universities in West Virginia – 4-Year Colleges and Online

With more than 40 accredited universities that offer 4-year degrees, there are quite a few options for college in West Virginia, especially considering the largest city, Charleston, has less than 50,000 residents.

With that in mind, almost all of the universities in West Virginia share a classic, college-town feel. Less population does mean fewer public activities, but there’s certainly nothing wrong with leaning on your friends for a good time, and that’s another thing several students in West Virginia like about going to college there. 

Public Universities in West Virginia

West Virginia University is the largest brick-and-mortar school in the state of West Virginia, but several 4-year colleges are at least partially funded by the state, including several branch campuses of WVU. Here they are from highest enrollment to lowest (with the city in parentheses).

  • Marshall University (Huntington)
  • Fairmont State University (Fairmont)
  • Shepherd University (Shepherdstown)
  • WVU at Parkersburg
  • Concord University (Athens)
  • West Liberty University (West Liberty)
  • West Virginia State University (Institute)
  • Bluefield State University
  • Glenville State University
  • Potomac State College (Keyser)
  • West Virginia University Institute of Technology (Beckley)

Private Universities in West Virginia

All of the private universities in West Virginia have less than 2,000 students and thus offer similar experiences as far as life outside of the classroom. Small student bodies have a few cons, but in most cases, it means more opportunities to add to a transcript, so be sure to see if any of these schools offer coursework in your desired field of study:

  • Wheeling University
  • University of Charleston
  • WV Wesleyan College (Buckhannon)
  • Alderson Broaddus University (Philippi)
  • Bethany College
  • Davis & Elkins College (Elkins)
  • Appalachian Bible College (Mount Hope)
  • Salem University

Community Colleges in West Virginia

In addition to offering many 4-year degree campuses in the state system, there is also a nice web of community colleges set up to serve residents seeking 2-year programs or who are looking for a more affordable option for general studies. Here are the locations of the community colleges in West Virginia

  • Blue Ridge Community and Technical College (Martinsburg)
  • Pierpont Community and Technical College (Fairmont)
  • New River Community and Technical College (Beckley)
  • Mountwest Community and Technical College (Huntington)
  • West Virginia Northern Community College (Mount Gay)
  • Potomac State College of West Virginia University (Keyser)
  • (2) BridgeValley Community and Technical College (South Charleston, Montgomery)
  • Eastern West Virginia Community and Technical College (Moorefield)

Prominent Online Colleges in West Virginia

The largest college in the state, by enrollment, is actually The American Public University System, a fully online college based in Charleston that focuses on liberal arts and theology and offers both 4-year degrees and graduate programs (all online). 

WVU also has a wide range of online courses and full-degree programs, as do several of the private universities, with several of the private universities recently offering more online coursework to compete with American Public. 

Get to Know West Virginia

West Virginia living isn’t for everyone, but if you like a laid-back feel, 4 seasons, beautiful rolling hills with endless green forests, and exploring the outdoors, West Virginia is a great place to look at colleges. The low cost of living is not only beneficial for college students, but the opportunity to actually purchase land is much more realistic in West Virginia than in several other places if you happen to plant roots after school. 

Classic southern towns are throughout the state, with a lot of trees and green mixed in with colonial-era architecture and history (some good, and some bad, of course!). 

Weekend trips to any of the several large cities in the Northeast are also common for students who go to college in West Virginia.

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