Frequently Asked Questions

What is the Eberly College of Arts and Sciences (ECAS)?

The Eberly College of Arts and Sciences includes departments in the traditional academic disciplines of literature and the humanities, social and behavioral sciences, and mathematics and the natural sciences. These areas of study are frequently referred to as the liberal arts.

Fine arts are not included in the Eberly College of Arts and Sciences; they are housed in the WVU College of Creative Arts.

Is the Eberly College of Arts and Sciences (ECAS) part of WVU?

Yes, most definitely. The Eberly College of Arts and Sciences is one of 15 colleges and schools at WVU. Almost 8,000 WVU students are majoring in departments in the Eberly College of Arts and Sciences and every single WVU student will take at least one course in a department in the Eberly College before they graduate.

What majors can I take in the Eberly College of Arts and Sciences?

  • Biochemistry/Biology
  • Biochemistry/Chemistry
  • Biology
  • Chemistry
  • Communication Studies
  • Computer Science
  • Creative Writing
  • Criminology and Investigations
  • Economics
  • English
  • Environmental Geoscience
  • Forensic and Investigative Science
  • Geography
  • Geology
  • Geology & Mining Engineering (double major)
  • History
  • Individualized Major
  • Industrial Mathematics and Statistics
  • Interdepartmental Studies
  • International Studies
  • Legal Studies
  • Liberal Arts and Sciences
  • Liberal Studies
  • Mathematics
  • Multidisciplinary Studies
  • Philosophy
  • Physics
  • Political Science
  • Professional Writing and Editing
  • Psychology
  • Religious Studies
  • Slavic and East European Studies
  • Statistics
  • Women’s Studies
  • World Languages, Literatures and Linguistics

What major should I choose?

There are many resources to help you decide what major is right for you.

The Career Services Center offers an interactive computer program called “SIGI” which can help you clarify career goals, as well as courses and individual counseling on careers. The Center also has literature available on major and career choices. They may be able to set up a “job shadowing” opportunity for you in a field in which you are interested.

The Carruth Center offers testing and individual counseling to help you identify an appropriate major and career.

What can I do with a degree from the Eberly College of Arts and Sciences? Will I get a job after I graduate?

The short answer is that you can do anything and go anywhere with a degree from the Eberly College.

Eberly graduates go on to master’s and doctoral programs around the country, including medical and law schools. They have jobs in business and industry, non-profit organizations, academia, medicine, law, and federal, state, and local government. You will find Eberly graduates working in all 50 states and around the world.

As an Arts and Sciences major, you learn to write and communicate effectively, refine your abilities to analyze complex problems, and grow the confidence to develop solutions and make critical judgments – these skills can take you anywhere you want to go, professionally and personally.

If I get an Arts and Sciences bachelor’s degree, can I go to graduate school? What about medical school or law school?

Yes. Required and recommended courses for graduate and professional schools can easily be incorporated into an Arts and Sciences major. Your academic adviser can help you develop a course schedule that will prepare you for graduate school.

In addition to the WVU Colleges of Law and Medicine, these are some of the schools where Eberly graduates have recently studied law and medicine: Harvard, Yale, University of California at Berkeley, University of Illinois, Yeshiva University, Case Western Reserve, Baylor College, University of Virginia, George Washington University, Vanderbilt University, and University of North Carolina.

Will WVU be personal enough to satisfy my academic needs?

Yes. A successful, satisfying academic experience is available for you at WVU. The courses you take and connections you make here will guide and influence you for the rest of your life.

Don’t take our word for it, read some of our student and alumni stories and check out our blogs to see the impact of the WVU experience.

How will my classes at WVU compare to my high school classes?

Most subject matters will be examined in greater depth. In most courses, critical thinking and writing skills, which may not have been part of your high school experience, will be expected and developed.

You will find that you are doing more reading outside of class time and the material in your WVU classes will be covered more quickly than was the case in your high school classes.

How many people will be in my classes?

You can expect an average class size of about 40 students during your initial years of study. As you select a major and enter upper-division classes, the average class size drops to about 25. Graduate courses are even smaller, with an average class size of about 15. The student to faculty ratio at WVU is 23 to 1.

Some large lecture classes may hold as many as 200 or 300 students. Many of these courses are either the lecture portion of a laboratory course that has much smaller laboratory sections (about 24 students), or they are lecture courses with recitation sections (about 30 to 40 students) that meet once a week to provide time for individual attention.

Who will be my academic advisor?

Your academic advisor is a valuable resource for you and should be one of the first people you meet with when you start school. Many students first meet with their advisor at new student orientation.

Advisors are assigned based on your major. Some Eberly College majors are advised in their department from the freshman year onward; others are advised in the Undergraduate Advising Services Center (UASC) through the end of the freshman or sophomore year and then move into their major department.

Advisors in the departments are Eberly College faculty or staff members; at the UASC, they are staff members whose professional time is devoted to academic advising.

What are general education requirements and why do I need them?

Completion of General Education Curriculum (GEC) requirements is expected of all students at WVU. Regardless of your major and career goals, you must meet the GEC requirements.

WVU aims to provide students with a foundation of skills and knowledge necessary to reason clearly, communicate effectively, and contribute to society. Students will design programs of study that satisfy the GEC’s objectives.

The GEC learning objectives reflect the fact that, in an increasingly interdependent world, it is crucial that students learn to interact constructively with people from different cultures, to understand viewpoints different from their own, and to identify and resolve issues of personal and professional ethics.

You may choose from a variety of courses, and can apply some of the courses required by your major to fulfill GEC requirements. Your academic advisor can help you be sure that you have completed all of the right GEC courses for graduation.

Why do I need to take the math placement exam?

We want you to succeed here at college and in life. Because you will be studying subjects more deeply here, it is important that you be prepared with appropriate background knowledge.

The math placement exam is a tool that helps you determine what levels of math and science courses are right for you. Biology, chemistry, and physics all require good math skills. Math placement ensures that when you do decide to take advanced science courses you won’t be in over your head.

I didn’t take chemistry in high school. Will I be completely lost in college chemistry?

High school chemistry is not required for college chemistry, but a good math background is. That’s why it is important to take a math placement examination to determine if you need additional math before you take a chemistry course.

Students with good math and study skills should be able to handle college chemistry.

Why do I have to take a foreign language?

Our society is increasingly globalized and learning a foreign language gives you the opportunity to learn about other cultures, opens your mind to the world around you, and improves your communication skills. On a practical level, foreign language study prepares you for study aboard and makes you a more attractive candidate for future employers.

Students who are pursuing a Bachelor of Arts degree in an Arts and Sciences major are required to take a foreign language. Students who are pursuing a Bachelor of Science degree are encouraged to study a foreign language.