Jul 12, 2024  
2023-2024 Undergraduate Catalog 
2023-2024 Undergraduate Catalog

About Fairmont State


Vision, Mission and Core Values

Vision Statement

Fairmont State University will be renowned for its innovative pedagogical practices and programs and as the first-choice institution for students seeking a transformative educational experience.

Mission Statement

Fairmont State University is a comprehensive, regional university committed to educating global citizen leaders in an environment distinguished by a commitment to excellence,student success and transformational impact.

Core Values & The Goals That Address Them

Family - establishing interdependence and mutual support

Diversity - engendering a culture of respect where all people’s views are acknowledged and valued

Excellence - ensuring distinction in programs, service, faculty, staff and students

Entrepreneurship - supporting creative and innovative initiatives that may have an element of risk

Safety - promoting an environment free from the occurrence or risk of injury, danger, or loss

Trust - inspiring confidence in a person in whom responsibility or authority is placed

Respect - having esteem for or a sense of the worth or excellence of our people

Integrity - adhering to the highest standards

Transparency - establishing visible foundations for decisions and plans

Stewardship - responsibly overseeing and protecting the things considered worth caring for and preserving

SOAR Values

Scholarship:    To celebrate the joy and wonder of discovery.

Opportunity:    To grow, learn, engage, and contribute.

Achievement:  To reach personal and community goals.

Responsibility: To fulfill obligations to ourselves, the learning community, our society, and the future.

Philosophy and Objectives

Fairmont State considers its broad objective to be the education of its students as intelligent and productive persons, capable of participating in and understanding the world of the twenty-first century. Accordingly, the University seeks to provide a suitable environment for free and responsible inquiry into the nature, sources, and implications of human knowledge and culture, and it challenges students to promote their own intellectual, social, and personal development.

The University faculty serve this objective by guiding students in acquiring knowledge and by maintaining a dialogue with them. The University fully supports the ideal of a well-educated society and upholds the academic freedom of its faculty and students, confident that the best interests of the community are served when the search for truth is imaginative and vigorous.

The University follows a liberal policy of student admissions and believes that it can help highly-motivated students to overcome many challenges in their academic preparation. Because its academic standards are high, the Fairmont State degree represents a level of achievement respected throughout the nation.

The University has a traditional interest in preparing teachers for public schools in West Virginia, as well as in other states. Recognizing the importance of able teachers to a progressive society, it requires outstanding academic performance of its teacher candidates and offers them sound professional training for elementary and secondary teaching supported by a strong partnership with a network of public schools.

Drawing many students from its immediate vicinity, the University welcomes the enthusiastic support it receives from Fairmont and surrounding areas. In return, it participates actively in community projects, shares its programs and facilities with the public, and serves the community as a center of information and culture.

Specifically, the mission of Fairmont State is to provide programs needed by those in its geographic service area, to the extent permitted by its financial and human resources, and its assigned role in the state system of public higher education. This mission is accomplished by meeting these objectives:

  • Offering a broad range of traditional baccalaureate degree programs in the arts and sciences, teacher education, and business administration;
  • Providing opportunities for occupationally oriented baccalaureate study through expansion of existing engineering technology programs and the development of additional career-related curricula;
  • Bringing selected study opportunities into communities in the University’s service region through the use of the mass media, regional educational centers, external degree programs, and other forms of nontraditional study;
  • Encouraging a broad segment of the populace, including various age groups and the economically deprived, to avail themselves of educational opportunities;
  • Serving the greatest number of students by holding University costs at the lowest possible level and providing financial support to those who need it to gain equal access to higher education;
  • Relating the breadth of the curriculum to the availability of appropriate employment opportunities and the needs of business, industrial and public service agencies in the University’s service area;
  • Offering continuing education programs to provide career enhancement, cultural enrichment, and personal skill development;
  • Providing advisory, counseling, and placement services to enable students to make satisfactory decisions about academic and personal problems and to make successful career and employment choices;
  • Offering a variety of cultural, recreational, and social activities to complement academic pursuits.

The Fairmont State Graduate

Graduate of Fairmont State University should:

  1. Demonstrate competence in the following skills to aid them in making decisions about personal values and career strategies: critical analysis, quantitative literacy, oral and written communication, reading, teamwork, information literacy, problem solving, and technological literacy.
  2. Demonstrate proficiency in their major fields of study that will enable them to compete in the global job market and pursue additional levels of formal education.
  3. Understand the responsibilities of citizens, participate in the democratic process, and contribute to their society.
  4. Embrace and act upon an ethical view that respects the life, property, opinions, and feelings of others.
  5. Demonstrate the knowledge and habits that lead to physical and mental health and well-being.
  6. Understand the complementary nature of their liberal and professional studies and develop the capacity for independent, lifelong learning.
  7. Acquire an informed appreciation of the arts, the humanities, and the social and natural sciences.
  8. Develop sensitivity in matters of local and global social justice, respecting and appreciating differences among individuals and societies.


Fairmont State University

Fairmont State University is accredited by the Higher Learning Commission to offer Associates, Bachelors, and Masters degrees in addition to Certificate programs. Fairmont State has been accredited since 1928 and is committed to reaffirming and advancing its commitment to academic excellence and student support through its accreditation and compliance-related actions. The West Virginia Higher Education Policy Commission also provides additional oversight of new and existing degree programs. 

Fairmont State University only reviews transferable credit from regionally accredited institutions and institutions with national accreditation that is recognized by the U.S. Department of Education for acceptance as credit in our academic programs. The most current listing of sanctioned accrediting bodies can be found at www.ed.gov

Fairmont State is accredited by The Higher Learning Commission, 230 S. LaSalle Street, Suite 7-500, Chicago, IL 60604-1411, (800) 621-7440 x105, http://www.ncahlc.org.

College of Business & Aviation

The School of Business is accredited by the Accreditation Council for Business Schools and Programs (ACBSP) 11520 West 119th Street, Overland Park, KS 66213, (913) 339-9356, www.acbsp.org. The following business programs are accredited by ACBSP:

  • Bachelor of Science Degree in Accounting
  • Bachelor of Science Degree in Aviation
  • Bachelor of Science Degree in Business Administration with concentrations in Business, Finance, Management, and Marketing
  • Bachelor of Science Degree in Healthcare Management
  • Bachelor of Science Degree in Information Systems Management
  • Master of Business Administration (MBA)

The Master of Science in Healthcare Management and the Bachelor of Science Degree in Healthcare Management are currently seeking ACBSP accreditation.  

College of Education, Health & Human Performance

The Teacher Education program is approved by the West Virginia Board of Education and accredited by the Council for the Accreditation of Educator Preparation (CAEP). The University is also a member of the American Association of Colleges for Teacher Education (AACTE) and Council for the Advancement and Support of Education (CASE). In addition, selected teaching specializations are nationally approved by their respective learned society and/or professional organization. The following programs are CAEP accredited:

Initial Licensure Programs

Elementary Education

  • Elementary Education K-6
  • Elementary Education K-6; General Mathematics 5-9 Specialization
  • Elementary Education K-6; Multi-Categorical Special Education K-12 Specialization
  • Elementary Education; Spanish PreK-Adult Specialization
  • Secondary Education

Secondary Education

  • Art Education, PreK-Adult
  • Biology Education, 9-Adult (with General Science Certification)
  • Chemistry Education, 9-Adult (with General Science Certification)
  • Earth & Space Science 5-Adult (with General Science Certification)
  • English Education, 5-Adult
  • Mathematics Education, 5-Adult
  • Physical Education
  • Physics Education, 9-Adult (with General Science Certification)
  • Social Studies Education, 5-Adult
  • Spanish Education, Pre-K-Adult

Master of Arts in Teaching

  • Art Education, PreK-Adult
  • Biology Education, 9-Adult (with General Science Certification)
  • Chemistry Education, 9-Adult (with General Science Certification)
  • Earth & Space Science 5-Adult (with General Science Certification)
  • English Education, 5-Adult
  • Mathematics Education, 5-Adult
  • Physical Education
  • Physics Education, 9-Adult (with General Science Certification)
  • Social Studies Education, 5-Adult
  • Spanish Education, Pre-K-Adult

Advanced Programs

  • Multi-Categorical Special Education with Autism
  • Reading Specialist

Please see the College of Education, Health and Human Performance website for additional information regarding CAEP accreditation.

College of Nursing

The Associate of Science in Nursing (ASN) program at Fairmont State University located in Fairmont, WV is accredited by the: Accreditation Commission for Education in Nursing (ACEN), 3390 Peachtree Road, NE, Suite 1400 Atlanta, GA 30326. (404) 975-5000.  The most recent accreditation decision made by the ACEN Board of Commissioners for the Associate of Science in Nursing program is continuing accreditation.  View the public information disclosed by the ACEN regarding this program at http://www.acenursing.us/accreditedprograms/programSerach.htm.

The Bachelor of Science in Nursing Program is accredited by the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education (CCNE), 655 K Street NW Suite 750, Washington, DC 20001, (202) 887-6791, CCNE.

College of Science and Technology

Department of Engineering Technology

The Department of Engineering Technology programs are accredited by the Accreditation Board for Engineering and Technology (ABET), 415 North Charles Street, Baltimore, MD 21201, ABET. The following engineering technology programs are accredited by ACBSP:

  • Civil Engineering Technology
  • Electronics Engineering Technology
  • Mechanical Engineering Technology
  • Occupational Safety
  • Surveying and Geomatics Engineering Technology
  • Engineering Management

Department of Architecture, Art, and Design

The Master of Architecture (M.Arch.) professional degree program is working towards accreditation by the National Architectural Accrediting Board (NAAB). 1735 New York Avenue NW, Washington, DC, 20006. (202) 783-2007 https://www.naab.org/  The M.Arch. degree is currently in candidacy status for accreditation and anticipates full accreditation in 2022. The state of West Virginia, as well as many other state jurisdictions, along with the National Council of Architectural Registration Boards (NCARB) recognize degrees from institutions that have been awarded within two years of accreditation.

N.B. The NAAB only accredits the Master of Architecture degree although many of the student performance criteria are fulfilled in the Bachelor of Science in Architecture degree which is not accredited by NAAB, but is a pre-professional degree. 

Statement of NAAB-Accredited Degrees

In the United States, most registration boards require a degree from an accredited professional degree program as a prerequisite for licensure. The National Architectural Accrediting Board (NAAB), which is the sole agency authorized to accredit professional degree programs in architecture offered by institutions with U.S. regional accreditation, recognizes three types of degrees: the Bachelor of Architecture, the Master of Architecture, and the Doctor of Architecture. A program may be granted an eight-year term, an eight-year term with conditions, or a two-year term of continuing accreditation, or a three-year term of initial accreditation, depending on the extent of its conformance with established education standards.

Doctor of Architecture and Master of Architecture degree programs may require a non-accredited undergraduate degree in architecture for admission. However, the non-accredited degree is not, by itself, recognized as an accredited degree.

The NAAB grants candidacy status to new programs that have developed viable plans for achieving initial accreditation. Candidacy status indicates that a program expects to achieve initial accreditation within six years of achieving candidacy, if its plan is properly implemented.

In order to meet the education requirement, set forth by the National Council of Architectural Registration Boards, an applicant for an NCARB Certificate must hold a professional degree in architecture from a program accredited by the NAAB; the degree must have been awarded not more than two years prior to initial accreditation. However, meeting the education requirement for the NCARB Certificate may not be equivalent to meeting the education requirement for registration in a specific jurisdiction. Please contact NCARB for more information.

Fairmont State University, Department of Architecture, Art & Design, was granted candidacy status for the following professional degree program in architecture:

M.Arch. (preprofessional degree + 42 graduate credits)
Year candidacy awarded: 2018

Next visit: Continuation of Candidacy or Initial accreditation: 2022

Projected year to achieve initial accreditation: 2022

Earliest graduation date projected to meet NCARB education requirement: 2020

History of Fairmont State

Located on a 120-acre main campus in the City of Fairmont, Fairmont State’s roots reach back to the formation of public education in the state of West Virginia. The first private normal school in West Virginia was established to train teachers in Fairmont in 1865 by John N. Boyd, the school’s first principal.

For more than 150 years, the University has experienced many changes in name Ð from the West Virginia Normal School at Fairmont, to the Fairmont State Normal School in the 1870s, to Fairmont State Teachers College in 1931, to Fairmont State College in 1944, to Fairmont State in 2004. These changes indicate an ongoing expansion of programs and purpose.

In 1923, the Fairmont State Normal School first offered a four-year bachelor’s degree program in education, making the school a college. Today Fairmont State offers more than 80 baccalaureate degrees in business, education, science, engineering technology, fine arts, liberal arts, and nursing. Graduate programs have been developed in architecture, education, business, and criminal justice. The campus is also home to the Frank and Jane Gabor West Virginia Folklife Center.

The University’s changes in location in Fairmont also reflect its continued growth. On February 27, 1867, the normal school became a state institution. Construction began on a brick building on the northwest corner of Adams and Quincy streets later that year. In 1893, the school moved into a new building on Second Street and Fairmont Avenue. In early 1917, the Fairmont State Normal School moved to the building now called Hardway Hall, which sits on a hill overlooking Locust Avenue.

From that single columned building on a hill that was once part of a dairy farm, the University’s campus has expanded to include more than 23 buildings. Over the recent decades, new construction, including a new student center, parking garage, five housing facilities, and an academic building, as well as major improvements in infrastructure, have greatly impacted the accessibility and beauty of campus. Fairmont State features two locations in Harrison County, the Gaston Caperton Center in Clarksburg and the Robert C. Byrd National Aerospace Education Center in Bridgeport. Fairmont State continues to look for ways to reach beyond the borders of West Virginia and the nation to build relationships.

From its first officially recorded enrollment of 30 students in 1868, Fairmont State has grown to be one of the state’s largest universities with an enrollment of about 4,100 students. The first student, Hyre D. Clark of Buckhannon, graduated from the normal school in 1872. Today, Fairmont State has an alumni network of more than 29,000 proud Falcons.

Catalog Policy

It is the responsibility of students to be knowledgeable of official Fairmont State policies and to meet all requirements in the Catalog. It provides the best possible current information on practices and academic policies of the institution. Fairmont State does however, reserve the right to change provisions or requirements at any time to reflect curricular changes and/or administrative regulations and procedures. The Catalog is not considered a binding contract between the student and the institution; it is for informational purposes only.

Students should keep informed of current degree, curriculum and course requirements. Academic advisors and appropriate administrative offices of Fairmont State may be consulted for further information or guidance.

A student who enrolls at Fairmont State shall follow the degree provisions of the catalog in use at the time of admission or any subsequent catalog, providing the entire subsequent catalog is adopted.

A student who changes degree programs or majors while enrolled at Fairmont State may follow the degree provisions of the catalog in use at the time of admission or any subsequent catalog, providing the entire catalog is adopted. Because curricular changes frequently occur in subsequent catalogs, the student should consult with an advisor in the new degree program or major for assistance in determining which catalog to adopt.

Students who have interrupted their schooling for two or more regular academic semesters (not including summer) will be readmitted under the most current catalog and degree requirements.

Please note that academic policies can change each year and apply to all students regardless of when they began their studies. Please refer to the current catalog for the most recent academic policies and procedures.

Equal Opportunity Affirmative Action Policy

Fairmont State is an Equal Opportunity- Affirmative Action Institution. The University is subject to the Titles VI and VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964; Title IX of the Education Amendments of 1972; Sections 503 and 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973; the Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990; the Age Discrimination in Employment Act; the Equal Pay Act; the Vietnam Era Veterans’ Readjustment Assistance Act of 1974; Federal Executive Order 11246; and the Genetic Information Nondiscrimination Act of 2008 (GINA), all as amended; and other applicable laws and regulations. The institution provides equal opportunity to all prospective and current members of the student body, faculty, and staff on the basis of individual qualifications and merit without regard to race, color, gender, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity, gender expression/association, national origin, age, height, weight, religion, creed, genetic information, disability or veteran’s status, as identified and defined by law in employment, admissions, and educational programs and activities. Fairmont State neither affiliates knowingly with nor grants recognition to any individual, group, or organization having policies that discriminate on the basis of race, color, gender, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity, gender expression/association, national origin, age, height, weight, religion, creed, genetic information, disability or veteran’s status, as identified and defined by law in employment, admissions, and educational programs and activities. Fairmont State will not discharge or in any other manner discriminate against any employee or applicant for employment because such employee or applicant has inquired about, discussed, or disclosed the compensation of the employee or applicant or another employee or applicant.

Further inquiries may be directed to the Director of Affirmative Action, who is the Section 504, Deputy Title IX Coordinator, located in Room 324 Hardway Hall, (304) 367-4386, or the Americans with Disabilities Act Coordinator, located in the Turley Student Services Center, (304) 367-4686.

Family Education Rights and Privacy Act

The Disability Services Office is located in 316 Turley Student Services Center and can be reached at (304) 333-3661. For more information please visit our website www.fairmontstate.edu/access.

The Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act of 1974 (FERPA) provides students with the right to inspect and review information contained in their educational records, to challenge the contents of their educational records, to have a hearing if the outcome of the challenge is unsatisfactory, and to submit explanatory statements for inclusion in their files if they feel the decisions of the hearing panels are unacceptable. Students wishing to review their educational records must contact the campus official in charge of the office in which the records are located. Students may not inspect records to which they have waived their rights of inspection and review.

Within the Fairmont State community, only those members, individually or collectively, acting in the student’s educational interest are allowed access to student education records. These members include personnel in the offices of Admissions and Records, Student Services, Financial Aid, Business, academic colleges and schools, departments, academic advisors, and athletic departments. These school officials have a legitimate educational interest in the student’s education record if the school official requires such information to: fulfill his or her responsibility or duty to the University; perform tasks within the scope of his or her employment or within the scope of a contract with the University; perform a task related to a student’s education; perform a task related to the discipline of a student; provide a service or benefit relating to the student or student’s family, such as health care, counseling, job placement, pastoral counseling, or financial aid; or maintain the safety and security of the campus.

At its discretion, the institution may provide Directory Information in accordance with the provisions of the Act to include: student name, address, telephone number, date and place of birth, major field of study, dates of attendance, degrees and awards received, the most recent previous educational agency or institution attended by the student, participation in officially recognized activities and sports, and weight and height of members of athletic teams. Students may withhold directory information by notifying the Student Services Center in writing.

Fairmont State may disclose academic information to parents of students by having parents establish the student’s dependency as defined by the Internal Revenue Code of 1954, Section 152. Dependency status may be established by the presentation of a certified copy of the parents’ most recent federal income tax form listing the student as a dependent.

Compliance with Military Selective Service Act

State law provides that a male person who has attained the age of eighteen (18) years may not enroll in a state-supported institution of postsecondary education unless he is in compliance with the Military Selective Service Act (50 U.S. Code, Appendix 451, et seq. and the amendments thereto). Also, a male person may not receive a loan, grant, scholarship, or other financial assistance for postsecondary higher education funded by state revenue, including federal funds or gifts and grants accepted by this state, or receive a student loan guaranteed by the State unless he is in compliance with the Military Selective Service Act. Selective Service Act registration information should be available at all United States Postal Service facilities and may be available at some high schools. The Selective Service System also provides information through a web site at https://www.sss.gov.

Disability/ADA Services

Under the Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990 and Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act, students with disabilities are due reasonable accommodations in their academic pursuits. A student’s disability should not unfairly interfere with his or her learning process or evaluation and grading.

The primary mission of the Fairmont State Disability Services Office (DSO) is to provide leadership and facilitate equal access to all institutional opportunities for students who have disabilities, so they may achieve their academic, personal, and professional goals in preparation for responsible citizenship. DSO provides institution wide advisement, consultation, and training on disability-related topics, including legal and regulatory compliance, universal design, and disability scholarship. We identify and work to remove barriers to foster an all-inclusive campus, and provide individual services and facilitate academic accommodations to students with disabilities. Our staff collaborates with students, instructors, staff, and community members to create diverse learning environments that are usable, equitable, inclusive and sustainable by:

  • Advocating for students with disabilities to have access to the same level of service from campus offices as is available to non-disabled students and to receive from DSO only those services not provided elsewhere by the institution.

  • Fostering the development of a campus culture that values the diversity of disability and that values disability as a core component of diversity.

  • Encouraging the design of campus environments that welcome students with disabilities and advocating for inclusion of a commitment across institutional departments.

Through guidance and technical assistance to the institution on disability-related laws and regulations, DSO fosters academic experiences that are as similar as possible to the experiences of non-disabled students by:

  • Providing guidance, advice, and technical assistance that informs and enables the institution to meet applicable laws and regulations.
  • Apprising key administrators of emerging issues relative to disability and access that may impact the institution.
  • Ensuring that students with disabilities receive reasonable and appropriate accommodations, aids, and services to have equal access to all institutional programs, services, and activities.
  • Collaborating with others across the institution in ways that benefit students.
  • Providing guidance to faculty members in providing reasonable and effective accommodations, and by consultation and training for faculty members on disability related topics.