2023-2024 Academic Catalog 
    Jul 19, 2024  
2023-2024 Academic Catalog



Degree program: A degree program is an area of study approved as such by the institution and the Commission and listed on the official Commission inventory of degree programs, e.g. English, Social Work, and Physical Education. The degree, which is an award signifying a rank or level of educational attainment and which is conferred on students who have successfully completed a degree program, is represented by the official degree designation, e.g. B.A. - Bachelor of Arts, B.S. - Bachelor of Science, A.S. - Associate of Science, etc. The degree program completed would be listed on the student’s diploma.

Majors: A major is a field of study within an approved degree program, having its own curriculum. A degree program may have more than one major. An institution may elect to include the major(s) on the student’s diploma.

Minors: A baccalaureate minor is earned in a specific subject area of study and must be composed of at least fifteen (15) credit hours or more of course work. A student may not earn a baccalaureate minor in a subject area in which he/she is earning a baccalaureate major.

Area of emphasis: An area of emphasis is a specific subject area of study, which has defined course offerings within an approved degree program and major. Normally, a minimum of twelve (12) and no more than eighteen (18) hours would be expected for an area of emphasis within a baccalaureate degree program and a minimum of six (6) and no more than twelve (12) credit hours would be expected for an area of emphasis within a graduate degree. Typically, a minimum of six (6) and no more than nine (9) credit hours would be expected for an area of emphasis within an associate degree program. Areas of emphasis completed would appear on the student’s transcript. See Regents Areas of Emphasis for program specific guidelines.

Accreditation: Accreditation means that a college has been carefully evaluated and approved in its governance, in each curriculum, in the quality of its faculty, in the adequacy of facilities, library, equipment, and laboratories. To assure its stature and academic excellence, a university obtains accreditation from both regional and national agencies and joins certain accrediting organizations. Bluefield State University is accredited by The Higher Learning Commission, 230 S. LaSalle Street, Suite 7-500, Chicago, IL 60604-1411, (800) 621-7440 x105, https://www.hlcommission.org/.

Library Services

William B. Robertson Library: The William B. Robertson Library provides library support for the instructional programs of the Bluefield and Beckley campuses.  The Robertson Library is open a total of 58 hours, Sunday through Saturday, during the Fall and Spring Semesters, and is staffed by two full-time librarians.  A goal of the library is to lead the campus in providing access to information as well as education in research skills.  The library offers digital literacy instruction and personal assistance to students and researchers in the use of its collections.  Many library resources are available 24 hours a day through the myBSU campus network portal with a valid user name and password.

The Robertson library is a member of the West Virginia Library Network (WVLN), a network of 70 academic and public library systems in West Virginia.  The network provides access to the book collections of member libraries via the Sierra online library system, which is available through the myBSU campus network portal.  Students and faculty seeking specific book titles not found in the Robertson Library may request those items from other libraries via Interlibrary Loan.  In addition, BSU library cards are accepted by any of the WVLN member libraries.

From the myBSU portal, students and faculty can access numerous journal articles through the library’s collection of online databases and e-journals.  These resources provide students at the Bluefield and Beckley campuses with access to up-to-date information on a variety of topics.

Professional assistance in the use of any of these resources is available in person, by phone (304-327-4054 or 304-327-4050), or by e-mail https://bluefieldstate.edu/academics/library/contact during regular library hours.  Web address: https://bluefieldstate.edu/academics/library

Bluefield State Archives Collection: The BSU Archives Collection was established in 1992.  Its mission is to collect, care for, promote, and make available the unique historical resources of the college.  These materials document the history of administrative and academic units as well as the activities of our faculty, staff, and students.  The collection is open to the public by appointment, and is located on the second floor of the Robertson Library.

Location: Building adjacent to Conley Hall
Hours: Fall/Spring semesters:

8:00 a.m. - 10:00 p.m. Monday - Thursday
8:00 a.m. - 5:00 p.m. Friday
10:00 a.m. - 3:00 p.m. Saturday
12:00 p.m. 10:00 p.m. Sunday

Vacation/Summer hours: 8 a.m. - 4 p.m. Monday - Friday
Closed on public holidays and selected other days as posted

*Days and times are subject to change.



Academic programs at Bluefield State University are supported by the William B. Robertson Library. The Library’s collections are designed to be of particular relevance to the students and staff of the university, and contain approximately 72,579 volumes, 664,020 microforms, and 12 newspapers and  print journals and 23 e-journals. With access to 30 electronic databases, via the internet, the library provides professional assistance, training and information literacy instruction classes in the use of these and other information resources. These databases can be accessed through myBSU portal.

Online Education

Extended Learning

Bluefield State University offers time-bound and place-bound students extended learning opportunities through the Instructional Technology Center (ITC). These opportunities support the Regents Bachelor of Arts (RBA) degree and other degree program areas.

Courses are available through a variety of modalities including interactive video and asynchronous distance learning. Interactive video courses are available over Bluefield State University’s Interactive Video Network (IVN) and utilize two- way audio and video between Bluefield and Beckley. Instructional television courses consist of video segments offered on local public television stations (like WSWP-TV) in combination with limited on-campus classes.

Asynchronous distance learning classes are delivered to the students’ homes by course management systems via the Internet. Extended learning is administered through the Instructional Technology Center & Center for Extended Learning located in the Ned E. Shott Physical Education Building with the Moodle administrative office in Dickason Hall.

Internet/Online Course Guidelines and Policies Computer Requirements

Bluefield State University suggests that all students own (or have access to) a personal computer. A working knowledge of its operations and up-to-date programs also augments the learning experience and instructional curves throughout the educational programs. This means that students should possess a functional knowledge of how to operate a personal computer. It is in the best interests of all students, staff and faculty members to become familiar with their personal computer before classes begin. Students have indicated that individual ownership of a personal computer or laptop is preferable.

Personal Computer Specifications

The chart below reflects minimum and recommended specifications for computers that students will use in completion of online courses.

Minimum Recommended
Intel Core I7 Processor 2nd Generation Intel Core I7 Processor
Windows 7 Windows 8.1
4 GB Ram 8 GB Ram
200 GB Hard Drive or higher 500 GB Hard Drive or higher
Wireless-N network card Wireless-N network card
Ethernet Network card Ethernet Network card
17” Flat panel display 19” Flat panel display
Mouse Mouse
Sound card and Speakers Sound card and Speakers

Optional (highly recommended): High-speed Storage Media USB (thumb or flash drive) or other equivalent portable storage media.

Please note: the minimum requirements are suggested for individuals who already possess a personal computer. The “recommended” configurations are meant for guidance in obtaining new equipment compatible with school technology standards.

Many University instructional buildings and computer labs have been configured for a Wi-Fi connection, or Wireless Internet. To access the Wi-Fi infrastructure, it is necessary to obtain a Wireless Ethernet Card with a new purchase, which may come pre-packaged in newer laptops. Otherwise, these cards can be obtained from local electronics stores.

Computer Laboratories (Labs) on Campus

The Computer Center is located on the first floor of Dickason Hall. There are three computer labs on the first floor. The Instructional Technology Center is located on the fourth (main) floor of the Ned Shott P.E. Building. The labs there house numerous computers for student use Monday through Friday from 8:00 a.m. - 4:00 p.m.

Lab computers are also available in 311 Mahood Hall, the William B. Robertson Library, and the Basic Science Building.

There are Wi-Fi capabilities throughout the campus for use with personal laptop computers that contain wireless network cards.

Students are responsible for the update and maintenance of their personal computers. Keeping computers virus free is very important. Free software that may protect their computers from viruses can be downloaded at http://download.cnet.com/. A software source that gives discounted prices to student, staff, and faculty is www.JourneyEd.com or call 1-800-874-9001.

Bluefield State University has arranged a purchasing program with DELL computers in order to help students save money on hardware purchases. Visit http://www.dell.com/bluefield1 for more details on how to obtain a discount on new computers.

Students also have free access to download and use Microsoft Office 365 Pro Plus using their Bluefield State Office 365 Live email address. Access to this product is available to currently enrolled students.

Technical Support

Students may contact technical support Monday-Friday 8:00 a.m. - 5:00 p.m. for General Technical Support at (304) 327-4090.

Internet Course (Moodle) Requirements

Prior to enrolling in online courses, students should determine that they have the following:

  • Regular access to a computer
  • Internet Connection through an Internet Service Provider (ISP)
  • A compatible Internet browser such as Internet Explorer, Mozilla Firefox, or Google Chrome
  • A word-processor program such as Microsoft Word or WordPad
  • Most online courses utilize the following free software
  • Adobe Acrobat Reader
  • Shockwave Flash Player
  • Java Virtual Machine

Student Responsiveness

Students must respond to online assignments in a timely manner. Adherence to the due dates established for each assignment is a cornerstone of fundamental fairness in the student’s learning experience. When the number of weeks since any student’s submission of the latest assignment exceeds the number of semester hours of credit for the course, the instructor may notify the Registrar that the student has not responded and should be withdrawn from the course.

Instructors may make exceptions to the responsiveness regulations, but only under extreme circumstances warranting such exceptions. In no case shall the instructor’s responsiveness regulations exceed those stated above, conflict with the Bluefield State University Attendance Policy or penalize responsive students by exception.

Requirements for Degree Minors

Bluefield State University offers the following minors for students who wish to develop expertise in a specific area. The requirements for minors are as follow:

Business Minor 

The School of Business offers the following minor for students who are non-business majors who wish to develop expertise in the following areas. Please refer to the W. Paul Cole, Jr. School of Business section in the Academics section for further information on these minors.

  • Accounting Minor  (for students majoring in Business Administration): 12 hours chosen from the Accounting major
  • Business Minor  (for students outside of the School of Business): 15 hours
  • Entrepreneurship Minor  (for School of Business students and students with majors outside of the College of Business): 12 or 18 hours
  • Health Services Management Minor  (for School of Business students and students with majors outside of the School of Business): 12 hours
  • Information Systems Minor  (for students majoring in Business Administration): 14 hours
  • Management Minor  (for students majoring in Business Administration): 12 hours chosen from the Management major
  • Marketing Minor  (for students majoring in Business Administration): 12 hours chosen from the Marketing major
  • Sports Management Minor  (for students majoring in Business Administration): 12 hours chosen from the Sports Management major

General Studies Requirements

All graduating students are required to complete the general studies program specific to their degree level. This program is composed of a basic skills component and a core skills component in addition to the stipulated course requirements for specific programs as listed in this catalog. The purpose of the general studies program is to ensure basic skills competency and encourage the acquisition of a body of knowledge basic to that of an educated person.

The University has identified and adopted the following learning outcomes, which should be demonstrated by all graduates upon completion of any academic program.

  1. Communication: Students will communicate effectively both orally and in writing.
  2. Information Literacy: Students will select appropriate resources, prioritize information in terms of relevance and reliability, question and evaluate the complexity of the information environment, and use information in an ethical manner.
  3. Technology Literacy: Students will be able to demonstrate the ability to use appropriate technology for communicating, problem solving, and decision-making.
  4. Mathematical Literacy: Students will use mathematical problem solving skills to investigate, model, and solve real-world problems at an appropriate level.
  5. Social, Artistic, and Cultural Literacy: Students will analyze and compare diverse social and cultural patterns, texts and performances and will evaluate them from a global perspective.
  6. Scientific Literacy: Students will understand and apply scientific concepts and develop science inquiry and research skills.
  7. Critical and Ethical Reasoning: Students will interpret, analyze, and construct ethical arguments.
  8. Wellness: Students will be able to apply skills necessary to maintain physical and mental wellness.

Baccalaureate Degrees


Associate Degrees