About Marshall University

Brad D. Smith, President


Marshall University encourages individual growth by offering programs and instruction in attainment of scholarship, acquisition of skills, and development of personality. The university provides students with opportunities to understand and to make contributions to the culture in which they live; to develop and maintain physical health; to participate in democratic processes; to learn worthwhile moral, social, and economic values; to develop intellectual curiosity and the desire to continue personal growth; and to share in a varied cultural program. Professional, technical, and industrial career studies are available through the various departments of the university.

Marshall also recognizes an obligation to the state and community by offering evening, off-campus, and Internet classes, lectures, musical programs, conferences, forums, and other campus and field activities.

Mission of the University

Marshall University is a public comprehensive university with a rich history as one of the oldest institutions of higher learning in West Virginia. Founded in 1837 and named after Chief Justice John Marshall, definer of the Constitution, Marshall University advances the public good through innovative, accredited educational programs. Marshall University’s mission, inspired by our Vision and Creed, includes a commitment to:

  • Offer a wide range of high quality, affordable, and accessible undergraduate, graduate, and professional education that prepares students to think, learn, work, and live in an evolving global society.
  • Create opportunities and experiences to foster understanding and appreciation of the rich diversity of thought and culture.
  • Maintain a dynamic intellectual, artistic, and cultural life by promoting and supporting research and creative activities by undergraduates, graduates, and faculty.
  • Contribute to the quality of life of the community, region, and beyond through applied research, economic development, health care, and cultural enrichment.
  • Cultivate the development of an inclusive, just, and equitable community.

Vision Statement

The vision of Marshall University: to inspire learning and creativity that ignites the mind, nurtures the spirit, and fulfills the promise of a better future.

The Marshall Creed

Inspired by the example of John Marshall, we the students, faculty, staff, and administrators of Marshall University, pledge to pursue the development of our intellects and the expansion of knowledge, and to devote ourselves to defending individual rights and exercising civic responsibility. We strive to exemplify in our own lives the core values of John Marshall’s character: independence, initiative, achievement, ethical integrity, and commitment to community through association and service. As Marshall University, we form a community that promotes educational goals and that allows individuals maximum opportunity to pursue those goals.

We are:

  • An Educational Community in which all members work together to promote and strengthen teaching and learning;
  • An Open Community uncompromisingly protecting freedom of thought, belief and expression;
  • A Civil Community treating all individuals and groups with consideration, decency, and respect, and expressing disagreements in rational ways;
  • A Responsible Community accepting obligations and following behavioral guidelines designed to support the common good;
  • A Safe Community respecting each other’s rights, privacy and property;
  • A Well Community respecting and promoting physical and emotional health;
  • An Ethical Community reflecting honesty, integrity and fairness in both academic and extracurricular activities;
  • A Pluralistic Community celebrating and learning from our diversity;
  • A Socially Conscious Community acting as citizens of the world and seeking to contribute to the betterment of people and their environments;
  • A Judicious Community remaining alert to the threats posed by hatred, intolerance and other injustices and ever-prepared to correct them.


  • The Higher Learning Commission accredits Marshall University as an institution of higher learning.
    230 South LaSalle Street, Suite 2400
    Chicago, IL 60602
    Toll-free 1-800-621-7440
  • Accreditation Council for Continuing Medical Education accredits the School of Medicine’s Continuing Medical Education program.
  • Accreditation Council for Graduate Medical Education accredits the School of Medicine’s Residency Programs in Internal Medicine, Pathology, Transitional Year, Surgery, Pediatrics, Family Practice and Obstetrics/Gynecology.
  • AACSB International - The Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business accredits the College of Business.
  • AACSB International – The Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business accredits accounting degree programs of the College of Business
  • American Chemical Society certifies the Department of Chemistry.
  • American Psychological Association accredits the Doctor of Psychology degree program.
  • Accreditation Review Commission on Education for the Physician Assistant, Inc. provides accreditation for the Physician Assistant program.
    3325 Paddocks Parkway, Suite 345
    Suwanee, GA   30024
    Phone: 770-476-1224 
  • Accrediting Council on Education in Journalism and Mass Communication accredits the W. Page Pitt School of Journalism & Mass Communications.
    University of Kansas School of Journalism
    Stauffer-Flint Hall
    Lawrence, KS 66045
    Telephone 913-864­-3986
  • Commission on Accreditation for Health Informatics and Information Management Education (CAHIIM) accredits the Master of Science in Health Informatics degree program for 2013 through 2023.
    233 N. Michigan Ave, 21st Floor
    Chicago, IL 60601-5800
    Telephone 312-233-1100
  • Commission on Accreditation of Athletic Training Education accredits the Athletic Training program.
    6850 Austin Center Blvd., Suite 100
    Austin, TX 78731
    Telephone 512-733-9700
  • Commission on Accreditation in Physical Therapy Education (CAPTE) accredits the Doctor of Physical Therapy program.
    1111 North Fairfax Street
    Alexandria, VA 22314
    phone: 703-706-3245
    E-mail: accreditation@apta.org
    Website: www.capteonline.org
  • Council on Academic Accreditation of the American Speech-Language-Hearing Association accredits the Communication Disorders graduate program.
    10801 Rockville Pike
    Rockville, MD
    Telephone 301-897-5700
  • Council on Accreditation of Nurse Anesthesia Educational Programs accredits the Doctor of Nurse Anesthesia Practice and Management.
    222 South Prospect Avenue
    Park Ridge, IL 60068-4001
  • Council on Social Work Education accredits the Master of Social Work program.
    1600 Duke Street
    Alexandria, VA 22314
    Telephone 703-683-8080
  • Forensic Science Education Program Accreditation Commission (FEPAC)/American Academy of Forensic Sciences (AAFS) accredits the Master of Science in Forensic Science.
    410 North 21st Street
    Colorado Springs, CO 80904
  • Forensic Science Education Program Accreditation Commission (FEPAC)/ American Academy of Forensic Sciences (AAFS)  accredits the Master of Science in Forensic Science Emphasis in Digital Forensics.
    410 North 21st Street
    Colorado Springs, CO 80904
  • Liaison Committee on Medical Education of the American Medical Association and the Association of American Medical Colleges (515 North State Street, Chicago, IL 60610; telephone 312-464-4657) accredits the School of Medicine.
  • National Association of Schools of Music (11250 Roger Bacon Drive, Reston, VA 22090; 703-437-0700) accredits the School of Music.
  • Council for the Accreditation of Educator Preparation (CAEP) and the West Virginia State Department of Education accredit the teacher education program.
  • Accreditation Commission for Education in Nursing, Inc. accredits programs for the Associate in Science in Nursing, the Bachelor of Science in Nursing and the Master of Science in Nursing.
    3343 Peachtree Road NE, Suite 850
    Atlanta, GA 30326
    Phone 404-975-5000
    Fax 404-975-5020
  • National Recreation and Park Association and the American Alliance of Leisure and Recreation accredit the Recreation and Park Resources program.
  • World Safety Organization accredits undergraduate and graduate programs in Safety Technology.


  • American Association of University Women approves Marshall University.
  • Federal Immigration and Nationality Act approves Marshall University for attendance of nonimmigrant international students.

Membership in Major Organizations

  • AACSB/The International Association for Management Education
  • American Association for Affirmative Action
  • American Association of Colleges for Teacher Education
  • American Association of Colleges of Nursing
  • American Association of State Colleges and Universities
  • American Council on Education
  • American Dietetic Association
  • American Library Association
  • American Speech Language Hearing Association
  • Association of American Medical Colleges
  • Association of Departments of English, MLA
  • Association of Schools of Journalism and Mass Communications
  • Council of Colleges of Arts and Sciences
  • International Council of Fine Arts Deans
  • National Collegiate Athletic Association
  • National League for Nursing
  • Southern Council on Collegiate Education for Nursing
  • Southern Regional Education Board
  • Teacher Education Council of State Colleges & Universities


Marshall University traces its origin to 1837, when residents of the community of Guyandotte and the farming country nearby decided their youngsters needed a school that would be in session more than three months a year. Tradition has it that they met at the home of lawyer John Laidley, planned their school, and named it Marshall Academy in honor of Laidley’s friend, the late Chief Justice John Marshall. At the spot called Maple Grove they chose one and one-quarter acres of land on which stood a small log building known as Mount Hebron Church. It had been the site of a three-month subscription school and remained that for another term. Eventually $40 was paid for the site.

On March 30, 1838, the Virginia General Assembly formally incorporated Marshall Academy. Its first full term was conducted in 1838-39. For decades the fledgling school faced serious problems, most of them financial. The Civil War forced it to close for several years, but in 1867 the West Virginia Legislature renewed its vitality by creating the State Normal School at Marshall College to train teachers. This eased Marshall’s problems somewhat, but it was not until the tenure of President Lawrence J. Corbly during 1896-1915 that the college began its real growth.

In 1907, enrollment exceeded 1,000. Since then Marshall’s expansion has been consistent and sometimes spectacular. Marshall was granted university status in 1961. The College of Education and Professional Development, first called Teachers College, was organized in 1920 and the first college degree was awarded in 1921. The College of Arts and Sciences was formed in 1924, The College of Applied Science came into being in 1960; the School of Business was formed in 1969. These were merged into the College of Business and Applied Science in 1972. The School of Medicine and Associated Health Professions was established in 1974, which became the Joan C. Edwards School of Medicine in 2000. The Community College was organized in 1975 and became the Community and Technical College in 1991. In 2003, the Marshall Community and Technical College became an administratively linked, separately accredited institution. Effective July 1, 2008, the Community and Technical College became a separate institution.

The College of Science was authorized by the Board of Regents in 1976. In 1977, the Board approved a change of name for the College of Arts and Sciences to the College of Liberal Arts, and for the College of Business and Applied Science to the College of Business. In 1978, the School of Nursing was established as a separate entity and in 1998 was renamed the College of Nursing and Health Professions and again in 2004 became the College of Health Professions. The W. Page Pitt School of Journalism and Mass Communications was recognized as an independent school in 1998 and in 2013 became part of the College of Arts and Media. The College of Fine Arts (now the College of Arts and Media) was established in 1984. In 1999, the College of Information Technology and Engineering (now the College of Engineering and Computer Sciences) was established. The School of Pharmacy matriculated its first class in 2012. The School of Physical Therapy, a part of the College of Health Professions, matriculated its first class in 2012.

Marshall has taken the lead in delivering courses to off-campus sites throughout the state, nation, and world via distance learning with online courses. Since the formation of the West Virginia Board of Regents in 1969, then under the University of West Virginia Board of Trustees in 1988, and now the Higher Education Policy Commission, Marshall has progressed as an urban-oriented university with regional centers and a statewide mission. As a result of state system support, and because of its own active leadership and its location in the thriving Tri-State area, Marshall is a university with excellent prospects for future development.

Graduate Education

In October, 1938, the West Virginia Board of Education authorized Marshall University to conduct graduate instruction leading to the Master of Arts and the Master of Science degrees. Graduate work was first offered during the summer session of 1939, and the first master’s degrees were conferred at the commencement of 1940. The Graduate School on the Huntington campus was organized in 1948. The first Ph.D. degree was conferred in 1992 in Biomedical Sciences.

Graduate education on the South Charleston Campus was born in 1958 when West Virginia University was authorized by the Legislature to establish the Kanawha Valley Graduate Center, which began offering courses in chemistry and chemical, mechanical and civil engineering in 1958-59. In July 1972, the Legislature established the college as a separate entity, the West Virginia College of Graduate Studies (COGS). Two years later, the Board of Regents further defined its mission by specifying geographical areas of responsibility, designating COGS to serve 16 counties of central and southern West Virginia with graduate programs—an area containing about 39 percent of the state’s population. On July 1, 1989, a restructured University System of West Virginia was implemented and COGS became the University of West Virginia College of Graduate Studies. With the advent of a new statewide mission approved by the Board of Trustees in 1991, the name was modified in March 1992 to West Virginia Graduate College.

On July 1, 1997, the West Virginia State Legislature authorized a merger of Marshall University and the West Virginia Graduate College, providing a new campus for Marshall University in South Charleston. Today the South Charleston campus is the location for the graduate Humanities and Psychology M.A. programs of the College of Liberal Arts as well as graduate programs of the College of Business, the College of Education and Professional Development, and the College of Engineering and Computer Sciences.