Graduate Studies

Important Note: 

The Office of Academic Affairs is contemplating changes to the structure of graduate programs in the next academic year, which may affect policies and procedures covered in this catalog.

The Interim Assistant Provost is serving as the Graduate Dean; therefore, any questions about policies or procedures regarding graduate programs should be directed to the Interim Assistant Provost in the Office of Academic Affairs.

In particular, any appeals or other items that indicate involvement by the Graduate Dean should be directed to the Interim Assistant Provost.

Graduate Education at Marshall

Over the past seven decades Marshall University has provided graduate education to tens of thousands of students and has contributed to the economic and cultural life of the state, region, and nation. At Marshall University, the more than 650 faculty who hold graduate faculty status offer a broad range of courses in many different disciplines. Students may choose frommaster’s programs, doctoral programs, Education Specialist degrees, and graduate certificate programs, as well as an array of professional and professional development courses.

Graduate education is offered on the Huntington campus, the South Charleston campus, throughout the state and region and online worldwide. Some programs offer courses on either the Huntington or South Charleston campus. Some programs offer courses on both campuses and students may complete those programs, start to finish, at the campus location of their choice. Graduate courses may also be offered through Marshall University’s regional center locations in Teays Valley, Point Pleasant, or Beckley.

Mission Of Graduate Education

The graduate mission of Marshall University is to provide quality educational opportunities at times and places convenient to students, employing alternative delivery systems and rich learning resources. The institution promotes excellence in instruction, research and public service in the interest of enhancing the intellectual, professional and personal growth of students, faculty and staff. Throughout the state Marshall University offers master’s degrees, post-master’s programs, doctoral degrees and professional development options according to needs and with a minimum of duplication.

In support of its graduate mission, Marshall University values:

  • excellence in teaching and advising;
  • support services for students;
  • the expansion of knowledge through research and inquiry;
  • an interactive and collaborative relationship with the community;
  • open access to quality educational opportunities;
  • lifelong learning;
  • cultural diversity;
  • the continuous review of our programs and administrative processes;
  • innovation and efficiency in the use of resources; and
  • personal and institutional accountability.

To fulfill its graduate mission, Marshall University supports the commitment of institutional resources to ensure:

  • quality in existing graduate programs;
  • adequate library resources for meeting accreditation requirements, electronic library needs and program initiatives;
  • access to graduate programs within the state, region and nation;
  • promotion of technological delivery of courses and programs;
  • development of new graduate programs at the master’s, post-master’s, and doctoral levels according to need;
  • recruitment and retention of a strong and diverse graduate faculty;
  • recruitment and retention of a strong and diverse graduate student population; and
  • development of student life initiatives appropriate for graduate students.

The Graduate Council

The primary responsibility of the Graduate Council is to make policy recommendations with respect to the graduate educational mission of the university to the university president. Specific functions include the facilitation of long-range planning for graduate education at Marshall University, the recommendation of new programs and courses, the evaluation of existing programs and courses, the facilitation of graduate accreditation, the recommendation of promotion and tenure policies related to graduate education, and the recommendation of approval of graduate faculty to the university president.

The Graduate Faculty

There are currently more than 650 faculty who hold graduate faculty status and offer a broad range of courses in many different disciplines.

Research Centers

The Graduate College has a particular interest in research by students and faculty. It is the responsibility of the Graduate Dean to promote research by all available means. A Research Committee composed of faculty members advises the Dean on such matters. Students and faculty interested in research opportunities or who need assistance in their research activities may contact the Graduate Dean’s office in Huntington.

Cell Differentiation and Development Center

The Cell Differentiation and Development Center (CDDC) is an inter-disciplinary group aimed at increasing institutional research capacity at Marshall University. The products and outcomes of this venture will be applied to further technology-based economic development in Huntington, Cabell County, and the surrounding Tri-State area. The multidisciplinary research groups within the CDDC mainly focus on the mechanisms that govern cellular differentiation and development.

Center for Business and Economic Research

Standing as a research arm of Marshall University, the CBER’s mission is to conduct business and economic research pertinent to the West Virginia and Tri-State regional economies; provide related research and service support to faculty; support university economic development and service efforts; integrate with the business community through direct faculty involvement in research related to the West Virginia and Tri-State economies; provide business and economic development support to private and public sector constituencies; disseminate information, research findings, and data; and encourage and support faculty in their intellectual pursuits and contributions.

Center for Consumer Law and Education (CCLE)

CCLE, a joint program of Marshall University and the West Virginia University College of Law, is a leading research and educative consumer rights and policy development center. This unique partnership brings together scholars, practitioners, and students to empower, lead, and transform communities. The CCLE has exceptional capacity, with access to both faculty and students at Marshall University and the WVU College of Law. It has administrative support at both institutions. It often assists consumers with self help by explaining the “how to” and the “where at” regarding consumer issues, and educates students through experiential learning opportunities, and coordinates as well the efforts and resources of other interested partners. This partnership gives the center the unique ability to access, develop, and execute programs across the state.

Center for Environmental, Geotechnical and Applied Sciences

CEGAS was established in May 1993 through the cooperative efforts of the presidents of Marshall University and West Virginia Graduate College. On July 1, 1998, CEGAS became an affiliated organization of the College of Information Technology and Engineering (CITE), now known as the College of Engineering and Computer Sciences. The goal of the center is to forge close working relationships among the business community, higher education institutions, and government agencies in technology-related endeavors. CEGAS has been involved since its inception with educational offerings, research, service, and long-term planning for regional development.

The center has secured more than $10 million in external contracts and grants for research, development, and service projects in multiple fields of study, including environmental management, engineering, information technology, geographic information systems, safety and health technology innovation, specialized training, and business assistance through its environmental management Incubator. WV Senate Bill 603 was passed in spring 2005, authorizing the development of regional brownfield assistance centers at Marshall University and West Virginia University. Under CEGAS, the Southern West Virginia Brownfields Assistance Center assists eligible entities in 22 West Virginia counties to convert derelict land into useful and productive property through economic development, workforce development, and site revitalization.

For more information, please visit or contact CEGAS at 304-696-5453 or

Center for the Study of Ethnicity and Gender in Appalachia

CSEGA was made possible by a grant from the Rockefeller Foundation in 1996. The program was established to research and promote research on the various aspects of the people, cultures, and lives within the Appalachian region. The program’s accomplishments have included sponsoring 10 scholars in residence, 7 scholar affiliates, and hosting 2 conferences. CSEGA has a unique research mission — it is the only Appalachian center in the country dedicated to studying and understanding the incredible diversity of the region.

Environmental Management Incubator

The incubator works to enhance the sustainability of regional businesses by providing access to environmental information and management strategies, and by encouraging business development based on environmentally-related opportunities.

John Deaver Drinko Academy

The Drinko Academy is devoted to enhancing public understanding of American institutions and the responsibilities of citizens to their society, particularly a sense of shared values and common purpose.

Marshall Institute for Interdisciplinary Research

The goal of this institute, created through the state’s “Bucks for Brains” research trust fund, is to develop a focused program of pioneering research dedicated to producing patentable scientific breakthroughs and creating new high-tech businesses based on those discoveries. Focusing on entrepreneurial research through increased educational and career opportunities, it is anticipated that MIIR will have a tremendous effect on the state economy over the next 10 to 20 years. Currently in its second decade of existence, MIIR is slated to enhance the overall state economy by more than $280 million.

Marshall University Forensic Science Center

This center provides training to U.S. local, state and foreign country law enforcement agencies; backlog reduction services to U.S. local and state law enforcement agencies; and research on various forensic science topics such as digital forensics, forensic soil analysis, forensic pollen, drug analysis, fire and explosives analysis, DNA method validation studies, and crime scene investigation; educational services to high schools and other members of the local community; economic development services to the public-at-large including civil parentage testing and DNA sample preservation services to families of the deceased. The Forensic Science Center at Marshall University has been designated as a criminal justice agency. The center also houses the accredited M.S. in Forensic Science program, the accredited MU Combined DNA Indexing System (CODIS), criminal relationship and casework labs, and the West Virginia Cybercrimes Investigation Unit.

Marshall University Nutrition and Cancer Center

Investigators at this NCRR/NIH-funded Center of Biomedical Research Excellence are studying a wide variety of dietary components, including omega-3 fatty acids, capsaicin (responsible for the “hotness” of chili peppers) and alcohol. Cancers of interest include small cell lung cancer, breast cancer, skin cancer and leukemia/lymphoma.

Appalachian Transportation Institute

The institute helps influence a more diverse and equitable economy for rural Appalachia and other mountain areas by providing insights into how to create and maintain the most cost-effective enhancement to the national transportation system in rural Appalachia and rural America.

Robert C. Byrd Center for Rural Health Resources

This center serves as the base for Marshall’s rural medicine outreach programs, which directly affect more than half of West Virginia’s population.

Robert C. Byrd Institute for Advanced Flexible Manufacturing

RCBI is the only statewide manufacturing technology production and teaching resource in the state. The institute provides manufacturers with access to advanced equipment; affordable, customized workforce development and technical training programs; quality certification and implementation assistance, and an array of technical support programs.

West Virginia Autism Training Center

This center provides training, information and support to West Virginians with autism, their families, educators and others.

West Virginia IDeA Network of Biomedical Research Excellence

The primary goal of this institute is to develop competitive NIH research at primarily undergraduate institutions in the state. The program also provides students at these institutions with enhanced research experiences. The principal areas of research are cardiovascular disease and cancer.

Animal And Human Subject Research

Graduate students conducting research involving experiments that utilize animals must work under the supervision of faculty advisors who have written permission from the Institutional Animal Care and Use Committee (IACUC) before the students can start the research. Information about procedures and protocol forms may be obtained from the Office of Research Integrity through its website at

Graduate students who conduct research involving the use of human subjects must have the approval of the applicable Institutional Review Board (IRB), either Medical or Behavioral and Social Sciences, before starting the research and must work under the supervision of faculty advisors. Information about procedures and approval forms may be obtained at the Office of Research Integrity website at

Hazardous Substances

Graduate students who will be using, or who will be generating, hazardous substances in their research must work under the supervision of faculty advisors who obtain permission for such research through the appropriate college safety committee. The college will arrange for proper disposal of these materials. Proposals must be submitted to the appropriate safety committee for approval.

Policy Statement On Integrity In Scientific Research

Research and scholarship are essential parts of Marshall University. The virtues of scholar­ship are forged from a combination of patience with eagerness, inspiration with meticulous care, and a reverence for integrity with a willingness to challenge cherished assumptions. It is within the research process that these virtues must be held in the highest esteem and measured against a strict set of standards. In this light, it is incumbent upon the institution to insure accurate, objective, valid and reliable research in the finest tradition of scholarship.

It shall be the policy of Marshall University that no faculty member shall knowingly plagia­rize, fabricate, or present incorrect data in research or creative activities conducted under the auspices of the institution. Further, in the case of alleged scientific misconduct, all pertinent rules and regulations of the Public Health Service (PHS), such as 42 CFR Part 50 and allied docu­ments, will prevail in providing definitions, procedures, and deadlines.

The complete policy statement may be found on the web at