In the state of West Virginia, there are a handful of both private and public colleges and universities. Students who wish to study in this Appalachian state will find that there are 11 public four-year colleges and universities, 10 public two-year colleges and 9 private universities ranging from baccalaureate universities to master's universities and for-profit institutions. In addition, there are two historically black colleges in West Virginia, many of which are now a blended population of many different cultures, races and ethnicities.
The largest and most well known university in the state is West Virginia University, which is located in Morgantown, West Virginia. This university is a public, land-grant, research institution that also has several other campuses: Potomac State College of West Virginia University, located in Keyser; West Virginia University Institute of Technology, located in Montgomery; and a clinical campus for the medical and dental schools, located in Charleston. The school was founded in 1867 as part of the Morrill Act, as were many other land-grant institutions across the United States.
The university has long been considered an institution with very high research activity. Some of its most well known research is in the biometrics field, and professors at the school are also studying Alzheimer's Disease. The university has many different academic programs available for students, with its top program being its engineering program. Other notable academic programs include agriculture, journalism, pharmacy and nursing. Some of the more famous people who have graduated from West Virginia University include actor Don Knotts, the president and CEO of Cisco Systems John Chambers and a former West Virginia Governor, Joe Manchin.
Another well known public university in West Virginia is Marshall University, which as founded in 1837. Marshall University is a coeducational institution and is known for being a research university. It has many different fields of study available for students to choose from, with one of its most notable being the forensic science graduate program. This program is one of the few graduate-level programs accredited by the American Academy of Forensic Science. The school was also one of the first to develop a digital forensic science program. Other interesting academic programs available at Marshall include education, business, journalism and health professions programs. Marshall University is well known for the 1970 plane crash incident which killed nearly the entire football team. The football program remains strong to this day, with many alumni going on to play in the National Football League.