BLUEFIELD, W.VA – Bluefield State College has been approved for university status. The college is the last four-year public college in West Virginia to earn the title, joining its fellow HBCU, West Virginia State University in Institute. Bluefield State has completed all of the requirements to become a university.

The West Virginia Higher Education Policy Commission’s board, which oversees the four-year school, voted unanimously to approve the BSC’s request on Thursday. The next step is for the BSC Board of Governors to meet to approve the change, which will take place sometime next week.

Robin Capehart, Bluefield State College President

In December, the commission allowed Bluefield State to start offering master’s in business administration or MBA degrees, BSC’s first graduate degree program in the college’s history.

Colleges must meet several criteria to reach university status, and that includes offering at least one master’s-level degree program; having an approved mission statement that provides for the offering of graduate programs; obtaining the approval of the Higher Learning Commission to offer any master’s degree program; and, having at least two-thirds of its faculty holding a terminal degree.

According to the Bluefield Daily Telegraph, becoming a university was one of the goals of Capehart when he took over the reins in January 2019, as well as bringing back on-campus housing, with both goals accomplished and more housing coming.

Capehart said the university status means an “opportunity to step up our game” and become more of a regional school and a competitive school.

About Bluefield State College
Bluefield State College, a historically black institution, is to prepare students for diverse professions, informed citizenship, community involvement, and public service in an ever-changing global society by providing an affordable, accessible opportunity for public higher education through certificate, associate, bachelor, and master degree programs. For more information, visit


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