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Prospective Students

How to become an FIS Major

Submit your WVU application

During that process, you’ll be able to indicate that you wish to be a member of the FIS family!

Apply Today

Take your SAT or ACT

These standardized exams will determine the correct placement for you in math and chemistry. If you have taken another few semesters of math since your original exam, you might want to consider taking the exam again.

Schedule a

We love meeting prospective students and we encourage you to visit the program. If you are interested in scheduling a visit with the FIS Department, contact the WVU Visitors Center to make arrangements. In addition to visiting the FIS program, take advantage of the opportunity to do a university-wide tour!

Read your acceptance letter

Hooray! You’ve been accepted to WVU! It’s time to break out the gold and blue.

Look carefully at your acceptance letter. It will tell you if you have been accepted as a direct admit or a pre-forensics major.

The Next Step:

Attend NSO & Take ALEKS

Incoming freshman attend New Student Orientation (NSO) in June prior to their incoming freshman year. NSO helps prepare you for your first semester at WVU. Prior to or at New Student Orientation, students are encouraged to take ALEKS.

ALEKS is WVU’s math placement assessment. ALEKS scores are used to place you in the most appropriate math and chemistry courses for your current skill-set. Your highest score (ACT, SAT, or ALEKS) will be used to determine your math and chemistry path. If your standardized test scores place you below MATH 153, then students are encouraged to take ALEKS. Students are encouraged to use the online practice modules, but the ALEKS assessments must be taken  proctored on campus

To view the current math and chemistry placement chart, please visit:

Placement Chart

For information regarding ALEKS, please visit:

Info about ALEKS

To view current dates and times when ALEKS is being offered, please visit:

ALEKS Dates and Times

Questions about ALEKS or math placement should be directed to:

Direct admits

The FIS curriculum is heavy in both math and science. Incoming students need to be ready to tackle university-level STEM coursework in order to graduate in four years. Students who demonstrated this readiness are directly admitted to the FIS department. Such students will be:

  • Guided by FIS faculty at New Student Orientation
  • Academically advised by the FIS first year specialist, Dr. Andrea Bebell
  • Enrolled in FIS 199, the FIS orientation course
  • Eligible to participate in the FIS Living Learning Community
  • Eligible to participate in the dedicated FIS Adventure West Virginia activity
  • Encouraged to join the FIS club

To be directly admitted, students must place into WVU’s Chemistry 110 course or higher. Placement in CHEM 110 is determined by either SAT/ACT Math score or your score on the WVU’s Math Placement Exam, ALEKS. As of Fall 2016, students need the following scores:

  • New SAT 580
  • Old SAT 560
  • ACT 24
  • ALEKS > 50

Please note that these standards are set by the Department of Chemistry.

Pre-FIS Majors

To meet the benchmarks for full admission, these students must work their way through their individual math and chemistry progression until they have completed Chem 115 with a C or better. Until then, pre-majors will be:

  • Guided and advised in the Center for Learning, Advising, and Student Success (CLASS)
  • Eligible to enroll in FIS 201: Introduction to Forensic Identification
  • Encouraged to join the FIS Club 

Pre-FIS majors who submit improved test scores prior to New Student Orientation may be eligible to become Direct Admits. Contact Dr. Andrea Bebell at

For other questions, regarding the pre-FIS major, feel free to contact CLASS