Incorporated as a private college in 1871, Shepherd University was designated as a state institution by the West Virginia Legislature in 1872. Since its inception, the University has continuously served the State and region as a public, coeducational undergraduate institution.
The University is approved to award eight distinct degrees at the baccalaureate level. Degrees awarded are: Bachelor of Arts, Bachelor of Science, Bachelor of Arts in Secondary Education, Bachelor of Arts in Elementary Education, Bachelor of Fine Arts, and Regents Bachelor of Arts.
In addition, the University is approved to award a Master of Arts Degree in Curriculum and Instruction.
The University is fully accredited by the Higher Learning Commission of the North Central Association of Colleges and Secondary Schools. Specialized program accreditations are held from the National League for Nursing, the Council on Social Work Education, West Virginia State Department of Education and West Virginia State Board of Nurse Examiners. In addition, the College is a member of the American Assembly of Collegiate Schools of Business, American Association of Colleges for Teacher Education, American Council on Education, American Association of State Colleges and Universities, and the American Association of Community and Junior Colleges.