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Virginia Commonwealth University in Richmond, VA

Learn what degree and certificate programs Virginia Commonwealth University offers. Research its academics, and read about its admission and financial aid info to make an informed education decision.

About Virginia Commonwealth University

With its Monroe Park and MCV campuses located right in Richmond, VA, Virginia Commonwealth University (VCU) is a public institution founded in 1838 as Hampden-Sydney College's Medical College of Virginia. The school eventually split from Hampden-Sydney College and then was later combined with the Richmond Professional Institute in 1968 to create VCU.

It is home to the VCU Medical Center, which is a nationally recognized facility for medical research and education. Its homeland security program was the first in the country to be offered by a research institution. Students may also study at VCU's Northern Virginia or Charles City County campuses or the Doha, Qatar campus.

VCU sports teams compete at the NCAA Division I level and in the Atlantic 10 Conference. The school's two libraries hold the largest comic art and pop culture collections and largest medical library collections in the state. Students can also rent outdoor activity equipment from the Outing Rental Center.


Virginia Commonwealth University offers more than 220 programs through 14 schools and colleges; the College of Humanities and Sciences is home to an additional three schools. More than 60 of the school's programs aren't offered at any other Virginia school. VCU features numerous research institutes and centers focusing on topics such as aging, teaching excellence, molecular medicine, and public policy.

An undergraduate honors college provides participants with interdisciplinary course offerings, seminars, and scholarship opportunities, as well as guaranteed grad school admission to certain programs; incoming freshmen and on-going undergraduate students who meet minimum standards may apply. The university offers some degree and certificate programs completely online and others in a hybrid format.

Athletic facilities include a gym and an aquatic center offering numerous intramural and recreational sports programs. VCU students can participate in more than 400 organizations, including clubs, fraternities and sororities, community service or campus media programs.


In 2011, the university admitted 71% of prospective undergraduate applicants, and of these, 40% enrolled. Applicants must complete an application form and submit transcripts and standardized test scores; evaluation criteria include class rank, high school curriculum over four years, and high school grade point average. Qualifying scores on some Advanced Placement (AP) and College-Level Examination Program (CLEP) tests may be accepted for credit. Placement testing in subjects such as math, chemistry or foreign language may be required.

Some graduate programs require prospective students to apply to the central graduate school office while others require application to a specific program of interest. Graduate application materials require transcripts and standardized test scores and may include letters of reference, a personal statement, and essay.

Almost 90% of undergraduates are from Virginia, and the undergraduate student body is made up of 52% White, 19% Black or African American, 11% Asian, and 6% Hispanic/Latino students.

Early decision applications for Fall semester entry must be submitted by November 15 of the year before; regular decision applications are due by January 15. Students who want to be considered for scholarship awards must apply by December 1. Some of VCU's schools, like art and medicine, may have different application deadlines or requirements. Aspiring freshmen seeking entry for the Spring semester must apply by November 1.

Tuition & Financial Aid

In 2012-2013, tuition and fees for in-state students were estimated at roughly $9,885.46 for the academic year; the tuition and fees for out-of-state students were estimated to be $23,912.46. Some programs may require additional fees. Estimated room costs were $5,292, and estimated board costs were $3,456. Graduate tuition varies by program and by residency status.

Freshmen who make their housing deposits by a certain date are guaranteed housing; while freshmen are not required to live on campus, the school does encourage it. The school has residence halls and apartments for students; students who live in residence halls are also required to purchase a meal plan.

Incoming undergraduate students who will begin their studies with the Fall semester may apply for merit-based awards and VCU, school, and department scholarships by including an essay with their application. New and returning graduate students may be eligible for assistantships, fellowships, and scholarships through their academic departments. Need-based assistance may also be available to graduate students. A tuition payment plan is available.

School Type 4-year, public*
Degrees Offered Undergraduate and graduate certificates, bachelor's, master's, and doctorates (research and professional)*
Religious Affiliation None*
Academic Calendar Semester**
School Setting Midsize city*
Student Body 23,498 undergraduates; 8,129 graduates in 2011*
Student Housing 11 housing facilities at Monroe Park campus; two at MCV campus**
Schools and Programs 14 schools and colleges; more than 220 programs**
Student-Faculty Ratio 19 to 1*
Most Popular Fields of Study by Degree Level (Number of Recipients) In 2010-11:
Bachelor's: General Business/Commerce (373)
Master's: Social Work (209)
Doctoral: Medicine (176)*
Undergraduate Graduation Rates For students who started in 2005:
26% in four years
53% in six years*
Admission Rate 71% in 2011*
Entering Class Size 3,803 in 2011**
First-Year Retention Rates 86% for full-time and 71% for part-time students*
Application Due Date January 15 for regular decision**
Decision Notification Date April 1 for regular decision**
Tuition $9,885.46 for in-state and $23,912.46 for out-of-state undergraduate students in 2012-13 (estimated costs; includes fees)**
Financial Aid Sources Available (Percent of Students Receiving it) In 2010-11: Grant or scholarship aid (47%), Pell grants (28%), federal student loans (54%)*
Percent of Students Receiving Some Form of Aid 82% of full-time beginning undergraduates in 2010-11*

Sources: *College Navigator, National Center for Education Statistics, **Virginia Commonwealth University.

School Contact Information

  • Address: Office of Admissions, Virginia Commonwealth University, 821 West Franklin St., Richmond, VA 23284-2526
  • Phone: (804) 828-1222 or (800) 841-3638
  • Website:

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