Virginia Commonwealth University

Virginia Commonwealth UniversityVirginia Commonwealth University is a diverse, urban public research university located in Virginia’s capital city of Richmond.  With 24,000 undergraduate and another 7,000 graduate students, VCU has over two hundred academic programs in over a dozen areas of study.  Sixty percent of undergraduates major in the College of Humanities and Sciences, and all VCU students must take core courses in this division.  Interesting majors in the College of Humanities and Sciences include World Studies, African American Studies, and Forensic Science.  VCU also has a Department of Military Science and Leadership.

Despite its large size, VCU offers small classes; the average class size is 29 in upper division classes, and large lecture classes have breakout sessions – our tour guide told us the largest classes were biology, chemistry and international relations, with about 250 students in each introductory class.  “Don’t be afraid of college-sized classrooms!” she advised.  The student-to-faculty ratio is 16:1.  Academic support, including free group and individual tutoring, is available for all students.  VCU emphasizes research in all disciplines and as early as freshman year; the Office of Research and Innovation helps undergraduates connect with faculty members in need of research assistants.

VCU is 2 hours from Virginia Beach (a popular East Coast spring break destination) and 2 hours from Washington, DC.  Students can take part in any of 600 campus activities, or take advantage of VCU’s location in a historic, mid-sized city.  The beautifully-renovated Cary Street Gym is an old YMCA outfitted to compete with any college health center.

Only three percent of students join Greek organizations, so this is not a dominating part of student life here.  Housing is guaranteed for the first year and freshman are not permitted to have cars – you don’t need one!

You can scroll through all of our photos from our spring, 2017 visit to downtown Richmond’s Virginia Commonwealth University.

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