Undergraduate applicants

Admission to a Virginia Commonwealth University undergraduate degree program requires graduation from a secondary school or the equivalent (lyceum, senior middle school, university preparatory school, completion of GCSE exams, Standard 12 graduation, etc.), which typically consists of at least 12 years beyond kindergarten.

Your secondary education should be the type that would prepare you for entrance to a recognized university in your home country.

VCU also requires you to have completed the following academic units by the final year of your high school curriculum:

  • Mathematics
  • Natural science
  • History or social science
  • English or foreign language

You must complete any special departmental requirements in advance, including standardized tests, and the appropriate testing agency must send your official test results to international admissions.

Freshman applicants must complete the Common Application and transfer applicants must complete VCU's online application. In addition to providing a copy of their passport or visa document, applicants must submit the following materials — all of which are required for application processing.

All supplemental application materials may be sent in PDF format to globalfiles@vcu.edu. Please make sure the applicant’s full name and/or Virginia Commonwealth University ID number are included in the text of the email.

Supplemental materials may also be mailed to:

Virginia Commonwealth University – International Admissions
408 West Franklin Street
Box 843012
Richmond, Virginia 23284-3043 

Correspondence instructions

  • Write your address and full name — no initials — exactly as it appears on your passport on every letter and envelope each time you correspond with VCU.
  • Use the same order of names for all documents, test scores, etc.
  • If you have a U.S. Social Security number, include it on your application and use it on all correspondence with the university. If you do not have a U.S. Social Security number, a student identification number will be assigned for use on your application and all other correspondence with VCU.

If an educational agent is applying on your behalf, he or she will need to submit the Educational Agent Processing Agreement.

All applicants must present grades (marks) that reflect superior ability and serious effort.

Original or officially certified copies of all grade reports for all secondary and higher school studies — as well as original or officially certified copies of all academic diplomas, certificates and national or other major examination results — must be submitted in the native language along with an official English translation. Notarized copies will not be accepted.

Photographic copies or other duplications are only acceptable if the copies have been signed and sealed by the appropriate school or government official.

Your school records must include:

  • Dates of attendance at each institution
  • A complete list of courses taken and grades received at each institution, including the number of weeks and hours per week in lecture or laboratory for each course
  • Degrees and diplomas earned from each school or university, indicating class or division of diploma (if appropriate)
  • Names of examinations passed, grades received and minimum/maximum possible grades (if appropriate)

Official records should be sent directly from your institution to:

Virginia Commonwealth University – International Admissions
408 West Franklin Street
Box 843012
Richmond, Virginia 23284-3043

Students transferring from within the U.S.

If you are transferring from a university-level institution within the U.S., you must apply online and submit your secondary school records, as well as university transcripts.

Admission will be based on your U.S. records only if you have completed more than one year of full-time study.

Transfer students from within the U.S. must be in good academic standing and eligible to return to the last college or university attended. You must fill out the first section of the Immigration Transfer-In Clearance Form and comply with U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services regulations.

Your U.S. school’s foreign student adviser should then complete the Immigration Transfer-In Clearance Form PDF and send it to the Office of Admissions.

To ensure maximum benefit from academic study at VCU, all non-native English-speaking applicants, regardless of immigration status, must provide evidence of English language proficiency before enrollment.

English waiver:

  • Completion of a degree (bachelor's or higher) from a university or college within the U.S., Canada, UK or Australia.
  • Completion of six semester hours of college-level English composition with a grade of C or better (excluding ESL classes) from a U.S. university or college.
  • Residing in the U.S. for 10 years or more (domestic applicants).

Examinations and test scores: VCU's testing code is 5570

Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL): The best TOEFL score is accepted and all scores making up the MBT score should be submitted. Scores are valid for two years.

  • 70 IBT for undergraduates (80 IBT for engineering)
  • 7.5 TOEFL Essentials (8.5 for engineering)

International English Language Testing System (IELTS): Scores are valid for two years.

  • 6.0 for undergraduates (6.5 for engineering)

Pearson Test of English: Scores are valid for two years.

  • 53 for undergraduates

SAT: Score of at least 22 on the Reading test.

ACT: Score of at least 16 on the English section of the test.

Students are advised to consult the website of the VCU school or department in which they plan to study for any additional academic requirements. For example, SAT or GRE scores are required for all pre-nursing and nursing applicants. SAT or ACT scores are required for all mechanical engineering applicants.

School of the Arts applicants are also required to submit additional application materials. For more information, please visit the School of the Arts website.

International students on F-1 visas studying in the United States may not take any more than 25 percent of their total semester course load in any online, distance or hybrid class. For example, if an F-1 student is enrolled in 12 hours, no more than three hours may be taken in an online, distance or hybrid course.

If your school is accredited in the United States or your school is an IB school, you do not need your transcript to be evaluated. Please check your school status with the school counselor or principal to determine accreditation. Questions may be addressed to Wayan Mastriyanaa at wmastriyana@vcu.edu.

Prospective students who have studied outside of the U.S. must provide an official course-by-course external credential evaluation as a required part of the admission process. This report should be sealed and unopened, and sent directly to the Office of Admissions.

All official transcripts and relevant credentials (e.g., diplomas and marksheets) will be required if admitted. All external credential evaluations should be no older than two years as of the official date received by the Office of Admissions.

Once credentials and/or credential evaluations are sent to VCU, they will not be returned to the prospective student or sent to a third party.

VCU recognizes professional evaluators who are members of the following organizations. Please use the links below to select an evaluator to evaluate your transcript. Please ensure that you request a course-by-course type of evaluation:

The applicant must provide proof of adequate funds to live and study full time at VCU by submitting an  I-20 DS Request Form - 2021-2022 accompanied by an original bank verification letter.

The U.S. government requires this certification before VCU can issue the appropriate U.S. government forms necessary for obtaining a visa at a U.S. embassy or consulate. The immigration officials at the U.S. port of entry also may request it.

You are required to certify that funds are available for the first year of study at VCU. In addition, you are expected to provide evidence that all money necessary for your travel, educational expenses and personal needs will be provided for the entire period of enrollment at VCU.

Because of the rising cost of living in the U.S. and variations in individual spending habits, the university cannot predict individual expenses exactly. Approximate annual expenses are listed below.

The amount that must be certified on your financial statement is shown for a nine-month program of study as a single student. For each dependent that may be coming to VCU with you, we require an additional $5,000 per dependent on the bank statement. Information on dependents must be clearly indicated on the completed financial statement.

For complete and official information about university costs, please contact VCU Student Accounting.

A $70 state-required application fee must accompany all applications. The application fee is nonrefundable and must be submitted online using a credit card.

Applications may not be processed if submitted without a fee.

All applicants will be eligible for test score optional review, regardless of GPA. Applicants who are able to take a standardized test and would like the scores to be used in our application review may still submit scores. All students will be receive a holistic application review.

As always, the university will select applicants who present the strongest qualifications in scholastic achievement and potential including the strength of character. Each applicant will continue to be reviewed on an individual basis.

International students may apply and receive admission to pre-pharmacy and pre-medicine programs, but are currently not eligible for the subsequent graduate programs at Virginia Commonwealth University (i.e., Pharm.D. and M.D.).

International students, however, may apply for nonprofessional, graduate research-based programs in the health sciences.

Graduate admission is not guaranteed with undergraduate admission and requires a separate graduate application upon completion of all relevant requirements.

International applicants should consider this carefully before deciding to enroll. Visit University Academic Advising for more information about pre-health programs at VCU.

Application instructions

The instructions on this page are for international applicants, including non-immigrants who are currently residing outside of the U.S. and plan to come on an F1 or J1 visa and non-immigrants currently residing in the U.S. under a visa. If you are a domestic applicant, to include U.S. citizens, permanent residents, refugees/asylees and undocumented students, please visit the freshman admissions website.