Why VCU? Why VCU?

We are the Uncommon. We are the UNcommon.

Photo showing an aerial view of VCU and the Richmond, Virginia city skyline at night

At VCU, you'll find PIONEERING research,

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TRAILBLAZING innovation,

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and UNPARALLELED creativity.

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VCU is the ONLY urban university to be named:

One of 69 public R1 universities with the Carnegie Classification’s community engagement designation

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A top 50 public research institution

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A Diversity Champion by INSIGHT Into Diversity

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A top 20 most innovative public university

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Learning without limits

Learning without limits

Unafraid to challenge the status quo

UNafraid to challenge the status quo
Male student wearing protective goggles in a VCU science laboratory

We’re not interested in outdated traditions or conventional thinking. Together, we’re pursuing a future that’s built by us.

VCU offers GUARANTEED UNIVERSITY ADMISSION to first-year applicants who are among the top 10% of their class or have a GPA of 3.5 or above.

That means an admissions process without the stress and uncertainty that comes with the typical college selection process.

Learn how it works

Test Market

At the da Vinci Center’s Shift Retail Lab, students and alumni are testing products, services and ideas with real-world customers. The first-of-its-kind storefront was recognized as a World Changing Idea by Fast Company.



Explore our programs

200+ degrees and certificates to choose from.

Your future is unlimited.

View all

A UNIQUE combination

Take our groundbreaking research, top-ranked arts programs, and world-class VCU Health System and what do you get? A place where patients from across Virginia and the nation come for care, and where students of all disciplines can solve some of the toughest problems in previously unthinkable ways.  


Photo of a VCU student in a white lab coat working in a science laboratory.

When research TAKES FLIGHT

NASA and VCU’s Rice Rivers Center deliver an immersive summer experience for undergraduates.

A Place for Everyone


Unwavering in our commitment to equity

Four female VCU students standing arm-in-arm in from of Cabell Library
VCU student
VCU student

VCU is a mix of styles, stories and attitude. Our students come from different places, backgrounds and lived experiences – and they’re all embraced for who they are and the perspective they bring.

Three VCU students
Two VCU students

This is us.

And this is how we describe VCU.

Three VCU students jumping in the air
VCU student
VCU student
Two VCU students wearing camouflage uniforms
Ashanti Howard

UNLIMITED. Because it’s never limited to just one activity or one subject or one way of thinking. You’re always exposed to different points of view and things to do.” – Ashanti Howard, pre-nursing major

Male VCU student
Male VCU student
Joseph Howell

UNCONVENTIONAL. VCU has a very interesting way of accepting new people and just allowing everybody to be open and honest and have a cool meeting ground.– Joseph Howell, history major

VCU student with pom-poms
Two VCU students
Student with violin
VCU student
Angela Guiterrez

UNDERSTANDING. Because I feel like they really care about their students and their community. – Angela Guiterrez, health, physical education and exercise science major

Two VCU students
VCU student
Corinne Rapp

UNTRADITIONAL. Because we’re seeing a lot of other people like us who are not traditional students, who are adult learners and transfer students like us.” – Corinne Rapp, interdisciplinary studies major

Two VCU students
VCU student
Two VCU students
Two VCU students
Steph Cull

UNEXPECTED. There’s people from every walk of life, every creed, every nationality, every age. It’s definitely not what you expect from a four-year university – in all the best ways.” – Steph Cull, health psychology Ph.D. student

VCU students
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Champion of DIVERSITY

In 2023, VCU was recognized by Insight Into Diversity Magazine as a diversity champion for the fifth year in a row.


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In the Heart of Richmond

In the heart of Richmond

An Unbeatable location

An UNbeatable location
Aerial phtograph of Richmond, Virginia skyline and the James River

Where you go to college matters

VCU is at the center of a vibrant community of 1.2 million people that is a top destination for creative thinkers and entrepreneurs, foodies and artists, and nonprofit and government leaders. Did you know? Richmond is:

  • a culinary powerhouseFood and Wine logo
  •  No. 11 of U.S. cities with the hottest job marketsWall Street Journal logo
  • One of the best U.S. cities for creativesThrillist logo

Leading the pack

With the highest concentration of Fortune 500 companies of any urban area in Virginia, Richmond is a great place to work. Here are some well-known companies where our students have found employment.

  • Altria logo
  • ARKO logo
  • Carmax logo
  • Dominion Energy logo
  • Genworth logo
  • Markel logo
  • Owens Minor logo
  • PFG logo
  • CoStar logo
  • Amazon logo
  • Capital One logo
  • Martin Agency logo
  • From campus,
    it’s a
  • 5-minute bike ride to the river
  • 2-hour drive to D.C.
  • There’s so much to do in Richmond and beyond…
  • 2-hour drive to the Mountains
  • 2-hour drive to the beach
  • Getting there 
    IS EASY.

Support at Every Turn

Support at every turn

Unrivaled advocacy

UNrivaled advocacy
Female VCU student stading by the Rams Horns sculpture outside the The Commons.

Whether you need help mapping out your path, feedback on your latest paper, guidance on paying for college, or learning accommodations, we’re here to help every step of the way. It’s why our graduates go on to be game changers.

In THEIR words

Hear from students who’ve found support through VCU's Men of Color Initiative in this short documentary, created by students to honor program founder Carlton Goode, Ed.D.

More about Men of Color

Dollars and Sense

VCU provides holistic support to students, and we know how much finances matter. From FY 2020 to FY 2023:

  • 58% Increase in scholarship funding for students
  • 19% Increase in grant funding
  • 7% Decrease in student loan borrowing

THRIVE personally and academically

VCU cultivates an empowering environment that prioritizes student well-being, support systems and a sense of community.

Two VCU students walking outdoors

FREE financial guidance

At VCU, every student is automatically assigned a financial counselor who works with you to help you navigate paying for college and coordinates with your academic adviser to help keep you on track.

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We’ve got your back

Programs to help you navigate college life

Featured resources and additional support services at VCU.


Provides additional support services to first-generation college students, students who are low-income and students with disabilities.

VCU student with skateboard

Military Student Services

Works with veterans, active service members, spouses and dependents to ease the transition from military life to academics.

Person wearing army fatigues with American flags sticking out of backpack and a VCU building reflecting in the window behind them.

YouFirst at VCU

Provides mentorship, resources and events to first-generation college students and connects them with other first-gen students and faculty. 

YouFirst at VCU participant

Career Ready Grads

Career-ready grads

Unstoppable alums

UNstoppable alums
Photo of students at the VCU Commencement ceremony

A VCU education will set you apart,

whether your future takes you to graduate school, a rewarding career or starting your own business. Get ready to blaze new trails and uplift your community.


We know that hands-on learning leads to job offers and opportunities — in a survey of May 2023 graduates, 32% of them told us it happened to them. That’s why we now require an experiential learning opportunity for every undergraduate. 


VCU student inside an aircraft: A scene from the VCU Real hands-on-learning program with NASA

Notable alums

Pamela El
Chief marketing officer, NBA (retired)


Marilyn Tavenner
President/CEO, America’s Health Insurance Plans

Marilyn Travenner

Tyler Fauntleroy

Tyler Fauntleroy

David Baldacci

David Baldacci

Boris Kodjoe

Boris Kodjoe

Donwan Harrell
Fashion designer

Donwan Harrell

Mo Alie-Cox
Indianapolis Colts player

Mo Alie-Cox

In a survey of May 2023 graduates

  • 82% reported they were employed, continuing their education or seeking to continue it within six months of graduation
  • 93% of those said their job was related to their career goals

Read more

VCU generates nearly $9.5 BILLION in economic activity in Virginia


VCU is in the TOP 20% of universities worldwide.

Students at the white-coat ceremony

There’s no one like you, and no place like VCU. Experience a world UNLIKE any other.