Virginia Com­mon­wealth University

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Public, 4-year or above
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Doctoral Universities: Very High Research Activity
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Virginia Commonwealth University is a premier urban, public research university located in downtown Richmond, Virginia. Established in 1838, the Virginia Commonwealth University (abbreviated VCU) began as the medical department of the Hampden-Sydney College and by 1854, grew into the Medical College of Virginia. In 1968 the Medical College of Virginia merged with the Richmond Professional Institute (which was founded in 1917), creating the Virginia Commonwealth University. Today, in addition to its 150 acre main campus, VCU also operates a number of branches and satellite locations and boasts a number of nationally ranked academic programs. VCA has been named the number 1 hospital in Virginia by the US News & World Report with three programs – nephrology, orthopedics, and cardiology and heart surgery – ranking in the top 50 national.

Academic Programs

Virginia Commonwealth University is accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools and has been so since 1953. The University offers an impressive array of programs, including more than 60 bachelor’s degrees, over 70 master’s degree programs, 40-plus doctoral degree programs, at least 3 first-professional degree programs and nearly 50 post-baccalaureate and post-master’s certificate programs.

VCU is made up of a number of colleges and schools, including the College of Humanities and Sciences; the School of Allied Health Professions; the School of the Arts; the School of Business; the School of Dentistry; the School of Education; the School of Engineering; The Honors College; the L. Douglas Wilder School of Government and Public Affairs; the Richard T. Robertson School of Media and Culture; the School of Medicine; the School of Nursing; the School of Pharmacy; the School of Social Work; and the School of World Studies. In addition, the University also operates the VCU Graduate School, VCU Life Sciences, VCU da Vinci Center, and the University College.

Student Life

Virginia Commonwealth University has a total enrollment figure of well over 30,000, including nearly 24,000 undergraduate students. More than 100 foreign nations are represented in VCU’s student body, with a male to female ratio of approximately 40% to 60%, respectively, and a Black/African-American population of more than 15%. VCU has the capacity to house more than 6,000 students and approximately 80% of freshmen students choose to live on VCU’s campus. Due to VCU’s prominent location within the city of Richmond, many of VCU’s upperclass students opt to live in apartments located near the campus, particularly in The Fan, Oregon Hill and in the Carver neighborhood, and then walk or bike to class.

More than 500 student clubs and organizations are registered at Virginia Commonwealth University, catering to a wide range of interests, passions and backgrounds, including ethnic, cultural, religious, recreational, and special interest organizations. These and many others provide students with valuable opportunities to interact and connect with fellow students outside of the classroom. An NCAA Division I-AAA school, VCU boasts well over a dozen varsity sports teams which compete in the Atlantic 10 athletic conference.

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