Welcome to the Ram family! We're excited for you to join us at VCU.
If you're ready to respond to your first-year notification letter, we have a step-by-step checklist full of details on how to complete the process. Take note — it's a packed checklist, and we recommend you set aside some dedicated time to go through it. Have questions? Sign up for an accepted student event.
Step 1: Make it official!
Log in to the VCU Application Portal to view your admission status, VCU ID number, entry semester, degree program, residency status and any admission conditions. Review all admission information for accuracy and notify the VCU Office of Admissions of any inaccuracies or questions.
In the portal, please refer to the checklist to determine if there are any other documents, including final transcripts, that the Office of Admissions requires before enrollment.
If you were classified as a non-Virginia resident for tuition purposes and believe that this classification is inaccurate, you may request that your status be re-evaluated prior to Aug. 1 for fall semester entry or Dec. 1 for spring semester entry by contacting your application processor. You may be required to complete and submit the application for Virginia in-state tuition as well as provide other supporting documentation.
Your eID is your key to everything VCU! Visit the identity claim page to activate your eID and set up your account, which authorizes the use of VCU’s electronic services. It lets you do things like:
- Accept your offer of admission
- Log in to your VCU email account
- Register for classes
- Use the myVCU portal
- Use VCU’s wifi
- Access library materials online
Note: You must obtain your eID before you can make a reservation to attend Orientation, apply for housing or access your VCU email account.
We are excited to welcome you as a VCU Ram! Now visit the VCU Application Portal to complete your Offer of Admission Response form and make it official! After you have completed the form, you may pay your tuition deposit to let us know you’ll be joining us at VCU.
Note: Both your response form and tuition deposit must be received in order for your account to reflect that you have accepted the offer of admission.
If you’re receiving a scholarship or financial aid, you may request a tuition deposit waiver on the response form. Visit your VCU Application Portal for more information and a link to the form.
- Fall admits: Respond by May 1 if you were accepted to the university by April 1. If accepted after April 1, respond within two weeks after your acceptance.
- Spring admits: Respond within two weeks after your acceptance.
Before signing up for Orientation, applying for on-campus housing, or registering for classes, you must complete the Offer of Admission Response form in the Application Portal and pay a nonrefundable tuition deposit.
To pay online, you will need your eID, password, and V-number. Follow these steps to pay your deposit online:
- Log in to eServices using your eID.
- Click the "Applicants" tab at the top.
- Select pay tuition deposit tile
- Click "Deposits" at the top of the screen on the purple banner. Follow prompts and enter the desired deposit amount.
- All students accepted into VCU undergraduate programs, except those accepted into programs in the School of the Arts, must pay a $100 tuition deposit.
- The tuition deposit for the School of the Arts is $300.
- Submit your deposit to reserve your spot at VCU.
Requesting a tuition deposit waiver
Under certain circumstances, including having applied for financial aid or being awarded a scholarship, accepted students may request to have their tuition deposit waived. Please visit your VCU Application Portal where you will find the Offer of Admission Response Form to request a tuition deposit waiver.
Submit a Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) designating VCU (school code 003735) to determine your eligibility for financial aid. Virginians who are not eligible to file the FAFSA or who have Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) status may file the Virginia Alternative State Aid Application (VASA) designating VCU (school code 003735) to determine your eligibility for state or institutional need-based aid (not federal financial aid).
VCU email is now your official method of communication for all things VCU related. New students should check their VCU email daily to make sure you are completing your next steps in a timely manner, learning about opportunities to connect to VCU, and beginning to engage with our great lineup of staff, faculty, and students.
Please note: VCU will no longer send communications to your personal email accounts once you have accepted your admission and are now an official VCU Ram!
Step 2: Getting started with VCU essentials
VCU Orientation offers an immersive experience for students to learn about life at VCU and campus resources, understand academic requirements and connect with VCU students, faculty and staff.
Orientation is required for first-year students, transfer students and adult learners, international students and students who are returning to VCU after being away for more than three years. Think of it as your formal introduction to VCU.
Students are encouraged to register a family member or supporter to participate in Orientation as well.
First-year students are strongly encouraged to immerse themselves in the VCU experience by living in on-campus housing. To learn more about our on-campus housing options please visit our virtual tour.
Discover options and apply for on-campus housing at Residential Life and Housing. The online application becomes available in April for fall. Students must be signed up for Orientation in order to receive an on-campus housing assignment. For students who choose to live off campus, visit VCU Off Campus Student Services for help.
We know you can’t study on an empty stomach. That’s why VCU Dine has many on-campus dining options to fuel your 8 a.m. classes, your late nights and everything in between, all with a swipe of your VCU ID card. VCU Dine offers a variety of dining plans and meal options for students. We also sponsor Ram Pantry, for in-need VCU students.
Check into programs and resources that can help make college more affordable.
- You can submit your Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) as early as Oct. 1. If you haven’t already applied, submit your FAFSA by the Feb. 1 priority filing date. If you miss the priority deadline, you should still apply because you may still be eligible for some types of assistance.
- Virginians who are not eligible to file the FAFSA or who have Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) status may file the Virginia Alternative State Aid Application (VASA) as early as Oct. 1. If you haven’t already applied, submit your VASA by the Feb. 1 priority filing date. If you miss the priority deadline, you should still apply because you may still be eligible for other types of assistance.
- Check your new VCU email account for award information, required documents to complete your file and additional information.
- Any scholarships or tuition assistance from outside of VCU should be sent to the Student Accounting Department or delivered in person to the Student Financial Management Center. Detailed instructions are provided here.
- Review VCU tuition & fees and all of your payment options, including our Installment Payment Plan. A helpful tool is our Financial Planning Worksheet which can assist you in determining if you will owe a “gap balance.”
- If you plan to use military benefits to pay your bill, please connect with Military Student Services (MSS)
- Explore additional VCU scholarship opportunities
Have questions about financial aid?
All admitted VCU students have an assigned financial counselor as part of their student success care team. For more information about making an appointment with your counselor, visit the Student Financial Management Center.
VCU is committed to providing equal access for all students. If you require any accommodations or disability-related support, please contact VCU's Office of Student Accessibility and Educational Opportunity at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Step 3: Register for classes and meet your advisor
Help your advisor get to know more about you, your educational goals and your academic background by completing this two-part survey.
The first part of the survey will confirm your major, allow you to request a change of major (if desired), ask questions about your incoming AP/IB or Dual Enrollment Credits, and learn more about your course preferences.
The second part of the survey, the College Student Inventory, identifies your academic strengths and connects you to the offices and services that can help you to make the most out of your degree.
Next, select which sections you want to register for. Many courses will have multiple sections that meet at different times or in different teaching modalities (e.g., face-to-face, hybrid or online, etc). The College Scheduler can help you build the best first-semester class schedule for you by taking into consideration your scheduling preferences and outside obligations. Send your ideal schedule to your shopping cart in eServices to make registration very easy!
Use this worksheet to write down which course sections you plan to register for, including a few alternate course options. You should plan to register for at least 15 credits, since you need to earn 15 credits per semester for 8 fall and spring semesters in order to graduate in 4 years.
Please refer to your recommended first-semester course lists to learn which math course you should register for based on your major. Students whose majors only require MATH 131 Introduction to Contemporary Math, do not need to take the math placement test.
Students with majors that require higher level mathematics courses (MATH 141 or higher) will need to take the math placement test if:
- They did not submit SAT or ACT scores to VCU as part of their application (which are translated into a VCU math placement score), or
- They will not be transferring credits to VCU via to AP, IB, dual-enrollment or other college level credits, or
- Their VCU math placement score (from SAT or ACT test scores) or transfer credits do not satisfy the prerequisite for enrollment in their desired math class.
Please visit the VCU Math Placement website for more information and to access the math placement test.
The chemistry placement test is an online test used to place students into an appropriate general chemistry course based on their background knowledge. All students planning on registering for CHEM 101 General Chemistry I are required to take the test.
Majors that commonly require CHEM 101 include: engineering, biology, chemistry, forensic science, bioinformatics, environmental studies, interdisciplinary science, and many of the pre-professional health programs (pre-med, pre-pharmacy, etc.) This includes first-year students who have taken AP Chemistry. The Chemistry Placement Test is a prerequisite for CHEM 101.
Those earning a passing score on the test will be eligible to register for CHEM 101. Those not earning a passing score have two options:
- Complete the ALEKS online unit. After successfully completing one of these options students are eligible to register for CHEM 101. ALEKS must be completed by no later than July 31 (for fall semester) or Jan. 10 (for spring semester).
- Enroll in CHEM 100 – Introductory Chemistry and earn a B or better.
Please visit the VCU Chemistry Placement website for more information and to access the chemistry placement test.
Foreign language placement
Students who plan to study a language at VCU must take the language placement test to determine the appropriate beginning language class (unless they want to begin in the entry level course). Only students with transfer credit from other educational institutions are eligible to enroll in the next course within their language sequence without completing the foreign language placement test. The foreign language placement test must be taken online before the first week of classes
Students who have completed level three of a foreign language at an accredited U.S. public or private high school have fulfilled the Humanities and Sciences foreign language requirement through the 102 level. Learn more on the College of Humanities and Sciences high school foreign language waiver webpage.
Learn more about and sign up for foreign language placement testing.
Make sure to write down any questions that you have after registering so that you can bring them to your academic advising appointment. Note: Your class schedule is not confirmed until you attend orientation, so make sure to register for and attend orientation!
First-year academic advising appointments will be held virtually or in-person starting on May 30. Incoming students will be able to start making their appointments via Navigate as early as May 15.
To prepare for your appointment, please make sure that you have completed all of the previous steps in this list and have registered for as many courses as you are able to.
During your appointment, you and your academic advisor will begin to get to know each other by discussing your academic goals. You will also review the classes that you have registered for and make any needed adjustments. Your advisor will also answer any questions you have about your first-semester on campus and let you know when you’ll next meet in the fall.
Note: You can download Navigate two business days after VCU processes your tuition deposit.
Step 4: Submit critical documents and payment
We’ll need your final high school transcripts and Advanced Placement and International Baccalaureate scores to seal the deal!
High school transcripts
Final transcripts must be on file by Aug. 1 for fall, and Jan. 15 for spring starts. VCU Financial Aid will not be able to disburse any of your awarded funds until VCU has received your final transcript. Request to have your final high school transcripts sent to the VCU Office of Admissions as soon as possible before classes start.
Your high school can send your transcripts using one of the following methods:
- Official transcripts can be submitted through a secured electronic system, such as Parchment Exchange or National Clearinghouse, directly to the VCU Office of Admissions.
- Via U.S. postal mail to:
Virginia Commonwealth University
Office of Admissions
Richmond, VA 23284
We are unable to accept transcripts sent through fax, email or the student portal, as they are considered unofficial. If your high school cannot provide final transcripts by the deadline outlined above, please have them contact the Office of Admissions at (800) 841-3638.
Note: VCU reserves the right to revoke your admission acceptance if your final transcript indicates that you do not meet the criteria for acceptance.
Dual enrollment transcripts
Students who completed dual enrollment/early college credit while in high school must submit official college transcripts from the dual enrollment college/university to VCU prior to August 1. Official college dual enrollment transcripts should be submitted through a secured electronic system, such as Parchment Exchange or National Clearinghouse, directly to the VCU Office of Admissions. If official electronic transcripts are not available, then the official hardcopy college transcript can be mailed by the college or university to the VCU Transfer Center at 900 Park Ave., Box 842532, Richmond, VA 23284.
Advanced Placement and International Baccalaureate scores
The VCU Transfer Center evaluates Advanced Placement and International Baccalaureate credits from high school. To ensure you receive credit for them, you must submit your AP and IB scores directly to VCU’s Transfer Center. AP scores must come directly from The College Board and IB scores should come directly from the International Baccalaureate office. VCU cannot accept AP or IB credits from a high school or college transcript.
You must upload a copy of your immunization records. Students enrolling in degree programs on the Monroe Park Campus for Fall 2023 should submit these forms by Aug. 1, or else a registration hold will be placed on your account. If you are enrolled in a health sciences program, you must submit the VCU Health Sciences Certificate of Immunization 30 days before your program starts.
Every Ram is responsible for taking care of themselves and looking out for fellow Rams. Completing required training will give you the resources you need to be a responsible member of our community and an effective bystander.
- AlcoholEdu helps you reflect on your drinking behaviors and encourages safe decision-making.
- Not Anymore helps you understand the forms and definitions of violence, identify helpful resources, and learn ways to intervene to prevent violence.
Complete both of these training modules before classes begin!
VCU issues bills electronically, and payment is due at the start of the semester, according to the billing schedule. Students will be notified at their VCU email address when their eStatement is available in the billing and payment portal. To access the portal, students should select the “Make a Payment” tile under the Students - “Accounts” tab in eServices.
VCU's Installment Payment Plan offers a convenient method for planning and budgeting educational costs. The plan allows students to divide the cost of tuition, fees, and room and dining plans into four installment payments throughout the semester. IPP is only available in the fall and spring semesters.
Step 5: Basic necessities
New students participating in a scheduled VCU Orientation will apply for a VCUCard online using Photo Submission. Students who submit their photo and have it approved before Orientation will be eligible to pick up their card at their Orientation session. Alternatively, students can request an in-person appointment through the VCUCard website. Students will receive more details about photo submission when they register for Orientation. Visit the Get VCUCard page for more details.
Student parking options and rates are available through Parking & Transportation. Fall/Spring parking is sold on a first-come/first-served basis on the Monroe Park Campus, and via a parking lottery on the MCV Campus.
After you have registered for classes, review your course syllabi in your Canvas system (myVCU) to determine what textbooks, software programs, or platforms are needed for each of your classes. VCU’s bookstore offers course materials, textbooks, computer/electronics, and an on-campus technology repair store to meet your needs. Please review the suggested computer list for your college or school.
Many VCU students hold part-time jobs and internships while they are moving towards their educational goals -- earning while they learn. VCU's Handshake system is a great starting point whether you are interested in finding on/off-campus part-time opportunities, or using your Federal Work-Study (if eligible through your financial aid package) and want to connect with on-campus or qualified local employers.
Once you have registered for classes, you will gain access to log into Handshake with your VCU single sign-on (eid and password) and activate your account. You can filter in your Handshake search by job type, location (including mile radius from VCU), and more. If eligible for Federal Work-Study (FWS), you will need to officially "accept" that part of your financial aid award in eServices and then you'll be able to access FWS job opportunities on Handshake. All work-study jobs will include “FWS” in the job title.
Other part-time job and internship search resources can be found on the VCU Career Services website.
VCU provides many resources to support your health and recreational needs and interests.
Looking for sports clubs, outdoor adventure or group exercise? Then check out RecWell. Maybe you are looking to engage one-on-one with a personal trainer, learn new skills in small group training, meet with a well-being coach, or simply learn more about ways to support yourself and your fellow Rams - then consider Thrive.
We also offer University Counseling Services, where students can seek mental health screening, learn more about identity-based resources, or engage in therapy through our individual, relationship and group counseling services.
VCU’s University Student Health Services is available for routine medical care, same-day appointments for urgent medical problems, preventative health services and more.
Step 6: Get connected
As an incoming VCU student, there are several ways you can get a head start on your VCU education:
- Students who are admitted for the fall semester are eligible to enroll in Summer Studies courses.
- Students who are admitted for the spring semester are eligible to enroll in Winter Session.
Email VCU Special Programs at email@example.com for more information about each of these opportunities.
VCU is a place where you can be yourself or figure out who that self is. The best way to do that is to meet other people. People with similar interests, people who are completely different, people you’d never meet otherwise. How do you want to get involved on campus? Student Life at VCU is your first stop to get involved in leadership, advocacy and awareness, clubs and organizations, or volunteering. Make sure you join RamsConnect to stay in the know and find your fit!
VCU offers a host of specialized services and programs for students who are seeking additional social and academic networks and support. Here is an example of some programs/services you might have an interest in learning more about:
- You First - You’re considered a first-generation college student if neither of your parents or guardians received a four-year degree. You First at VCU is here to help you connect to other first-gen students as well as the social and academic resources you need to help you achieve your goals.
- Men of Color First/Second Year Initiative - Join our Developing Men of Color (DMC) student org and take our UNIV 191 - Dynamic Principles for Professional Development: For Men of Color class your first semester. Build community, mentor middle school students, and elevate your networking game!
- Military Student Services- Helping veterans, active service members, spouses and dependents who receive military benefits successfully transition to VCU.
- Adult & Non-Traditional Student Services - If you are 25 or older or are married/widowed/divorced, have children/dependents or are military-affiliated, this office eagerly awaits to meet you!
- Student Financial Management Center - The center teaches students how to manage money and avoid unnecessary debt leading up to graduation.
- Office of Multicultural Student Affairs - Looking to celebrate diversity, promote inclusion and advocate for social justice? Come be a part of OMSA!
- Rams in Recovery - Structured supports for students in recovery from substance use disorders
- eSports - Did you say you are a gamer? Join our esports community
- P.R.I.M.E. - Serious about being a pre-health/pre-professional health student? Join VCU P.R.I.M.E!
All new students to VCU are tied to one of our colleges or schools - even our discovery/undeclared majors!
Take some time to get to know your school/college’s website, research faculty profiles of professors you want to get to know, see what clubs and organizations exist, look at their calendar of events, check out their research projects, and sign up for any/all newsletters you can.
For discovery/undeclared majors, you are officially part of the College of Humanities & Sciences, but feel free to discover all of our colleges/schools, review our A-Z courses to find your interests, and keep reading about departments, majors, and faculty you might consider engaging with during your first semester.
The transition into college can be exciting, nerve wracking and full of interesting twists and turns. Our First and Second Year Experiences (FYE/SYE) office, along with campus partners, are ready to help you navigate your first two years at VCU - so you can immerse into our rich culture of traditions, explore and engage in common experience with your first-year peers, and excel at your desired career and professional goals.
Take some time to review our Major Maps to see how we propose mapping out your career and degree success at VCU - so you can graduate on time, with minimal debt, and be a competitive candidate for your desired field of work or future graduate study.
Feeling undecided about what to major in? Our FYE program, in partnership with VCU Career Services and our Discovery Advising team, will provide programs, resources, and personal connections to explore your interests, skills, and abilities - and to elevate your “spark” (your “why”!).
Step 7: RAMily matters
Family members of new first-year and transfer students are strongly encouraged to participate in Orientation. As important partners in your student’s success, we have designed Orientation programs just for you that will happen in tandem with the student Orientation experience. Join us this summer and meet the faculty, staff, and fellow students your Ram will be supported by throughout their VCU journey.
Family members can connect and join various communities on the Ramily Connection Portal and sign up for our monthly Ram Family Update. The Ram Family Update is a monthly e-newsletter for parents and families to keep up-to-date with events and important deadlines.
Family members can share their contact information by joining the Ramily Connection Portal. This portal is our all-in-one family engagement platform that helps us share personalized, timely content with families. This is also where families can learn about and register for major family events like Family Weekend!
Have questions about how to support your Ram? Here is our most comprehensive list of resources and points of contact for you and your student to consult if/when you have questions about anything. Still can’t find what you are looking for? You can always email firstname.lastname@example.org or contact the Family Helpline at (804) 828-7322.
There are several kinds of access you can give your family when it comes to your student records. Authorized user access permits them to see and pay your bill. Proxy access allows you to share with them your class schedule, registration holds, midterm and final grades (you can choose what to share). Completing a FERPA waiver allows them to reach out to VCU with questions about your academic record including your bill, schedule, grades, and conduct. A Medical Release gives them access to medical records you choose to share with them. You may change their level of access to any of these things at any time.
For first-year accepted students, Aug. 1, 2023, is the deadline to report required vaccines, request a re-evaluation for in-state tuition rates and submit all final transcripts.Review deadlines