Congratulations on your acceptance to VCU!

Here you'll find a guide for pre-arrival planning and preparation for international students — both undergraduate and graduate — who have completed the appropriate admission documents and have been admitted into an academic program.

In addition to reviewing the information below, be sure to visit the Get Started section of the Global Education Office website for detailed Orientation and arrival information. Have questions? Please contact


Before your arrival at VCU, please complete the following items.

  1. Notify us that you plan to enroll at Virginia Commonwealth University by visiting the VCU Application Portal to complete your Offer of Admission Response form and make it official! 
    • For information on student transfer credit from other universities, email the VCU Transfer Center at If you are planning to transfer credit from an institution outside the U.S., then please review the requirements for international transfer credit.  
    • To defer admission, please contact the Office of Admissions directly at (804) 828-6016 or

    • Prepare all required documents listed on your application portal before your departure and submit them to the Office of Admissions upon arrival to prevent receiving administrative holds that could delay your course registration.
  2. Register online for a virtual English Language Placement test if it is listed as a requirement on your acceptance letter.

  3. Claim your eID, create your password, and log in to your VCU email account. The VCU eID is the username used, along with your corresponding password, to give you access to many VCU electronic services via eServices. Your eID is not your student number (V-number). Your eID is usually a combination of your last name and initials.

  4. Contact GEO Immigration Services at to request a Form I-20, Certificate of Eligibility for Nonimmigrant Student Status. 

  5. Obtain a student visa by following these instructions and paying the I-901 SEVIS fee.

  6. Visit your doctor in your home country and request that they complete the VCU Certificate of Immunization (or the VCU Health Sciences Certificate of Immunization if you are a health sciences student) or provide you with an official immunization document in English, which should include all dates of required immunizations. Learn more.

  7. Sign up for orientation.
    1. Undergraduate students:  All incoming undergraduate international students must attend two new student orientation events.  Use the links below to sign up for each orientation:
      1. VCU Orientation - this orientation is for all incoming VCU students and will cover a wide variety of resources, information, and connections to your new college/school, and is required attendance for all students new to VCU.  Parents and family members are encouraged to participate as well. International students can attend any session throughout the summer (June and July) or the August session that occurs the week before the start of classes. 
      2. International Student Orientation - please review the important orientation dates before making travel arrangements to ensure you arrive prior to this date. 
    2. Graduate students:  All incoming graduate students must attend international student orientation.  Please review the orientation dates before making travel arrangements to ensure you arrive prior to this date.  Students will also receive information about additional orientation programs either by the Graduate School and/or their college/school/department.
  8. Register for classes and make an advising appointment (undergraduate students only)
    1. Complete your advising and registration survey: Help your academic advisor get to know more about you, your educational goals, and your academic background by completing this survey.  The survey will confirm your major, allow you to request a change of major (if desired), ask questions about any transfer credits, and learn more about your course preferences. 
    2. Use the First-Year Advising & Registration guide or the Transfer Advising & Registration guide to start getting registered for classes.  Make a virtual advising appointment with your advisor to review and finalize your schedule. 
    3. Depending upon your major, you may need to take placement tests in order to register for some of your classes. This chart will help you determine which tests are required for your major.

  9. Memorize your V-number. Your official VCU student identification number (known as the V-number) is listed in the upper right-hand corner of your acceptance letter. It is extremely important to memorize this number or keep a copy of it with you as you will need it for housing, library use, computers, gym access, and many other VCU-related activities.

  10. Make housing arrangements in Richmond.
    1. For on-campus housing information, please contact VCU Residential Life and Housing.
    2. For assistance with finding off-campus housing, contact VCU Off-Campus Services.

  11. Prepare your personal computer. All VCU students are required to have one. The university annually sets minimum specifications for computers for each new entering class. Some departments and schools recommend a specific configuration from among the options outlined by the university. Check with your school or college to make sure the minimum specifications are sufficient for your course of study.

  12. Arrange transportation to the VCU campus from the airport or bus station where you will arrive.