Virginia Commonwealth University (VCU) is a major public research university located in Richmond, the state capital of Virginia. VCU was founded in 1838 as the medical department of Hampden-Sydney College, becoming the Medical College of Virginia in 1854.
VCU boasts of having graduate programs in the top 50 nationally in 19 fields. It is consistently recognized as one of the top public universities for both fine arts and research. The university’s dominance in arts and sciences provides students with access to stellar opportunities, both in and out of the classroom
Virginia Commonwealth University is a big university in the middle of a bustling city. It offers more than 200 programs.
There are hundreds of clubs and organizations students can join, as well as about 40 fraternities and sororities. About 7 percent of VCU students are involved in Greek life. For off-campus recreation, students can take advantage of the school’s Outdoor Adventure Program, which coordinates kayaking, backpacking, and whitewater rafting trips, among other activities.
The University in Richmond has a variety of academic departments for graduate students, too, including its well-regarded School of the Arts, School of Education, School of Medicine, and School of Social Work. The university also has a campus in Qatar that focuses on arts programs.
In 1968, the General Assembly merged Medical College of Virginia (MCV) with the Richmond Professional Institute, founded in 1917, to create Virginia Commonwealth University. Today, more than 31,000 students pursue 220 degree and certificate programs through VCU’s 13 schools and one college.
The VCU Health System supports the university’s health care education, research, and patient care mission. With a record $260 million in sponsored research funding last fiscal year, VCU became one of only 28 public universities in the country with an academic medical center to be designated as a research university with very high research activity as well as a Community Engaged Institution, both by the Carnegie Foundation.
It is spread across two campuses in Richmond: Monroe Park and MCV, which includes the Schools of Allied Health, Dentistry, Medicine, Nursing, Pharmacy, and Public Health, as well as the MCV Hospitals.
Specialty facilities include a center for environmental life sciences and a branch campus of the School of the Arts in Qatar.
In 2016, U.S. News & World Report classified VCU as a Tier 1 University with an overall National University rank of No. 156 and a rank of No. 84 among all public colleges and universities in the United States.