Virginia Commonwealth University
Richmond, VA, USA

Reviews

Virginia Commonwealth University
3.84 Average Rating

Amanda from Winston Salem, NC

a current student here
9 people found this review useful
Categories Comments
Am learning a lot
I definitely have learned a lot since I have been at VCU. Both of my studio classes have been challenging. Time Studio was the most challenging as I had little experience in this discipline prior to this class. However, I now feel more adept at movie making , with its editing and computer manipulations. Surface was the more familiar of the two since there was a lot of drawing involved. Rhetoric was my least favorite, as writing has always been more difficult for me than other academic things. However, after writing an in-depth research paper, I feel that my writing skills have immensely improved over what they were previously.
Am enjoying being here
I absolutely love it here at VCU! As a freshman art student, I cannot think of any other college where I would want to be. I really feel that I have found my calling in life and the School of the Arts is helping me to reach my potential. I especially loved my Honors Art Worlds course this past semester. Not only did we have class at many of the museums in Richmond, but we also went to New York City one weekend and took in several of the museums there. One of my favorites was the Metropolitan Museum of Art. It's such a feeling of awe and inspiration to be surrounded by the actual works of the great masters and the other talented artists whose works are on display there
Bang for the buck
VCU School of the Arts is ranked by U.S. News and World Report as both the 1st public college art program and the 4th overall in the United States. Since being here, I certainly see why. However, it is still one of the cheapest ones around. VCU's art program has challenged me more than even my AP art class did. I like the curriculum here, too. During freshman year all potential art majors are in Art Foundation and start off running. This semester I had two studio classes, an art projects class, an art history class, and another honors art class. Next semester will again be two studio classes, one art projects class, and an art history class. In March of freshman year we then declare our top three choices for our art concentration. By exposing students to this much art as freshman, we can better see where our interests and strengths lie. By the end of Spring Semester freshman year, we then know in which discipline we will be placed, determining which specific curriculum we will pursue for the rest of our time at VCU. This makes a lot of sense to me, as art is a field in which a person must be passionate and really like what he is doing. The toughness of the curriculum early on allows students to see if this is what one really want to do for the rest of his life. If not, then the switch to another major can be made early in the college career. Since VCU is a large university of over 32,000 students, it offers a wide variety of activities. Finally, with Richmond as one of the cultural centers of Virginia, something happens there all of the time. In short, VCU and Richmond: something for everybody! Just look!
Tips for prospective students
Get your application in as early as possible, especially if you want to be considered for VCU scholarships. On their website, it lists what the average credentials were for past scholarship recipients. If you fall within these ranges, you probably have a good shot at receiving one of them. Also, visit campus your senior year. I went twice. Once was to meet and talk with an art professor, getting both his suggestions for improvements to my portfolio and his first hand information about the School of the Arts and its programs. That trip I also toured the VCU campus, took the art department tour, and met and talked to students, getting their views on both VCU overall and the art program specifically. The second trip was to one of VCU's prospective student weekends where we even spent the night in one of the dorms. These two trips thus allowed me to choose VCU with my eyes wide open. If you are qualified, check out the Honors College. Although there are many perks given to its students, to me the best one is the fact that you get to register for classes before anybody else. This increases your odds of getting the classes and the specific sections that you want. If admitted to Honors College, be sure to schedule your over the summer required phone conference with your honors advisor as soon as possible. The earlier you are, the earlier your advisor can register you for your honors classes, and the greater the chance of getting them at the times that you would like.
Great for these types of students
Art Students, Medical Students, Business Students, Pharmacy Students, Dentristry Students, Nursing Students
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Christa from Lynchburg, VA

a past student here
6 people found this review useful
Categories Comments
In three sentences
virginia commonwealth university is a terrific school.i don't recommend this school to someone who isn't use to a big city. also if you don't like big classrooms with 150 plus students, i don't recommend it.
Tips for prospective students
stay focused, and don't let richmond life get in your way.
Dorm Life
you are guaranteed housing as a freshman, but after your first year you can enter the lottery, which is a random system they use to choose housing. so you might want to have a back up plan.
Food and Dining
excellent! you won't complain.
What to do for fun
party.
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Breonca from miami, FL

a current student here
6 people found this review useful
Categories Comments
Am learning a lot
Since i have been here i have learned a lot. Being an art major everything is hands on and you are given the opportunity to advance your skills in many ways. I have learned skills academically as well as artistically, though mainly artistically.
Am enjoying being here
I love being here. Being in a totally new environment makes the experience greater. I'm glad at the choice i made, and I'm happy that I enrolled here. The administration is great, and very helpful with any problems, from financially to academically. Security looks out for our safety making it easy and safe to travel to and from campus.
Bang for the buck
It is more than a bang for the buck. Although out of state tuition is expensive, the price is nothing compared to other art schools. It is well worth it, and i recommend it to any one.
Tips for prospective students
If anyone is looking to attend this school, you will love it hear, trust me. It is worth the distance, the price, and most of all the experience. I am glad for the choice i made, and if I could re do it all over again, I would've made it my first choice.
Great for these types of students
This school is great for artist, nursing students, and those who love the cold weather.
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Kaleigh from Williamsburg, VA

a current student here
5 people found this review useful
Categories Comments
Am learning a lot
Though this is my first semester here at VCU, I am enjoying the classes in which I am enrolled in. Some of the classes I am taking are general education classes that I must take and others are prerequisites for my major. I am always open to learning new material because that is how a person acquires knowledge. If I was not open minded then I would not enjoy my classes and I probably would not do so well in my classes as well. The teachers here are exceptional, so far, and have made sure to show their students that they are here to help, even after class hours.
Am enjoying being here
I originally applied to both JMU and VCU but VCU was my first choice. I decided that I wanted the chance to live in the city for a change since my hometown is fairly small. The diversity at this college, and in this city, is phenomenal. The people as well as the character of the city are definitely one of a kind. Being here in Richmond and at VCU gives me a new adventure everyday because there are so many things to explore and so much history to take in.
Bang for the buck
The city is great and the school is awesome but sometimes I wish the tuition was not so high. Also, the cost of living in Richmond is a little pricey. This is why I chose to live off campus and not downtown. However, there are so many things to do in the city as well as at VCU. Richmond holds a variety of festivals, there are always concert events, the restaurant choices are endless and the clubs never let me down. VCU offers a large amount of organizations, free activities and events, free access to the gym with your VCU id card, even library access until after midnight! Free movie showings almost every weekend is definitely a plus, too. There is never a day that something is NOT going on. Being a student here at VCU will not let you down because there are so many activities and events you can involve yourself in.
Tips for prospective students
If you are on a tight budget and do not want to live on campus, I suggest you find an apartment or townhouse on the outskirts of the city. I live about 2 miles away from VCU but it is just far enough that it does not count as living downtown. It is much cheaper and the apartments are much nicer. Rent, rent, rent! Renting your books at VCU's Barnes and Noble is a big way to save money. If you know what books you need right from the start then do not wait to get them or they will be gone. Even the used books go fast so get there as soon as you can. Also, take advantage of the events and activities that both the city and VCU has to offer. Do not be afraid to try new things here, this city is great for new opportunities. Lastly, BE CAREFUL! Even the friendliest looking areas can be dangerous. Always lock your car doors, be aware of your surroundings, and try not to go anywhere alone, especially at night.
Great for these types of students
VCU is a great school for people who want to outwardly express themselves. This school is for people who want to experience new things, meet a variety of people, and who want to have a good time while they are in school. However, this school is for anyone and everyone. VCU does not discriminate, so if you are the judgmental type, this school may not be for you.
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Stacy from Centreville, VA

a current student here
4 people found this review useful
Categories Comments
Am learning a lot
It's true that Virginia Commonwealth University may not be known for its academic potential, but the lack of praise for this school is misleading to all prospective students. Professors are always willing and able to help you inside and outside of class. If you ever feel uncomfortable, or for what ever reason, are unable to seek help from your professor, VCU offers countless resources. First of all, there are plenty of ads for tutors and all over the school, and your professor can often times lead you to a student who is doing well in the class and can help you. The tutoring center offers walk-in and scheduled tutoring for all students at all times of the day. There are also Supplemental Instruction Leaders for certain classes that hold review sessions outside of class likewise with Teaching Assistants. VCU makes it so that if you want to learn, you are presented with every opportunity to do so.
Am enjoying being here
I completely love being at Virginia Commonwealth University. Everyone is so friendly and different. There are many universities out there that seem to only have a certain set of people and are isolated from anything different. But that is not what the real world is like. In the real world, you meet people that are not like you who may believe in completely different ideas, but you adapt and do your best to get along with each of them. That is one of the biggest reasons I love VCU, everyone is different, and we're OK with that.

Ask for the other more college life type things: there are plenty of great options for food. On campus housing is the best I've ever seen, especially for honors students. The university is designed uniquely in a bustling city, how could it not be exciting?
Bang for the buck
I mean if it's a place that allows you to understand how to live in the real world and understand that people are different, while still offering you every opportunity to learn, how can it not be a great bang for the buck?
Tips for prospective students
Visit the campus! People jump to conclusions that it's a city and are scared. It's not scary. Security is tight and the different between on and off campus is clear. Give it a chance and you'll love it!
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bethany from richmond, va

a current student here
3 people found this review useful
Categories Comments
In three sentences
vcu is fun, diverse, and very welcoming. all of the faculty are very helpful, and i have never had a problem that they were not able to solve. the courses can be challenging, but that's a good thing!
Tips for prospective students
prepare to work harder than you ever have in your coursework (for any college you're looking in attending, not just vcu). also, prepare to meet people from every spectrum of life and have a lot of fun. your views on everything will be challenged, but that's how we grow as people.
Academic Rigor
classes can get rough, but they are definitely passable if you put in the work and effort. being challenged by a class is a good thing because it helps you learn more. the professors are all very willing to help you pass and offer many opportunities outside of office hours to help you. there's also free tutoring. there's no reason to not pass.
Dorm Life
the dorms are okay. they're what you expect college dorms to be like. most of them are nice, but there are a few that are pretty infamous for being unpleasant.
Food and Dining
the main dining court, shafer, is not horrible, but it's not great either. however, there are tons of small business restaurants all over that are fairly cheap and really good. my advice is to skip shafer and spend your money on the local cuisine.
What to do for fun
there's so much to do in richmond. history is basically everywhere. there are tons of museums, trails, historical sites, and monuments that are all within walking distance. plus, vcu is located right next to the james river.
Bang for the buck
yes, there are some things that could use improvement, but overall vcu is a very good choice. you'll learn a lot, and there's a ton of amazing research happening here that is going to be instrumental in years to come, and you are more than welcome to participate.
Share any unusual traditions or locations on campus
to be officially "inducted" as a vcu student, you have to rub the ram horns that are outside of the student commons. it's weird, but it's a tradition. also, you have to go to red eye on grace st. you'll thank me later.
Great for these types of students
vcu is great for students who are looking to learn different perspectives on life, not just the major they are in. there are tons of classes offered that can change the way you view the world, you just have to find them.
Clubs and Activities
there are a ton of clubs on campus that serve varying purposes. a big portion are very service oriented, and aim to educate on a lot of problems in the world, while others are to simply have fun and socialize.
Campus Safety
vcu police are awesome. they patrol campus at all hours, and you see them everywhere. they are constantly improving themselves, and always have our safety in mind. since vcu is in an urban environment, there are a lot of safety risks that are not present in other college-town universities. they do a great job, and i always feel safe on campus.
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Jerrod from Centreville, VA

a current student here
46 people found this review useful
Categories Comments
Am learning a lot
I currently a student at VCU returning for my sophomore year and I must say that I am excited to get back to Richmond, VA this fall. As an engineering student I can tell that the education that I am receiving from VCU presents me as well as others attending this diverse university, with a chance to master subject areas even with no prior knowledge of any particular subject area. The past two semesters at VCU I mastered programs such as Microsoft Excel and MatLab that I had no prior knowledge of, but would have eventually needed for the real-world. In addition I learned all of the basics, and then some for the program Solidworks, a staple for a large majority of engineering fields, because of the programs' modeling capabilities.
The professors here are highly trained, well educated professionals as well. Every professor has office hours, and they are willing to assist every student with their work no matter how large the class is. I never had to hesitate to send an email, or call my professor at their office. In addition, the majority of the professors at VCU have Student Instructors at hand in the class room. These SI's hold their own individual free tutoring sessions at flexible times throughout the semester. I was able to get great help for my chemistry course thanks to my professors SI. Attend VCU, and I assure you that you will receive a high quality education.
Am enjoying being here
The VCU campus is an inner-city melting pot. I definitely fit in as a minority student. I am surrounded by friends, and students who are truly dedicated to succeeding. The positive atmosphere leaves me with nothing but satisfaction once I step foot onto campus, but there is no place like home.
Bang for the buck
With all of the great education that I am receiving from this institution, I have no doubt that I am definitely receiving my money's worth in that department. With that said, VCU could have a much improved dining plan, and selection, and the campus could be a little more closed off, and cleaner. I can not complain though.
Tips for prospective students
I would advise all prospective students looking at any university to start early, even as early as their Junior year of highscool if possible. For anyone attending this university I would advise you to go to your counselor or your professors if you have any types of questions about the school. Most of the professors are more than willing to assist you with troubles. I would also advise students to attend SI sessions, because they are extremely helpful and beneficial to you.
Great for these types of students
Medical Students, Engineering Students, and Art Students
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Janet from Richmond, VA

a current student here
31 people found this review useful
Categories Comments
Am learning a lot
I don't have to tell you that VCU is quite a large university. Especially within the first few years here, most of one's classes will be larger lecture classes. Even so, all the professors I've had have let it be known to the students that they're open for individual consulting as long the student is willing to make it happen.

Like at any university, a VCU student will realize how to learn based mostly on their own capabilities. The professors will provide you with a firm foundation of the material but ultimately, it's in the students hands how far to excel with the material. What I love about the professors at VCU is that they are still there for students, despite the enormity of some of the classes.
Am enjoying being here
I honestly didn't want to come to VCU initially. I was unsure about the urban environment of the campus and the way it was integrated with the Richmond city. I got no sense of being on a traditional campus at all.

When finally got to school though, all my prior assumptions were proven wrong. VCU is a unique campus where you get a diversity that I don't believe you can get at any other university in VA. Richmond is a city that is hard not to love. Trust me, when you're here, you'll develop a deep love for VCU and the city that holds it.
Bang for the buck
For a public university, VCU's tuition is very reasonable. Take into account the kind of extensive research facilities available to VCU students and the tuition seems like an even bigger deal. If anything though, the dining hall food is um, somewhat under par.
Tips for prospective students
Don't judge a book by its cover. VCU is truly a diamond in the rough. Also, take advantage of the fact that you're in a real city, not some college town that only exists because of the college. There is SO much to do in Richmond!
Great for these types of students
Students who are open-minded and thrive in diversity.
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Caroline from Ford, VA

a current student here
17 people found this review useful
Categories Comments
Am learning a lot
I am currently a freshman at VCU, I actually have my finals for this semester starting this week. This semester, as my first semester ever of college, has been very educational. As this is VCU, it is a very diverse campus and creates a huge area where you can learn about different cultures and people. As well as those who love to voice their opinions in the compass.
The teachers are really down to earth, especially the Focused Inquiry teachers, which is a class you have to take your freshman year, if you do not already have English credits. Those classes will really help you adjust and learn everything you can, and be able to think deeply about it.
Am enjoying being here
The area is so much fun! I am living in one of the dorms on campus, and if you decided that dorm life isn't for you, it's okay. However, it is much easier to live here and go to the midnight breakfasts in Safer Court Dining Center. Or to participate in the Ram Ex-Scream at 9:00PM, when all you have to do is cut through an ally (that's well lit) and you're there.
Bang for the buck
Welcome to college, and loans, loans, and more loans. College is not cheap, but wouldn't you want to be paying for a good education? You are here. Plus, in state tuition isn't very expensive here. The really expensive thing is the dining plans. Something that is NOT optional if you live in the dorms.
Tips for prospective students
Get the cheap dining plan, you'll never be able to use all 200 swipes in a semester and use your dining dollars. Buy your textbooks from VBC, but sell them back to Barns and Nobel. They're cheaper at VBC, and you get more money back at B&N.
Great for these types of students
If you are very open minded, are not homophobic, and are not racist, VCU is the perfect open minded, open belief college for you!
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Kalyann from Gainesville, VA

a current student here
11 people found this review useful
Categories Comments
Am learning a lot
Like any college, it forces you to learn how to study, which is hard when there are so many distractions! Nothing is spoon-fed to you, but the professors are very accessible and whenever you feel like you need help, they are there to help. They also really want you to learn, and they will push you. Like the other reviews said, there are a lot of extra support if you feel a little lost-- the school offers free one-on-one tutoring, drop-in tutoring, and SI sessions.
Am enjoying being here
My parents used to be (very) nervous about sending me to such a large, open campus in a city, but they worry for nothing! It's not that bad, but of course you have to be city-smart and realize why its not to smart to walk by yourself in the middle of the night. VCU has their own police, and there always out and about. The dorms have good security with guards at the front desk, and require card access to get in.
Besides that, city life is great, you will never get bored as there are a ton of activities to do for anyone and everyone! You'll meet so many different types of people, and everyone is really friendly.
Bang for the buck
One of the reasons why I chose to come here was because of the in-state tuition. With that said, it's not terribly expensive for a public school, and your bill includes activities that help the school help the students (for example, you can get the flu shot or visit the nurse's office for free at Student Health).
Tips for prospective students
www.ratemyprofessor.com or other sites of the like are SO HELPFUL in picking out your classes for your first semester!! I'm telling you!! If the reviews on the site say the professor is hard and will ruin your life, run away! or just ask around with people who've taken them before.
Great for these types of students
If you're a student interested in the health field, VCU is a jewel! There are many research programs (ex. Massey Cancer Center, just 1 out of 65 cancer centers), and graduate programs for students (medical, nursing, pharmacy, etc..). VCU's Medical School is the best of the best--and I was fortunate enough to rub elbows with their medical students and some members on the Board of Admissions. You can also conveniently volunteer at their very own hospital on the MCV campus to gain more experience, or start shadowing the doctors there.
Even though I'm currently an undergraduate freshman at VCU, I find these resources very important and unique--I would not have the benefit of all these places so easily at the reach of my fingertips as I do here. I've already volunteered at the hospital, and networked with graduate students in these health fields, and they've given me a lot of valuable advice in making the most of my undergraduate years.
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