Virginia Commonwealth University

Richmond, VA



We are the university for Virginia. We know that the unique backgrounds and life experiences of the VCU community are what drive the university forward. Together, we’re forging a future that is built by us. Here, artists and engineers, doctors and designers come together to reimagine the human experience and tackle the problems of tomorrow. It’s this mindset that makes us one of the top 20 most innovative public universities in the country, according to U.S. News & World Report. 

VCU dates to 1838 with the formation of the Medical Department of Hampden-Sydney College, whose mission was to educate physicians in central Virginia and which was later renamed Medical College of Virginia. In 1968, Richmond Professional Institute merged with the Medical College of Virginia to become what is now known as Virginia Commonwealth University.

Located in downtown Richmond, the state capital of Virginia, VCU enrolls more than 28,000 students in more than 200 degree and certificate programs across its urban campuses: the downtown Monroe Park and MCV campuses in Richmond; the Rice Rivers Center in Charles City, Virginia; satellite locations in Fairfax, Virginia, and Abingdon, Virginia; and a campus in Doha, Qatar, for the School of the Arts.

Ignited by the energy of the city, we’re ready to lead industries — or disrupt them. We seek out the unexpected, the experimental, the never-been-tried. VCU is designated as a research university with very high research activity by the Carnegie Foundation, garnering more than $460 million in sponsored research from federal and other agencies in FY2023. The National Science Foundation ranked VCU among the top 50 public research universities in the country, and we are one of only 69 public universities nationwide to be designated by the Carnegie Foundation as “Community Engaged” with “Very High Research Activity.”

This research enterprise, and the influence of having one of the nation’s top-ranked public graduate arts schools, ensures students receive unique educational experiences that equip them with a creative mindset that sets them apart.

VCU’s contributions in talent, innovation and entrepreneurialism, regional stewardship and local culture shape the economic impact and overall quality of life in the region. VCU as a whole generates more than $9 billion in economic activity. It is the largest employer in Richmond with more than 25,000 employees at VCU and VCU Health, and it supports approximately 58,000 jobs in Virginia. In addition, Virginia classifies VCU with a Tier III status — the highest possible status for universities and colleges — allowing VCU more flexibility in managing its operations to implement best practices and streamline processes. To learn about VCU’s finances, visit

VCU’s unwavering commitment to diversity, inclusion, equity and student success is why INSIGHT into Diversity magazine has named us a Diversity Champion five times in a row as part of its annual Higher Education Excellence in Diversity Awards. And many students say that the best thing about VCU is its diversity.

VCU’s mission, under the leadership of President Michael Rao, Ph.D., is to serve as one national urban public research institution dedicated to the success and well-being of our students, patients, faculty, staff and community through:

  • Real-world learning that furthers civic engagement, inquiry, discovery and innovation.
  • Research that expands the boundaries of new knowledge and creative expression and promotes translational applications to improve the quality of human life.
  • Interdisciplinary collaborations and community partnerships that advance innovation, enhance cultural and economic vitality, and solve society’s most complex challenges.
  • Health sciences that preserve and restore health for all people, seek the cause and cure of diseases through groundbreaking research and educate those who serve humanity.
  • Deeply ingrained core values of diversity, inclusion and equity that provide a safe, trusting and supportive environment to explore, create, learn and serve.


Welcome to VCU. A world unlike any other.


EEO Statement

Virginia Commonwealth University is an equal opportunity/affirmative action university. Read VCU’s full EEO Statement on our website.


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