VCU students

About Virginia Commonwealth University

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

VCU is a major urban, public research university with national and international rankings in sponsored research. Located in downtown Richmond, the capital of Virginia, VCU enrolls more than 31,000 students in 225 degree and certificate programs across its campuses: the downtown Monroe Park and MCV campuses in Richmond; the Rice Rivers Center in Charles City, Virginia; separate campuses in Fairfax, Virginia, for the schools of Medicine and Pharmacy; and a campus in Doha, Qatar, for the School of the Arts.

With more than $310 million in sponsored research funding in fiscal year 2019, VCU is designated as a research university with very high research activity by the Carnegie Foundation. An array of university-approved centers and institutes of excellence — involving faculty from multiple disciplines in public policy, biotechnology and health care discoveries — supports the university’s research mission.

As the premier urban, public research university in Virginia, VCU’s mission is to advance knowledge and student success through its commitments to:

  • An engaged, learner-centered environment that fosters inquiry, discovery and innovation in a global setting
  • Research that expands the boundaries of new knowledge and creative expression and promotes translational applications to improve human health
  • Interdisciplinary collaborations that bring new perspectives to complex problems and mobilize creative energies that advance innovation and solve global challenges
  • Health care that strives to preserve and restore health for all people, to seek the cause and cure of diseases through groundbreaking research and to educate those who serve humanity
  • Diversity that provides a climate of inclusion, a dedication to addressing disparities wherever they exist and an opportunity to explore and create in an environment of trust
  • Sustainable university-community partnerships that enhance the educational, economic and cultural vitality of the communities VCU serves in Virginia and around the world

VCU plays an integral role in the economic health of the city of Richmond and the region by educating the current and future workforce, advancing research and enhancing patient care. VCU, its health system and other related entities have cash and investments of about $3 billion, which includes $840 million in endowment funds.