Staying safe in off-campus experiences

Please see our guidelines for staying safe in off-campus experiences for information relevant to students, faculty/staff, and campus partners.

REAL 399

A student studies at the James River [View Image]REAL 399 is a pass/fail undergraduate course that is directed by you, the student, to help you capture your advanced experiential learning activities on your transcript. It is a great way to bring visibility to something you may have been planning to do anyway - an internship that you coordinated on your own, for example, or a volunteer research experience you found — without adding any additional cost.

In addition to ensuring your experiential learning projects get the credit on your transcript they deserve, REAL 399 also ensure you have the knowledge and support of a VCU mentor behind you along the way.

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Take charge of your story

Another perk of REAL 399: it can also be used to fulfill the REAL graduation requirement as well. So you're not only getting credit for all your career-building activities, you are also taking a big step toward graduation: all in a way that is custom built just for you!

Number of credit hours

REAL 399 can be taken for variable amount of academic credit, ranging from 0-3 credit hours. See below for more information on how to decide what number of credits is best for you, or why you'd pick a zero-credit option.

Don't forget: If a course is taken for academic credit, it will be assessed for tuition and fees accordingly. So you should talk with your academic advisor to decide what number of

How do I enroll for REAL 399?

To enroll in REAL 399, you'll need two things:

  • An activity or project idea that's been approved by the REAL office
  • A VCU faculty or staff member qualified (and willing!) to serve as your course supervisor and mentor. (The REAL office can help with this part, if you need a hand.)

Because both these things take some time, we encourage you to plan ahead and apply for enrollment in REAL 399 well in advance of the semester in which your project will take place.

Application process

To apply for REAL 399, you'll need to fill out our online application. This application will ask you for:

  • Identification of a VCU faculty/staff mentor who agrees to evaluate your progress. Again, the REAL office can you help you find a mentor.
  • If you are working with an external partner, such as a community organization or employer:
    • The name and contact information of your supervisor at the placement site
    • Documentation (such as an email) showing they have agreed to host you at their site
  • Identification of the number of credits for which you wish to register (0- 3 credit hours)
  • A 30-character title of the project to be used on the academic transcript
  • A completed Integrated Learning Plan

Additional information about REAL 399

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