Advising & academic technology tutorials for students

VCU has many tools to help you create your own personalized academic success plan, to ensure that you graduate on-time and on-budget. This video will introduce you to the tools you will use most frequently as you plan out your academic program, register for classes, and prepare to start your semester off strong. Detailed instructions and how-to guides are included below.


Using Navigate to set up an appointment

Navigate helps students get connected to the people, places, and resources that will help them make the most of their time at VCU. You should plan (and some majors will require you) to meet with your academic advisor every semester to review your goals and graduation plan. Students can access Navigate two ways, via the portal, or via the Navigate Mobile App. We highly recommend that students download the Navigate mobile app in order to have access to the most features and to receive push notifications of important deadlines and messages.

  • Make appointments with advisors, tutors, coaches and counselors using Navigate
    • Once logged in, click on Appointments, and select the type of appointment you would like to schedule/drop in.
      • If your advisor or counselor does not have any advising appointments available, email them. You can find their email by going back to the main page, and clicking on Resources, then People. If you are unable to reach them, please email
  • Get walking and driving directions to your classes in Navigate
  • Explore majors and careers using the Major Explorer
  • Stay on track and keep up to date by checking things off your to-do list
  • Get notified of and resolve holds quickly
  • Find classmates to study with by using the Study Buddy feature
  • You can find the contact information for your Success Team and make appointments to meet with them (which includes your Academic Advisor and Financial Counselor) by clicking on Resources and then People.
Navigate example [View Image]

Major selection and degree planning

In order to graduate on time, you’ve got to make a plan. Your curriculum will be made up of core courses, electives and general education classes. These tools will help you first identify the majors at VCU that align with your career and professional goals, and then will help you graduate on time by creating a step-by-step roadmap to your success.

  • Follow your passion and set goals each semester with Major Maps to maximize your VCU experience. You’ll graduate on-time and well-prepared to start graduate school or enter your chosen career or profession.
  • The VCU Bulletin describes every major and minor offered at VCU. If you want to know exactly what courses are required to graduate, particular policies for your school or major, or view a course by course sample graduation plan, this is where you should start.
  • DegreeWorks will keep you on-track to graduation by providing you with a checklist of all of the courses required for your program of study, and previews of how your requirements would change if you change your major.
  • The Student Educational Planner in DegreeWorks allows you to create a personalized graduation plan based upon your previous academic credits, academic goals and graduation timeline.
  • Estimate your final GPA using the GPA calculator in Degree Works.

Accessing your courses online

VCU supports two learning management systems (LMS), Canvas and Blackboard. Your instructor will let you know which LMS they are using for their course in the course syllabus. You can access both Canvas and Blackboard from your portal, in the General Resources section of your student tab, or via the VCU Mobile application. Make sure to check both sites for your courses!

Tutorial: How to access your online courses in Blackboard and Canvas

Adding and Dropping Classes

The Academic Calendar lists all the important dates of the semester, including when classes start and end, and when you are able to register for courses. As long as you do not have a hold on your account, you are able to make changes to your schedule through the end of add/drop using several tools housed in eServices. After add/drop ends, you may withdraw from classes for several weeks longer, however, it is highly recommended that you meet with your academic advisor before doing so, as there may be academic and financial costs to consider.

Visit for tips on how to make the most of each part of your semester.