VCU Acceleration (VCUA)

This Program will be VIRTUAL in 2021. 

Eligibility requirements

Any grade 12 student graduating and accepted into VCU as an incoming freshman who is interested in health science careers. Applicants must have a minimum GPA of 3.25, have taken the SAT or ACTs and be able to commit to both the summer session as well as live on-campus their freshman year. 

Program description

VCUA is a combination pre-matriculation summer session and academic year-long program for students interested in pre-health concentrations in medicine, dentistry, nursing, pharmacy and other health sciences. 

Summer session

The VCUA summer session is a four-week residential program where participants take non-credit math and science coursework taught by VCU faculty members, attend health career-focused workshops, hospital tours, Health Professions admissions overviews and advising in preparation for the fall semester.  Participants must provide their own transportation and parking to the program. Summer housing is provided for free, and a modest stipend is included.

Academic year

VCUA participants return to VCU to begin their freshman year in the fall and live together in a VCU program-in-residence in Brandt Hall. VCUA participants take first-year courses together, incorporate community service into their schedules and continue to receive support from pre-health and pre-professional advising.

Commitment to full attendance, including an orientation session and closing event, is required to participate.


Summer session: July 11 - August 6, 2021


VCU Monroe Park and VCU Health Campus. 

Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, physical distancing guidelines necessitated a virtual implementation of VCUA in 2020 rather than the traditional on-site/residential model. As a result, we are proud to share that the program was successfully facilitated online for 21 participants last summer. Therefore, we will continue following the healthcare guidelines mandated by VCU in accordance with the Commonwealth of Virginia as we plan ahead for VCUA 2021. Regardless of the program's format, we are working diligently to ensure that VCUA 2021 participants will also have a valuable and transformative experience during the upcoming summer as well. Please continue to monitor our website for updates regarding the status of VCUA 2021.

Contact information

The VCU Pipeline Team at (804) 827-0982 or

VCU Acceleration is a great fit for students whose previous K-12 educational environment may have limited their ability to acquire the math and science skills necessary to pursue a career in the health sciences. High school seniors are welcome to apply before they have learned of their acceptance status to VCU.

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