Colleges and schools
The College of Humanities and Sciences is the center of liberal arts education at Virginia Commonwealth University. Its 19 departments and two schools house the core disciplines in the natural sciences, social sciences and humanities, and offer numerous innovative graduate and postgraduate programs. Home to nearly 60 percent of undergraduate majors, the college prepares its students for meaningful lives and careers.
The School of Allied Health Professions offers on-campus and distance-education baccalaureate, master’s, postgraduate and doctoral degrees to students seeking careers in a variety of health-related fields. The school houses nine departments and a center, with three of the school’s graduate programs in the top 5 in the country as ranked by U.S. News & World Report.
The School of the Arts is a center for innovation. Collaborations between various artistic disciplines, the humanities and sciences galvanize students and faculty to create new approaches for tackling challenges within and beyond traditional arts practices. Its graduate arts program has the highest U.S. News & World Report ranking ever achieved by a public university’s arts and design school.
The School of Business offers a wide range of programs, putting particular emphasis on fusing creativity with business and tapping into the school’s strong connections with the vibrant local business community. The school ranks in the top 5 percent of business schools worldwide due to its accreditation by AACSB International.
For more than 120 years, the School of Dentistry has been educating practitioners capable of meeting the oral health care needs of the communities they serve. The school is part of an urban comprehensive academic medical center and offers a D.D.S degree, a Ph.D. in oral biology, a B.S. in dental hygiene and a number of highly competitive postgraduate dental programs.
The School of Education prepares highly skilled teachers, counselors, administrators and other education professionals committed to making a positive impact in their communities, particularly in high-need environments. The school’s diverse, urban environment helps fully prepare students for careers that will help them shape the future of education.
The School of Engineering, an innovation front-runner in academics and research, brings real-world education to Central Virginia. The school’s collaborations with industry and the community mean breakthrough research in sustainability and energy engineering; micro- and nanoelectronic systems; pharmaceutical engineering; mechanobiology and regenerative medicine; security and mining of big data; and device design and development.
The Honors College offers high-achieving students from nearly every major special opportunities to realize their potential as part of a vibrant community of dedicated scholars. Its innovative curriculum — integrated with experiential learning, including research, service and study abroad — provides the feel of a small, liberal arts college within a large, urban research university.
Located blocks from the state Capitol and two hours from the nation’s capital, the Wilder School lets students gain relevant experience through hands-on learning that blends theory with practice. The school offers undergraduate, master’s and doctoral degrees in five areas: criminal justice, homeland security and emergency preparedness, public administration, public policy and administration, and urban and regional studies and planning.
Part of the College of Humanities and Sciences, the Robertson School inspires and empowers students to be transformative media innovators and thought leaders in a changing communications environment. The school accomplishes its mission through immersive teaching, quality research and professional scholarship. The school explores and engages local and global communities in advertising, journalism, public relations and other emerging communications fields.
Hundreds of students from around the world come to the School of Medicine to pursue medical degrees, as well as master’s, doctoral and certificate programs, some of which are unique in Virginia. The school’s renowned faculty represents more than 200 specialty areas, and the school is part of an urban, comprehensive academic medical center, allowing for innovative training and interdisciplinary degree opportunities.
Ranked one of the nation’s top 50 graduate nursing schools by U.S. News and World Report, the School of Nursing educates nurses from entry-level practice through the doctorate. As part of an urban, comprehensive academic medical center, the school emphasizes community engagement and collaboration with students and faculty from the university’s other health sciences schools and academic units.
Among the nation’s top 20 pharmacy schools according to U.S. News & World Report, the School of Pharmacy offers the Pharm.D., M.S., Ph.D. and other degrees combining pharmaceutical sciences with various disciplines. As pharmacy’s role in team-based health care increases, the main campus and two satellite campuses — each located within an academic medical center — offer tremendous opportunities for interprofessional collaboration.
Founded in 1917, the School of Social Work is one of the largest accredited, comprehensive social work programs in the U.S. Offering bachelor’s, master’s, doctoral and combined degrees, as well as certificate programs, the school prepares future professional social workers as practitioners, scholars and leaders. U.S. News & World Report ranks it among the nation’s top 25 graduate social work programs.
The School of World Studies within the College of Humanities and Sciences explores what it means to be human and prepares students to participate in the work of building a healthy world community. With faculty trained in the humanities, social sciences and natural sciences, the school offers undergraduate and certificate programs in anthropology, foreign languages, international studies and religious studies.
VCU’s 100-plus graduate programs are administered by individual departments, schools and centers with assistance from the Graduate School. The school also offers the Master of Interdisciplinary Studies degree program, which allows highly motivated students to pursue a unique course of study that combines graduate coursework in a learner-centered approach to graduate education.
Taking a highly interdisciplinary approach, VCU Life Sciences offers degrees in bioinformatics, environmental studies and integrative life sciences. Students have the chance to learn and conduct research in cutting-edge facilities across the entire campus, including the Eugene P. and Lois E. Trani Center for Life Sciences and the Rice Rivers Center, a 494-acre property overlooking the James River.
Students interested in entrepreneurship and innovation will find both at VCU’s da Vinci Center. A partnership between the schools of the Arts, Business and Engineering and the College of Humanities and Sciences, the center was the first in the U.S. to offer a Master of Product Innovation. The center, which emphasizes cross-disciplinary collaboration, is the university hub for undergraduate and graduate student entrepreneurship activities.
VCU’s central research office provides an incubator for training new scholars who understand where and how knowledge is formed. It offers a master’s and Ph.D. in clinical and translational sciences through the Wright Center for Clinical and Translational Research, and helps students and faculty in all academic units seek funding, plan studies, establish collaborations, calculate budgets, submit grant applications, and secure industry contracts, patents and licensing agreements.
The University College enhances student engagement and success by providing a central home for curricular innovation, including a distinctive first-year seminar sequence leading to a course in inquiry and the craft of argument. It also offers the Bachelor of Interdisciplinary Studies degree program for students who want to design their own majors.