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Virginia Commonwealth University Annual Report 2019-2020

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Facts & figures

(as of fiscal year ending June 30, 2020)

VCU students

  • 30,103 students
  • 46.07% minority
  • 30.8% underrepresented
  • 86.5% Virginia residents
  • 31.05% First-generation first years
  • 3.69 High school GPA, middle 50%
  • 1150 SAT, middle 50%
  • 336 Student athletes, average GPA of 3.23

Financial Aid awarded, FY 2019-20

  • $473.1 million

Degrees and certificates awarded

  • 7,420

Graduation Rates

  • 6-year graduation rate
  • 67.6%Fall 2013 cohort
  • 66.4%Fall 2014 cohort
  • Hispanic/latino students graduation rate
  • 63.9%Fall 2013 cohort
  • 64.5%Fall 2014 cohort
  • African Americans Graduation Rate
  • 66.8%Fall 2013 cohort
  • 66.4%Fall 2014 cohort
  • 6-year graduation rate goal by year 2025
  • 78%

U.S. News & World Report Best Graduate School rankings, top 50 programs

  • 1st Fine Arts – Sculpture
  • 1st Nurse Anesthesia
  • 2nd Fine Arts
  • 3rd Education – Online
  • 3rd Fine Arts– Glass
  • 4th Rehabilitation Counseling
  • 5th Health Care Management
  • 7th Fine Arts – Graphic Design
  • 7th Fine Arts – Painting/Drawing
  • 9th Fine Arts – Ceramics
  • 10th Fine Arts – Printmaking
  • 17th Occupational Therapy
  • 17th Pharmacy
  • 20th Best Education Schools
  • 20th Nuclear Engineering
  • 20th Physical Therapy
  • 25th Social Work
  • 39th Public Affairs
  • 44th Best Nursing Schools – Doctor of Nursing Practice
  • 48th Engineering – Online


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VCU’s research enterprise has grown exponentially in the last decade. This year, of the $335 million in sponsored research, $169 million were federally funded grants.

  • 133 invention disclosures
  • 172 patents filed
  • 16 patents issued
  • 6 copyrights
  • 22 licenses/options
  • 7 startup licenses
  • 145 industry engagements
  • $2,481,098 licensing revenues
  • 9 faculty startups
  • 10 Proof-of-concept funding


  • Top 100 Research university by National Science foundation
  • 65th In R&D expenditures among public research universities
  • 1 of only 56 public institutions to have both a National Cancer Institute-designated cancer center and a clinical and translational science award funded by the National Center for Advancing Translational Sciences.

Highlights and advancements

Leading a $50 million, five-year federal grant to oversee a national study of the long-term impacts of mild traumatic brain injuries or concussions on service members and veterans.

Multiple grants expanded Massey Cancer Center’s research on finding causes and cures for various cancers, including pancreatic and triple negative breast cancer, which grows and spreads faster, has limited treatment options and a worse prognosis.

With more than $8 million in federal grants, VCU leads a consortium to focus on how to best provide training and employment for people with intellectual and developmental disabilities.

A $7.8 million NIH grant renewal to VCU’s Alcohol Research Center is deepening our understanding of the genetic components of alcohol-related disorders.

Backed by a National Institute on Drug Abuse award of nearly $11 million, VCU continues to participate in the largest long-term study of brain development and child health ever conducted in the U.S.

VCU remains committed to cultivating STEM talent among racial and ethnic minorities. A decade of nearly $13 million in federal funding strengthens our set of research and training programs to identify and support underrepresented biomedical scientists. VCU is one of only two institutions in the U.S. to offer these programs at all levels of higher education.

Grants totaling $2.28 million from the National Institute of Justice help investigators in the Department of Forensic Science to develop and evaluate new forensic tools.

A $2.5 million grant from the Department of Energy leading to development of next-generation rechargeable lithium-ion batteries, which power everything from smartphones to electric vehicles.

VCU received $2.5 million in royalty and licensing income from faculty inventions licensed to companies, with some of the funding used to support “proof of concept” funding to mature and validate new innovative technologies.


  • 204,891Living alumni


  • 11,718VCU employees
  • 13,846VCU Health employees
  • 2,497Teaching and research faculty
  • 1,040Tenured/tenure track faculty
  • 10%Underrepresented minority teaching and research faculty


The spring 2020 semester brough new leadership to the Honors College and the College of Humanities and Sciences, and solidified leadership for the L. Douglas Wilder School of Government and Public Affairs.

Scott C. Breuninger, Ph.D., was named dean of the Honors College in February 2020 with a start date of July 1. Breuninger comes to VCU from the University of South Dakota.

Jennifer Malat, Ph.D., was named dean of the College of Humanities and Sciences in March 2020 with a start date of July 1. Malat comes to VCU from the College of Arts and Sciences at the University of Cincinnati.

Susan T. Gooden, Ph.D., was named dean of the L. Douglas Wilder School of Government and Public Affairs in April after serving as interim dean at the Wilder School since May 2018.


Total for VCU, VCU Health System and affiliated foundations (FY 2018-19)

  • $5.16 billionin revenues and capital additions
  • $4.9 billionin expenditures


  • $841.6 millionraised
  • $750 milliongoal

$841.6 million — smashing the $750 million goal — raised since the Make It Real Campaign for VCU began in 2012

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