Key initiatives

First-year success courses

VCU strongly encourages all incoming first-year students to enroll in at least one First-Year Student Success course. These courses count toward graduation requirements and meet only once a week for 50 minutes.

National research shows that these first-year courses greatly impact the overall grade performance of students and also improve how connected a student feels to their university (thus improving their persistence in college and their GPA).

These courses are taught by our academic advisors, financial aid counselors, campus leaders and student affairs professionals interested in connecting to first-year students based on their interests, fears, aspirations and career goals.

Major maps

Major maps combine academic planning and strategic career planning to allow students to create individualized success plans so that they can achieve their professional and academic goals upon graduation. We focus on the student's end goal and work backward - determining what courses, experiences, connections and skills will best position the student as a competitive, working professional after graduation.  Major maps connect students to the people, resources and activities that will maximize their VCU experience.

Visit the Major Maps website for more information.

Living-Learning Communities

Living-Learning Communities or LLC's are specialized residential environments designed to integrate on-campus living with a focused academic experience. The mix of curricular and co-curricular activities inside and outside of the classroom enables students to fully engage in their VCU experience and learn to encounter real-world experiences with an interdisciplinary approach.

Learn more about our First-Year Living-Learning Communities and Upperclass Living-Learning Communities.

VCU Common Book

Building upon the nationally recognized Summer Reading program, the VCU Common Book is a university-wide initiative focused on welcoming our first-year students into the vibrant intellectual culture of VCU. The Common Book is intended to create the opportunity to explore complex social issues through an interdisciplinary lens.

Learn more about VCU Common Book