This is the launch edition of the 2019-20 VCU Bulletin. This version includes all programs and courses approved by the publication deadline; however we may receive notification of additional program approvals after the launch. The final edition and full PDF version will include these updates and will be available in August prior to the beginning of the fall semester. (See the Archives page for bulletins for 2018-19.)

Credit hour

A credit hour is defined as a reasonable approximation of one hour of classroom or direct faculty instruction and a minimum of two hours out-of-class student work each week for approximately 15 weeks, or the equivalent amount of work over a different amount of time. Credit is based on at least an equivalent amount of work for other academic activities including laboratory work, internships, practica, studio work and other academic work leading to the award of credit hours and is established by individual programs. This definition represents the minimum standard. Student time commitment per credit hour may be higher in individual programs.

Course numbering system

All schools and programs within VCU use the following course numbering system. All course numbers consist of three digits (XXX). The first digit relates to the course level as follows:

0XX – Noncredit courses

Courses with these numbers are offered for students to make up deficiencies in previous training or to improve certain basic skills.

1XX and 2XX – Undergraduate, lower-level

These courses are offered primarily for undergraduate students and may not be used for graduate credit, although graduate students may be required to register for courses at this level to gain a necessary foundation for other course work.

3XX and 4XX – Undergraduate, upper-level

These courses are offered for advanced undergraduates and usually constitute the major portion of specific program work leading to the baccalaureate degree. On occasion, students will be advised by their graduate advisers to enroll in prerequisite 400-level courses. Graduate programs can require that 300- or 400-level courses be taken, but credit in these courses cannot count toward the graduate degree or in the graduate GPA.

5XX – Introductory graduate courses

Graduate students enroll for credit in these courses through the normal graduate advising system. Departments may limit the number of 500-level courses applicable to a graduate degree program. Advanced undergraduates may enroll in these courses for credit with consent of the offering department. Credit is applicable toward only one degree unless a student is admitted to a course of study that allows a defined number of shared courses.

5XX – Professional graduate courses

These first-year, first-professional (medicine, dentistry and pharmacy) courses are normally open to students enrolled in the M.D., D.D.S. and Pharm.D. programs. Certain courses of this group may be designated by the department and approved by the University Graduate Council for graduate credit.

6XX, 7XX and 8XX – Graduate courses

Graduate students enroll for credit in these courses through the normal graduate advising system. Credit is applicable toward only one degree unless a student is admitted to a course of study that allows a defined number of shared courses.

6XX and 7XX – Professional graduate courses

6XX: These second-year first-professional courses are normally open only to students enrolled in the M.D., D.D.S. and Pharm.D. programs. Certain courses of this group may be designated by the department and approved by the University Graduate Council for graduate credit.

7XX: These third- and fourth-year first-professional courses are normally open only to students enrolled in the M.D., D.D.S. and Pharm.D. programs. Certain courses of this group may be designated by the department and approved by the University Graduate Council for graduate credit.