VCU provides a variety of ways in which a student may pursue a course of study.

Degree-seeking student

This student has fulfilled the admission requirements of the university and a particular school and is enrolled in a bachelor’s (four-year) degree program or a health sciences preparatory program. A degree-seeking student may engage in studies as either a full-time student (12 credits or more per semester) or as a part-time student, and may enroll for day and/or evening classes.

Furthermore, a degree-seeking student may pursue a program of study in one of the following ways:

  1. As a declared major in a school or college. The student who declares a specific major when entering VCU begins a course of study leading to a degree in the declared major. (The student may change the major at a later date.)
  2. As a pre-health major. The student declares a pre-health major (clinical laboratory sciences, dental hygiene, nursing or clinical radiation sciences) and completes the prerequisites for future eligibility to apply for admission into the health science major. Completion of the pre-health major does not guarantee admission into the desired health sciences program. Pre-health majors are not degree-granting programs. Students should consult the program admission requirements for the intended program they wish to pursue.
  3. As an undeclared student. Students who have not selected a specific major, may select the “undeclared” category. Students are advised through University Academic Advising using general academic lines so they may enroll in courses that will assist them in more clearly defining their academic or career objectives.

    The advising program is flexible enough to suit the interest of any student, yet it is basic to a number of fields of study in different schools. During the first year of study, students are encouraged to investigate various fields until they find a major that suits their interests, needs and goals. Resources are available from University Career Services and through UNIV 103.

    Students must define these goals and declare a major area of study no later than the semester in which they complete 60 credits, generally after two years of study.

Nondegree-seeking student

A student who meets the requirements for undergraduate eligibility may enroll for credit as a nondegree-seeking student in day and/or evening classes at VCU without seeking admission to a degree program.

Undergraduate nondegree-seeking students are advised about course selections and aided in educational and vocational planning by University Academic Advising and may schedule an appointment by calling (804) 827-8648. Such students are ineligible for financial aid.

Permission to enroll as a nondegree-seeking student does not ensure later admission as a degree-seeking student. Continuance in this status is dependent on academic performance, and nondegree-seeking students are subject to the continuation regulations stated in this chapter.

The undergraduate nondegree-seeking student may pursue course work in one of the following categories:

  1. As a nondegree holder. This student has not previously earned a baccalaureate degree. The student may take a maximum of 11 credits per semester (part time).
  2. As a degree holder. This student has previously earned a baccalaureate degree at VCU or another accredited institution and plans to pursue additional undergraduate course work. The student may take a maximum of 19 credits per semester.
  3. As a transient student. This student is presently seeking a baccalaureate degree at another institution of higher education, is in good standing at that institution and plans to pursue a course of study at VCU for no more than two semesters with the intent of transferring the work back to the home institution to complete the degree. The student may take a maximum of 19 credits per semester and must present a letter from the home institution approving the student’s status as a transient student at VCU. (Refer to the Nondegree-seeking student guidelines section of this bulletin).

Credits earned as a nondegree-seeking student are recorded on the student’s permanent academic record. There is no limit placed on the number of credits that can be earned in this classification. Nondegree-seeking students who wish eventually to earn a baccalaureate degree at VCU are encouraged to seek admission to a degree program before accumulating 22 semester credits.

Nondegree-seeking student advising

Nondegree holders or degree holders who wish to take undergraduate classes are advised through University Academic Advising. Nondegree-seeking students must meet eligibility requirements (see the Nondegree-seeking student guidelines section of this bulletin), are limited to a maximum of 11 credits per semester and are not eligible for financial aid. Nondegree-seeking degree holders (those students who already hold a baccalaureate degree) may take more than 11 credits, but also are not eligible for financial aid. Academic advisers assist nondegree-seeking students by providing educational planning and information about university resources and regulations. Nondegree-seeking degree holders who wish to register for graduate courses need to contact the specific academic department for advising. UAA is located in Hibbs Hall, 900 Park Ave., First Floor, P.O. Box 842002, Richmond, VA 23284-2002. Phone: (804) 827-8648. Fax: (804) 827-4511.