Grace E. Harris Hall, Fifth Floor
1015 Floyd Avenue
Richmond, Virginia 23284-2015
Constance Relihan, Ph.D.
Mission of the University College
The University College enhances student engagement and success through curricular innovation, interdisciplinary studies and support for excellence in learning.
University College offers first-year students an innovative, cohort-based first-year seminar experience, UNIV 111 and UNIV 112, designed around critical thinking, curiosity and shared learning opportunities. By providing students with a common experience, these courses help make the first year of college more engaging and meaningful, providing a strong foundation for further learning at VCU and beyond. A third course, UNIV 200, follows this first-year seminar and has a special focus on inquiry and the craft of argument. UNIV 200 empowers students to ask great questions and build well-researched, carefully argued answers in an academic learning context.
University College also offers the Bachelor of Interdisciplinary Studies degree program for students who want to design their own majors, either by combining two minors or by working with B.I.S. and other VCU faculty to build a completely individualized major. A required capstone course, UNIV 499, provides B.I.S. students with a creative, project-based opportunity to bring together all of their varied work within the B.I.S. program.
Goals and objectives of University College
The goal of the UC is to promote the personal and academic success of each student through curricular innovation, interdisciplinary studies and support for excellence in learning. The objectives are:
- To increase opportunities for active learning through innovative learning opportunities within and beyond the classroom
- To provide an innovative, cohort-based first-year seminar experience for VCU students (UNIV 111 and UNIV 112) as well as a course emphasizing research, argumentation and effective communication in multiple modalities (UNIV 200)
- To provide an individualized majors program, the Bachelor of Interdisciplinary Studies, that offers a creative, rigorous and rewarding learning experience for both traditional and nontraditional students
- To empower students to be self-directed, lifelong learners who will take advantage of every opportunity for learning and support for learning at VCU and beyond
Academic departments and degree programs
Department of Focused Inquiry
Bachelor of Interdisciplinary Studies (B.I.S.)
- Common Book initiative
- Undergraduate teaching assistants (Focused Inquiry)