This is the preliminary (or launch) version of the 2024-2025 VCU Bulletin. We may add courses that expose our students to cutting-edge content and transformative learning. We may also add content to the general education program that focuses on racial literacy and a racial literacy graduation requirement, and 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.

Al Luqta Street
Education City
Box 8095
Doha, Qatar
Phone: (+974)
4402 0555
Fax: (+974) 4402 1489

Funded by the Qatar Foundation for Education, Science and Community Development

Amir Berbić
Dean for VCU School of the Arts in Qatar

Mohamed C. Amor, Ph.D.
Associate dean for academic affairs

Diane Derr, Ph.D.
Associate dean for research and development

Gina Giambattista
Associate dean for administration

Greet Provoost
Assistant dean for enrollment and registration services

Matthew Nelson, Ed.D.
Interim assistant dean for student affairs and director of student life and engagement

Founded in 1998 as a collaboration between the Qatar Foundation for Education, Science and Community Development and Virginia Commonwealth University School of the Arts, the School of the Arts in Qatar offers the baccalaureate degrees in art history, fashion design, graphic design, interior design, and painting and printmaking, as well as a Master of Fine Art in Design. Its purpose is to provide special educational opportunities preparing graduates for leadership roles in the design professions and art history. Courses emulate those offered on VCU’s Monroe Park Campus. Graduates are prepared for exciting careers in these growing fields.

VCU School of the Arts obtained the appropriate approvals from the VCU Board of Visitors and the State Council of Higher Education for Virginia and admitted the first class to what would become VCU School of the Arts in Qatar in fall 1998. SCHEV approved the request in April 2001 and forwarded its recommendation to the governor and General Assembly. The 2002 General Assembly adopted legislation authorizing VCU to establish a campus in Qatar.


Overview of application requirements

Admission policies for VCU School of the Arts in Qatar are the same as those in effect for VCU School of the Arts in Richmond with minor exceptions that recognize the culture and heritage of applicants from the Gulf region. Applications must include the requirements as listed below.

  1. Applicants must present the Qatari Thaniwiya (General Secondary Education Certificate) or equivalent certificate from an accredited high school. Students applying from the British system must submit the results of their IGCSE and A- or AS-level tests. Students applying from the U.S. system must complete a college preparatory curriculum. Students whose grades do not qualify them for admission are recommended to an academic bridge program (see below).
  2. Applicants must submit college/university transcripts, if any, of all institutions of higher education attended, course descriptions and a foreign credential assessment by World Education Services
  3. Applicants must show proficiency in the English language, as evidenced by official test scores of the Test of English as a Foreign Language or the International English Language Testing System.
  4. Applicants must complete the VCUQatar application for admission.
  5. An art portfolio is required for applicants to the Bachelor of Fine Arts programs in graphic design, interior design, fashion, or painting and printmaking.
  6. Applicants to the Bachelor of Arts program in art history must submit an essay. Topics are specified and vary each year.
  7. Applicants must submit a personal statement.
  8. A letter of recommendation is required.

All application items listed above are required to be considered for admission. Once submitted, application materials become the confidential property of VCUQatar.

Academic requirements

Admission to the School of the Arts in Qatar is granted on a competitive basis.

  • Qatari Thaniwiya score must be, at minimum, 80 percent.
  • Applicants completing the British curriculum must present at least five IGSC and three AS subject tests with minimum grades of B.
  • Applicants completing the U.S. curriculum must present a minimum GPA of 3.0 (on a 4.0 scale).
  • Transcripts issued in a language other than English must be accompanied by an official English language translation.

Evaluation of transcripts

VCUQatar course credit may be available to applicants who took or completed International Baccalaureate Diploma program courses, Cambridge International Examinations and/or Advanced Placement tests of the College Entrance Examination Board.

To be considered for course credits, test records and/or transcripts must be submitted prior to the end of the first semester of enrollment at VCUQatar.

Applicants applying for transfer credit from a postsecondary institution must submit official transcripts of all institutions of higher education attended, as well as course descriptions, and a foreign credential evaluation by World Education Services. Faculty and administrative committees determine placement in all upper-level courses after evaluating the student’s record and portfolio of course work.

English language proficiency requirements

TOEFL (at minimum)

  • 80 (internet-based)
  • 213 (computer-based)
  • 550 (paper-based)

IELTS (at minimum)

  • 6.0 overall band score

Test scores must be sent electronically by the testing center to VCUQatar. Additionally, students must submit a copy of their Student Test Score report. Test scores may not be more than two years older than the date received at VCUQatar. VCUQatar’s TOEFL institutional code is 8753.

Mathematics placement test

All incoming students are required to take the mathematics placement test. Placement tests are generally held during the New Student Orientation Program at VCUQatar.

Academic bridge program

Applicants whose grades do not qualify them for admission are recommended to the academic bridge program of the Qatar Foundation. Applicants admitted as dual enrolled students at ABP and VCUQatar are guaranteed admission to VCUQatar after successful completion of the academic bridge program. Dual enrollment status is limited and highly competitive.

First-year incubator program

Academically strong applicants who show promise of artistic talent may be admitted to the first-year incubator program, the pre-Art Foundation Program, at VCUQatar


Art Foundation Program

Students admitted to the Bachelor of Fine Arts Program at VCUQatar complete the Art Foundation Program during their first year of enrollment. Upon successful completion of the Art Foundation Program, students move in to their major field of study. Students admitted to the Bachelor of Arts program at VCUQatar are directly admitted to the major in art history.

Liberal Arts and Sciences Program

In addition to the courses in the major field of study, students at VCUQatar complete core course work within the Liberal Arts and Sciences Program, which provides academic breadth and depth through courses that promote comprehensive intellectual, cultural and social development.

Honors Program

Students who are academically strong and who are interested in enhanced learning and added intellectual stimulation may apply to become part of the VCUQatar Honors Program.


VCUQatar students are required to complete internship course work for which university credit is offered. These placements are under the supervision of faculty members within the major.

Education abroad

VCUQatar students are strongly encouraged to participate in a one-term exchange or study abroad program or in short-term international field trips offered during breaks or holidays.

Degree requirements

To earn a degree from VCU at VCUQatar, students must complete the stated number of course credits, meet all course requirements for the major and the Liberal Arts and Sciences Program and attain a minimum cumulative GPA of 2.00 and a minimum GPA of 2.00 in the major concentration.