This is the preliminary (or launch) version of the 2024-2025 VCU Bulletin. Courses that expose students to cutting-edge content and transformative learning may be added and notification of additional program approvals may be received prior to finalization. General education program content is also subject to change. 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.

Grace E. Harris Hall, Fifth Floor
1015 Floyd Avenue
Richmond, Virginia 23284-2015

D'Arcy P. Mays, Ph.D.
Interim Dean
(804) 828-4623

807 South Cathedral Place
Richmond, Virginia 23284
(804) 828-5194

Garret Westlake, Ph.D.
Executive director, da Vinci Center for Innovation

Mission of the University College

University College empowers all VCU students to think critically and practice civic responsibility by promoting agency, academic success, career achievement, lifelong learning and active engagement in a diverse society. University College values its faculty and staff who dedicate their time and energy to this work.

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 is also the home of the interdisciplinary studies program, offering the Bachelor of Interdisciplinary Studies for students who want to design their own majors, either by combining two minors or by working with program faculty and other VCU faculty to build a completely individualized major. A required introductory course, IDST 301​, and capstone course, IDST 499, provide B.I.S. students with a creative, project-based opportunity to bring together all of their varied work within the interdisciplinary studies program. The University College also houses the interdisciplinary career readiness skills minor and the academic courses of the Transform living-learning program.

A collaboration of VCU’s School of the Arts, School of Business, College of Engineering and College of Humanities and Sciences, the da Vinci Center for Innovation is a unique collegiate model that advances innovation and entrepreneurship through cross-disciplinary collaboration. The Certificate in Product Innovation, Certificate in Venture Creation and the Innovate living-learning program aim to create T-shaped individuals: individuals who are anchored in a discipline and have the capacity and openness to span across disciplines. Students participating in these programs view innovation and entrepreneurship from multiple disciplinary perspectives and, thus, are prepared for the 21st-century workforce by more robustly approaching the innovation/entrepreneurship endeavor.

Goals and objectives of University College

The goal of the University College 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 

General information

Academic departments and degree programs

Department of Focused Inquiry

Bachelor of Interdisciplinary Studies (B.I.S.)

Certificate in Product Innovation

Certificate in Venture Creation

Other programs

  • The VCU Common Book Program
  • Interdisciplinary career readiness skills minor
  • Innovate living-learning program
  • Transform living-learning program
  • Undergraduate teaching assistants (Focused Inquiry)