Transitioning Tips for Success

by Ashley Spratley and Ian Wheeler, Graduate Communications Assistants

As we spend the summer preparing for the start of a new school year, here are some tips that we have for incoming students that we hope will make your transition to VCU successful.

  • Note the major that is a best fit for you!  When choosing your major figure out a list of topics that  you know that you are passionate about.  When you figure out the major stick to it so that you can graduate in a timely fashion.
  • Do the Math! – So you may wonder what does it mean to “Do the math.” In order to graduate in four years, we strongly encourage you to register and complete 15 credit hours per semester.  When you do this, you can make sure you save money (by graduating in four years instead of six) as well as complete all of your degree requirements on time.  
  • Continue looking ways to pay for college — apply for financial assistance via grants, scholarships and loans. The financial burden can be hard when it comes to college, but one tip is to stay focused on your studies by trying not to work a full time job.  Maybe a part-time job can be beneficial to help with dealing with the financial burden that comes with being a full-time student in school.
  • Meet with your advisor regularly to make sure you’re on the right track to complete your coursework in a timely fashion.
  • Join clubs to start networking to meet colleagues who have similar goals!
  • Begin looking for internships in your field of study, so you can build a more marketable resume’. If you’re not looking for internships but want more insight, try shadowing someone in your desired field to gain a deeper perspective. Learning what you don’t want to do is just as important as learning what you do want to do!
  • In his book “7 Habits of Highly Effective People,” famed educator Stephen Covey discusses the importance of “beginning with the end in mind.” Your four years at VCU may seem like a long time but keeping your end goals in mind will help the time pass and keep you on track!

Keep these tips in mind and you will be well on your way to a successful start. We look forward to seeing you around campus this fall!


VCU to observe Independence Day holiday

The university will be closed for the Independence Day holiday from Saturday, July 2 through Monday, July 4, 2016.  Information sessions and campus tours will not be conducted on these dates.  The information sessions and campus tours will resume on Tuesday, July 5, 2016.

Don’t forget to register for New Student Orientation (NSO)

Have you been admitted to VCU as a freshman or transfer for fall 2016? If so, don’t forget to sign up for New Student Orientation (NSO) this summer! During NSO you’ll have the opportunity to meet with an academic advisor, create your class schedule for the fall, and meet other new and current VCU students.

There are several things that you can do before attending NSO to make the process smooth:

If you wish to change your major before attending NSO, you must e-mail the Office of Admissions at with your full name, date of birth, the program that you were admitted into and the new program for which you wish to be considered. Please allow 24-48 business hours for these updates to be processed. If you have already attended NSO, you should read and review the procedures for changing your major/minor.

Should you have further questions about NSO, please contact the Office of New Student and Family Programs at (804) 828-3700 or by e-mail at We look forward to seeing you this summer!

Life after graduation

In May, VCU awarded professional, graduate and undergraduate degrees to students at our graduation ceremony held at the Richmond Coliseum. In all, VCU awarded more than 5,000 degrees. During the ceremony, Pamela El, executive vice president and chief marketing officer of the NBA, challenged these newest graduates to find their passion. Many students have already done that, including the eight students featured in this story. Read their stories to discover how their lives have transformed over time at VCU and how they plan to further their experiences as they embark on new journeys.