First-Year Orientation Advising Guide
Every student brings their own unique selves to VCU, which is why we hold individual advising academic appointments with each and every incoming student between June and August.To prepare for your advising appointment, please make sure to complete each of the steps below:
Reminder: All students must attend their advising appointment and complete Orientation to confirm their course schedules.
Find out more about University Academic Advising.
Help your advisor get to know more about you, your educational goals and your academic background by completing this two-part survey.
- The first part of the survey will confirm your major, allow you to request a change of major (if desired), ask questions about your incoming AP/IB or Dual Enrollment Credits, and learn more about your course preferences.
- The second part of the survey, the College Student Inventory, identifies your academic strengths and connects you to the offices and services that can help you to make the most out of your degree.
Review our recommended first-semester courses for your major and learn more about each course by reviewing course descriptions in the VCU Bulletin. Some programs require you to take higher level courses in math and chemistry. Others may require taking a foreign language. Your recommended first-semester course sheet will provide more information on this for you.
Next, select which sections you want to register for. Many courses will have multiple sections that meet at different times or in different teaching modalities (e.g., face-to-face, hybrid or online, etc). The College Scheduler can help you build the best first-semester class schedule for you by taking into consideration your scheduling preferences and outside obligations. Send your ideal schedule to your shopping cart in eServices to make registration very easy!
Use this worksheet to write down which courses you plan to register for, including a few alternate course options. You should plan to register for at least 15 credits, since you need to earn 15 credits per semester for 8 fall and spring semesters in order to graduate in 4 years.
Please refer to your recommended first-semester course lists to learn which math course you should register for based on your major. Students whose majors only require MATH 131 Introduction to Contemporary Math, do not need to take the math placement test.
Students with majors that require higher level mathematics courses (MATH 141 or higher) will need to take the math placement test if:
- they did not submit SAT or ACT scores to VCU as part of their application (which are translated into a VCU math placement score), or
- they will not be transferring math credits to VCU via to AP, IB, dual-enrollment or other college level credits, or
- their translated SAT or ACT test scores or transfer credits do not satisfy the prerequisite for enrollment in their desired math class.
Please visit the VCU Math Placement website for more information and to access the math placement test.
SAT / ACT Math Scores and VCU Math Placement equivalents
|SAT Math Score||ACT Math Score||ALEKS Score||VCU Math Placement Score||Course(s) You Are Eligible
to Enroll In
|Scores below 530||Scores below 21||0-44||131 or no placement score||MATH 129 or MATH 131|
|530-579||21-23||45-59||141||MATH 141 or STAT 208|
|580-589||24||60||139||MATH 139, MATH 141
or STAT 208
|MATH 151, STAT 210
or BUSN 212
|650+||29+||76-100||200||MATH 200, MATH 211, CMSC 255 or STAT 212, and BUSN 212|
|VCU Math Course Progressions
(each course is a prerequisite for the course(s) listed below it)
|MATH 131||MATH 129 with C or higher||MATH 141 with C or higher|
|MATH 139 with C or higher|
|BUSN 212 or MATH 151
with a C or higher
(via MATH 151 not BUSN 212)
The chemistry placement test is an online test used to place students into an appropriate general chemistry course based on their background knowledge. All students planning on registering for CHEM 101 General Chemistry I are required to take the test.
Majors that commonly require CHEM 101 include: engineering, biology, chemistry, forensic science, bioinformatics, environmental studies, interdisciplinary science, and many of the pre-professional health programs (pre-med, pre-pharmacy, etc.) This includes first-year students who have taken AP Chemistry. The Chemistry Placement Test is a prerequisite for CHEM 101.
Those earning a passing score on the test will be eligible to register for CHEM 101. Those not earning a passing score have two options:
- Complete the ALEKS online unit. After successfully completing one of these options students are eligible to register for CHEM 101. ALEKS must be completed by no later than July 31 (for fall semester) or Jan. 10 (for spring semester).
- Enroll in CHEM 100 – Introductory Chemistry and earn a B or better.
Please visit the VCU Chemistry Placement website for more information and to access the chemistry placement test.
Students who plan to study a language at VCU must take the language placement test to determine the appropriate beginning language class (unless they want to begin in the entry level course). Only students with transfer credit from other educational institutions are eligible to enroll in the next course within their language sequence without completing the foreign language placement test. The foreign language placement test must be taken online before the first week of classes
Students who have completed level three of a foreign language at an accredited U.S. public or private high school have fulfilled the Humanities and Sciences foreign language requirement through the 102 level. Learn more on the College of Humanities and Sciences high school foreign language waiver webpage.
Learn more about and sign up for foreign language placement testing.
Use these guides to learn how to register for classes in eServices as early as May 1. We encourage you to register for classes as early as possible for the best course selections. If you have not registered for classes by July 15, you will be registered for your fall schedule by an advisor.
- If a class that you chose is closed, please:
- select an alternate section of the same class, or
- select a different course of the same type, or
- select any general education course(s).
- You can also monitor eServices throughout the summer to see if any seats in your preferred sections of classes become available.
- If a class that you chose will not allow you to register for it due to a prerequisite error please:
- Select any general education course as a placeholder, then email email@example.com with the subject line: “Prereq” to see if your incoming AP/IB or Dual Enrollment credits will satisfy the prerequisite.
Write down any questions that you have so that you can bring them to your academic advising appointment.
Note: Your class schedule is not confirmed until you attend orientation, so make sure to register for and attend orientation!
First-year academic advising appointments will be held virtually or in-person starting on Tuesday, May 30. Students in Bioinformatics, Biology, Chemistry, Forensic Science, Health, Physical Education & Exercise Science, Physics, and Science majors, will attend a mandatory STEM Advising Session and meet with their individual advisor. Click here to make your mandatory STEM Advising Session appointment. All other incoming students will be able to start making their appointments via Navigate as early as May 15.
To prepare for your appointment, please make sure that you have completed all of the previous steps in this list and have registered for as many courses as you are able to.
During your appointment, you and your academic advisor will begin to get to know each other by discussing your academic goals. You will also review the classes that you have registered for and make any needed adjustments. Your advisor will also answer any questions you have about your first-semester on campus and let you know when you’ll next meet in the fall.
Note: You can download Navigate two business days after VCU processes your tuition deposit.
Virtual Info Sessions
How to Register for Classes on eServices and Use DegreeWorks
|Session Date||Session Time|
|Tuesday, June 6||4:30 p.m. - 5 p.m.|
|Wednesday, June 14||2:30 p.m. - 3 p.m.|
|Thursday, June 22||12:30 p.m. - 1 p.m.|
|Wednesday, July 12||4 p.m. - 4:30 p.m.|
|Wednesday, July 19||3:30 p.m. - 4 p.m.|
|Thursday, July 27||9:30 a.m. - 10 a.m.|
|Tuesday, August 1||1 p.m. - 1:30 p.m.|
|Monday, August 7||10 a.m. - 10:30 a.m.|
|Thursday, August 17||12 p.m. - 12:30 p.m.|