Transfer students and adult learners must complete all components of Orientation. VCU offers a streamlined program and virtual options for Orientation that are tailored to the needs of transfer students. This program aims to help you make a successful transition to VCU and to learn how to navigate resources and departments at VCU.
Transfer students are those who have attended at least one semester at another college or university and are transferring credits to VCU. Adult learners are undergraduate students who are 25 years old or older when they start their education at VCU.
Readmitted students are those who have reapplied for admission after at least three consecutive semesters away from VCU. For those who have been away since Spring 2021 or earlier, we recommend you attend a Transfer Orientation session. For those who have been enrolled at VCU more recently, we have an abbreviated hour-long virtual session to get you re-acquainted with VCU and caught up on anything you have missed.
Whether you are transferring from a two-year school or another four-year school, from in-state or out-of-state, returning from some time away or starting college for the first time, we are excited to welcome you to the RAMily!
If you haven't already, please review the Transfer Student Checklist for more details on the need-to-know information to prepare for Orientation and your first semester at VCU!
Be sure to check out these additional resources for transfer students and adult learners:
Transfer students and adult learners accepted can select either an in-person or virtual option for Orientation. The in-person option will consist of a half-day on-campus program. The virtual program typically runs for three to four hours and takes place over Zoom. Both programs will include some online components to complement your Orientation session.
Summer 2023 Transfer and Adult Learner Orientation
Orientations are available based on the VCU college or school that your major falls within. At Orientation, you will have the opportunity to meet with staff and faculty from your college or school and will be grouped with other students by your college/school. Transfer and Adult Learner Orientations are available as in-person or virtual sessions at varying times to best meet your needs.
To check which college or school you major falls in, you can search for your program under VCU Academics. Please note, your major is the one that you were accepted into by VCU. Please verify this through the VCU Application Portal. To request a change of major, email firstname.lastname@example.org at least two weeks in advance of your Orientation date to ensure you are in the correct session. If changing your major results in a change of your college/school, you may need to select a new Orientation session.
Transfer Orientation Dates:
- In-Person Sessions:
- May 24 from 12-5pm - Humanities and Sciences, School of Business
- June 9 from 9am-1pm - Humanities and Sciences, College of Engineering, School of Social Work, Wilder School, VCU Life Sciences, and University College
- July 12 from 4-8pm - Humanities and Sciences, School of Business, School of Social Work, Wilder School
- July 24 from 12-5pm - Humanities and Sciences, School of Arts, School of Business, College of Health Professions, School of Education, VCU Life Sciences
- August 18 from 9am-1pm - All schools and colleges, except School of Social Work
- Virtual Sessions:
- June 22 from 2-5pm - Humanities and Sciences, School of Arts, School of Business, College of Engineering, College of Health Professions, School of Education
- August 2 from 2-5pm - Humanities and Sciences, College of Engineering, School of Social Work, Wilder School, University College
An additional virtual date will be available the week before classes for any students who cannot attend a session earlier in the summer.
Readmitted student program dates:
- May 16 from 12-1pm (Virtual)
Transfer and Adult Learner Orientation Overview
Below is an overview of each component of the Orientation experience. You will receive more detailed information in your email once you have completed your Orientation registration (when available). It is important to check your email regularly and read over emails carefully.
- Review the transfer student checklist for more details on the need-to-know information to prepare for Orientation.
- Important items that must be completed before Orientation include, but are not limited to:
- Setting up your VCU eID and password
- Completing necessary placement tests
- Filling out the transfer student intake survey
- Submitting final transcripts from your previous school(s), when available
- Reviewing your financial aid information
- Completing immunization forms
Fall admits: Registration for Orientation will open on Apr. 10, 2023.
Spring admits: For students admitted for Spring, you will be able to select a date in December or January before classes begin. Registration for Spring Orientations typically opens in November.
In addition to attending your Orientation session, you will need to complete the Ram Ready Orientation Modules. These modules cover important academic information, financial planning, academic resources and how to prepare for Orientation. You should plan for one and a half to two hours to complete these modules.
Students will also begin the course registration process before attending Orientation. You will also receive more information via email on course registration and meeting with your academic advisor. There may be some course placement tests you need to complete as well. See the Advising and course placement section for more details on this process.
Transfer students can select either an in-person or virtual program. The in-person program is a half-day program that typically runs about four to five hours in length. (times may vary each semester). The virtual program is typically a three- to four-hour program and is offered in the late afternoon or evenings to accommodate a variety of schedules.
Both programs offer the opportunity to hear from campus partners, connect with representatives from your academic college/school, meet in small groups with other new students and ask any questions you have.
Family and support Orientation: Transfer students may invite a family member or supporter to attend Orientation with them. Students and their guests will be together for portions of the program and there will be separate sessions as well. For more details, visit the families and supporters page.
After attending Orientation, you will gain access to all Orientation materials via Canvas, VCU’s online learning system used for all VCU coursework. We will also post resource guides for new students in this Canvas course page.
There may be some additional trainings and items to complete after Orientation.
Special transfer Orientation programs
VCU will offer several tailored programs, including those for student veterans and adult learners, to help you connect with other students like you and the departments and resources that support your needs!
Adult learners and non-traditional students
Each Transfer Orientation program will feature breakout sessions and content specifically for adult learners to help you connect with other adult students and with the Office of Adult and Non-Traditional Student Services. We also offer Orientations in both in-person and virtual formats at a variety of times to best accommodate your schedule.
VCU Orientation works closely with Military Student Services to offer tailored content for veterans and current service members during Orientation and in the Ram Ready Online Modules. This content is designed to give you more information about how to utilize your military benefits and will help you learn how to connect to other service members and their families.
All military-affiliated students are required to participate in a Military Benefits Briefing prior to Orientation. This includes student veterans, active duty or reservists or any students who may be receiving military benefits (dependents or other) to pay for college.
There will be no upfront cost for the student Orientation program. The cost for the program is covered by the new student transition fee on your student bill and will be paid alongside tuition and other fees or covered by your financial aid package (if applicable).
The new student transition fee for incoming transfer students covers your full Orientation experience (including all online, virtual and in-person experiences, your Orientation materials, and transition programming that supports you and your family and supporters in your first year at VCU).
Visit Student Financial Services for more information on student fees.
Family and supporters fee
Transfer students can add a guest to their Orientation registration. For the in-person program, there is an additional fee. This non-refundable, one-time fee covers the cost to attend and includes a printed VCU Academic Calendar, materials, refreshments and a meal during Orientation, access to Ram Ready Online Modules for families and supporters, staffing and rental fees.
This fee is collected at the time of registration via a secure online payment system. All major credit and debit cards are accepted. We cannot accept cash or checks.
Transfer Orientation guest fee: $30.00 per person for in-person Orientation programs. There is no additional fee for guests to join the virtual Orientation program.
Please note: Fees are subject to change from semester to semester. This fee is non-refundable.
Advising and course placement
Advising and registration takes place in tandem with your Orientation session. Advising and registration vary by your student type (first-year or transfer) and your academic college/unit. Expand the options for more details based on your student type and the semester you are enrolling.
For more information on general academic advising, visit VCU Advising.
Transfer student advising
Transfer students can begin scheduling advising meetings before Orientation. You should complete the VCU Advising Registration Survey prior to scheduling your appointment.
Transfer students admitted for the spring semester can use the Navigate mobile app to make an appointment with your academic advisor in mid-May..
Course placement options
VCU determines your entry-level math, chemistry and foreign language courses based on your academic background and course placement test scores. Transfer students are encouraged to complete math placement if they will not be transferring to a college-level algebra class or higher. Review the information below for more details.
Math placement test
As a transfer student, you are required to take the math placement test only if you have not completed a math course within three years or if your math transfer credit is not at least equivalent to MATH-141 Algebra with Applications (college algebra) at VCU. If you don’t have incoming credit for math recorded on your VCU transcript, you will not be able to register for a math course.
To determine if you need to complete Math Placement before registering for courses, visit the Math Placement page on the Department of Mathematics and Applied Mathematics website.
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, current or incoming, planning on registering for General Chemistry I (CHEM 101) are required to take the test. 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.
Students who plan to continue studying a foreign language that they studied in high school must take the language placement test to determine the appropriate language class. Only students with transfer credit from other educational institutions are eligible to enroll in the next course within their language sequence.
The foreign language placement test must be taken in person either before or during Orientation. Learn more about foreign language placement testing, including when and where tests are administered.
If you took AP or IB classes and you are advised for classes before your scores are available, your advisor will ask for an estimate of your scores. If your estimate is incorrect, your classes will be adjusted once scores are available. Generally, VCU requires scores of 3 or higher to receive AP credit and a score of 4 to 6 to receive IB credit.
You can also earn credit through dual enrollment. If VCU does not have the final transcripts from the community college by the time you are advised for courses, you’ll need to inform your academic advisor about the classes you completed and the grades you earned.