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.
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!
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.
Registration information and dates for Spring 2023 Orientations will be available soon.
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. It is important to check your email regularly and read over emails carefully.
- Review the transfer student checklist.
- 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
Registration for Orientation will open later this semester. For students admitted for Spring, you will be able to select a date in January before classes begin. For students admitted for Fall, you will be able to select from several dates in June and July based on your school or college and availability. Orientation dates will be posted when they are available. You can review the Orientation dates on the dates and details page.
In addition to attending your Orientation session, you will need to complete the Ram Ready pre-Orientation modules. The first of these modules will be available before your scheduled Orientation and will 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.
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 from 12-5 p.m. (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 school/college, meet in small groups with other new students and ask any questions you have.
Family Orientation: Transfer students may invite a family member or guest 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 guests page.
After attending Orientation, you will gain access to the final Ram Ready modules and several online training sessions that are required before starting your first semester.
Special transfer Orientation programs
VCU offers several tailored programs to help you connect with other students like you and the departments and resources that support your needs.
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.
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 in your first year at VCU).
Visit Student Financial Services for more information on student fees.
Family and guest 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, 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.
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 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.
For more information on general academic advising, visit VCU Advising.
Transfer students can begin scheduling advising meetings before Orientation. You should complete the Transfer Student Intake Survey prior to scheduling your appointment. You can schedule your advising appointment at a time that works best for you using the Navigate App.
Advising appointments will be available for Spring 2023 students in December. Check back soon for more details.
Course placement options
VCU determines your entry-level math, chemistry and foreign language courses based on your academic background and course placement test scores. All first-year students are required to complete math placement, and may also need to complete others based on their major. 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.
Transfer students are required to take the math placement test only if they have not completed a math course within three years or if their 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.
You can access the math placement test at https://math.vcu.edu/undergraduate/resources/placement/.
Take the test without any help. Receiving a score that doesn’t accurately reflect your math level could place you in a course where your success would be limited.
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 students who have taken AP Chemistry.
You can access the test at https://chemplacement.vcu.edu.
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:
- Enroll in CHEM 100 – Introductory Chemistry and earn a B or better
- Complete the ALEKS online unit
After successfully completing one of these options, students are eligible to register for CHEM 101.
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. The foreign language placement test must be taken in person either before or during Orientation.
Students with transfer credit from other educational institutions are eligible to enroll in the next course within their language sequence.
For more information about when and where tests are administered, visit worldstudies.vcu.edu/academics/foreign-language-placement-testing.
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.