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Virginia Commonwealth University

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You hear so much about VCU having topNot so brightCriminal
You hear so much about VCU having top notch art, engineering, and medical programs, and that if you major in anything else you're better off attending a different school. Not always the case; I came here because it does also have one of the top criminal justice programs on the east coast. However it is pretty much also the ONLY reason I chose to come here. It is possible to find your niche here, and as long as you apply yourself (I guess that really goes for any college), it provides you a decent academic career.

Different departments seem completely independent of each other, and have their own standards, processes, and efficiency. I really haven't heard too many good things about other departments when students try to work with them. Still, there are others that are exceptional and exceed some standards. In my department, the administrators and faculty here are all wonderful, and make an effort to help and work with each of the students.

The social life here can suck, particularly if you are a transfer student like me. Thankfully, I've joined an up and coming organization that provides me a decent social outlet. You can easily make friends with those in your major, more so once you get into your core classes. People here are nice, but I've found most to not be always be so approachable; it seems as if much of the student body is sheltered and chooses to keep to themselves rather than make an effort to socialize and forge friendships. Organizations are there,but not too big. Greek life here is a joke, it compromises only about 7 percent of the entire student population, and you rarely see or hear about anything they do as far as events and community service. Many people come together as friends from the same high schools, and can be pretty cliquey. The nightlife in Richmond is decent, but nothing special; there are bars if you're 21 and up and can afford to go out to them, and there are a few clubs (and I mean just a few) that are merely decent. On campus parties can be pretty overrated, usually frat parties full of underage kids within the greek bubble and cheap alcohol, they also usually get busted by the campus police before midnight. There are some good parties where you can have a truly good time and meet new people, but they are few and far in between, you have to look for them. Also, be exceptionally careful at night and use common sense, as crime happens directly on campus on a regular basis.

About the city of Richmond itself, I personally I find this place to be gross, dirty, depressing, and full of degenerates. VCU definitely does not have the feel of a college town like most other universities in the state, more so it's intermingled with the brick, concrete, and lack of green space that the city itself is. There are some nice parts outside of the downtown area and off campus that provide sufficient entertainment and time killing, so long as you have a means of transportation to get to and from them. If you're a city person who can always somehow find an adventure, you just might like it here. Overall, VCU is a decent school depending on which program you're getting into. But some aspects of the academics and departments, and definitely the student body and social life around here, all just leave so much to be desired.

4th Year Female -- Class 2017
Education Quality: A+, Individual Value: F
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I came from out of state without knowingQuite BrightPerfomance Arts
I came from out of state without knowing ANYONE attending the school. Within about two months I had two tight-knit friend groups: one within my major and one outside my major.

My mind has opened on a creative level immensely, being in a performing arts major and being surrounded by so many other talented people.

I feel very safe walking around campus at night for the most part, although there are a lot of creepers walking around the city so taking pre-cautions is advised.

Resources (counseling, advising, research, tutoring, etc.) is ALWAYS available.
Basketball games are ridiculously fun.
There's always parties, but alcohol tends to empty pretty quickly, and most of the time you won't get in unless you're a female, so gentlemen, have a few ladies with you! Im incredibly happy with my decision to go to VCU

1st Year Female -- Class 2019
Innovation: A+, Collaboration/Competitive: D
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Entering my final semester at VCU and IQuite BrightBiology
Entering my final semester at VCU and I think I finally have come to like my school. Being in the department of Biology you come across a lot of interesting people and a lot of different things. There's tons of premeds here and they love to complain about how hard classes are and how professors are out to get them when that isn't really the case at all. The classes will only be as hard as you make them. I agree with much of the teaching methods here, you're getting a degree in biology, no you will not be treated special just because you're premed, you still need to take ecology and animal and plant courses etc. If you're planning to go to medschool you better be able to handle this coursework and whats required of you. I think far too many people selected this program at this school simply because they assumed they'd pick up an easy BS degree and things would go smoothly from there, sorry no, that is not how it works,you have to work for what you want to achieve and that's the way it should be. Really my only complaint about my degree is the gen eds were pretty useless. Core material and major courses have been fun for me and I have had some great professors. I entered this school despising chemistry and I'm leaving it with a minor in chemistry and a new love for the subject, I'm so in love with the biology coursework I've done I don't even know what I want to do when I go on to grad school as I've come to adore ecology and environmental sciences and I never thought I would. I have professors willing to write letters of recommendation for me, professors who will look at my resume and help me when applying for jobs, and professors who open doors and offer positions in labs to gain relevant experience while still in undergrad so lately faculty has been extrmely helpful. Things haven't always been easy, I did struggle and I did doubt this school and myself, but I have had to work my tail off to raise my GPA and improve my work ethic and my hard work has paid off and I'm a happier and more successful student now and I'll be proud of my degree when I'm finished here. I love VCU and I wouldn't go anywhere else given the chance because this school and these professors and faculty have helped me find what I truly love and what I want to do with my life and I'm forever grateful.
4th Year Male -- Class 2016
Scholastic Success: A+, Campus Maintenance: C-
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