StudentsReview :: Virginia Commonwealth University - Extra Detail about the Comment
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Virginia Commonwealth University

How this student rated the school
Educational QualityB+ Faculty AccessibilityB
Useful SchoolworkC+ Excess CompetitionB
Academic SuccessB- Creativity/ InnovationA-
Individual ValueC+ University Resource UseC+
Campus Aesthetics/ BeautyC+ FriendlinessB-
Campus MaintenanceB Social LifeA
Surrounding CityA Extra CurricularsB+
Describes the student body as:

Describes the faculty as:

Quite Bright
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Social Life
She cares more about Safety than the average student.
Date: May 08 2012
Major: Communications (This Major's Salary over time)
Here goes the cliche advice—VCU is what you make it. It's easy to get in, and this is a HUGE public university. To some extent, you are going to be just a number. If you want to graduate within a reasonable amount of time, you're going to have to put forth some effort. You will have difficulty getting into at least a few of your courses, because thousands of other kids are trying to get into the same course because they, too, need to graduate. You might have to take some summer classes. You will need to keep careful track of your graduation requirements yourself, your advisor will not do it for you. You will need to figure out on your own which forms you need to do what, which office to take them to, how to fill them out, and you will have to usually follow up that they have been processed. But guess what? This is all part of being an adult. VCU will not coddle you.

VCU is in the middle of Richmond. Richmond has some beautiful areas, this is not particularly one of them. Lots of homeless people and asphalt. Pretty high crime rate for a college campus. Don't walk around by yourself at night, carry pepper spray, and keep your wits about you. I've lived here 3 years and have never had a problem (knock on wood). You will cultivate your street smarts quickly. There are a multitude of off-campus apartments available all around Richmond and reasonably-priced, so you can choose a neighborhood and building that makes you feel safe. However, Richmond is a great college town with no shortage of diverse and awesome things to do. Great night life, great cultural value, and we're right on the river!

For undergrad, the art, mass comm and business schools are especially strong. VCU's is the number one public arts program in the country. Fortune 500 companies have a strong presence in Richmond, so a lot of the profs in the business and mass comm schools have worked for Phillip Morris, Verizon, CarMax, The Martin Agency, and other huge companies and will teach from real-world experience. The business school building itself is gorgeous and new, with its own cafe serving salads and sandwiches.

Other majors are hit or miss. Before choosing, talk to others in that major and research the professors in that department. I took some creative writing classes and had a great experience with them, so I would recommend the English department too based on what I know. For the most part, but definitely with glaring exceptions, I have had wonderful professors at VCU. 100 and 200-level courses can be a drag, but the good news is that one you reach the upper-level, you'll get better professors and more motivated classmates (a lot of the slackers drop out before they reach this point, and there are a lot of slackers at VCU).

A lot of people complain about dining options on campus. I don't see why. VCU offers a lot of variety. There's a buffet-style all-you-can-eat cafeteria which also gives you the option of using extra "meal swipes" for higher-end meals (ex. fresh sushi, lobster, steak, premium desserts, etc). There's also a food court with a stir-fry station, made-to-order mexican food, Chik Fil A, grab-and-go sandwiches, salads, etc., Subway, and Pizza Hut. VCU just opened up three more meal plan options—stand-alone fast food restaurants (a salad place, a chicken place, and an IHOP Express). My favorite is the sandwich shop at the business school. For a swipe (about $7 value) you get a huge, delicious, made-to-order cafe style sandwich (think Panera), with a side and a fountain drink. Not many people know about it. You can also load your card up with "RamBucks" that you can use at probably 25 different places around Richmond, including Chipotle, Panera, Kroger, Dominos, and a host of sit-down restaurants. All dining options have great choices for vegans and vegetarians (as I am one and have never had reason to complain)!

I have the biggest issue with the student body. It's a huge school, so finding people who share your interests isn't hard, but the student body has an overwhelming "hipster/hippie" vibe—far more so than other colleges I've visited. It can definitely grate on your nerves if this isn't your "thing". By the types walking around campus, you'd think you were in San Francisco, not Richmond. I'm a little more on the preppy side, and I feel out of place sometimes.

As far as networking after college, VCU has a huge, diverse alumni base throughout Virginia, DC, Maryland, and to a lesser extent the rest of the country. Plenty of internship and job opportunities out there for VCU students. Companies such as Altria (Phillip Morris) use VCU as a feeder institution for entry-level positions.

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