What to expect

Check the mail for your invitation to New Student Orientation. It will tell you everything you need to know, from registering to planning your campus visit.

During our program, we encourage you to ask questions, actively participate, find new friends and learn what will be expected of you as a member of the VCU community.

Before you arrive

Before orientation, you should:

  • Complete Ram Ready, your online introduction to VCU.
  • Take the online math placement test and gather any other course placement materials.
  • Confirm your NSO session date through our online registration system.
  • First-year students only (not transfers): Complete the Advising Intake Survey (survey link is provided through your VCU email once you have completed and paid for your NSO online registration) so that our academic advisors can pre-register you for classes prior to your arrival this summer. If you do not complete this survey, you will not have any classes registered for you this fall until the summer NSO session you selected, which could impact course availability for you. This survey is VERY important!
  • Notify New Student and Family Programs at newrams@vcu.edu regarding any special accommodations needed during NSO.
  • Read the Accepted Students Handbook and mark off completed items on the accepted students checklist.
  • Submit your photo for your VCUCard so that it can be pre-printed and waiting for you.

Advising appointments

During NSO, you'll attend a group advising session with others in your major to review the schedule of classes selected for you by an academic advisor based on your responses to the advising course intake survey.

Changing majors

To change your major before attending NSO, email ugrad@vcu.edu with your full name, date of birth, the program you were admitted into and the new program you’d like to be considered for. Certain programs may require you to meet additional requirements before you’re accepted.

If you registered for an orientation session before changing your major, visit the NSO registration page and select a different orientation session based on your new major. You may select your new session only after your change of major has been processed by the Office of Admissions, which usually takes 48 hours.


During NSO, meals are provided at the Shafer Court Dining Center. There, you’ll find plenty of options that are sure to meet your dietary needs. You can also purchase snacks at vendors throughout campus.

Overnight stays

First-year students attending a two-day summer orientation session stay overnight in Brandt Hall. You can select a roommate for the night during NSO; otherwise, one will be assigned. We’ll provide sheets, pillows, blankets and towels.

We are not able to provide student housing the night before orientation, nor do we provide any overnight accommodations for parents and guests. For out-of-town visitors, we recommend making arrangements with a Richmond-area hotel.

Family orientation

We offer programs designed specifically for parents and family members during orientation. You’ll learn more about VCU’s academic programs, policies, facilities and services, while also learning how to best adapt to this new stage of life. This is also a great opportunity to meet faculty and administrators who will help your student succeed at VCU.

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