Important information for incoming first-year (freshmen) students

Student smiles at the camera on the CompassWe got you, new Rams! First-year student schedules are built by your academic advisor according to the information that you submitted as part of your intake survey to ensure that you start off in the best possible courses for your major.

  • An advising hold will prohibit you from making any changes to your schedule until August 10. This hold ensures that VCU is able to register all incoming students for their best possible schedules.
  • Advisors will make adjustments to your schedule to ensure that you do not have any time conflicts due to the changes to the fall 2020 class schedule.
  • Please make sure to have AP, IB and Dual Enrollment transcripts sent to VCU as soon as possible to ensure that you are registered for the appropriate classes in fall.
  • If you are trying to raise your Math or Chem placement scores, please complete your ALEKS modules no later than August 1. If you increase your score, please email to let us know. Nice work!
  • Do the Math! Students who take and earn a minimum of 15 credits each semester are more likely to graduate on time. It is strongly recommended that first year students remain enrolled in at least 15 credits their first semester as this sets up the academic momentum necessary for an on-time graduation.
    • If you are concerned about taking a minimum of 15 credits, we encourage you to make an appointment with an Academic Coach this summer so that they can review your schedule, help you make plans, and develop strategies to be successful in your classes. We know that you can do it!

Changing your schedule

You will be able to make minor adjustments to your schedule yourself in eServices on August 10.

  • Instructions on how to add and drop classes in eServices is available through both this tutorial video as well as the VCU Advising website.
  • Before making changes to your schedule, it is highly recommended that you review your degree requirements in Degree Works to ensure that you do not mistakenly drop a course that is required for your major.
  • It is highly recommended that you do not make changes to which courses you are registered for, instead, only make adjustments to which section you are registered for.
    • For example, if you are registered for BIOZ 101 Biological Concepts Laboratory (1 credit), you should not drop this class and replace it with an entirely different course, like PHIL 101 Introduction to Philosophy (3 credits).
    • Instead, you should look to see if a different section of BIOZ 101 is available at a different time or modality. For help finding what modality a course is being taught in, check out our tutorial video.
    • IMPORTANT - Always check to make sure that a section is open before you drop one section to add a different section. Open sections will have a check-box listed next to them, Closed sections will have a C listed next to them.
  • If you have any questions, please write them down and be prepared to ask them as part of your Orientation Advising Session (information on these sessions are in Module 4 of Ram Ready).
    • If you have already attended your Orientation Advising Session, please make an appointment to meet with your advisor using Navigate.
    • All first-year students will have an assigned academic advisor in Navigate no later than August 1, and you’ll be able to make appointments to meet with them virtually at that time.
    • If you MUST make a change to your fall 2020 schedule due to work, family, or other obligations, you may request that a change be made by your advisor prior to August 10 by following the instructions you received as part of your orientation advising session.
  • Please refer to the VCU Advising tutorials webpage for help using eServices, DegreeWorks or Navigate.

University Academic Advising reopening

University Academic Advising in Hibbs Hall will be offering online and phone advising appointments this fall. Our office will be open on a limited basis beginning Aug. 4 for brief inquiries and urgent matters that cannot be handled in a virtual appointment.

Please see the University Academic Advising website for up-to date operating hours, and remember that you can make both virtual advising appointments this fall using Navigate.

Ask for help

If you are a current student who still has unanswered questions, or need additional support, please use this self-referral form below. (Please make sure you're logged into your VCU Google account):

I would like additional help

Refer a student for support

If you are a faculty member, staff, or a student who knows of a student needing assistance, we encourage you to submit the form below. (Please note: You will need to be logged into your VCU Google account.)

Refer a student for additional support