Virginia Commonwealth University

Virginia Commonwealth University (VCU) is a premier urban, public research university focused on academic success.

The Virginia Commonwealth University Difference

Virginia Commonwealth University (VCU) is a premier urban, public research university focused on academic success. As one of the top research universities in the U.S., VCU welcomes international students and values the global perspective and cultural diversity they bring to an already vibrant campus. With more than 220 degree and certificate programs, VCU has something for almost everyone, including many opportunities to gain real-life experience, perform important research and grow both academically and personally.

International students can begin their studies in the VCU English Language Program (ELP) with full-time intensive English studies and then seamlessly move into their undergraduate or graduate study programs. While studying in the English Language Program students learn academic English, gain cultural understanding and experience, and develop foundational skills for their academic success.

Why Study English at Virginia Commonwealth University

As a student at VCU, you’ll have access to high tech facilities, interactive learning, the VCU Globe living-learning community, exciting excursions and supportive faculty and staff who want you to succeed.

Once you complete the VCU English Language Program you will have better communication skills, a wealth of intercultural experiences and lasting friendships. We also provide support as you complete the program and begin undergraduate or graduate programs.

The English Language Program offers full- and part-time intensive ESL instruction (22 hours/week) as well as exposure to the rich cultural diversity in Virginia. We serve students who want to learn English for a variety of academic, professional and personal reasons.

Our program offers:

  • Conditional admission;  no TOEFL iBT or IELTS
  • Beginner, intermediate and advanced instruction
  • Tutoring Center
  • 8, 12 and 16 week sessions
  • Academic preparation
  • Language practice
  • Small classes
  • Custom programs

ELP prepares students in essential ESL skill areas: reading, writing, listening, and speaking, and in the skills necessary for academic and professional success.

Students may apply directly to ELP or admission to ELP may be recommended by the International Admissions Office at the time of application review. Placement in the ELP is based on the results of an English Language Placement Exam, taken upon arrival in Richmond.

Richmond, Virginia

The capital city of Virginia and the “Best River Town in America,” Richmond is located between the Blue Ridge Mountain and Virginia Beach, only two hours away from Washington D.C. It hosts six Fortune 500 companies, is recognized as one of Forbes “Up and Coming Cities for Entrepreneurs,” and has been listed by various publications as a top destination worldwide for its robust and creative culinary scene, active outdoor community and rich cultural and historical significance. Richmond is home to the Virginia Museum of Fine Arts (VMFA), as well as many art galleries, historical museums and vibrant neighborhoods.


New residence halls conveniently located near classrooms and dining centers, provide space for students to live and interact on campus. Students can also find housing in on-campus apartments or live in nearby off-campus apartments that are available within walking distance to the university. VCU staff are available to advise you about  housing options and determine which best fit your needs.

University Facilities & Services

ELP Tutoring Center

The Tutoring Center helps English Language Program students with anything related to learning English. All students are welcome, and services are free.

Writing Center

The University’s Writing Center provides extended writing consultation time with a focus on tools to help English language learners become stronger, more confident writers.

University Counseling Services

VCU Counseling Services provides a variety of services related to emotional and mental well-being and teaches learning skills to facilitate VCU students’ academic and personal goals.

University Student Health Services

The conveniently located University Student Health Services  provides quality outpatient medical care and public health services, which includes health education programming that empowers students to become full participants in their health care.


The newly renovated Cabell Library provides VCU’s students, faculty, and staff with space to study, collaborate, discover, create, and conduct research.

Gym & Outing Rental Center

The Cary Street Gym offers numerous features, including an indoor heated pool, hot tub, rock climbing wall, basketball, volleyball, table tennis, racquetball, and badminton courts, indoor running track, group exercise classes, and an 18,000 square foot fitness center full of cardio and free weight equipment.


$1,000—$5,000 Session

Fast facts

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Top Programs

Type of school icon

Type of School

University/Intensive English Program

  • School Size

  • Student Body Gender

  • Religious Affiliation

    No Affiliation
  • Scholarships for International Students

  • Conditional Admission Available

  • Setting

  • Type of Housing

    Residence Hall, Homestay, Apartment

Richmond VA
Visit us
912 W Grace St Richmond, VA

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