Borderless classrooms, endless opportunities

Life Sciences represents the full spectrum of experiential and classroom studies of the natural world.

Lab coats and goggles give way to waders and sunglasses. Many courses in VCU Life Sciences allow our students to immerse themselves in experiential learning. Whether it is navigating the whitewater rapids on the Salmon River, banding birds on top of a mountain in Panama or gathering water quality data down the road at VCU Rice Rivers Center, our pathway to an education in the life sciences takes students to the research.

It's not where you start, it's where you finish. 

Not every one of our graduates began their educational journey with VCU Life Sciences. Our students have joined us from community colleges, four-year universities, even other fields of study within VCU. Our alumni can be found working at places like NASA, NOAA, the Environmental Protection Agency, National Institutes of Health and the Army Corp of Engineers. Whether they are taking wildlife photos for National Geographic or tracking Atlantic Sturgeon in the James River, their paths led them through our hallways. Hands-on student opportunities often lead to top-tier jobs as alumni.

four scenes: a person standing on a pier overlooking a body of water, a v.c.u. student group posing outside in a mountainous area, students working in a lab, and a group of people whitewater rafting


Juniper Peterson checks one of dozens of birdhouses along the James River where he is tracking how much time prothonotary warblers spend sitting on their eggs. (Allen Jones, Enterprise Marketing and Communications)

April 15, 2024

Drawn to a nest of secrets, student researcher explores a small songbird’s breeding habits amid a changing climate

VCU environmental studies major Juniper Peterson makes a mark in avian ecology lab, where the peace of nature meets the puzzle of data analysis.

Mallory Stephenson

April 8, 2024

Mallory Stephenson recipient of Smriti Bardhan Award of Excellence in Genetics Research

Her research focuses on genetic and environmental influences on alcohol use and suicidal behavior.

Charles Baker, a senior environmental studies major, takes a selfie in Copán, Honduras. (Contributed photo)

April 8, 2024

Class of 2024: Charles Baker works to protect venomous snakes and reptiles – and has already made a mark in Central America

The VCU Life Sciences student and a friend have launched a nonprofit and purchased a remote property in Honduras to create the first dedicated habitat preservation for a rare pit viper.