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


Student Tamara Eddy learned canoe skills on the third day of Virginia Commonwealth University’s Footprints on the James class this summer. Sitting in the front of a canoe, Eddy ran one of her first white water rapids at Powhite Ledges. It can be seen upstream from the Powhite Parkway. The image was taken with a GoPro mounted on the bow of the boat. (Photo: James Vonesh)

July 10, 2024

Footprints on the James continues to make a deep impression on VCU students

With the river as a classroom, the monthlong experiential learning program marks a decade of combining undergraduate research, teamwork – and plenty of paddling.

Now in its third year, the VCU Breakthroughs Fund has supported more than 30 projects through investments totaling nearly $6 million. (Enterprise Marketing and Communications)

July 2, 2024

VCU Breakthroughs Fund provides grants to 10 more faculty-led projects that pursue transformative innovation

Health, equity, sustainability and the human experience are the driving forces for transdisciplinary teams that target society’s grand challenges.

Students and faculty gather in front of the Rice Rivers Center Education Building

June 25, 2024

Summer@Rice Scholars Program underway

The scholarship program allows students to continue their research in-between traditional semesters.