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Our courses

When traditional just won't do.

The Virginia Commonwealth University Office of Continuing and Professional Education recognizes that millions of adult learners across the country are looking for something other than a traditional four-year degree. So we offer something different — courses designed to suit your personal and professional goals, as well as your schedule.

With a world-class faculty, strong national brand and enduring community relationships, VCU offers an optimal environment for working professionals to pursue their continuing education and career aspirations. Our course portfolio is robust and continually growing.

Types of courses

Our office offers noncredit and credit courses. Some courses also offer continuing education units, which are a way of officially recognizing the time you put into your professional education when credits aren’t available.  

Signature opportunities

Some of our specialty areas include:

Certificate in Paralegal Studies

The VCU paralegal certificate program is a six-month noncredit certificate program designed to advance legal industry skills and career options. We focus on practical knowledge in the law profession to prepare you to be competitive in a legal career search.

Counseling and Behavioral Health Continuing Education Program

In partnership with the VCU Department of Rehabilitation Counseling, continuing education is available for community members and includes self-paced online learning modules with behavioral health topics from understanding suicide risk and trauma to alcohol use and addiction, to cultural competency.

Craft Beer Certificate Program

This noncredit program, for participants who are 21 and over, is a partnership with industry and on-campus partners. An introductory course is typically offered several times annually. This program is currently paused due to COVID-19.

Cultural competency and language classes

These classes, offered in the fall and spring semesters, introduce adult learners to different cultures and assist them in becoming interculturally competent and exposed to world languages. Language classes are conversation-based with an emphasis on oral fluency and listening, and have included Conversational Spanish, German, Italian, and French. Faculty and staff may be eligible to use a tuition benefit for these 1-credit courses.

Digital badging

View our digital badging page for information on continuing education opportunities that lead to web-enabled, verifiable digital badges in fields such as Education, Engineering, Health Professions, and Health Sciences.

Engineering professional development

In partnership with the VCU College of Engineering, noncredit and credit-based professional development opportunities are offered to adult learners including but not limited to entry-level scientists, engineers, technicians, supervisory personnel, and business managers of all types. Courses may be appropriate as on-boarding for new employees. Networking and educational sessions have also been available for alumni and industry professionals through the VCU College of Engineering Alumni Board. Participants may be eligible to receive professional development hours for licensure.

Additional training courses are offered to VCU College of Engineering students, to obtain the proper certification and training to use the VCU Maker Garage space. These courses are currently paused due to COVID-19.

Hospitality courses

As a university partner with Lovegevity's Wedding Planning Institute (LWPI), VCU OCPE offers these noncredit event planning courses:

Online learning

In addition to online options for hospitality programs and test prep courses, VCU OCPE offers a variety of noncredit online courses and noncredit certificates in partnership with The Learning Resources Network (LERN). Courses have included Customer Service, Selling, Computer Skills, Workplace topics, Google Analytics, and more.

Noncredit courses in partnership with the Richard T. Robertson School of Media and Culture have allowed students to study specialized topics in mass communications including Digital Crisis Communications for Global Pandemics.

The Baccalaureate Certificate in the Fundamentals of Computing is open to non-computer science majors/minors, VCU and VCU Health employees, and nondegree-seeking students including VCU Alumni. Register for online courses in Computers and Programming; Software Engineering and Web Development; Data Science Skills; and Cybersecurity Skills. A digital technology credential is available.

Personal enrichment

Our opportunities for personal growth vary widely and include introductory Aikido and a World Drumming Workshop, and have included PADI Open Water Scuba, mindfulness workshops, a primer on Richmond’s acclaimed French Film Festival, and more.

We also offer seasonally, a FREE Community Series on the 3rd Wednesday of each month. Check back for 2021 topics.

Play Therapy Training Program

Explore and learn how to apply the therapeutic power of play to communicate with, and treat clients. We offer a series of APT-Approved noncredit weekend workshops designed for licensed, mental health professionals and school-based counselors, which are part of the requirements for application to become a Registered Play Therapist (RPT) or School-Based Registered Play Therapist (SB-RPT).

VCU Test Prep

Our test preparation classes for the GRE®GMAT®, LSAT®, SAT® and ACT® were designed by a team of former standardized exam question writers and test preparation experts. VCU Test Prep includes:

MCAT, PCAT and DAT test prep courses are also available, through our education partner, Kaplan Test Prep. Courses include:

Want to find out more? Get in touch.