Take the next step
- Ready to take a course?
Explore our course directory.
- Have ideas for new courses?
Email us with any additional opportunities you’d like to see us offer.
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.
- Noncredit: These courses are not eligible for credit toward degree programs. Students who take noncredit courses receive contact hours for participation. These courses are open to all learners.
- Credit: These courses are designed for students who are interested in earning college credits toward a degree, certificate or license renewal. Course credits are measured in semester hours. Students who take credit courses receive a grade at the end of the semester.
- CEUs: The CEU is a nationally recognized unit of measurement used to recognize participation in noncredit continuing education programs. CEUs are not equivalent to undergraduate or graduate credit and are only recorded to one decimal point (i.e., 14 contact hours is equivalent to 1.4 CEUs). Visit our CEU website for more information.
Auditing graduate courses
Class size permitting, students may register for graduate courses on an audit basis, meaning they enroll in courses, but do not receive academic credit upon completion. Audit students are charged the regular rate of tuition and fees. Learn more on the VCU Graduate Bulletin website.
Some of our specialty areas include:
In partnership with the VCU Department of Rehabilitation Counseling, a FREE 1 Contact Hour Online Module "What is Addiction" is available for community members.
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.
This new noncredit program, for participants who are 21 and over, is a partnership with industry and on-campus partners including the VCU School of Business, VCU Brandcenter, VCU College of Engineering, and VCU Department of Biology. An introductory course, "P's & Q's: An Introduction to Craft Beer", is offered several times annually. Our first cohort of the Business of Craft Beer launched in Fall 2018.
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, French, Spanish for Law Enforcement, Medical Spanish, Arabic, and American Sign Language. Faculty and staff may be eligible to use a tuition waiver for these 1-credit courses.
In partnership with the VCU College of Engineering, noncredit professional development classes are offered to entry-level scientists, engineers and managers in manufacturing and technology, and are 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.
As a university partner with Lovegevity's Wedding Planning Institute (LWPI), VCU OCPE offers these noncredit event planning courses:
Noncredit online learning
In addition to online options for hospitality programs and test prep courses, VCU OCPE offers an online, noncredit certificate program in Disability Support Services in Higher Education with the VCU Division for Academic Success, as well as a variety of noncredit online courses and noncredit certificates in partnership with The Learning Resources Network (LERN). Courses have included Customer Service, Selling, Self-Publishing, Computer Skills, Workplace topics, Google Tools, Podcasting, Social Media, and more.
Our opportunities for personal growth vary widely and include introductory and advanced Aikido, PADI Open Water Scuba, and mindfulness workshops, and have included a primer on Richmond’s acclaimed French Film Festival, a noncredit Introduction to Writing Memoir course, family team-building workshops, and organization workshops taught by Certified Professional Organizers.
We also offer seasonally, a FREE Community Series on the 3rd Wednesday of each month, at Regency.
We offer a series of six 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). Explore and learn how to apply the therapeutic power of play to communicate with, and treat clients.
Our test preparation courses for the GMAT®, GRE®, LSAT®, SAT® and ACT® were designed by a team of former standardized exam question writers and test preparation experts. We have also expanded to include Praxis Core Test Prep for those entering the teaching profession. VCU Test Prep includes:
- Extensive classroom or live-online instruction with experienced, expert instructors
- Extended access to our experts beyond the classroom or online experience
- Comprehensive preparation materials, including actual questions from previous exams
- Multiple practice test-taking opportunities
- Flexible face-to-face and live-online schedule options for most tests