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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. While the certificate program is currently paused due to COVID-19, a Craft Beer Essentials Online course is open for registration for July 2021.

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, Health Sciences, Inclusive Excellence, and Social Work.

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 currently offers these noncredit event planning courses in a self-paced online format:

Online learning

In addition to online options for hospitality programs and test prep courses, VCU OCPE offers noncredit online courses and noncredit certificates in partnership with The Learning Resources Network (LERN). Self-paced online learning is available in areas such as Business, Business Communication, Data Science, Management, New Media Marketing, and Technology Skills, including:

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.

Online courses, leading to the Capital CoLAB Digital Tech Credential, are open to VCU and VCU Health employees, working professionals (including VCU alumni), and those in the job market. Required couses to earn the generalist digital badge include Computers and Programming, Data Science Skills, and Cybersecurity Skills. A Software Engineering and Web Development course is also available.

Personal enrichment

Our opportunities for personal growth vary widely, and currently include: Storytelling: An Act of Memory, Imagination and Vision (New!), Craft Beer Essentials, and introductory Aikido. We have offered mindfulness workshops, PADI Open Water Scuba, a World Drumming Workshop, 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. Registration is open for our 2021 virtual sessions.

Play Therapy Training Program

The VCU Office of Continuing and Professional Education (OCPE) is an approved continuing education provider (APT Approved Provider 15-397) by the Association for Play Therapy, Inc.

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). You can also earn a digital badge for each workshop that you successfully complete.

VCU Test Prep

Our test preparation classes for the GREGMAT, LSAT, SAT and ACT were designed by a team of former standardized exam question writers and test preparation experts.

VCU Test Prep includes:

FREE Live-Online Intro Sessions and Strategy Workshops are available.

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

Looking for test prep for the TOEFL, IELTS, or other English language proficiency tests? The VCU English Language Program (ELP) in the VCU Global Education Office offers Test Preparation courses online and on campus to help students improve their language skills before taking a test. A Pronouncing American English course is also available to help students improve their pronunciation skills and develop fluency, clarity, and understanding of spoken English.

Want to find out more? Get in touch.