Virginia Commonwealth University

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About

About the Office of the
Vice President for Health Sciences


Located on Virginia Commonwealth University’s MCV Campus in Richmond, and in partnership with the VCU Health System, the Office of the Vice President for Health Sciences oversees the five health sciences schools (Allied Health Professions, Dentistry, Medicine, Nursing and Pharmacy) as well as the Massey Cancer Center. Areas of responsibility include academic affairs, academic and research space management, financial and administrative affairs, and Interprofessional Education and Collaborative Care.

More than 4,200 students each year participate in more than 50 degree programs offered at the undergraduate, graduate and first-professional levels as well post-baccalaureate and post-master’s certificate programs. As a growing academic health sciences center, VCU Health Sciences maintains an aggressive research portfolio. Total research awards amounted to approximately $151.5 million in fiscal year 2015, which represented approximately 56 percent of the university’s total research awards.

VCU Health Sciences is committed to educational programs directed toward providing graduates capable of meeting the commonwealth’s health care needs. Programs are dedicated to maintaining and updating the competency of health professionals in addition to preparing graduates to enter health professions. The educational programs are supported by an institutional commitment to effective teaching and by the 865-bed teaching hospital. We are committed to providing the very best in education, research and practice for the expansion of science and health care for Virginians and our growing global community.

Our History


VCU traces its roots back to Nov. 5, 1838, the founding date for the medical department of Hampden-Sydney. The first dean was Dr. Augustus Warner, who left the University of Virginia’s medical school to begin a new medical school because he did not agree with Thomas Jefferson’s philosophy that professors shouldn’t corrupt their teaching by making money caring for patients.

There were 46 students in the first class and tuition was $20 for each of the six courses. The term of medical study was four months. The Old Union Hotel was converted into medical classrooms.

The School of Medicine is the only medical school in the South still in existence today that graduated a class during all four years of the Civil War.

For more information about the history of the VCU Health Sciences schools and the MCV Campus, visit VCU Libraries’ Special Collections and Archives.