Virginia State University was founded in 1882 as the Virginia Normal and Collegiate Institute, making it the first fully state supported, four-year institution of higher learning for Blacks in America. Today, Virginia State University is one of Virginia’s two land-grant institutions.
The campus sits atop a rolling landscape overlooking the Appomattox River in the Chesterfield County village of Ettrick. The university is centrally located about two hours away from Washington, D.C., to the north, the North Carolina Triangle area to the south, the Blue Ridge Mountains to the west and the Atlantic Ocean to the east. VSU students live and learn on a 236-acre main campus, with more than 50 buildings, including 16 dormitories and 17 classroom buildings, and a 416-acre agricultural research facility.
Virginia State University offers 52 baccalaureate and master’s degree programs and a Certificate of Advanced Study within five schools: The School of Agriculture; The School of Business; The School of Engineering, Science and Technology; The School of Liberal Arts and Education; and The School of Graduate Studies, Research and Outreach. In 2008, Virginia State University began its first Ph.D. program, in Health Psychology, the only program of its type in Virginia. VSU offers a bachelor of individualized studies degree program, a non-traditional baccalaureate program primarily for working adults. Students can pursue the degree on a full-time or part-time basis.