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2012-2013 Undergraduate & Graduate Catalog

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About Grand Valley

We're so glad you have decided to join our community of Lakers for a Lifetime.

There is a spirit at Grand Valley that bonds students, faculty, staff, and alumni. Youll discover it in our campus traditions. Youll find it in our classrooms and corridors. Youll carry it with you as you go through life. It is this bond, this spirit, which makes you a Laker for a Lifetime.

If you ask our alumni what it means to be a Laker, youll consistently hear that all Lakers share some things in common. Things like a diverse perspective and a willingness to embrace new ideas; a curiosity and passion for learning, often inspired by working closely with a professor who became a personal mentor. Youll also hear about the value of service to others and giving back, learned as much outside the classroom as in it, through the West Michigan community, clubs or organizations, study abroad experiences or simply engaging in campus life.

The roots of this spirit run deep, back to our founding in 1960. Grand Valley was started by visionary entrepreneurs and West Michigan citizens who wanted to make a difference in their community. Our first students were educational pioneers, willing to take a chance on a different type of college so that they could make a difference in the world.

Now its your turn to contribute to our campus with your talents and your passions, to be fully engaged in your communities, and to care for those around you, your Laker family.

Then when it is time for you to graduate and give back, youll be prepared to carry the torch for the students who will follow you. Youll lead by example, so that they can look to you and say..thats what it means to be a Laker.

Thank you for choosing to be a Laker, and for your commitment to being a Laker for a Lifetime.

About Grand Valley State University

A strong liberal education serves as the foundation for Grand Valley's wide array of undergraduate and graduate programs, fostering critical thinking, creative problem solving, and cultural understanding preparing students for responsibility as local, national, and global citizens. Through personalized learning enhanced by active scholarship, we accomplish our mission of educating students to shape their lives, their professions, and their societies.

Academic Excellence

The university's highest priority is to offer outstanding teaching grounded in the liberal tradition in all of its undergraduate and graduate programs and vigorous engagement of students in the classroom and other learning environments. Grand Valley is known for excellence in student-centered teaching and learning. Ninety-one percent of regular faculty members have earned doctoral degrees or other appropriate terminal degrees. They are supported by a high quality nonteaching professional staff and Grand Valley's exceptionally fine teaching facilities. The quality of instruction is enhanced further by small class size, individual student advising, and career counseling.

Our instructional offerings encompass more than 200 areas of study, including 82 undergraduate and 30 graduate programs that include over 70 areas of study.


Grand Valley is accredited by The Higher Learning Commission; Member - North Central Association,
230 South LaSalle Street, Suite 7-500, Chicago, IL 60604-1411; telephone (312) 263-0456;
Web: Other accreditations and approvals include: Member - National Association of Schools of Music (NASM); Associate member of the National Association of Schools of Art and Design (NASAD); Seidman College of Business by The Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business (AACSB International); Accounting and taxation programs by The Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business (AACSB International); Clinical laboratory scientist program: National Accrediting Agency for Clinical Laboratory Sciences (NAACLS); Chemistry Department by the Committee on Professional Training of the American Chemical Society (ACS); College of Education by the National Council for Accreditation of Teacher Education (NCATE); Bachelor of Science in engineering program by the Accreditation Board for Engineering and Technology (ABET); Bachelor of Science and Bachelor of Arts programs in computer science and in information systems by the Computing Accreditation Commission (CAC) of ABET. Nursing baccalaureate, masters and doctoral programs by the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education (CCNE); Occupational therapy program by the Accreditation Council for Occupational Therapy Education (ACOTE); Physical therapy program by the Commission on Accreditation in Physical Therapy Education (CAPTE); The athletic training program in the Department of Movement Science by the Commission on Accreditation of Athletic Training Education (CAATE); Physician assistant studies program by the Accreditation Review Commission on Education for the Physician Assistant (ARC-PA); Master of Public Administration program in the School of Public and Nonprofit Administration by the National Association of Schools of Public Affairs and Administration (NASPAA); Baccalaureate and masters programs in the School of Social Work by the Council on Social Work Education (CSWE); American Bar Association for the Legal Studies Program; Michigan SBDC (MiSBDC): Association of Small Business Development Centers (ASBDC); Diagnostic medical sonography: general concentration, adult echocardiography, vascular sonography by Commission on Accreditation of Allied Health Education Programs (CAAHEP) and Joint Review Committee on Education in Diagnostic Medical Sonography (JRC-DMS). Radiation therapy by the Joint Review Committee on Education in Radiologic Technology (JRCERT). Regional Math and Science Center by the Michigan Department of Education. Police Academy by the Michigan Commission on Law Enforcement Standards (MCOLES). Counseling services in the Counseling and Career Development Center by the International Association of Counseling Services (IACS); Predoctoral internship program in the Counseling and Career Development by the American Psychological Association Committee on Accreditation (APA).

University Facts

Visit for facts about Grand Valley State University.


Grand Valley State University educates students to shape their lives, their professions, and their societies. The university contributes to the enrichment of society through excellent teaching, active scholarship, and public service.


Grand Valley State University will become one of the nation's premiere Carnegie classification
"Master's Large" institutions of higher education grounded in the tradition of liberal education. It will be recognized and acknowledged as a community of diverse, committed scholars engaged in collaborative, lifelong learning to achieve acknowledged academic excellence and positive community impacts. By focusing on the promotion of high quality undergraduate and graduate degree programs, the institution will be the university of choice for students and faculty members alike and it will enjoy broad support for its innovative partnerships and initiatives that promote the physical health and the intellectual, social, environmental, economic, and cultural advancement of West Michigan, and ultimately, the advancement of the state, nation, and world.


At Grand Valley State University, we value:

Effective Teaching

Our highest priority is to offer outstanding teaching in all of our undergraduate and graduate programs. The teaching culture of Grand Valley State University is characterized by the continual development of excellence in the classroom, the recognition of multiple ways of learning, and the accessibility of faculty members to students. In order to nurture the habits of intellectual growth, we seek to instill in our students curiosity as well as the love of learning. Students acquire new knowledge and explore its application through research, artistic expression, engagement with the local community, and scholarly activity. We value the vigorous engagement of students in the classroom and other learning environments.

Liberal Education

Grand Valley State University is committed to providing each student a broad educational experience that integrates liberal learning with preparation for a career or profession. Liberal education begins with encountering the great ideas of diverse traditions in the humanities, the visual and performing arts, the natural and social sciences, and mathematics, and is an essential part of all of our professional programs. We value the liberal ideals of critical thinking and preparing students for lifelong learning. The practice of liberal learning develops the skills of inquiry and reflection, which guide students to think for themselves, gain self-knowledge, and make ethical judgments. Such learning can inform individual and collective actions and prepare students for the responsibility of local, national, and global citizenship.


Scholarship is an essential component of the universitys mission as an institution of higher learning. Excellence in teaching at the university level depends upon active scholarship by faculty members. Through basic and applied research, artistic expression and performance, and other forms of scholarship, faculty members contribute to the development and application of knowledge and create a dynamic environment for learning. Active scholarship may include collaboration of faculty and staff members with students, business and labor, government, and community organizations. In this way, the benefits of a liberal education and specific disciplines can extend beyond classroom walls to lifelong learning and partnerships between the university and its diverse communities and the greater community.


Grand Valley State University values the collaboration of faculty members, staff members, and students with external partners in addressing mutual interests and regional needs. The university offers the communities it serves resources and inspiration in their own lifelong pursuit of knowledge. Faculty and staff members are encouraged to contribute their expertise and service to the university, their disciplines professional organizations, and working in partnership with the community. Students are encouraged to be active citizens, to become active service providers, and to take part in various service-learning and volunteer opportunities in the community and abroad.


Possessing and mastering a range of thoughtful perspectives is necessary for open inquiry, a liberal education, and a healthy community. Recognizing this, Grand Valley seeks to include, engage, and support a diverse group of students and faculty and staff members. The institution values a multiplicity of opinions and backgrounds, and is dedicated to incorporating multiple voices and experiences into every aspect of its operations. We are committed to building institutional capacity and strengthening our liberal education through providing an inclusive environment for all of our Grand Valley constituents.


Grand Valley State University values its connections to, participation with, and responsibility for local communities, the West Michigan region, the state, the nation, and the world. The university embraces the participation of diverse individuals, groups, and organizations from every corner of the globe and both encourages and supports the participation of its students and faculty and staff members in educational opportunities abroad. To foster and expand these community connections, the institution and its members promote, value, and honor diverse perspectives. We seek to act with integrity, communicate openly and honestly, and accept responsibility for our words and actions.


Grand Valley State University values the guiding principles of sustainability in helping to meet the current needs of our faculty and staff members and students without compromising the needs and resources of future generations. We are committed to working with our community partners to create a sustainable future for our university, our community, and our region. We will model applied sustainability best practices in our campus operations and administration, education for sustainable development, student involvement, and community engagement by promoting social responsibility, encouraging environmental stewardship, and creating efficiencies and value for the work we perform. We will provide our students with excellence in education for sustainable development by imbedding theory, systems-oriented thinking, and service-learning into our curricular and extracurricular programs.


All material in this catalog applies to the 2012-2013 academic year and reflects information available on the publication date. Grand Valley State University reserves the right to revise all announcements contained in this publication and, at its discretion, to make reasonable changes in requirements to improve or upgrade academic and nonacademic programs.


The Allendale CampusThe 1,304 acre Allendale Campus is located 12 miles west of Grand Rapids and is home to state-of-the-art facilities that include 122 classrooms, 144 research laboratories, 20 lab prep rooms, 21 computer labs, and the Zumberge Library. The university currently has 6,068 beds, the majority being on the Allendale Campus. For detailed information regarding these locations, please see the Campuses section of the online catalog.

The Robert C. Pew Grand Rapids Campus
The 38-acre Pew Grand Rapids Campus is comprised of two separate sites with a total of 11 buildings and three leased spaces in downtown Grand Rapids. The principal buildings are the Richard M. DeVos Center, the L.V. Eberhard Center, and the Cook-DeVos Center for Health Sciences. These state-of-the-art facilities include 57 classrooms, 78 research laboratories, 23 lab prep rooms, 11 computer labs, and the Steelcase library. For detailed information regarding these locations, please see the Campuses section of the online catalog.

The Meijer Campus in HollandThe Holland Campus, located at 515 Waverly Road, has 16 classrooms and labs, including a science lab, two computer labs, and an interactive television room. The state-ofthe-art facility offers full services, including registration, advising, and library access, and is completely integrated into the university's computer network. In 2008 Grand Valley partnered with Grand Rapids Community College to expand program offerings in Holland. Classes offered in Holland include those necessary to fulfill the general education requirements, as well as courses in business administration, education, and public administration.

The Muskegon Campus
The university operates two research centers in Muskegon. The Robert B. Annis Water Resources Institute, which is housed in Lake Michigan Center located on Muskegon Lake, conducts research with a primary focus on the water quality of Michigan and the region. The Michigan Alternative and Renewable Energy Center (MAREC), located in the Muskegon Lakeshore SmartZone on Muskegon Lake, has a focus on energy production and providing alternative energy education.

Regional CentersThrough facilities at the Stevenson Center for Higher Education on the campus of Muskegon Community College and the Regional Center in Traverse City located at Northwestern Michigan College University Center, Grand Valley offers graduate and undergraduate programs and provides on-site student services. Admission and registration information, academic advising, bookstore services, tuition payment, library resources, and computer technology are all available in each of the Grand Valley centers.

For further information, please contact our Muskegon office at 221 S. Quarterline Road; telephone (231) 777-0505. The Traverse City office is located at 2200 Dendrinos Drive; telephone (231) 995-1785.

Grand Valley Equals Grand Value
At Grand Valley State University we recognize that the more quickly students complete their degrees the less their educations will cost. Grand Valley has a long-standing practice of supporting and helping students make regular progress toward graduation, making the excellent education they receive at Grand Valley also a "Grand Value."

Nearly all of Grand Valley's undergraduate degrees can be completed in four years of full-time study.* Full-time students who select a degree program requiring completion of 120 credit hours will be able to count on a four-year graduation when they:

  • Tell their advisor that they plan to study full-time and intend to graduate in four years
  • Obtain a list of prerequisites and required classes and fulfill it
  • Visit regularly with their advisor to ensure their course selections are timely and correct
  • Maintain the same major and minor
  • Successfully complete at least 30 credit hours of course work every academic year without repeating courses

*Some undergraduate programs, primarily in education and select professional fields, require more than 120 hours for the baccalaureate degree, usually to meet state or national accreditation requirements. Please consult our catalog for degree requirements, which are listed by department in the Academic Programs section of the catalog.

Visiting the Campuses

Prospective students are always welcome to visit the campus and talk with staff members in Admissions or Financial Aid. The Admissions Office is happy to make arrangements for you to tour the campus and meet with an admissions counselor.

The Admissions Office is open Monday through Thursday from 8 a.m. to 6 p.m. and on Fridays from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. from September through April. Appointments are available on Saturdays from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. during Grand Valley's academic year. Summer hours are from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday through Friday.

Prospective students should make an appointment with the Admissions Office, especially for Saturday visits, by contacting:

300 Student Services building
Grand Valley State University
Allendale, Michigan 49401-9403
Telephone: (616) 331-2025
Toll free: (800) 748-0246 (for Admissions, Financial Aid, Housing, and Records)
Email: [email protected]

Grand Valley State University is an affirmative action, equal opportunity institution. It encourages diversity and provides equal opportunity in education, employment, all of its programs, and the use of its facilities. It is committed to protecting the constitutional and statutory civil rights of persons connected with the university.

Unlawful acts of discrimination or harassment by members of the campus community are prohibited. In addition, even if not illegal, acts are prohibited if they harass or discriminate against any university community member(s) through inappropriate limitation of access to, or participation in, educational, employment, athletic, social, cultural, or other university activities on the basis of age, color, disability, familial status, height, marital status, national origin, political affiliation, race, religion, sex/gender, sexual orientation, veteran status, or weight. Limitations are lawful if they are directly related to a legitimate university purpose, required by law, lawfully required by a grant or contract between the university and the state or federal government, or addressing domestic partner benefits.

If you are in need of assistance please submit any questions or comments.