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2012-2013 Undergraduate & Graduate Catalog

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Undergraduate Admissions

Freshman Applicants

Grand Valley State University welcomes qualified students to submit their applications. Admission decisions are selective based on the secondary school record, grades earned as well as courses selected, the personal data submitted on the application, and ACT or SAT results.

Freshmen are normally expected to be graduates of accredited high schools or preparatory schools. A strong high school background in basic academic subjects is important in a student's preparation for college study. The admission requirements are designed to ensure that students who are admitted to Grand Valley State University have the ability to successfully complete academic work and fully use the educational opportunities available.

Grand Valley grants admission to students who are prepared to meet the challenges of a rigorous university curriculum. Admission at Grand Valley is selective. Each application for admission is carefully reviewed and academic performance, as well as other criteria presented by prospective students, is considered in the evaluation. Applicants will be reviewed using a combination of high school courses completed, cumulative grade point average, standardized test scores, grade point trend, rank in class, and other factors.

A total of 20 units is required (a unit is the satisfactory completion of one year's work). Exceptions to these requirements will be considered in relation to other credentials presented.


A single deficiency in an academic area will not necessarily mean a student is refused admission. However, students who are missing a number of courses will be at a disadvantage. We recommend that high school students who plan to attend Grand Valley prepare by completing the following high school program. High school coursework is the single most important factor in consideration for freshman admission. High school preparation should include the following:

  • Four years of English, including composition
  • Three years of science, including two years of laboratory science
  • Three years of college preparatory mathematics, including two years of algebra
  • Three years of social sciences
  • Two years of a single foreign language

Further, we recommend elective courses in computer science and the fine arts. We also strongly recommend a fourth year of mathematics and additional science courses. Results of the ACT or SAT (Scholastic Aptitude Test) will be required before an admission decision is rendered unless the applicant has graduated from high school three or more years previously.

The requirement of high school graduation may be waived for adults, provided there is evidence that they are likely to be successful in college. This evidence will in most cases take the form of the General Educational Development (GED) test.

Students are encouraged to apply early in the fall of their senior year. Assistance in the admissions process at Grand Valley can be obtained from high school counseling offices. The admissions counseling staff welcomes the opportunity to meet with prospective students. Appointments should be arranged in advance by calling the Admissions Office at (616) 331-2025 or toll-free (800) 748-0246, or by contacting:

Admissions Office
300 Student Services building
Grand Valley State University
Allendale, MI 49401-9403
Email: [email protected]

To be considered for freshman admission, you must submit the following items:

  • Completed undergraduate application
  • $30 nonrefundable application fee
  • Official high school transcript
  • Official results of the ACT or SAT

Applications will be reviewed as soon as all information has arrived, and the applicant can expect a decision shortly thereafter. The Admissions Office may withhold a decision for additional information or for further testing. Applicants will be notified to provide any additional information. Applications for admission must be complete at least 30 days before the final day of registration. However, admission to any semester is subject to earlier closing without notice.

All documents and supporting data required for admission become the property of Grand Valley State University and will not be returned to the applicant.

Transfer Applicants

A transfer applicant is someone who has attended another college or university. The applicant will be evaluated on previous coursework at the college level. High school performance will also be reviewed for those who have earned fewer than 30 semester hours (45 quarter hours) of college-level coursework.

To be considered for transfer admission, you must submit the following:

  • Completed undergraduate application
  • $30 nonrefundable application fee
  • Official transcripts from all previous colleges (transcripts must be sent directly from the colleges to the Grand Valley State University Admissions Office)

Applicants who have earned fewer than 30 semester hours (45 quarter hours) at the time of application must also submit the following:

  • Official high school transcript
  • Official results of ACT

Applications will be reviewed as soon as all information has arrived, and the applicant can expect a decision shortly thereafter. The Admissions Office may withhold a decision for additional information or for further testing. Applicants will be notified to provide any additional information. Applications for admission must be complete at least 30 days before the final day of registration. However, admission to any semester is subject to earlier closing without notice.

All documents and supporting data required for admission become the property of Grand Valley State University and will not be returned to the applicant.

Transfer students must complete a minimum of 12 hours in the unit conferring the major (six for the minor). Some programs have higher requirements; transfer students should consult descriptions of specific major requirements.

Transfer of Credit

Grand Valley makes every effort to transfer credit for academic work completed at other institutions. In general, courses completed with a D grade at an institution accredited by one of the Regional Accrediting Commissions will transfer when the overall GPA of all previous work, as calculated by Grand Valley, is "C" or better. Transfer credit is typically determined by the offering of an equivalent course at Grand Valley. Limited transfer credit may be awarded from technical or terminal associate degree programs. Credit from nonaccredited colleges may, under special circumstances, be granted if it is germane to a students program. Approval for such credit must be given by the director of the Student Academic Success Center. Such credit will be validated after 15 semester hours of satisfactory work have been completed at Grand Valley (2.0 GPA or higher). Transfer credit will be granted only to those students admitted as degree-seeking. Transfer credit may be awarded for correspondence courses taken through a regionally accredited institution.

Transfer students admitted as degree-seeking will receive a Transfer Credit Statement/Degree Audit, which indicates how coursework completed at other colleges and universities will transfer to Grand Valley on a course-by-course basis. Total credits transferred are recorded on the students academic record and will apply toward Grand Valley degree requirements; grades are not transferred.

For information governing the use of transfer credit to fulfill degree requirements, see the Academic Policies and Regulations section of the Grand Valley State University Undergraduate and Graduate Catalog.

Transfers from Michigan Community Colleges

Grand Valley State University is a member of the Michigan Association of Collegiate Registrars and Admissions Officers (MACRAO), which has formulated an agreement between two-year and four-year institutions. Students who transfer to Grand Valley with the MACRAO approved associate of arts or science degree from a Michigan public community college have satisfied the foundation categories of the general education program and one Supplemental Writing Skills (SWS) course. Transfer students with a MACRAO are required to complete one SWS course in their major or division. Transfer students with a MACRAO must also fulfill the following general education requirements: the two-course cultural emphasis requirement; and one two-course theme. For specific course information, please refer to

Concurrent Enrollment with Community Colleges

Concurrent enrollment allows students at both Grand Valley State University and community colleges to make full use of the variety of courses offered by both institutions. Through concurrent enrollment, students have more scheduling options, more choice of course locations, and many more courses available. Students may take courses at both institutions simultaneously or alternate enrollment between them. Financial aid may also be available to students who qualify.

Students must be admitted to both institutions. Please refer to the Transfer Applicant or Nondegree-seeking Applicants section of the Grand Valley State University Undergraduate and Graduate Catalog for specific admissions requirements to Grand Valley State University.

GRCC/GVSU Reverse Transfer Agreement

The presidents of both Grand Rapids Community College and Grand Valley State University signed an agreement whereby students who transferred to GVSU from GRCC without receiving their Associates' Degree may qualify to complete this degree while attending GVSU. An email will be sent from the registrar at the end of each semester to students who meet the following criteria:

  • Transferred a minimum of 45 credit hours from GRCC to GVSU
  • Have a combined total of at least 55 credits completed, including both those from GRCC and GVSU
  • Are in good academic standing

Students who want to request their record be reviewed by a GRCC official should complete the reverse transfer agreement transcript release form available on the registrars website. Degree program advisors at GRCC will:

  • Audit the record to see if the student qualifies for the award of the Associate's Degree
  • Notify the student of the results of the review

Additional information or questions should be directed to the Student Assistance Center at (616) 331-3327, or sent by email to [email protected]

Undergraduate Nondegree-seeking Applicants

The nondegree-seeking admission status is designed for persons who, at the time of admission, are not interested in obtaining a degree from Grand Valley.

Application requirements and limitations:

  • Graduation from high school three or more years previous to their first enrollment
  • A maximum of 30 semester hours earned as a nondegree-seeking undergraduate student may apply toward a Grand Valley degree program
  • Applications must be complete at least 30 days before the final day of registration

High School Dual Enrollment Program

Some high school students may be eligible for concurrent enrollment in Grand Valley courses. Qualification and admission will be based on the following factors:

  • Completed nondegree-seeking application
  • Official high school transcript
  • An overall GPA of 3.0 or above in high school coursework
  • Official results of ACT or SAT if available
  • Completed Grand Valley Dual Enrollment Form including all appropriate signatures
  • Limitation of six hours per semester
  • Permission from the Admissions Office must be obtained for future semesters at Grand Valley while still in high school. Faculty advisement is strongly encouraged.
  • Students qualifying for dual enrollment assistance from their high school must present a dual enrollment authorization form prior to enrollment.
  • Students must earn at least a 2.0 in each dual enrollment class if they wish to continue taking dual-enrollment courses at Grand Valley State University.

A decision on admission will be made when all information has arrived. The Admissions Office may withhold a decision for further information or until an interview has been held. Applicants will be notified to submit any additional information.

Undergraduate Guest Student Applicants

This nondegree-seeking admissions status is designed for degree-seeking students from another college or university who are interested in transferring back the credits earned at Grand Valley State University to their home institution.

Application requirements and limitations:

  • Eligible to re-enroll at their home institution
  • Completed official Guest Application

Frederik Meijer Honors College

The Grand Valley State University Frederik Meijer Honors College is intended for students who, in their previous academic pursuits, have demonstrated a distinctly high level of intelligence, motivation, creativity, and academic achievement. The college provides its students with special academic opportunities and challenges.

High school students admitted to Grand Valley State University are typically invited to join the Meijer Honors College if they have a 3.5 or better high school GPA and an ACT score of at least 28.

Transfer students who wish to enter the Meijer Honors College may apply for admission if they have a 3.5 or better college GPA. Applicants should contact the director of the Meijer Honors College.

For more information about the Meijer Honors College, consult the Frederik Meijer Honors College section in the catalog.

International Students

Grand Valley welcomes international students wishing to study at our campus. During the 2011-2012 academic year, students from 77 nations were enrolled at Grand Valley.

In order to be considered for admission, international applicants must submit all of the following documents to the Admissions Office by October 15 for the winter semester (January) or by May 1 for the fall semester (August):

  • Completed international admission application
  • $30 nonrefundable application fee
  • Record of English proficiency. Applicants whose native language is not English must satisfy the English proficiency requirements for admission. International students can submit an official TOEFL score report or IELTS score report for admission. The minimum TOEFL score is 550 written or 80 Internet-based. The minimum IELTS score is 6.5 for admission. Completion of ELS Level 112 is only accepted for undergraduate admissions.
  • Verification of Financial Support. Applicants and their sponsor must complete and sign the Financial Support Form and submit original bank statements verifying that the necessary amount of support is available. Applicants must demonstrate that they have full financial support as part of the application process.
  • Original or certified true copies of all certificates and grade reports of secondary and postsecondary work. If the credentials are not in English, they must be accompanied by an English translation.
  • A one or two page personal statement on the following topic, What will I do to bring cultural and international perspectives to Grand Valley that will enhance the learning environment for the entire GVSU community?

Please note some graduate programs may require additional tests or documents for admission.

Partial tuition scholarships are available to qualified admitted international students. All required admission documents must be submitted by May 1 for scholarship consideration.

All documents and supporting data required for admission become the property of Grand Valley State University and will not be returned to the applicant.

Credit by Examination

In some cases students may be granted advanced placement or receive college credit by examination. Tests are available to determine levels of competence in certain subject areas. Grand Valley encourages prospective students to investigate their use.

Additional information on credit by examination can be found in the General Academic Regulations section of the Grand Valley State University Undergraduate and Graduate Catalog.

Special Entrance Requirements for Certain Undergraduate and Graduate Programs

The standards for entry into the following majors and programs exceed the minimum requirements for admission to Grand Valley. Students must fulfill the additional requirements before they may declare a major in any of these noted areas. Please refer to the department entries for admission requirements and application deadline

Athletic Training
Seidman College of Business Programs
Computer Science
Diagnostic Medical Sonography
Film and Video Production
Information Systems
Medical Laboratory Science

Occupational Safety and Health Management
Occupational Therapy (M.S.O.T.)
Physical Therapy (D.P.T.)
Physician Assistant Studies (M.P.A.S.)
Police Academy (MCOLES)
Radiation Therapy
Radiologic and Imaging Sciences
Social Work
Studio Art (all emphases)
Therapeutic Recreation

Appeal of Admissions Decisions-Undergraduate

Applicants denied admission may appeal that decision in writing to the director of Admissions within 30 days of notification. It is important to note that an appeal will be heard only when new or additional information is present.

Graduate Admissions

The graduate programs at Grand Valley State University are designed for students who are interested in expanding their professional preparation and development or continuing their education. Applicants for graduate admission must meet the following university minimum requirements to be considered:
" Earned a baccalaureate degree from a regionally accredited college or university in the United States, or the equivalent of this degree from another country
" Demonstrated ability to pursue graduate work successfully. Graduate programs generally require an undergraduate grade point average of at least 3.0

These graduate admission requirements are the minimum requirements for consideration of admission and do not guarantee acceptance into any program.

Graduate programs may have additional or alternative admission requirements. For details, please consult the specific graduate programs requirements.

All graduate students at Grand Valley State University will be classified as either degree-seeking or nondegree-seeking.

Application Procedure for Degree-seeking Students

Applicants should become familiar with entrance requirements well before their intended admission date. To be assured of admission consideration, applicants should submit applications and all supporting documents one to two months before the semester they wish to enter. Some graduate programs have more restrictive application deadlines. Please refer to the appropriate section of this catalog or visit our website at for specific program deadlines.

To be considered for graduate admission, you must submit the following items:

" Completed graduate application for admission (available online at
" A $30 nonrefundable application fee (unless you have previously applied to Grand Valley State University)
" Official copies of transcripts from all institutions of higher education previously attended. Transcripts must be sent from those institutions directly to the GVSU Admissions Office. Note: We do not require official transcripts from Grand Valley State University.
" Scores from the TOEFL (Test of English as a Foreign Language) or from students whose native language is not English.
" Additional application documents as required by each graduate program. These requirements and application procedures are listed under each graduate degree program.

You must submit a completed application form and all required documentation to the Admissions Office before your application file receives admissions consideration. Applicants whose files are incomplete will not be considered for admission. The webpage for graduate admission information is

You can monitor your application status by calling the Admissions Office at (800) 748-0246 or (616) 331-2025. All documents and supporting data required for admittance become the property of Grand Valley State University and will not be returned to the applicant.

Graduate Admissions Status

Full admission: Indicates that the applicant fully meets all the entrance criteria, including degree(s) required, GPA requirement(s), test score requirement(s), letters of recommendation, and official transcript(s) of all previous coursework completed. Only a graduate degree candidate who has achieved full admission status will be granted his/her degree. This status signifies that all required documents (including final transcripts) are on file with the university.

Provisional admission: Applicant who must submit additional application document(s) before achieving full admission status. The deadline for submitting missing documents is the last day of classes of their first semester of enrollment. Examples of missing documents may include:
a. Official transcripts or admission test scores
b. Certified copies or official verification of professional licenses or certifications
c. Letters of recommendation
d. Other documents required by their department

Conditional admission: Applicant who must meet specific conditions set by the degree program before attaining full admission status. Individual graduate programs determine the parameters of conditional admission and set the deadline(s) by which the conditions need to be met. Examples of specific conditions include:
a. Curriculum deficiencies: Applicant who is not admissible or is marginally admissible to a graduate program because he/she has not completed prerequisites or background courses required for success in the graduate program.
b. Academic deficiencies: Applicant whose credentials may be marginally acceptable. Although the graduate program may agree to admit such a candidate with reservation, the program may identify grade conditions that need to be met.
c. Nonstandard evidence of the potential for success in graduate work: Applicant does not meet the standard admission criteria, but other significant evidence exists of the candidates potential for success in a graduate program. Examples of such evidence include:

  • Candidates maturation subsequent to his or her previous academic record
  • Candidates significant professional and other accomplishments related to the programs discipline(s) and subsequent to a marginal academic record
  • Standardized admission test scores that are not representative of a particular candidates aptitude for graduate work
  • Candidates prior academic performance was negatively affected by significant nonacademic factors or influences that are no longer present

Denied admission: Indicates that the applicant is not granted admission to a degree program under any status.

Degree-seeking student: Applicant who has been granted admission to a degree program under full, provisional, or conditional status.

Graduate Nondegree-seeking Status

Students with a baccalaureate degree who are not seeking a graduate degree or have not completed all of the admissions requirements of their chosen program may be granted nondegree-seeking status. A maximum of six to 12 semester credits may be earned at Grand Valley State University as a nondegree-seeking student and applied to a degree program. Some graduate programs have more restrictive guidelines and students should check specific program guidelines for details.

Credits earned as a nondegree-seeking student may be considered for transfer into a graduate degree program if the student is granted permission to change his or her status from nondegree-seeking to degree-seeking.

Changing Status from Nondegree-seeking to Degree-seeking

You may seek a change in status by

1. submitting all required admission materials; and
2. submitting a degree-seeking application form to the Admissions Office.

Appeal of Admissions Decisions-Graduate

Admissions decisions may be appealed to the director of the graduate program and then to the dean of the college in which the program resides. Students who are nondegree-seeking may appeal an admissions decision to the dean of Graduate Studies.

Petition to Return

Following a voluntary absence of two or more consecutive semesters or sessions, a graduate student must complete a Petition to Return form. Graduate students are reminded that following a voluntary absence of 24 consecutive months they must follow the Grand Valley State University Undergraduate and Graduate Catalog requirements in effect at the time of their return to Grand Valley. Such students should meet with their program advisor to revise their plan of study.

Graduate students who wish to return to Grand Valley following an academic dismissal must submit a written appeal to the dean of the appropriate academic college in which the graduate program resides.

Graduate students who wish to change to a different graduate degree program within Grand Valley must complete the application process for that program and be formally accepted into the program. No additional application fee is required, and the applicant need not supply duplicate copies of official transcripts already on file.

Dual Credit

Undergraduate students at Grand Valley State University may register concurrently for graduate credit prior to completing a baccalaureate degree. To do so, students must have earned a minimum of 85 semester hours and have a 3.0 grade point average or be admitted to a graduate degree program. Students wishing to apply for concurrent enrollment must obtain a Dual Credit Request form from the Records Office and indicate on the form that they are currently: (1) an undergraduate student requesting the designation of a graduate course as part of the undergraduate program (this course may not be used as part of some future graduate program at Grand Valley), or (2) an undergraduate student requesting enrollment in a graduate course to be designated as part of a future program.

The completed form must be submitted to the Records Office by the close of business on the fifth day of the semester in which the student wishes to enroll in the course.

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