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2016-2017 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 members, staff members, and alumni. You'll discover it in our campus traditions. You'll find it in our classrooms and corridors. You'll 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, you'll 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. You'll 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 it's 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, you'll be prepared to carry the torch for the students who will follow you. You'll lead by example, so that they can look to you and say, "That's 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-two 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 87 undergraduate and 37 graduate programs that include more than 70 areas of study.


Grand Valley is accredited by the Higher Learning Commission - Address: 230 South LaSalle Street, Suite 7-500, Chicago, IL 60604-1411; Phone: (800) 621-7440; Web: Other accreditations and approvals include:

College of Community and Public Service

Legal Studies (B.A., B.S.)

American Bar Association

Master of Public Administration (M.P.A.)

National Association of Schools of Public Affairs and Administration

Police Academy

Michigan Commission on Law Enforcement Standards (MCOLES)

Social Work (B.S.W, M.S.W.)

Council on Social Work Education (CSWE)

College of Education

Initial Teacher Preparation and Advanced Teacher Preparation Levels

National Council for Accreditation of Teacher Education (NCATE)

Michigan Department of Education

College of Health Professions

Diagnostic Medical Sonography (echo and vascular emphasis) (B.S.)

Joint Review Committee on Education in Cardiovascular Technology (JRC-CVT)

Diagnostic Medical Sonography (general emphasis) (B.S.)

Joint Review Committee on Education in Diagnostic Medical Sonography (JRC-DMS)

Medical Dosimetry (B.S.)

Joint Review Committee on Education in Radiologic Technology (JRCERT)

Medical Laboratory Science (B.S.)

National Accrediting Agency for Clinical Laboratory Sciences (NAACLS)

Occupational Therapy (M.S.)

Accreditation Council for Occupational Therapy Education (ACOTE)

Physical Therapy (D.P.T.)

Commission on Accreditation in Physical Therapy Education (CAPTE)

Physician Assistant Studies (M.P.A.S.)

Accreditation Review Commission on Education for the Physician Assistant (ARC-PA)

Radiation Therapy (B.S.)

Joint Review Committee on Education in Radiologic Technology (JRCERT)

Educational Policy and Accreditation Standards

Speech-Language Pathology (M.S.) candidacy accreditation

Council on Academic Accreditation in Audiology and Speech-Language Pathology (CAA)

College of Liberal Arts and Sciences

Art Education (B.A., B.S.)

National Association of Schools of Art and Design (NASAD)

Art History (B.A.)

National Association of Schools of Art and Design (NASAD)

Athletic Training (B.S.)

Commission on Accreditation of Athletic Training Education (CAATE)

Chemistry (B.S.)

Committee on Professional Training of the American Chemical Society (ACS)

Film and Video Production (B.A., B.S.)

National Association of Schools of Art and Design (NASAD)

Music (B.A., B.M.E., B.M.)

National Association of Schools of Music (NASM)

Photography (B.A., B.S.)

National Association of Schools of Art and Design (NASAD)

Studio Art (B.A., B.F.A., B.S.)

National Association of Schools of Art and Design (NASAD)

Regional Math and Science Center

Michigan Department of Education

Kirkhof College of Nursing

Nursing (B.S.N., M.S.N., D.N.P.)

Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education (CCNE)

Michigan Board of Nursing approval for undergraduate, pre-licensure degree programs

Padnos College of Engineering and Computing

Computer Science (B.S.)

Computing Accreditation Commission (CAC) of ABET

Engineering degrees (B.S.E.)

Engineering Accreditation Commission (EAC) of ABET

Information Systems (B.S.)

Computing Accreditation Commission (CAC) of ABET

Seidman College of Business

Accounting (M.S.A.)

Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business (AACSB International)

Business Administration degrees (B.B.A., M.B.A.)

Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business (AACSB International)

Taxation (M.S.T.)

Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business (AACSB International)

Michigan SBDC (MiSBDC)

America's Small Business Development Centers (ASBDC)

Student Services

University Counseling Center

International Association of Counseling Services (IACS)

Doctoral Internship Program in the University Counseling Center

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 demonstrates its commitment to providing an inclusive learning environment where all students can explore new directions, find their niches, and develop skills for life and productive careers. Grand Valley is known for increasingly innovative and outstanding teaching, recognized scholarship, significant community engagement, and excellent stewardship of its resources. Our university inspires and equips students to be active lifelong learners and global citizens. Grand Valley strives to be a model public university shaping leaders for success.


At Grand Valley State University, the primary focus is on the success of students. To that end, the principles of liberal education permeate all programs and areas of study. This broad educational perspective provides students with the general knowledge and transferable skills necessary to positively influence their communities, their professions, and the broader world. The institution is characterized by and known for its superior student-centered teaching and learning. Students acquire new knowledge and explore its application through artistic expression, scholarly activity, and active engagement in a variety of communities to students we are a big university with a small college feel. Our mission, vision, and strategic outcomes reflect the seven core values that define students, faculty and staff members. These core values provide a foundation and framework for all of Grand Valley's decision-making processes. We use them as touchstones in developing the strategies and tactics that lead to the attainment of the institutional outcomes and strategic priority areas and objectives of our strategic plan. We translate our values into actions institution-wide; they are reflected in the policies, practices, and assessments we implement every day. These core values are described as follows:

Grand Valley State University values excellence in all aspects of its enterprise. Our students' levels of performance in learning, scholarship, and community service; our stewardship of resources; our regular assessment and refinement of instructional and operational processes; and our shared dedication to excellence compel us to strive for exemplary and responsible outcomes in all that we do. Within our academic community, we individually and collectively celebrate our successes and the difference our commitment to excellence makes to individuals and communities in West Michigan, the state, the nation, and the world.

Grand Valley State University values honesty, fairness, and openness in its actions, transactions, and communications. Our emphasis on integrity compels us to respect and teach the fundamental tenets of a liberal education that remain central to our identity and reputation. We moreover value the incorporation of ethics into critical thinking and decision making institution-wide. The value we place on integrity underscores our intention to be trustworthy, dependable, and adhere to legal and regulatory requirements; we aspire to set an example for others in our words and actions. Our stakeholders and the public can count on Grand Valley to make wise decisions and carry them out transparently and with fidelity to the university's mission and vision for its future. As members of the Grand Valley community we hold ourselves accountable to each other, the institution, and the broader public that we serve.

Grand Valley State University values inquiry, which encourages the lifelong pursuit of knowledge to improve the human condition and expand our understanding of the world. Consistent with our historical commitment to liberal education, we invest our resources to promote intellectual growth, creativity, scholarship, and critical thinking in our students, our faculty and staff, and the communities we serve. We promote global education and an internationalization of our curriculum that celebrates and encourages intellectual exploration, open discourse, and the unfettered expression that characterizes the academy. We celebrate and promote freedom of speech as foundational to the creation and dissemination of knowledge in every discipline. We are committed to learning as a means of preparing individuals for academic success, meaningful careers, and exemplary community service.

Grand Valley State University values all identities, perspectives, and backgrounds and is dedicated to incorporating multiple voices and experiences into every aspect of its operations. We believe that diversity competencies are an intellectual asset and that a range of thoughtful perspectives and a commitment to open inquiry strengthens our liberal education tradition. We recognize that the long-term viability of the institution depends upon anticipating and meeting the needs of emerging constituent groups, especially our changing student body. Therefore, the institution seeks to include, engage, and support diverse groups of students, faculty and staff members, as well as community members. Grand Valley is committed to strengthening our living, learning, and working environment by recognizing and removing the barriers to full participation and providing a safe, inclusive, vibrant community for all.

Grand Valley State University values its connections to, participation with, and responsibility to local communities, West Michigan, the state, the nation, and the world. We value the collaboration of faculty members, staff members, and students with external partners in addressing mutual interests and community 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 working in partnership with communities. Students are encouraged to take part in various service learning and volunteer opportunities in their communities and abroad. To foster and expand these community connections, the institution and its members promote, value, and honor diverse perspectives.

Grand Valley State University values the guiding principles of sustainability in helping to meet the current needs of our faculty members, 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, our region, our state, our nation, and the world. We model applied sustainability best practices in our campus operations and administration, education for sustainable development, student involvement, and community engagement by promoting social responsibility, practicing fiscal responsibility, and encouraging environmental stewardship. We 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.

Grand Valley State University encourages and appreciates innovation. We value entrepreneurship and integrative interdisciplinary collaboration that solves local, regional, and global problems and advances the common good. We strive for the development of innovative products, systems, and services that contribute to improvements in the well-being of individuals and our world. We trust that scholarship and the new knowledge it produces are worthy of our investments in their creation and proliferation. We manage our resources and structure our university to encourage new ideas, creativity in all its forms, and novel approaches to answering the most important and challenging questions of our time.


All material in this catalog applies to the 2016-2017 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 Campus
The 1,322 acre Allendale Campus is located 12 miles west of Grand Rapids and is home to state-of-the-art facilities that include 134 classrooms, 158 research laboratories, 15 teaching labs, 20 lab prep rooms, 23 computer labs, and the Mary Idema Pew Library Learning and Information Commons. The university currently has 6,566 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 69-acre Pew Grand Rapids Campus is comprised of three separate sites with a total of 12 buildings and two leased spaces in downtown Grand Rapids. The principal buildings are the Richard M. DeVos Center, the L.V. Eberhard Center, the L. William Seidman 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 Holland
The 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-of-the-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 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 Muskegon Innovation Hub, located in the Muskegon Lakeshore SmartZone on Muskegon Lake, is a business innovation center that provides coaching, funding, networking, and a synergistic work environment to help businesses and entrepreneurs.

Regional Centers
Through 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.

The Detroit Center located at 163 Madison Street in downtown Detroit contains classrooms, offices, and support spaces used primarily by Charter Schools and the College of Education.

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.