2022-2023 Undergraduate & Graduate Catalog
Bachelor of Arts or Bachelor of Science in Integrative Studies
Students who choose the integrative studies major may custom-design an individualized plan of study in consultation with their advisor. The flexibility of this degree program also allows students to earn additional credentials as part of their degree program. Examples include certificates in business fundamentals, leadership, intercultural communications, project management, applied data analytics, and a certificate or badge in intercultural competence. Study plan forms and sample areas of focus are located on the integrative studies program website under Student Resources.
Integrative studies is housed in the Integrative, Religious, and Intercultural Studies Department (IRIS), which is a unit committed to supporting access to higher education for all learners. Courses are offered in multiple formats including traditional face-to-face, hybrid, and online classes. The department also serves as the academic home for the LEADS (Lifelong Educational Attainment for Diverse Students) program, an accelerated, primarily online degree completion program. For more information on LEADS, visit gvsu.edu/complete.
Students who choose the integrative studies major must each individually design their own study plan and area of focus. Study plan forms and sample areas of focus are located on the departmental website under Student Resources. The Bachelor of Science degree in integrative studies consists of 56 credits; the Bachelor of Arts degree consists of up to 59 credits. Credits are distributed as follows:
- Core courses (18 credits)
- B.S. or B.A. requirements (9 credits)
- Area of focus (18 credits), of which 15 need to be at the 300-level or above and may include:
- one of five certificates and/or badge listed previously
- OR may be custom-designed to suit individual student interests/needs
- Contextual electives (9 credits)
- Application and Synthesis (5 credits)
- Internship (minimum of 2 credits)
OR practicum (minimum of 2 credits)
- Senior seminar (3 credits)
- Internship (minimum of 2 credits)
To be admitted to the integrative studies major, students must consult with an advisor and prepare an approved study plan that lists the courses included in the emphasis or focus area and the electives. See departmental website for sample study plans and areas of focus. Study plans are submitted to the chair for review and approval. Changes in study plans must be made in consultation with advisors and approved by the chair.
Requirements for a Major in Integrative Studies
There are 18 credits required. All majors are required to take six core courses that introduce them to the basic principles of liberal education.
- INT 100 - Reflect, Connect, Engage (3 credits)
- INT 201 - Diversity in the United States (3 credits)
- INT 311 - Meaning: The Humanities Resource (3 credits) OR INT 312 - Collaborative Communication (3 credits)
- INT 301 - Interdisciplinary Research Methods (3 credits)
- INT 400 - Global Visionary Leadership (3 credits) OR INT 401 - American Visionary Leadership (3 credits) OR WGS/INT 402 - Feminist Visionary Thinkers (3 credits)
AND at least one ethics course from the following:
- BIO 328 - Biomedical Ethics (3 credits)
- BIO 338 - Environmental Ethics (3 credits)
- COM 438 - Communication Ethics (3 credits)
- MGT 340 - Ethics and Business, Social Justice, and Sustainability (3 credits)
- MKT 375 - Marketing Ethics (3 credits)
- PHI 102 - Ethics (3 credits)
- PHI 325 - Ethics in Professional Life (3 credits)
B.S. or B.A. Degree
There are six credits required.
B.A. Degree Requirements
The Bachelor of Arts degree requires the completion of a third semester of language proficiency.
B.S. Degree Requirements
The Bachelor of Science degree requires the completion of the following (6 credits):
- STA 215 - Introductory Applied Statistics (3 credits)
- INT 301 - Interdisciplinary Research Methods (3 credits) Also required in the core.
AND one of the following, relevant to area of focus or emphasis (3 credits)
- AHS 301 - Introduction to Health Care Research (3 credits)
- HST 290 - Research Methods in History (3 credits)
- PLS 300 - Political Analysis (3 credits)
- STA 216 - Intermediate Applied Statistics (3 credits)
- STA 301 - Questionnaire Design and Execution (3 credits)
- STA 314 - Statistical Quality Methods (3 credits)
- STA 318 - Statistical Computing (3 credits)
- STA 340 - Statistics in the Media (3 credits)
- STA 345 - Statistics in Sports (3 credits)
Area of Focus in Leadership
Students work in consultation with their advisor to develop an individualized area of focus comprised of six or more courses drawn from the whole Grand Valley curriculum. At least 15 of the 18 credits in the area of focus must be at the 300-level or above. Typically, areas of focus are organized around either a major issue in human life or an interdisciplinary area of study. For example, a student may consider concentrating study within an upper-level issues area to complete an area of focus in globalization, human rights, health, innovation, information and technology, sustainability, or identity. Other recent areas of focus include, social relations, gender justice, American studies, business and society, peace studies, oppression and human rights, scientific culture and the humanities, cultural studies, business and economics, humanities, technical and scientific communication, political economy, childhood development and literature, and management and society.
The flexibility of the area of focus also allows students to earn one of several certificates or a badge while completing their degree requirements. Courses completed as part of these certificates or badges are counted toward the area of focus requirements. Options include: leadership certificate, intercultural communications certificate, project management certificate, business fundamentals certificate, applied data analytics certificate, and/or a digital badge in intercultural competence.
There are nine contextual elective credits required. The program also emphasizes the importance of integration in education, of seeing how things fit together, including the integration of liberal and career studies. To these ends, all majors are required to select a body of at least three elective courses. Students may select their electives from across the entire Grand Valley curriculum. Students could consider structuring their elective as a career component to their study plan, including areas such as business, computer science, and international study.
Senior Seminar and Internship/Practicum
Five or more credits are required. The required internship/practicum and senior seminar provide opportunities for students to apply theoretical knowledge to life issues outside the classroom and to synthesize the components of their major. INT 490 or INT 491, the internship or practicum, allows students to put into practice their ideas and explore the applications of their focus of study. Guidelines for an internship or practicum are on the department website under Advising Resources for Students. INT 495 - Senior Seminar, or Capstone, asks students to prepare/share their senior theses in which they reconsider the central issues they have engaged in the major.
- INT 490 - Internship (1 to 6 credits) OR INT 491 - Practicum (1 to 6 credits)
- INT 495 - Senior Seminar (Capstone) (3 credits)
Admission to the Integrative Studies Major and Submission of the Study Plan
To be admitted to the major, students must consult with an advisor and prepare an approved study plan that lists the courses included in the emphasis or focus area and the electives or be enrolled through the LEADS program. See departmental website for sample study plans and areas of focus as well as information about LEADS. Study plans are submitted to the chair for review and approval. Changes in study plans must be made in consultation with advisors and approved by the chair.