Online Accelerated Bachelor's Degree for Adults

The world is changing rapidly. Jobs that existed yesterday may be gone tomorrow. Jobs needed in the future will need qualified candidates.

Whatever is next for you, Grand Valley State University’s LEADS* accelerated degree program will help you take control of your future and reach your goals.

  • Earn a bachelor’s in Integrative Studies degree PLUS an online certificate in one of five high demand areas – leadership, data analytics, project management, business fundamentals, or intercultural communications
  • 6-week classes
  • One rate for in-state or out-of-state students -- $500 per credit (classes are three credits) 
  • Try it, like it, your next class is free!
  • This entire accelerated bachelor’s degree program can be completed online

LEADS video.

Financial Aid is Available Year-Round!

Registration is open and financial aid opportunities are available year-round. You can choose from one of six start dates when you are ready to begin. Get in touch with our advisors by calling (616) 331-7180, emailing, or by scheduling online. You can also use our Net Price Calculator to estimate your cost for attending GVSU.

Start Dates

Winter 2024

Session 1: January 8 - February 21

Session 2: March 11 - April 27

Spring 2024

Summer 2024

May 6 - June 19

June 24 - August 6

Fall 2024

Winter 2025

Session 1: August 26- October 9

Session 2: October 21 - December 13

Session 1: January 6 - February 19

Session 2: March 9 - April 25

The Skills Employers Want

In addition to the bachelor's degree in integrative studies, you will earn a certificate in one of these in-demand skills:

Business Fundamentals - Helps you develop financial and accounting acumen, as well as better understand the fundamentals of the human side of business and organizational operations. You will build the knowledge and skills necessary to better understand and manage in your organization. Skills developed include analyzing financial statements and performance, creating operating budgets, managing and motivating others, and analyzing and using marketing information.

Project management - Integrates industry-proven project management practices with Agile principles. Students work in small teams to effectively initiate, plan, execute, control, and bring closure to real-world project(s) using MS Project and other enterprise project management software.

Applied data analytics - Focuses on understanding how to interpret, use, and apply data and statistics in the workplace. Students learn foundational computing and statistical skills like visualization, predictive analytics tools, and computer coding in Python and R.

Leadership - Focuses on social change and business communication and includes further exploration into organizational theory, team building, design thinking, and grant writing. Students will develop professional skills that employers are looking for such as team building and ethics.

Intercultural Communications - Prepares you with skills in effective communication within and across diverse international organizations by focusing on intercultural learning and competence in the global workplace. 

These certificates are also available on their own

Or complete our new area of focus in Elementary Education, Non-Certification: Explore a career in education and develop knowledge and skills that will prepare you for the accelerated Graduate Teacher Certification program, should you choose to pursue a teaching certificate after earning your bachelor’s degree.

Program Outline

Customized with a faculty advisor, choose from courses you’ve already taken and/or choose from certificates in

or customized areas of focus in

All majors are required to select at least three elective courses. These often can be chosen from coursework you’ve already done.

  • INT 491: Practicum (this is often done through a project in your workplace or expanding something you may be doing in the community)
  • INT 495: Senior Seminar (research and investigation from an interdisciplinary perspective, conducted in a seminar format)

B.S. Requirements

B.A. Requirements

  • Third semester proficiency in a foreign language

GVSU adult degree completion student Angie Vuyst.

Watch LEADS student Angie Vuyst talk about her degree completion experience.

Tuition Cost

Financing your degree is one of the greatest concerns adults have in returning to college. That’s why we’ve set one price for all classes within the LEADS program.

  • $500 per credit hour.
  • Most classes are three credits, so you can generally plan on $1,500 per class.
  • After you pass the first course you enroll in, we will reimburse you for the cost of a future one.

Some options to help finance your accelerated online degree:

  • Grants and loans: Fill out the FAFSA.
  • Scholarships: Several scholarships are specifically targeted to adult students, and our advisors are happy to help you find these.
  • Company deferment: This plan allows you to defer the amount your employer will pay in tuition benefits until the end of the semester.
Estimate Your Cost

Use our Net Price Calculator to estimate your cost of attending GVSU.

Admissions Requirements

The LEADS program is designed for motivated learners who want to complete their degree or certificate with a virtual community of similarly dedicated individuals. The admissions requirements are;

  • a completed application;
  • official transcripts from ALL colleges and universities attended;
  • thirty (30) completed college credits.

There is no application fee!

GVSU LEADS student Jason King.

Watch LEADS student Jason King talk about his GVSU degree completion experience.

Access Learning on Your Time

  • All classes are accelerated six-week sessions.
  • The LEADS program is completely online.
  • Our online classes enable you to access program content and contribute to class discussions each week when it fits your schedule. 
  • You do not need to be online on a specific day, and just like a traditional course, you can expect to have a syllabus with a course calendar for due dates. 
  • You can expect 15 hours of work a week and advisors will help you figure out how classes can fit into your life

This quiz assesses your learning style, along with your technology and academic skills. After the quiz, you will receive feedback on your strengths and opportunities to further develop your skills and decide whether online classes are right for you. 

Take the Online Learner Quiz

Veteran student on the Robert C. Pew campus.

A great choice for Military and Veteran students!

Are you a military or veteran student interested in returning to school and finishing your degree? If so, you have a home at GVSU. Our dedicated advisors, plus the support available at the Peter Secchia Military and Veterans Resource Center are here to help you transition from service to student, and find an academic pathway that will help you meet your career goals. Our accelerated degree completion program is a great launching point. It's perfect for military or veterans 24+ years old who have completed 30 or more college credits, and two or more years of work or military experience. We have committed to making you feel welcome at GVSU, and our faculty and staff will be here to support you from start to finish.

You can get in touch with any one of our outstanding advisors by calling (616) 331-7180, emailing [email protected], or by scheduling online


Best College for Veterans
#94 making GVSU a top 10% school for US service members

- College Factual

Best Bachelor's Degree Colleges
#3 For Veterans in Michigan

- College Factual

"Best for Vets"

- Military Times

GVSU gold star award.

Gold status for 2022-2023 for its commitment to supporting student veterans. This is the ninth year in a row.

- Michigan Veterans Affairs Agency

Frequently Asked Questions

How fast you can earn a bachelor's degree in this program depends on your existing credits. We want to maximize your transfer credit, so our advisors will review your credits and help you create an individualized academic plan. This degree offers full- and part-time schedules, allowing you to move at your own pace and making it a great choice for an accelerated degree program for working adults. If you already have approximately 60 credits completed, you can take two classes at a time and finish your degree in as few as 19 months, or you can take one class at a time and finish in a little over three years.

Students enrolled in the adult degree completion program pay $500 per credit hour for all courses required to complete their degree. 

  • There are no additional course fees.
  • The rate is the same regardless of residency status.

If you are completing your bachelor’s degree, you need to take a minimum of six credits each semester to be eligible to receive financial aid. Our advisors can explain this and offer other options for financing your degree, such as scholarships for adult learners and a company deferment plan, which will allow you to defer the amount your employer will pay in tuition benefits until the end of the semester. 

Here are a few Grand Valley scholarships that are directly applicable to adult/nontraditional students:

At this time, you cannot receive financial aid if you are only completing the courses for the certificates. 

Yes! Our advisors will help you determine which of your previously earned courses may already count toward this degree.

There are several ways you can earn credit or show expertise for the experiences and knowledge you have.

  • Challenge exams: We have internal challenge exams for several different areas including math and language - Please note that you will be waived out of a particular level of a course and be placed into a higher level course based on your performance on these exams.
  • Credit by exam: Through CLEP and DSST
  • Military evaluation and credit: For military coursework

Your advisor will work with you to determine what might help you complete your degree.

Course sizes are small, ensuring a high ratio of student-faculty contact. Your professors will let you know when and how they’ll be accessible to you. In addition to the faculty members who are teaching your classes, you will have both a faculty and a professional advisor in your region with whom you can connect both virtually and in person.

Yes! This is a great option for returning students, as you can use many of the credits you’ve already earned. An advisor will review your transcript and help you explore your options at Grand Valley.

You will receive a Bachelor of Science or Arts degree in integrative studies. When you earn an accelerated bachelor's degree in this program it is no different from any other degree offered at Grand Valley, except you are completing it in an accelerated format with other adult students. 

We will work with you to evaluate how your credits will transfer and create an individual course of study. This degree allows you to combine credits earned from multiple colleges or universities so that you can graduate with your degree at a faster pace.

If you are applying to complete your degree, a minimum of 30 credits from an accredited institution are required. If you do not have 30 college credits, you will be required to submit your high school transcripts in addition to your college transcripts.

If you are applying just to complete a stand-alone certificate, a minimum of 55 completed college credits are required. 

If you are applying for the Integrative Studies online degree or one of the certificates you will use this online application. There is no application fee. Because you can start the program at any time, you simply need to complete an application at least five days before your first class begins.

All classes are offered online.  Two classes will have the expectation of a one-day meeting, typically held on a Saturday.  You will have the option to come to Campus or do this online and these days will offer you networking, mentoring, career coaching, and professional development training in addition to instruction related to your courses. 

If you are pursuing only a certificate, you can complete it fully online with no trips to campus.

If you require accommodations due to a documented disability, please contact Disability Support Resources (DSR). An online course will be accommodated.  All students with disabilities are expected to meet the same standards, requirements, and expectations of the course. Accommodations allow for “equal access” and “equal opportunity”. Timely collaboration with faculty is necessary and essential.

It is the responsibility of a student with a disability to disclose and complete a DSR application, along with providing supporting documentation.

Complete the DSR profile application.

If you have not yet met with an advisor, you can schedule an appointment with any of our advisors to learn more about our accelerated degree programs online by calling us at (616) 331-7180 or by scheduling online.

If you’ve already met with an advisor and are ready to apply, you can fill out the application online.

Are You Ready to Get Started?

We know you are busy and we are here to help you get started in our LEADS program. Our advisors will:

  • review courses you’ve already taken at GVSU or other schools to determine how we can maximize your credits;
  • explain the goals and outcomes of the integrative studies degree;
  • discuss services and support available throughout the program;
  • assist with the admissions and financial aid process; and
  • give you a personalized degree plan.

You can get in touch with any one of our advisors by calling (616) 331-7180, emailing, or by Scheduling with an advisor online

Make Your Appointment


Darla's Story

Darla's Story

Listen to how the Integrative Studies Online Accelerated Bachelor's Degree for Adults program has had a positive impact on Darla's career.

Jul 15, 2021

Goals don't have an expiration date

Goals don't have an expiration date

Worried about how you might balance school and your life? Hear how one student made it work

Jun 16, 2021

First LEADS graduates fit state initiative to have more residents with bachelor's degrees

First LEADS graduates fit state initiative to have more residents with bachelor's degrees

18 students will earn bachelor's degrees in integrative studies at the end of the winter semester.

Apr 22, 2021

Students enrolled in accelerated degree program want bachelor's degree for job security

Students enrolled in accelerated degree program want bachelor's degree for job security

For most students, it means pulling out textbooks and computers after putting their kids to bed.

Nov 20, 2020

Starts and stops on path to degree: Successful business owner spurred to reenroll after receiving letter

Starts and stops on path to degree: Successful business owner spurred to reenroll after receiving letter

Business owner completes bachelor's degree to teach young daughters 'finish what you start.'

Oct 7, 2020

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* Lifelong Educational Attainment for Determined Students

Page last modified May 9, 2024