LEADS Online Accelerated Bachelor's Degree for Adult Students

More Than Just a Degree

Grand Valley’s LEADS* program delivers an integrative studies bachelor’s degree PLUS a certificate in one of four skill categories that employers are asking for by name: leadership, data analytics, project management, or global communication. These certificates can be integrated into your bachelor’s degree, so you get more value without more time or cost.

The degree is almost entirely online, requiring just two in-person, on-campus Saturday visits at any of our locations: Grand Rapids, Holland, Traverse City, or Detroit.

Registration begins on March 16. You can contact your advisor ahead of time for registration information or curriculum details.

Classes begin August 31, 2020.


6-week online classes**
6-week online classes**
$500
$500
Per credit hour
Try it, like it, your next class is free!
Try it, like it, your next class is free!
Earn a bachelor's AND a certificate
Earn a bachelor's AND a certificate
in one program

** Only two on-campus Saturday visits required during the whole program.


A Degree Made for You

This is a fast-paced, accelerated, online program designed to accommodate working adults. This major requires 56 credits. Those credits are a part of the 120 credits needed to earn a bachelor's degree. We will work with you to maximize any transfer credits toward the degree. The program could be completed in as few as 19 months.

  • Our investment in your success: As proof of our confidence in you, we will reimburse the cost of your first completed course to apply to a future one. We want to lower your risk so you can start what’s next, now.
  • Flexibility that fits your life: With classes offered primarily online, you can complete coursework when and where it's most convenient for you. You can also choose a combination of electives from several disciplines to build skills relevant to your personal and professional goals.
  • Personalized support: Before you even start, get a tailored academic and career plan from an advisor, examining together all previous work to help keep you on a successful path to graduation and beyond.  
  • Transfer credit opportunities: You will receive credit for previous coursework and military experience. 
  • Bachelor's and beyond: As a Grand Valley student, you're a Laker for a Lifetime. We're committed to supporting you through your bachelor’s degree and whatever comes next. Whether it's your master's degree, your next certificate, or a badge, you can take advantage of the Laker Lifetime Learning (L3) account. L3 offers important financial resources and career coaching. We're here to support you through your lifetime of learning.

Skills Employers Ask For

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

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


Typical Student Profile

Students who

  • are 24+ years of age;
  • have 2+ years of work experience;
  • are prepared for online learning; and
  • possess a high level of motivation.

Many students entering the program have earned an associate’s degree or have 60+ credits. Thirty (30) credits are the minimum for entry into the degree program.

Required Classes

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

Strong Personal and Professional Networks
Strong Personal and Professional Networks
Military and Veteran-Friendly (as ranked by Military Advanced Education and G.I.Jobs.com)

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 this program.

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

Some options to help finance your 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.

Student Support

You will have a dedicated team to support you as you finish your degree! Your professional advisor will help keep you connected to university resources and plan your degree progress. Your faculty advisor will help connect you to internship opportunities and help you think about how your degree will connect to your career goals. Program staff help you work closely with Career Services to help prepare you for whatever your next step is. Although the majority of classes are online, we're just a phone call away. We also have convenient satellite locations in Traverse City, Detroit, Holland, and Grand Rapids.


Access Learning on Your Time

All classes are accelerated six-week sessions and are primarily online with the exception of two in-person meetings during the course of your degree. This is a great option for busy adult students because it minimizes the amount of time you need to spend in a classroom and commuting.

In our online classes, you can 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. Just check the course calendar and stick to deadlines.

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. 


Contact Us to Take the Next Step

Your first step will be to meet with an academic advisor. We understand that you may be exploring your options, and our advisors are dedicated to helping you reach your educational goals, whether it's through this program or something else. And you'll continue to work with your advisors throughout the program to schedule courses, plan internships, explore career options, and plan for graduation.  Click below to schedule with an advisor, call us at 616-331-7180 or email us.

Next Steps

Admissions Requirements

This program is designed for mature and 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;
  • a minimum cumulative GPA of 2.5 or higher (exceptions may be made on a case-by-case basis for those who demonstrate a potential for academic success in other ways); and
  • a paid application fee of $30.

Apply Now

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Would you rather learn face-to-face?

If accelerated, online learning isn't for you, we offer a traditional B.A. or B.S. degree in integrative studies at several Grand Valley locations. This program is taught face-to-face with customizable emphases you can shape to fit your career goals. Visit the integrative studies website to find out more about this unique program.

* Lifelong Educational Attainment for Diverse Students (LEADS)