Graduate Admission Requirements

  • The Education programs have rolling admissions deadlines to ensure maximum flexibility for our applicants
  • Up to 9 credit hours can be transferred from other institutions (many institutions only allow up to 6 transfer credits)
  • Enrollment begins in mid-March for the following academic year to give students additional time to plan
  • GVSU allows you up to 8 years to complete your graduate program (more time than most other institutions)

Admissions Criteria

All students seeking degree, endorsement, approval, license, or certificate change must be formally admitted to graduate study. When completing the graduate application, be sure to check the box for "degree-seeking," even if you are applying for an endorsement, approval, license, or certificate change.

A maximum of six graduate credits earned prior to graduate admission may apply to degree requirements. In addition to university Graduate admissions requirements in the GVSU Catalog, students must meet the Master of Education (M.Ed.) Admission Criteria.

  • Submit a Graduate Application to enroll in Graduate coursework,  and will pay an application fee.
  • You must provide Official Transcripts from all previous colleges or universities attended, and copies of teaching/administrative certificates if required for your program.

The following items are admission criteria for specific fields:

Graduate Admission

Program Field Admission Criteria
Educational Leadership
  • Completed application
  • One letter of recommendation. 
  • If an applicant has a GPA of 3.0 or higher and a positive letter of recommendation, then the applicant will be admitted. If the applicant has a GPA less than a 3.0, then the applicant can be admitted by demonstrating one or more of the following: 
    • evidence of responsible professional work experience
    • graduate certification/endorsement
    • previous graduate work
    • previous Master's degree
    • or acceptable GRE scores. Candidates may submit test scores from the Graduate Records Examination General Test. If you took the test prior to August 1, 2011, your scores must be at least 760 (360 Verbal, 400 Quantitative) and 3.5 on Analytical Writing.  If you took the test on or after August 1, 2011, your scores must be at least 282 (144 Verbal, 138 Quantitative) and 3.5 on Analytical Writing. Official test scores should be sent to Grand Valley State University, Admissions Office, 1 Campus Drive, Allendale, MI 49401.
Educational Leadership in Special Education Administration
  • Completed application
  • One letter of recommendation. 
  • If an applicant has a GPA of 3.0 or higher and a positive letter of recommendation, then the applicant will be admitted. If the applicant has a GPA less than a 3.0, then the applicant can be admitted by demonstrating one or more of the following: 
    • evidence of responsible professional work experience
    • graduate certification/endorsement
    • previous graduate work
    • previous Master's degree
    • or acceptable GRE scores. Candidates may submit test scores from the Graduate Records Examination General Test. If you took the test prior to August 1, 2011, your scores must be at least 760 (360 Verbal, 400 Quantitative) and 3.5 on Analytical Writing.  If you took the test on or after August 1, 2011, your scores must be at least 282 (144 Verbal, 138 Quantitative) and 3.5 on Analytical Writing. Official test scores should be sent to Grand Valley State University, Admissions Office, 1 Campus Drive, Allendale, MI 49401.
Educational Specialist in Leadership
  • Completed application
  • One letter of recommendation. 
  • If an applicant has a GPA of 3.0 or higher and a positive letter of recommendation, then the applicant will be admitted. If the applicant has a GPA less than a 3.0, then the applicant can be admitted by demonstrating one or more of the following: 
    • evidence of responsible professional work experience
    • graduate certification/endorsement
    • previous graduate work
    • previous Master's degree
    • or acceptable GRE scores. Candidates may submit test scores from the Graduate Records Examination General Test. If you took the test prior to August 1, 2011, your scores must be at least 760 (360 Verbal, 400 Quantitative) and 3.5 on Analytical Writing.  If you took the test on or after August 1, 2011, your scores must be at least 282 (144 Verbal, 138 Quantitative) and 3.5 on Analytical Writing. Official test scores should be sent to Grand Valley State University, Admissions Office, 1 Campus Drive, Allendale, MI 49401.
English as a Second Language
  • Completed application
  • If an applicant has a GPA of 3.0 or higher, then the applicant will be admitted. If the applicant has a GPA less than a 3.0, then the applicant can be admitted by demonstrating one or more of the following: 
    • evidence of responsible professional work experience
    • graduate certification/endorsement
    • previous graduate work
    • previous Master's degree
    • or acceptable GRE scores. Candidates may submit test scores from the Graduate Records Examination General Test. If you took the test prior to August 1, 2011, your scores must be at least 760 (360 Verbal, 400 Quantitative) and 3.5 on Analytical Writing.  If you took the test on or after August 1, 2011, your scores must be at least 282 (144 Verbal, 138 Quantitative) and 3.5 on Analytical Writing. Official test scores should be sent to Grand Valley State University, Admissions Office, 1 Campus Drive, Allendale, MI 49401.
Higher Education
  • Completed application
  • One recommendation
  • Resume
  • Essay/personal statement (approximately 500 words) answering the following questions:
    • What experiences have led you to pursue a graduate degree in Higher Education?
    • What qualities do you have that prepare you to be a successful graduate student in the M.Ed. in Higher Education program?
    • How will the M.Ed. in Higher Education program at GVSU help you to achieve your personal and professional goals in student affairs, higher education, or related fields?
  • If you are planning to apply for a graduate assistantship, requiring full-time enrollment in either AHE or CSAL emphasis, please also answer the following questions (approximately 250-500 words at the conclusion of the personal statement outlined above):
    • What experiences, skills and talents will you bring to a graduate assistantship?
    • How will an assistantship help you to meet your professional goals?
  • If an applicant has a GPA of 3.0 or higher, a positive letter of recommendation, and demonstrates how their skills and qualities prepare them for graduate coursework and how this program meets their professional goals through their personal statement, the applicant will be admitted. If the applicant has a GPA less than a 3.0, then the applicant can be admitted by demonstrating one or more of the following:  
    • evidence of responsible professional work experience
    • graduate certification/endorsement
    • previous graduate work
    • previous Master's degree
    • or acceptable GRE scores. Candidates may submit test scores from the Graduate Records Examination General Test. If you took the test prior to August 1, 2011, your scores must be at least 760 (360 Verbal, 400 Quantitative) and 3.5 on Analytical Writing.  If you took the test on or after August 1, 2011, your scores must be at least 282 (144 Verbal, 138 Quantitative) and 3.5 on Analytical Writing. Official test scores should be sent to Grand Valley State University, Admissions Office, 1 Campus Drive, Allendale, MI 49401.
Instruction and Curriculum
  • Completed application
  • One letter of recommendation. 
  • If an applicant has a GPA of 3.0 or higher and a positive letter of recommendation, then the applicant will be admitted. If the applicant has a GPA less than a 3.0, then the applicant can be admitted by demonstrating one or more of the following: 
    • evidence of responsible professional work experience
    • graduate certification/endorsement
    • previous graduate work
    • previous Master's degree
    • or acceptable GRE scores. Candidates may submit test scores from the Graduate Records Examination General Test. If you took the test prior to August 1, 2011, your scores must be at least 760 (360 Verbal, 400 Quantitative) and 3.5 on Analytical Writing.  If you took the test on or after August 1, 2011, your scores must be at least 282 (144 Verbal, 138 Quantitative) and 3.5 on Analytical Writing. Official test scores should be sent to Grand Valley State University, Admissions Office, 1 Campus Drive, Allendale, MI 49401.
Learning, Design, and Technology
  • Completed application
  • One letter of recommendation. 
  • If an applicant has a GPA of 3.0 or higher and a positive letter of recommendation, then the applicant will be admitted. If the applicant has a GPA less than a 3.0, then the applicant can be admitted by demonstrating one or more of the following: 
    • evidence of responsible professional work experience
    • graduate certification/endorsement
    • previous graduate work
    • previous Master's degree
    • or acceptable GRE scores. Candidates may submit test scores from the Graduate Records Examination General Test. If you took the test prior to August 1, 2011, your scores must be at least 760 (360 Verbal, 400 Quantitative) and 3.5 on Analytical Writing.  If you took the test on or after August 1, 2011, your scores must be at least 282 (144 Verbal, 138 Quantitative) and 3.5 on Analytical Writing. Official test scores should be sent to Grand Valley State University, Admissions Office, 1 Campus Drive, Allendale, MI 49401.
Literacy Studies
  • Completed application
  • One letter of recommendation. 
  • If an applicant has a GPA of 3.0 or higher and a positive letter of recommendation, then the applicant will be admitted. If the applicant has a GPA less than a 3.0, then the applicant can be admitted by demonstrating one or more of the following: 
    • evidence of responsible professional work experience
    • graduate certification/endorsement
    • previous graduate work
    • previous Master's degree
    • or acceptable GRE scores. Candidates may submit test scores from the Graduate Records Examination General Test. If you took the test prior to August 1, 2011, your scores must be at least 760 (360 Verbal, 400 Quantitative) and 3.5 on Analytical Writing.  If you took the test on or after August 1, 2011, your scores must be at least 282 (144 Verbal, 138 Quantitative) and 3.5 on Analytical Writing. Official test scores should be sent to Grand Valley State University, Admissions Office, 1 Campus Drive, Allendale, MI 49401.
School Counseling
  • Completed application
  • One letter of recommendation. 
  • If an applicant has a GPA of 3.0 or higher (or an earned Master's degree) and a positive letter of recommendation, then the applicant will be admitted. 
  • If the applicant has a GPA less than a 3.0 but no Master's degree, then the applicant can be admitted by demonstrating acceptable GRE scores. Prior to August 1, 2011, GRE scores must be at least 760 (360 Verbal, 400 Quantitative) and 3.5 on Analytical Writing; after August 1, 2011, GRE scores must be at least 282 (144 Verbal, 138 Quantitative) and 3.5 on Analytical Writing. 
Special Education
  • Completed application
  • One letter of recommendation. 
  • If an applicant has a GPA of 3.0 or higher and a positive letter of recommendation, then the applicant will be admitted. If the applicant has a GPA less than a 3.0, then the applicant can be admitted by demonstrating one or more of the following: 
    • evidence of responsible professional work experience
    • graduate certification/endorsement
    • previous graduate work
    • previous Master's degree
    • or acceptable GRE scores. Candidates may submit test scores from the Graduate Records Examination General Test. If you took the test prior to August 1, 2011, your scores must be at least 760 (360 Verbal, 400 Quantitative) and 3.5 on Analytical Writing.  If you took the test on or after August 1, 2011, your scores must be at least 282 (144 Verbal, 138 Quantitative) and 3.5 on Analytical Writing. Official test scores should be sent to Grand Valley State University, Admissions Office, 1 Campus Drive, Allendale, MI 49401.

Policies and Procedures

In addition to the policies and procedures listed on this page, candidates are also expected to be familiar with all policies contained in the graduate section of GVSU's online catalog, especially the following sections:

  • Education
  • Admission to Grand Valley
  • General Academic Policies and Regulations

Following is a partial listing of policies and procedures pertinent to candidates in Graduate Studies in Education.

Master of Education Degree

  • Admission – Admission criteria are those stated in the university online catalog at time of application.
  • Master’s Degree Planned Program – Candidates seeking a master’s degree must review and sign a planned program with a graduate advisor.
  • Prior Credits – A maximum of 6 semester hours taken at GVSU prior to formal degree-seeking admission may be applied toward a degree program.
  • Transfer Credits – Up to 9 semester hours earned from regionally accredited institutions may be transferred if they: (a) were taken within 5 years prior to the candidate’s admission as degree-seeking, (b) are B (3.0) or better, (c) match GVSU course descriptions and semester hour requirements, and (d) are approved by a program advisor. Official transcripts for these credits must be on file in the GVSU Records Office along with the approved university transfer of credit form. Note, transfer credits that are assigned a grade of credit (CR) must be accompanied by documentation from the transferring institution stating that the CR is equivalent to a B (3.0) or better.
  • Time Limitation – Candidates must complete the degree in 8 years. This time limit begins with the first credit that is used for the degree, which may be a transfer credit.
  • Grade Requirement – To earn a master’s degree, a candidate must maintain an overall GPA of B (3.0) or better on the courses (and only those courses) listed on the degree program. Grades below “C” will figure in a candidate’s overall GPA, but the credits will not count toward the degree.
  • Degree Audit Process – Candidates must initiate the degree audit by contacting the Records Office early (i.e., first week) in the semester they expect to complete requirements by calling - (616) 331-3327.

Professional Certificate, Endorsement, and Approval Programs

  • Admission – Admission criteria are those stated in the university online catalog and program materials at the time of application.
  • Certificate, Endorsement, or Approval Planned Programs – Candidates seeking a Standard Teaching Certificate, endorsement, or approval must review and sign a planned program with a graduate advisor.
  • Substitute Credits – Credits earned at regionally accredited institutions may be substituted for courses listed on a planned program if they: (a) match GVSU course descriptions and credit hour requirements, (b) are B (3.0) or better, and (c) are approved by a program advisor. Official transcripts for these courses must be on file in the GVSU Records Office; however, the university transfer of credit form does not need to be completed. Note, undergraduate courses approved by an Education program advisor may substitute for graduate courses on endorsement and/or approval programs – not master’s degree programs. Also, undergraduate courses may be used toward the Professional Certificate if approved by an Education program advisor before enrolling in the course(s). All courses used for the professional development must be completed after the issuance of the candidate’s Standard Teaching Certification.
  • Coursework Limitation – At least one half (50%) of the credits required in the planned program must be taken at GVSU.
  • Time Limitation – If State of Michigan requirements change before a candidate completes the planned program, the candidate will be required to meet the new requirements.
  • Grade Requirement – To earn a certificate, endorsement, and/or approval, a candidate must maintain an overall GPA of B (3.0) or better on the courses (and only those courses) listed on the planned program. Grades below “C” will figure in a candidate’s GPA, but the credits will not count toward the certificate, endorsement, and/or approval.
  • Reading Requirement – Candidates for Professional certification must have met state requirements for coursework in reading (6 semester credits for elementary, 3 semester credits for secondary). In addition, an approved diagnosis and remediation of reading disabilities and differentiated instruction course (3 semester credits) is required for the Professional Certificate.
  • Test Requirement – Candidates applying for initial certification or a new endorsement must show satisfactory scores on the Michigan Tests for Teacher Certification (MTTC).
  • Applying for Professional Certificate, Endorsement, Administrator Certificate or Approval – Upon completion of program requirements, candidates must have a MEIS account and initiate the certification recommendation process by self-registering through the Michigan Online Educator Certification System (MOECS).  For instructions on how to create your MEIS account and apply for your Professional, renewal, administrator, or endorsement, go to: www.michigan.gov/moecs
  • Conviction Record/Denial, Revocation of Certificate - In compliance with Michigan regulations, information on a previous conviction record is requested upon application for practicum (not required for CSAL or AHE practica) or change in certification status. Applicants who have been convicted or pled no contest to a felony or certain misdemeanors may be denied admission, field placement or certification. Certification may be denied for fraud, material misrepresentation or concealment in the application for a certificate.

Certification and Program Requirement Questions

For any questions on certification or program requirements, please contact the Office of Certification and Accreditation at (616) 331-6650 or email [email protected].



Page last modified May 3, 2022