Graduation Requirements

The following requirements apply to all undergraduate degree-seeking students:

  1. A minimum of 120 semester hours
  2. A cumulative GPA of at least 2.0
  3. A graduation major with at least a 2.0 average
  4. A minor, if elected, with a 2.0 GPA
  5. General education requirements
  6. Cognate for Bachelor of Arts or core for Bachelor of Science degree
  7. Capstone course
  8. The last 30 semester hours toward a baccalaureate degree must be earned in Grand Valley courses
  9. A minimum of 58 semester hours must be earned at a senior institution
  10. A minimum of 12 Grand Valley earned semester hours must be included in the major (six for the minor)

1. Semester Hours Requirements
Students are required to complete at least 120 semester hours of credit for graduation. Courses taken after summer 1983 numbered below 100 do not apply toward the 120 needed for graduation.

2. Cumulative
For graduation, a student must earn a cumulative GPA of at least a 2.0 based on all coursework attempted at Grand Valley. Some major programs stipulate a GPA requirement exceeding the minimum. Refer to the department entries for specifics.

3. Major
A student must elect a major in one or more of the academic units empowered to present candidates for the undergraduate degree. A cumulative GPA of 2.0 in the major is the required minimum for graduation. Some majors stipulate requirements exceeding the minimum. Refer to the department entries for program specifics.

4. Minor
A minor is required for select programs for graduation. Any student may choose to complete a minor. If a student chooses to complete a minor, a cumulative GPA of 2.0 is the required minimum for graduation. Some minors stipulate requirements that exceed the minimum. Refer to the department entries for program specifics.

5. General Education Requirements
Ensuring that undergraduate students receive a broad general education has been a primary goal of colleges and universities since their inception. In this era of increasing specialization and growing demand for professional expertise, it is vital that we continue to emphasize the value of general learning.

6. B.A. Cognate or B.S. Core Requirement
In addition to the general education requirements, the B.A. degree requires a third-semester proficiency in a foreign language (either a classical or a modern language) of the student’s choice. Instruction in 12 foreign languages is offered by the Department of Classics and the Department of Modern Languages and Literatures. Placement tests are available to students with precollege competence in a foreign language who desire advanced placement or waiver of the foreign language requirement.

In addition to the general education requirements, the B.S. degree requires a three-semester sequence of courses that emphasize either natural science or social science methodology as prescribed by the major department. See the department entries for specific details.

7. Capstone Course
Each major curriculum includes a senior-level Capstone course aimed at providing the student with a broad and comprehensive perspective on the fundamental assumptions, issues, and problems of the field. See the department entries for specific details.

8. Required Hours at Grand Valley
Graduation from Grand Valley State University requires that the completion of the last 30 semester hours toward a baccalaureate degree must be earned at Grand Valley or in Grand Valley programs and courses taught off campus by Grand Valley faculty members.

9. Senior Institution Requirement
Regardless of the number of transfer credits accepted by Grand Valley from junior or community colleges, a baccalaureate degree must include a minimum of 58 semester hours from a senior (a four-year, degree-granting) institution.

10. Transfer Hours for Major and Minor
Regardless of the number of transfer hours accepted by Grand Valley from other institutions, transfer students must complete a minimum of 12 hours in the unit conferring the major (six for the minor).

Grand Valley State University maintains that a complete education involves more than preparation for a particular career. A career occurs in the context of a life, and a sound general education helps one “make a life” as well as “make a living.” The university therefore remains committed to assuring that all undergraduate students, regardless of academic major or intended profession, receive a broad education rooted in the arts and sciences.

The focus of our General Education Program is to provide students with an education that balances depth with breadth, the specialized with the general. The General Education Program helps students become literate in a sophisticated way in a number of disciplines, and it fosters their ability to make connections across various domains of knowledge. Such preparation will provide students with the general knowledge and skills necessary to participate intelligently in the discourses that shape local, national, professional, and global communities.

Teaching in the liberal tradition is at the heart of Grand Valley’s identity, and this focus is critical in our General Education Program. Liberal education transcends the acquisition of information; it goes beyond the factual to ask important evaluative and philosophical questions. Liberal learning holds the fundamental principles and suppositions of a body of knowledge up to inquiry, question, and discussion. It helps a person recognize the assumptions under which he/she operates and encourages the examination and questioning of those assumptions. Liberal learning begins in the General Education Program and continues through more specialized studies comprising each student’s major and minor areas of study.

Grand Valley is dedicated to making sure that our students, via their academic majors, become competent specialists in their fields of endeavor. An equally pressing priority is that our graduates also possess the marks of a generally educated person - that they will have acquired the broad knowledge and life skills that will allow them to be informed and thoughtful people. These ideals co-exist within our institution, and together they produce people who can contribute to their own well-being, their communities, their professions, and the world in which they live.

The General Education Program provides a broad-based liberal education experience that fosters lifelong learning and informed citizenship. The program prepares students for intelligent participation in public dialogs that consider the issues of humane living and responsible action in local, national, and global communities.

Refer to for more information.

Page last modified February 10, 2017