Frequently Asked Questions

General Education Requirements

What are the General Education Requirements?
Students take 3 types of General Education courses: Foundations (9 courses), Cultures (2 courses), and Issues (2 courses). See the General Education Program Handbook for more information. 

How do I know if I have completed my General Education requirements?
Use Banner to check your MyPath Degree Audit Report.

Can a course be used to meet a GE requirement as well as a major/minor requirement? 
In most cases, a course can be used to fulfill a GE requirement and a major/minor requirement. Please check your specific major/minor requirements. 

How does "double dipping" work?
Some classes that count for more than one General Education requirement. GPY 235, for example, counts for both Social and Behavioral Sciences and Global Perspectives. Courses can double-dip between Foundations and Cultures or Issues and Cultures. However, courses CANNOT double-dip between Foundations and Issues.

I have a bachelor's degree from Grand Valley (or any other institution). Do I have to complete the General Education requirements to complete another degree?
Students with a bachelor's degree (from any college) have completed their General Education requirements. They need to complete the 2nd degree/major requirements within the program.

Can I take all of my General Education courses in my first two years?
No. Issues courses have a Junior Standing prerequisite.

Can I take an Issues course at another institution?
No. Issues courses must be taken at GVSU or through study abroad.

Credits and Grade Minimums

Is there a minimum grade required for General Education Classes?
There is no minimum grade requirement for General Education classes except for WRT 130 and WRT 150, which require a C (not a C-) or higher. SWS courses also require a C or higher.

Am I allowed to take a class for Credit/No Credit?
A General Education course may be taken as Credit/No Credit (CR/NC).  However, the following conditions apply:

  • A  minimum grade of C (not a C-) or better to receive credit (CR)
  • Some majors, minors, or certificate programs may have additional requirements regarding CR/NC. Please check before proceeding.
  • Undergraduate students may elect a maximum of 10 semester hours of major, minor, or cognate courses to be taken as CR/NC only with the consent of the student's major department.
  • A maximum of 25% of a student's Grand Valley credit hours earned to fulfill graduation requirements may be taken as CR/NC.

If I placed in a language course higher than 202 can I still get Global Perspectives credit?
Yes, if you take a course higher than 202. You must have the Modern Languages Department contact us with your name and the course (above the 202 level) you took in lieu of 202. 

Can I use life experiences (work, volunteer, military service) to count for a General Education course?
Although life experiences are extremely valuable in your education, they do not fulfill any General Education requirements.

Can I test out of a General Education requirement through a departmental proficiency exam?
No.

Can I use AP, CLEP, or International Baccalaureate credits to fulfill General Education requirements?
It is possible. If you receive a high enough score, you may fulfill some of the General Education requirements. More information about credit by exam at GVSU.

Can I use an independent study, internship, practicum, co-op, research, or similar type of course to fulfill a General Education requirement?
No. However, these courses can often be used to fulfill a requirement in your major, minor, or emphasis.

Can my advisor substitute a course for a General Education requirement?
No. Advisors and faculty members CANNOT make substitutions in the General Education Program.

How do I know what the SWS requirements are?
Although SWS is not a General Education requirement, it is a University requirement. More information on SWS.

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Honors College Equivalencies

If you started in the Honors College before Fall 2020 please see the General Education course equivalencies below.

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Prerequisites

How do I fulfill the MTH 110 prerequisite?
Math department information on meeting the MTH 110 prerequisite.

How do I meet the Junior Standing prerequisite?
For class standing, a junior is defined as a student who has earned 55-84 credits.  For prerequisite checking, you must have completed at least 55 credits before taking the course. However, you can register for the course while the final credits are in progress. MyPath will count the credits completed and the credits currently being taken at the time of registration. It will not include credits enrolled in for the following Fall or Winter semesters.  

How do I get a permit to enroll in a Seidman (Business) course?
You must have completed 55 credits to enroll in 300-400 level Seidman College of Business courses.  If you are a non-business major with a 2.5 overall GPA, please email your name, G-number, course and semester to [email protected] to request a permit to register.  Secondary admissions criteria apply for business majors.  

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Study Abroad and General Education

Can I get General Education credit if I study abroad?
Yes. Please see Study Abroad.  

Can I get Issues credit for Study Abroad?
Most courses taken abroad can count for Issues credit if they do not fulfill a Foundation requirement.  This requires completing the Study Abroad Issues Proposal Form and the written reflection upon return and not prior to departure.  

What if I took a study abroad through a different university?
You may be able to use a study abroad taken at another college or university to fulfill some of the General Education requirements. Email GenEd.

Am I required to secure the departmental approval for each study abroad course before submitting my study abroad Issues form to the General Education office? 
Some courses are already pre-approved by our Study Abroad program If the course(s) is/are not on the list, you must secure departmental approval for each course prior to submitting your General Education (GE) Issues Study Abroad Course Approval form.

Can I get credit for Issues and my major with the same course?
Yes. If the course you complete abroad meets major or minor requirements, it can also be used to meet the General Education Issues requirement.

Is it possible for me to earn credit for Global Perspectives, Issues, and my major with one course abroad?
Yes. With the appropriate approvals, you can earn credit for all three requirements with one course.

I am not on the Allendale Campus. Can I submit my Study Abroad Issues Form electronically?
Yes. All Issues forms and reflections must be submitted online through Study Abroad

I am taking a course abroad that has been approved to fulfill a Foundations requirement. Can I use the course to fulfill a Foundations and an Issues requirement?
No. Students will not receive approval for a course to count as a General Education Foundations requirement and a General Education Issues requirement. You will have to choose which requirement you would like to have met once you have completed the course.

Can I use a language course to fulfill the Study Abroad Issues requirement?
Yes. The criteria for receiving approval for the Study Abroad Issues requirement are outlined on the Study Abroad Issues form.

  • The course completed abroad must be approved as a three-credit course at GVSU.
  • The course cannot fulfill a General Education Foundations requirement nor can the course be an independent study, independent readings, or research.
  • If you are participating in a faculty-led program or are taking less than six credits abroad, your two Issues courses must be from two different academic disciplines/course prefixes.
  • If a course is cross-listed in two disciplines/course prefixes, your second course must be taken from a third discipline/course prefix. 

Can I use courses such as photography, dance, painting, internship, etc. to fulfill the Study Abroad Issues requirement?

Yes. The criteria for receiving approval for the Study Abroad Issues requirement are outlined on the Study Abroad Issues form.

  • The course you complete abroad must be approved as a three-credit course at GVSU.
  • The course cannot fulfill a General Education Foundations requirement nor can the course be an independent study, independent readings, or research.
  • If you are participating in a faculty-led program or are taking less than six credits abroad, your two Issues courses must be from two different academic disciplines/course prefixes.
  • If a course is cross-listed in two disciplines/course prefixes, your second course must be taken from a third discipline/course prefix. 

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Transfer Students

Do I have to take General Education courses if I'm a transfer student?
Yes. Students who transfer to Grand Valley with the MTA/MACRAO approved associate of arts or science degree from a Michigan public community college have satisfied the Foundation Categories of the General Education Program and one Supplemental Writing Skills (SWS) course. However, transfer students with an MTA/MACRAO are required to complete the following requirements at GVSU:

  • One SWS course
  • The two-course General Education Program Cultural Emphasis requirement
  • The two-course Issues requirement

I transferred here from another institution and I think that one of my courses might count toward my General Education requirements. Where should I go to find out?
Use a Student Concern Form and follow the instructions for submitting the form for review. Transfer Equivalency may help determine if a specific course from another institution will transfer to GVSU. Issues course must be taken at GVSU.

Will my writing course transfer into GVSU as being equivalent to WRT 150?

  • WRT 150 evaluations now take the transfer grade into consideration and will award WRT 150 only for a grade of C or above.
  • Students who obtain a grade of C-, D, or D+ in their transfer course will receive WRT general credit in transfer.
  • As always, students who obtain a grade of D- or F will not receive any credit in transfer.
  • Special considerations may be made for students who were admitted prior to Fall 2016 regarding the WRT 150 versus WRT general credit decision. These requests should still be directed to the Records Office.

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Page last modified January 8, 2024