Returning Student Information

Click on the icons below to view your 2016-17 Handbook and Quick Guide, with new Foundations, Cultures, and Issues courses. The Quick Guide in this section has Theme courses listed which are only applicable to students who started at GVSU BEFORE Fall 2014.

The Quick Guide was last updated on 04-17-2017.

Upper Division Requirements

If you started attending GVSU before Fall 2014, this is how you fulfill your Upper Division requirements:

  • You can choose 2 Issues courses, 1 Issues course and 1 Themes course, or 2 Themes courses.
  • Themes courses are not listed in the Handbook. However, returning students may still take Themes courses to fulfill their Issues/Themes requirements.  Click here to see a list of available Themes courses.
  • You must choose courses from 2 different disciplines (e.g. AAA, ANT).
  • If a course is cross-listed in 2 disciplines (e.g. AAA/WGS), your second course must come from a third discipline.
  • Only 1 course can be taken at the 100 or 200 level.
  • Issues courses must be taken at GVSU.
  • Issues courses have a junior standing prerequisite. For class standing, a junior is defined as a student who has earned 55-84 credits. For prerequisite checking, a student must have completed or will have completed at least 55 credits prior to taking the course. However, they can register for the class while the final credits are in progress.
  • Please refer to FAQ for returning students for more information.


If you first attended GVSU in 2006 or earlier and are returning, the catalog under which you started is no longer valid and you must choose a new one.

  • If you choose a catalog from 2014-15 or later, you can only use the Issues option.  
  • If you choose a catalog from 2013-14 or earlier, you can use the Themes/Issues option.  


Catalog Change Policy

Students with a GVSU catalog prior to the 2014-15 catalog year can take 2 Issues, 2 Themes, or 1 Issue and 1 Theme course to fulfill their upper-level General Education requirement.   If you update your catalog year to 2014-15 or later to pursue a newly offered major or minor, any Themes courses you have taken will count toward your new Issues-only General Education Program requirements (Fall 2014 and on). You may not take a Theme course after you change catalog years. These exceptions will be placed on your record when your catalog update request is received in the Records Office.



Page last modified May 7, 2018