Frequently Asked Questions

Accounting

Q: How long does the program take to complete?  
A: 12-36 months (varies).

Q: How many credit hours are required for the degree?
A: 33 credits.

Q: What is the course delivery type?
A: We offer a variety of delivery modalities: in-seat, hybrid, or online. Please talk with the Graduate Program Director regarding the specific program and delivery options.

Q: How much does the program cost?
A: Approximately $30,000 total program costs (this includes tuition, course fees, parking, books, and other supplies).

Q: Are any entry exams required?
A: Currently, the Seidman College of Business is not requiring any entry exams for domestic students. International students may need to take additional exams and should contact the Seidman Graduate Advising Office at [email protected] or by phone at (616) 331-7400.

Q: When is the deadline to apply?
A: A minimum of 30 days prior to the start of the semester.

Q: Do you offer scholarships and financial assistance? ​​​​​​
A: Financial assistance is available in the form of federal and private loans and some scholarships, including Graduate Assistantship opportunities.

Q: What program prerequisites are needed?
A: The MSA program accepts students from all undergraduate majors. Students who did not complete an undergraduate degree in Accounting may need prerequisite courses that can add to overall program requirements. Please meet with the Graduate Program Director to receive an individual transcript review.


Applied Computer Science

Q: Do you have any Graduate Assistantships or Scholarships?
A: Our assistantship and scholarship opportunities at GVSU are limited. Instead, we offer the opportunity of graduate internships with local companies. We don't "place" students with companies, but our students typically find an internship where they can apply their computing skills. Furthermore, internships are paid and may lead to permanent employment after the degree is completed. As for graduate assistantships, we normally do not award them to new students. Instead, we often reserve graduate assistantship positions for our established graduate students who have been successful in the classroom. However, when a new open GA position becomes available, we email all graduate students letting them know of the opportunity. Finally, for scholarships, GVSU has a few that are specific to computing. You can browse the entire list of scholarships through myScholarships.

Q: I don't have a formal academic background in computing (or at least not much of one), but someone in the advising office told me I could still apply. Is that true?
A: Quite possibly. In general, we expect students to arrive knowing how to program in an object-oriented language. 

  • If you have that knowledge already, e.g., you're a software developer looking to gain additional computing skills, then you are probably ready to start with advanced coursework.
  • If you've programmed before, but your skills are rusty, then we suggest you take CIS 500 as a refresher course first. This course will ensure you have a solid foundation on which to build further skills.
  • If you've never programmed before, then we have several options for you: CIS 160, CIS 161, or CIS 162. All three teach you to program from the ground up, but they use different languages or have a different focus. Alternatively, if you're a self-starter, you could consider learning to program on your own and then take our placement test to see if you have the skills we expect.

Q: Do you offer any classes online?
A: Yes. The exact combination of traditional and online classes varies from semester to semester, so check the information systems course schedule for details.

Q: Q: I work full-time; when are classes offered?
A: Classes are offered Monday-Thursday, 6 p.m.-9 p.m. If the class is offered in a traditional face-to-face format, the class meets one night per week. If offered in a hybrid mode, the class will meet a few times each semester in the evening. If the class is offered synchronously online, meetings will still be in the evening.


Applied Statistics

Q: How much of a background in statistics do I need to get into the Applied Statistics Master’s program? What are the minimal background statistics requirements for an application?
A: Minimally, an application should have good performance in each of STA 215 and STA 216 at GVSU (or equivalents at other universities).  An application is strengthened, and acceptance is more likely if there is good academic performance in additional Applied Statistics courses at the undergraduate level (e.g., STA 321, STA 310, STA 315 at GVSU or equivalents at other universities). A conditional admission decision may allow one or more of these additional statistics courses to be concurrent with graduate courses.

Q: Are there Graduate Assistantships available for the Applied Statistics program? Do I need to apply?
A: There are half-time assistantships available for duties within the statistics department for each of the two semesters in the academic year. These duties could involve tutoring in the Math/Statistics Tutoring Center, grading assignments, or supporting the Statistical Consulting Center. All accepted students are considered until funds are exhausted. There also may be relevant assistantships available in other departments on campus.

Q: Would I have to find an internship on my own? What help is provided for securing this required part of the program?
A: You may search for an internship on your own, and you are encouraged to do so. There are some established internships for the program that usually become available every year. The Graduate Program Director will inform you of these internships, but these opportunities are limited and may be open to public competition. Some support may also be given in securing an internship by the coordinator of the Professional Science Masters programs.

Q: Are there evening courses? My employer may not be flexible with allowing me to do courses during the day.
A: Most of the program courses have classes that begin after 4 p.m. This time frame includes almost all of the statistics courses.

Q: What are the main differences in the curriculum between the Applied Statistics Master’s program and the Biostatistics Master’s program?
​​​​​​​A: There are no required courses involving biology in the Applied Statistics program. CIS 661 (Introduction to Health Medical Bioinformatics) and CMB 610 (Foundations of Biotechnology) are required 3 credit courses in the Biostatistics Master’s program. Two graduate courses in statistics (from STA 526, STA 628, STA 518) are required in the Applied Statistics program that are not required in Biostatistics (but may be taken as electives). The 2 credit course STA 625 (Clinical Trials) is also not required in the Applied Statistics program.

Q: What would be the advantages of the Applied Statistics program over the graduate programs in Biostatistics or Data Science and Analytics at GVSU?
​​​​​​​A: The Applied Statistics Master’s program has the most credit hours in statistics out of these three graduate programs. The three courses STA 526 (Multivariate Analysis), STA 628 (Survival Analysis) and STA 518 (Programming in R) provide additional valuable statistics techniques for the Applied Statistics graduate program. These additional techniques will be attractive to some employers and hence there will be a more broad base of techniques for some applications such as manufacturing, banking, and in the social sciences.

Q: After graduation, will I still be able to apply for statistical jobs in the health field?
​​​​​​​A: Yes, you’ll still be able to apply for statistical jobs in the health field as the techniques of the Applied Statistics graduate program will be applicable to a variety of employers.  However, if you have specific interest in a statistics career in drug development, the Biostatistics graduate program would be more appropriate.


Athletic Training

Q: What is the difference between an athletic trainer and a personal trainer?
A: Athletic trainers (ATs) are highly qualified, multi-skilled health care professionals who render service or treatment, under the direction of or in collaboration with a physician, in accordance with their education, training, and the state's statutes, rules, and regulations. As a part of the health care team, services provided by athletic trainers include primary care, injury and illness prevention, wellness promotion and education, emergent care, examination and clinical diagnosis, therapeutic intervention and rehabilitation of injuries and medical conditions. Athletic trainers are sometimes confused with personal trainers. There is, however, a large difference in the education, skillset, job duties, and patients of an athletic trainer and a personal trainer. The athletic training academic curriculum and clinical training follows the medical model. Athletic trainers must graduate from an accredited graduate program, and 70% of ATs have a master’s degree.

Q: How many hours and/or days per week will this degree take?
A: This program is designed to be two-years in duration which includes summer courses between the first and second year. Classes take place Monday-Friday in the first half of the day (typically 8 a.m.-1 p.m.) with clinical rotations taking place in the afternoon (typically 2 p.m.-6 p.m.). These hours are variable on any given day and depend on the site and the activities going on. In addition, you will have opportunities arise which will allow you to travel with certain teams, both during the week and over the weekend.

Q: Can I complete this degree while working full-time?
A: Full-time work is not usually possible due to the hour requirements within the program, but many of our students hold part-time jobs that are willing to work around student schedules.


Audiology

Q: Can I do this program part-time?
A: No, we are a full-time program with a clinical practicum in every semester.

Q: Is the program residential (vs. entirely online)?
A: Yes, we are residential.

Q: How do I apply?
A: You will apply via the Communications Sciences and Disorders Centralized Application (CSDCAS) which is our centralized application server.

Q: Are Graduate Assistantships available?
A: Yes, these are highly competitive. It is also important to note, when considering financial packages, that our program is an accelerated program (3 year; 84 credits) with out-of-state students paying the same tuition amount as in-state students.

Q: What is the minimum GPA admitted (or average GPA) and GRE score?
A: We use a holistic admissions process. We do require a minimum of a 3.0 undergraduate GPA to apply to the program. Individuals with less than a 3.0 should contact the Graduate Program Director. The Graduate Records Examination (GRE) is not required, but is one of many ways in which an individual with high scores could demonstrate that they are an exceptional candidate for admission.


Biology

Q: How do I select a graduate committee?
A: Your graduate committee serves as a resource for your program of study and provides input and advice as you develop your thesis, project, or internship. Your graduate committee also helps evaluate your readiness to engage in your proposed activities via the qualifying exam, and evaluate your final written document when you defend your degree. Talk to your major advisor, as well as your fellow graduate students to determine the best committee composition. A committee ideally sets high, but realistic, expectations for you. Three graduate committee members are required, one of whom is your major advisor, but you may have more if it is in the best interest of your program of study.  All committee members must have graduate faculty standing. Committee members from outside the university are supported, but they must apply for Adjunct Graduate Faculty standing. The required form, Adjunct Faculty Engaged in Graduate Education Application, is located on The Graduate School's Forms Library page.

Q: Where do I find information about the Biology Master’s degree final project report (either thesis, project, or internship report)?
A: The GVSU Graduate School (TGS) provides excellent resources for the development of your written thesis, project, or internship report. Follow these guidelines carefully as failure to adhere can extend the time required to graduate. Guidelines and other writing resources can be found on the TGS Thesis and Dissertation Information page, and examples of high-quality theses can be found on the TGS Graduate Writing Resources page.

Q: What are the expectations for publication and scholarship?
A: The Biology graduate program has the following intellectual property expectations and guidelines: “We strongly encourage graduate students to submit for publication their research projects, internships, and theses as the primary author, and with appropriate secondary authorship including, but not limited to, the student’s major advisor. If, after one-year post-graduation or after one year of no active progress toward graduation a manuscript has not been submitted, the major advisor may submit the results for publication using an alternate first author, and with appropriate recognition of the student’s contribution(s). The student shall solicit approval of the advisor(s) and other co-authors prior to presenting or disseminating the results of the research or project. The intellectual property that consists of the student’s project, internship, or thesis shall be shared jointly between the student and the major advisor. Prior to graduation, and/or upon request, the graduate student must provide a digital copy of all data collected and/or related voucher samples to the major advisor. GVSU Authorship Guidelines can be found at GVSU's Responsible Conduct of Research.

Q: Should I join the Biology Graduate Club?
A: In short, yes!  The Biology Graduate Club provides a really important pathway to obtain funding to both attend and/or present the results of your research at regional, national, and international conferences.  If you are NOT a member of the club, you do not have access to this support.  The club does require a minimal annual membership fee, and also coordinates numerous social activities throughout the year. To sign up, please visit the LakerLink website.   

Q: What’s the qualifying exam and when do I need to take it?
A: Prior to initiating your research project, you need to complete an oral qualifying exam administered by your graduate committee.  Each committee member will give you material to review and/or a topic or set of topics to be covered, all related to your proposed research endeavor. The purpose of the exam is two-fold.  Firstly, we want to make sure you are prepared to embark on your project. Secondly, we want to give you practice thinking on your feet while responding to questions. After the oral exam, your committee ascertains your preparation and may recommend additional readings and preparation. This also helps prepare you to attend and present at professional meetings and for your public thesis/project/internship defense.

Q: What is the thesis, project, or internship defense?
A: The defense represents the culminating experience for your M.S. degree, and is an opportunity for you to publicly present and defend your research.  This event is open to the public, must be advertised in advance, and is a space for the community to ask you questions about your work. Arguably, most students find this to be quite enjoyable!  You’ve spent at least two years of your life working on a project and to be given an opportunity to spend an hour presenting and discussing your work is, frankly, satisfying. The public defense is proceeded by a closed meeting with your graduate committee who provide final suggestions and feedback, make recommendations on any additional work that should be done, and will eventually ‘sign off’ on your work, giving their stamp of approval for what you have accomplished and written.


Biomedical Sciences

Q: Can I apply after the application deadline?
A: Yes, we do rolling admissions for the Fall semester until late July.

Q: Do I need the GRE?
A: No, the GRE is no longer required.

Q: Can I use my previous medical school recommendation letters and just have them added to my application?
A: No, we would like current recommendations and letters that can speak to your potential for success in graduate school.

Q: Is it possible to be admitted if I am missing some of the prerequisite courses?
A: There is an option for conditional admission, with the condition being to complete a prerequisite course(s). However, it is not possible to determine if this is a viable option without evaluating the entire application.


Biostatistics

Q: How much of a background in statistics do I need to get into the Biostatistics Master’s program? What are the minimal background statistics requirements for an application?
A: Minimally, an application should have good performance in each of STA 215 and STA 216 at GVSU (or equivalents at other universities).  An application is strengthened, and acceptance is more likely if there is good performance in additional applied statistics courses at the undergraduate level (e.g. STA 321, STA 310, STA 315 at GVSU or equivalents at other universities). A conditional admission decision may allow one or more of these additional statistics courses to be concurrent with graduate courses.

Q: Are there Graduate Assistantships available for the Biostatistics Master’s program? Do I need to apply?
A: There are half-time assistantships available for duties within the Department of Statistics for each of two semesters in the academic year. These duties could involve tutoring in the Math/Statistics Tutoring Center, grading assignments, or supporting in the Statistical Consulting Center. All accepted students are considered until funds are exhausted. There also may be relevant assistantships available in other departments on campus.

Q: Would I have to I find an internship on my own? What help is provided for securing this required part of the program?
A: You may search for an internship on your own and you are encouraged to do so. There are some established internships for the program that usually become available every year. The Graduate Program Director will inform you of these internships but these opportunities are limited and may be open to public competition. Some support may also be given in securing an internship by the coordinator of the PSM programs.

Q: Are there evening courses? My employer may not be flexible with allowing me to do courses during the day.
A: Most of the program courses have classes that begin after 4 p.m. Such a time frame includes almost all of the statistics courses as well as CIS 661 and CMB 610 (which are required in the Biostatistics Master’s program).

Q: Are there any required courses as biology prerequisites?
​​​​​​​A: Although some undergraduate biology background may be helpful, there are no biology course requirements prior to starting the Biostatistics Master’s program.


Business

Q: How long does the program take to complete?
A: 22 months.

Q: How many credit hours are required for the degree?
A: 36 credits.

Q: What is the course delivery type?
A: We offer a variety of delivery modalities: in-seat, hybrid, or online. Please talk with the Graduate Program Director regarding the specific program and delivery options.

Q: How much does the program cost?
A: Approximately $32,500 total program costs (this includes tuition, course fees, parking, books, and other supplies).

Q: Are any entry exams required? ​​​​​​
A: Currently, the Seidman College of Business is not requiring any entry exams for domestic students. International students may need to take additional exams and should contact the Seidman Graduate Advising Office at [email protected] or by phone at (616) 331-7400.

Q: When is the deadline to apply?
A: April 1 preferred deadline for a Fall semester start; October 1 preferred deadline for a Winter semester start.

Q: Do you offer scholarships and financial assistance?
​​​​​​​A: Financial assistance is available in the form of federal and private loans and some scholarships, including Graduate Assistantship opportunities.

Q: What program prerequisites are needed?
​​​​​​​A: The MBA program accepts students from all undergraduate majors. There are no required prerequisite courses, but students may be required to complete online seminars to gain foundational competencies. These modalities can be completed faster than traditional courses and at a fraction of the cost of other programs.


Cell and Molecular Biology

Q: What are the pathways to the Master of Science in Cell and Molecular Biology (CMB)?
A: Students may apply for either the biotechnology or research emphases — both emphases result in receiving a Master of Science degree in CMB In addition, GVSU undergraduate students majoring in CMB may apply for the combined degree program (BS+M.) in CMB, while GVSU undergraduates from other majors may apply for the student-initiated combined degree program.

Q: What are the differences between the biotechnology and research emphases?
A: The research emphasis is a traditional, thesis-based M.S. in which a student pursues a specific question in depth and produces a thesis containing publishable results. In order to be admitted to the research emphasis, a faculty member must agree to serve as the thesis mentor. The biotechnology emphasis is an approved Professional Science Master’s (PSM) program, indicating that students in the program not only learn scientific content but also professionalism, ethics, and information about working in the life science industry. All PSM students will participate in an internship chosen to further their career goals.

Q: What distinguishes the CMB program at GVSU from other programs?
A: Our program has a rigorous laboratory component to compliment the theoretical courses which prepares graduates for virtually any laboratory setting in academia, industry, or non-profit life science research. In addition, the professional component of the degree is especially useful for those interested in pursuing a career in the life science industry.

Q: How long does it take to complete the MS degree full-time?
A: Students generally complete the MS degree in four academic semesters, which is about two years. Students in the combined degree programs may receive both the BS and MS degrees in as little as five years.

Q: Where have PSM students completed their internships?
A: Students may complete their internships in West Michigan or anywhere that suits them (many have spent the summer completing an internship on the East or West coasts or even internationally) but examples of some recent internship sites include:

  • Priority Health
  • Annis Water Resources Institute
  • Van Andel Institute
  • Michigan State University
  • NxGen MDx
  • Michigan Department of Environment, Great Lakes and Energy
  • Spectrum Health
  • Empirical Biosciences
  • Perrigo
  • CMB Molecular Monitoring Lab at GVSU
  • Kent County Health Department
  • Chicago Clinical Research Institute

Q: What financial support is available for students?
A: The department has a limited number of Graduate Assistantships (GAs) which we divide in half in order to provide some support to as many students as possible. Students with a first semester GPA of 3.5 or better are eligible for a half-time GA beginning in their second semester of graduate study. In addition to GAs, many students are able to work to support themselves. International Students may work for a maximum of 20 hours (including any GA) on campus and domestic students may work on or off-campus.


Clinical Dietetics

Q: Do I need to take prerequisites if I have an undergraduate degree in Dietetics?
A: Students who have an undergraduate degree from an ACEND Accredited Didactic Program in Dietetics (DPD) do not need to complete the prerequisite courses.

Q: I have an undergraduate degree that is not in Dietetics. What prerequisites do I need?
A: Students who do not have an undergraduate degree from an ACEND DPD need to complete  prerequisite courses. In order to evaluate previous transcripts to see which prerequisite courses have been completed already, and how courses you have completed would transfer to fulfill, please contact the College of Health Professions Advising Office.

Q: If I get accepted and still have to take a few prerequisite courses, can I take the prerequisite courses over the Spring and Summer semesters, prior to the start of the program and still start in the Fall semester?
A: Yes, you can accept a seat in our program contingent upon successful completion of your remaining prerequisite courses.

Q: How long is your program and is it all online?
A: Our program is 52-55 credits, a coordinated graduate program that is over five semesters (20 months), designed for in-person supervised practice/practicum experiences. Classes are taught using the hybrid/online model, with some in-seat meetings and in-person laboratory experiences. Supervised practice/practicum experiences consist of 1200 hours over the five semesters at sites throughout Michigan and surrounding states.

Q: I am an International Student; can I apply to your program?
A: The Clinical Dietetics Coordinated Graduate Program does not meet the requirements for F-1 students which requires the minimum of one course per semester to be hybrid/online. Our program is five semester and consists four courses per semester in the hybrid/online format.


Communications

Q: Are the courses in this program in-person, hybrid, online, or a mix?
A: The courses are a mix of face-to-face instruction and hybrid. You can see whether your course is face-to-face or hybrid when you register for classes through your Banner account.

Q: If I have a question about the program or graduate education in general, should I contact the GPD in my program, or the Graduate School, or either?
A: If you have program-specific questions for the Master of Science in Communications, contact your Graduate Program Director. For more general questions, feel free to discuss these with your GPD as well, or contact The Graduate School

Q: If I have a question about tuition payment, or other financial questions, whom do I contact?
A: For questions about finances, please contact the Financial Aid Office.

Q: Can my program be taken full-time or part-time?
A: The Master of Science in Communications can be completed either full-time or part-time. Taken part-time, the versatile program can be completed in two to three years, with assistantships available on a competitive basis.

Q: Where are courses offered on the Pew Campus?
A: Courses are offered in nearly every building on the Pew Campus. This campus is very compact and allows for quick travel time between buildings. You can view where classes will be located in the “Instructor/Meeting Times” tab in your Registration Self Service site.

Q: Where can I find a reliable map of the Pew Campus, Allendale Campus, Grand Rapids, and West Michigan?
A: Maps of all Grand Valley campuses, including all satellite locations, can be found on the Grand Valley website under Maps and Directions.

Q: Can someone give me a tour of the Pew Campus?
A: All tour options for incoming students can be found on the Admissions website under Graduate Campus Visit. These tour options include virtual tours, phone appointments, and by appointment in-person visits.

Q: How safe is the Pew Campus?  Where can I find the data?
A: All data on crime statistics for Grand Valley can be found on the Campus Safety website. This website also includes a variety of resources to help the campus community remain a safe environment, including phone numbers for a wide range of campus emergencies and information on COVID-19 policies.

Q: Is security available on the Pew Campus?  If yes, what is the telephone number and email address?
A: Information on the Department of Public Safety, including links to connect with GVPD. The phone number to contact the Department of Public Safety is (616) 331-3255 and the GVPD Non-Emergency number for Pew Campus is (616) 456-3400.

Q: Is the Speech Lab available on the Pew Campus?  Where?
A: While the Speech Lab is based on the Allendale Campus, there are speech consultants available to students in the Steelcase Library on the Pew Campus. Hours of operation for the speech consultants can be found on the Speech Lab website.

Q: Is the Writing Center available on the Pew Campus?  Where?
A: While the Writing Center is based on the Allendale Campus, there are writing consultants available to students in the Steelcase Library on the Pew Campus. There are also options to meet virtually with consultants and to submit an email consultation. For more information an hours of operation for the writing consultants, check out the Writing Center website.

Q: Where can one dine on the Pew Campus?  What is the weekly schedule?
A: There are many options to dine on the Pew campus, many of which are located in the DeVos Center. For specific locations and hours, which change based on class breaks, check out the Campus Dining website.

Q: Where is the bookstore on the Pew Campus?  Is there more than one bookstore on the Pew Campus?
A: The Laker Store on Pew Campus can be found on the first floor of DeVos Center building C, near the Starbucks. This is the only bookstore location on the Pew campus.

Q: Is assistance for students with disabilities available on the Pew Campus?
A: Disability Support Resources are available to all students on the Pew Campus. For information on how to request these services, visit the Disability Support Resources website.

Q: Is a counselling center available on the Pew Campus?
A: Yes, the counselling center on Pew Campus is located in DeVos Center Building B-101. This location is currently closed to in-person appointments due to COVID-19, but telehealth appointments are available. For more information, visit the counselling center website.


Criminal Justice

Q: Why should I pursue a master’s degree in Criminal Justice (M.C.J.)?
A: In addition to advancing your understanding and knowledge in criminal justice and criminology, an M.C.J. degree will keep you current in the field. Given the ever-changing climate of crime and justice, careers in criminal justice increasingly require an advanced degree. An M.C.J. degree will help you obtain a variety of positions in the field, including (but not limited to): federal agency (FBI, DEA, DHS), probation officer (juvenile, state and federal), careers in criminal research/analysis and investigation, security and private security management positions, advanced law enforcement positions, correctional programming, and leadership and management positions across all sectors of public safety.

Q: How long does it take to earn an M.C.J. degree?
A: The M.C.J. program requires 36 credit hours, which includes the culminating experience (Thesis, OR Capstone Course). For students who attend full-time (nine credits per semester), the degree takes four semesters/two years; for students who attend part-time (six credits per semester) the program takes six semesters/three years for completion. If students choose to also take courses over the summer, the degree can be completed in under two years (full-time) or two and a half years (part-time).

Q: Is the M.C.J. program fully online?
A: The M.C.J. program is not currently offered fully online; however, the program is hybrid. This means that all courses in the program are taught in hybrid format (partially in-seat/partially online) and some classes are taught fully online. Additionally, hybrid courses are offered in a ‘staggered’ schedule, so that you will only need to come to campus 1-2 days per week (full-time) or 0-1 day per week (part-time).

Q: How do I apply for a Graduate Assistantship?
A: All students who have been accepted into the M.C.J. program are eligible to apply for a Graduate Assistantship. Applications are distributed (via the GVSU email system) every January, and are due in February (be sure to check your GVSU email for information and deadlines). Graduate Assistantship awards are announced in March for the following academic year.

Q: Can I transfer credits from another university/program?
A: If you have completed courses in another, related graduate program, it is possible for these credits to be counted towards your M.C.J. degree. You will need to submit a written request and provide a syllabus from the course(s) you wish to have transferred; the M.C.J. graduate committee will review your request and make the decision. No more than (9) credits can be transferred into your degree program.


Cybersecurity

Q: Are there assistantships available / how do I apply for an assistantship?
A: The School of Computing (which includes Cybersecurity) has some assistantship positions. However, these are normally assigned to students who get to know their professors who can then recommend them for available opportunities. It would be very rare for a student to receive a Graduate Assistantship position in our department prior to the first semester of academic work. Some students obtain assistantships in other departments. It is also common for our students to obtain jobs and internships at local companies while pursuing the master’s degree.

Q: Do I need to take the GRE?
A: The GRE is required if your undergraduate GPA is below a 3.0. If your undergraduate GPA is 3.0 or above, the GRE will not be necessary.

Q: Do I need any prior background or experience in Cybersecurity?
A: We have students in the program with all levels of prior experience, ranging from none at all to several years of job experience. Our curriculum is designed with no assumptions about your prior Cybersecurity education or experience. The required courses will cover all necessary Cybersecurity knowledge and skills.

Q: Do I need any prior background or experience in computer programming?
A: Students who do not have background knowledge in computer programming will be required to take an undergraduate class such as CIS 160, CIS 161, or CIS 162 prior to taking CIS 500, which is a prerequisite for many of the classes in the Cybersecurity curriculum. Another option for students with no prior computer programming experience is taking an online computer programming class prior to joining our Cybersecurity program.

Q: Can any classes be waived if I have a strong background?
A: For those with sufficient knowledge in programming and/or computer networking, other classes may be substituted for CIS 500 and/or CIS 501. For those with a particularly strong background in an area directly coinciding with another required course, credit may be available by exam in accordance with GVSU’s policy on converting professional learning into graduate degree credit.


Data Science and Analytics (DSA)

Q: Am I qualified to apply?
A: We welcome applications from students from any academic background.  However, a base level of preparation is required in the area of statistics and computer science.  Students should have the equivalent of GVSU STA 216 Intermediate Applied Statistics and CIS Fundamentals of Software Practice.

Q: Are there scholarships or Graduate Assistantships (GA) available?
A: There are no scholarships, but we do have a limited number of GA positions.  It is a competitive process since we normally have many more requests for positions than we have openings.  After your application has been approved you should express your interest in a GA to the Graduate Program Director and your information will be entered into the GA selection process.

Q: What is the cost and duration of the program?
A: The DSA program requires 36 credits (above any credits from preparatory classes if they are deemed necessary). Students can study full-time, taking nine credits per semester and finishing in two years. Students can also take one or two classes per semester if they prefer to balance other responsibilities but of course it will take longer to finish. Current tuition rates are available through the Office of Financial Aid and Scholarships.

Q: Is the student responsible for finding an internship?
A: Yes, students must search for and locate an internship that matches their skills and objectives.  Many employers post internship positions on the GVSU employment site Handshake. Additionally, other internship opportunities are posted on our Professional Science Master’s website and sent out by the Graduate Program Director.

Q: What kinds of jobs are available?
A: Our graduates typically receive job offers in one of three areas: data engineering, data analysts, and data scientists.  Data engineers solve problems related to retrieving, processing and organizing data, cleaning data, and building the pipelines that provide analytical support to business managers. Data analysts work with decision makers to answer complex questions that require data science tools.  Data scientists design and implement complex models to solve unique data centered problems.

Q: Do I need to take the GRE?
A: Neither the GRE nor the GMAT are required for admission to the DSA program.


Education Programs (General)

Q: How many credits do I need to qualify for financial aid?  
A: Six credits and full admission into a graduate program (non-degree seeking students are not qualified for financial aid).

Q: Are there scholarships available?  
A: Education-specific scholarships are available on Education's scholarship page. University/other scholarships are available through myScholarships.

Q: What do I need to do if my employer is covering my tuition?  
A: Contact the Financial Aid Office for more information: [email protected] or (616) 331-3234.  For GVSU Charter School employees, please contact Jayme Lesperance at (616) 331-6964 or [email protected], or visit GVSU’s Charter Schools Office page.

Q: How many credits can I transfer in from other institutions? Undergraduate programs? Work experience for credit? 
A: Contact the Graduate Program Director for information on transfer credit.

Q: Can I come back to finish a degree I started at GVSU 10+ years ago? 
A: GVSU’s policy is that all courses need to be completed within 8 years for a graduate degree. In some cases, exceptions to the 8-year time limit may be granted. For courses older than 10 years, sometimes students are asked to repeat courses, take alternative courses, or complete an independent study to prove their currency in the coursework that is outdated. Please contact The Graduate School for more information.

Q: The GRE is listed on the admission application but isn’t listed as a requirement on my individual academic program’s webpage; am I required to take the GRE?
A: The GRE is not required for admission into any of the Education graduate programs, so this portion of the admission application can be skipped.

Q: What is the RCR and why am I required to complete it?  
A: The RCR is the Responsible Conduct of Research training and certification module that must be completed prior to conducting any research and before graduation.  This is free to you, and is typically completed before/during EDF 660, but must be completed before the capstone course (ED* 693/695).  More information on this can be found on the Graduate Education Programs page.

Q: What does it look like to take a course fully asynchronously online?  
A: Asynchronous online courses do not have a set meeting time, but do follow a normal semester schedule so they are not fully self-paced.  Some courses might have weekly modules that need to be completed, with particular due dates for assignments, discussion boards, journals, etc.  More information regarding online education can be found on GVSU’s Online Education page.

Q: Where can I see how many courses I still have left to complete my degree?  
A: For the best advising on which courses are still needed to complete your degree, please contact your Graduate Program Director or the Office of Certification and Accreditation (new name for SISC) at (616) 331-6650. You can also check your MyPath, which is a tool designed to assist you in preparing for and tracking your progress toward graduation. 

  • If you are seeking a teaching endorsement and would like to know how many classes are left to complete, MyPath might not give a clear picture of your program, so please contact your Graduate Program Director or the Office of Certification and Accreditation at (616) 331-6650.

Educational Leadership

Q: What is the time frame in which I can complete my degree?
A: It is a two to three years full-time program or a four to five year part-time program. Students who take one course in the Fall, Winter, and Spring/Summer, can complete in just over three years. Students can, however, move more quickly or take more time (program must be completed within eight years).

Q: I work at a GVSU Authorized Charter School.  Tell me about the Master of Education Scholarship Program
A: See details in the following link for details about the Master of Education Scholarship Program

Q: May I complete the program entirely online or will I have to come to campus? 
A: The program offers delivery of course content in an online (asynchronous/synchronous) and hybrid formats. 

Q: I want to become an administrator. Is this the program for me?
A: This program offers a master’s degree with an emphasis in K-12 administration and leadership. Simultaneously, students can complete the courses required by the state of Michigan to be eligible for administrator certification. This program is endorsed by the state of Michigan and candidates successfully completing the program will become eligible for K-12 certification within the state.

Q: How often are courses offered? 
A: All courses are offered every semester (Fall, Winter, and Spring/Summer) so students have a wide degree of choice on when and how many courses they take.


Educational Technology

Q: I have applied for the Master of Education (M.Ed.) program for Educational Technology. What should I do now?
A: After being accepted to the program, please go to the Education Technology resources site and take the GVSU EDT Technology Assessment. This technology self-assessment is designed to ensure that students who take graduate educational technology emphasis area courses have the knowledge and skill required to be successful in these classes.

Fill out, sign, and return a planned program sheet for the M.Ed. degree in Educational Technology: this sheet can be obtained from your faculty advisor or by e-mailing [email protected]. A planned program can be setup for the master’s degree as well as the professional certificate option. You may take six credits in the program prior to committing to a planned program. This Adobe Acrobat format file (PDF) can be opened in Acrobat Reader and allows you to enter your personal information into the planned program form. Open the file and click on the Name, Student G-number, Address, etc. fields and type in your information. To officially sign the document, you will also need a digital ID. If you already have one, you can attach it when you click on the Student Signature field. If you do not have one, you can create one by following the instructions and prompts. Once signed, you should send the updated planned program to [email protected].

Q: Which elective courses qualify in this program?
A: If you are a K-12 teacher, you are required to complete a field experience (EDT 685) as part of your planned program. This field experience replaces elective credits for K-12 teachers in the program. For professionals in the field of education (i.e. non-K-12 teachers), elective credits can take the form of graduate courses at GVSU, graduate courses from other colleges of universities that are accredited, or graduate-level credits offered by school districts, ISD’s, or other academic agencies. Please talk with your academic advisor to discuss valid elective courses.

Q: What are my options for a Capstone?
A: GVSU offers students two (2) options for completing their M.Ed. capstone experience: a development project (EDT 693) or a research/thesis (EDT 695).

EDT 693 Project - A project involves curriculum or program development, and applies theory to practice. For a project, students create, implement (in EDT 685), and evaluate a product of personal interest that is used in a professional capacity.

EDT 695 Thesis - A thesis is a traditional research capstone where an advanced degree candidate gathers data, analyzes that data, and presents the results along with their interpretations. During a thesis, students implement and evaluate a research study, analyze data to answer a research question, or test a hypothesis in an area of interest.

Students may choose either option- note there are different requirements depending on your choice. Information on the Education website provides help when choosing a thesis or project, as does course work completed in EDT 621: Topics in Educational Technology. Students who choose to complete a project (EDT 693) must submit an application (available online) the term before they plan to complete their project. There are deadlines for applications for each term.

Students who choose to complete a thesis (EDT 695) must declare their choice between 30-60% of completion of their course work (after completing 12-18 credits, during EDT 621), must identify a thesis advisor, form a thesis committee, and register for EDT 695. Those students who select a thesis but are unable to finish it in one term may enroll in EDT 696 in subsequent terms. Other university requirements for completion of a thesis (EDT 695) can be found on the Graduate School's Thesis and Dissertation Information page. Students who are considering a thesis (EDT 695) are encouraged to talk with their advisor after completion of 18-credits so they can designate their plans as required by GVSU.

Q: I just found out I am required to complete the Responsible Conduct of Research online training. Can you explain this requirement?
A: The GVSU Graduate School requires Responsible Conduct of Research (RCR) training to ensure that all graduate students at GVSU meet requirements regarding research training. Students in the Educational Technology program must complete RCR "Stage 1- Basic", which consists of seven modules. RCR must be completed prior to completion of 50% of the graduate program, or prior to engaging in any research activity. Research activity includes enrollment in the capstone project (EDT 693) or thesis (EDT 695). RCR Certification expires after 3 years, and must be current while engaging in any research activity. More information about RCR is available on the Responsible Conduct of Research (RCR) Requirement page.


Higher Education

Q: What are the differences between the Adult and Higher Education (AHE) and the College Student Affairs Leadership (CSAL) emphases?
A: The degree program is the same, all graduates will earn a Master of Education (M.Ed.) in Higher Education. There are some courses shared across the major emphases, and some that are required for CSAL or AHE. The AHE emphasis is 36 credits and does not require two internships/practica—many AHE students currently work full time in related fields. AHE students are not required to enroll full-time and can begin coursework in the Fall, Winter, or Spring/Summer semesters. The CSAL emphasis is a cohort model where students are enrolled full-time beginning the fall semester of each year—nine credits per semester with six during the summer between the two years for a total of 42 credits. Many of these students also hold Graduate Assistantships on campus at GVSU (20 hours per week).

Q: Can I complete an M.Ed. in Higher Education from GVSU online?
A: No—our program is considered hybrid; all students will be required to take at least one fully in-seat course, and several classes require meeting in-person for at least six weeks during the semester.

Q: How can I learn more about the CSAL emphasis and the available Graduate Assistantships?
A: Please visit the College Student Affairs Leadership website where you can learn more about our program, the Graduate Assistantship process and timeline, and register for informational events.

Q: What can I do with a degree in Higher Education?
A: Graduates of the Higher Education program will be equipped with the theoretical basis to serve in student affairs positions such as admissions, orientation, housing, campus recreation, and more.

Q: Is an assistantship required for Higher Education students?
A: No, we do not require graduate assistantships, however, we strongly encourage gaining practical experience alongside academic coursework—whether this is through full-time, related employment, a part-time Graduate Assistantship, or practica and internship experiences (required for CSAL students). The ability to see how concepts, theories, and philosophies of the student affairs and higher education professions present in practice is invaluable and strongly correlates with job market preparedness.


Instruction & Curriculum - Elementary Education

Q: Which courses can be completed online, and where are face-to-face classes held?
A: All in-person courses are held on the Pew Campus in downtown Grand Rapids. EDI 630 and EDI 631 are offered face-to-face , or in a hybrid format that requires some in-person class attendance. EDI 637 and EDI 639 are offered in a hybrid format. The EDI 685 practicum is completed in an elementary classroom. All other courses are offered online or do not require in-person class attendance.

Q: What advanced credentials will this program provide, or what will this program enable me to do outside of classroom teaching?
A: The Master of Education in Elementary Education provides advanced professional development for certified elementary teachers. It does not provide any additional Michigan teaching endorsements.

Q: How long will the program take, or how fast can I finish it?
A: Students must complete the program within eight years, but can finish the 33-credit program in less than two years by enrolling in multiple courses each semester and/or completing courses in the summer.

Q: When are specific courses offered?
A: This may vary with each year’s schedule. Typically, three of the four Elementary Core courses – EDI 630, EDI 631, and EDI 633 – are only offered once a year. All other courses are offered at least twice a year. The annual schedule of courses is posted each year on or around March 1, and graduate students may register for the following three semesters later in March.


Instruction & Curriculum – Educational Differentiation

Q: What kind of jobs would be available to me if I pursue a degree in Educational Differentiation?
A: The degree will help classroom teachers meet the needs of their students. You will take courses in meeting the needs of gifted students (talent development) and in developing talent with students that have special needs (or with students that fall into both categories. Additionally, graduates of the program often become instructional coaches with their school or district to help other classroom teachers differentiate in more meaningful ways.

Q: Tell me your favorite thing about your program.
A: This program allows students to take graduate coursework that is immediately useful with their K-12 class. Additionally, I love that I get to develop a deep bond and relationship with my students. I teach over half of the courses in the program so we really get to know each other. (answered by Prof. Kelly Margot, PhD)

Q: Can I set up an online meeting to ask a few additional questions or gain clarity?
A: Absolutely! I love to meet with prospective students. Just email me that you are interested in setting up a meeting at [email protected]. (answered by Prof. Kelly Margot, PhD)

Q: What elective should I take?
A: We recommend you take the reading requirement for your professional certificate. Further information and a list of approved courses can be found on GVSU's Education Programs page.

Q: What courses will I need to take?
A: You can find the required courses on the educational differentiation portion of the GVSU catalog.

Q: How do I apply?
A: Applying for the Educational Differentiation program is pretty simple. First, fill out the application and then wait to hear back from the university about your application status. Email Prof. Kelly Margot with any questions at [email protected].


Education Specialist – Educational Leadership

Q: Who usually enrolls in this program?
A: Our most frequent students are those preparing for district or central office leadership in the pre-K to 12th grade settings. That said, because the program examines leadership in depth, students studying higher education or those employed in non-profit settings have also been a part of the Education Specialist program and found it to beneficial. Students who finish are eligible for central office endorsement through the Michigan Department of Education.

Q: Why would someone engage in the Education Specialist as opposed to enrolling directly in a doctoral program?
A: The completion rate of doctoral programs historically has been about 50%, and though there may be understandable reasons for that, few professionals will list on their resume beginning a doctoral program but not finishing (refer to this International Journal of Higher Education article for details). By contrast, the Education Specialist is a 30-credit program that culminates in an internship to develop a student’s career and educational goals.

Q: What is the format for instructional delivery?
A: Hybrid-hyflex is the model which means students can either meet in person with professors or zoom into the classroom while others are in person. The hybrid means that in person or virtual meetings take place about once per month in a semester.

Q: How long does it take to complete the program?
A: Students who take one course in the Fall, Winter, and Spring/Summer, can complete the program in just over three years. Students can, however, take more or less time completing the degree (within eight years).

Q: Does this program connect to doctoral programs in Educational Leadership?
A: Yes, Central Michigan University and Eastern Michigan University will accept 90% of the credits from a completed Education Specialist toward their doctoral programs.


Engineering

Q: Who is eligible to apply to the Master of Science in Engineering (M.S.E.) program?
A: The M.S.E. program at GVSU is designed for applicants with a bachelor’s degree in any Engineering field. Applicants with a bachelor’s degree in Engineering usually complete the 33-credit graduate program in four semesters but can choose an accelerated program plan to complete the degree in as little as 12 months.

The M.S.E. program at GVSU is also open to applicants with a bachelor’s degree in other STEM disciplines (e.g. Chemistry, Biomedical Sciences, Mathematics etc.). These students will need to complete a slate of prerequisite undergraduate engineering classes before embarking on the M.S.E. curriculum. Students may choose to pursue an M.S.E. in Biomedical Engineering (Bioelectrical or Biomechanical tracks), Electrical and Computer Engineering, Mechanical Engineering, Product Design and Manufacturing Engineering, or Manufacturing Operations.

Q: Why should I choose the M.S.E. program at GVSU?
A: The GVSU M.S.E. program is unique and desirable for three main reasons:

  • it provides students with hands-on engineering skills deeply rooted in a comprehensive theoretical base to ensure that we produce graduate students with the ability to be innovative;
  • it draws on our strong community partnerships with local industry and research groups to provide experiential learning opportunities for our students; and
  • it offers flexible options so we can customize a student-centric curriculum to match the individual student’s training, experience, and career goals.

Q: What financial aid can I expect?
A: A majority of our graduate students can expect some level of financial assistance to fund their MSE coursework. All financial aid package decisions are merit based.  Usually we offer partial Graduate Assistantships to incoming students on a competitive basis. Information about Graduate Assistantships can be found on TGS website. We also have a number of scholarships and fellowships, outside of the traditional Graduate Assistantship model, that are routinely awarded.

Q: Do you require the GRE?
A: Students who have graduated from a non-ABET accredited engineering program from an international university need to provide GRE scores. GRE scores are optional for students who have graduated from US-based, ABET accredited engineering programs. Though we do not have a stated minimum score, recent data shows that students with combined GRE scores in verbal and quantitative below 300 are less likely to be successful in our program. International students will also need to satisfy English Language Proficiency requirement as stated on the GVSU catalog.  

Q: What is a combined bachelor’s and master’s degree program?
A: A combined-degree program allows students to complete a specific number of graduate-level credits (up to 12 credit hours) while enrolled as an undergraduate student at GVSU. Approved graduate credit hours will satisfy degree requirements for both degrees. This combined program allows students to graduate with their bachelor’s and master’s degrees in a shortened timeframe. Combined degree students are eligible for graduate funding while taking graduate level courses.


Health Administration

Q: What undergraduate degree(s) are accepted for the Master of Health Administration (M.H.A.)?
A: We accept students from any undergraduate or graduate degree program.

Q: What application materials do I have to submit when applying to the M.H.A. program?
A: A complete application to the M.H.A. program includes the following items:

  • The GVSU graduate application form
  • An official transcript from each undergraduate and graduate institution you have attended
  • A short essay on your educational and career objectives, and how attaining an M.H.A. from GVSU will help achieve your objectives (250 to 750 words)
  • Your up-to-date resume
  • Three references from people who can describe your work and potential for the program, such as professors or work supervisors
  • International applications should include official English language test score documentation
  • International applications must also include verification of financial support
  • We accept standard graduate test scores (such as the GRE), but they are not required

Q: If I don’t have a 3.0 GPA at the undergraduate level, can I still get admitted?
A: Yes, it is possible, though it is best if your GPA was at least 2.8 and you are a US citizen or resident. If your undergraduate GPA was under 3.0, we will consider different factors and you may be admitted with a conditional status. As a conditional student, you will be required to take certain courses with a lighter load and complete all with a minimum 3.0 GPA for those courses. Factors we consider include the pattern of low grades (certain course topics or time period) and evidence of professional growth. If you have a lower GPA, we recommend that you meet with the M.H.A. Program Director to discuss your particular situation. Note that we are unable to admit international applicants with conditional status, so international applications with GPAs under 3.0 are unlikely to be approved.

Q: What are the deadlines for application?
A: We accept applications for Fall and Winter semester starts. The Fall semester start deadline is June 30. The Winter semester start deadline is October 15. Exceptions may be made on an individual basis.

Q: How long does it take to get an admission decision?
A: Admission reviews occur on a rolling basis and typically take one to two weeks.

Q: What types of careers can I pursue with this degree?
A: The majority of recent graduates obtain positions in health care organizations in administrative and management positions, including Practice Manager, Nursing Home Administrator, Compliance Officer, Talent Acquisition Analyst, Risk Management Analyst, Product Manager, and more. Types of organizations where our alumni work include hospitals, health plans, pharmaceutical companies, clinical practice groups, community clinics, and others.

Q: Why choose this program instead of a different degree, such as an M.B.A., M.P.H., M.P.A., or M.S.N.?
A: While health care leaders have completed different degrees, the M.H.A. is the most common and recognized degree for healthcare management and executive positions nationwide. In comparison to M.B.A. and M.P.A. degrees, an M.H.A. provides more health care-specific content. In comparison to M.P.H. and M.S.N. degrees, an M.H.A. provides more management content. The M.H.A. is designed to prepare students to work in a variety of health care settings in management and leadership positions. We have a number of alumni with clinical backgrounds, such as nurses, who moved into management roles within their organizations, sometimes before completing the M.H.A.

Q: How long does it take to complete this degree?
A: The program is six semesters in duration. Students attending full-time (nine credits per semester) in Fall, Winter, and Spring/Summer semesters can complete the program in two years.

Q: Can I pursue this degree fully online?
A: Currently our program is in hybrid format, with courses including a combination of in-person meetings and online coursework. We are exploring a fully online option.

Q: Can you help me fund my degree (assistantships, scholarships)?
A: To learn about scholarships, please visit the GVSU Scholarship page. Many Graduate Assistantships are posted on the Graduate School website. The department has a limited number of Graduate Assistantships available. The application form and process are available on the assistantships portion of the SPNHA website.

Q: When are classes held?
A: Most courses are held on weekday evenings from 6 p.m. until 8:50 p.m. A few courses meet every other Saturday morning. This schedule accommodates most working students.

Q: Can I work full-time while I complete this degree?
A: Yes. About half of current students work full-time.

Q: What are some important things to know about this program?
A: Our M.H.A. program has a number of strengths:

  • CAHME accreditation—ensures we meet industry standards for high quality health administration graduate education. Our program is one of only three CAHME-accredited health administration graduate degrees in Michigan
  • Executive-in-Residence—a former health system executive teaches courses, advises students, and provides professional guidance to students
  • Flexibility—we do not require students to complete the program full-time, and allow students to switch between full-time and part-time study as needed
  • Field-based projects—several courses require completion of projects for local organizations, allowing students to get a feel for how implementation happens in real work settings and at different organizations
  • Health Professions Graduate Student Alliance—is our graduate student organization and the student chapter for the Great Lakes Chapter of the American College of Healthcare Executives. The organization provides networking opportunities with local health care leaders, leadership opportunities, and financial support for conference travel
  • The number of internships required is based on your healthcare work experience. Those new to the field complete two internships, those with just a few years of experience complete one, and those with six or more years of experience are able to waive both internships. Internships are important means to provide different types of professional experiences and to build students’ professional networks.

Q: Can I start this program in Fall, Winter, or Summer semesters?
A: Students may start the program in Fall semester (August) or Winter semester (January). We do not allow starting the program in the Spring/Summer semester.

Q: What if I can only take one or two classes a semester – is that allowed?
A: Yes, many of our students who work full-time complete one or two courses at a time. Students have up to eight years to complete the degree.


Health Informatics and Bioinformatics

Q: What's the difference between Health Informatics and Bioinformatics?
A: Health informatics (H.I.) is the health care focused subfield of biomedical informatics, the interdisciplinary field that studies and pursues the effective uses of biomedical data, information, and knowledge for scientific inquiry, problem-solving and decision making, motivated by efforts to improve human health. (A.M.I.A.) Bioinformatics is conceptualizing biology in terms of molecules (in the sense of physical chemistry) and applying informatics techniques (derived from disciplines such as applied math, computer science, and statistics) to understand and organize the information associated with these molecules, on a large scale. In short, Bioinformatics is a management information system for molecular biology and has many practical applications. (Luscombe et al., Method Inform Med 2001; 40: 346 58)

Therefore, (Bio)medical Informatics is computer-based informations management in medicine and health care, while Bioinformatics is the same in (mostly molecular) biology. There is a distinction between Clinical, Health-, Imaging, Translational, and Bioinformatics and Computational Biology among others (see Shortliffe, Biomedical Informatics: Computer Applications in Health Care and Biomedicine (Health Informatics), 4th ed., ch. 1.). Bioinformatics and Computational Biology are frequently used synonymously for the study of biology using computational and quantitative methods.

Q: What do I need to do to be successful in graduate school?
A: Graduate students typically are educated to assume leadership positions. To learn leadership skills early on, learning in graduate school is very different from undergraduate. Graduate school requires much more self-motivation and initiative than being an undergraduate student. You have much greater control over your own education and what you gain from it. It is your responsibility to take advantage of that opportunity. See your advisor frequently, participate in as many extracurricular events in your field as possible, and plan ahead. Graduate school is much more challenging but much more enjoyable than being an undergraduate student. You need to learn how to multi-task, plan and coordinate complex work and anticipate problems. You need to work very hard and manage your time. You need to absorb lots of information, analyze data, and interpret and synthesize findings to provide new and useful knowledge. Then you need to learn how to communicate that knowledge to others in written and oral formats. Throughout all of this, people skills and networking will be required. Take advantage of the many people that can help you be successful, including undergrads, fellow grad students, professors, and other experts in the field. Take advantage of all the resources in the university including computer labs, software programs, the library etc. If you have questions on what it means to be a grad student, see your advisor.

Q: How do I qualify for the M.S.D.N. Academic Alliance Program?
A: In order to qualify for this program, you need to fall in one of the following categories:

  • Faculty/staff of the College of Engineering and Computing.
  • Currently taking a CS, IS, CIS, MBI or EGR class during the semester.

If you are in one of these groups, you will receive your username and password for the current semester through your GVSU email. You do not need to contact the GVSU M.S.D.N. Academic Alliance Administrator.

Q: How long will my account last?
A: If you are taking a College of Engineering and Computing class, your account will be automatically activated during the second week of classes and will remain active until the end of the semester. There may be a period of overlap between semesters in which your account will stay active (though this may not always be the case). The administration also reserves the right to deny any student access at any time. If it has been determined the student is using their account for non-educational purposes or is distributing software to persons not enrolled in the university, their account will be terminated.

Q: When do I obtain an EOS Account?
A: When students take a 300-level CIS course or higher class, they are automatically assigned their own personal EOS Account the first week of classes. You should be notified by the EOS System Administrator Mr. Ira Woodring ([email protected]) with a temporary password. Please change the password at your earliest convenience.

Q: How long do I keep my EOS Account?
A: EOS Accounts are removed mid-Fall semester for those students who are not currently enrolled. Users will be notified via their GVSU student email address one week prior to account deletion. All accounts are archived before deletion.


Medical Dosimetry

Q: What are the prerequisite courses for this program?
A: The following courses or their equivalents must be completed prior to admission:

  • BMS 250 - Anatomy and Physiology I
  • BMS 251 - Anatomy and Physiology II
  • PHY 220 - General Physics I with Lab
  • PHY 221 - General Physics II with Lab
  • RIT 322 - Radiation Biology
  • RIT 330 - Radiation Therapy Principles and Practices I
  • RIT 331 - Radiation Therapy Principles and Practices I Laboratory
  • RIT 401 - Radiologic Information Technology

Q: I do not have a degree in Radiation Therapy, can I apply to the program?
A: Yes, but prerequisite courses do have to be completed. Please visit the following link for non-Radiation Therapy background applicants.

Q: What are the admissions requirements?
A: The following requirements must be met to be considered for admission:

  • Minimum 3.0 GPA in the prerequisite coursework and in the last 60 hours of coursework
  • Documentation of minimum of 16 hours of volunteer/paid health care experience or two to three hours of job shadowing experience.
  • Three recommendations from health professionals must be submitted on university recommended forms located within the graduate application. Separate letters from references are NOT required. Only three references will be accepted.
  • Satisfactory individual writing samples are required of all final applicants.
  • Foreign-born applicants should be able to communicate well in English. Please see the English Language test requirements.

Q: Can my employer be my clinical site?
A: Yes, but students are not allowed to be paid during clinical education hours. For more information, please review the clinical requirements for Medical Dosimetry.

Q: Can I work full-time and complete the part-time program at the same time?
A: Yes, students can complete this program part-time over the course of five to six semesters.


Nursing (D.N.P. and M.S.N.)

Q: Do I need to come to campus or are courses offered online?
A: Our graduate nursing programs are offered in a hybrid format. Students benefit from the convenience of asynchronous online education but also come to campus once a month for in-seat, face-to-face instruction with other members of their cohort and professors.

Q: How long is the program? Can I go part-time?
A: Yes, we offer customizable learning schedules for our students. How this will look for each student depends on the program, where a student begins, and if a student prefers to go part-time or full-time. For example, a M.S.N. student could choose a part-time plan the first year of the program and a D.N.P. student could choose a part-time option for the first half of the program. The D.N.P. program is two and a half years in length (eight semesters) and the M.S.N. program is one and a half years (five semesters) in length.

Q: Is it possible to work while I’m enrolled?
A: Many students chose to work while in graduate school. It is entirely possible the first half of our programs, but after you start your clinical rotations, it is strongly recommended that you consider scaling back on work commitments in order to have sufficient time to focus on your academic studies.

Q: What are the total costs?
A: We are competitive with other comparable programs throughout the state and regionally. Tuition costs can be found on the Office of Financial Aid and Scholarships page. Approximately 40% of our students secure Graduate Assistantships, some are entitled to employer based tuition reimbursement benefits, and others seek out scholarships – many of our students have their education funded through these options. The academic advisors in KCON are well prepared to help students explore opportunities for financing their education!

Q: What can I do with the M.S.N. degree?
A: The M.S.N. program prepares professional nurses as advanced generalists to serve as leaders at the point of care. Students who complete the M.S.N. are eligible to take the Clinical Nurse Leader Examination. The M.S.N. curriculum is designed to provide students with the leadership skills essential for the integration of evidence-based practice at the bedside and coordination of care delivery process that will improve patient outcomes in a cost-effective, fiscally responsible manner.


Occupational Therapy (Doctorate)

Q: What is the difference between an Entry-Level Doctorate (O.T.D.) and a Post-Professional Doctorate (Dr.O.T.) in Occupational Therapy?
A: Entry Level Doctorate (O.T.D.): This degree prepares entry-level or new practitioners. Students typically must hold a bachelor’s degree in any field of study prior to entering an entry-level doctoral program (AOTA, 2015). Post-Professional Doctorate (O.T.D. or Dr.O.T.): This degree prepares occupational therapists who are already credentialed and practicing occupational therapy professionals with skills that are above entry-level. Students must hold a bachelor’s degree in O.T. and a master’s degree in any field of study or O.T., prior to entering a post-professional doctoral program. GVSU distinguishes the post professional doctorate with use of Dr.O.T. (ASAHP, 2007).

Q: What is the application process?
A: Visit the GVSU Dr.O.T. Webpage and click “Apply Now.” You will be prompted to begin an online application. Items to complete include the General Application, three References, Transcripts, Resume, and a Personal Statement. The $30 application fee is waived if you have previously attended GVSU as either an undergraduate or graduate student. New cohorts are accepted two times each academic year, in both Fall and Winter semesters. Deadline for Fall semester applications is August 1. Deadline for Winter semester applications is December 1. After you submit a complete application, the Dr.O.T. program will contact you for an in person or virtual interview and provide a prompt for the writing sample.

Q: Do I need a Master in O.T. to apply?
A: You do need to have a master’s degree but it doesn’t need to be in O.T. For example, you might have a B.A. or B.S. in O.T. and a Master in Business. This program does not currently offer a bridge option from B.A. or B.S. to Dr.O.T., so students do need a master’s degree for the Post-Professional Program at this time.

Q: How long will the program take me?
A: Students complete 36 credit hours over six consecutive semesters (including Spring/Summer semester). Students will graduate in two years. Students may work with their advisor to determine an alternate timeline for degree completion.

Q: Will it be possible to work while completing this program?
A: YES! In fact, we encourage students to work full or part-time as coursework will relate to your professional career path and interests.

Q:  How often do I need to come to campus?
A: Students travel to GVSU two times total during the two-year program, once for orientation and again for the capstone experience. However, if there is a health crisis or other reason that prevents travel and face-to-face meetings, the Dr.O.T. program will provide a distanced opportunity for orientation and capstone.


Occupational Therapy (Masters)

Q: Does your program application require the GRE?
A: No, the GRE is not required for M.S.O.T. applications.

Q: Which courses can be taken to satisfy the M.S.O.T. prerequisite list of courses?
A: The list of pre-requisite courses can be found as a linked document on our Application Process page, listed as Prerequisite GPA Calculation Form. For courses taken at colleges and universities within the state of Michigan, check this site for course equivalencies. For an expanded list of schools, please utilize the GVSU Course Equivalency page. Applicants with additional pre-requisite questions should contact the College of Health Professions Student Services office at [email protected]

Q: How do I apply?
A: The initial application process involves seven steps:

  1. Review the Candidate Information page and the GVSU Department of Occupational Science and Therapy technical standards. 
  2. Review the Admissions Policy on the Dr.O.T. website.
  3. Complete the Graduate School application via the OTCAS portal. All application materials will be submitted through this online portal.
  4. Submit official transcripts from all colleges and universities attended through the time of application to OTCAS
  5. Submit three electronic evaluations within your OTCAS application – Evaluations can be submitted, in any combination, by a professor, an employer, or an OTR if applicants have volunteered/observed in a clinical setting. Applicants can utilize any combination of recommenders- three professors, a professor and two employers, two employers and an OT, etc. 
  6. Complete and upload the Prerequisite GPA Calculation Form to OTCAS.
  7. Complete and upload the Achievement Profile Form to OTCAS.

Q: At what point in my undergraduate program should I apply?
A: The application deadline for the M.S.O.T. program is January 15. A vast majority of applicants will apply by this date during their senior year of undergraduate coursework. The OTCAS portal opens every year in July, so candidates can begin loading information and documents well in advance of the January deadline. Applicants from GVSU, Central Michigan University, and Hope College who have a 3.5 GPA or higher in both the prerequisite courses and in their last 60 hours of course work are eligible to apply for the M.S.O.T. program by January 15 of their junior year.

Q: What types of experiences count, and should be included, for the achievement profile?
A: Applicants are encouraged to include all possible experiences from both their college and high school careers on their achievement profile. This document is your chance to stand out to the admissions committee; not so much as a student, but to demonstrate who you are as a member of society. Do not worry about where your experiences are listed, the admissions committee will make determinations about where specific items should be counted.

The achievement profile is divided into five categories:

  • Practice (paid health care work)
  • Leadership (any type of formal leadership position you have held)
  • Education (teaching or instructional roles)
  • Research (participant, research assistant, projects and papers)
  • Professional Socialization (what you have done to make the world around you better)

Q: What should I choose as my undergraduate major to be considered for admission to the M.S.O.T. program?
A:
There is no single undergraduate major that is recommended, or preferred, by the M.S.O.T. program. The department has accepted students who majored in English, Spanish, and Dance- so long as the list of prerequisite courses is met, an applicant can major in any undergraduate degree program. While there is no preference on the part of the program, applications are most frequent from students who major in psychology, kinesiology, exercise science, recreational therapy, and allied health sciences.

Q: Your website mentions a five-year rule for prerequisite courses. I graduated in ____, is there a process to waive this five-year rule?
A: The five-year rule starts with the applicant’s graduation date. For 2022, if a candidate graduated in 2018 and was consistently enrolled in their undergraduate degree program, all of their undergraduate coursework would be accepted—even if they took a prerequisite in 2016 or 2017. For applicants who may have graduated 5+ years ago, the process for requesting a waiver involves contacting [email protected], requesting a waiver, and explaining the rationale behind the request. Most often, this involves an applicant who regularly utilizes course content in their professional life. For example, an occupational therapy assistant who works in acute care graduated in 2005. This person utilizes knowledge from anatomy, physiology, kinesiology, and abnormal psychology in the course of their everyday work life. The five-year rule for these courses, and potentially others, would be easily waived based on the applicants work experience.

Q: Do I need to have all of the prerequisites completed when I submit my application?
A: No, at least nine credit hours of prerequisites must be completed at the time of application. The elective and the statistics course are not included in this requirement. Each individual prerequisite course must be completed with a grade of C or better. GPA scores for the prerequisite courses, and for the last 60 hours of undergraduate coursework must both be at or above 3.0.

  • For those candidates with advanced placement (AP) courses, our program will only accept the prerequisite STA 215 equivalent. No other AP courses are allowed when calculating the prerequisite GPA.
  • A plan for completion of prerequisites that are not fulfilled at the time of application must also be included in the prerequisite GPA calculation form.

Q: If I do not have all of the prerequisites completed, how long do I have to finish them?
A: They must be completed by the first day of the Fall semester of that admission cycle year. Each year there are students accepted into the program who complete their remaining pre-requisites either during the Winter or Spring/Summer semesters. Once the remaining courses are completed, admitted students should submit their updated transcripts to [email protected].

Q: Is it more competitive to get into the traditional program than the hybrid program?
A: Both M.S.O.T. programs are competitive as we have more applicants than we have seats in each program. Over the past five years, we have averaged between 175-200 applications for each admissions cycle. Generally, 25-40 of those applications are specific to the hybrid program, which accepts 22 students each year. The remainder of the applications are for the 40 available seats in the traditional program.

Q: Where can I seek assistance with my application issues/questions?
A: If you have difficulty with the OTCAS system, please contact Valinda Stokes at [email protected]. If you need guidance on your application process, please contact our Graduate Student Services office at [email protected].


Philanthropy and Nonprofit Leadership

Q: What is the difference between a Master of Public Administration with an emphasis in Nonprofit Management and a Master of Philanthropy and Nonprofit Leadership (M.P.N.L.)?
A: The M.P.N.L. program is specifically tailored for individuals who are pursuing a career in the nonprofit sector. Our core focus is on equipping current and future nonprofit staff members with the tools necessary to be successful. The Master of Public Administration program is an excellent program for students who may pursue a career in either government or the nonprofit sector.

Q: I see that the program recommends three years of work experience before applying. Can I still apply if I have less experience?
A: Yes! We encourage everyone who is interested in the program to contact us to discuss your application. Depending upon your level of work experience, we may recommend that you complete an internship as part of your program.

Q: I see that you have two main program emphases – Mission Advancement and Community Impact. I am not sure which emphasis is right for me. Can I customize my program?
A: Yes, a faculty advisor will work with you to tailor a program that best meets your needs!

Q: Can the program be completed entirely online?
A: Yes! Beginning in Fall 2021, you can complete the program online, in-person, or hybrid.

Q: What opportunities are there for students to gain hands-on experience with the nonprofit sector?
A: Numerous courses in our program encourage students to work with nonprofit organizations in the Grand Rapids area and the Nonprofit Graduate Student Organization works hard to connect students with alumni and employers in the area.


Physical Therapy

Q: What is a competitive undergraduate GPA for prospective students?
A: Most students that matriculate have an undergraduate GPA > 3.5.

Q: Does the program hold interviews? If not, why?
A: No, the program historically held interviews but we no longer do. We’ve found that other factors of a prospective student’s application are better indicators of potential success in the program.

Q: How many total applicants does the program get?  How many students are admitted?
A: Generally we receive 400-500 applications/cycle. We have 62 seats in the program.

Q: Some schools have prerequisite courses that expire, does that apply at GVSU?
A: GVSU does not have an expiration date for prerequisites. Most of our applicants are one to two years removed from undergraduate programs with recent completion of prerequisites. 

Q: Outside of the 50 shadowing hours, what other experiences should I be getting?
A: In addition to observation hours, GVSU values an application which provides evidence of extracurricular involvement, service, a growth mindset, and leadership.


Physician Assistant Studies

Q: Does your program offer elective clinical rotations?
A: Yes. Students are given eight weeks of elective rotations which are split into two separate rotations.

Q: Does your program offer an international rotation?
A: Yes. We have some international clinical site opportunities for interested students. This would take the place of the elective rotation.

Q: Is there a research aspect of your program?
A: Yes. It is embedded in three evidence-based medicine (EBM) courses. Additionally, our faculty are involved in independent research projects.

Q: What is your program's teaching approach?  (PBL, Lecture, Discussion, Systems, etc.)
A: Traditional lecture (didactic) is delivered in a system-based approach in which students will learn about a specific organ system (e.g. Cardiology) in multiple courses, such as pharmacology clinical medicine and pathophysiology simultaneously. Clinical exam and procedure skills are learned in a hands-on laboratory course that runs concurrently with the other system-based courses. Our program also has small group courses that emphasize problem-based learning and evidence-based medicine embedded within the curriculum.

Another unique feature of our program is the use of Interactive Television (ITV). All of our lecture courses are taught live and streamed via ITV to the distant campus. The use of ITV allows instructors to instruct both campuses simultaneously in real time. Faculty and students are able to see the students and faculty at the distant campus via television screens in the front and back of the lecture room and lecture materials are visible on the drop-down screens at both campuses. Active participation is encouraged between the two campuses and students are able to ask questions during lectures and participate in discussion with faculty and students at the distant campus.

Q: Is there anything unique about your program that you would like to share with students considering your program?
A: The program is intense but with great success rates on boards examinations! This program will prepare students for practice as a PA in a health care team!

Q: How many applicants are accepted each year?
A: The Grand Rapids campus accepts 36 applicants, and the Traverse City campus accepts 12 applicants.

Q: Does your program admit students based on rolling admissions?
A: No, our program has one yearly cohort. A cohort is a term used in our GVSU P.A.S. program to signify a group of students who start the program together in the Fall and progress through the program as one group until graduation.  Our curriculum is set up where students enter the program in August and continue through a pre-set curriculum until the end of the program in December of the following year.

Q: What is the CASPer test?
A: The CASPer test has two components:  the online situational-based judgement test and Snapshot. The online situational-based judgment test includes 12 videos and written scenarios. You will be asked to answer a set of exploratory questions about the scenarios. Your responses are evaluated by trained raters to provide a robust and reliable view of personal and professional characteristics important to the GVSU P.A.S. program. Snapshot is a three-question one-way interview tool that you will also complete when taking the CASPer test. Snapshot is an opportunity for you to demonstrate your personal attributes to the programs you are applying to, including GVSU.

Q: If I was affected by the COVID-19 pandemic and, as a result, I could not complete one or more of the application requirements, can I still apply?
A: The GVSU PAS program has created an Academic Request Form (ARF) specific to issues surrounding closures related to the COVID-19 pandemic. For more information, please view the Admissions Academic Request Form.

Q: Which courses need to be completed by the application deadline?
A: Human Anatomy, Human Physiology, Microbiology, Organic Chemistry, and Biochemistry.
*Note: ALL prerequisite requirements must be completed by May in the year of program matriculation.


Public Administration

Q: What types of scholarships, assistantships, or other funding opportunities are available? 
A: Please see the Graduate School page regarding financial support to learn more about different funding opportunities.

Q: What constitutes full-time vs. part-time status? 
A: A full-time graduate student load is nine credit hours in a semester. It is advised that students who are employed and working full-time should enroll for one or two classes a semester (three to six credit hours).

Q: How long does it take to complete the degree?
A: The degree requires the student to complete 42 credit hours, so the time to completion is dependent upon the student’s pacing in the program. A student who enrolls full-time each semester (i.e. nine credit hours), and makes use of Spring and/or Summer semesters can complete the program in two years.

Q: When and where are in-person classes offered? 
A: In-person courses are offered in the evenings on weeknights to accommodate students coming from work. One-credit courses are frequently offered on Saturdays to accommodate a working schedule. All classes are held on the Grand Rapids campuses.

Q: Is an internship required? 
A: An internship is required for completion of the degree, but a waiver may be obtained by students who have at least three years of full-time employment in organizations relevant to their concentration and career goals.


Public Health

Q: What is the process for applying to the Master of Public Health (M.P.H.) Program?
A: The application process is done completely online. Find the “APPLY NOW!” tab on the homepage of our MPH website.

Q: What prerequisites do I need?
A: No prerequisites are required to be considered for admission to the program.

Q: Is a GRE score required?
A: No GRE score is required to apply to the program.

Q: What types of jobs do you get with a Public Health degree?
A: There are over 1,000 job titles that can be obtained with an M.P.H. degree. Public Health jobs are in a variety of areas including government, policy, advocacy, environmental health, research, global health, nonprofit organizations, hospitals, clinics, health and wellness facilities, academic settings, and more!

Q: How do I learn more information about the program?
A: You may attend an informational session held by the M.P.H. Graduate Program Director, Ranelle Brew (in-person or virtually) to learn more about the program. To RSVP, please visit the About Us section of the MPH website.

Q: What are the differences between the choice of traditional and hybrid delivery methods for the program?
A: The M.P.H. program recognizes that students have different learning styles. The program offers a weekend hybrid program for someone interested in learning online and attending one weekend per semester as well as a traditional, face-to-face program where students attend weekly classes on campus. Both emphasis areas are offered in both formats


Recreational Therapy

Q: When do I start thinking about graduate school?
A: You should start thinking about graduate school during your junior year. It will be important to make sure that you have relevant experiences and coursework prior to applying to the program in your senior year.

Q: Do I need to take the GRE?
A: The GRE is not required for admission into the GVSU Master of Science in Recreational Therapy (M.S.R.T.) program.

Q: What can I do to improve my chances of getting into graduate school?
A: Being involved in school activities and clubs, volunteering with disability groups and organizations, getting involved in professional organizations, and taking on leadership roles are all ways to show your abilities and skills.

Q: What can I do with a Master in Recreational Therapy?
A: Individuals with a M.S.R.T. can move into administrative and management positions in healthcare and social service organizations, work as consultants, own their own businesses, continue their education moving into a doctoral program, or begin to teach at the collegiate level among other things.

Q: What is the purpose of an advanced practice degree?
A: An advanced practice degree focuses on assisting recreational therapists to develop High-level clinical and professional skills. This includes the development of evidence-based skills and translating research into practice.

Q: When should I apply for the M.S.R.T.?
A: The M.S.R.T. application deadline is February 1 for a Fall semester start. Applicants should have all of their materials submitted by this date to ensure consideration for the upcoming academic year.

Q: How is the program set up for course delivery? What are the in-person requirements?
A: The M.S.R.T. is a hybrid delivery program. The majority of coursework will be completed online (both synchronously and asynchronously) with one to two weekends on-campus per semester. Classes will be held on the Health Campus in Grand Rapids in the Finkelstein Building. Students will be informed of the in-person requirements when admitted to the program.

Q: How many students do you admit into the M.S.R.T. program annually?
A: The M.S.R.T. program will admit 20 students per year.

Q: Can I transfer into the M.S.R.T. program at GVSU?
A: No, we do not take transfer students into the graduate program.

Q: What are the prerequisites required for admission into the M.S.R.T.?
A: Prerequisites for admission include: having a bachelor’s degree in Therapeutic Recreation/Recreational Therapy/Recreation with an emphasis in Recreational Therapy from an accredited university prior to starting the M.S.R.T., proof of certification as a CTRS, demonstrated coursework in Research Methods and Introduction to Statistics, and an undergraduate GPA of 3.0 or higher for the last 60 credits in your undergrad degree.

Q: What is the combined-degree M.S.R.T.?
A: The combined-degree M.S.R.T. is a 33-credit master’s with nine dually listed credits that are taken as part of the GVSU undergraduate Recreational Therapy degree. Students in the GVSU Bachelor in R.T. can apply in their first semester in the program to be admitted to the combined BS/MS degree program. Students complete three graduate courses (RTX 504, 505, 510) as undergraduates and then are admitted to the M.S.R.T. program the following academic year.

Q: Are students required to complete a clinical internship?
A: M.S.R.T. students are not required to complete a clinical internship as part of the program. Internships are completed to be eligible to the national credentialing exam to become a Certified Therapeutic Recreation Specialist. Students admitted to the M.S.R.T. program must be CTRS or CTRS-eligible.

Q: How long is the M.S.R.T. program?
A: The M.S.R.T. program is a three-semester program, beginning in Fall with Winter and Spring/Summer courses, followed by graduation.


School Psychology

Q: What makes an applicant competitive for your program?
A: While the applicant pool varies by year, applicants should have experience working in schools and/or with children/teenagers. They should have a strong academic background (typically 3.4+ undergradaute GPA) and good interpersonal skills. Having a clear understanding of the school psychologist’s role is key and research experience is a bonus, but not a necessity.  

Q: Do you recommend I take the GRE?
A: We currently recommend, but do not require, the GRE (General Test). We specifically recommend that applicants with lower GPAs take the GRE to show the admissions committee another measure of their academic skills.  

Q: How many students apply and how many do you admit?
A: Application numbers vary by year, but we have received 50-70 applications in recent years for cohorts of approximately 12 students.  

Q: What prerequisite classes do I need to take if I wasn’t a psychology major?
A: If you do not have an undergraduate psychology major, we typically look to see Child or Lifespan Development, Statistics, and Research Design courses. We may consider waiving a prerequisite course requirement depending on the applicant’s background.  

Q: What types of financial support can graduate students get? Assistantships, Scholarships, etc.?
A: Scholarships are uncommon, but graduate students can qualify for typical forms of financial aid. Some of our students have Graduate Assistantships (GAs) which provide some tuition coverage and stipends for part-time, paid work experiences in various units at the university. We do not guarantee GAs for students, but will assist them with applying if interested.


Social Innovation

Below is a list of frequently asked questions. Have a question that isn’t answered here or just want to learn more about the Social Innovation Master’s Degree at GVSU? You may refer to the SI Admissions page, the SI Program's homepage, or contact the Graduate Program Director, Dr. Azfar Hussain at [email protected].

Q: What can you do with a Master in Social Innovation?
A: Graduates of the Professional M.A. in Social Innovation Program will work as change agents who will foster and lead innovation throughout their organizations, businesses, and communities. Graduates may work in a variety of industries across sectors including, but not limited to: Civic Leadership, Education, Health and Human Services, Nonprofit Organizations, Municipal Government, Sustainability, and Urban Planning.

Q: What are the admissions requirements for the Social Innovation (S.I.) program?
A:
You may view the complete list of requirements on the SI Admissions page.

Q: Are there any specific degree requirements or list of undergraduate courses required to apply for the S.I. program?
A: No, students with virtually any undergraduate degree may apply to the Professional M.A. in Social Innovation Program. Students will need to write a personal statement of career goals and background experiences, including an explanation of how this program will help achieve educational and professional objectives.

Q: Where are the S.I. classes offered and in what format?
A: To accommodate working professionals, S.I. courses are generally offered in the evenings in hybrid format, which is a combination of online and in-person courses at the Robert C. Pew Campus in downtown Grand Rapids.

Q: Is financial aid available for graduate students?
A: Yes, please visit Grand Valley’s Office of Financial Aid and Scholarships.

Q: Are Graduate Assistantships available for S.I. students?
A: A list of Graduate Assistantship (GA) opportunities is available on GVSU’s Graduate School site. Graduate Assistantships pay student tuition in addition to providing a stipend. The amount of tuition coverage and stipend pay varies depending on whether your GA position is half-time or full-time.

Q: What is the relevance or importance of the word “professional” in the program title?
A: “Professional” signifies to prospective students that this master’s program is not geared towards preparing students for doctoral work- it is a terminal degree in itself. P.M.A.S.I. is an applied master’s degree preparing students for careers in cross-sector (for profit/nonprofit/government) professions. Further, the program title differentiates from Professional Science Master’s (P.S.M.) degrees. Grand Valley’s Social Innovation Program is a P.M.A., Professional Master of Arts degree. This is a best practices designation for these programs, as delineated on the Council of Graduate Schools' website.

Q: Is there an orientation for new graduate students?
A: Yes, information about the New Graduate Student Orientation may be found on the virtual orientation page.

Q: What transportation options are available for accessing GV campuses?
A: Students attending Grand Valley may ride The Rapid bus for free with their GVSU-issued ID Card. Students may also purchase parking permits through Parking Services.

Q: What disability support resources are available to S.I. students?
A: Students in need of support or accommodations should contact Disability Support Resources at [email protected] or (616) 331-2490.

Q: Are career center resources available to S.I. students?
A: Yes, please visit GVSU Career Center for more information.

Q: What other resources are available to graduate students at GVSU?
A: The Graduate Student Resources page is packed with useful information, including housing, health insurance, graduate student life, writing resources, and tips for online learning.


Social Work

Q: I did not major in social work. Can I still enter the Master of Social Work (M.S.W.) program?
A: Yes. A student with any undergraduate major can earn their M.S.W. in the Regular Standing Program.

Q: Can I apply for advanced standing?
A: Applicants can apply for advanced standing if they have earned a baccalaureate degree in social work through a CSWE-accredited program within the five years prior to enrollment in the M.S.W. program. Advanced standing students may accelerate their graduate study by completing as few as 38 credit hours of curriculum in one calendar year.

Q: Can I take a M.S.W. course if I have not been admitted to the M.S.W. program?
A: Applicants who are not seeking the M.S.W. degree or have not completed all the admissions requirements are considered to be nondegree-seeking. These students may earn up to six social work credits in the School of Social Work by selecting up to two of the following courses: SW600, SW601, SW610, and SW620.

Q: How many credit hours do I need to complete to earn my M.S.W.?
A: The M.S.W. degree consists of a minimum of 60 credit hours. Advanced standing students are exempted from 22 hours of first-year-core or foundation courses and the first semester of field education and may therefore accelerate their graduate study by completing only the remaining 38 hours of degree requirements in one calendar year.

Q: What is the Weekend Hybrid M.S.W. Program?
A: The Weekend Hybrid M.S.W. program is available to applicants with an accredited B.S.W. and who meet admission criteria. This is a part-time program in which students take two seven-week courses per semester. The courses are offered online with two in person Saturday sessions.

Q: Can I take my M.S.W. courses online?
A: The M.S.W. program is an in-person format program. However, the program does offer sessions of most courses in an online or hybrid format.

Q: Is there an internship requirement to complete the M.S.W. degree?
A: Yes, students are required to complete two semesters (Advanced standing) or three semesters (Regular standing) of Field Education credits to earn their M.S.W. degree.

Q: Can I get course credit for life experiences or previous work experience?
A: The School of Social Work does not grant academic credit for life experience and previous work experience, in whole or in part, in lieu of social work courses.

Q: What will I need to complete my application?
A: You can start your electronic application now, and save it to finish later. To complete it, you will need:

  • Official transcripts from all institutions of higher education previously attended, other than Grand Valley, sent from those institutions directly to the GVSU Admissions Office.
  • Names and contact information for three references
  • Resume detailing work and volunteer experiences
  • Coursework requirement form
  • Personal Statement (see instructions under Program-specific Application Requirements)
  • $30 nonrefundable application fee (unless you have previously applied to Grand Valley)

Speech-Language Pathology

Q: When are students admitted into the program?
A: We admit students once a year, Fall semester, into the master's program.

Q: Is the program offered online?  
A: We do not offer the Master's in Speech-Language Pathology online.

Q: May I take the master's program part-time?  
A: We do not have a part-time option. The program is full-time for four consecutive semesters.

Q: Does Grand Valley State University have a speech-language clinic?
A: No. Clinical practicum is completed in the community. Students are placed up to two hours from the Raleigh J. Finkelstein Hall. Placements outside this two-hour radius may be available upon request, pending appropriate affiliation agreements with the site. The final Fall semester is a full-time unpaid clinical internship, and placements outside the two-hour radius may be most appropriate during this semester.

Q: Are Graduate Assistantships available?
A: Typically, two half-time Graduate Assistantships are available. These are awarded based on the materials submitted for application to the program. 

Q: What will my schedule look like if I enroll in the Master in Speech Language Pathology?
A: Due to the accelerated nature of the program, you will be in class or clinical placements Monday-Friday for most of the day.


Taxation

Q: How long does the program take to complete?  
A: 15-36 months (varies).

Q: How many credit hours are required for the degree?
A: 33 credits.

Q: What is the course delivery type?
A: We offer a variety of delivery modalities: in-seat, hybrid, or online. Please talk with the Graduate Program Director regarding the specific program and delivery options.

Q: How much does the program cost?
A: Approximately $30,000 total program costs (this includes tuition, course fees, parking, books, and other supplies).

Q: Are any entry exams required?
A: Currently, the Seidman College of Business is not requiring any entry exams for domestic students. International students may need to take additional exams and should contact the Seidman Graduate Advising Office at [email protected] or by phone at (616) 331-7400.

Q: When is the deadline to apply?
A: A minimum of 30 days prior to the start of the semester.

Q: Do you offer scholarships and financial assistance?
A: Financial assistance is available in the form of federal and private loans and some scholarships, including Graduate Assistantship opportunities.

Q: What program prerequisites are needed?
A: The MST program accepts students from all undergraduate majors. Students who did not complete an undergraduate degree in Accounting may need prerequisite courses that can add to overall program requirements. Please meet with the Graduate Program Director to receive an individual transcript review.


Water Resources Policy

Q: What materials need to be submitted when I apply?
A: Academic transcripts, three letters of reference, and a short (500 words or less) essay that articulates your educational and professional goals.

Q: What undergraduate GPA is generally required for admission?
A: At least a 3.00 GPA

Q: Does admission require an interview?
A: Yes, either by telecommunication or in-person.

Q: What GPA do I need to maintain while in the program?
A: At least a 3.00 GPA

Q: Will I need to complete a thesis as part of the program?
A: The Master in Water Resource Policy does not require a thesis. However, each student will complete an internship with an organization that deals with water-related issues.

Q: May I request having previous work experience applied to the requirements of the degree?
A: Yes, you may request having previous work experience evaluated, and if appropriate, applied to your degree requirements.

Q: May I attend part-time?
A: Yes, we can develop a schedule that allows you to complete your degree while attending part-time.

Q: I don’t have a degree in a STEM field, may I still pursue the Master in Water Resource Policy?
A: Yes, we have developed the curriculum to accommodate students with either a STEM or a non-STEM background.

Q: I don’t have any experience with public policy, will I still be successful in the program?
A: Yes, the courses in Public Administration will provide the foundation you need to be successful.


Graduate Assistantships (GA)

Q: How and when do I apply for a GA position?
A: Many units/departments start their search for GAs between February and April for the next academic year. Graduate Assistantship hiring is handled by individual programs, units, and departments. Thus, prospective students should contact their Graduate Program Director to express an interest in a GA position in their academic program at the time of their admission. The application process varies by unit/department, but most will ask for a cover letter, resume, and references. Some units/departments may use their own application form.

Q: Where can I find the official, up-to-date list of available GA positions?
A: There is no central location for an official list of available Graduate Assistant positions. Most academic programs hire students directly from their programs to fill their GA positions, thus they do not advertise their GA job openings other than via their internal communication with their own students. 

The Graduate School posts Graduate Assistantship openings for programs/units/departments on our GA job openings web page upon request. Applicants must follow the instructions on each posting to apply. New postings may be added at any time. Please note this is not an all-encompassing list of available GA positions.

Q: What is the total number of GA positions available at GVSU?
A: The total number of base-funded GA positions is 224. However, many programs/units/departments split their 1.0 FTE positions into half-time (.5 FTE) positions. Thus, during the academic year, over 300 individual students may be employed as a Graduate Assistant.

Q: May I apply for more than one GA position at a time?
A: Students may apply to more than one GA position at a time. Graduate Assistantships are highly competitive so it would benefit the applicant to have several options.

Q: May I apply for any GA position for which I am reasonably qualified?
A: Students may apply for any GA position for which they meet the minimum qualifications as listed in the GA job posting/position description.

Q: Does the process of GA application review differ from department to department?
A: The process of GA application review varies by program/unit/department. Some have a committee of faculty and staff that reviews and interviews applicants, with several steps involved in the screening and placement process within the unit. Others may have one individual handle the review, screening, interviewing, and hiring.

Q: If I am in a combined degree program, is it possible to be a GA during my senior year?
A: No. Students in combined degree programs must have achieved graduate student status, either by:

  1. completing the undergraduate degree,
  2. completing 12 graduate credits, or
  3. upon approval by the Graduate Program Director and Academic Dean.

​​​​​​​If the student is listed as a senior in Banner, they are not eligible for a Graduate Assistantship.



Page last modified November 10, 2021