Undergraduate Programs

Undergraduate Programs

Nine diverse undergraduate programs sit within the School of Interdisciplinary Health, and selective or competitive secondary admission is required for most of them. Secondary admission means students must complete a specific set of courses, at or above a required GPA level. Once students have completed these requirements, the next step is to submit a secondary admission application. Secondary admission applications are open to current GVSU students, as well as those admitted to GVSU as transfer students.

Students should plan to submit their application shortly after completing the Fall semester of their second (sophomore) year - after the completion of 45 credit hours. Application deadlines vary by program, ranging from February 1 to April 15. 

Undergraduate students interested in earning a graduate health degree, should consider the option of a Combined Degree program. Learn more about Combined Degree programs.

Undergraduate Programs

The term Allied Health is used to identify a cluster of health professions, encompassing as many as 200 health careers. There are 5 million allied health care providers in the U.S., who work in more than 40 different professions and represent approximately 60% of all health care providers. Even so, this is just a drop in the bucket in terms of how many allied health care workers are needed to meet current and future healthcare needs in America.

When you work in allied health, you are involved—directly or indirectly—with patient health, and you are regarded as an expert in your field. Some allied health professionals practice independently; others work as part of a health care team, providing continual evaluation and assessment of patient needs. They also play a major role in informing the attending clinician of the patient's progress and response to treatment.

In addition to the Allied Health Sciences (AHS-General emphasis) degree program, emphases are also offered in Health Professional degree completion, Pre-Physical Therapy, Pre-Physician Assistant Studies, Histotechnology, Social Science. Students in the general AHS degree program can also choose to pursue a combined degree, receiving their AHS B.S. and a Masters in Public Health (MPH) in 5 years.

Visit the Allied Health Sciences program website for more information.

Grand Valley State University's Bachelor of Science in Applied Food and Nutrition (AFN) program is an innovative Didactic Program in Dietetics (DPD) incorporating elements of competency-based education. The bachelor’s program is part of Grand Valley's School of Interdisciplinary Health.

The skillset for food and nutrition practitioners includes the communication, interpersonal and collaboration skills needed to manage employees and work with clients/patients and health team members; knowledge needed to manage food service operations; and food and nutrition knowledge and skills to provide nutrition education and basic medical nutrition therapy for clients/patients.

Qualified undergraduates may choose a Combined Degree Program (CDP) and obtain both a B.S. in Applied Food & Nutrition and a M.S. in Clinical Dietetics within an accelerated time frame. Grand Valley’s Applied Food and Nutrition Program has been granted Candidacy status by the Accreditation Council for Education in Nutrition and Dietetics of the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics (ACEND).

Visit the Applied Food & Nutrition program website for more information.

Sonographers specialized in Echocardiography and Vascular Sonography utilize sound waves to produce diagnostic images and guide invasive and non-invasive procedures of the body. Sonographers work collaboratively with cardiologists, radiologists, and vascular surgeons to diagnose a diverse range of conditions related to heart and circulatory system. A sonographer practicing in the field of Echocardiography and Vascular sonography must be well versed in sectional anatomy, clinical medicine, cardiovascular pathology, and ultrasound physics.

Students spend two years completing the general education and prerequisite courses. After admission to the secondary competitive program, students complete two years of full-time professional coursework.

Students working toward a B.S. degree in Cardiovascular Sonography from GVSU become eligible for the American Registry of Diagnostic Medical Sonographers (ARDMS) examinations specific to the concentrations completed. The Cardiovascular Sonography Program is accredited under the Commission on Accreditation of Allied Health Education Program (CAAHEP).

Visit the Cardiovascular Sonography program website to learn more.

Abdominal and obstetrics-gynecology sonographers work collaboratively with radiologists and other specialized physicians to diagnose a diverse range of conditions using invasive and noninvasive procedures using complex computerized high frequency sound waves and Doppler signal equipment. The sonographer must acquire excellent knowledge of sectional anatomy, clinical medicine, pathology and the use of sonographic instrumentation. Sonographers are responsible for patient care during procedures, which may include inpatient, outpatient, surgery, and mobile work.

It is critical that sonographers have exceptional critical thinking and problem solving skills in order to develop a high level of interpersonal relationships with patients, other staff, physicists, and physicians.

Students spend two years completing the general education and prerequisite courses. After admission to the secondary competitive program, students complete two years of full-time professional coursework.

Students working toward a B.S. degree in radiologic and imaging sciences with a major in diagnostic medical sonography from GVSU become eligible for the American Registry of Diagnostic Medical Sonographers (ARDMS) examinations specific to the concentrations completed. The Diagnostic Medical Sonography Program is accredited under the Commission on Accreditation of Allied Health Education Program (CAAHEP).

Visit the Diagnostic Medical Sonography - Abdominal and Obstetric-Gynecologic website for more information.

Health information management (HIM) is the practice of acquiring, analyzing, and protecting digital and traditional medical information vital to providing quality patient care. HIM organizes and manages health information data by ensuring its quality, accuracy, accessibility, and security. Health information managers regularly communicate with physicians and other healthcare professionals to clarify diagnoses or to obtain additional information.

Students pursuing the health information management program will also be required to complete the minor in healthcare information systems, through the computer information systems (CIS) department.

The Health Information Management Baccalaureate degree is a CAHIIM accredited program.

Visit the Health Information Management program webpage for more information.

Medical Laboratory Science, (also known as clinical laboratory science or medical technology), is an undergraduate field of study that prepares graduates to become certified medical laboratory scientists (MLS). Medical laboratory scientists are essential healthcare professionals; they perform clinical laboratory tests that aid in the detection, diagnosis, monitoring, and treatment of disease. Blood, tissue, urine, and other body fluids are examined and analyzed, and results of these complex chemical, biological, hematological, immunologic, microscopic, and bacteriological tests provide important decision making information to a patient’s medical team. Medical laboratory scientists work primarily in hospital settings; however, job opportunities exist in molecular, research, forensic, and veterinary labs as well as in instrument training/sales, lab management, and education. Medical laboratory scientists are required to use significant analytical and independent judgment; their technical skills are in high demand. Expected employment growth indicates a future with solid job security.

Students spend two and a half years completing the general education and prerequisite courses. After secondary admission to the competitive MLS program, students complete one and a half years of full-time professional coursework, including clinical rotations. Grand Valley State University medical laboratory science graduates are prepared to take the national certification examination that grants them the credentials of Medical Laboratory Scientist (formerly known as medical technologist and/or clinical laboratory scientist).

The Medical Laboratory Science program is accredited by the National Accrediting Agency for Clinical Laboratory Sciences (NAACLS)

Visit the Medical Laboratory Sciences program website for more information.

Radiation therapy is a health care discipline that utilizes ionizing radiation for the treatment of mostly malignant diseases. Radiation therapists are health care professionals skilled in the art and science of radiation treatment delivery. The radiation therapy program is designed to prepare students for the technical, theoretical, and psychological aspects of this career. The program provides a unique learning environment which includes state of the art equipment. By recruiting the help of highly qualified Radiation Oncology faculty, students acquire skills necessary to become successful Radiation Therapists. 

Students receive didactic, laboratory, and clinical experiences in both existing and emerging radiation therapy practices and procedures. This may include treatment planning, simulation, quality assurance, brachytherapy, external beam therapy, stereotactic radiosurgery, intraoperative radiation therapy, intensity modulated radiation therapy, image guided radiation therapy, and total body irradiation. Students will rotate through a minimum of three clinical facilities to ensure exposure to emerging technologies. 

Students spend two years completing the general education and prerequisite courses. After admission to the secondary competitive program, students complete two years of full-time professional coursework. Students who receive a B.S. degree in Radiologic and Imaging Sciences with an emphasis in radiation therapy from Grand Valley are eligible for The American Registry of Radiologic Technologists (ARRT) national credentialing examination in radiation therapy. The Radiation Therapy program is accredited by the The Joint Review Committee on Education in Radiologic Technology (JRCERT).

Visit the Radiation Therapy program website for more information.

Recreational Therapists use recreation and leisure as a therapeutic modality to improve function and quality of life for individuals with disabilities and chronic conditions. They practice in a variety of health and community settings ranging from schools and rehabilitation centers to mental health facilities and skilled nursing facilities, providing services to infants through older adults. They use interventions such as the therapeutic use of horticulture, adventure-based programs, community integration, and adaptive recreation and sports to improve or maintain all domains of functioning and to facilitate full participation in life for individuals with disabilities and chronic conditions. Secondary application and admission is required.

Students spend two years completing the general education and prerequisite courses. After admission to the secondary competitive program, students complete two years of full-time professional coursework.

Grand Valley’s Recreational Therapy program is accredited by the Commission on Accreditation of Allied Health Education Programs upon the recommendation of the Committee on Accreditation of Recreational Therapy Education.

Qualified undergraduates may be admitted to the program and obtain both the B.S. and M.S. in recreational therapy within the accelerated time frame. Students interested in the combined degree program will follow the undergraduate curriculum for recreational therapy, and will apply to the graduate program during their first year of undergraduate recreational therapy coursework.

Visit the Recreation Therapy program website for more information.


Program start: Winter Semester 2022

Respiratory therapists help people who suffer from chronic respiratory diseases like asthma, bronchitis and emphysema. People who have had heart attacks or who have sleep disorders and infants who are born prematurely might also need respiratory therapy to help them breathe more easily. They also provide emergency care to patients suffering from heart attacks, drowning or shock.

Advanced level therapists participate in clinical decision-making and patient education, the development and implementation of protocols and treatment plans, health promotion, disease prevention and disease management. Although they practice under the supervision of a physician, they exercise considerable independent judgment in providing respiratory therapy to patients.

Visit the Respiratory Care program website for more information

For advising and application information, please visit the College of Health Professions Student Services Office website - Respiratory Care, B.S.

Combined Degree Programs

Combined Bachelor/Master degree programs allow students to complete both degrees sooner by counting graduate credits toward the undergraduate degree. This reduces the time and cost to complete both degrees separately. A combined degree program can save students money and allow them to enter the workforce sooner. Learn more about the benefits of a Combined Degree program

The following Combined degree programs are available within the School of Interdisciplinary Health:

Allied Health Sciences (B.S.) + Public Health (M.P.H.)

Applied Food & Nutrition (B.S.) + Clinical Dietetics (M.S.)

Recreational Therapy (B.S. + M.S.)


GVSU also offers students the opportunity to combine undergraduate and graduate degree programs from different disciplines. Students are eligible to apply after the completion of 45 undergraduate credits hours, and if approved, can begin taking graduate courses during their junior year.

Student Initiated Combined Degree program


Contact the College of Health Professions Student Services Office for advising and admissions assistance.

Advising Services

The CHP Student Services office (CHPSS) is a key resource for academic advising services and admissions to the School of Interdisciplinary Health's (SIH) programs and majors. Grand Valley students who declare a major within the College of Health Professions are each assigned to a professional academic advisor and encouraged to meet with their advisor at a minimum once per year but preferably each semester. It is in the student's best interest to get academic advising throughout the college career.

Prospective and admitted SIH program students can expect to receive the following services and support from the CHP Student Services director, admissions coordinator, office coordinator, and four academic advisors.

  • Academic plans: Development of achievable academic plans and access to resources for parallel plans.
  • Admissions: Invitation for prospective students to visit and learn about the SIH programs.
  • Advisor access: Academic advisors are available to students at Grand Valley's Allendale Campus and in Grand Rapids at the Cook-DeVos Center for Health Sciences.
  • Program application: Navigation through SIH's undergraduate secondary admissions process and graduate program applications.
  • Orientation: Academic advising during freshmen and transfer orientation.
  • Policies and procedures: Clarification of university policies that pertain to and support degree completion.
  • Referrals: Introduction to and utilization of Grand Valley's campus resources, student success services, and faculty support.

Page last modified February 22, 2022