Studio Art - Transfer Information


A large and growing portion of our studio art student community started as a transfer student. As a transfer student, you’ll become a Laker, with all the resources that GVSU has and the personal support you need to be prepared for whatever the future has in store. Whether you are transferring to GVSU from a community college or another four-year institution, starting at a new university creates unique opportunities. It is our goal as a major to meet your learning experience wherever it starts. This page should guide you in your transition as a transfer student.


Transferring Student Qualifications

To be considered a transfer student, you must have completed and received credit for at least one college or university studio art course. If you have attended or are currently attending a college or university but have not taken any studio art courses, you can declare your degree directly on Banner.


NEED Application and Portfolio to Receive Transfer Credit

The program(s) below require an Application and Portfolio submission of a portfolio of student work for evaluation by the department:

  • BA/BS in Art Education

DO NOT NEED Application and Portfolio to Receive Transfer Credit

The program(s) below DO NOT require an Application and Portfolio submission of a portfolio of student work for evaluation by the department:

  • BA/Minor in Art History
  • BA/BS in Film and Video Production
  • BA/BS/Minor in Photography 
  • BA/BS/BFA/Minor in Studio Art


Granting Transfer Credit

The transfer credit process in Studio Art will start when you apply to GVSU. You will need to submit your transcripts for evaluation. 

  • If you completed 30 or more college credits, please have your college transcripts sent to Grand Valley State University. Your transcripts must be official and come directly from the colleges you previously attended.
  • If you have completed fewer than 30 college credits, your official high school transcript is also required.


Transcripts may be sent electronically to [email protected]

Transfer Credit Policies for Studio Art

  • Approaches to the teaching of art and design vary greatly from institution to institution. When judging transfer credit, we must consider only courses comparable to our program offerings. 
  • The coursework taken at another institution must meet most of the learning outcomes required by the equivalent course at GVSU to be approved for credit. 
  • Courses focused solely on software literacy cannot be made equivalent to studio art courses at GVSU. 
  • Regardless of the number of transfer credits accepted by Grand Valley from junior or community colleges, a baccalaureate degree must include a minimum of 58 semester hours from a senior (four-year, degree-granting) institution.
  • Regardless of the number of transfer hours accepted by Grand Valley from other institutions, transfer students must complete at least 12 hours in the unit conferring the major (six for the minor).
  • Courses taken at an institution on a quarter calendar system will be converted to semester hours before being applied to GVSU course requirements. This may indicate that you must complete work to fulfill certain degree requirements.
  • In some cases, advanced work may not be able to be given equivalency credit. Such courses may be applied as credits toward your studio electives or general electives. 
  • Transfer students pursuing the BA/BS/BFA in studio art must take at least 15 art credits within the department, including one art history course.
  • Up to 15 credits can be applied to satisfy your studio electives in the BFA.

Transfer Credit Resources

If You Earned College Credit in High School (AP, IB, Dual-enrollment)


How does GVSU accept it?

Advancement Placement Exam (AP)

If you took an AP art class and received a score of 3 or better, the Department of Visual and Media Arts will award equivalency credit. Please send your score to GVSU admissions to receive proper credit. You can go to to do this.

International Baccalaureate Exam

If you took the International Baccalaureate Exam and received a score of 4 or higher, the Department of Visual and Media Arts will award equivalency credit. Please send your score to GVSU admissions to receive proper credit. 

Dual Enrollment Courses

Dual enrollment classes equivalent to our Foundation courses taken at other colleges or institutions will receive equivalency credit.

If you attended a school with an Official Agreement or Transfer Plan with GVSU


How does GVSU accept it?

MTA/MACRAO Agreement

Students who transfer to Grand Valley with the MTA/MACRAO approved associate of arts or science degree from a Michigan public community college have satisfied the Foundations of the General Education Program and one (1) Supplemental Writing Skills (SWS) course. Transfer students with a MTA/MACRAO are still required to complete the following requirements: 

  • one (1) SWS course in their major or college and the Capstone course in that major and the B.A. or B.S. degree requirement where applicable. 
  • the two-course Cultures requirement
  • two (2) Issues courses.

Students should complete a MTA/MACRAO Audit at community college in order to get the MTA/MACRAO STAMP on the official transcript. Students are responsible for ordering official transcripts after completing courses at community college.


Transfer Plans

Transfer plans for Michigan community colleges show you exactly which courses to take based on your planned major at GVSU. This helps ensure that you will be able to transfer the maximum number of credits when it's time to start classes at GVSU.

Visit the Grand Valley Transfer Plans Page

Course Equivalencies

Course equivalencies show you how courses from other colleges and universities transfer to GVSU. Once you apply for admission and send official transcripts, you will receive an official Transfer Credit Evaluation.

Visit the Grand Valley Course Equivalency Database

If you attended a school without an Official Agreement or Transfer Plan with GVSU (non-preapproved Studio Courses)

If you believe a studio art course you took at a previous institution is a candidate for GVSU equivalency, and your GVSU Transfer Credit Evaluation didn’t consider it, you can meet with the appropriate program/area coordinator to discuss your coursework. You are responsible for contacting the appropriate person to discuss your situation. Please use the directory for your reference:


Contact Name



Studio Art Foundations

Bill Hosterman

[email protected]



Hoon Lee

[email protected]


Drawing (Life Drawing, etc.)

Tim Fisher

[email protected]


Graphic Design

Vinicius Lima

[email protected]



Durwin Talon

[email protected]



Renee Zettle-Sterling

[email protected]



Jill Eggers

[email protected]



Brett Colley

[email protected]



Norwood Viviano

[email protected]


Visual Studies

Paul Wittenbraker

[email protected]


Art History

Sigrid Danielson

[email protected]


Film and Video Production

Anal Shah

[email protected]



Stafford Smith

[email protected]


What Materials do You need for a Transfer Review?

Here are some things you can bring with you when meeting with the appropriate program coordinator:

  • Course documents: Have as many course documents available as you can (class handouts, syllabi, project briefs, and course tutorials/exercises). These provide a greater understanding of what the course contents and outcomes are and may increase your chances of receiving credit.
  • Work Images or files: Document as much as you can. Photos from your phone camera are fine. 
  • Work Information: dimensions, techniques, sketches, concept ideations, or any software progress used when creating your projects.
  • Work Role: If you are bringing collaborative assignments, let the faculty know your role in the project.

Upon approval by the program coordinator, they will proceed to email the Registrar’s Office requesting the credit change on your behalf. Please check your myPath report about a week later for any updates and contact the same faculty member in case progress has not been made then.


Save Your Work for the Second Year Review (BFA Students Only)

If credit is given for a course required for the Second Year Advisory Review, that work must be kept and will be reviewed as part of your portfolio during the review.

What is the Second Year Review?


Do we Have Scholarships for Transfer Students?

Yes! Applicants who are accepted to GVSU before April, will automatically be considered for incoming student art scholarships. Letters of award of a scholarship will be mailed to recipients during the last week of April. 

Read about the VMA Scholarships


If you have questions, please reach out to any of the three contacs in your Advisor Network.


Page last modified November 11, 2023