GVSU adult student.

This Is The Place For You

Whatever your continuing education goals are, we understand you have concerns that are more than academic. You might be thinking about balancing school and your job, childcare, or changing careers. Whether you have a specific path in mind, or need a little guidance from an expert, our advisors will listen and help you navigate the obstacles keeping you from achieving your goals.

With offerings like our online skill-focused certificates and our online accelerated degree completion program, Grand Valley will help get your career and your life to the next level.

More Choices for Greater Opportunities

GVSU student at the Traverse City campus.


Looking to finish a degree? We can help you. Find out more about Grand Valley's adult degree programs below.

Or you can explore Grand Valley's other traditional bachelor's degree programs and work with an advisor to start on a completely new path.

GVSU adult student at work.


Earn the credentials you need to advance your career with in-demand skills-based adult programming.

For-Credit Certificates

Non-Credit Certificates

Visit our Level Up page for a complete list of certificates and badges.

A GVSU adult student at work.


Non-academic credit and/or adult continuing education professional licensure renewal opportunities available through GVSU.

GVSU health student.


The world is changing in unprecedented ways. Current jobs are evolving. New ones are being born of opportunity and necessity. If you want to increase your post-baccalaureate education to meet the changing professional challenges, Grand Valley is here to help. 

Visit the Graduate School website for a list of GVSU graduate programs.

You can also attend a Graduate School event.

A military hat on textbooks.


Grand Valley understands that service members and their families have unique needs and responsibilities when it comes to starting and completing their degrees. GVSU is dedicated to being veteran-inclusive, and we've created a comprehensive continuing education option that helps veterans feel supported and connected.

Learn more about this accelerated degree completion program (a fantastic choice for veterans) and discover the resources available to you at the Veteran's Resources Center.

The Support You Deserve

From Application to Graduation

Whatever you're balancing, you'll find supportive staff, faculty, and students and a culture where you can belong. Whether you need help studying, navigating campus, or just finding a group of fellow adult students to connect in with, Grand Valley is here for you and will remain with you until you finish. You can find all of the resources below and more on our Adult Services page.

Frequently Asked Questions

It's only natural to have a lot of questions when you're considering returning to college, so we've listed out answers to some of the most common questions, but don't hesitate to call our office with other questions you might have!

Adult students are often leaders in the classroom. We often hear from faculty how much they enjoy having classes with adult students for the experiences and conversations they bring. Approximately 8% of our students are nontraditional students and can be found in many different majors, you'll fit in and find where your community here at GVSU. 

That depends on your unique situation, including how many classes you're interested in taking each semester (we offer part time and full time study) and how many credits you may have accumulated on your educational journey.

We recommend you meet with our academic advisor and bring along unofficial copies your transcripts that include any credits you may have earned along the way. 

Typically, a bachelors degree requires 120 credits, In general, students who work full-time or who have significant responsibilities at home are most comfortable with a part-time schedule, taking two courses (6-8 credits) at a time. If a student enrolls in two courses every fall, winter, and spring/summer semester he/she will likely earn about 18 credits per year. Since the Bachelor's Degree requires a minimum of 120 credits, it will take a part-time student about seven years to graduate from GVSU. A full-time student can usually complete the Bachelor's Degree in four years.  Come talk to us and you might find that you're already well on your way! 

GVSU accepts coursework from many in-state and out-of-state institutions. If you're interested in seeing what course work may transfer, we encourage you to make an appointment with our advisor and bring copies of unofficial transcripts. If you're transferring, you can look on your own to see how your credits transfer.

The credits you’ve earned at GVSU remain on your transcript! If you’ve completed additional course work at another institution, our advisors can assist you in transferring those credits into GVSU.

Grand Valley costs much less than other public universities of comparable quality — and has been named one of America’s 100 Best College Buys for 17 years in a row. We know Grand Valley tuition is a real investment, and we’re sensitive to actual family budgets. We have various forms of financial aid available including scholarships, grants, loans, payment plans, and convenient plans for working with employers who provide educational benefits. You can see our current tuition and fees here and find more details on scholarships and employer deferment plans here.

There is some childcare offered through the Children's Enrichment Center at our Allendale Campus.

There are several ways you can earn credit or show expertise for the experiences and knowledge you have.

  • Challenge exams: We have internal challenge exams for several different areas including math and language - Please note that you will be waived out of a particular level of a course and be placed into a higher level course based on your performance on these exams.
  • Credit by exam: Through CLEP and DSST
  • Military evaluation and credit: For military coursework

Your advisor will work with you to determine what might help you complete your degree.

Success Stories

Sam Collins

GVSU adult student Sam Collins.

Sam Collins stopped out of college shortly after graduating high school, and after a stint in the Marine Corp and starting a family, decided to come back and finish what he started at GVSU.

Catherine Maxson

GVSU adult student Catherine Maxson.

Catherine Maxson worked as a medical assistant in upstate New York but wanted more patient care opportunities. She moved to Michigan and found that GVSU was the perfect place to achieve that goal.

Darla Elmers

GVSU adult student Darla Elmers.

Though she was working full-time and raising a family, Darla Eimers wanted to finish her bachelor's degree and was thrilled to discover GVSU.

It's Time to Discuss Your Future

Sometimes it helps to talk things through with an advisor. Our staff are dedicated to adult students like you and understand the unique challenges you are facing returning to school. You can connect with them by phone at (616) 331-7180, by email, [email protected], or by making an online appointment to discuss the process.

Page last modified April 22, 2024