Grand Valley State University Top Questions

What are the academics like at your school?

Amy

Academics here are taken very seriously. If you are not willing to put in the time and go to class, you're going to fall behind! The biggest classes here are about 200 students and yet all of my professors have known everyone by name. I look at this as a huge advantage because it makes it so much easier to get help from your professor!

Brianna

The academics at Grand Valley, I think, are taken very seriously. We have one of the top nursing programs in the state as well as many other top ranked science and education programs. You have the option of whether or not you want professors to know your name. They have open office hours each week and love it when students stop by to ask questions or simply introduce themselves. Professors who know you and your work can often write you very nice letters of recommendation, so I would highly encourage getting to know them.

Jacob

I really like the academic feel here at GVSU. Most of my professors have made an effort to get to know my name, especially in the Honors College. Overall, my professors have made a general effort to be inclusive, fair, and enthusiastic. Even in my general education Biology lecture hall of 80-plus students, my teacher will often stop during lecture and take questions from the students, aomething that's hard to do effectively with a class of that size. I've also always found that my professors have generally been easy to reach outside of class, and every single professor i've ever had at GVSU has made it incredibly clear that they want students to come to them for help outside of class if for any reason they are struggling with the material. Overall, my impression of academics at GVSU is quite favorable.

Brooke

The academics at Grand Valley are fairly exceptional. The classes (with the exception of some of the sciences) are fairly small, usually around 40-50 people. This allows the professors to get to know you on a first-name basis, and makes it easier for you to approach them with any questions you may have. A lot of the professors will even say hello and have a conversation with you outside of class. There is also a top-notch honors program that streamlines your general education classes so you fulfill more credits in less time without being overwhelmed, allowing you to get further ahead in your major than you would at other schools. Because GVSU is a liberal education university, you learn more than just the basics required for your major. When you walk away with your degree, you know not only the skills necessary for the job in which you've chosen, but also how to relate to the world around you by being able to put yourself in the shoes of someone with different interests or even from a different culture than you.

Kayla

The classes are very diverse, from adventure tourism to perspectives on madness (both excellent classes that I've had). The professors are very willing to help and love talking to you. And the material itself really helps you become more aware of the world, as cheesy as that may sound.

Megan

If you don't go to class, read your textbooks, and put effort into your papers, then no, you will not do well at Grand Valley. That's kind of a given. But, the whole point of college is to learn, so I would definitely advise everyone to try their best! Obviously some classes are harder than others, and some professors just straight up suck. The majority of the professors here, though, are extremely knowledgeable, helpful, and truly care about their students succeeding.

Sara

Some professors are awesome and really passionate, others are less so. Whether you pass or fail a class does depend on the professor a little, especially in harder classes. Some classes are stupidly easy, others are stupidly hard. Check ratemyprofessor.com to get a general idea, but do not pre-judge a prof solely on those reviews. Use it as a general guideline. Students aren't that competitive, unless you are in a certain majors. Again, much of your academic experience here is based on your own actions. Most professors are happy to talk to and help students outside of class. There is no general 'feel' of GVSU's attitude towards education and learning--it's on a professor to professor basis. I'm majoring in Gender Studies and minoring in East Asian Studies. I love my Japanese class! Both departments are made up of really great faculty--they are all very passionate and helpful. I've had my eyes opened by a lot of my gender studies classes. If you are willing to be open-minded and eager about what your professors are trying to teach you in class, you'll learn a lot. Also, there are a TON of resources available. Need help writing a term paper? Head to the writing center! Want to study abroad? There's a center for that too! All the people working at these centers are very helpful, and really want you to succeed. Not to mention that a lot of the buildings they are in are very nice.

Sara

Some professors are awesome and really passionate, others are less so. Whether you pass or fail a class does depend on the professor a little, especially in harder classes. Some classes are stupidly easy, others are stupidly hard. Check ratemyprofessor.com to get a general idea, but do not pre-judge a prof solely on those reviews. Use it as a general guideline. Students aren't that competitive, unless you are in a certain majors. Again, much of your academic experience here is based on your own actions. Most professors are happy to talk to and help students outside of class. There is no general 'feel' of GVSU's attitude towards education and learning--it's on a professor to professor basis. I'm majoring in Gender Studies and minoring in East Asian Studies. I love my Japanese class! Both departments are made up of really great faculty--they are all very passionate and helpful. I've had my eyes opened by a lot of my gender studies classes. If you are willing to be open-minded and eager about what your professors are trying to teach you in class, you'll learn a lot.

Sara

Some professors are awesome and really passionate, others are less so. Whether you pass or fail a class does depend on the professor a little, especially in harder classes. Some classes are stupidly easy, others are stupidly hard. Check ratemyprofessor.com. Students aren't that competitive, unless you are in a science related major. Some professors are more easy to talk to than others. I'm a CMB major and there are a lot of required classes that are difficult. It sucks that sometimes a bunch of classes require the same difficult pre-req. I do appreciate GVSU's liberal education approach. The worst class I took was CHM 115. My professor was awful at explaining how to do the problems, and the tests were way too hard. My favorite classes have been Japanese and Human Genetics because both my professors teach them well, and they are interesting.

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