Grand Valley State University - Allendale, MI | Michigan Schools with Design Programs | Graphic Design

Grand Valley State University

School Summary
1 Campus Dr
Allendale, MI 49401
(616) 331-2020
Degree Type:
Bachelor's degree; Postbaccalaureate certificate; Master's degree; Post-master's certificate; Doctor's degree - professional practice
Campus Setting:
Suburb: Large
Campus Housing:

About Grand Valley State University

Grand Valley State University is a four-year liberal arts university located in Allendale, Michigan. Allendale is approximately 25 miles northeast of Holland, Michigan and twelve miles west of Grand Rapids. The area offers much to see and do, from nature centers and gardens to museums, observatories and historical sites. Visitors can take a riverboat cruise in Grand Rapids or visit the Dutch Village in Holland. Allendale itself is home to the Veterans' Garden of Honor Memorial. The beaches of Lake Michigan are less than an hour's drive from campus, offering picnicking, swimming, fishing, hiking, and playgrounds.

GVSU includes a Department of art and design, offering 4-year degree programs including a BFA in visual studies, illustration, or graphic design. Foundational coursework includes two- and three-dimensional design, color and design, and introduction to drawing. Visual studies is a studio emphasis, meaning that upper-level coursework consists almost entirely of studio courses. The graphic design emphasis includes study in graphic design through five levels, plus photography and life drawing courses. The illustration emphasis includes courses in graphic design for illustrators, intermediate drawing, painting, printmaking, and five levels of courses in illustration itself. Students are encouraged to choose art electives such as art history and studio art courses. All programs culminate in the Art Senior Project course, the final work toward the BFA Senior Exhibition required for graduation. The graphic design emphasis requires completion of a portfolio in addition to the work displayed at the senior show.

GVSU offers many institutionally funded scholarships to new and returning students. Some are for residents of the state of Michigan only, while others are specifically for non-residents. Available scholarships include the Award of Excellence, faculty scholarships, Presidential scholarships, the Urban Schools Scholarship, and the Aaron DesRocher Memorial Scholarship. Most scholarship awards are determined based on academic achievement.

Grand Valley is accredited by The Higher Learning Commission. The varsity athletics teams are NCAA Division II. GVSU is also a member of the Great Lakes Intercollegiate Athletic Conference, with seventeen intercollegiate sports available. There are many student organizations on campus covering all areas of interest, from the Advertising Club to the Musicians Forum. There are many cultural groups and service organizations as well, plus several greek fraternities and sororities. Students can also participate in performing arts groups, student government, and sports clubs. The University also offers student services such as academic advising, career counseling and services, and on-campus tutoring. Students may also choose to participate in one of many study abroad programs, visiting one of 25 participating countries to study anything from art and design to social sciences.

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Source: Integrated Postsecondary Education Data System (IPEDS) 2018-19, National Center for Education Statistics,