Welcome to Calvin, where learning is anything but static and passive.

Here, you'll join a community of learners that digs in, speaks up, responds to the world's needs and questions the status quo. You'll learn to think in new and different ways, to use the ideas of others to sharpen your own, to acquire knowledge that is both broad and deep, and to engage God's world with courage and joy.

This is college as it was intended.

    At Calvin, faith and learning work together constantly—in a climate of intellectual energy, risk-taking and courage.” Dr. Karen Saupe, English



What do you want from college? A great job? To become a better person? Calvin's liberal arts focus delivers both—and much more.

Yes, Calvin grads get jobs and go to graduate schools–over 99%, in fact. But that's not all that sets Calvin apart. Calvin is about becoming smart and articulate, skilled and productive, well-read and clear-thinking, compassionate and just, successful and faithful. Courses in the liberal arts, such as philosophy, history, literature and culture, will equip you to boldly face life's complexities as you uncover what is right and true.


Liberal arts or professional programs?

We recommend both. In fact, class of 2012 grads reported the following:


graduated in liberal arts fields


graduated in professional fields
(e.g., engineering, speech pathology, accountancy, education, etc.)


are employed or in graduate school one year after graduation

Meet your classmates


"People in other areas learn a great deal about some things. History majors get to learn a great deal about everything: art, language, business, geography, anthropology, psychology, physics...everything."

Calvin, history


"I chose Chinese Studies because after adopting my little sister, my passion has been to help the orphans in China who aren't adopted. Chinese Studies equips me with knowledge of both the language and the culture so that I can return to China and be a light for God's kingdom."

Brooke, Chinese studies


"I chose Calvin for its Reformed outlook, one-on-one connections with forward-thinking professors and the wide array of internships that can foster my passion for art history."

Owen, art history


"As a philosophy student, especially a Christian philosophy student, one learns not only how to ask the questions that are often overlooked, but also how to pursue wisdom in one's daily life. In the end, that is one of the most enriching and fulfilling experiences one can have in college."

Fellipe, philosophy


"Classical Studies gives a comprehensive look at the culture, history, and literature of people in the Classical time period. However, I feel as if I'm at an advantage in the world today because of it. This major has given me research, writing, and thinking skills that I know will make a great foundation for any post-graduate pursuit."

Klaas, classical studies


"I chose to study English because it teaches practical skills of analytical reading and effective communication, but also artful abilities of deep understanding and beautiful expression. At Calvin, these skills are taught by careful and experienced professors who not only love English, but love to share their enthusiasm for the written and spoken language."

Erin, literature


"Calvin is known for its academic rigor, especially in the liberal arts, but I chose Religion specifically because of Calvin's pledge to fidelity to Christ, being open to questions, and its academic community. It truly is a place where minds are in the making to do great things."

Trey, religion


Broadly educated. Discerning. Talented. Caring.

Calvin students want more than just to improve their ability to know, but to expand their capacity to care, to get involved, to believe, to love God.

    As a philosophy student, especially a Christian philosophy student, one learns not only how to ask the questions that are often overlooked, but also how to pursue wisdom in one's daily life.” Fellipe, Philosophy

Tell me more

The humanities are woven throughout Calvin's liberal arts "core" curriculum. Read what Calvin music, writing, philosophy, history and religion professors have to say about how learning in their fields can help you become both a wiser, more loving Christian and a more successful future member of the workforce.

Practically Human

Newly-admitted students: Request a FREE copy of Practically Human: College Professors Speak from the Heart of Humanities Education and we'll send it to you as soon as possible!

Newly-admitted students: Request your book Request your book

TRY THESE MAJORS: Philosophy | Chinese | Classical Studies | History | Literature | Asian Studies | Art History | Dutch | Religion | Film & Media | German | French | Greek | Japanese | Latin | Spanish



Ancient whale bones. Shifting sand dunes. Atom-trapping lasers. At Calvin, you'll experience the wonder that comes from seeing the beauty, complexity, synergy and simplicity of the world—all indicators of a Creator with an eye for detail.

It's all part of our calling to examine the world and ask the kinds of questions that lead to new answers, treatments and innovations. It's about working to understand and renew the world around us. Bring your curiosity and see where it leads you.


Big possibilities

  • Dune research

    Dune research

    Love the outdoors? Apply for Calvin's "First-Year Research in Earth Science" course that includes weekly lab sessions on the beautiful dunes of Lake Michigan. Measure changes in the dunes over time and contribute to efforts to preserve this natural landscape. First-year students from any major can apply.

  • Whale bones

    Dig deep

    Pursue your Jurassic aspirations and become a paleontologist. Follow in the steps of Calvin student Melissa Braun ('14) who spent two summers as a research assistant in geology, working with professor Ryan Bebej studying fossils of ancient whales.

  • Kumar

    Tea time

    Work shoulder-to-shoulder with respected scholars like Calvin professor Kumar Sinniah who inspires excellence and growth in more than just research. Every day during the summer, his research group breaks for "tea time," when they eat snacks and talk about anything but research. Sinniah's favorite topic? Pop music.

  • ISRX lab

    The best equipment

    As a research student at Calvin, you will be trained to use facilities and instrumentation so specialized that an entire $350,000 grant from the National Science Foundation paid for one very important microbe-testing device this year. State-of-the-art labs and equipment mean you will be outfitted to do the same kind of research being conducted at large research universities.

  • Phage research

    Phage research

    In this first-year research course for science majors, discover and classify the DNA structure of your very own bacteriophage. Once you isolate your phage, spend the two-semester course studying its properties and sending data to an international database related to this important research.


students worked as science summer research assistants in 2013


Goldwater Scholars since 2008, more than any liberal arts college in the U.S.


in research funding awarded to Calvin between 2008-2013

POTENTIAL CAREERS: Geologist | Paleontologist | Biologist | Physicist | Doctor | Researcher | Teacher | Astronomer | Pharmacist | Physical Therapist



Write a novel. Choreograph a new dance. Score an original piece of music. Design a logo. At Calvin, the arts are flourishing. And you can, too.

Participating in ensembles, art shows, writer's retreats and theatre productions will push you to cultivate excellence in your craft. But you'll need more than excellence to blaze trails in your field. Calvin professors will help you develop a vision for how the arts can help the world recover a lost sense of loveliness and justice.

Spaces to create and appreciate

  • Art gallery

    Art galleries

    Display your own originals or enjoy browsing the work of others. Both are equally gratifying in Calvin's pristine Center Arts Gallery. From the works of old masters to those new on the scene, our galleries exhibit art that educates, provokes thought and fosters conversation.

  • Music performances

    Music auditoriums

    Performances in the Covenant Fine Arts Center will transport you through time and place. With its superb accoustics and signature "starry sky" lighting, the ambience and tone are perfect—whether you're taking in an sweeping orchestral performance, a booming choral anthem or a thunderous rock concert.

  • Performance Venues

    Recital halls

    Hone your skills and perfect your number in Calvin's recital halls. With state-of-the-art technology and beautiful aesthetics, you'll be able to focus all your energies right where they need to be—on delivering a stunning performance.

  • Dance studio

    Dance studios

    Create beauty through dance and motion in Calvin's dance studios. Cascading natural light and wide open floors create an airy, calming setting for you to discover, develop and perfect your gifts in dance.

  • Bytwerk theater

    Bytwerk movie theater

    This dedicated and fully-equipped screening room is the perfect place to dig deep into cinema. Going far beyond entertainment, you'll dig into the many themes and messages of film, unraveling its methods and techniques and finding new meaning in the very best of Hollywood and beyond.

  • Gezon auditorium

    Gezon auditorium

    There's nothing quite like watching live theatre or improv, and you'll do just that at Calvin's Gezon Auditorium. Whether you're up on the stage or out in the seats, you'll find it to be a wonderful, captivating space—perfect for catching every wry grin, loaded sigh and sideways look that makes a live show so riveting.

TRY THESE MAJORS: Studio Art | Graphic Design | Writing | Music | Art Education | Art History | Architecture | Dance | Film & Media Studies | Kinesiology | Linguistics | Literature | Music Composition | Theatre



To navigate a world that's becoming more complex by the minute, you need real experience solving problems and putting new ideas to the test.

In every major, you'll have opportunities to work with local businesses, corporations, schools and non-profits. Professors with decades of industry experience will push you to consider every angle as you develop concepts, products and plans that just might become your future.


Project-based learning

  • Intern

    Calvin action projects

    As a Calvin business student, you'll work on real consulting projects for companies like Microsoft, Herman Miller, Amway, Wolverine Worldwide, Zondervan and more. Design new product packaging, create a marketing plan or recommend a new supply chain strategy and present it to company executives at the end of the course.

  • Internship

    Impress the CEO

    When 2013 business graduate Nate Van Eck met with clients for a project at Sebago, a shoe brand division of Wolverine Worldwide, he took the phrase "hands on" to a whole new level. He literally tore apart several existing shoes and put them back together to demonstrate a new shoe design. Sebago execs were so impressed they took Nate's mock-ups and worked them into concepts for new products.

  • Kenya Bridge

    Building bridges

    Engineering major Andrew Mitchell '15 spent the summer helping to build a bridge in Kenya. As an intern with a company called Bridging the Gap Africa, he worked on design calculations, quantity takeoffs, construction supervision and structural analysis—and learned lessons in cross-cultural engagement.

  • Model UN

    Model UN

    Put your diplomacy skills to work as Calvin's team travels to Model UN conferences in Chicago and New York. You will gain a greater appreciation of the possibilities for and challenges of international cooperation.

  • Teaching

    Innovate in the classroom

    Calvin's teacher education grads create effective learning environments in their classrooms. Even when teaching jobs are scarce, Calvin graduates are sought after by schools. In 2012, more than 99% were employed one year after graduation.

POTENTIAL CAREERS: Marketing strategist | Software engineer | Startup founder | GIS specialist | Environmental engineer | Graphic designer | App developer | Human resources manager | Operations manager | Creative director | Teacher



Calvin will shape your future and will help you take bold steps "to seek justice, love kindness and walk humbly with your God."

To serve in God’s world effectively, you’ll need more than good intentions. That’s a great place to start, but at Calvin, you’ll develop a way of thinking that faces deep problems with hope and courage. Combine this way of seeing the world with the right skills and you’ll be prepared to make real change happen in your hometown, in Cambodia or wherever God leads you.


In Grand Rapids and around the world

  • Michigan

    Serving and learning

    Your first year English class can become an adventure in learning about history, justice and character as you interview a World War II veteran and write his or her life story.

  • World

    Global security

    Political science professor Joel Westra involves students in his research on the United Nations and global security.

  • Michigan

    Hands-on experience

    Psychology students gain clinical experience by serving mentally ill residents of local Hope Network group homes.

  • World

    Working towards literacy

    Education professor Jo Kuyvenhovenis leading a year-long project for the World Bank, developing literacy programs in Sierra Leone, Africa.

  • Michigan

    Reimagining education

    Aspiring teachers in Calvin's education program work in challenging school settings to reimagine the future of American's education system.

  • World

    Sharing knowledge

    Social work professors and students built a social work program for a university in Liberia, a country rebuilding after two civil wars.

    In the things that clean and clarify, in the things that build and rebuild, in the things that bring light and delight—in all things that make for shalom, may the Lord bless and keep us and cause his face to shine on us, and be gracious to us and give us his peace.” Cornelius Plantinga, Jr.

TRY THESE MAJORS AND MINORS: Economics | African Diaspora Studies | Political Science | International Relations | Sociology | Social Work | Gender Studies | International Development Studies | Public Health | Urban Studies



Chances are, what you remember most from your Calvin education will be your professors.

Outstanding professors are your guides to discovering God's world, learning from its insights, understanding its brokenness and equipping you to be part of its renewal. They'll give you real opportunities—through research, internships, study abroad programs, mentoring and group projects—to practice your skills, to gain wisdom and to develop your character.

Calvin professors are what make this place great. Come learn from everything they have to offer.

Speech Pathology

Meet your professors

Get to know a few of the great people you'll be studying under.



student/faculty ratio


professors with the highest degree in their field


of Calvin professors are committed Christians



Great opportunities for great students

With all these options, you're sure to find your niche.

Academic Opportunities
Study Abroad
Majors & Programs

Consider these exciting options

The Calvin Honors Program
Over 500 Calvin students participate in the Calvin Honors Program, which provides opportunities to deepen your studies and learn in innovative, interdisciplinary settings. More at www.calvin.edu/honors.
Honors Fellows
Calvin's Honors Fellows Program celebrates the academic and extracurricular achievements of top students entering Calvin's incoming class. It creates a unique community in which Honors Fellows pursue deeper learning in and beyond the classroom.
First-Year Research in Earth Science (FYRES)
This hands-on research course is for first-year students in any major (or undecided) and fulfills your general science core requirement. Conduct sand dune research and present your findings to community partners. Apply at www.calvin.edu/go/fyres.
Phage Research Program
Discover your own bacterial virus, called a “phage” in this first-year, two-semester research course for students majoring in the sciences. You'll also get a chance to sequence your phage's DNA and catalog its data in an international database. Apply at www.calvin.edu/go/phage.
New Mexico Semester
Not sure what to study in college, or if you want to go to college at all? Take the pressure off by spending your first semester in beautiful New Mexico, where you'll explore calling, the liberal arts and the great outdoors, all while earning college credit. Opportunities are available for mission or service work during the spring semester. Apply at www.calvin.edu/go/new-mexico.
John M. Perkins Leadership Fellows
The John M. Perkins Leadership Fellows is a scholarship program for first-generation college students that cultivates Christian leaders who engage big issues like poverty, injustice, reconciliation and materialism in our multicultural world. Learn more at www.calvin.edu/go/perkins-fellows.
First-Year Seminar
In this half-semester course for first-year students, professors help you make the transition from high school classrooms to college learning. Get a sneak peak of course videos at www.calvin.edu/fys/.
Summer Science Research
Over 100 summer research fellowships are available in astronomy, biology, chemistry, computer science, biochemistry, geology, geography, engineering, mathematics, physics and psychology. Apply in the spring semester of each year for positions the following summer.
McGregor Summer Research Fellowships
Research isn't just for the sciences. Apply for one of 12+ summer research positions with professors in areas such as political science, music, sociology, communications and more. Apply in the spring semester of each year for positions the following summer.
Comenius Scholars Program
If your major is in the humanities (e.g. history, philosophy, religion), take advantage of this opportunity to get a paid internship in the Grand Rapids community. Apply in the fall semester of each year for a spring internship.
Jubilee Fellows
Think you might be called to full-time ministry? Test your calling in this intensive ministry internship program that combines a spring course with a summer-long internship in a church setting. Learn more at our Jubilee Fellows page.
Off-Campus (Study Abroad) Programs
Study in 12 locations around the world through Calvin's faculty-led semester programs. Other Calvin-approved programs allow you to apply financial aid to study in other locations around the world, including Chicago, Thailand, Germany, Japan and many more.

Semester programs

Spend a semester in one of 12 locations around the world with Calvin faculty and classmates.

January Interim

Starting in your sophomore year, you can choose to spend Calvin’s three-week January interim traveling to more than 30 destinations around the world. Just a few offerings from interim 2014:

  • Eye-care medical mission in Mexico
  • Business as mission in India
  • Public health in Ethiopia
  • Engaging development in Cambodia
  • Business and culture in South Korea
  • Rivers and rainforests in Costa Rica
  • Chinese culture, medicine and bioethics
  • The land of the Bible in Israel

Majors & programs

Next steps

You've gotten a small taste of what Calvin has to offer; now let's get the full scoop. Enroll today or plan your visit and let's keep this Calvin journey moving!