Calvin Wayfinder


We think you have what it takes to flourish in Calvin’s challenging academic environment.

Welcome to Calvin, where learning is a passionate pursuit. Here, you’ll join a community of learners who dig in, speak up, and respond to the world’s needs. In this community, professors are your guides to discovering God’s world.

This is college as it was intended.


“Test everything;
hold fast to what is good.”

–1 Thessalonians 5:21

Calvin Best Colleges 2015


Why study the humanities?

At Calvin, you will listen to many different voices—sometimes wildly different—who have thought deeply, creatively, and counter-culturally about being human.

You will explore how faith in Jesus, the one perfect human, can inform how we study our own humanity. This pursuit of truth will expose you to many forms of wisdom and will reward you with research, writing, and thinking skills you will use your whole life. Studying in the humanities will give you a unique perspective that is valuable to employers in fields as diverse as marketing, web design, teaching, archeology, and journalism.

Study the humanities to be well-prepared for the future.

Calvin is in the TOP 5% of institutions whose graduates go on to earn PhDs.


of 2015 Calvin grads are employed or in graduate school one year after graduation


of 2015 Calvin grads 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


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.

    The humanities are among the places where ‘the most important things’ are pondered. History, philosophy, literature, theology, and the arts: these are the academic sites where basic human questions are posed and where the traditions of wisdom that have developed in response to these questions are explored.” Lee Hardy, Professor of Philosophy

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

POTENTIAL CAREERS: Journalist | Technical Writer | Marketing Associate | Teacher | Lawyer | Diplomat | Philosopher | Legislator | Researcher | Translator | Linguist | Human Resources Specialist


Measure the height of sand dunes, trap atoms with lasers, classify ancient whale bones—when you step back from the discovery work you do at Calvin, you’ll be amazed at what you see.

You’ll see beauty, complexity, synergy, simplicity, and so much more—our creator has an eye for detail. At Calvin, we love uncovering new things and experiencing the wonder that comes from seeing how intricately God created protein molecules, brain synapses, or asteroid belts. Bring your curiosity and see where it leads you—a local watershed in need of renewal, a remote telescope in New Mexico, or an HIV research lab.

Big possibilities


students engaged in research annually in class and beyond


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


in research funding awarded to Calvin between 2011-2015

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


Write a novel.
Choreograph a new dance.
Compose an original score.
Design a logo for a start-up company.

At Calvin, we want you to test your dreams—your plot twists, musical harmonies, and unique perspectives. Following God’s work of creation and redemption, we create too, and in doing so join the ongoing story of renewing a broken world.

Spaces to create and appreciate

POTENTIAL CAREERS: Art Director | Archivist | Concert Musician | Sound Technician | Marketing | Art Educator | Illustrator | Sculptor | Web Designer | Animator | Photographer


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

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



The world is not how it’s supposed to be.

You’ve known this for a long time and have done what you can to make things better. Now, as you enter college and prepare for your future, take those thoughts, feelings, and experiences and turn them into bold steps forward.

    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.

In Grand Rapids and around the world

    Off-campus experiences create opportunities to see both the wonders and the injustices of this world.” Don De Graaf, Off-Campus Programs Director


Calvin's national ranking for the number of students who study abroad, according to the Open Doors Report (among baccalaureate

POTENTIAL CAREERS: Policy Maker | Lawyer | Activist | Social Worker | Diplomat | Aid Worker | Human Rights Advocate | Public Relations Specialist | Sociologist | Counselor


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.


Doug Vander Griend, Chemistry


Amy Wilstermann, Biology


Robert Keeley, Education


Cynthia Slagter, Spanish


Tom Betts, Business


student/faculty ratio


full-time faculty


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.
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!