So you took the plunge and decided to go back to school, or maybe you're applying to college later in life for the first time. No matter what brought you here, we're glad you've arrived.


Adults who wish to begin a college program or return to college courses may enroll under the classification of "adult learner." This classification includes:

  • Adults with no prior college experience and at least a four year interruption in education since high school.
  • Adults transferring into Calvin College who have a combination of course work and work experiences equivalent to four years of activity since high school.
  • Post baccalaureate students returning for a second degree or a set of course work related to their emerging interests and commitments.


Adult learners seeking to complete a degree from Calvin College must fulfill requirements for a major and for liberal arts core courses. At least 25% of the semester hours required for graduation and a minimum of four courses in the designated major must be completed at Calvin College.

Adult learners who enter or return to Calvin must complete the adult learner core curriculum. Under this core curriculum, adult learners will be required to complete one course in each of the following areas:

  • Developing the Christian Mind or Biblical/Theological Studies II
  • Global/Historical Studies or Foreign Language Competency
  • Written Rhetoric
  • Rhetoric in Culture
  • Foundations of Information Technology
  • Historical Foundations
  • Philosophical Foundations
  • Biblical/Theological Foundations I
  • Persons in Community
  • Societal Structures in North America
  • Literature
  • The Arts
  • Mathematics
  • Natural World (physical or biological science)
  • Integrative Studies Course
  • Cross-cultural engagement

Note: Certain programs and majors do not allow this modified liberal arts core as fulfilling graduation requirements. For example, adult learners in the teacher education program and the nursing program must fulfill the liberal arts requirements specific to those programs. Adult learners should seek the advice of an academic advisor from their program or major early in their enrollment at Calvin.


Students seeking classification as an adult learner should indicate this when they complete their admission forms. Questions about the adult learner classification may be directed to The Center for Student Success.