Looking for admissions, majors or financial aid? Visit our Admissions Site.



Grand View Mission and Overview

Grand View is a not-for-profit liberal arts university offering bachelor's and master's degrees.  It is a private institution affiliated with the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America. Founded more than 100 years ago in 1896, Grand View offers a high-quality education to a diverse student body in a career-oriented, liberal arts–grounded curriculum in Des Moines, Iowa, a metropolitan area of more than half a million people. Grand View welcomes traditional students and adult learners representing a wide range of religious and cultural backgrounds. 

At Grand View, students find a winning combination of high-quality programs, experienced professors, and caring individuals. With approximately 2,000 students (around 1,650 full time), an average class size of 16, and a student-to-faculty ratio of 14 to 1, students get to know their professors and other students well. They learn independence and seek responsibility in Grand View's educational environment. Learning is an interactive process at Grand View—students engage in lively discussions, work on real-world projects, and participate in career-related work experiences. Grand View welcomes and supports students from all walks of life, geographies, religions and ethnicities.  The university's non-Caucasian enrollment approaches 20%, and there are approximately 30 states and 17 countries represented on campus. About 70% of full-time undergraduate students are from Iowa.  Approximately 800 students live on campus.

Our Mission

Grand View engages, equips, and empowers students to fulfill their individual potential and serve society. Committed to the development of the whole person – mind, body and spirit – and to preparing students for successful careers and responsible citizenship both in their communities and in a diverse and changing world, Grand View offers a liberal arts education that:

  • Challenges students to inquire with a disciplined and critical mind, communicate effectively, and display an awareness of the global issues that affect us all.
  • Creates a community of learners where differing perspectives are welcome, where friendly interaction is the norm, and where intellectual and personal integrity is expected and modeled.
  • Offers a supportive environment where students can engage in community with others, discern life purpose, and grow in leadership.
  • Affirms Christian faith and ethics as a vision for life, a vision that enhances our respect for the diversity and dignity of all people, for relating to others, and for the pursuit of lifelong learning.

Informed by its Danish Lutheran heritage, Grand View is a School for Life.

History and Lutheran Connections

Grand View was founded in 1896 by members of the Danish Evangelical Lutheran Church in America.  These founders believed that a good education was essential for everyone as a foundation for life, work, and service to others. The educational and religious ideals of the Danish philosopher N. F. S. Grundtvig and the experience of the Scandinavian folk school shaped the founders’ vision for Grand View and its future development.

Grand View is a university of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America (ELCA). Because of our Lutheran heritage and ties to the Church, we help prepare students for vocation and service in their careers and in their communities. They learn to think critically, informed by both faith and reason, learning about God and themselves through a variety of ways of knowing. Collectively we embrace our common humanity and live out our calling in community with others.

Since its founding, Grand View has provided students a program of general liberal education and has responded to changing societal needs. In 1912, Grand View opened an academy or high school department. In 1924, instruction at the junior college level began. Following discontinuation of the academy, the Iowa State Department of Public Instruction accredited the junior college in 1938. By 1959, Grand View was accredited by the North Central Association of Colleges and Secondary Schools.  In 1960, the theological seminary at Grand View was relocated to Maywood, IL, with the formation of the Lutheran Church in America and its Iowa Synod.

In 1975, the College added a new division offering preparation for nursing and allied health professions, and the nursing program became the first four-year degree offering. Baccalaureate accreditation in the summer of 1975 was a major event in the College’s continuing development. Since then, Grand View has expanded its offerings to more than 40 degree programs, many of which combine classroom learning with career-related experiences in the Des Moines area.

In 1988 Grand View became one of 27 colleges of the newly formed Evangelical Lutheran Church in America. In 2008, with the launch of its inaugural master’s program, Grand View became a University.

Our campus ministry is open and inclusive, acknowledging and affirming a diversity of religious traditions, values and expressions. Campus pastors and our student Campus Ministries Coordinators support a variety of faith-based activities. All are welcome.


Vision and Values

Core values informed by our Lutheran heritage

Grand View’s core values emerge from our Lutheran heritage and our Danish roots. These bedrock values shape academic life, student life, and faith life at Grand View.

Academic Life 

Excellence. Believing we are all called to be co-creators with God in perfecting and preserving the world, Grand View encourages faculty, staff, and students to give their best effort in all they do.

Critical Inquiry. Grand View supports its faculty by providing the academic freedom to pursue truth, to critique what is, and to discover a deeper understanding of our place in the world. Students are also encouraged to develop these skills.

Dialogue between Faith and Reason. Grand View believes wisdom emerges when faith perspectives inform reason and vice versa. Questions of faith and religious beliefs are welcomed in all classrooms. 

Liberal (liberating) Arts. Believing that ignorance enslaves and truth frees, Grand View is committed to the liberal arts as the primary means of cultivating wisdom that frees us for the service to others.

Vocation. Grand View encourages faculty, staff, and students to put their personal gifts and knowledge to work in order to serve others and the world.
Student Life & Work Life 

Community defined by Christ and Creation. Grand View affirms the lordship of Jesus Christ and his preeminence in creating and defining Christian community. Grand View also celebrates the universal bond that human beings are all made in the image of God, equal in dignity, sharing a humanity in which God shows no partiality. 

Promotion of Individual Freedom. Grand View is dedicated to individual freedom as an opportunity to make moral decisions, act ethically, and serve others.     

Respect for the Law. Believing that laws inform us of right and wrong, Grand View abides by civil laws and governing structures that themselves are established by God. 

Civic Engagement. Grand View emphasizes civic engagement through community service by its students, faculty, and staff. 

Commitment to Wellness. Grand View is committed to health and wellness so that all community members have an opportunity to balance and nurture mind, body, and spirit. 

Faith Life   

Worship. Believing that we experience God in Word and Sacrament, Grand View is dedicated to the worship of God — Father, Son, and Holy Spirit — for the purpose of proclaiming the gospel. 

Ecumenism. Grand View recognizes God’s work across denominational lines and religious boundaries and thus supports all students — as well as faculty and staff — in their faith journey. 

Pastoral Care. Grand View provides the office of Campus Pastor to serve the entire campus community through pastoral guidance and care. 

Student Ministries. Grand View makes various ministry activities available to all students and  encourages participation.

Theological Literacy. Grand View provides students with the tools to understand their own faith and engage in questions of faith and meaning in the world; it encourages the same understanding and engagement in faculty and staff.

Grand View is a university of the church (shaped and informed by our “faith foundations”) for the world (called, as an institution, to serve society).

With boldness and confidence, we will…

  • Provide a rigorous education that prepares students for successful careers and inspired lives;
  • Afford this opportunity to all qualified students, including those who have been under-represented in college populations;
  • Preserve the virtues of independent, residential, church-related, liberal arts education for future generations;
  • Blend the strengths of engaging and interactive in-class experiences with appropriate technologies to enrich learning and extend our reach;
  • Build community ties that enhance life in the region and add value for our students.

By doing these things well, we can emerge as a leader within the higher education community.

Academic Programs and Majors

Grand View offers 40 undergraduate majors, 29 minors, nine certificate programs, two post-baccalaureate certificates and five pre-professional preparation programs. There are eight undergraduate majors that offer more than one area of emphasis. Grand View's offers graduate programs including: Master of Science in Athletic Training, Master of Science in Organizational Leadership, Master of Science in Nursing (with options of clinical nurse leader and nursing education), Master of Education, and Master of Science in Sport Management. 

Academic Programs
Grand View operates on a 4-4-1 academic calendar. The first semester runs from August to December. The second semester begins in early January and ends in April. Three 1-month summer sessions are offered in May, June, and July, as well as a summer trimester evening program.

Grand View adopted a new, innovative core curriculum in fall 2014. As students progress through the core, they focus on outcomes:  critical inquiry, information literacy, communication (written, oral and quantitative), global awareness, vocation ("calling"). They choose the courses that will help them meet those outcomes, from both the core and their majors. They have a wide variety of core courses to choose from and can select them to broaden and deepen their understanding of:
• The natural world
• Society and human behavior
• The arts
• Faith and meaning

The Core is flexible, designed to allow students to select what interests them most while they gain competency and intellectual depth in key areas. Competencies matter, but it is Grand View’s emphasis on the whole person – the transformation of mind, body and spirit – that empowers students to succeed in a career and in their lives.

We have two honors programs: LOGOS and Bonfire Magazine. Logos is an alternative learning program by invitation only to select students whose high school accomplishments make them candidates for this fast-paced and challenging curriculum. Bonfire Magazine is a joint effort by the Communication and Art departments  It is a student-run magazine published once a year, is by invitation only, and generally for juniors and seniors. 

The Grand View academic mission is to serve a diverse student body by providing a variety of learning environments and teaching techniques. In order to meet this commitment, Grand View provides academic support programs and services designed to enable students to master skills essential for success in college-level courses. Grand View’s academic success programs were lauded as a “national model” by the examining team from the North Central Association during re-accreditation in 2005, when Grand View received complete ten-year accreditation with no follow-up required.

Grand View has 95 full-time faculty members and more than 100 part-time faculty members; nearly 80 percent hold the highest degree in their field. All classes are taught by professors; no graduate or teaching assistants instruct Grand View classes.
You can explore our faculty and departments in the Undergraduate Admissions section of this site.
Undergraduate Costs and Financial Aid

For 2016-17, the comprehensive cost for freshmen living on campus is $33,806, which includes tuition, an activity fee, a technology fee, a parking fee, and room and board. Health services and Internet access are also included in the comprehensive fee.  Because Grand View is a private institution, tuition and fees are the same for out-of-state and in-state students. Many students find that the cost of Grand View is comparable to a state university. After grants and scholarships, 86% of 2016 full-time, residential GV freshmen paid tuition, fees, and room & board that were comparable to or less than the published in-state prices at Iowa’s public  universities.  

Undergraduate Financial Aid
Typically more than 98% of our full-time day undergraduate students received financial assistance totaling more than $36.5 million. The average financial assistance package for new first-year students exceeds $24,500, with $16,600 in grants and scholarships and the remainder in loans and work-study. The amount of aid is determined through a combination of merit and analysis of need as determined through the Free Application for Federal Student Aid. Students receive notification of financial aid packages following acceptance of admission to the University and receipt of their financial aid analysis of need.

Admission and Application Information

Undergraduate applicants' files are reviewed to determine their preparedness for a Grand View education. Official high school transcripts and submission of ACT or SAT I scores are required for applicants with less than 24 semester hours of college credit. Applicants transferring from another institution are required to submit official transcripts from all colleges/universities previously attended. Admission to the School of Graduate Studies is specific to the degree pursued. 

The full-time undergraduate application is available online here. The evening/part-time undergraduate application is available online here. There is no fee for applying online. For more information about Grand View, prospective undergraduate students should contact:

Admissions Office
Grand View University
1200 Grandview Avenue
Des Moines, Iowa 50316-1599
United States

Telephone: 515-263-2810
800-444-6083, Ext. 2810 (toll-free)
Fax: 515-263-2974
E-mail: admissions@grandview.edu

For graduate admissions, please contact the School of Graduate Studies at 515-263-2830 or email gradadmissions@grandview.edu. The graduate application is available online here.


Student athletes compete in men's baseball, basketball, bowling, cross country, football, golf, soccer, tennis, track & field, volleyball, and wrestling, and women's basketball, bowling, competitive dance, cross country, golf, soccer, softball, tennis, track & field, and volleyball. Co-ed offereings include cheerleading and shooting sports. Grand View is a member of the Heart of America Athletic Conferece of the National Association of Intercollegiate Athletics. Athletic scholarships are available for qualified athletes.

Visit our athletics website for rosters, scores and all the latest news. 

Adult Programs
Grand View's College for Professional and Adult Learning serves students in central Iowa with 16 evening  majors, most offered in an accelerated format to allow students to work full-time while they complete a degree. Schedules are flexible and classes are offered evenings and weekends at both Grand View's main campus. For more information, click on the Evening/Part-Time link on the home page.

Grand View is located in Des Moines, with a metropolitan area exceeding half a million people in central Iowa. Des Moines is the state capital and serves as the communications hub for Iowa. Nationally recognized organizations that have their corporate offices in Des Moines include Pioneer Hi-Bred International, Inc.; the Principal Financial Group; Meredith Corporation; and The Des Moines Register.

Grand View's 50-acre campus is in the heart of Des Moines—and as part of the Grand View community, students are not limited by the confines of a small school or small town. On a given day, students can catch an Iowa Cubs professional baseball doubleheader, head down to the Court Avenue district for great food and nightlife, or take in a concert at the Civic Center.

A thriving arts program in Des Moines features the Des Moines Metro Opera, Ballet Iowa, the Des Moines Symphony, the Des Moines Art Center, annual Des Moines Art Festival and the Des Moines Playhouse.

Des Moines features four distinct and beautiful seasons. Except for a few months of bundle-up, see-your-breath weather, the climate is ideal for outdoor activities. Grand View students can take advantage of terrific recreational opportunities, including several golf courses, Saylorville Lake, and many city parks and state forests. Easily accessible from Interstates 35 and 80, Grand View is 4 hours from Minneapolis, 6 hours from Chicago, and 3 hours from Kansas City.

Leadership Development
Students are encouraged to develop leadership and team skills through involvement in campus organizations, which include intercollegiate and intramural athletics, speech and theater groups, major department clubs, student government, and the Grand View Choir. Active honorary societies include Alpha Chi, Alpha Mu Gamma, Alpha Psi Omega, Alpha Sigma Lambda, Beta Beta Beta, Phi Eta Sigma, Sigma Theta Tau, Sigma Tau Delta and Theta Alpha Kappa. Grand View's student leadership program provides opportunities for students without leadership experience to seek and develop critical thinking, interpersonal, and networking skills.
Students also have opportunities to participate in university governance. The Student Activities Council and Viking Council plan student activities that promote educational, social, cultural, and recreational aspects of student life. Students serve as representatives on faculty and staff search committees, programming committees, and student life committees.
Multicultural Opportunities

Grand View provides a learning and working environment that promotes and values diversity through respectful dialogue and enriching opportunities, leading to a vibrant community whose members are strengthened by their unique combination of backgrounds, perspectives, and life experiences. 

The Multicultural and Community Outreach Office offers opportunities for all students to explore diverse experiences, foster understanding, and support one another.

Business Partnerships

Grand View stands out from other institutions because of its partnerships with leading businesses and organizations in Des Moines, which has led to challenging internships and, for more than a decade and a half, nearly 100 percent of students finding jobs right after graduation or continuing their education. Grand View is known for its ability to connect students with exciting and challenging career opportunities.

UnityPoint Health - Des Moines
In 2012 Grand View and UnityPoint Health - Des Moines began offering an RN to BSN cohort on site at UnityPoint facilities, specifically for UnityPoint RNs who want to complete the BSN.

Top Employers
Several of Des Moines' larger organizations consistently offer internships to GV students and hire GV graduates in significant numbers year over year.  They include:

UnityPoint Health
Wells Fargo
Mercy Medical Center
Des Moines Public Schools
Nationwide Insurance
VA Central Iowa Health System
Pioneer DuPont
Principal Financial
Youth Energency Services
Wellmark Blue Cross/Blue Shield
Southeast Polk Community School District
State of Iowa
Meredith Corporation


Grand View and its programs are accredited or licensed by the Higher Learning Commission of the North Central Association of Colleges and Schools. Click the image below to view details about Grand View's accreditation.

The baccalaureate degree in nursing/master's degree in nursing at Grand View University is accredited by the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education, One Dupont Circle, NW, Suite 530, Washington, DC 20036, 202-887-6791, and by the Iowa State Board of Nursing. The program's 2013 NCLEX-RN first-time pass rate was 92.31%, compared to the national rate of 83.04% and the Iowa rate of 82.25%. The 2014 pass rate was 76.21%, compared to the national rate of 81.79% and the Iowa rate of 78.28%. Grand View's three-year first-time pass rate for 2012-2014 was 84.67%, compared to the national three-year rate of 85% and Iowa rate of 83.47%. The Grand View teacher education program is approved by the Iowa Department of Education.