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3300 W Camelback Rd
Phoenix, AZ 85017
p. 800-800-9776
w. www.gcu.edu

Grand Canyon University

Grand Canyon University Rating: 3.9/5 (26 votes)

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Established in 1949, Grand Canyon University (GCU) is a private, non-denominational university located in Phoenix, Arizona. This esteemed Christian school is regionally accredited and has been recognized by notable sources including Technology & Learning Magazine and Fortune Small Business for offering some of the best online education programs in the country.

GCU emphasizes personalized attention for both the undergraduate students as well as the working professional. As a private Christian college, the university prepares students to become critical thinkers, global citizens, effective communicators and responsible leaders by providing an academically demanding, values-based curriculum from the context of Christian heritage.


GCU is accredited by The Higher Learning Commission of the North Central Association and offers undergraduate, graduate, doctoral, and certificate online programs through four academic colleges: Ken Blanchard College of Business; College of Education; College of Nursing & Health Sciences; College of Doctoral Studies; and College of Liberal Arts.

The school uses a cohort learning technique in which a group of students advance from a series of core courses together and continue to their major area of study. Through this style of learning students develop relationships with cohort members, providing support and encouragement for one another as needed, and together focus on one class at a time. Students are assigned a virtual instructor as well as a virtual group of fellow learners who through the online courses discuss educational issues, and participate in class projects. Most of the programs are designed to be completed in two years.

The College of Education offers students a Bachelor of Science (BS) degree in elementary education & special education or a Bachelor of Science degree in either elementary education, or secondary education. With the Ken Blanchard College of Business, students may earn a bachelor’s degree in a variety of fields of study including accounting, applied management, business administration, emergency management, finance, economics, marketing, or public safety administration.

The College of Nursing & Health Sciences offers students bachelor degrees in one of the following areas of study: addiction counseling, health science—professional development & advanced, medical imaging, nursing, or respiratory care, or pre-physical therapy. The College of Liberal Arts offers the choice of a Bachelor of Arts degree in any of the following areas of study, including Christian studies, communications, English literature, history, interdisciplinary studies; and, a Bachelor of Science degree in justice studies, psychology, or sociology.

Most Popular Fields of Study


GCU enrolls more than 25,000 students annually. Admission is open to all students who have earned a bachelor’s degree from an accredited institution with a minimum cumulative grade point average of 2.8. The university typically accepts college course credits from regionally-accredited universities and colleges. Prospective students must complete an online application for admission and send the official transcripts along with work experience. There is no application fee for applying and the school accepts all qualified students without regard to race, ethnic origin, religion, color, gender, marital/ family status, political affiliation, or sexual preference.

International students are also encouraged to apply for admission. Interested applicants must send all their official transcripts, and work experience. Students from non-native English speaking countries must take any one of the following tests: TOEFL, IELTS, and TOEIC.

Financial Aid

The school offers two distinct types of financial aid for qualifying online students: self help aid and gift aid. Self help aid is low interest loans undergraduate or graduate-level students may receive if enrolled at least half-time. Gift aid comes in the form of scholarships or grants. It is only available for first-time undergraduate students. The active and retired military personnel are offered a wide variety of tuition and fee assistance for the graduate and undergraduate programs.

Tuition payment plans are also available for students wanting to pay per month rather than with one large payment. Some students may qualify for tuition reimbursement if employed by a company which offers that benefit. Students who are employed should check with their organization’s human resources department to find out if they are eligible for tuition reimbursement, and if the company offers it in their benefits package.

Student Financial Aid Details

Ranks 3661st for the average student loan amount.
Secrets to getting the best scholarships and financial aid in Arizona.


GCU provides students with the services they need right from the school’s website. Students can access such documents as the student handbook, the University catalog, as well as the status of their grades, financial aid, transcripts, and more. The cohort learning provides several advantages to the online learning experience which include: developing lasting relationships, receiving support and encouragement, developing knowledge and skills progressively, and integrating knowledge of business functions.

All of the courses use Angel technology, which means you will have a reliable format in each of the classes that you take. At the start of each course, you will enter an Angel tutorial to acquaint you with the online structure. In your account, you will have the access to everything including your course syllabus, staff information, as well as discussion boards and a digital drop box.

The school offers amazing career opportunities that are as diverse and interesting as the campus-based and online classes. The team of dedicated instructors, rigorous academic programs, and cutting edge technology give students an education that prepares them to lead and serve the global workforce. GCU’s active participation in the community and the continuous commitment to excellence make the school an attractive and rewarding place to work.

Student Enrollment Demographics

Student Graduation Demographics


The university’s athletic department sponsors men’s as well as women’s sports team and is currently a member of NCAA Division II, with most sports partaking in the Pacific West Conference. Men’s Volleyball competes in the Midwestern Intercollegiate Volleyball Association; and Lacrosse is an Independent member of NCAA Division II. The sports teams are nicknamed the ’Lopes.


Notable alumni include:

  • Efrain Escudero, noted Mixed Martial Arts competitor for the UFC
  • Horacio Llamas, eminent NBA player for the Phoenix Suns
  • Henry Cejudo, 2008 Olympic wrestling Gold Medalist

Information Summary

Ranks 58th in Arizona and 3712th overall
See the entire top 2,000 colleges and universities list

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Contributed Photos

Campus Building :: Grand Canyon University Memorial Hall :: Grand Canyon University Campus Building :: Grand Canyon University

Campus Crime Statistics

  Incidents per 100 Students
Aggravated assault N/A N/A
Murder & Non-Negligent Manslaughter N/A N/A
Rape 3 0.01
Robbery N/A N/A
Arson N/A N/A
Burglary 12 0.03
Larceny N/A N/A
Vehicle theft 1 0.00
Arrest 37 0.09

Local Crime Statistics

  Incidents per 100 People
Aggravated assault 4,090 0.28
Murder & Non-Negligent Manslaughter 116 0.01
Forcible Rape 559 0.04
Robbery 3,324 0.23
Arson N/A N/A
Burglary 18,666 1.27
Larceny 38,258 2.61
Vehicle theft 7,555 0.52

Demographics – Main Campus and Surrounding Areas

Reported area around or near Phoenix, AZ 85017
Surrounding communityLarge city (inside urban area, pop. over 250,000)
Total Population40,385 (40,385 urban / N/A rural)
Households12,951 (3.07 people per house)
Median Household Income$28,595
Families8,660 (3.68 people per family)

Carnegie Foundation Classification

Master's Colleges and Universities (larger programs)
UndergraduateProfessions focus, some graduate coexistence
GraduatePostbaccalaureate professional (education dominant)
Undergraduate PopulationHigher part-time four-year
EnrollmentMajority undergraduate
Size & SettingLarge four-year, primarily nonresidential

General Characteristics

Title IV EligibilityParticipates in Title IV federal financial aid programs
Highest offeringDoctoral degree
Calendar SystemSemester
Years of college work requiredN/A
Variable Tuition
Religious AffiliationN/A
Congressional District407

Special Learning Opportunities

Distance LearningN/A
ROTC — Army / Navy / Air Force  —   /   / 
Study Abroad
Weekend College
Teacher Certification

Student Tuition Costs and Fees

Ranks 1172nd for total cost of attendance
  In District In State Out of State
Effective as of 2014-09-19
FT Undergraduate Tuition $7,842 $7,842 $7,842
FT Undergraduate Required Fees $703 $703 $703
PT Undergraduate per Credit Hour $400 $400 $400
FT Graduate Tuition $7,296 $7,296 $7,296
FT Graduate Required Fees $628 $628 $628
PT Graduate per Credit Hour $487 $487 $487
Total Cost of Attendance — On-Campus $32,100 $32,100 $32,100
Total Cost of Attendance — Off-Campus w/out Family $32,100 $32,100 $32,100
Total Cost of Attendance — Off-Campus with Family $25,300 $25,300 $25,300

Student Tuition Cost History and Trends

Prior year cost comparison
  In District In State Out of State
Published Tuition & Fees $16,500 $17,000 $16,500 $17,000 $16,500 $17,000
  Cost (regardless of residency)
Effective as of 2014-09-19
Books & Supplies $1,200 $4,500
On-Campus – Room & Board $12,000 $8,000
On-Campus – Other Expenses $2,400 $3,300
Off-Campus w/out Family – Room & Board $10,400 $8,000
Off-Campus w/out Family – Other Expenses $400 $3,300
Off-Campus with Family – Room & Board $4,000 $4,100

Admission Details

Effective as of 2014-09-19
Application Fee RequiredN/A
Undergraduate Application FeeN/A
Graduate Application FeeN/A
First Professional Application FeeN/A
Applicants 15,401 (3,050 male / 6,705 female)
Admitted 8,440 (2,399 male / 4,627 female)
Admission rate 55%
First-time Enrollment 3,190 (968 male / 2,222 female)
FT Enrollment 2,103 (704 male / 1,399 female)
PT Enrollment 1,087 (264 male / 823 female)
Total Enrollment55,497

Admission Criteria

 = Required,   = Recommended,   = Neither required nor recommended
Open Admissions
Secondary School GPA / Rank / Record  /  N/A / 
College Prep. CompletionN/A
Formal competency demoN/A
Admission test scores
Other testsN/A

Admission Credits Accepted

Dual Credit
Life Experience
Advanced Placement (AP)

Athletics - Association Memberships

Sports / Athletic Conference Memberships NCAA
NCAA Basketball Conference Western Athletic Conference
NCAA Baseball Conference Western Athletic Conference
NCAA Track & Field Conference Western Athletic Conference

Student Services

Remedial Services
Academic / Career Counseling
PT Cost-defraying Employment
Career Placement
On-Campus Day Care
Library Facility

Student Living

First-time Room / Board Required
Dorm Capacity4,200
Meals per Week19
Room Fee$4,200
Board Fee$3,800

Faculty Compensation / Salaries

Ranks 2083rd for the average full-time faculty salary.
Effective as of 2014-09-20
Tenure system N/A
Average FT Salary $61,896 ($61,443 male / $51,177 female)
Number of FT Faculty 287 (122 male / 165 female)
Number of PT Faculty 2,638
FT Faculty Ratio 0.1 : 1
Total Benefits N/A

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