Grand Canyon University (GCU)

3300 W Camelback Rd, Phoenix, AZ

Campus image of Grand Canyon University

Grand Canyon University (GCU) is a private Christian institute of higher learning located in Phoenix, Arizona.  It offers bachelor's, master's and doctoral degrees through its online and on campus programs.  A leading bible college, GCU also has been recognized for offering some of the top-rated online education programs in the United States. GCU's degree programs are offered through its Ken Blanchard College of Business, College of Education, College of Nursing and Health Sciences, College of Liberal Arts, College of Doctoral Studies, and College of Fine Arts and Production. Programs are designed for traditional undergraduate students as well as for working professionals.

The GCU mission states that as a private Christian College it "prepares learners to become global citizens, critical thinkers, effective communicators and responsible leaders by providing an academically challenging, values-based curriculum from the context of our Christian heritage."


In 1949, the Baptist General Convention of Arizona founded Grand Canyon University.  It was the state's first private university, and opened with 93 students on its first campus in Prescott, Arizona.

In 1951, GCU relocated to the present campus in Phoenix, Arizona.  A group of the university's founders relocated to the new campus and continued to grow its programs in education, English, religion, music, mathematics, history, and athletics.  The goal was to make GCU a "beacon of Christian education" and academic excellence.

In 1968, the North Central Association granted GCU regional accreditation. Over the years, GCU began to win national championships in athletics including basketball, baseball, and women's tennis. Academic programs were expanded in the 1980's to include master's degrees.


Grand Canyon University's academic calendar follows the semester system with a fall, spring and summer semester.  It offers 8-week and 16-week classes.

GCU offers nearly 60 different undergraduate degrees between its campus-based and online programs.  It offers more than 50 master's degrees with different specializations, and eight doctoral degrees.  Some degree programs are offered with both the on-campus and online options.

Colleges and Schools

Grand Canyon University (GCU) offers many degree programs through its different colleges and schools, which include:

  • Ken Blanchard College of Business
  • College of Nursing & Health Sciences
  • College of Education
  • College of Liberal Arts
  • College of Fine Arts and Productions
  • College of Doctoral Studies

Student Life

On-campus students of Grand Canyon University will benefit from the services provided by the Health and Wellness Center, Disability Services, Career Services, the Copy and Mail Center, the Library, a Fitness Center, cafeteria and campus coffee shop.  There are also many recreational activities and intramural sports offered at GCU's Phoenix campus.  Intramural sports include flag football, inner-tube water polo, soccer, softball, basketball, volleyball, ultimate Frisbee, and many more.

Online students of GCU will benefit from the Quick Start Resource Center, which offers many student services through the university's website.


From its early beginnings, Grand Canyon University has been a Christian university with a tradition of "educating people to lead and serve."


Grand Canyon University has a strong intercollegiate athletics program and has produced many top-ranking national athletes.  The GCU Antelopes (nickname: 'Lopes) teams have won many regional and national championships.

Athletics facilities at GCU include the Brazell Stadium (baseball), Antelope Gymnasium (Basketball, Volleyball), GCU Soccer Complex, Stapleton-Pierson Stadium (Softball), Phoenix Swim Club, Paseo Racquet Center (Tennis) and the Student Recreation Center.

Intercollegiate sports at GCU include:

Men's Sports:

  • Baseball
  • Basketball
  • Cross Country
  • Golf
  • Lacrosse
  • Soccer
  • Swimming & Diving
  • Tennis
  • Track & Field
  • Volleyball
  • Wrestling

Women's Sports:

  • Basketball
  • Cross Country
  • Golf
  • Soccer
  • Softball
  • Swimming & Diving
  • Tennis
  • Track & Field
  • Volleyball

Satellite Campuses

Many of GCU's professional and degree programs are offered online, allowing students to complete their courses from any location.

Community Life

As a Christian university, GCU offers many opportunities for spiritual growth and mission work.  The GCU offices of Student Life and Spiritual Life are there to build community on campus for students with diverse needs.  These offices host many events and activities to encourage involvement and connection with the community.  There are local, regional and international ministries available on a short-term or long-term basis.

Admission Requirements & Details

The admission details below may provide a better idea of the applicants GCU accepts. The details may include application requirements and recommendations, as well as any AP or college credits that may be transferred.

College Credits Accepted

  • Dual Credits
  • Life Experience Credits
  • AP Course Credits

Student Enrollment

Grand Canyon University has a total student population of about 62,000, with undergraduate students making up about 63% of the total student population and graduate students making up the rest.

Estimated Costs & Financial Aid

The items listed below are for informational purposes only and may not represent current tuition, fees, and expenses.

Tuition & Fees Information

  • The estimated tuition range is around $16,000-$20,000 per year
  • The estimated tuition for part time students is around $440 to $530 per unit

Financial Aid Details

The table below breaks down the types of financial aid, the percent of students receiving aid, and average amount of aid per student per year.

 Percent of StudentsAverage Amount
Any Financial Aid96%-
Receiving Grants & Scholarships93%$13,219
Receiving Student Loans65%$6,866

Academics & Student Services

Student Services

To help support students, Grand Canyon University may provide student services including:

  • Distance learning
  • Night and weekend classes available
  • Academic counseling for students
  • Employing students to lower education costs

Graduation Rates

The overall graduation rate of GCU is close to 30%.

Number of Year to GraduatePercent of Entering Class
Students Graduating in 4 Years24%
Graduating in 5 Years5%
Graduating in 6 Years0.9%

Specialized Programs & Accreditations

  • Bachelor's Degree in Nursing (BSN) Program (more info)
    • * Accredited by the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education (since 2006)
  • Nursing (MSN, DSN) Program (more info)
    • * Accredited by the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education (since 2006)

Intercollegiate Athletics

GCU is a Member of National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA), with many of the sports being in the NCAA Division II (without football) classification. The most popular sports played are listed below:

  • Baseball (Western Athletic Conference)
  • Basketball (Western Athletic Conference)
  • Track and Field (Western Athletic Conference)
  • Golf
  • Lacrosse
  • Soccer
  • Softball
  • Swimming
  • Tennis
  • Volleyball
  • Wrestling

Programs Offered

The program list below is organized by areas of study. The programs that have a link will direct you to the program's profile page where you can learn more about education requirements and career pathways.

(C) Certificate or Award | (A) Associate's | (B) Bachelor's | (M) Master's Degree | (D) Doctorate (PhD,...)

Biological and Biomedical Sciences

Business and Marketing Studies

Communications and Journalism

Computer and Information Sciences



English Language and Literature

Health and Clinical Professions


Interdisciplinary Studies

Philosophy and Religious Studies


Public Administration and Social Services

Recreation and Fitness Studies

Security and Protective Services

Social Sciences

Theology and Religious Vocations

Visual and Performing Arts

Other 4-Year Private Colleges

The list of schools below have been selected by researching which schools offer similar programs to Grand Canyon University.

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Data Disclaimer

Information displayed on this page has been obtained from Institution, State, and Federal data sources, including the US Dept. of Education's Integrated Postsecondary Education Data System (IPEDS) Survey 2008-2013. Information should be solely used for informational purposes only and may not be accurate for the current year. Contact Grand Canyon University for official up-to-date information.

Contact Information

General Contact

Admissions Office

  • Phone: (800) 800-9776

Financial Aid Office

  • Phone: (800) 800-9776

School Reviews

Overall Rating: 4 / 5 Stars

Based on 5 Reviews for Grand Canyon University

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School Map

School Map of Grand Canyon University