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Grand Canyon University

GCU is a private Christian university. We are dedicated to helping our students change their lives for the better through education. Our experienced faculty and staff will be with you every step of the way to ensure you reach your goals.

Competitive, affordable tuition rate so that furthering education is within reach for all

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Over 275 programs, including over 125 degree programs, over 125 emphases and over 25 certificate programs1

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GCU has been accredited by the Higher Learning Commission since 1968

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A growing network of over 200,000 alumni2

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The History of Grand Canyon University

Est. 1949

Since the beginning, GCU has been dedicated to helping students change their lives.

The Beginning of Grand Canyon University

Grand Canyon College was chartered on Aug. 1, 1949, with 16 faculty and approximately 100 students in Prescott, AZ. In 1951, the college relocated to a 90-acre tract in West Phoenix and was accredited in 1968 by the Commission on Institutions of Higher Education. Established as a Baptist-affiliated institution with an emphasis on religious studies, the school initially offered bachelor’s programs in education. Programs expanded to include the sciences, nursing, business, music and fine arts. It was during this time when the college started to develop a reputation for producing effective teachers, nurses and health care professionals in the Southwest.

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University Growth

GCU is growing rapidly with plans for continued expansion. Since 2009, we have invested millions into the university to improve the quality of academic offerings and student experiences. This infrastructure includes new classrooms, laboratories, libraries, student support centers, residence halls and recreational facilities. In fall 2016, we welcomed a record number of students to our Phoenix campus and we plan to expand our student population and campus facilities going forward. 

Our university also continues to accommodate our growing online and evening student communities. We have tens of thousands of online students attending class from across the globe. In turn, we are constantly refining our digital platforms to deliver GCU's outstanding campus experience to virtual settings. We are also building additional campus locations to help full-time and evening students attend class closer to home.

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University Development

GCU's campus continues to grow to meet the needs of students and cultivate world-class learning experiences. Here's a snapshot of the campus today - a home away from home for our Lopes:

  • State-of-the-art GCU Stadium and GCU Arena
  • Contemporary residence halls and apartments with resort-style swimming pools
  • Recreation and fitness centers
  • Student Union and popular eateries along Lopes Way
  • New engineering classroom buildings dedicated to cutting-edge STEM learning
  • Division I athletics, club sports teams and intramural sports teams
  • Academic, professional, social and recreational clubs
  • Academic and student support centers

Community Transformation

West Phoenix is where GCU calls home. That's why GCU stands committed to transforming the surrounding neighborhoods into a safe, thriving place for those in the community to live with hope and better futures. Along with providing academic excellence and vibrant campus life, GCU believes its purpose is to partner together to implement initiatives in the area that open educational opportunities for all, create jobs, restore housing and reduce crime. GCU calls this United by Purpose.

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You already have the tools you need to change your life. Let GCU teach you how to use them so you can reach your full potential through education.

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My educational program exceeded my expectations in both learning and receiving help. Professors are willing to help their students achieve their goals, they will give extra time to lend a hand to students who need it. I would definitely recommend my program to others. It is a valuable degree and opens up so many different directions in the workforce.

Chun Tong (Kirby) Kwok
GCU BS in Accounting & MBA: Accounting Student

My educational program exceeded my expectations in both learning and receiving help. Professors are willing to help their students achieve their goals, they will give extra time to lend a hand to students who need it. I would definitely recommend my program to others. It is a valuable degree and opens up so many different directions in the workforce.

Chun Tong (Kirby) Kwok
GCU BS in Accounting & MBA: Accounting Student

Let's Get Started →

Not Finding What You're Looking For?

Fill out the form at the top of the page and you will be assigned a GCU Counselor who can answer your questions or check out the links below.

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The History of Grand Canyon University

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Since the beginning, GCU has been dedicated to helping students change their lives.

Find Your Degree & Get More Information

Find the program that you are interested in below and complete the form to get more information on classes, admission and tuition.

Est. 1949

University Transformation & Investment

In total since 2009, the university had invested over 1 billion dollars—and today continues to invest in full-time faculty, improved technology infrastructure, new facilities and programmatic expansion in high-growth, high-demand areas such as engineering, computer science and IT. The university has been able to self-fund these investments with only nominal increases in tuition for students.

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As of March 31, 2021

2 Alumni from 1957 to April 2021. Includes students who have graduated and completed their program.