A Christian school based on Christian doctrine, Grand Canyon University was founded in 1949 and is a leading private university. The university’s leadership incorporates biblical ethics in all aspects of organizational function, teaching and learning. Located near downtown Phoenix, Grand Canyon University’s physical campus is conveniently located for students in the local area though it offers a broad range of degree programs completely online. The school maintains a low 16.1 student-faculty ratio on its physical campus and duplicates that ratio throughout its online degree programs. Many of the school’s classes have fewer than 20 students, no small feat with a total student enrollment of more than 80,000. The physical campus serves 19,500 students but there are more than 60,700 enrolled online students. As to quality and value, Grand Canyon University appears on the 2017 U.S. News and World Report list of Best Colleges in the Regional Universities (West), Tier 2 division.

Grand Canyon University Accreditation Details

Grand Canyon University is fully accredited by the Higher Learning Commission. The organization reaffirmed its accreditation of the school in March 2017 for an accreditation extension of 10 years without qualification or need for any interim reports or program monitoring. Additionally, the Higher Learning Commission also gave its approval of two additional doctoral degree programs. The school also is regionally accredited by the North Central Association of Colleges and Schools.

Further, the Accreditation Council for Business Schools and Programs (ACBSP) accredits several undergraduate and Master’s programs in business studies. Accredited undergraduate programs include Accounting, Business Administration, Entrepreneurial Studies, Finance and Economics, Marketing and Sports Management. Accredited Master’s programs include Grand Canyon University’s MBA and Executive MBA programs. Nursing undergraduate, Master’s and Doctor of Nursing Practice programs are accredited by the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education (CCNE). Grand Canyon University’s Addiction Counseling program is accredited by the National Addiction Studies Accreditation Commission (NASAC).

The College of Education is awaiting full accreditation by the National Council for Accreditation of Teacher Education (NCATE). The school is a formal candidate for accreditation but has not yet been awarded full accreditation status.

Grand Canyon University offers online programs in all of these areas of study as well as several others that are regionally accredited but do not yet carry additional accreditation through discipline-specific accrediting commissions.

Grand Canyon University Application Requirements

Grand Canyon University’s Admissions page states that requirements are different for on-ground and online programs. In reality, it is only the process that differs because minimum requirements are identical for each. Most, but not all, of Grand Canyon University’s online students are older working adults, some of whom have some college credits from earlier study. New high school graduates are welcome into online study, however.

Those with no previous college work will need to exhibit:

  • High school diploma with unweighted GPA of 3.0 or greater.
  • College entrance exam scores for high school graduates. Qualifying scores are 19 on the ACT exam but vary for the SAT according to test date. Those testing on a 2400-point scale must have a combined math and reading score of 1380. Those testing after March 2016 when the scale changed to 1600 must have a minimum score of 1000.
  • GED students must provide GED evidence and transcripts of all credit-bearing courses. GED score requirements vary according to the series in which individual applicants received the GED designation. Minimum cumulative score for the 2014 series and later is 680.

Transfer students need to meet at least one of the following requirements for admission into Grand Canyon University:

  • If transferring 25 – 90 transferrable credits, the student must demonstrate an unweighted GPA of at least 2.25 as well as provide transcripts listing those credits and grades.
  • If transferring 6 – 24 transferrable credits, the student must demonstrate an unweighted GPA of at least 2.75 and furnish all applicable transcripts.
  • If transferring 1 – 5 credits, then high school admission requirements apply.
  • Transfer students holding a completed bachelor degree must have completed that degree with an unweighted GPA of at least 2.0.

Tuition and Financial Aid

Online students typically generate lower operational costs for any school. This pattern holds true for Grand Canyon University, and the school passes the savings along to the student. Traditional on-ground undergraduate programs cost $687.50 per credit hour for 1 – 11 credit hours and $8,250 per semester for 12 credit hours or more. Per-hour charges are less for most online students, though charges do vary according to degree program. Per-hour charges for online students range from $250 to $470 depending on student status and major. Active Duty and Active Reserve students in undergraduate programs pay only $250 per credit hour. Undergraduate theology students pay $355. Education program charge is $440; applied business and information technology charge is $449. Undergraduate business administration and professional studies students pay $470 per credit hour.

Pricing is higher for graduate programs, of course. The lowest cost is for Master of Divinity students who pay $330 per credit hour. The highest per-hour fee for Master’s programs is for Advanced Practice Nursing programs priced at $630 per credit hour. Most Master’s program pricing averages $500 per credit hour. Doctoral program cost ranges from $608 to $640 per credit hour.

Financial aid is available in the form of scholarships, grants and student loans. Grand Canyon University mentions several scholarships for undergraduate study, but most of those are limited only to traditional students attending classes on the institution’s physical campus. Students also can search for available scholarships from other sources that do not limit use only to on-campus students. Grants are available in many forms, of course. Many carry very narrow requirements, however. Though the search can be tedious, the outcome can be quite rewarding. The institution also provides a link to the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA), the beginning point for all student loans.

Online Degrees Available

Grand Canyon University offers undergraduate and graduate degrees in a broad range of disciplines. Currently it offers online programs in a broad range of disciplines including business, criminology, engineering technology, psychology, education, theology and others. Currently, the school offers 23 separate undergraduate programs in business alone, with specialties in government, accounting, business analytics, business administration, secondary education business administration, entrepreneurial studies, finance and economics, health care administration, hospitality management, marketing and more. Core program study addresses theory and function, as well as economic principles, labor costs, ethical practice, corporate social responsibility and management. Upper level courses examine higher level issues and build on the principles taught in foundational study. Some other areas of study such as nursing management, school administration, ministry and medical studies include the same topics.

Students need to check with the school to determine which degrees are offered fully online, particularly those that have a technical or scientific foundation such as nursing. As example, the undergraduate nursing degree incorporates some online courses but requires on-ground attendance for most of the program. Building on the technical knowledge of the undergraduate degree, Grand Canyon’s Advanced Practice Nursing (master’s level) and Doctor of Nursing Practice programs are available completely online. The same is true for Performing Arts and Creative Design, though students can achieve either undergraduate and graduate business or criminology degrees completely online.

Grand Canyon University offers a broad range of both undergraduate and graduate degree programs online. With total online enrollment fully three times as great as on-ground enrollment, prospective students can be certain that Grand Canyon University strives to meet the needs of its online students.