Gardner-Webb University was initially chartered in 1905 by the Kings Mountain Baptist Association as Boiling Springs High School. During the Great Depression, the school was expanded by Governor O’ Max Gardner to become a junior college. It wasn’t until January 1993 that Gardner-Webb University was born as a comprehensive private four-year liberal arts institution. Affiliated with the Baptist State Convention of North Carolina, GWU enrolls over 4,500 students who follow the motto “For God and Humanity.” Gardner-Webb is located on a scenic 240-acre rural campus in Boiling Springs at the foothills of the Blue Ridge Mountains just 50 miles west of Charlotte.
According to the U.S. News, Gardner-Webb University is the 41st best regional college and 32nd top school for veterans in the South. In particular, GWU is recognized for having America’s 116th best online graduate teaching degrees and 64th best online graduate nursing programs. Princeton Review has included Gardner-Webb within its “Best in the Southeast” schools. In 2012, GWU’s core curriculum was given an “A” by the American Council of Trustees and Alumni. Gardner-Webb University was cited among the “Colleges that Build Moral Character” by the Templeton Foundation. Washington Monthly also named GWU the 156th best bang for the buck in the Southeast.
Gardner-Webb University Accreditation Details
Since 1948, Gardner-Webb University has been continuously accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges (SACSCOC). GWU is certified by the Council for Higher Education Accreditation (CHEA). Furthermore, teaching degrees are accredited by the National Council for Accreditation of Teacher Education (NCATE) and North Carolina Department of Public Instruction (NCDPI). Business programs meet the standards of the Accreditation Council for Business Schools and Programs (ACBSP). The School of Divinity is approved by the Commission on Accrediting of the Association of Theological Schools (ATS).
Gardner-Webb University Application Requirements
With an average acceptance rate of 66 percent, Gardner-Webb University has a selective annual admissions process. First-year applicants must be graduating high school seniors earning a diploma or the GED equivalent. Academic prerequisites are four units of English, two units of social science, two units of algebra, two units of foreign language, two units of natural science, and one unit of geometry. On average, GWU freshman have a high school GPA of 3.72. Taking challenging AP, IB, or Honors courses is suggested. Admitted students also achieve an average score of 22 on the ACT and 1015 on the SAT (without writing).
International students applying to Gardner-Webb must pass the TOEFL with a minimum score of 500 (paper-based) or 173 (computer-based). Transfers should have at least 16 semester hours of collegiate work at another regionally accredited institution. Incoming undergraduate transfers must carry a minimum cumulative GPA of 2.0. Graduate applicants must hold at least a bachelor’s degree from a four-year university and a minimum undergraduate GPA of 2.75. Certain programs have added requirements, such as taking the GRE or GMAT. Teachers earning their online master’s degree must have level A North Carolina licensure.
Interested students applying to attend Gardner-Webb University online must submit:
• Completed online admissions form
• Official transcripts of all academic work
• Standardized testing score reports
• Payment for the $40 processing fee
• Three confidential letters of recommendation
• Detailed resume of work/service history
• Copy of state teacher’s license (if applicable)
Tuition and Financial Aid
Full-time undergraduate students at Gardner-Webb University pay $13,945 per semester or $27,890 each year. Part-time undergrads can pay $447 per credit hour. Online degree completion programs cost $403 per credit. Undergraduate students studying online are charged a $35 technology fee per course. Graduate programs at GWU cost an average $410 per credit hour. Again, online graduate students pay the $35 technology fee per course. The Online MBA charges students $502 per credit, whereas the Online MSN costs $433 per credit. Books typically cost around $750 extra per semester.
100 percent of beginning full-time students at Gardner-Webb receive financial aid. After filing the FAFSA using code 002929, students may qualify for the Federal Pell Grant, FSEOG Grant, TEACH Grant, or Iraq and Afghanistan Service Grant. Borrowing money via the Federal Stafford, Federal Perkins, and Grad PLUS loans is kept minimal. In-state residents should apply for the North Carolina Need-Based Grant and Educational Lottery Scholarship. Teachers could qualify for the Forgivable Education Loan for Service (FELS). For 10 hours per week, Federal Work-Study (FWS) is available. Ranging from $1,000 to full tuition, there are numerous scholarships like the Provost Scholarship, Achievement Scholarship, Church Matching Scholarship, and Board of Minister’s Scholarship.
Online Degrees Available
Gardner-Webb University offers award-winning online programs to students across the United States, except Alabama, Arkansas, Iowa, Maryland, Massachusetts, Minnesota, Montana, Wisconsin, or Wyoming. Currently, online GWU students can select from 10 bachelor’s degree completion programs, nine master’s degrees, and one specialist degree. Face-to-face options can be added, but all coursework can be completed fully online in any schedule 24/7. Thanks to the low student-faculty ratio of 13:1, online learning is personalized with small class sizes. Some available online master’s degrees are:
M.A. in Sport Pedagogy
Consisting of 30 semester hours, the Master of Arts in Sport Pedagogy program at GWU equips graduate students with in-depth knowledge of health and physical activity to unlock advanced sports-related careers. Delivered 100 percent online, the degree includes coursework in human performance, wellness, sport sociology, sport administration, sport law, sport psychology, motor development, and physical education. Although the program doesn’t include NC teaching licensure, it’s ideal for future coaches, fitness trainers, and sports club managers.
M.A. in Curriculum and Instruction
Rooted in Christian values, the Master of Arts in Curriculum and Instruction program is offered online for licensed school teachers wishing to enhance their teaching skills at Gardner-Webb. Through Blackboard, teachers will complete a 33-credit curriculum over five semesters to fulfill the requirements for graduate-level NC licensure. Concentrations are offered in Christian School Education, Elementary Education, Gifted Education, Middle Grades Education, Rural Education, Teacher Leadership, or Urban Education.
Master of Business Administration
Featuring ACSBP approval, the Online Master of Business Administration (MBA) allows GWU graduate students to deepen their understanding of key business disciplines while strengthening leadership skills for mid- to upper-level management. Within the 36-credit curriculum, students take classes in managerial accounting, economics, corporate finance, marketing, organizational behavior, entrepreneurship, production research, business law, and international business. The program concludes with an applied capstone project in strategic management.
Other unique online degrees at Gardner-Webb University include the B.S. in Entrepreneurship, B.S. in Religious Studies, M.A in English, MSN in Administration, and Ed.S. in Executive Leadership.