Grand Canyon University

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This school appears in our ranking 20 Most Affordable Master's in Psychology Degrees Online: Private Colleges 2018.

Grand Canyon University is a private, not-for-profit Christian school located in Phoenix, Arizona. It is the largest Christian university in the world. The school began as Grand Canyon College in 1949, located in Prescott, Arizona. In 1951, it was relocated to Phoenix, and the school became a university in 1989. Because of failing finances, the university was sold to a corporation called "Significant Education, LLC" in 2004 and became the first for-profit Christian university. In 2018, it reverted to being a not-for-profit school.

Grand Canyon University is a large school comprised of nine colleges. It also owns and manages a hotel and a restaurant. The university recently opened a seminary as well. Programs are offered in traditional classroom settings, online and in evening-study formats to accommodate working adults. The residence halls have recently been remodeled and are suite-style. Grand Canyon University uses the word "new" in relation to its facilities and its academics.

GCU offers more than 200 baccalaureates, masters and doctoral degrees in 10 programs. There are 26 online degrees. Nearly 80 percent of students take some classes online, and more than 54,000 earn degrees that are offered completely online. The university is ranked by the US News & World Report in the second tier of National Universities.

Grand Canyon University Accreditation Details

The school is accredited by the Higher Learning Commission, which also accredits the distance-learning programs at GCU. Other accreditations include:

  • Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education
  • Accrediting Council for Business Schools and Programs
  • Commission on Accreditation of Athletic Training Education
  • Arizona Department of Education and the Arizona Board of Education
  • National Addiction Studies Accreditation Commission

Grand Canyon University Application Requirements

Students apply to the university through an online portal that houses several application types. Students applying as first-time freshmen should complete the appropriate form for either traditional or online programs and arrange to have their high schools submit their official transcripts. There is no application fee. Taking the SAT or ACT is recommended but not required. Students are encouraged to use the enrollment counselors provided by the school.

Incoming freshman students applying to the distance learning programs should complete that form and then, stipulating a degree plan, should request an enrollment counselor who will walk them through the rest of the procedures.

Graduate admission to Grand Canyon University is based on undergraduate GPA as well as GMAT or GRE scores. Each department has its own requisites as well, so it is important for graduate students to check the catalog for those requirements.

Tuition and Financial Aid

Traditional undergraduate students using a block schedule of 12-to-18 credits will pay $8,250 per semester in tuition. Room and board add $8,000 to that amount, and the school estimates students will spend another $4,200 on textbooks. In addition, students should budget for personal expenses such as automobile insurance and other items. Total estimated cost-of-attendance for a traditional freshman is $32,500 per year.

Non-traditional students and those who earn their degrees online can expect to pay about $500 per credit. Some programs differ. The graduate education programs cost $530 per credit while the Internet Technology degree is $515 per credit.

The average graduate tuition is $10,555.

Most students need help paying for college. The first resource to consider for that assistance is the federal government. They offer the Free Application for Federal Student Assistance form. The program collects financial information from applicants and awards grants and loans according to financial need. Arizona sponsors some grants as well, based on financial need. The Arizona Leveraging Educational Assistance Partnership is one such grant and does not need to be repaid. The Arizona Teacher Student Loan Program is not actually a grant, but it is a program that allows students in education programs to write off much of their student loans.

The university sponsors grants and scholarships as well. Most of these are based on academic achievement, but some are needs-based too. Individual programs and departments award scholarships and grants for students in those areas. There are scholarships available for students in certain activities such as sports, and opportunities designated by benefactors for students meeting other requisites like gender or ethnicity.

Students who do not qualify for enough grants and loans to meet their financial obligations to the university can apply for student loans, which are low-interest loans that usually allow students to defer repayment until after graduation.

Online Degrees Available

Grand Canyon University prides itself on offering a Christian education in state-of-the-art facilities. There are many degree programs to choose from at all levels. Programs may vary in course content and in program length between geographical areas. Some of these master's -level programs are listed here.

Master of Arts in History

The Master of Arts in History is a 34-credit program with an emphasis on education. It intends to prepare students to teach or to engage in research. The program helps students learn to engage and intrigue those they teach in history seen through a "Christian world vision." Sample courses in the degree program are Studies in the American West; Effective Pedagogy for Higher Education and Concepts in Understanding United States History. There is also a complementary course for world history available.

Master of Business Administration/Master of Science in Leadership

The Master of Business Administration and Master of Science in Leadership is a dual degree that blends aspects of finance, marketing and servant leadership. Students begin with the fundamentals of graduate studies and then build on those with courses in the major. The degree program contains 66 credits. Online courses are typically eight weeks, however, some may be shorter or longer. The degree program explores areas such as managerial studies, micro-and-macro-economics and leadership.

Master of Science in Clinical Mental Health Counseling

The Master of Science in Clinical Mental Health Counseling with Emphasis in Childhood and Adolescence Disorders is a 74-credit program that prepares students to sit for certification in Arizona and for national credentials. Students learn to identify childhood mental health disorders and to treat them. The program also stresses mental health wellness promotion. Some of the courses in this program are Theories and Models of Counseling; Substance Use Disorders and Addictions; Psychopathology and Human Sexuality and Issues of Aging.

Grand Canyon University website