About Grand Canyon University's Doctorate Degree Programs

Grand Canyon University's doctoral learners are preparing to become scholar-practitioners. They are passionate about their fields of study and capable of becoming leaders in the disciplines and communities in which they serve. By earning a doctoral degree, graduates are prepared to respond to the needs of a global society by understanding how to apply research and analysis skills to real world problems.

Grand Canyon University's doctoral degrees utilize the latest teaching tools, administrative techniques, and psychological and leadership theories needed to develop and design the most successful organizations. GCU's doctoral graduates understand how to apply the most effective methods to develop organizations capable of thriving in an environment of ongoing, complex and increasingly-rapid change.

The College of Doctoral Studies offers a selection of doctoral degrees tailored to the specific interests of our learners. The Ed.D. in Organizational Leadership offers specializations for those seeking leadership roles in organizational development, higher education, K-12 education, special education, Christian ministry, and behavioral health. The Education Specialist in K-12 Leadership program is similar to the Ed.D. program but without the dissertation or research component. The Ph.D. in General Psychology program is offered with the choice of focusing on performance psychology; cognition and instruction; industrial and organizational psychology; and integrating technology, learning and psychology. The Doctor of Business Administration program is designed in collaboration with GCU's College of Business.

Today's complex healthcare environments require the highest level of scientific knowledge and practice expertise to assure quality patient outcomes. To answer this demand, Grand Canyon University offers an online Doctor of Nursing Practice (DNP) program through the College of Nursing. This post-master's practice-based program prepares nurses to translate research into innovative solutions that improve patient outcomes in practice settings or change leadership in health systems and organizations. Throughout the program, an emphasis is placed on nursing practice and leadership from a Christian perspective through a focus on values and ethics.

Program Format and Residency Requirements

Coursework for the Ed.D. and DBA programs are offered online with learners participating in two in-person residencies. Each online course lasts eight weeks and is taken with a group of peers. The two residency experiences provide face-to-face interaction and personal attention focused entirely on the dissertation process. This enables learners to confidently complete the dissertation, the crowning achievement of doctoral study. The Ph.D. and Ed.S. programs are offered 100% online with no residency requirements. However, optional residencies for Ph.D. learners are available.

Many of GCU's doctoral programs are also offered as ground cohorts at the University's main campus located in Phoenix, Arizona. Contact a Doctoral Specialist for cohort schedules.

Doctoral Support Structure

Successfully completing a doctoral degree requires support from several angles. GCU provides premier support from a knowledgeable team who understands the uniqueness of the doctoral journey, including an enrollment counselor and student services advisor in conjunction with the exemplary faculty. In addition, GCU offers many other resources to help make the doctoral journey meaningful and manageable.


Doctoral faculty members are selected based on their strong academic foundation combined with significant real-world experience in either public or private institutions. Many of our doctoral faculty members have over 20 years of experience in their respective fields and have published in professional journals. Also, many faculty members have held senior leadership positions in school districts, colleges and Fortune 100 companies.


GCU's librarians have a wealth of knowledge specific to the dissertation journey and are available to help doctoral learners through every step of the research process. The doctoral librarian can provide personalized assistance in researching dissertation topics as well as database navigation.

DC Network

The DC Network® (Doctoral Community Network) is a vibrant online learning community that allows emerging scholars to create and share content related to their respective disciplines. Through the DC Network®, doctoral learners are able to connect with other scholars who share similar research interests and access resources relevant to their dissertation research.

Doctoral Writing Tutor

The Doctoral Writing Tutor is a service committed to supporting GCU doctoral learners with all of their scholarly writing needs. Emerging scholars are able to receive guidance on a variety of topics as they develop their dissertation. This service is also available for virtual, one-on-one conferences as needed.

Scholarly Journals

The Center for Innovation in Research and Teaching (CIRT) was developed to facilitate excellence in research and teaching at Grand Canyon University. With the mission of fostering innovation in teaching, learning and research, CIRT has developed several journals, conferences and collaborative research circles that doctoral learners are encouraged in participate in.

The Journal of Non-Significant Differences is a student-led, peer-reviewed journal designed to highlight the value of non-significant research findings while providing learners with a comprehensive understanding of the research cycle and the publication process. The Canyon Journal of Interdisciplinary Studies encourages the exchange of empirical and theoretical research among faculty and students at GCU. The Journal of Instructional Research is another peer-reviewed journal centered on exploring research on teaching and learning at the post-secondary level.