UNIVERSITY AND ACADEMIC POLICIES

As a registered student, you are responsible for knowing information pertaining to Grand Canyon University's (GCU) academic policies. If you are not in compliance with policies, requirements or regulations, it may impact your enrollment and ability to graduate from GCU. Browse to find more information about the University Policy Handbook, accreditation, state authorizations and GCU's policies.

Title IX prohibits sexual discrimination in education programs that receive federal funding. GCU is committed to upholding this policy and students' rights under Title IX.

Learn More About Title IX


Grand Canyon University Accreditations

As an accredited university, GCU holds regional, college and program-specific accreditations. Accreditations speak to the quality of the university and its academic programs, and can represent acknowledgment by peer institutions.

Regional Accreditation
In choosing a university, you should ensure your choice is regionally accredited, as this provides an assurance of quality as well as continual institutional program improvement.

Regional accreditation in higher education originated almost a century ago as an American process conferred by a nongovernmental agency. Today, one of the most respected agencies is the Higher Learning Commission, which is recognized by the Council for Higher Education Accreditation.

The Higher Learning Commission (HLC) and its predecessor have accredited GCU continually since 1968. GCU obtained its most recent 10-year reaccreditation in 2007.

To be accredited, the HLC's examiners and trained peers visit GCU's campus, analyze and accept the university's operations and academic outcomes as meeting HLC's core competencies.

Among the areas HLC audit reviews are:

  • Educational activities
  • Admissions and student personnel services
  • Administration
  • Student academic achievement
  • Financial stability
  • Student resources
  • Organizational effectiveness
  • Relationships with outside constituencies

GCU has earned accreditations and approvals for our core program offerings from:

  • Accreditation Council Business Schools and Programs
  • Arizona State Board of Education
  • Arizona Department of Education
  • Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education
  • Commission on Accreditation of Athletic Training Education (caate.net)

Higher Learning Commission
The HLC accredits GCU.

The Higher Learning Commission
230 S. LaSalle St., Suite 7-500
Chicago, IL 60604
Phone: 312-263-0456
Toll-free: 800-621-7440
hlcommission.org

Arizona State Private Post-Secondary Education
GCU is licensed in Arizona by the Arizona State Board for Private Postsecondary Education.

Arizona State Board for Private Postsecondary Education
1400 W. Washington St., Room 260
Phoenix, AZ 85007
Phone: 602-542-5709
azppse.state.az.us

Veterans Administration
GCU is approved for the education and training of veterans under the provisions of Title 10 and 38, U.S. Code. We accept Chapter 30, 31, 32, 33, 35, 1606 and 1607 recipients. Veterans are approved for benefits for numerous programs. For more information regarding using your VA benefits at GCU, call us at 855-GCU-LOPE.

Colangelo College of Business
The Accreditation Council for Business Schools and Programs (ACBSP) accredits the following College of Business programs:

  • Bachelor of Science in Accounting
  • Bachelor of Science in Marketing
  • Bachelor of Science in Business Administration
  • Bachelor of Science in Entrepreneurial Studies
  • Bachelor of Science in Finance and Economics
  • Bachelor of Science in Sports Management
  • Master of Business Administration
  • Executive Master of Business Administration

Accreditation Council for Business Schools and Programs
7007 College Blvd., Suite 420
Overland Park, KS 66211
Phone: 913-339-9356

The most recent ACBSP two-year Quality Assurance Report can be reviewed here.

In addition, the Colangelo College of Business uses the business field test administered by Peregrine Academics to assess the business knowledge of our college's undergraduate students. The most recent results from the Peregrine test can be reviewed here.

College of Education

GCU's College of Education is approved by the Arizona State Board of Education and the Arizona Department of Education to offer institutional recommendations (credentials) for the certification of early childhood, elementary, secondary and special education teachers and administrators.

College of Nursing and Health Care Professions
The baccalaureate degree in nursing and master's degree in nursing at GCU are accredited by the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education (CCNE).

GCU's College of Nursing and Health Care Professions is approved by the Arizona State Board of Nursing.

The nursing program is approved by the New Mexico Board of Nursing.

The Bachelor of Science in Athletic Training program is accredited by the Commission on Accreditation of Athletic Training Education.

College of Humanities and Social Sciences
Our Master of Science in Addiction Counseling program has been approved for accreditation through the National Addiction Studies Accreditation Commission (NASAC). NASAC accreditation is a new accreditation body resulting from a combined effort of The International Coalition for Addiction Studies Education (INCASE) and the Association for Addiction Professionals (NAADAC) to create a single higher education addiction studies accreditation.

College of Science, Engineering and Technology
As an established regionally accredited university, our next step is to seek and obtain program-specific accreditation for our engineering and technology programs. Program-specific accreditation is voluntary and will provide degrees earned from the College of Science, Engineering and Technology with added value for our students.

Yet, before GCU can receive accreditation for our engineering and technology programs, graduates must have earned a degree from the program. We will not be able to seek accreditation for several years because our programs are so new; however, accreditation for engineering and technology programs will be retroactive when these programs do become endorsed.

GCU remains committed to aligning our engineering and technology programs with accreditation standards. We strive to exceed these high standards to ensure our STEM students receive a quality education during their time here.

We acknowledge accrediting bodies seek the following in engineering and technology programs pursuing endorsement:

  • The institution is committed to improving their educational experience.
  • The program is committed to using best practices and innovation in education. 
  • The program is guided by its industry, government and academic constituents through formal feedback.
  • The program considers the students' perspective as part of its continuous quality improvement process.

Accrediting bodies look for institutions to continually improve upon their programs, and GCU constantly evaluates our programs. We seek feedback from industry on a regular basis to ensure that our curricula are as relevant as possible in today's marketplace.

Intercollegiate Athletics
Intercollegiate athletics function under the guidelines of the National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) Division I regarding eligibility to participate in intercollegiate sports. In the 2013-14 season, GCU began the process of reclassifying from Division II to Division I as a member of the Western Athletic Conference.

National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) Division I
700 W. Washington St.
P.O. Box 6222
Indianapolis, IN 46202

Policy Handbooks

University Policy Handbook

The University Policy Handbook provides information including graduation requirements, degree programs offered, admission requirements and general academic regulations.

View Policy Handbook

Academic Catalog

Get information about our degree programs, foundational and degree-specific coursework.

View Academic Catalog

Our Academic Calendar provides important dates that you need to know as a GCU student.

2015 - 16 Traditional Campus Calendar
Summer Semester 2015
May 4 - Aug. 16, 2015
15-week classes
Move-In Date May 1
Instruction Begins May 4
     Session A May 11 - June 28
     Session B June 29 - Aug. 16
Instruction Ends Aug. 14
Fall Residents Move to Fall Housing July 31
Move out Date for Non-Fall Residents Aug. 14
End of Term Aug. 16
Final Course Grades Due Aug. 23
Fall Break Aug. 17 - 23
Fall Semester 2015
Aug. 24 - Dec. 13
15-week classes
Move-In Date Aug. 17 - 21
Welcome Week
Instruction Begins Aug. 24
Thanksgiving Break Nov. 23 - 29
Instruction Ends Dec. 11
Move out Date for Fall-only Students Dec. 12 at 10 a.m.
Living Area Closed for Christmas Dec. 12 at 10 a.m
End of Term Dec. 13
Final Course Grades Due Dec. 20
Christmas Break Dec. 14, 2015 - Jan. 3, 2016 
2015 Online Christmas Break Schedule
Undergraduates Dec. 21, 2015 - Jan. 3, 2016
Graduates Dec. 24, 2015 - Jan. 6, 2016
Fall Commencement Ceremonies*
Nontraditional Campus Commencements
College of Humanities and Social Sciences
College of Doctoral Studies
College of Education
College of Theology
College of Nursing and Health Care Professions
Colangelo College of Business
College of Fine Arts and Production
Traditional Campus Commencements Dec. 11, 2015
All Colleges
* Dates and times of commencement ceremonies may be subject to change.
Spring Semester 2016
Jan. 1 - April 24
15-Week Classes
Move-In Date Jan. 2-3
Instruction begins Jan. 4
Spring Break March 21- 27
Instruction ends April 22
Move out Date April 23 at noon
End of Term April 24
Final Course Grade Due May 1
Summer Beak April 25 - May 1
Spring Commencement Ceremonies*
Traditional Campus Commencement April 22, 2016
Spring Nontraditional Campus Commencements April 23 & 25, 2016
*Dates and times of commencement ceremonies may be subject to change.

Our Academic Calendar provides important dates that you need to know as a GCU student.

Summer Break April 25 - May 1, 2016
Summer 2016: May 4 - Aug. 14, 2016 15-week classes
Move In April 29
Instruction Begins May 2
     Session A May 9 - June 26
     Session B June 27 - Aug. 14
Fall Residents Move to Fall Housing July 29
Face-to-face Instruction ends (except labs) Aug. 12
Move out Date for Non-Fall Residents Aug. 12, noon
End of Term Aug. 14
Final Course Grades Due Aug. 21
Fall Break Aug. 15 - 28
Fall Semester 2016: Aug. 29 - Dec. 18, 2016 15-week classes
Move In Aug. 22 - 26
Welcome Week
Instruction Begins Aug. 29
Thanksgiving Break Nov. 21 - 27
Face-to-face Instruction ends (except labs) Dec. 16
Move out Date for Fall-only Students Dec. 17 at 10 am
Living Area Closed for Christmas Dec. 17 at 10 am
End of Term Dec. 18
Final Course Grades Due Dec. 25
Christmas Break Dec. 19, 2016 - Jan. 8, 2017
2016 Online Christmas Break Schedule
Undergraduates Dec. 19, 2016 - Jan. 1, 2017
Graduates Dec. 22, 2016 - Jan. 4, 2017
Fall Nontraditional Campus Commencements*
College of Humanities and Social Sciences TBD
College of Doctoral Studies TBD
College of Education TBD
College of Theology TBD
College of Nursing and Health Care Professions TBD
Colangelo College of Business TBD
College of Fine Arts and Production TBD
Winter Traditional Campus Commencements* Dec. 16, 2016
All Colleges
* Dates and times of commencement ceremonies may be subject to change.
Spring Semester 2017: Jan. 9 - April 30, 2017 15-Week Classes
Move In Jan. 7 - 8
Instruction begins Jan. 9
Spring Break March 20- 26
Face-to-face Instruction ends (except labs) April 28
Move Out TBD
End of Term April 23
Final Course Grade Due May 7
Summer Beak May 1 - 7
Traditional Campus Commencement* TBD
All Colleges
Spring Nontraditional Campus Commencements* TBD
All Colleges
*Dates and times of commencement ceremonies may be subject to change.

If you are considering enrolling as an online student at GCU, we suggest you review whether your state authorizes GCU to offer your preferred educational program to its residents.

GCU has been granted authorization by the State of Alabama under Ala. Code 16-5-10 (14) (1975) to offer the academic degree programs described herein. Since credentials earned through the College of Education do not automatically qualify for teacher certification, endorsement and/or salary benefits within the State of Alabama, you are advised to contact the Alabama State Superintendent of Education (alsde.edu/sites/boe/Pages/home.aspx).

The Arkansas Higher Education Coordinating Board (adhe.edu) certification does not constitute an endorsement of any institution or program. Such certification merely indicates that certain criteria have been met as required under the rules and regulations implementing institutional and program certification as defined in Arkansas Code §6-61-301.

Any Hawaii residents who have exhausted the institution's complaint process can file a complaint with the Hawaii Post-Secondary Education Authorization Program (cca.hawaii.gov/hpeap).

This institution is authorized by The Indiana Board for Proprietary Education (in.gov/bpe).

The Indiana Board for Proprietary Education
101 W. Ohio St., Suite 670
Indianapolis, IN 46204

This institution is authorized by The Indiana Board for Proprietary Education (in.gov/bpe).

The Indiana Board for Proprietary Education
101 W. Ohio St., Suite 670
Indianapolis, IN 46204

GCU has been approved to operate by the Kansas Board of Regents (kansasregents.org).

GCU has been approved to operate by the Kansas Board of Regents, kansasregents.org

Please be advised that our educator preparation programs are NOT accredited in Kentucky by the Education Professional Standards Board and are NOT recognized for initial, additional or renewal of certification or salary enhancement (rank change) for K-12 educators in Kentucky. For more information, visit the Education Professional Standards Board's Website (epsb.ky.gov/certification/outofstate.asp).

To view a listing of approved programs, check the Kentucky Council on Postsecondary Education's website (dataportal.cpe.ky.gov/acadprog.aspx).

For more information, contact:
Council on Postsecondary Education
1024 Capital Center Drive, Suite 320
Frankfort, Kentucky 40601

The following programs have been authorized to operate in Maryland by the Maryland Higher Education Commission:

  • Bachelor of Science in Counseling with an Emphasis in Addiction, Chemical Dependency and Substance Abuse
  • Master of Arts in Teaching
  • Master of Education in Curriculum and Instruction: Reading
  • Master of Education in Curriculum and Instruction: Technology
  • Master of Education in Educational Administration
  • Master of Education in Educational Leadership
  • Master of Education in Teaching English to Speakers of Other Languages (TESOL)
  • Master of Science in Addiction Counseling
  • Master of Science in Professional Counseling
  • Master of Science in Nursing with an Emphasis in Public Health
  • Master of Science in Nursing with an Emphasis in Nursing Education
  • Master of Science in Nursing with an Emphasis in Nursing Leadership in Health Care Systems
  • Master of Education in Special Education
  • Post-Master of Science in Nursing

The Bachelor of Science in Early Childhood Education, Bachelor of Science in Elementary and Special Education, Bachelor of Science in Secondary Education, Master of Education in Early Childhood Education, Master of Education in Elementary Education and Master of Education in Secondary Education programs have not been recommended for implementation by the Maryland Higher Education Commission based upon on a possible shortage of student teaching placement opportunities.

All other programs are pending registration by the Maryland Higher Education Commission.

Maryland Higher Education Commission
6 North Liberty St., 10th Floor
Baltimore, MD 21201
Phone: 410-767-3303
(mhec.state.md.us)

GCU is registered as a private institution with the Minnesota Office of Higher Education (ohe.state.mn.us) pursuant to sections 136A.61 to 136A.71. Registration is not an endorsement of the institution. Credits earned at the institution may not transfer to all other institutions.

GCU has been approved to operate by the Missouri Coordinating Board for Higher Education (dhe.mo.gov/cbhe). GCU's Bachelor of Arts in History for Secondary Education program has not been reviewed by the Missouri Department of Elementary and Secondary Education and therefore may not satisfy teacher certification requirements.

GCU is approved by the Ohio Board of Career Colleges and Schools (scr.ohio.gov). Any Ohio residents who have a complaint can file a complaint with:

Ohio Board of Career Colleges and Schools
35 East Gay St., Suite 403
Columbus, OH 43215
Phone 614-466-2752
Toll Free: 877-275-4219

Teacher education programs have not been reviewed or approved by Pennsylvania. Candidates will need to apply for certification and meet requirements for certification as out-of-state candidates.

Licensed by the South Carolina Commission on Higher Education (che.sc.gov). Licensure indicates only that minimum standards have been met; it is not an endorsement of quality. Licensure is not equivalent to or synonymous with accreditation by an accrediting agency recognized by the U.S. Department of Education.

South Carolina Commission on Higher Education
1122 Lady Street, Suite 300 
Columbia, SC 29201
Phone: 803-737-2260

GCU is authorized for operation as a postsecondary education institution by the Tennessee Higher Education Commission. In order to view detailed job placement and graduation information on the programs offered by GCU, visit state.tn.us/thec and click on the Authorized Institutions Data button.

This authorization must be renewed each year and is based on an evaluation by minimum standards concerning quality of education, ethical business practices, health and safety and fiscal responsibility.

If a complaint is not settled at the institutional level, the student may contact:

Tennessee Higher Education Commission
Nashville, TN 37243
Phone: 615-741-5293

Transferability of Credits for Tennessee Students:
Credits earned at GCU may not transfer to another educational institution. Credits earned at another educational institution may not be accepted by GCU. You should obtain confirmation that GCU will accept any credits you have earned at another educational institution before you execute an enrollment contract or agreement. You should also contact any educational institutions to which you may want to transfer credits earned at GCU to determine if such institutions will accept credits earned at GCU prior to executing an enrollment contract or agreement. The ability to transfer credits from GCU to another educational institution may be very limited. Your credits may not transfer and you may have to repeat courses previously taken at GCU if you enroll in another educational institution. You should never assume that credits will transfer to or from any educational institution. It is highly recommended and you are advised to make certain that you know the transfer of credit policy of GCU and of any other educational institutions to which you may in the future want to transfer the credits earned at GCU before you execute an enrollment contact or agreement.

GCU is authorized by the Washington Student Achievement Council (wsac.wa.gov) and meets the requirements and minimum educational standards established for degree-granting institutions under the Degree-Granting Institutions Act. This authorization is subject to periodic review and authorizes GCU to offer specific degree programs. The council may be contacted for a list of currently authorized programs. Authorization by the council does not carry with it an endorsement by the council of the institution or its programs. Any person desiring information about the requirements of the act or the applicability of those requirements to the institution may contact:

Washington Student Achievement Council
P.O. Box 43430
Olympia, WA 98504

This authorization is subject to periodic review and authorizes GCU to advertise and recruit for the following degree programs:

  • Associate of Arts
  • Bachelor of Arts in Christian Studies
  • Bachelor of Arts in Communications
  • Bachelor of Arts in English Literature
  • Bachelor of Arts in History
  • Bachelor of Arts in Interdisciplinary Studies
  • Bachelor of Science in Accounting
  • Bachelor of Science in Applied Management
  • Bachelor of Science in Business Administration
  • Bachelor of Science in Business Management
  • Bachelor of Science in Counseling
  • Bachelor of Science in Elementary Education
  • Bachelor of Science in Entrepreneurial Studies
  • Bachelor of Science in Finance and Economics
  • Bachelor of Science in Health Care Administration
  • Bachelor of Science in Health Science in Professional Development and Advanced Patient Care
  • Bachelor of Science in Justice Studies 
  • Bachelor of Science in Marketing
  • Bachelor of Science in Medical Imaging Sciences
  • Bachelor of Science in Nursing (RN to BSN)
  • Bachelor of Science in Psychology
  • Bachelor of Science in Public Safety and Emergency Management
  • Bachelor of Science in Respiratory Care
  • Bachelor of Science in Secondary Education
  • Bachelor of Science in Sociology
  • Bachelor of Science in Sports Management
  • Bridge to Master of Science in Nursing
  • Executive Master of Business Administration
  • Master of Arts in Christian Studies
  • Master of Arts in Teaching
  • Master of Business Administration
  • Master of Business Administration and Master of Science in Leadership
  • Master of Business Administration and Master of Science in Nursing
  • Master of Education in Curriculum and Instruction: Reading
  • Master of Education in Curriculum and Instruction: Technology
  • Master of Education in Education Administration
  • Master of Education in Early Childhood Education (IP/TL)
  • Master of Education in Early Childhood Education (IP/Non-TL)
  • Master of Education in Elementary Education (IP/Non-TL)
  • Master of Education in Secondary Education; Master of Education in Special Education
  • Master of Education in Special Education for Certified Special Educators
  • Master of Public Administration
  • Master of Public Health
  • Master of Science in Accounting
  • Master of Science in Addiction Counseling
  • Master of Science in Criminal Justice
  • Master of Science in Health Care Administration
  • Master of Science in Health Care Informatics
  • Master of Science in Leadership
  • Master of Science in Nursing with an Emphasis in Nursing Education
  • Master of Science in Nursing with an Emphasis in Leadership in Health Care Systems
  • Master of Science in Nursing with an Emphasis in Health Care Informatics
  • Master of Science in Professional Counseling
  • Master of Science in Psychology
  • Doctor of Education in Organizational Leadership

The following programs lead to initial teacher certification or licensure in Arizona, and program applicants are encouraged to check with their state or local credentialing agency regarding applicability in their state:

  • Bachelor of Science in Elementary Education (IP/TL)
  • Bachelor of Science in Elementary Education and Special Education (IP/TL)
  • Bachelor of Science in Secondary Education (IP/TL)
  • Master of Education in Early Childhood Education (IP/TL)
  • Master of Education in Educational Administration (AP/PL)
  • Master of Education in Elementary Education (IP/TL)
  • Master of Education in Secondary Education (IP/TL)
  • Master of Education in Special Education (Cross-Categorical) (IP/TL)

The following programs do not lead to initial building-level administrator certification or licensure, but may lead to professional development credit, and program applicants are encouraged to check with their state or local credentialing agency regarding applicability in their state:

  • Master of Arts in Teaching (AP/CPE)
  • Master of Education in Curriculum and Instruction: Reading (AP/CPE)
  • Master of Education in Curriculum and Instruction: Technology (AP/CPE)
  • Master of Education in Early Childhood Education (IP/Non-TL)
  • Master of Education in Educational Leadership (AP/CPE)
  • Master of Education in Elementary Education (IP/Non-TL)
  • Master of Education in Secondary Education (IP/Non-TL)
  • Master of Education in Special Education (Cross-Categorical) (IP/Non-TL)
  • Master of Education in Special Education for Certified Special Educators (AP/CPE)
  • Master of Education in Teaching English to Speakers of Other Languages (AP/CPE)


Consumer Information

GCU compiles data and maintains reports to help you decide if GCU is a good match to help you achieve your academic goals. Take a look at the helpful reports and links below to see if we can help you fulfill your academic achievements.

To request a copy of any of our consumer information reports, call 855-GCU-LOPE.

In addition, we provide the following links to help you compare educational institutions and learn more about GCU.

  • College Navigator (nces.ed.gov/collegenavigator)
  • College Scorecard (ed.gov/category/keyword/college-scorecard)