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

Notepad with pen and calculator

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 (

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

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

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 Business Management
  • 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.

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.

Holiday Schedule

Holiday Campus Offices Closed Evening Classes Meet Online Classes Meet Traditional students on campus do not meet
News Year's Day X X X
Martin Luther King Day X X X X
President's Day X X X X
Good Friday X X X
Memorial Day X X X X
Independence Day X X X X
Labor Day X X X X
Veteran's Day X X X
Thanksgiving and the following Friday X X X
Christmas Day X X X

*Note: Online students are encouraged to submit work early if an assignment due date falls directly on a holiday. Students are still responsible for timely submission of work.

GCU Approvals

As an Arizona-based institution, GCU is licensed by the Arizona State Board for Private Postsecondary Education.

Arizona State Board for Private Postsecondary Education (AZPPSE)
1400 W. Washington St., Room 260
Phoenix, AZ 85007
Phone: 602-542-5709

Additionally, GCU holds state authorizations in several states and is an approved SARA (State Authorization Reciprocity Agreement) institution.

State Authorization Reciprocity Agreements (SARA) Participant

GCU is an institutional participant in the State Authorization Reciprocity Agreement (SARA) initiative. As with its regional accreditation, GCU voluntarily requested to and received authorization as a SARA institution. As stated on the National Council of SARA's website, SARA is "an agreement among member states, districts and territories that establishes comparable national standards for interstate offering of postsecondary distance education courses and programs. It is intended to make it easier for students to take online courses offered by postsecondary institutions based in another state. SARA is overseen by a National Council and administered by four regional education compacts." As a SARA participating institution, GCU may offer several of its programs to students living within SARA member states. For more information, visit

New Hampshire
New Mexico
North Dakota
Rhode Island
South Dakota
West Virginia

State Authorizations

GCU maintains authorizations for various programs in several states. GCU offers programs in compliance within the laws and regulations of the states in which it operates as defined by the jurisdiction's laws. Not all states require oversight of states which do not have or maintain a physical presence in the state. As a result, GCU may be authorized, licensed, registered, exempt or not subject to approval depending upon the laws of the relevant state. It is your responsibility to understand current circumstances and professional licensure requirements in your state of residence. Below are the state specific authorizations GCU maintains.

As an out-of-state institution, GCU's representatives recruiting in Florida maintain licensure with the Florida Commission on Independent Education.

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 at

Many of GCU's other programs are approved in Kentucky. Please check the Kentucky Council on Postsecondary Education's website at to view a listing of approved programs.

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

Many of GCU's programs are approved in New Mexico. Any New Mexico residents who have a complaint can file a complaint with:

New Mexico Higher Education Department
2048 Galisteo
Santa Fe, NM 87505
Phone: 505-476-8400

Educator preparation programs have not been reviewed or approved by Pennsylvania. Candidates will have to apply for certification and meet requirements for certification as out-of-state candidates. Contact an enrollment representative for more information.

GCU is licensed to recruit SC residents by:

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

Licensure indicates only that minimum standards have been met; it is not an endorsement or guarantee of quality.

GCU makes no guarantee that other institutions will accept credits earned at GCU. The transfer of course/degree credit is determined by the receiving institution.

Applicant students must consult with their academic advisors concerning eligibility for employment in discipline-related fields.

The Utah Division of Consumer Protection has verified that GCU has met the requirements of Utah Code Ann. §13-34a-04 to be a registered postsecondary school required under 34 C.F.R 600.9 to be legally authorized by the State of Utah.

As an out-of-district institution, GCU licenses its representatives recruiting in Washington, D.C. with the Washington, D.C. Education Licensure Commission.

GCU has been approved and is legally authorized to do business in the state of Wisconsin as a private postsecondary school, subject to the provisions of §38.50 Wisconsin Statutes, and all administrative rules adopted pursuant to the statutes. Approval includes only those programs and those locations specifically approved by the board.

Other States

If you reside in one of the locations listed below, please contact an enrollment representative to discuss the programs available in your area.

  • California
  • Connecticut
  • Delaware
  • Hawaii
  • Massachusetts
  • New Jersey
  • New York
  • North Carolina

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.