Grand Canyon University (GCU) has been accredited by the Higher Learning Commission (HLC) since 1968. GCU is also authorized in Arizona by the Arizona State Board for Private Postsecondary Education. Accreditations speak to the quality of the university and its academic programs and can represent acknowledgment by peer institutions of meeting set criteria or standards.
Accreditation is a peer review of the rigor and quality of a higher education institution and the programs it offers. A university’s accreditation assists multiple constituents including:
Council for Higher Education Accreditation
The Council for Higher Education Accreditation (CHEA) is a private nonprofit organization that serves to recognize accrediting bodies to promote high standards of excellence within degree-granting universities. CHEA recognizes GCU’s institutional accreditor, the Higher Learning Commission, as upholding national ideals of academics within institutions. GCU is also an institutional member of CHEA.
Institutional Accreditation: The Higher Learning Commission
The Higher Learning Commission (HLC) accredits GCU as a postsecondary institution. This accreditation covers both GCU’s traditional courses as well as online, providing a foundation of trust for quality education in both modalities.
The HLC was established in 1895 as an accreditor of post-secondary degree granting institutions in the North Central region, totaling 19 states. The HLC and its predecessor have accredited GCU continually since 1968. In 2017, GCU's accreditation was reaffirmed by the HLC after a comprehensive review of the institution’s mission; integrity, ethical and responsible conduct; teaching and learning quality, resources, support, evaluation and improvement; and finances, planning and institutional effectiveness. The HLC is recognized by the U.S. Department of Education (ED) and by the Council for Higher Education Accreditation (CHEA).
To be accredited by the HLC, GCU voluntarily submits to a peer review to ensure the University meets the Higher Learning Commission’s standards. The areas examined by the HLC peer reviews include:
- University mission
- University integrity
- University and shared governance
- Educational and co-curricular activities
- Teaching and learning effectiveness
- University assessment
- Admissions and student services
- Student academic achievement
- Financial stewardship
- Student resources
- Organizational effectiveness
- Relationships with outside constituencies
The Higher Learning Commission
230 S. LaSalle St., Suite 7-500
Chicago, IL 60604
Commitment to Continuous Improvement and Transparency
GCU is committed to student learning and continuous improvement. Student achievement data is included in the Disclosures links, located on the Program Details page, for each program leading to licensure and certification. Consumer information can be found here, and additional information on internal assessment practices and results is available upon request by sending an email to GCUAssessment@gcu.edu.
In addition to GCU’s HLC accreditation, GCU maintains programmatic accreditations for several of its programs. Programmatic accreditations indicate that a program has met a specific set of criteria or standards (professional counseling, nursing, business, etc.) as set forth by the specialized accrediting body.
Grand Canyon University's online and evening programs offer the flexibility you need to get ahead, providing a quality education to help you thrive in today's complex world.