Grand Canyon University 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:
Regional Accreditation: The Higher Learning Commission
The Higher Learning Commission (HLC) accredits GCU as a postsecondary institution. The HLC and its predecessor have accredited GCU continually since 1968. In 2017, Grand Canyon University’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
In addition to GCU’s Higher Learning Commission 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. The following is a list of GCU’s programmatic accreditations.
Commitment to Continuous Improvement and Transparency
Grand Canyon University 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.
Postsecondary Authorization and SARA
Grand Canyon University offers programs in compliance with the laws and regulations of the state in which it operates as defined by the jurisdiction’s laws. Grand Canyon University may be authorized, licensed, registered, exempt, or not subject to approval depending upon the laws of the relevant state.
As an Arizona-based institution, GCU is authorized by the Arizona State Board for Private Postsecondary Education.
Arizona State Board for Private Postsecondary Education (AZPPSE)
1740 W. Adams St.
Phoenix, AZ 85007
Grand Canyon University holds a License to Operate Private Postsecondary Experiential Courses granted by the Nevada Commission on Postsecondary Education.
Nevada Commission on Postsecondary Education
8778 South Maryland Pkwy., Suite 115
Las Vegas, NV 89123
State Authorization Reciprocity Agreement (SARA) Participant
The State Authorization Reciprocity Agreement (SARA) is an agreement among member states and locations in the United States that is intended to simplify the process for students in one state to take online courses offered by a postsecondary institution based in another state. Grand Canyon University is a SARA approved institution. As a SARA participating institution operating within SARA guidelines, GCU may offer its programs to students living within SARA member states. For more information, visit nc-sara.org.
The following is a list of SARA member states and territories:
- Alabama – AL
- Alaska – AK
- Arizona – AZ
- Arkansas – AR
- Colorado – CO
- Connecticut – CT
- Delaware – DE
- Florida – FL
- Georgia – GA
- Hawaii – HI
- Idaho – ID
- Illinois – IL
- Indiana – IN
- Iowa – IA
- Kansas – KS
- Kentucky – KY
- Louisiana – LA
- Maine – ME
- Maryland – MD
- Massachusetts – MA
- Michigan – MI
- Minnesota – MN
- Mississippi – MS
- Missouri – MO
- Montana – MT
- Nebraska – NE
- Nevada – NV
- New Hampshire – NH
- New Jersey – NJ
- New Mexico – NM
- New York – NY
- North Carolina – NC
- North Dakota – ND
- Ohio – OH
- Oklahoma – OK
- Oregon – OR
- Pennsylvania – PA
- Puerto Rico – PR
- Rhode Island – RI
- South Carolina – SC
- South Dakota – SD
- Tennessee – TN
- Texas – TX
- U.S. Virgin Islands – VI
- Utah – UT
- Vermont – VT
- Virginia – VA
- Washington – WA
- West Virginia – WV
- Wisconsin – WI
- Wyoming – WY
SARA Grievance Process
Grand Canyon University is a SARA participating institution. The Arizona SARA Council has jurisdiction over Arizona SARA-approved institutions in relation to non-instructional complaints. Instructional complaints, such as grade grievances, are not reviewed by the Council and should not be submitted for review. Distance education students who reside in SARA states (see list of SARA states at nc-sara.org), may file a non-instructional complaint with the Arizona SARA council. However, non-instructional complaints may only be filed with SARA after student’s have first utilized GCU's appeals process and the Arizona State Board for Private Postsecondary Education’s complaint process. Non-instructional complaints may be submitted to AZ-SARA via azsara.arizona.edu/complaint-process.
Grand Canyon University is approved for the education and training of veterans under the provisions of Title 10 and 38, U.S. Code. Grand Canyon University accepts Chapter 30, 31, 33, 35, and 1606 and 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.
Student Exchange Visitor Program (SEVP)
Grand Canyon University has applied for and received certification to enroll F nonimmigrant students per the Student Exchange Visitor Program (SEVP) under 8 CFR 214.3. The International Students Office has access to SEVIS and may issue Forms I-20, Certificate of Eligibility for Student Status, to prospective students. For more information, see the International Students Office website.
Grand Canyon University Athletics sponsors 21 intercollegiate sport programs that operate under the guidelines of the National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) Division I governance structure for eligibility to participate. Grand Canyon University sports programs are members of the Western Athletic Conference with federated membership with the Mountain Pacific Sports Federation in the sport of men's volleyball and independent membership for beach volleyball.
National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) Division I
700 W. Washington St.
P.O. Box 6222
Indianapolis, IN 46202
Association of American Colleges & Universities (AAC&U)
Grand Canyon University is a member of the Association of American Colleges & Universities, a national association whose mission is to “advance the vitality and public standing of liberal education by making quality and equity the foundations for excellence in undergraduate education in service to democracy.”
American Association of Collegiate Registrars and Admissions Officers (AACRAO)
Grand Canyon University is a member of the American Association of Collegiate Registrars and Admissions Officers, whose mission is to “serve and advance higher education by providing leadership in academic and enrollment services.”
Council for Higher Education Accreditation (CHEA)
Grand Canyon University is a member of the Council for Higher Education Accreditation, a national association committed to promoting academic quality through accreditation.
WICHE Cooperative for Educational Technologies (WCET)
Grand Canyon University is a member of the WICHE Cooperative for Educational Technologies, which is a national, member-based organization committed to improving the quality of technology-enhanced learning programs.
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.