University Accreditation and Regulation

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.

Accreditations

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:

Individuals need to attend an accredited institution in order to be eligible to receive federal (and in some cases state) loans or grants.
 

Employers may require evidence of education from an accredited institution in order to provide tuition assistance or to evaluate the credentials of prospective employees.

The federal government requires institutions to be acknowledged by the U.S. Department of Education or accredited by an agency recognized by the Council for Higher Education Accreditation (CHEA) in order to participate in federal financial aid programs.

Accreditation of a university or its programs may determine eligibility for graduates to apply for professional licensure in a state.

 

 

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
      • Administration
      • 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

      Phone: 312-263-0456
      Toll-free: 800-621-7440
      hlcommission.org


      Programmatic Accreditations

      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.

      GCU ACBSP Accreditation

      GCU has 19 programs accredited by the ACBSP in the Colangelo College of Business. GCU's ACBSP accredited programs include business degrees in accounting, marketing, finance and more. ACBSP is a specialized accrediting organization recognized by ED and CHEA, which ensures the quality and integrity of business degree programs.

      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 Applied Management
          • Bachelor of Science in Business Administration
          • Bachelor of Science in Business Administration with an Emphasis in Business Intelligence
          • Bachelor of Science in Business Management
          • Bachelor of Science in Entrepreneurial Studies
          • Bachelor of Science in Finance and Economics
          • Bachelor of Science in Marketing
          • Bachelor of Science in Sports Management
              • Master of Science in Accounting
              • Master of Business Administration
              • MBA with an Emphasis in Accounting
              • MBA with an Emphasis in Finance
              • MBA with an Emphasis in Health Systems Management
              • MBA with an Emphasis in Leadership
              • MBA with an Emphasis in Marketing
              • MBA with an Emphasis in Project Management
              • MBA with an Emphasis in Strategic Human Resource Management
              • Doctor of Business Administration with an Emphasis in Management​​​

              View the most recent ACBSP two-year Quality Assurance Report.

              View the Accreditation Council for Business Schools and Programs (ACBSP) degrees conferred for 2013-17.

              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. View the most recent results from the Peregrine test.

              Accreditation Council for Business Schools and Programs
              11520 W. 119th St.
              Overland Park, KS 66213

              Phone: 913-339-9356
              acbsp.org/accreditation

              Association for Advancing Quality in Educator Preparation (AAQEP)

              Grand Canyon University is a member in good standing of the Association for Advancing Quality in Educator Preparation (AAQEP). The following programs have been awarded full accreditation by AAQEP though June 30, 2026:

              • Initial Teacher Licensure Programs
              • Advanced Programs
                • Reading - Elementary and Secondary
                • TESOL

              Association for Advancing Quality in Educator Preparation
              P.O. Box 7511
              Fairfax Station, VA 22039-9998

              Email: aaqep@aaqep.org
              aaqep.org

              National Addiction Studies Accreditation Commission (NASAC)

              Grand Canyon University’s College of Humanities and Social Sciences’ Master of Science in Addiction Counseling program is accredited by the National Addiction Studies Accreditation Commission (NASAC). This accreditation may benefit graduates from the program seeking to obtain state licensure as an addiction counselor.

              National Addiction Studies Accreditation Commission
              44 Canal Center Plaza
              Suite 301
              Alexandria, VA 22314

              Phone: 703-741-7686
              nasacaccreditation.org

              Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education (CCNE)

              The Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education (CCNE), recognized by ED and CHEA, assesses the quality and integrity of nursing programs.  The following programs are accredited by the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education:

              • Bachelor of Science in Nursing (Pre-Licensure)
              • Bachelor of Science in Nursing (RN to BSN)
              • Master of Science in Nursing with an Emphasis in Health Informatics
              • Master of Science in Nursing with an Emphasis in Nursing Education
              • Master of Science in Nursing with an Emphasis in Public Health Nursing
              • Master of Science of Nursing with an Emphasis in Nursing Leadership in Health Care Systems
              • Master of Science in Nursing: Acute Care Nurse Practitioner with an Emphasis in Adult Gerontology
              • Master of Science in Nursing: Family Nurse Practitioner
              • Post-Master of Science in Nursing: Acute Care Nurse Practitioner with an Emphasis in Adult Gerontology
              • Post-Master of Science in Nursing: Family Nurse Practitioner
              • Doctor of Nursing Practice
              • Doctor of Nursing Practice with an Emphasis in Educational Leadership

               

              Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education
              655 K Street, NW, Suite 750
              Washington, DC 20001

              Phone: (202) 887-6791
              www.aacnnursing.org/CCNE

              Commission on Accreditation of Athletic Training Education (CAATE)

              Recognized by CHEA, the Commission on Accreditation of Athletic Training Education (CAATE) assesses and recognizes excellence in athletic training. CAATE accredits GCU’s Bachelor of Science in Athletic Training program.

              Commission on Accreditation of Athletic Training Education
              6850 Austin Center Blvd., Suite 100
              Austin, TX 78731-3184

              Phone: 512-733-9700
              caate.net

              Full Member Status

              Grand Canyon Theological Seminary at Grand Canyon University is accredited by the Commission on Accrediting of the Association of Theological Schools.

              The Commission on Accrediting of the Association of Theological Schools has approved the following degree programs:

              • Master of Divinity
              • Master of Arts in Christian Leadership
              • Master of Arts in Christian Ministry
              • Master of Arts in Youth and Family Ministry
              • Master of Arts in Urban Ministry

              The Commission on Accrediting of the ATS
              10 Summit Park Drive
              Pittsburgh, PA 15275

              Phone: 412-788-6505
              Fax: 412-788-6510
              ats.edu

              As a college within an established regionally accredited university, the College of Science, Engineering and Technology’s next step is to seek and obtain program-specific accreditation for the 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 GCU students.

              Grand Canyon University remains committed to aligning the engineering and technology programs with accreditation standards and to exceed the high standards set by accrediting bodies to ensure STEM students receive a quality education. Before GCU’s engineering and technology programs can seek to be accredited, graduates must have earned a degree from the program. GCU will pursue accreditation as programs become eligible for consideration.

              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

              State Authorizations

              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.

              Arizona

              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

              Phone: 602-542-5709
              ppse.az.gov

              Nevada

              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

              Phone: 702-486-7330
              cpe.nv.gov

              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.


                    Professional Licensure and Certification Program Approvals

                    Arizona

                    Arizona Board of Behavioral Health Examiners

                    Grand Canyon University’s Master of Science in Clinical Mental Health Counseling, Master of Science in Professional Counseling, and Master of Science in Christian Counseling are approved by the Arizona Board of Behavioral Health Examiners as being consistent with the curriculum requirements for LAC or LPC licensure. Grand Canyon University’s Bachelor of Science in Counseling with an Emphasis in Addiction, Chemical Dependency and Substance Abuse is approved by the Arizona Board of Behavioral Health Examiners as being consistent with the curriculum requirements for LSAT licensure.

                    Arizona Board of Behavioral Health Examiners
                    1740 W. Adams St.
                    Phoenix, AZ 85007
                    www.azbbhe.us

                    Arizona State Board of Education and Arizona Department of Education

                    Grand Canyon University’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.

                    Grand Canyon University’s College of Fine Arts and Production is approved by the Arizona State Board of Education to offer institutional recommendations (credentials) for the certification of Bachelor of Arts in Dance Education, Bachelor of Arts in Music Education and Bachelor of Arts in Theatre Education.

                    Grand Canyon University’s College of Humanities and Social Sciences is approved by the Arizona State Board of Education to offer institutional recommendations (credentials) for the certification of Bachelor of Arts in History for Secondary Education, Bachelor of Arts in English for Secondary Education and Bachelor of Science in Math for Secondary Education.

                    Grand Canyon University’s College of Science, Engineering and Technology is approved by the Arizona State Board of Education to offer institutional recommendations (credentials) for the certification of Bachelor of Science in Biology for Secondary Education and Bachelor of Science in Chemistry for Secondary Education.

                    Arizona State Board of Education
                    1700 W. Washington St.
                    Executive Tower Suite #300
                    Phoenix, AZ 85007
                    azsbe.az.gov

                    Arizona Department of Education
                    1535 W. Jefferson St.
                    Phoenix, AZ 85007
                    www.azed.gov

                    Arizona State Board of Nursing

                    The Bachelor of Science in Nursing (Pre-licensure), Family Nurse Practitioner (Master’s and Post-Master’s options), and Acute Care Nurse Practitioner with an Emphasis in Adult-Gerontology (Master’s and Post-Master’s options) are currently approved by the Arizona State Board of Nursing. For more information, go to http://www.azbn.gov/education/nursing-programs-lists/.

                    Arizona State Board of Nursing
                    1740 W. Adams St. Suite 2000
                    Phoenix, AZ 85007
                    www.azbn.gov

                    California

                    California Consortium of Addiction Programs and Professionals (CCAPP)

                    Grand Canyon University is an Approved School/Program by the California Consortium of Addiction Programs and Professionals (CCAPP) for the following online programs: Master of Science in Addiction Counseling, Master of Science in Christian Counseling of Substance Use and Addictive Disorders and Bachelor of Science in Counseling with an Emphasis in Chemical Dependency and Substance Abuse. These programs are approved until September 30, 2020.

                    California Consortium of Addiction Programs and Professionals
                    2400 Marconi Ave., Suite C
                    Sacramento, CA 95821
                    P.O. Box 214127
                    www.ccapp.us

                    Georgia

                    Georgia Addiction Counselors Association (GACA)

                    Grand Canyon University has been approved as an Education Provider by the Georgia Addiction Counselors Association (GACA) for the Master of Science in Addiction Counseling and Bachelor of Science in Counseling with an Emphasis in Chemical Dependency and Substance Abuse programs. These programs are approved until December 31, 2019.

                    Georgia Addiction Counselors Association
                    4015 S. Cobb Dr., Suite 160
                    Smyrna, GA 30080
                    gaca.org

                    Utah

                    Utah Division of Occupational and Professional Licensing

                    The following programs in the College of Nursing and Health Care Professions have satisfied the requirements for clinical placement of nursing students by programs located outside of the state of Utah:

                    • Bachelor of Science in Nursing (RN to BSN)
                    • Master of Science in Nursing with an Emphasis in Public Health
                    • Master of Science in Nursing with an Emphasis Health Informatics
                    • Master of Science in Nursing with an Emphasis Leadership in Health Care Systems
                    • Master of Science in Nursing with an Emphasis in Nursing Education
                    • Post-Master of Science in Nursing: Nursing Education Certificate
                    • Doctor of Nursing Practice
                    • Doctor of Nursing Practice with an Emphasis in Educational Leadership

                    State of Utah Department of Commerce
                    Division of Occupational and Professional Licensing
                    160 E. 300 South
                    P.O. Box 146741
                    Salt Lake City, UT 84114
                    dopl.utah.gov

                    Washington

                    Washington State Nursing Care Quality Assurance Commission

                    Grand Canyon University is approved by the Washington State Nursing Care Quality Assurance Commission to conduct practice experiences in the state of Washington for RN-BSN, MSN/Health Informatics, MSN/Nurse Educator, MSN/Nurse Leadership in Health Care Systems, MSN/Public Health and Post Graduate Certificate in Nursing Education.

                    Wisconsin

                    Wisconsin Department of Safety and Professional Services

                    Grand Canyon University has been approved as a precertification education program for substance abuse counselors by the Wisconsin Department of Safety and Professional Services for the following online programs: Master of Science in Addiction Counseling, Master of Science in Christian Counseling of Substance Use and Addictive Disorders and Bachelor of Science in Counseling with an Emphasis in Addiction, Chemical Dependency and Substance Abuse. These programs are approved through August 2021.

                    Wisconsin Department of Safety and Professional Services
                    1400 E. Washington Ave.
                    Room 112
                    Madison, WI 53703
                    dsps.wi.gov


                    Federal Approvals

                    Veterans Administration

                    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.


                    Associations

                    National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA)

                    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
                    www.ncaa.org

                    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.

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