GCU: One of the Best College Campuses in America

Grand Canyon University's campus from above

What is it that makes Grand Canyon University a true oasis in the heart of Phoenix? Is it the state-of-the-art athletic facilities? The many delicious dining options? The brand new classroom buildings? The sparkling swimming pools? Maybe it’s that, despite its rapid growth, the campus still has the feel of a close-knit community, making it a perfect place to call home for thousands of students from across the country.

Recently, Town & Country Magazine listed the best college campuses in the country according to Niche, a company which specializes in educational institution data. Based on student surveys, U.S. Department of Education data and college statistics, GCU was named one of the best college of campuses in the country – the only school in Arizona to make the top 10. GCU beat out other colleges like Stanford and Yale to claim their spot, which begs the question: What is it that makes GCU’s campus so unique?

State-of-the-Art Amenities

It’s no secret that GCU’s campus has been rapidly expanding over the last few years. Even with this expansion, GCU still enjoys a small community feel. New infrastructure can be found everywhere on campus, from classroom buildings to new athletic facilities for our NCAA Division I teams. These modern facilities that helps make GCU one of the best college campuses include:

Suite-Style Residence Halls

Niche awarded GCU with a No. 3 spot on the best college dorms list – and it’s not hard to see why. Most of the residence halls and apartment buildings on campus are less than five years old and all feature suite-style accommodations, plus inviting lobbies, breakout rooms for studying and laundry facilities. Many residence halls are located near popular amenities on campus and some even have massive courtyards where students can toss a Frisbee or study out in the fresh air.

Delicious Dining  

GCU is in Niche’s top 25 for best college food in the country, which means there are plenty of tasty choices on campus that are sure to please the palate. From some of America’s favorite chains like Chick-fil-a, Subway, Jamba Juice and Panda Express, to local flavors like Slices and Grand Canyon Beverage Company, GCU offers more than 20 different options on campus for all students and visitors to enjoy.


There’s plenty to do at GCU. Want to stay active? Join one of our fun-for-all intramural teams or consider a competitive club sports team that plays at a national level. Or, head to one of the recreation centers on campus to work out or take a fitness class. For students looking for ways to get involved and build their resumes, there are clubs and organizations, internship opportunities, student worker positions and so much more. Need to unwind? Students can enjoy the Arizona sunshine at one of the sparkling pools across campus.

Campus Community

Beyond the new infrastructure that makes GCU one of the best college campuses in America, there is something indescribable about the campus community. The Christian atmosphere helps to create a space where students can make themselves at home for the next four years. Student groups like the Havocs, recognized by USA Today as one of the best student sections in the country, bring unmatched energy to athletic events. And outreach opportunities help students connect with the local neighborhood.

Christian Atmosphere

The Department of Spiritual Life is passionate about helping students grow in their personal relationship with God while helping to make a Kingdom impact through outreach opportunities. Weekly Chapel services feature student-led worship bands and guest speakers from across campus and the local community. Life Groups are a perfect place to build community and relationships with other students while studying the Bible.

Neighborhood Outreach

GCU is committed to giving back to the local community by creating jobs and helping to lower crime rates. Local outreach opportunities through partnerships with organizations like Habitat for Humanity give students a chance to get out and make an impact. As Brian Mueller explained to Fox News, “We want our students in the middle of inner-city transformation, because it demonstrates to them it can happen, so it can become part of the educational experience for students.”

Community Spirit

At the end of the day, there is just something special about the atmosphere on campus. That unexplained feeling is what makes thousands of students feel at home from the minute they come to campus. “I chose GCU for the community aspect,” explained Amanda Payne, who graduated from GCU in spring 2017 with a Bachelor of Science in Biology with an Emphasis in Pre-Physical Therapy. “When I stepped foot on campus, I could see the happiness and excitement of other students and that’s what I wanted. GCU has the best spirit of any school out there.”

There’s something extraordinary happening every day at GCU, and we invite you to be a part of it. If you are a high school student, check out our Discover GCU program and learn about your options to tour campus. If you are a community member or considering an online program, you are a part of the GCU family and we invite you to come see what makes our campus one of the best college campuses in America.

Learn more by visiting our website or contacting us using the Request More Information button on this page.

The views and opinions expressed in this article are those of the author’s and do not necessarily reflect the official policy or position of Grand Canyon University. Any sources cited were accurate as of the publish date.

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