Is GCU a Research University or a Teaching University?

College students smile while facing ahead towards the professor

What is a research university? What is a teaching university? What is the difference – and why does it matter? Grand Canyon University is a comprehensive moderate research institution (R3 Carnegie Classification). That means, while our faculty and staff are focused on students and strive to make their success a top priority, we also understand the value of research.

Teaching University vs. Research University

A teaching university is focused on students and strives to make their success a top priority. The benefits of a teaching university include the focus on student needs and the assurance and confidence that each student is getting the most out of their courses and the relevant information from knowledgeable professors who care.

A research university, as the name suggests, focuses on research. Students are able to research and study within their chosen field and may have the opportunity to work with experts on research projects. This usually gives students the opportunity to work with the latest technology and resources for subjects that heavily rely on research.

GCU’s Commitment to Teaching  

GCU serves a demographically and socioeconomically diverse student population by providing opportunities to succeed throughout the spectrum of degree levels. GCU is consistently adding new programs and emphases to the list of available options to students. The faculty are experts in their fields, as well as industry leaders and trained professionals – many of them are presenting at conferences around the country and writing for publications such as academic journals.

At GCU, our undergraduates may have direct access to research equipment and facilities as opposed to sharing space with graduate students and researchers. We have state-of-the-art STEM classroom buildings along with a cadaver lab and simulation lab for nursing and healthcare students. Here, undergraduate students can gain hands-on experience, which may help prepare them for their career or graduate school.

GCU’s Commitment to Research

GCU’s goal is to continually increase the amount of research, publishing and presenting conducted by faculty and students. GCU’s scholarship interests focus on the subjects of its colleges and connecting students and faculty with cooperative scholarship opportunities in public entities and private industry.

GCU is proud to offer research initiatives in which students can participate. For example, the College of Science, Engineering, and Technology launched a Research and Design Program (RDP), providing undergraduate STEM students with opportunities to work with faculty on research projects such as the Institute for Environmental Sustainability, Center for Plant Genomics and Novel Products, Canyon Neuroscience Center, Lopes POWER Lab and Anatomy & Biotechnology Group.

Additionally, the Center for Innovation in Research & Teaching (CIRT) was founded in 2010. GCU uses the Boyer Model of Scholarship and provides support through CIRT, including human, financial and contextual. The center provides guidance on research topics along with methodologies and avenues for publication and presentation while securing and providing grants for priority research projects.

At GCU, we are committed to tailoring the student experience to help our entire university community achieve their goals and find success! Our faculty and students contribute to the scholarly community through publications and presentations, while our faculty and staff are committed to putting our students and their needs first.

Grand Canyon University is committed to helping students find their purpose. To learn more about GCU, visit our website or click the green Request More Information button at the top of 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.