College of Humanities and Social Sciences

In the College of Humanities and Social Sciences, we are proud to offer a range of degree programs in these areas of interest that help you develop the skills you need to succeed. The College of Humanities and Social Sciences is home to the majority of undergraduate general education coursework at Grand Canyon University (GCU) and is committed to helping you advance your ability to think critically, apply analytical constructs and communicate complex ideas clearly.

Social science and humanities curriculum facilitates in-depth discussions that can help you sharpen your focus and teamwork skills. GCU’s One Foundation, our Christian worldview, supports the development of a servant leadership spirit and ethical decision-making abilities, so you can become a balanced, global citizen.

Our Dean's Promise

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The College of Humanities and Social Sciences at GCU promotes research, creativity, ethical formation and inquiry through critical, analytic and interdisciplinary study. Our college’s mission cultivates leaders in various fields of study through critical thinking and applied experience, linking theoretical foundations with practical application, which prepares you for today’s diverse and evolving workplace.

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Majors and Degree Programs

Our college of social science degree programs offer greater insight into the many facets of human behavior. Courses in areas such as psychology and sociology can help you develop skills related to individual and group motivation that may be valued in the workplace. Our degree programs range from online counseling degrees, to psychology degrees to human services degrees that include majors in communications, history and behavioral health science. No matter what you want to study, we have a degree for you.

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Minor Degrees

Gain a competitive advantage in your chosen field by earning a minor along with your traditional degree. The additional coursework can help you build skillsets that add even more value to your education.

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Grand Canyon University and its campus and online programs are accredited by the Higher Learning Commission (HLC). The Master of Science in Addiction Counseling program has also been approved for accreditation through the National Addiction Studies Accreditation Commission (NASAC). See a full listing of accreditations, including GCU’s institutional accreditation.

GCU offers different tuition rates and fees for on-campus and online programs, as well as scholarship opportunities to help make paying for college easier. Find out more about the options you have.

Learn more about what the admissions requirements for GCU are, and the application steps to take for admissions into a campus or an online degree program.


Learn about GCU’s L.O.P.E.S Academy at the Cardon Center, an inclusive, immersive Christian university experience for individuals with moderate intellectual disabilities. This experience is designed to promote independent living by providing academic, social and job skill development.

Integration of GCU’s Christian Identity in Curriculum

At the College of Humanities and Social Sciences, we make a strong connection between many disciplines’ professional code of ethics and Christian ethics. In our math courses there are many opportunities to directly apply Christian principles to various assignments. For example, in MAT – 144 students apply math competencies to the design and implementation of a mission trip.

Another way our faculty engage around GCU’s Christian worldview is by posting scriptures and asking students to reflect and write about how it relates to them. Some faculty also play Christian music at the start of class and lead class in prayer.

GCU’s mission provides a foundation for students’ formation and development in both their general education classes and in their degree program classes through the College of Humanities and Social Sciences.

Learners contribute to our mission statement through the learning process and their action-oriented experiences such as volunteering, workforce development, student worker positions, practicums, internships, club involvement, student leadership opportunities, attending webinars and conferences, service learning and student research.

Students at the College of Humanities and Social Sciences contribute to GCU's mission through community opportunities, such as Changing Lives Outreach Program where they support individuals and groups through a caring approach to human flourishing with hands-on service. Students can also volunteer with the L.O.P.E.S. Academy by supporting the academic, social and workforce skill development of individuals with intellectual and developmental disabilities.

At the College of Humanities and Social Sciences, students are exposed to a wide array of needs in society, such as injustice, suffering and poverty. Throughout their studies, they gain knowledge and skills in helping themselves and others to reach their potential. Our faculty in the behavioral health degree programs teach the necessary elements of wellness to future counselors and social service professionals which leads to healing among countless individuals. We see healing as a necessary step for the human person to reach their potential.


College of Humanities and Social Sciences FAQs

The courses and degree programs that fall under a college of humanities and social sciences are varied and copious. They include history, English, foreign languages, philosophy, art, psychology, sociology, economics, justice studies, legal studies and political science.

The eight main social sciences are anthropology, economics, geography, history, linguistics, political science, psychology and sociology.

The five common areas of humanities are philosophy, languages/communication, fine and performing arts, literature and media.

The fields that fall under humanities and social sciences are diverse and the wages vary greatly by occupation. However, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), life, physical and social science occupations have a median annual wage of $72,740 as of May 2021.1 The BLS also lists political scientists, economists, sociologists, geographers and psychologists as a few of the social science occupations with the highest median pay in 2021.2

1 The earnings referenced were reported by the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (“BLS”), Life, Physical and Social Science Occupations as of May 2021. Due to COVID-19, data from 2020 may be atypical compared to prior years. The pandemic may also impact the predicted future workforce outcomes indicated by the BLS. BLS calculates the median using salaries of workers from across the country with varying levels of education and experience and does not reflect the earnings of GCU graduates as life, physical and social science occupations. It does not reflect earnings of workers in one city or region of the country. It also does not reflect a typical entry-level salary. Median income is the statistical midpoint for the range of salaries in a specific occupation. It represents what you would earn if you were paid more money than half the workers in an occupation, and less than half the workers in an occupation. It may give you a basis to estimate what you might earn at some point if you enter this career. You may also wish to compare median salaries if you are considering more than one career path. Grand Canyon University can make no guarantees on individual graduates’ salaries as the employer the graduate chooses to apply to, and accept employment from, determines salary not only based on education, but also individual characteristics and skills and fit to that organization (among other categories) against a pool of candidates. 

2 Retrieved from U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, Life, Physical and Social Science Occupations in August 2022

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