College of Humanities and Social Sciences

In the College of Humanities and Social Sciences, we are proud to offer a range of degree programs to help you develop skills and knowledge in your area of interest. 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.

Types of Humanities and Social Science Majors

Our college of social science degree programs offer 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. Check out the variety of humanities and social science degrees that GCU has to offer.

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Benefits of Our College of Humanities and Social Science Programs

At GCU’s College of Humanities and Social Sciences, our degree programs are offered in various formats, so you can pursue your education on a schedule that fits for you. No matter what modality you choose, you will have access to knowledgeable faculty, resources and support throughout your program.

GCU 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.

In the College of Humanities and Social Sciences, we cultivate in our students a profound sense of purpose rooted in a Christian perspective that prioritizes the intrinsic value and dignity of every individual. Our faculty inspire and enhance the lives of our students through deep learning experiences and meaningful curriculum that provide opportunities for direct application of new skills. By studying both the humanities and social sciences, our learners ultimately embark on a journey that will transform and enrich individual lives and communities so they may flourish.

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.

Minor Degrees for Humanities and Social Sciences

You will have the opportunity to build skills in your chosen field by earning a humanities and social science minor along with your traditional degree. The additional humanities and social sciences courses can help you build skill sets that add even more value to your education.

Get Your Humanities and Social Sciences Education at GCU

GCU’s humanities and social sciences degree programs are designed for students who are continuously searching for knowledge and the understanding of the human condition. The College of Humanities and Social Sciences courses teach important skills in innovative thinking, effective communication, transformative leadership and global contribution that can prepare students for their career paths.

College of Humanities and Social Sciences FAQs

To learn more about humanities and social science degrees, read through our answers to these frequently asked questions.

The courses and degree programs that fall under the 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.

A few humanities and social science degrees do require math courses, such as the bachelor’s and master’s in mathematics. However, while the majority of degrees in GCU’s College of Humanities and Social Sciences do not require math, many have courses in statistics, research and data analysis.

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 $78,280 as of May 2023.1 The BLS also lists political scientists, economists, sociologists, geographers and psychologists as a few of the social science occupations with higher median pay in 2023.2

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.

Integration of GCU’s Christian Identity in Curriculum

The curriculum in the humanities and social science degree programs help facilitate 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 have the opportunity to become a balanced, global contributor.

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 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 are taught 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 can lead to healing among countless individuals. We see healing as a necessary step for the human person to reach their potential.


1 The earnings referenced were reported by the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), Life, Physical and Social Science Occupations as of May 2023, retrieved on June 13, 2024. Due to COVID-19, data from 2020 and 2023 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 in 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