Join The Honors College At GCU

Welcome to the Honors College at Grand Canyon University, home to a vibrant community of ambitious learners seeking a robust undergraduate experience. In the Honors College, learning extends far beyond the walls of a classroom, and students are empowered to transition theory into practical application. The Honors College offers enriching opportunities to bright, passionate and ambitious students interested in applied experiential learning opportunities related to local and global community engagement, service and transformative leadership. In Fall 2023, the GCU Honors College had over 2,900 students. Nearly 1,000 of these students are new, while over 1,900 are returning.

Dean’s Message

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The Honors College is designed to produce exemplary graduates who are uniquely equipped to lead and serve in the workplace as well as within their local and global communities. Our mission is to develop servant leaders and change agents who are primed to enter the world with knowledge and skills in the fields of problem-solving, communication, critical thinking, evidence-based decision-making and cultural awareness.

GCU proudly hosts honor students across a range of disciplines and colleges within the university. In Fall 2023, the GCU Honors College had:

  • 688 Colangelo College of Business students 
  • 169 College of Arts and Media students 
  • 116 College of Education students 
  • 351 College of Engineering and Technology students 
  • 605 College of Humanities and Social Sciences students
  • 691 College of Natural Sciences students
  • 249 College of Nursing and Health Care Professions students
  • 54 College of Theology students
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Why Honors?

There is a multitude of reasons to consider joining the Honors College. Our students are more than just dedicated learners — they are aspiring servant leaders who work to gain practical experience by embracing learning opportunities outside of the classroom. Explore some of the many reasons why you should consider joining the Honors College.

Strength in a Christ-Centered Community

We value relationships over transactions by promoting meaningful connections that enrich the honors community and those we serve. We embrace the notion that we are stronger together and aim to lift one another to fulfill our calling. We activate principles of servant leadership within our daily interactions.

Character and Integrity

We grow and contribute from the context of a Christian worldview. We align our passions and purposes with our future professions. We embrace servant leadership through care, love, humility and stewardship in all our endeavors. We cultivate a community dedicated to character and integrity, live out our faith in action and embrace gratitude.

Commitment to Service and Service-Minded Leadership

We strive to develop authentic, resilient, transformational leaders through intentional professional and leadership development programs. Our students are committed to serving their communities and inspiring change through advocacy and action.

Innovation Through Interdisciplinary Collaboration

We conduct purpose-driven research and entrepreneurial strategizing to drive innovative solutions. We foster ambition and diversity of thought within a community that embraces interdisciplinary collaboration.

Global Exploration and Engagement

We promote cultural awareness and global competence by engaging in diverse local and global communities. We work to develop empathic leaders who are ready to engage in a global workplace through inclusivity and compassion.

Lifelong Learning

Through our curricular and co-curricular experiences, our students establish a commitment to lifelong learning, continued professional and leadership development and everlasting spiritual growth. Our students learn humbly, apply with integrity and repeat with curiosity in the lifelong pursuit of knowledge.

Inside the Honors Experience

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Explore Your Major

Embrace the challenge and enrich your future with the Honors College. Students admitted into the Honors College are eligible to enroll in any one of GCU's campus degree programs. Explore our campus degrees to learn more about your options and talk to your university counselor about the opportunity to join the college on our Phoenix campus.

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Minors for Honors Students

Honors students are encouraged to customize their academic experience. Whether aiming to enhance professionally, grow knowledge in a specific area, diversify your resume or simply to pursue one of your passions, a minor may help you achieve your goal.

Get more information and learn about the benefits of earning a minor.

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GCU is an institutionally accredited university that also holds program-specific accreditations in several of our colleges. Learn more about the importance of accreditation and which programs are accredited at GCU.

Find more information about the resources available that can help you understand the tuition costs and fees associated with your degree path. Look through our list of scholarships to find one that you may qualify for.

Admission into the Honors College is competitive and includes a set of criteria based on academics and extracurricular activities. Learn more about the requirements needed for both entrance and scholarships.

Integration of GCU’s Christian Identity in Curriculum

Administration in the Honors College deeply embrace GCU’s identity as a missional, Christ-centered university. A critical component of the mission within the Honors College is “innovative thinkers, effective communicators, global contributors and transformative leaders.” Thus, all curricular and co-curricular efforts are intentionally and strategically designed to foster our founding pillars of ethics, service, leadership, research and cultural awareness, in addition to the missional foundations and aspirations of the university.

We collaborate with fellow undergraduate colleges to align honors coursework with the university’s identity and mission while encouraging students to engage their local and global communities. Our students experience a broad exposure to diverse disciplines in an effort to transform academically and intellectually, and are challenged to develop innovative problem-solving skills so they have the opportunity to develop into influential change agents in the workplace and in the community.

Our mission is that students develop a meaningful sense of purpose and a vocational calling as they integrate faith, theory and practical application throughout their academic journey. Some examples from our curriculum include:

  • HUM-109HN, CWV-106HN, HUM-201HN and HON-110
  • Honors General Education Requirements – Deeply rooted in faith, service, ethics and effective communication

The Honors College promotes a challenging and enriching learning experience through an interdisciplinary curriculum founded on the pillars of ethics, service, leadership, research and cultural awareness. Our mission is to bring faith and theory into practical application and experiential learning through co-curricular opportunities.

The Honors College administration and student body values relationships over transactions by promoting deep, meaningful relationships to enrich the honors community and those we serve. Rooted in a Christ-centered community, honors students can embed principles of servant leadership into daily practice through curricular and co-curricular experiences.

Our students demonstrate servant leadership, character and integrity through service within the GCU community, the local Phoenix community and/or the global community. With a Christ-centered and missional approach, students engage in ministry, humanitarian outreach efforts, service initiatives and educational programming for underserved populations. Our interdisciplinary student body allows for innovative problem-solving and creative, collaborative approaches to service. The Honors College supports multiple mission trips annually, but also hosts service events and week-long service initiatives locally to offer as many opportunities to students as possible, such as:

  • Honors VOICES and Service Week Initiative
  • Medical Mission Trips with Well Child International
  • Vocational Mission Trips with Students International

As an interdisciplinary college, honors students engage with GCU’s Christian convictions and Christ-focused curriculum through honors-specific and standard courses. Most honors students take HUM-109HN, CWV-106HN and HON-110, which are honors-specific courses in philosophy, Christian worldview and vocational preparation. These courses, among many others, contain content related to our One Foundation with the Christian worldview woven throughout the curriculum.

From a co-curricular perspective, administration and honors student leaders dialogue and collaborate to ensure there is an intentional and purposeful integration of faith in all events, meetings, speaker series offerings and developmental programs. Topics of ethics, service, integrity and faith are engrained into the culture of the Honors College and honors-hosted offerings.

In alignment with faith-based service, the Honors College supports numerous student-led and operated initiatives, including Service Week, Integrity Week, Keeping the Faith in the Workplace Workshops, Mentorship Programs supporting personal, academic, and spiritual growth, and alike. Our mission is to empower students to be solution-focused and action-driven in serving their local and global communities, all through the lens of the Christian worldview cultivated through their curricular and co-curricular experiences.

The Honors College is committed to developing compassionate, service-focused and purpose-driven contributors that can serve as change agents and transformational leaders in their local and global communities. Our pillar of servant leadership calls on us to put the needs of others before our own. Honors administration and students promote these principles by:

  • Placing emphasis on service, ethics, leadership, character, integrity and cultural awareness
  • Employing service through local and global engagement (e.g. larger university service opportunities and unique, honors-specific initiatives, including Service Week)
  • Engaging in co-curricular experiences (e.g. honors-specific courses, yearly leadership programming and conferences, Character and Integrity Week and professional and leadership development opportunities)
  • Reinforcing the need to do what is right over what is easy in the classroom, the workplace and community

Through a global engagement perspective, the Honors College promotes cultural awareness and global competence by engaging in diverse local and global communities. The international opportunities for honors students can help develop compassionate and empathetic leaders focused on inclusivity and compassion.

The Honors College believes in both service and servant leadership to promote human flourishing and aims to produce graduates who are prepared to enter the world as servant leaders and change agents. Together the honors curriculum and co-curricular experiences produce interdisciplinary graduates poised to elevate those in need through their vocational and service work. Our students learn and demonstrate that they are called upon to inspire change through advocacy and action.

Our goal is to create a supportive, Christ-centered community of faithful servants who are committed to serving the needs of others before their own and using their God-given gifts to promote human flourishing.