Grand Canyon University celebrates another graduating class of nearly 30,000

Graduates celebrate under a shower of confetti streamers during Friday evening’s Spring Commencement on April 28, 2023.

PHOENIX, AZ (April 25, 2024) – Grand Canyon University produced nearly 30,000 graduates again in 2023-24 – the third-straight year the university has approached that milestone.

GCU will celebrate a 2023-24 graduating class of 28,985 during commencement ceremonies on April 25-26 for traditional students and May 1-3 for online students. The graduating class includes those who completed their degrees in Summer 2023, Fall 2023 and projected graduates from Spring 2024.

That follows graduating classes of 29,116 in 2022-23 and 30,000 in 2021-22.

“We are blessed to be able to celebrate the accomplishments of another record class of graduates who are meeting the needs of today’s workforce and fulfilling their purpose as servant leaders throughout the world,” said GCU President Brian Mueller. “While enrollment numbers and graduation numbers are declining nationwide, we have continued to produce a significant number of graduates who are impacting industries throughout the country. That is a testament to the extraordinary power of education when delivered creatively across multiple platforms and taught from a Christian worldview perspective. It is also a reflection of both our outstanding students and the support they receive from our faculty and staff.”

Among the notable aspects of this year’s graduating class of 29,436 students:

  • 5,388 are traditional students taking classes on the Phoenix campus, while 23,597 studied online.
  • Of all graduates, 15,580 completed their undergraduate degree and 13,405 were graduate students earning master’s or doctoral degrees.
  • The Honors College had 682 graduates, bringing the total to more than 2,500 since the college’s inception in 2013. 

Much of GCU’s enrollment growth can be attributed to its continued emphasis on expanding academic programs and offering them in multiple in-person, online and hybrid learning platforms that meet the needs of individual students. In the 2023-24 academic year:

  • Enrollment at GCU surpassed 25,000 on the Phoenix campus, with another 92,000+ students studying online.
  • GCU grew from 9 to 10 colleges when the College of Science, Engineering and Technology split into two, forming the College of Engineering and Technology (CET) under new Dean Paul Lamberston and the College of Natural Sciences (CNS) under Dean Dr. Mark Wooden. The restructure was created to focus on additional innovative curriculum and expanded job opportunities. Lambertson, who brings experience and industry ties from his career with the Air Force, plans to add degrees in civil aerospace and systems engineering. Wooden is also responding to job market opportunities to grow CNS and plans to launch programs that prepare undergraduates for schools in physical therapy, veterinary medicine and dentistry.
  • GCU opened a physical location for its Grand Canyon Theological Seminary in September 2023. The 17,000-square-foot seminary offers GCU’s Master of Divinity program and is also a space for local pastors to come together, work on sermons and utilize the library.
  • GCU created the Center for Workforce Development that develops pathways to fill labor gaps in trades industries. So far, two pathways have been established: a Pre-Apprenticeship for Electricians in partnership with Rosendin Electric and Maricopa County, and a Computer Numerical Control (CNC) Machinist Pathway in partnership with Benchmark Electronics, Modern Industries and Lux Precision Manufacturing. Four cohorts have completed the Pre-Apprenticeship for Electricians and two cohorts have completed the CNC Pathway.
  • GCU added two more Accelerated Bachelor of Science in Nursing (ABSN) program sites in Phoenix and Chandler, Arizona – bringing the total number of sites to six alongside its other locations in Tucson and Sun City, Arizona; Henderson, Nevada; and Sandy, Utah. The university is on track to open three more sites in the 2024-25 academic year as it continues to add programs to address the country’s nursing shortage. Students in the hybrid program can earn their degrees in as little as 16 months.

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About Grand Canyon University:  Grand Canyon University was founded in 1949 and is Arizona’s premier private Christian university. GCU is accredited by the Higher Learning Commission and offers 337 academic programs, emphases and certificates for both traditional undergraduate students and working professionals. The University’s curriculum emphasizes interaction with classmates, both in-person and online, and individual attention from instructors while fusing academic rigor with Christian values to help students find their purpose and become skilled, caring professionals. For more information, visit gcu.edu.

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GCU Magazine

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