Grand Canyon University Reviews - Doctoral in Psychology

2.71 out of 5 stars
(62 Reviews)
56% of 62 students said this degree improved their career prospects
44% of 62 students said they would recommend this program to others
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Student & Graduate Reviews

1.3 out of 5 stars
Joe P - 11/18/2020
Degree: Psychology
Graduation Year: 2020
"I think I am the “guy” another reviewer mentions who was stuck in AQR for 2 years. Well, I finally graduated after 7 years. I made the mistake of completing a dissertation with a more rigorous design. I had to re-write Chapter 4 three times although my statistical results and assumption checks were correct each time. My dissertation was over 500 pages. I constantly edited, added, moved, and deleted several sections. The school IRB was horrible. Unnecessary red tape. I had one chair who would sit on my work for 19 business days. It took an act of Congress to remove him."
1.0 out of 5 stars
M.B. - 2/4/2020
Degree: Psychology
Graduation Year: 2020
"I have been at Grand Canyon University for almost 7 years as a doctoral student. I was told the program was going to be 3 and half years. I’ve had 3 dissertation chairs and 4 methodologists. I started at Grand Canyon University in April of 2013. Since then I have been lied to and bullied into doing things I didn't feel comfortable doing. I have voiced my concerns regarding how long this program is design to be throughout this entire process, however I just keep getting strung along. It is clear that Grand Canyon University has adopted the predatory practice of targeting minorities like myself so as to profit from the government student loans that I received. I am currently having to pay for my 11th continuation class that cost $500 each out of my own pocket. I don't qualify as a full-time student anymore and I now have to pay my student loans back but I still don't have my degree to get employment. I have al ready finished writing all 5 chapter of the dissertation and I still keep getting strung along. This so called university is a complete scam. They should not be allowed to mislead students while making a profit. The dissertation chair persons are put in place to make sure students get so far into the program that by the time they realize what has happened it is too late. This institution has taken advantage of me. I have tried to resolve this matter with Grand Canyon University but their intent is to keep things in house and to keep me quiet. Grand Canyon university is refusing to give me my degree unless I continue to pay for more classes."
2.0 out of 5 stars
Lore - 2/3/2020
Degree: Psychology
Graduation Year: 2021
"How I wish that I did not have to write this but I am at the end of my rope. I began my doctorate program with high hopes but the subjectivity of the grading is ruining my GPA. On top of that, I have to beg me send repeated emails to get any answers from my councilor and several professors. Incredibly disappointed. I believe I will need to change schools."
2.0 out of 5 stars
Not any better than Argosy - 11/30/2019
Degree: Psychology
Graduation Year: 2020
"It's interesting how Argosy shut down and this school that claims to be Christian but wastes your money. When your in the dissertation phase you drag through the prospectus. Most students do not get to the proposal until Dissertation II. Each chair is different I find none of them to be good based on other students experience. I am annoyed with the experience I had where the chair never really looks at your documents until day nine or ten. I do not understand the purpose of the prospectus course, proposal course, or residency if they are just going to make you start over on the research. The syllabus in proposal is a joke. LOL I was like you just drop the same ten points or prospectus once the ten points is approved. I wish I could pick my chair, methodologist, not just my content expert."
1.6 out of 5 stars
Ball Marit aoho - 8/8/2019
Degree: Psychology
Graduation Year: 2019
"This University does not care about the success of the students. They are only interested in using students to collect student's loan, land you into huge debt and do not care about your graduation. Please do not waste your money and your time, there are great universities where you will be successful, not this university."
1.7 out of 5 stars
Dan - 7/17/2019
Degree: Psychology
Graduation Year: 2021
"Please search for another university. I have been in this program for nearly 7 years and am going nowhere. I went to my first residency with an approved (by my chair and methodologist) 10 strategic points and prospectus. I was ready to start my Chapter 2. However, (with hostility) I was told to trash my approved work and start over. I spent the entire week of residency changing what I had worked on for the past year. Once I returned from residency, I had a difficult time making the new direction work. Eventually my team told me to undo what residency made me do and go back to my original work; this was 6 months of going back and forth. So things were back on track and a year later, I make it AQR with an approved proposal that was reviewed by my chair, methodologist, and content expert. However, I was told by AQR to change my design and my research was getting dated (must be within 5 years). Correcting my dissertation his took a considerable amount of time because one change impacts other areas. I am now waiting for the results, but have lost faith in the institution. I am constantly complemented on my work but don't feel as if I have an advocate that really wants me to graduate. There is minimum collaborating as I was often left to figure things out on my own. Another reviewer pointed out the wait time and they are correct. They take 2 weeks to review your document which gives about 6 days for the student to address concerns and resubmit. Another point, during our core studies we do not write any parts of the dissertation which forces you to take the continuation courses at the end of the program which cost $500 per class. I would like to know the graduation rate for PHD students. I have met several GCU students along this journey and no one has graduated. We have all been in the program over 4.5 years. I honestly I think they will continue to misguide me and will not allow me to reach my goals of graduating until they reach $100, 000. Find better, you deserve it!"
2.3 out of 5 stars
SKH - 6/2/2019
Degree: Psychology
Graduation Year: 2018
"GCU tells prospective students that it takes about 3.5 years to complete the degree. No. The coursework takes 3 years, and you can't double up on classes even if you are not employed. The dissertation takes anywhere from 1 to 7 years. The Ph.D. program at GCU did not prepare us for the dissertation process well. The online courses were transformative and did help with reading research and writing skills. However, the quantitative and qualitative courses did not cover dissertation topics beyond the literature review and how to use SPSS. You do not get to select or change your committee chair, who is the be-all/end-all of the dissertation process. The rubrics, milestone guides, and templates are not aligned, but that almost doesn't matter because each chair interprets the prospectus and proposal based on their own interpretations. I am an honor student (even with GCU), and this was the worst school experience I have ever had. If you are considering a Ph.D. be sure it is what you need for your career. If I had known ahead of time that intense frustration in dealing with incompetent or nonresponsive teachers and the impossible dissertation process, I would never have pursued this degree. I did not graduate from GCU, but transferred to another school. I am covering important research skills that were skimmed over at GCU. I might actually finally graduate!"
4.3 out of 5 stars
Chris - 3/8/2019
Degree: Psychology
Graduation Year: 2018
"I graduated with a PhD in less than four years. It is true that the path to success is not laid out for you by faculty at GCU, but the information and resources are readily availible to those who are self driven. If they had a flaw it ia that they accepted too many students and did not put enough emphasis on the research requirements early. That has changed now with the new dean, learners find out what is required from the start now. More drop in the first year rather than during the dissertation stage. If you want a degree mill, GCU will frustrate and disappoint you. It was hard and AQR has high standards for competition and publication. If you want to learn and do good research you will enjoy most of the experience."
2.3 out of 5 stars
Nica - 2/18/2019
Degree: Psychology
Graduation Year: 2023
"I have mixed feelings about GCU's PhD program. I have completed all of the core curriculum, but will be withdrawing from GCU before entering the dissertation classes. I obtained my bachelor's and MBA online from two different schools, and the GCU instruction was similar to other schools. The online instructors act more as facilitators, rather than teachers. While this was fine in the other degree programs, this did not really work at GCU with doctoral students taking core courses, while working on their dissertation topic. Essentially, the core course instructors give very little (no) guidance in your dissertation work. At the end of each core course, the student submits an annonated bibliography highlighting 10 articles pertaining to their dissertation topic. The student is graded simply on the submission of 10 new articles - there is no feedback. The student has no one to communicate with to determine if they are heading in the right path with their dissertation topic. Communication regarding the dissertation comes at two required residencies in Arizona. The residencies cost more than the traditional courses because the student pays for lodging and meals. The residencies also mean time off work and transportation costs out of pocket. At residency, the students present their unguided dissertation work to dissertation chairs. While it is great to actually be able to communicate during the residency with dissertation chairs, it is succinctly stated that even though the chairs can help align your topic and put you on a good path - everything can change when the student is assigned their own chair at the end of the core courses. From my understanding, this happens often. Many students who thought they were on a good path from residency feedback found they were back to square one when entering the dissertation courses. Square one in dissertation work is not a great feeling, and I wonder if this problem could be resolved by implementation of a different system. During residency, students are also given what is referred to as "shock and awe" at the timeline to dissertation completion. If everything goes well during the dissertation cycle, you may be able to obtain your degree in 1 1/2 - 2 years after beginning your dissertation courses. However, I know of a student who was stuck in just the AQR cycle for 2 years due to multiple changes of chair, methodologist, and different perspectives on his work. While every situation is unique, it seems there are many students who get stuck at different points, and the timeline to completion can grow dismal. The three dissertation courses required for the degree completion quickly become continued dissertation courses at approximately $2000 each. At some point, the continued course price drops to $500, but many students have exhausted their financial aid and are not only paying back their loans, but also money out of pocket for continued courses. In addition, a third residency is now required after a certain number of continued dissertation courses. Essentially, the completion of this degree may require many more years of time and finances than initially anticipated. I may return to complete the dissertation, but only when I know I am in a good place with the time and finances to finish successfully. Overall, I think GCU needs to restructure their doctoral program in a way that sets students up for success. When enrolling, students are told the program takes 3 1/2 years to complete. That timeline does not appear to be the norm/reality at all, and I think potential doctoral students should be aware of the reality of the program structure from the beginning. After students are given "shock and awe" at the timeline during first residency, a great deal of work, time and money have already been invested, and it is up to each individual student whether to continue or cut their losses."
1.0 out of 5 stars
Sharon Coleman - 1/8/2019
Degree: Psychology
Graduation Year: 2018
"This school should be closed for their fraudulent practices, theft of funds and all out deception. I was enticed into attending this school. They received my financial aid and kept the stipend while telling me they mailed it. They lure you in with promises of earning a PHD while all the long lying to you about the degree and what you can do with it. This type of practive has to stop. We do not enroll in universities to end up defrauded out of our financial aid. I intend to fight."