Grand Canyon University Reviews of Master's in Psychology

  • 19 Reviews
  • Phoenix (AZ)
  • Annual Tuition: $11,074
50% of 19 students said this degree improved their career prospects
42% of 19 students said they would recommend this program to others
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Reviews - Master's in Psychology

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  • Reviewed: 1/19/2023
  • Degree: Psychology
"I am a student at GCU earning my Masters of Science in Psychology. Grand Canyon University has been a wonderful experience for me, the staff have been great, I have wonderful counselors, and been provided with plenty of resources to bring me success for my graduate program. From transitioning from undergrad to grad school, its everything I expected it to be. It is challenging, you need to have time management skills, devoted time to coursework, participate!!, and keep up with the work. I have heard so many people complain about Grand Canyon University, it is understandable if money is a factor to the problem. But, in my experience finance is not an issue and I have no complaints about how the online graduate program is structured and taught. Do not apply if you don't have the work ethic, the time management skills, research skills, and digital experience. I always believed that graduate education is independent, if you lack the skills to work and study independently, higher education may not be for you. It's annoying to hear people complain about GCU not being lenient with grading, or that the workload is too much. If you are trying to earn a Graduate degree, buckle up, it takes a lot to be a graduate student but only so many will complete it and walk across the stage. I am grateful that GCU took me in, and I have been giving my all to be successful in my courses. Shout out to my counselors who have been so useful and supportive of my journey."
David W
  • Reviewed: 6/24/2022
  • Degree: Psychology
"I recently completed my Master of Science in Psychology at Grand Canyon University (GCU). My emphasis area was Gero-Psychology. I love the elderly, subjects related to aging, and everything that goes along with the aging process. I absolutely loved GCU and recommend it to all! Ok, in fairness, I did not ALWAYS love the courses because they could be very stressful at times, due to complex subject matter or deadlines. But in general, I loved GCU and the Psychology program. The online GCU program is intended to move swiftly, thus allowing students to complete their program or degree faster. Most students are working as well as studying. It takes incredible focus, dedication, and time management skills to succeed at GCU. If any of these items are lacking, trouble will follow. However, the online learning management system (LMS) is excellent. It is called HALO. GCU switched to HALO last year or so (you can do a test drive here >> HALO helps students stay focused on assignments and class discussions. It also helps keep students organized so deadlines are not missed. In my 2-3 years at Grand Canyon University, I never once had a technical issue. I overwhelmingly approve of the program, the course instruction and instructors, and the course content. It helps to have some type of background in a psychology related field, for example mental health work, social services counseling, case management, gerontology, clinical work, community agency volunteer work, school counseling, etc. If lacking in these backgrounds, it is still doable, especially if you had a related undergraduate degree. There is a required, introduction to graduate studies course at the beginning of the program. It is worth it, especially if you have not been in school for a while. You will also learn all about general psychology topics such as ethics and ethical issues (APA Code of Ethics anyone?), along with social and cultural psychology. As my program had a gerontology emphasis, courses about aging and older adults make sense. They were super interesting. These courses covered sociology of aging, physical health, and biology of aging, and psychological, emotional, and spiritual aspects of aging. In addition, there was a most intriguing course about death and dying. This course will grab your attention! And … warning: this GCU program is graduate level. It adheres to national standards associated with doing research. That is right, research is a huge part of this program. In fact, there are two required, challenging courses on statistics and research methods. Prospective students will need to be ready for takeoff when these course start. Get the reading done early and practice, practice, practice. These two courses are not for the faint of heart, but extra help is available if needed. I got through without needing extra help, for what it is worth. But I know some students were REALLY struggling with these two courses. Finally, there is a capstone course. It is the last course for the program. There is a lot of career-related subject matter in this course. It is very helpful. The instructors were either very good or great. The ones who were very good were more than sufficient. I had four very good teachers. Then I had six excellent teachers who went above and beyond while instructing. There are online discussion topics. Excellent teachers interact with students with high energy. They make the course very engaging by offering up interesting discussion or participation questions. The main objective of these discussions is to replace the lack of in-person communication with something similar. So, someone posts a reply and then students can follow up. Sometimes discussions can be a bit dull when students reply to other students they know from a previous class. You can tell they are going through the motions. But the excellent teachers push the discussions to higher ground with other excellent, related topics and resources. This allows for expansion of participation and discussion and improved knowledge sharing. LMS insinuates that students be independent and motivated. If you are motivated and manage time well, then LMS is for you. But there may be trouble if a student struggles to comprehend material or hands in assignments late. At that point, they will need to seek extra help, using instructor office hours. GCU offers a robust technical support program if needed. The GCU online library is outstanding. The course textbooks are included with the tuition and fees. I am not sure if this is common nowadays with other schools, but it sure is nice. I was always able to easily access the primary course text online. Microsoft Office is included free for GCU students. I took advantage of that. It was VERY helpful to have the software installed on my computer. I think I have written too much. But I am a big fan of GCU. I am so glad I chose this school! I hope this helps."
  • Reviewed: 4/9/2022
  • Degree: Psychology
"Stay far away from this University. They should close this place. No Christian oriented, but oriented for student's money. Unprofessional staff, they use recordings against the students and other nasty tricks to cover each others. No departments supporting students. Be careful."
Trapped Student
  • Reviewed: 1/8/2021
  • Degree: Psychology
"I would not recommend this institution. I maintained a 4.0 throughout the entirety of my program and maintained an A throughout my research methods class. The course was online and the professor had a final exam in which she disclaimed that if the test had a glitch she would not reset it, which is an unfair policy with the current conditions of COVID. During the exam there was a glitch and the professor refused to reopen the test and let me complete it due to concerns with integrity of test. I asked for another question set or an alternative assignment and was ignored. I submitted an academic appeal and was denied. Do not attend this university if you value your education or GPA, or want to be treated fairly."
  • Reviewed: 11/5/2020
  • Degree: Psychology
"I originally selected GCU because it seemed that they had everything that I needed to be able to actually complete a master's degree while still having a very busy life outside of school. Tuition is cheap, classes are accessible completely online, I only had to take one class at a time, and they seemed to have a very welcoming environment. All of these things remain true, which is good. The only problem is that the program is designed and run so poorly that I am starting to feel like I have just wasted an enormous amount of time, effort, and money. I would seriously consider before deciding on this program from GCU. It's really difficult to overstate my disappointment and frustration with this school since I have yet to have a truly positive experience with anyone who works there. However, I will try to be mostly objective in this review as the purpose is to help you decide if this is the right program for you. I suppose it must be that this program will be a good fit for some people. The most important thing to know about this program is that there is absolutely no instruction of any kind. I only have two courses remaining, and all of my courses so far have had the same exact structure just with different assignments. Each class is eight weeks long and contains 1000 possible points that can be earned. Each week you must post one original comment to each of two discussion questions (DQs). You must also post responses to your classmates a minimum of three days in the week. This usually means responding to three different people, each on a different day of the week. The original posts are worth 5 points each and the weekly responses are worth a total of 20 points for each week for a total of 30 points per week just from discussion questions. This comes out to 240 points (30 * 8 = 240) just from discussions. And so far, my experience with DQs has been that they are basically just a pulse-check. I have never lost points on a post or a comment that I've made, and I have intentionally made some very poor comments just to test it. It appears that you get full points as long as you're present regardless of the quality of the post. So that's just under 25% of the course grade, which is basically free if you put in the time to do it. The rest of the points come from weekly assignments and sometimes a mid-term and final exam depending on the class. Typically (though there is at least one exception to this) there is one major assignment per week that is worth anywhere between 60 and 120 points. Some are group assignments, but most are just a standard research paper. They tend to be between 750–2000 words and require between 2–8 sources depending on their point value. They require some work, but they're really not much different from the standard paper that I was asked to write while in my bachelor's program. And that's pretty much it. Each course has a list of weekly assigned readings, but, honestly, I haven't even looked at any of them for my last couple of classes, and it hasn't seemed to matter all that much. In fact, I'm not really sure what their purpose is because they don't seem to relate to the course material at all. At first I thought I could use them as sources for some of my assignments, but I haven't found any so far that have enough relevance to be included, so you don't really need to waste your time reading them; conducting your own research is sufficient and more helpful anyway. It's also worth noting that I have yet to have a single class from a full-time, tenured or tenure-track faculty member. Every instructor has been at the adjunct level. Now I'm not saying that adjunct faculty cannot be great instructors, but it does strike me as odd that a student can go through nearly the entire program at the graduate level and not have even one full-time faculty instructor. It just kind of seems like the school doesn't even take this program very seriously, and that's really disappointing. One final thing I'd like to mention is the program's use of student services counselors. When I first started the program, I was really impressed that I had a counselor who would reach out on a pretty regular basis to check on my progress and to see if I had any questions or needed anything. However, the further along I got, the more I realized that my counselor really has no clue what is going on with the program. My counselor has never been able to give me any specific details about any of my courses, cannot see which instructor is scheduled to teach my next class even if it's less than a week away, has virtually no knowledge about online student success resources, and has consistently given false information regarding payment and other scheduling deadlines. I had hoped that this was due to just one poor employee, but I have now worked with multiple student services counselors and talked with two other classmates about theirs, and this appears to be a trend rather than an anomaly. I know I said I would try to be as objective as possible, so—to that end—I would like to also say something positive about GCU and the program I am in. Unfortunately, the best I can come up with is that it is cheap, easy, and accessible. As long as you're okay with all of your learning coming from reading research articles and being asked to participate in largely-meaningless weekly discussions, then this program will probably be fine for you. It's also great for people who are just looking to get a master's degree without any kind of challenge or academic rigor. As long as you have the time to put in to do the work, just about anybody can get a degree from this program. I would like to conclude by apologizing for not quite being able to keep all the bitterness from this post despite my promise to attempt to be objective. It's just really hard to try not to scream out that everyone should avoid this school when my experience so far has been so depressingly abysmal. Please take great caution when deciding whether to select this program or you will almost certainly be underwhelmed."
  • Reviewed: 11/6/2019
  • Degree: Psychology
"I enrolled in an online grad program with GCU. The first few days of class were treacherous to locate help. I dropped the classes in the first week. GCU staff explained I would not have any charges if I dropped the first week. A month later, I received a 900 bill for initiation fees which was placed on my credit. I really can't see how GCU purports Christian values when it's clear they arbitrarily charge whatever amount after a student has been enrolled. I asked multiple staff to apprise me (4 years ago) at what part of their documents expressed I owed an initiation fee, but no one provided this information. Thank God I'm receiving a master's degree with another university that offers much more academic excellence and integrity. I'm glad I had this adverse experience at the beginning since it prevented me from getting a degree at an opportunistic nest of iniquity."
  • Reviewed: 9/12/2019
  • Degree: Psychology
"This school has been phenomenal. The faculty are highly skilled and very easy to talk to and work with, even online. I have learned a lot, the syllabus is set up to really help each student win and it takes only 8 - 10 hours a week to do the work. The thing that sets GCU ahead of the rest is that each student gets a graduation team of four counselors, tech support and a librarian who are there for you and actually respond quickly."
Alma A.
  • Reviewed: 5/28/2019
  • Degree: Psychology
"I am slated to graduate this October, 2019 with a Masters in I/O Psychology. I have enjoyed the courses and have learned a lot. I like the flexibility of going into the classroom on your own time and most of my teachers have been very responsive to any questions I've asked and also to posting responses to student DQ answers. I have two complaints and one is that the DQ questions and assignments are written very poorly. They are difficult to understand, the spelling is atrocious as well as the punctuation and clarity are sub-par. If I'm working on graduate level work, I expect graduate level content. My second complaint is that my advisor isn't very responsive. Takes weeks for her to respond to questions either via email or phone. But in the long run, the school is good. I have found them relatively easy to work with and I can't wait to be done!! 1 class to go, plus my capstone!! WOOT WOOT!!"
  • Reviewed: 11/14/2018
  • Degree: Psychology
"I am extremely disappointed in GCU. At first when they are receiving payment from you they are extremely nice and helpful but once you are done they do not care at all about you. I now have a Masters degree I can not do much with because of "miscommunication"about the practicum in which they do not offer for my degree and was not informed this until after I was close to the end of my program. I also called to see when I would receive my diploma and was told I have to pay another $150 to receive it. For a degree I already paid for they want more money. For being a strong Christian College they definitely do not care about their students, all about the money!"
  • Reviewed: 1/26/2018
  • Degree: Psychology
"My personal experience: First of all I was a hard-working student, I obtained a degree, I was patient, but had to learn the hard way! 1. Enrollment counselors: At most schools, they are very pleasant. However, I had the most amazing enrollment counselor ever. 2. Instructors: I had few that did not care about the students only the pay. In fact, one behaved as if I was bothering him and was irritated at any question I asked. Some have poor social skills and should not be teachers. They lacking open and sincere communication. 3. Student counselors: I had one who was caring and understanding but for the most part they had no concern for students, no social skills, not helpful. Most do not listen to the student needs or problems. They do not understand how important their job in the future of others. I was very disappointed with the last one. 4. The program is set up by someone other than the teacher and many of the teachers did not have a clue of what the program was about or how to convey the message so that students could develop the assignment because the teacher does not design the program, only teach it. I am not sure if the degree is recognized although you pay so much and get very little in return. 5. If you have any issues with grades, teachers, or counselors you are recommended to write so one but that individual never call you or provides you with a positive response. You feel as if you are an egg and they are the rock and no matter what your concern is, you lose. I liked the assignments and the discussion but I think the grading system was not right. The teachers grade you low if you disagree with any of the points If you complain you are placed on a blacklist. 6. Some of the books do not fit the 21st Century needs and should be upgraded or canceled and some were just copies of pages. 7. Students are not provided with all the information and class codes needed in advance and are penalized by the teachers for not knowing or having a special code, or the information was never in the syllabus but the teacher will fail you. On the course last day, instructors are nowhere to be found. If they made a mistake or forgot to grade a paper, you are likely not to receive help from the counselor. You have to submit and fill out documents but results are for the most not to your favor even if it was the teachers or student counselor mistake. This school is for profit!"
  • Reviewed: 1/24/2018
  • Degree: Psychology
"Graduate school is a time to independently learn and work with given guidance and support. This school enforces students to truly learn because a student is required to prove their understanding of topics. I like the student resources, and the free Microsoft and SPSS programs was helpful and friendly. It was easy to reach out to my advisor and counselor."
Cassie Thiesse
  • Reviewed: 3/20/2017
  • Degree: Psychology
"I would recommend GCU to anyone looking to get into a great college either out of high school for their bachelor degree or someone looking to go in to get their secondary education degree because I have continued with GCU for my Masters and I will be completing my 2nd degree this year!"
  • Reviewed: 1/7/2017
  • Degree: Psychology
"This university should be renamed university of jokes instead of Grand Canyon University I took to classes and seen the school was only interested in your money nothing more don't waist your time going to this university so sad it is not good for adults OMG"
  • Reviewed: 12/14/2015
  • Degree: Psychology
"I chose GCU because the admissions staff actually listen to what I had to say about my career and personal goals. I was looking for a Masters program that would support my schedule, finances and career. I also like the fact that it has been around since 1949, Division I and a beautiful campus."
  • Reviewed: 11/17/2015
  • Degree: Psychology
"Overall the school is good. I have had many great professors and one that was so rigorous that I wanted to quit, but I stuck it out and received an A- in the class. My only problem with this school is the SSA (Financial Aid). I was offered an Alumni Scholarship that would cover the 95.00 fees for each class and this is my 4th class and the scholarship still has not been applied to my account, despite speaking to my SSA several times. Initially they said they never received the form for the scholarship, but once they found it I was assured that it would be applied to my account. My Student loans have posted, but not the scholarship. My SSA keep telling me she sent a ticket for the issue to be resolved and still two weeks later nothing. They ask you to complete the EOCS and my SSA stated if I have a problem please let her know before I give a bad view on the survey. She never returns emails and you have to call constantly. I love the professors of the school, but they need more SSA's to help with the workload, because it seems that they have too many students to follow up with and not enough advisors."
  • Reviewed: 6/28/2015
  • Degree: Psychology
"This is my first experience with online education, but not my first experience as a college student. I already have BS and MA degrees but have never taken online courses before. I am two classes in to the MS in IO Psychology program at GCU, taking classes online, and my opinion of the program so far is that it is not very rigorous. The online posting and collaboration in the online forum requirements are a joke and add very little value to my personal enrichment and learning, There are no actual lectures from professors, just some light reading assignments, and a few written assignments. No exams whatsoever. Utterly bizarre. Of course it does make sense that a for-profit institution would want to be graceful and gentle on the grading, so as not to chase away the students, aka their revenue stream."
Student at GCU
  • Reviewed: 5/21/2014
  • Degree: Psychology
"Every advisors were friendly during the enrollment. First class was great. The second class was given by Dr. G.. Dr. G. never reply on time, he is not able to help the student to improve a grade and the individual assignment it is vague. His expectation is too high but the instruction in regard the assignment do not clarify what he really want in the individual assignment. Many students are having the same issue with this teacher. The adviser promise to help with the material by providing guidance and feedback but do not call you back until few days after giving back the assignment. When you want to withdraw or change to another teacher class, she just explain that the amount of money paid it was for that class and you will lose the money. Informing of an transfer of school is worse, since the only reaction it is that the money would be needed to be pay out of my pocket. Crazy.... Think hard before attending GCU and explore others school."
Jeneen Gabriel
  • Reviewed: 7/23/2013
  • Degree: Psychology
"Tell us about your college experience.My financial advisor never was around, she filed the paper work wrong so I did not get my loan, now the school will not give me my diploma or transcript until I pay them over 954 dollars for their mistake.Would you get the same degree if you could start over?No, I was told that I would not need a GRE and that My degree would be good anywhere. Not so, I can not get my doctorate in psychology the degree is not any good.What advice can you offer other students?Don't Attend Grand Canyon University."
  • Reviewed: 5/15/2013
  • Degree: Psychology
"Financially appealing. No requirements to get in. No out of state tuition.They issue you a graduation team (of students I think). They call you every week it seems, but have no idea of what your progress is. My team swapped 4 or 5 + times in 3 segments.The academics are a bit of a joke online. Responses/grades/notes are copy pasted on your work. When I figured it out, I literally put "This won't even be read, so I made this project up", in the middle of a paragraph between to conflicting points, and it went unnoticed. I then repeated it in the following paragraph. I got a middle of the road A, with the same copy pasted critique from the 2 prior projects.Academic assistance is a bit of a dupe as well. When I actually needed help, I got a no replies to communication attempts. When I finally did, the instructor was overwhelmed, and wasn't able to help. She was a part time instructor for online courses, and it was a supplemental job for her. Turns out I had an undiagnosed learning disability. So I was getting easy A's, and had no idea there was an issue until it was too late. Then at the first sign of trouble, the graduation team vanishes. No one contacts you back. Then the billing department starts calling.University's reporting system is flawed. I ended up losing 200 points on my credit score because the registrar's office got behind in reporting, and I kept getting dinged for late payments while supposed to be in deferment. When I attempted to later contest the flawed reports, I got the run around. I ended up having to wait it out and rebuild my score. I will emphasize that this was while attending class, receiving grades, and in the middle of a segment. Not while out of school.Online: You have to prove attendance by answering questions, and posting online. You then have to reply to other's (quantity depending) posts. At no point did a single instructor mediate the posts when they got off topic or incorrect. It is a religious school, but you would think that when discussing something like psychology, genetics, etc... "God made them that way" would never be an actual answer. Another example is quoting your pastor as a source.It is what it is. There are people who will fool themselves into thinking it is a great institution, because it is easy and unchallanging.I hope this helps someone. Don't be fooled by the potential morality of the school. It is a business, and they just want the money. They fool a great deal of people. School doesn't have to be hard to be effective, but interaction with instructors is a must. You have to have the opportunity to try, then get real feedback to progress. This is not the place for learning. It is a great place to pay for a degree. Hopefully your employer doesn't research the school."