College of Doctoral Studies

In today's competitive market, the demand for specialized knowledge is ever growing. Take the next step in your career by earning your doctoral degree from Grand Canyon University (GCU). Our College of Doctoral Studies offers advanced degrees such as a Doctor of Business Administration and a Doctor of Education with several emphases.

Learners begin their dissertation process as part of conventional coursework and participate in residencies to engage with faculty and colleagues in a scholarly environment. Achieve your personal and professional educational goals while impacting the global community.

Learn more about programs offered in the College of Doctoral Studies.

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The DC Network

The Doctoral Community NetworkTM (DC Network) is a vibrant online learning community that allows you to create and share content related to your discipline with other learners and faculty members at GCU. Collaborate and connect with scholars who have similar academic interests through interactive communication, instant notification of new content and indexed search functionality.

The Doctoral Journey

Visit our blog, The Doctoral Journey, where doctoral students, faculty and professionals share their expertise and field experiences. Our posts include insight into dissertation writing, in-depth look at qualitative and quantitative research, information about our PhD programs, spotlights on our outstanding learners and much more.

Enhance Your Academic Experience

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Residencies at GCU are progressive, engaging experiences, connecting you with tools and resources to enrich your skills. Attend sessions in an academically stimulating setting that fosters focused research and quality interaction. Master of Divinity students and doctoral learners are required to attend residencies at integral points of the scholastic journey. During residencies, you have the opportunity to:

  • Master resources while working with faculty and staff to refine skills in writing, research and analysis
  • Build the dissertation foundation
  • Network and collaborate with colleagues face-to-face

Doctoral Residencies

All doctoral learners, excluding those in the education specialist program, are required to attend residencies as part of their degree program. Email your residency questions to [email protected] or contact your student services counselor with any questions.

To view available dates, register for an upcoming residency, or to submit your travel arrangements please visit our residency page. For additional residency and pre-assignment information, please visit the DC Network.

Doctoral Residency 2023

Doctoral Residency Tuition and Fees:

  • Doctoral residency is a 3-credit course subject to applicable tuition rates
  • Doctoral residency is subject to the Course Withdrawal Policy and Tuition Refund Policy as outlined in the University Policy Handbook
  • The doctoral residency fee is in addition to course tuition
  • Visit Tuition and Financing for a listing of our doctoral residency fees
  • The doctoral residency fee is non-refundable

Your doctoral residency tuition and fee includes:

  • One-on-one coaching from faculty
  • Hotel room for five nights (arrival Sunday, departure Friday)
  • Wireless internet access
  • Meals: Five breakfasts, four lunches, five dinners and daily snacks

Learners are responsible for:

  • Any and all personal transportation during doctoral residency (excluding learner onsite transportation listed above)
  • Any charges related to travel including, but not limited to, change/transfer fees and cancellation fees

Attendance at all sessions is required to receive credit. The College of Doctoral Studies allows you one spot at a doctoral residency each year. You are not guaranteed a new spot if a previous registration has been canceled in the same year. Doctoral residency requirements must be fulfilled before proceeding in your program.

  • Doctoral learners are required to attend two doctoral residencies as part of their degree programs. Residency III is optional depending on program progression.
  • Residency 1 – RSD 851: Learners must attend the first doctoral residency by 24 credits. You should schedule the first doctoral residency after you have completed your prerequisite course, between the 5th course and 8th course.
  • Residency 2 – RSD 881, RSD 883, RSD 884: Learners must attend the second doctoral residency by 42 credits. You should schedule the second doctoral residency after you have completed your prerequisite course, between the 10th course and the 14th course.
  • Optional Residency 3 – RSD 951, RSD 952: This is an optional credited or non-credited course that is a work intensive week designed to provide learners with the assistance needed to make significant progress on their dissertation.
  • If you are unable to attend the first doctoral residency by 24 credits or the second doctoral residency by 42 credits, you will not be allowed to register for additional courses until the residency requirement is met.

To help ensure a successful doctoral residency, we suggest that you confirm the following as soon as possible:

  • Airline reservation
    • Compare airlines for the best price and book early to secure your seat at doctoral residency.
    • Changes and/or cancellation are the learner's responsibility.
    • Plan travel to accommodate arriving in Phoenix by Sunday and the course ending at Noon on Friday. Hotel check-in is not guaranteed until 4 pm or after.
    • Submit your travel plans on your personal travel web form 60 days before your doctoral residency date to complete your registration process.
  • Tuition (learner's account must be in good standing to attend doctoral residency)
  • Food budget (consider expenses while en route, as well as meals, drinks or snacks outside of what the university provides)
  • Time off (confirmed with workplace/employer)
  • Family schedule (confirmed support systems are in place during time away from home)
  • Doctoral residency pre-assignment (completed and deposited in your classroom assignment folder)
  • Business casual attire (no jeans or shorts); dress in layers of clothing (outside/inside temperatures vary)
  • Laptop, chargers, power cords and electronic version of textbooks
  • Special needs communicated to [email protected] at least a month prior to arrival.
  • Attend a residency webinar to learn to learn about residency and what to expect. The purpose of this webinar is to help learners prepare for the doctoral residency experience and to maximize their time while on campus. The program chairs and members of the residency team will cover preparation ideas prior to arrival, the in-person residency experience and expectations, and offer tips on how to make it a great experience.

Please feel free to email your doctoral residency questions to [email protected] or contact your student services counselor.

Some residencies may be full. Please contact your student services counselor for more information.

2023 Residency Dates 2023 Online Dates (3 Weeks) Location
March 5 – 10 March 2 – 22 Crowne Plaza San Marcos Resort
One S. San Marcos Pl.
Chandler, AZ 85225
March 19 – 24 March 16 – April 5 Crowne Plaza San Marcos Resort
One S. San Marcos Pl.
Chandler, AZ 85225
April 16 – 21 April 13 – May 3 Crowne Plaza San Marcos Resort
One S. San Marcos Pl.
Chandler, AZ 85225
April 30 – 5 April 27 – May 17 Crowne Plaza San Marcos Resort
One S. San Marcos Pl.
Chandler, AZ 85225
May 14 – 19 May 11 – May 31 Crowne Plaza San Marcos Resort
One S. San Marcos Pl.
Chandler, AZ 85225
June 4 – 9 June 1 – 21 Crowne Plaza San Marcos Resort
One S. San Marcos Pl.
Chandler, AZ 85225
June 11 – 16 June 8 – June 28 Crowne Plaza San Marcos Resort
One S. San Marcos Pl.
Chandler, AZ 85225
June 25 – 30 June 22 – July 12 Crowne Plaza San Marcos Resort
One S. San Marcos Pl.
Chandler, AZ 85225

Register Today

Grand Canyon University Promotes Ethical Research

The National Research Act, passed by Congress in 1974, established the National Commission for the Protection of Human Subjects of Biomedical and Behavioral Research. The commission implements policies to safeguard the rights and well-being of human subjects involved in research. All institutions conducting or supporting studies must establish an IRB to approve and monitor research in accordance with the federal policy protecting human subjects during all phases of research.

The Belmont Report, published by the commission in 1974, is a statement of ethical principles and guidelines for those who conduct research using human participants or subjects. The report distinguishes between practice and research, defines basic ethical principles as they apply to research involving human subjects and provides guidelines in the application of those ethical principles. There are many instances in which practice and research overlap. External and objective review of protocols are required only when human subjects are used in some aspect of research. The IRB at GCU bases all decisions on approval of research protocols, according to the Belmont Report.

Application of the ethical principles:

  • Informed Consent ­– Providing opportunity for individuals to choose what shall or shall not happen to them; upholds the principle of respect for persons.
  • Risk and Benefit Analysis – A balance between the risk to a human subject and the benefit gained from the research; establishes the beneficence of research on human subjects.
  • Selection of Subjects – Researchers must exhibit fairness by avoiding preference among individuals or social biases in support of justice in human subject-based research.

According to GCU policy, all researchers must successfully complete research ethics training before applying for IRB approval. The Collaborative Institutional Training Initiative (CITI) involves web-based instruction in the ethics of research with human subjects. CITI training is free to GCU doctoral learners and faculty. Researchers must submit completion reports for the Basic Research Course for Social and Behavioral Sciences or Biomedical Research and the Responsible Conduct of Research Course as part of the IRB application. Training certification remains in effect for five years. View the steps to register and begin training.

The Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS), through its Office for Human Research Protections (OHRP), is tasked with registering an IRB and developing the applicable guidelines and education. The IRB at GCU is registered with the OHRP and has gained Federalwide Assurance. This assures researchers within the GCU community abide by the Code of Federal Regulations, Title 45, Part 46 (45.CFR.46) and remain eligible to apply for and conduct federally funded research on human subjects.


Learn about your rights as a human subject and ethics policies to help determine if volunteering as a research participant is the right choice for you. Visit the OHRP website for more information. If you have you been contacted by a researcher at GCU to participate in a study and have questions or concerns, contact the Office of Research and Dissertations at [email protected]

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