Mercyhurst College is a respected comprehensive college that is the second largest Mercy college in the U.S. It serves more than 4,000 students each year over four campuses. It offers a complete college experience with on-campus residences, diverse degree programs, newly modernized and technology-driven classrooms, and a wealth of student activities.
Mercyhurst College opened its doors in 1926 with a campus just a stone’s throw away from Lake Erie. It was founded by the Sisters of Mercy of the Erie Catholic Diocese, led by Mother M. Borgia Egan, who became the first president of the institution. The original campus was a mere 75 acres with the beautifully designed Old Main building, constructed to be a masterpiece of English Gothic design with elements of medieval castles.
Over the next 80 years, Mercyhurst expanded and grew. It became a co-ed institution in 1969 and was first run by lay people in 1972. The board elected to purchase new lands in 1991 and 2005, dramatically increasing the college’s physical scope. Today, Mercyhurst is the largest segment of unbroken real estate in Erie, with more than six blocks of land. It also operates multiple campuses that serve different student populations.
Mercyhurst operates on four campuses that each offer a different choice of majors and minors. Erie Campus, the main campus, offers the greatest number of degree options in a range of arts, sciences, business and technical fields, and creative pursuits. The North East Campus offers 12 majors, the Corry Campus offers one, and the West campus offers two. Erie Campus also offers eight graduate programs ranging from organizational leadership to exercise science. Students who are not ready or able to complete a major program can earn a certificate or advanced certificate in specialized industry classes that will help them advance their careers.
Mercyhurst offers an honors program for exceptional students who want to be further challenged by their college experience. Honors students can enroll in a vast range of honors courses, which are specifically designed to meet the interests of current honors students and average only 16 students per class. Honors students also enjoy special living arrangements, early course registration, and a carefully selected subset of Mercyhurst’s faculty. Above all, perhaps, they are privileged to belong to the intellectual community of scholars living in honors housing and taking honors courses, a group of students that frequently grow with and challenge one another.
Most Popular Fields of Study
Civic responsibility is one of Mercyhurst’s core tenets. The college seeks to create a service-learning environment that encourages students to volunteer their time and skill while enrolled in certain college courses. These specially-designated classes incorporate volunteer work through either service-learning projects or a minimum number of volunteer hours at local non-profit agencies. Students will expand on their experiences through in-class discussions or research.
Mercyhurst is a fairly competitive college in terms of admissions, meaning that not every student who applies will be guaranteed a spot. Undergraduate students for any of the campuses may apply online through Mercyhurst’s digital admissions application. Traditional high school students applying for the fall term at the Erie Campus may alternatively use the Common Application, which is a national standard for applications that allows students to apply to many schools with only one form.
Applicants will need to submit an official high school transcript, official SAT or ACT score reports, a writing sample of at least 250 words, and a recommendation form or letter from a teacher or counselor. Students applying to the dance or music programs must also audition with one of the program representatives. All applicants also have the option of meeting with an admissions counselor on campus to speak about their interest in the school. This meeting serves as a sort of casual interview and is very helpful in giving the admissions committee a full picture of an applicant’s personality and compatibility with the school.
Students seeking financial aid should begin by filling out the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA), which is available online at fafsa.gov. This form determines eligibility for federal aid in the form of grants, loans, and work-study programs. It may also be required as a supplementary material for certain other, third-party applications for scholarships and loans.
Additional funding can be found through sponsored merit-based scholarships and other award competitions. These types of funding are frequently awarded based on a student’s excellence in academics, sports, or specific interest areas, as well as their department in school and career interests. For more information, students should visit the Financial Aid Office.
There are more than 4,000 students at Mercyhurst College, many of whom live on campus in one of the college’s many residence halls and complexes. Freshmen are required to live on campus in a freshmen hall and enroll in a meal plan for dining at on-campus cafeterias. However, many upperclassmen also choose to live on campus for its convenience, community atmosphere, and close proximity to club and campus events.
Students can get more involved in the community by joining one of the more than 85 student clubs and organizations, participating in the Student Activities Council, becoming a leader in the Mercyhurst Student Government or Ambassador’s Club, or heading out to one of the residence hall or apartment events. With activities ranging from professional societies like the Sport Business and Management Club to just-for-fun groups like the Yoga Club and Video Game club, plus campus events in cultural and performing arts, lectures, and exhibits, students can find many ways to get involved and become an active member of the Mercyhurst campus.
Student Enrollment Demographics
Student Graduation Demographics
Erie, Pennsylvania is a metropolitan area with a population of 280,000. Mercyhurst College is located in the City of Erie, the fourth largest city in the state. Students will enjoy a thriving downtown with diverse entertainment, cultural events, restaurants, and shopping. The area also boasts a zoo, a history center, museums, a symphony orchestra, and popular sports teams. Of course, Lake Erie itself also offers excellent diversions from classes: fishing, boating, and sunbathing are only of a few of the lake activities that residents enjoy. Right off of the lake is Presque Isle State Park with its 22-mile trail for walking, running, inline skating, and biking. Between the city life, the entertainment, and the beautiful outdoors, Mercyhurst students will never be at a loss for things to do.
Mercyhurst College Home. Web. 29 Sept. 2011.
Mary D’Angelo Performing Arts Center Home. Web. 29 Sept. 2011.