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Mercyhurst University

Mercyhurst University Rating: 5.0/5 (2 votes)

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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.

Honors Program

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

Unique Programs

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.

Financial Aid

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.

Student Financial Aid Details

Ranks 2015th for the average student loan amount.
Secrets to getting the best scholarships and financial aid in Pennsylvania.


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

Local Community

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.

Information Summary

Ranks 35th in Pennsylvania and 472nd overall
See the entire top 2,000 colleges and universities list

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Campus Crime Statistics

  Incidents per 100 Students
Aggravated assault N/A N/A
Murder & Non-Negligent Manslaughter N/A N/A
Rape 1 0.02
Robbery 2 0.05
Arson N/A N/A
Burglary 5 0.11
Larceny N/A N/A
Vehicle theft N/A N/A
Arrest N/A N/A

Local Crime Statistics

  Incidents per 100 People
Aggravated assault 198 0.19
Murder & Non-Negligent Manslaughter 6 0.01
Forcible Rape 77 0.08
Robbery 150 0.15
Arson N/A N/A
Burglary 1,233 1.21
Larceny 2,404 2.35
Vehicle theft 101 0.10

Carnegie Foundation Classification

Master's Colleges and Universities (smaller programs)
UndergraduateBalanced arts & sciences/professions, some graduate coexistence
GraduatePostbaccalaureate with arts & sciences (education dominant)
Undergraduate PopulationFull-time four-year, selective, lower transfer-in
EnrollmentVery high undergraduate
Size & SettingMedium four-year, highly residential

General Characteristics

Title IV EligibilityParticipates in Title IV federal financial aid programs
Highest offeringDoctoral degree
Calendar SystemFour-one-four plan
Years of college work requiredN/A
Variable Tuition
Religious AffiliationRoman Catholic
Congressional District4203

Special Learning Opportunities

Distance LearningN/A
ROTC — Army / Navy / Air Force  —   /   / 
Study Abroad
Weekend College
Teacher Certification

Student Tuition Costs and Fees

Ranks 426th for total cost of attendance
  In District In State Out of State
Effective as of 2014-09-19
FT Undergraduate Tuition $28,400 $28,400 $28,400
FT Undergraduate Required Fees $1,900 $1,900 $1,900
PT Undergraduate per Credit Hour $947 $947 $947
FT Graduate Tuition $19,830 $19,830 $19,830
FT Graduate Required Fees $350 $350 $350
PT Graduate per Credit Hour $661 $661 $661
Total Cost of Attendance — On-Campus $44,838 $44,838 $44,838
Total Cost of Attendance — Off-Campus w/out Family $44,838 $44,838 $44,838
Total Cost of Attendance — Off-Campus with Family $33,250 $33,250 $33,250

Student Tuition Cost History and Trends

Prior year cost comparison
  In District In State Out of State
Published Tuition & Fees $27,657 $29,037 $27,657 $29,037 $27,657 $29,037
  Cost (regardless of residency)
Effective as of 2014-09-19
Books & Supplies $1,200(N/C)
On-Campus – Room & Board $11,139 $11,391
On-Campus – Other Expenses $1,750(N/C)
Off-Campus w/out Family – Room & Board N/A(N/C)
Off-Campus w/out Family – Other Expenses N/A(N/C)
Off-Campus with Family – Room & Board N/A $1,750

Admission Details

Effective as of 2014-09-19
Application Fee RequiredN/A
Undergraduate Application Fee$30
Graduate Application Fee$30
First Professional Application FeeN/A
Applicants 2,938 (1,244 male / 1,694 female)
Admitted 2,214 (900 male / 1,314 female)
Admission rate 75%
First-time Enrollment 600 (265 male / 335 female)
FT Enrollment 594 (264 male / 330 female)
PT Enrollment 6 (1 male / 5 female)
Total Enrollment3,011

Admission Criteria

 = Required,   = Recommended,   = Neither required nor recommended
Open Admissions
Secondary School GPA / Rank / Record  /   / 
College Prep. Completion
Formal competency demo
Admission test scores
Other testsN/A

Admission Credits Accepted

Dual Credit
Life Experience
Advanced Placement (AP)

Athletics - Association Memberships

Sports / Athletic Conference Memberships NCAA
NCAA Football Conference Pennsylvania State Athletic Conference
NCAA Basketball Conference Pennsylvania State Athletic Conference
NCAA Baseball Conference Pennsylvania State Athletic Conference
NCAA Track & Field Conference Pennsylvania State Athletic Conference

ACT Test Admission

499th for 75pctl scores
Applicants submitting ACT results 40%
Verbal scores (25/75 %ile) 20 / 26
Math scores (25/75 %ile) 20 / 26
Cumulative scores (25/75 %ile) 21 / 26

SAT Test Admission

589th for 75pctl scores
Applicants submitting SAT results 75%
Verbal scores (25/75 %ile) 470 / 580
Math scores (25/75 %ile) 470 / 580
Cumulative scores (25/75 %ile) 940 / 1160

Student Services

Remedial Services
Academic / Career Counseling
PT Cost-defraying Employment
Career Placement
On-Campus Day Care
Library Facility

Student Living

First-time Room / Board Required
Dorm Capacity1,895
Meals per Week20
Room Fee$5,264
Board Fee$5,136

Faculty Compensation / Salaries

Ranks 1787th for the average full-time faculty salary.
Effective as of 2014-09-20
Tenure system N/A
Average FT Salary $64,639 ($68,587 male / $53,492 female)
Number of FT Faculty 163 (92 male / 71 female)
Number of PT Faculty 259
FT Faculty Ratio 0.6 : 1
Total Benefits $5,593,325

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501 E 38th St
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