Founded by the Sisters of Mercy in 1926, Mercyhurst University is a fully accredited Catholic liberal arts institution situated on a picturesque hillside in Erie, Pennsylvania. In keeping with the pioneering vision of the Sisters, those on campus — known as Lakers — hold true to a tradition of hospitality, entrepreneurship and service. Mercyhurst strives to live out this tradition, embracing social justice and building an open-minded campus that welcomes people from all walks of life. The University champions faith and reason as it explores new answers to age-old questions, engages one another in thought-provoking discussions and exercises leadership in service toward a just world.
Mercyhurst offers more than 60 undergraduate programs, all of which offer dynamic hands-on learning experiences through research, internships, study abroad and other projects. Nationally recognized programs include Intelligence Studies, Public Health, Anthropology/Archaeology, Applied Forensic Sciences, Hospitality Management, Fashion Merchandising and more.
The first non-government initiative of its kind, the Intelligence Studies program paved the way for intelligence education at the university level. Intel undergraduates are often contracted for analytic support projects with federal agencies and global businesses. In the Applied Forensic Sciences program, students work in tandem with world-class faculty to lend their expertise to real crime-scene investigations.
Fashion Merchandising students can take advantage of Mercyhurst’s industry partnerships and study-abroad opportunities in New York City and Paris. Students in science programs collaborate across disciplines to gain insight into the natural world through original research in state-of-the-art labs and facilities, such as the university’s Hirtzel DNA Sequencing Center. Niche programs, such as Data Science and Bioinformatics, keep students on the cutting edge of in-demand, tech-intense fields.
The applied liberal arts tradition at the heart of a Mercyhurst education prepares graduates to thrive as innovative leaders, able to think and adapt in today’s changing world. Through the multidisciplinary courses in the university curriculum, you’ll build a valuable portfolio of critical skills while still enjoying the freedom to add another major or minor, or take a few outside-the-box classes simply for fun.
Study abroad is also a popular option at Mercyhurst; nearly 1 in 4 Mercyhurst students study abroad during their undergraduate years, compared to a national average of 1 in 10. Mercyhurst’s programs have taken students and professors to study narrative and film in Spain, aquatic ecology in Belize, video storytelling in Peru and dance appreciation in France, just to name a few.
Mercyhurst’s 127-acre campus is alive with activity day and night, and students are engaged in a vast array of experiences: planning events on campus and in the community, heading up clubs and organizations, and volunteering locally and across the nation. Mercyhurst offers more than 80 recognized student clubs and organizations on campus — everything from Amnesty International and the LGBTQIA Equality Club to Theatre Appreciation Club, Merciad student newspaper and Ski and Snowboard club. Athletics play a major role in the life and spirit of the Hurst, with 24 Division I or II programs on campus. Laker teams compete at a high level, so that means there’s always a big game (or maybe even a championship) to get excited about — even if you’re not on the team.
What truly makes Mercyhurst stand out is the encouraging atmosphere of generosity among your professors, counselors, peers and friends. You can expect a Mercyhurst education to be challenging and even uncomfortable at times — a transformative education always is — as you are pushed to re-examine your beliefs and assumptions, and engage with different points of view. But amidst these challenges, your Mercyhurst family will be there to offer you support and encouragement as you pursue achievements beyond the gates of the campus. In recent years, 95 percent of graduates secured employment or enrolled in graduate school within a year of graduation.
Among Mercyhurst’s accomplished alumni are Fortune 500 CEOs, teachers, lawyers, musicians, FBI agents, counselors, film producers, dancers, CIA analysts, doctors, public servants and fashion buyers.
At Mercyhurst, higher education is celebrated as more than a brief transactional stage in your life. For 90 years, the University has lived by the Carpe Diem spirit. These words inspire a drive to engage every challenge, enterprise and opportunity to better our communities and ourselves. At Mercyhurst, college is about uncovering who you are and who you want to become. It’s your time to grow, to discover something new, to ignite your passions and share them with the world. It’s your time to seize the day.