Updated March 11, 2021 | Staff Writers

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In Briggs Hall, the Hafenmaier College of Humanities, Arts and Social Sciences grants the Bachelor of Arts in Psychology for Mercyhurst University undergrads fascinated by the neural synapses that influence how people behave. Chaired by Dr. Melissa Heerboth, an STP Teaching Excellence Award recipient, the 120-credit degree follows the Applied, General, or Research Track for specialized study of cognitive processes. The 15:1 student-professor ratio ensures deep involvement in Erie courses like Antecedents of Aggression, Memory, Industrial-Organizational Psychology, and Drug Abuse. Senior capstone projects follow optional practica placements, such as the Barber National Institute, Buffalo Bills, Saint Vincent Hospital, Refuge, and Presque Isle Rehabilitation. Majors might also research in the Lab for Addictive & Impulsive Behavior, minor in Neuroscience, pledge Psi Chi, engage with UNICEF, venture to Stockholm, join Gender Acceptance Club, and work in the Hirtzel Institute on Aging. Two similar Mercyhurst degrees are the Bachelor of Arts in Art Therapy and Bachelor of Music in Music Therapy.

About Mercyhurst University

Mercyhurst University was opened on September 20, 1926, by Mother M. Borgia Egan and the Catholic Diocese of Erie's Sisters of Mercy with an inaugural class of 23 women. Chartered two years later, Mercyhurst initially focused on preparing nuns to teach college-level courses. In 1950, architect F. Ferdinand Durang was hired to create the 75-acre, English Gothic-style campus' shining landmark, Old Main. Coeducational since 1969, Mercyhurst further expanded in 1991 by acquiring the Redemptorist Seminary. In Fall 2002, a $22.8 fundraising campaign was also invested in the Audrey Hirt Academic Center. Given university status in 2012, Mercyhurst now attracts 4,400 Lakers, including Psychology majors, from 53 nations as a CMHE member 90 minutes from Buffalo. Linked to 14,913 LinkedIn alumni, Mercyhurst University has trained Joan Chittister, Meghan Agosta, Pat Harkins, and more.

The U.S. News & World Report ranked Mercyhurst the North's 48th best university, 29th best for vets college, and seventh top value. On Niche, Mercyhurst has America's 330th best athletics, 407th best dining, 429th most liberal academics, and 510th most diverse campus. Money magazine placed Mercyhurst University 678th overall with 50 percent of need met. The Princeton Review featured Mercyhurst in the 2017 "Guide to Green Colleges." Mercyhurst was an EPA Conference Champion for using Pennsylvania's most green power. College Factual deemed Mercyhurst the 216th best value and 531st top psychology school. The Mercyhurst Autism Initiative was applauded among College Choice's top 50 for students with disabilities. The 2008 WQLN Collegiate Challenge winner landed 267th on the Social Mobility Index. Washington Monthly also listed Mercyhurst 69th nationally for volunteer service.

Mercyhurst University Accreditation Details

In January 2014, Mercyhurst University satisfactorily passed an institutional review by the Middle States Commission on Higher Education (MSCHE) to keep Level III accreditation current for 10 additional years under its 12th president, Dr. Michael Victor, who was the 2012 Painesville Area Citizen of the Year. Located 404 miles across Pennsylvania in Philly, this six-state East Coast accreditor is recognized by the U.S. Secretary of Education to conduct quality checkups on Mercyhurst's 63 baccalaureate, 11 master's, and 12 certificate programs. The Music Therapy B.M. is accredited by the National Association of Schools of Music (NASM) and American Music Therapy Association (AMTA).

Mercyhurst University Application Requirements

Admission to Mercyhurst University is labeled "moderately difficult" by Peterson's, though 2,245 of the 2,800 Fall 2015 applications were victorious for 80 percent acceptance. First-year Lakers swim toward the Psychology B.A. after a secondary diploma or GED certificate. The Office of Admissions looks for four units of English, five units of social studies, and three units of mathematics. Preference is given for ranking in the top 50 percent of one's graduating class. Holistic reviews take "big picture" glimpses into academic merit plus leadership, creativity, civic involvement, and unique circumstances. Mercyhurst freshmen hold a median 3.4 GPA, 1050 SAT score, and 23 ACT mark though tests are optional. Candidates with averages below 2.75 need recommendation letters. Undergrads with minimum 2.5 GPAs sign up for Transferology to calculate which credits graded at least "C-" count too.

Mercyhurst University has a March 1st priority and July 1st final deadline for freshmen each Fall. Transfer admission is rolling year-round until August 30th and December 30th. Non-U.S. citizens should leave at least 60 days extra for processing with a minimum 550 TOEFL score. Interested Psychology B.A. majors easily file the free Mercyhurst or Common Application online. Sometimes official documents must be mailed to 501 East 38th Street in Erie, PA 16546. Please contact (800) 825-1926 or admissions@mercyhurst.edu with further questions. The Hafenmaier College traditionally asks for these:

  • Electronic or hard copy of last transcript
  • At least one academic recommendation
  • Untimed writing sample of 250 to 500 words
  • Optional SAT (2410) or ACT (3629) score
  • Tests of English as a Foreign Language
  • $400 enrollment deposit if accepted

Featured Online Programs

Figuring out where to apply? These top, accredited schools offer a variety of online degrees. Consider one of these accredited programs, and discover their value today.

Tuition and Financial Aid

For 2018-19, Mercyhurst University is charging full-time Bachelor of Arts in Psychology majors $17,700 per semester or $35,400 annually. Taking more than 18 credits costs $1,150 apiece extra. Undergrads pay the $240 registration fee, $315 technology fee, $3,270 program fee, $280 anatomy lab fee, and $50 ID badge fee. Living at the Erie campus' dorms like Baldwin or Warde Hall adds $6,420 to $8,570 for housing. Meal plans for Egan Dining Hall cost $6,460 unlimited. Mercyhurst budgets $1,500 for books, $1,000 for transport, and $1,000 for personal supplies. Annual bachelor's attendance equals around $51,791 on-site and $39,581 at home.

According to the NCES College Navigator, the Financial Aid Office helps 96 percent of full-time Mercyhurst Lakers slam dunk median yearly assistance offers of $26,133 each for $61.77 million total. University funds include the Sister Carolyn Herrmann Scholarship, President's Grant, Sisters of Mercy Heritage Award, Rotary Youth Leadership Scholarship, Legacy Award, Athletic Scholarship, and Erie Diocese Scholarship. Mercyhurst is northwest Pennsylvania's first college offering free SALT Financial Literacy accounts. FAFSA forms coded 003297 could grant up to $5,815 from the Federal Pell and $4,000 from the FSEOG programs. Commonwealth residents qualify for the Pennsylvania State Grant, National Guard EAP, Ready to Succeed Scholarship, and PATH Grant. Six Work-Study positions are listed in the Psychology Department for at least $7.25/hour. Other options are the low-interest Direct Loan, Yellow Ribbon Program, American Opportunity Credit, and Alumni Discount.

Learn more about Mercyhurst University at the Psychology Department website .

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