Mercyhurst University



Located in Erie, Pennsylvania, on a hill overlooking Lake Erie, our 75-acre campus is known as one of the most beautiful in the region. Elements of English Gothic architecture are carried throughout our Old Main, academic buildings and student residence halls.

Carpe Diem.

Grounded in the ideals of service, hospitality, and entrepreneurship that inspired our founders, a Mercyhurst education encourages the development of lifelong passions and engagement with the larger world. Inspired by our motto, "Carpe Diem," our faculty and students embrace innovation and leadership in service, as they make a difference within our gates and around the world.


Faith and Service in a Mercy University

"The joy and the hope, the grief and the anguish of the women and men of our time, especially of those who are poor or afflicted in any way, are the joy and hope, the grief and anguish of the followers of Christ as well. Nothing genuinely human fails to find an echo in their hearts…That is why Christians cherish a feeling of deep solidarity with the human race and its history." (Gaudium et Spes, Preface 1)

Such dreams and realities engage every Catholic university. They make a particular appeal to Mercy universities founded by the Sisters of Mercy, who have committed their lives and works to serve those who are poor, sick and uneducated. The inspiration expressed in Gaudium et Spes, therefore, lies at the heart of our identity and mission. A Mercyhurst education aims at engaging students for life and at creating leaders in justice and service. In a time of much social change and challenge, this inspiration clarifies our vision of the specific character of our Catholic Mercy University.

Our inspiration leads us to topics of study and engages our perspectives in learning, research, and scholarly endeavors. Such inspiration provides the basis of the social-justice dimension of many of our academic and service programs. Indeed, such inspiration directs the goals of our university. We desire to share this inspiration with those who come through our gates, seeking academic excellence, professional expertise, and a future full of hope.

Our Vision

Mercyhurst University seeks to be a leading higher educational institution that integrates excellence in the liberal arts, professional and career-path programs, and service to regional and world communities.

Our Mission Statement

Consistent with its Catholic identity and Mercy heritage, Mercyhurst University educates women and men in a culture where faith and reason flourish together, where the beauty and power of the liberal arts combine with an appreciation for the dignity of work and a commitment to serving others. Confident in the strength of its student-faculty bonds, the university community is inspired by the image of students whose choices, in life and work, will enable them to realize the human and spiritual values embedded in everyday realities and to exercise leadership in service toward a just world.

Our Core Values

We are:

  • Socially merciful, - Mercy restores human dignity, expands our social relations, and empowers us to reach out in compassion to others.
  • Globally responsible, - Globalization challenges us to learn how to steward the resources of the Earth wisely and to act in solidarity with its diverse peoples.
  • Compassionately hospitable, - Mercy hospitality begins with self-acceptance, welcomes peoples of different faith, ethnic, and cultural traditions, and thus builds communities that transcend mere tolerance.
  • Intellectually creative, - Generous, inquiring, and critical habits of mind, which support the aspirations for excellence manifested within the academic community, encourage us in our lifelong search for what is true, good, and beautiful.
  • Reflectively aware, - Our Christian environment encourages self-reflection and contemplation of human behavior, promotes the balance of mind, body, and spirit, and ultimately offers the opportunity to develop a moral compass for a life of integrity.
  • Ambassadors of service.


The Office for Mission Integration, established in 2008, assists the President of Mercyhurst University in promoting and integrating the university’s educational mission, and the beliefs and values of the Catholic identity and legacy of the Sisters of Mercy, as represented in the mission statement and core values of the institution. The work of the office is many faceted but essentially directed to educating and encouraging all members of the university community from students to trustees to advance the mission of Mercyhurst. As such, it has particular care for the Catholic and sponsoring Sisters of Mercy traditions and service.


Fast Facts

  • Mercyhurst is a four-year, Catholic, liberal arts university, founded by the Sisters of Mercy in 1926
  • Mercyhurst was granted university status in 2012
  • More than 59 undergraduate majors (with 67 concentrations), 10 graduate degrees and 12 graduate certificates are available at the university
  • Mercyhurst University offers 24 varsity level sports, with the Lakers fielding teams in 12 women’s sports and 12 men’s sports. Two of the programs compete at the NCAA Division I level (men’s and women’s ice hockey), while 21 teams participate on the Division II stage. Women's bowling will become Mercyhurst's 25th varsity sport in 2019-20
  • Mercyhurst's main 75-acre campus is set in Erie, Pennsylvania., the state's only port city; the campus is approximately 100 miles from Cleveland, Ohio, and Buffalo, New York, and 130 miles north of Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania
  • Accreditation: The Pennsylvania Department of Education; The Council on Social Work Education; The Accreditation Commission for Programs in Hospitality Administration; National Association of Schools of Dance; The National Athletic Trainers Association; The American Physical Therapy Association; The National Association of Schools of Music; and International Assembly of Collegiate Business Educators
  • Full-time Graduate Students: 300
  • Average class size: 20; All courses are taught by faculty, not graduate or teaching assistants

Undergraduate Profile

  • 41% male, 59% female
  • About 40% of students identify as Catholic; a variety of other faith traditions are represented
  • Average GPA: 3.41
  • Middle 50% SAT: 1170
  • Middle 50% ACT: 24
  • Geographic distribution: Pennsylvania, New York, Ohio, 41 other states and 46 countries

Fun Facts

  • When Mother Borgia Egan was looking to build her college, she was advised by Father Garson to build it "on a hill" and "near water." When constructed, Mercyhurst sat atop Erie's largest hill, overlooking Lake Erie. The "Hurst" part of the university's name pays homage to the "wooded area on the hill" where Mercyhurst found its home.
  • The Grotto was named and modeled after the Grotto at Notre Dame University. The Grotto was constructed at the peak of the Great Depression, by unemployed laborers who worked with Father Sullivan to construct the Grotto out of thanks for the daily soup kitchen, the sisters ran for the poor and out of work.
  • The chapel lobby has received many famous visitors, including the Von Trapp Family and Eleanor Roosevelt.
  • The first male to graduate from Mercyhurst College was Daniel Burke. Today, he is a member of the university's art faculty.




501 East 38th Street
16546 Erie, Pennsylvania, USA

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