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Admissions Requirements

Consistent with our mission and values, Mercyhurst University holistically reviews applicants when making admissions decisions.  We evaluate applicants in terms of their academic abilities and potential, leadership and extracurricular involvement, and the potential contributions they might make as members of our campus community. 

Application to Mercyhurst University requires:

  • An application — Use our streamlined online application or include Mercyhurst University when you complete the Common Application.
  • An official high school transcript — Talk to your school counselor to request an official transcript be sent to Mercyhurst. Transcripts for all coursework completed in 9th, 10th, and 11th grades are required. If you are granted admission, you’ll also need to send a final transcript following high school graduation.
  • A writing sample — Writing is a foundational part of our curriculum and we require a 250- to 500-word writing sample from all applicants. You submit your writing sample when you complete the online application or Common Application. You can respond to one of several writing prompts or, if you’d prefer, submit a sample of writing you’ve completed in high school which you feel best represents your ability.
  • A letter of recommendation — All applicants must submit a letter of recommendation, preferably from a teacher, school official, or employer.
  • Audition (for dance/music students) — Students applying to dance or music programs must also complete a performance audition. Both programs require supplemental application materials. Learn more about dance auditions and music auditions.
  • TOEFL (for international students) — International students from non-English speaking countries must complete the TOEFL and submit copies of their official scores.

Holistic Review.  In addition to considering your academic and personal credentials, we also consider your application in the context of your life circumstances.  When making admissions decisions, we consider the availability of resources in your high school and the strength of the curriculum.  Your unique family and economic circumstances are also considered.  We do this to ensure that applicants are not unfairly penalized if they did not have sufficient access to college-going resources and services.

Test-Optional Admissions. We do not require the SAT or ACT for admissions, though students who believe that their SAT or ACT scores represent a positive component of their admissions portfolio are invited to submit their official test scores.  To send your scores directly to Mercyhurst University, use SAT Code 2410 or ACT Code 3629. If you’ve taken the test multiple times, we consider the highest score you’ve received on each section of the test to generate your SAT or ACT “superscore.”  

Student-athletes must still submit SAT or ACT scores in accordance with NCAA’s policy for evaluating athletic eligibility.  Homeschooled students are required to submit and ACT or SAT.   In addition, students seeking admission to colleges and universities with whom Mercyhurst University has affiliation agreements may still be required to submit SAT or ACT scores to the affiliated instution; consult that institutions admissions requirements for more information.

If you or your high school sent SAT or ACT scores to Mercyhurst University and you do not want them considered in the admissions process, please complete a Request for Test-Optional Consideration.  We’ll remove your test scores from your admissions file, though we may retain the original scores for internal analysis of our test-optional policy.

For more information about our test-optional admissions policy, please consult answers to frequently asked questions.

Supplemental Review. Some applicants are chosen for supplemental review.  In some cases, your admissions counselor believes that his or her admissions and financial aid decisions would be better informed with additional information.  In other cases, we randomly select students for supplemental review as part of our assessment and continuous improvement practices.  If you are selected for supplemental review, there is no need to worry; it is not a reflection of your admissibility and supplemental review applicants are generally admitted at the same rate as traditional applications.  

If you’re selected for supplemental review, your admissions counselor may request: 1) an on-campus or phone interview to learn more about you, 2) completion of a supplemental questionnaire, or 3) a graded writing assignment you completed as part of your high school curriculum (the paper must be analytical/critical in nature and demonstrate your ability to integrate and communicate complex ideas; your arguments must be well-supported).

Application materials should be sent to:

Mercyhurst University
Office of Undergraduate Admissions
501 East 38th Street
Erie, PA 16546

Evaluation Criteria

Mercyhurst University evaluates applicants in terms of their academic abilities, leadership and extracurricular involvement, and the potential contributions they might make as members of our campus community.

Generally, we look for students who took a college preparatory curriculum in high school, completing 4 units of English, 5 units of social studies, 3 units of mathematics, 2 units of science (with corresponding labs), and 2 units of foreign language. These are strongly recommended minimums, though your admissions counselor will consider the totality of your high school curriculum when evaluating your application.

Because we are committed to fostering a community of students with a wide variety of interests, skills, abilities, and backgrounds, we strongly recommend that applicants meet with their admissions counselor, either through a campus visit, high school visit, or conversation by phone. These meetings help your counselor understand how you might enrich our community of learners and provide him or her with a sense of your character, individuality, and integrity.

Admission to Mercyhurst is competitive. Generally, students who are performing better than average within their high school are considered for admission. The median SAT score for last year’s accepted students was 1570.