FOR ADULT STUDENTS

Providing the flexibility you desire.

Whether you are preparing for a new career, looking to expand your knowledge or returning to complete your degree, Mercyhurst University is committed to serving the diverse needs of adult students.

Adult students are defined as those who are 24 years of age or older, married, a veteran of the armed services or responsible for the majority of financial support of a dependent. Mercyhurst will engages adult students through the Office of Graduate and Continuing Education, sometimes referred to as Adult Admissions.

Applying to Mercyhurst

Applicants are considered adult students if they have graduated from high school or earned a GED at least five years ago, or are veterans of the armed forces, married, or are financially responsible for dependent.

Adults wishing to complete undergraduate coursework as an 'adult student' may apply as one of the following:

  • Adult First-Time Student - adults who have never before attended college
  • Adult Transfer Student - adults who have attended college at some point in the past
  • Adult Re-Admit Student - adults who have previously attended Mercyhurst University
  • Adult Visiting Student - students who are currently enrolled in another college or university and wish to complete one or more courses at Mercyhurst

Our online application is free and easy. You can apply for Fall or Spring term entry.

Admissions Requirements

Application requirements include:

  • A high school diploma or GED. Applicants must provide an official high school or GED transcript.
  • Applicants who have lower than a 2.5 GPA on their high school or GED transcripts are asked to complete an academic placement exam. This is a computer exam on reading, writing, and math.  
  • Applicants who have attended college at some point in the past must submit all official college transcripts from any post-secondary institution previously attended, regardless of whether any credits were successfully earned or not; an official high school transcript is NOT required if the GPA from the last college attended is above a 2.5.
  • The admissions office reserves the right to request a resume', letters of recommendation, personal essay or on-campus interview to help make admissions decisions. You will be notified by your enrollment counselor if one or more of these additional requirements is needed.

Adult Re-Admit Requirements

Adult students who have previously attended Mercyhurst University must only submit an application. We will obtain your Mercyhurst transcripts from the Registrar's office once your application is submitted. If you have attended another college or university after your time at Mercyhurst University, you would then be considered an Adult Transfer and must follow those admissions requirements.

Adult Visiting Requirements

If you are not seeking a degree from Mercyhurst University but would like to take a single course, please fill out our Transient Student Application (filled out in the admissions office, payment due upon registration). We will only require transcripts if the course you are interested in has a prerequisite.

All adult application documents should be directed to:

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

Fast Facts

  • For many of our programs, evening, weekend and online courses are available to supplement your schedule 

  • Multiple campuses, including those in North East, Corry and at the Booker T. Washington Center in downtown Erie, provide additional opportunities to pick up courses to fulfill degree requirements

  • Mercyhurst is nationall ranked--in the top tier and No. 13 for graduation rate by U.S. News & World Report

  • More than 100 programs of study provide plenty of academic options

  • Adult students pay 33% less than traditional students

  • Adult scholarships are available, ask about our scholarship programs!

Want to Learn More?

Will My Credits Transfer?

Mercyhurst is a fully accredited institution, which means most of your college credits earned at other accredited institutions will transfer with you. To determine which of your college credits will transfer and which equivalent courses you’ll receive credit for, sign up with Transferology, a free network service designed to help you explore your transfer options.

Credit Evaluation

In general, the credits you earned for courses in which you received a grade of “C” or higher will transfer to Mercyhurst. You will receive a preliminary evaluation of transfer credits with your acceptance letter.

Mercyhurst can accept a maximum of 80 credits from accredited four-year colleges and universities or 60 credits from community or junior colleges. Credits earned for orientation, practicum, internships, and student teaching do not transfer. AP credits will be considered for transfer upon review of original score reports. Please note that while course credits transfer to Mercyhurst, previous grade point averages do not transfer – all transfer students start a new grade point average that is based only on courses completed at Mercyhurst University.

Prior Learning

It's not unusual for our adult students to have some prior learning or work experience that could translate into college credits. We're excited to offer two opportunities for getting credit for what you may have already learned up to this point. First, the College-Level Examination Program® (CLEP)helps you receive college credit for what you already know, for a fraction of the cost of a college course. There are more than 30 courses offered at Mercyhurst for which a student may take a CLEP exam! Student may earn a maximum of 30 credits utilizing the CLEP exams.

The second opportunity for earning college credit without spending the semester in a class is through prior learning or life experience assessment. Students earn credits through this means by completing an in-depth portfolio of their prior learning or life experiences (both professional and personal), which is then evaluated by a Mercyhurst professor or educational assessment administrator to determine if those experiences are relevant enough to merit college credit. This is a rigorous process, so be prepared to put in a great deal of time and effort into the portfolio. Contact Paul Hirsch, phirsch@mercyhurst.edu, for more information.

Cost and Aid

Adult students for the 2019-2020 academic year are billed at $2,400 per 3 credit course (or $800 per credit). Post-baccalaureate coursework is billed at $1,836 per 3 credit course (or $612 per credit).  Professional development courses are $585. Note that adult students are also responsible for a $80 registration fee and a $160 technology fee for each semester of enrollment.

Mercyhurst University offers a wide variety of financial aid programs to make your college education affordable. Students seeking financial aid must complete the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA®); use school code 003297 when submitting your FAFSA®

Students should also consider student loans when financing their education. Mercyhurst is a direct federal lender, which means that students borrow funds directly from the federal government. Interest rates are below private market rates for both Subsidized and Unsubsidized Federal Direct Loans. Students might also consider private education loans from banks and credit unions.

Grants and Scholarships

Grants are financial aid awards that do not need to be repaid. Grants are applied to your bill and reduce your cost of attendance:

  • Pennsylvania PHEAA Grant - Pennsylvania residents enrolled at least half time may be eligible for a state PHEAA grant. Amounts are determined by PHEAA depending on your annual income.
  • Federal Pell Grant - Students who enroll at least half time may be eligible for a federal Pell Grant, which range from $598 to $5,815 per academic year. Students with very low incomes may also be eligible for a Supplemental Educational Opportunity Grant (SEOG).
  • Mercyhurst's College Try Fund - Any adult student may enroll in refresher courses in math, writing, and critical reading at a reduced tuition rate (currently $440 per course). No application is required.
  • Catherine McAuley Award - Full-time adult students who demonstrate financial need may be eligible for a Catherine McAuley Award. This award provides up to $3,000 per academic year. All accepted students are considered for this award, provided a FAFSA® was filed.

Employer Reimbursement

Students whose employers offer a tuition reimbursement program may enroll in the university’s Employer Reimbursement/Tuition Deferment Program by completing an enrollment form, available through the student portal by clicking Menu>Services>Student Financial Services>Forms & Documents.  Enrollment allows a student’s account balance to be deferred until (30) days after the end of the term for which the student enrolls.  Enrollment deadlines and payment deadlines are listed on the form.  Please direct inquiries to the Office of Student Financial Services at 814-824-2288 or sfs@mercyhurst.edu.


Contact Us

Paul Hirsch
Admissions Enrollment Coordinator for Adult Students
Phone: 814-824-2985 
Email: phirsch@mercyhurst.edu