Associate Degree and Certificate Admissions & Aid

Whether you’re a recent high school graduate or you’ve been out of school for a while, when you’re ready to advance your education with an associate degree or certificate, we’re ready to work with you to make it happen! Applying to college can be a daunting task, but we’ll be here to assist you at every step of the way, from securing your high school transcripts to completing any necessary placement exams to applying for financial aid.

A Mercyhurst education is about preparing for a rewarding career and a fulfilling life—more than that, though, it’s about building grit and determination, taking on new challenges, engaging with the world and reaching for new ground. This is an exciting time, and we’re eager share our enthusiasm for Mercyhurst and guide you on this journey.

What to Know

    Mercyhurst University has a “test optional” policy for admission into most academic programs. While SAT or ACT scores may not be needed for acceptance, we may need you to take an additional exam for course placement purposes.

    Our RN and Health Profession programs require a competitive GPA and test score(s), along with previous coursework equivalent to high school algebra, biology, and chemistry. In addition, our RN program requires the completion of the TEAS test for admission. You will be contacted after your application is submitted to schedule a TEAS test.

    For all of these programs, a physical, immunization shots, and a criminal background check must be completed before beginning the associated clinical components. Once you are offered admission, the program director will communicate the best time to complete these requirements (if done too early, they may expire before your clinical rotations begin).

    In addition to the admission requirements above, prospective cadets must complete a supplemental Application for Police Academy and attend one of the mandatory information sessions. You must also successfully pass the Nelson Denny reading test and the academy physical fitness test. There will be an additional fee of $50 assessed to cover testing services required for admission into the academy.

    If you applied for a bachelor’s program and have been referred to an associate degree or certificate program, your application will be forwarded to our Graduate and Professional Admissions Office. We'll reach out about your interest in enrolling, and we will make a decision based upon your transcript and any other information forwarded to us. 

    Once you've completed at least 24 credits in an associate degree or certificate program and earned a cumulative GPA of 2.5 or better, you may transfer into a Mercyhurst bachelor’s program. There are significant financial aid incentives, including scholarships, to complete your associate degree before transferring to a bachelor’s program.

    If you’ve attended any Mercyhurst campus before, federal regulations require a thorough review of your previously attempted coursework at Mercyhurst, particularly as it pertains to your financial aid eligibility. We will help you determine if you are indeed eligible to receive financial aid for a Mercyhurst certificate or associate degree program.

    Our flat-billing practice allows full-time students to enroll in up to 18 credit hours per semester at no additional charge. Flat-billing tuition rates are also offered for part-time, half-time, and less-than-half-time enrollment. Some programs may have program specific fees associated with them.

    Consistent with the Mercyhurst mission, our associate degree and certificate programs offer are offered at extremely affordable rates, with net costs that match the affordability of most community colleges. In recent years, nearly every student who applied for financial aid received institutional aid in the form of Mercyhurst grants or scholarships. When you consider our need-based institutional aid, combined with federal, state, and external support, you may be surprised to learn how affordable a top-notch two-year education can be.

    In order to qualify for aid, be sure to include Mercyhurst on your Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) using school code 003297.

    We’ll check to see that we have all of the necessary components for your application to be complete. If any information is missing or you haven’t completed the prerequisites necessary for your program, we’ll let you know what you still need to submit or complete. After a couple of weeks, if we have not received what’s missing from your file, we will reach out again. It’s a good idea to contact us a couple of weeks after requesting transcripts from your high school or college to make sure we have received them.

    Once your application is complete, your admissions counselor will evaluate your high school and college grades and curriculum, as well as test scores and any other supplemental information (essays, recommendation letters, etc.).

    Our office makes one of four decisions on each complete application:

    • Accepted. You’re ready to begin your academic program.
    • Conditionally accepted. You may start classes, but you may have to take developmental classes or take a placement test when you arrive. For some selective programs (like Nursing, Physical Therapy Assistant, or Respiratory Therapist), you may need to successfully complete a year in liberal arts.
    • Hold. We put off an admission decision until we receive more information.
    • Rejected. We don’t feel you’re prepared to enter your program of choice. After improving your skills through study or further education, you may reapply for admission for a later term.

    Whatever the decision, you’ll receive a letter notifying you what action we’ve taken, and what options are available to you.

    Mercyhurst offers rolling admissions for most programs; once your application is complete, you should receive a decision relatively quickly.


    Once you've been admitted, you will need to submit a non-refundable confirmation deposit ($100 for commuters, $200 if you’ll be living on campus) to the Office of Admissions. Most students wish to have an idea of their anticipated costs for the coming year before making a decision. At no time will we force you to confirm until you have an idea of your estimated costs after financial aid. Financial aid awards are typically sent out beginning in March, assuming your FAFSA has been submitted.