Graduation Requirements

Graduation Requirements

The graduation requirements for the Bachelor of Arts, Bachelor of Fine Arts, Bachelor of Music and Bachelor of Science degree are

  • That a minimum of 121 credits be successfully completed.
  • That at least 30 credits be taken in the major program unless the program has been exempted from this regulation.
  • That all of the courses in the REACH Curriculum be successfully completed. Students are personally responsible for ensuring that they meet these requirements. If a student has a question about any one of the courses, the question should be referred to the Registrar or the Office of Academic Affairs.
  • That a cumulative grade point average of at least C (2.0 GPA) or higher be earned as specified by program requirements.
  • That all requirements in the major department be successfully met. This includes the required cumulative GPA, the required courses, theses, etc.
  • That at least 31credits be completed at Mercyhurst. This includes at least half the total credits in the major program.
  • That at least 24 credits of the last 30 be completed under the auspices of Mercyhurst University.
  • Credits with a course number 098 and 099 DO NOT count toward graduation.
  • That a maximum of 18 credits from the Department of Military Science (ROTC) count toward graduation as free elective courses.

The graduation requirements for the Associate of Science and Associate of Arts degrees are:

  • That a minimum of 60 credits be successfully completed (exclusive of lab credits).
  • That a student takes at least 15 credits outside the departmental area.
  • That a minimum cumulative GPA of 2.0 be earned as specified in program requirements.
  • That all requirements of the program be successfully completed. This includes the required cumulative average, the required courses, internships, etc.
  • That at least half the total credits in the program be completed at Mercyhurst University.
  • That the Associate Degree cannot be designated retroactively after a bachelor’s degree has been earned.
  • That an Associate Degree cannot be awarded to students enrolled in baccalaureate programs, in lieu of or for failing to meet the baccalaureate degree requirements.

Statement of Responsibility
It is the responsibility of each student to know both the University-wide graduation requirements as well as those in their chosen major, and to meet all requirements satisfactorily for graduation. Students have the assistance of numerous University personnel to help them understand these requirements. The academic advisor, the Department Chairperson, the School Dean, the Office of Academic Affairs, and the Registrar’s Office are all available to answer questions about these requirements. It is the responsibility of each student to use his/her program evaluation on Self Service to determine what courses he/she need to take.

ROTC Courses
Students may count a maximum of 18 credits from the Department of Military Science (ROTC) toward graduation as free elective courses.  These courses may not be substituted for major, minor, or REACH requirements but will count toward the total number of credits required for graduation.

Core Curriculum / General Education Requirements 
All entering students will complete the REACH and outREACH curriculum of the university’s liberal core requirement. Within the core requirement, courses and experiences across four years of matriculation foster and integrate the knowledge, skills and attitudes necessary for personal and professional success and provide substantive opportunities for reflection on and application of the values inherent in the Mercyhurst University educational experience.

Majors and Double Majors
In addition to the breadth of learning that occurs in Mercyhurst’s REACH Curriculum, students are expected to choose one area of study that meets their intellectual interests and career needs. This is the student’s Major, a specific field of study with its particular scope, content, and methods. Upon graduation in a specific major, students are presumed to have a command of the intellectual history of the discipline, knowledge of contemporary issues and problems in that discipline, and the repertoire of methods and approaches needed for creative contributions to that discipline.

Mercyhurst recognizes that some students wish to enhance their educational experience by obtaining majors in two departments. Such an academic program is challenging, since the student is expected to take significant additional coursework while meeting the rigorous academic standards of two departments. Specific requirements for those wishing to obtain a double-major are:

  • That the student has completed at least one full semester of coursework from Mercyhurst University before declaring a double-major;
  • The approval/signatures of appropriate Department Chair(s) and/or School Dean(s);
  • The expectation to develop expertise in two distinct areas of study; each of which has its own intellectual history, unique content, and methods of inquiry. Students will be expected to meet all major requirements for each department.

Some students may choose to double-major in closely related fields. In this case the students will be required to take eight uniquely distinct courses in each major. In some cases, this minimum course requirement for each major might mean that students will have to take departmental courses or independent studies in addition to the listed requirements in one or the other discipline in order to establish the uniqueness of each intellectual discipline and to assure the intellectual integrity of major and double-major. 

Minor Programs
Students often find that a minor area of specialization adds considerably to their educational program. While choosing a minor is not required, Mercyhurst encourages students to examine the possibility of a minor in addition to the major. If students choose to minor in a field that is closely related to their major and/or an additional minor, each minor would be required to consist of four uniquely distinct courses. Due to the prescriptive nature of associate degrees, double majors and minors are not allowed.

Contract Majors 

Contract programs are intended for excellent students who are seeking an academically challenging and intellectually rigorous multidisciplinary program of study that is not otherwise available at the institution. Such programs must not duplicate a substantial portion of any existing program but should be a unique combination of courses from at least three distinct fields of study, organized around a coherent rationale, and creating a true curriculum.

Students who are interested in exploring opportunities for a contract program should begin by speaking to the Director of the Honors & Prestigious Awards Programs. The Director will help students understand the process and requirements for contract programs and also connect the students to the College Dean in the intended fields of study. Students who wish to develop a major program not currently listed in the University Catalog may elect to put together an individualized contract major. With the help and advice of at least two full-time faculty members, a student can choose offerings from several disciplines which meet a unique set of objectives or prepare him or her for a specialized job or career. Such a major must not duplicate all, or even a substantial portion of, an existing program.

Final approval for all contract programs rests with the Office of Academic Affairs. All contract programs will be recorded as Bachelor of Arts degrees. Contract Majors will typically be titled as a Multi-Disciplinary major with two concentration areas. All contract majors will be Bachelor of Arts degrees. The final decision about the major rests with the Office of Academic Affairs.

To be eligible for a contract program, students must have completed a minimum of 30 credits from Mercyhurst University and a maximum of 60 total credits, with a combined GPA of 3.0 or better.

Students who are approved for a contract major will be required to meet all graduation requirements as stated in the current University Catalog.

Specific requirements of the Contract Major are as follows:
Contract programs must have a minimum of 45 credits (excluding one-credit hour laboratories taken in conjunction with a regular course) across three separate fields of study. At least 18 credit hours of the contract program must be at the upper-division (300- and 400-level courses). All contract programs have a minimum GPA of 2.8 or better.

Students who are enrolled in a contract major program are ineligible for enrolling in a second/double major or minor program.

Applications for a contract program require submission of a written proposal which includes the designated form, a rationale for the program, program learning outcomes, and a description of the capstone experience and related assessment. Completed contract program applications, including all required signatures, are reviewed for approval by the Vice President for Academic Affairs.

Any change to a contract program must be proposed in writing and approved by the appropriate College Deans.

Degree Completion Time Frames
Bachelor’s degree requirements must be completed within 10 years of the date from which the student first matriculated at Mercyhurst, and 6 years for Associate Degrees. Earned credits over ten years old will only apply to a degree if the grade for that credit is C (2.0) or better and when accepted as applicable by the Office of Academic Affairs. Exceptions by departments may exist.  

Application for Graduation
Students who complete all requirements of Mercyhurst University should complete and submit the Application for Graduation online at the beginning of their last year. The application will be given to the department for review, who will indicate which major requirements should be successfully completed before the end of the last semester. Mercyhurst University holds only one commencement ceremony at the end of spring semester. Students who do not complete their program before the end of spring semester, but who could do so by the end of the fall semester following the graduation ceremony in May, are permitted to participate in the graduation ceremonies. Students will not receive a signed diploma until all graduation requirements are met. Any change in a student’s graduation status must be reported to the Registrar’s Office by March 15th.

Degrees & Certificates
Course Descriptions