Gannon University - Colleges of Distinction - Colleges of Distinction
Gannon University
Gannon University is a Catholic, Diocesan university dedicated to excellence in teaching, scholarship and...

Gannon University

Erie, Pennsylvania

Gannon University is training graduates for the world of the 21st century through expert faculty, innovative academic programs, and exceptional learning environments. A university rich in history and tradition and committed to the future, Gannon University prepares its students to be leaders in their fields. Founded in 1925, Gannon University is dedicated to a tradition of values-centered education. Gannon offers over 100 Bachelor’s, Master’s and Doctoral programs, most of which integrate hands-on experience outside of the classroom. Those programs are offered through The Morosky College of Health Professions and Sciences; the College of Humanities, Education, and Social Sciences; and the College of Engineering and Business.


Exceptional learning environments provide hands-on, interdisciplinary learning opportunities that help students to grow in their careers and lives. Faculty experts inspire students and prepare them for the careers of tomorrow through Gannon’s innovative academic programs in growing-demand fields. Gannon’s 4,416 students from 39 countries enjoy a low student-to-faculty ratio of 13:1, providing students with accessible faculty, a high level of individual attention and opportunities for academic, personal and professional growth.


A values-centered learning experience inspired by the Catholic Intellectual Tradition emphasizes service, which Gannon students provide on campus, in the communities and around the world. A vibrant campus culture and numerous clubs, organizations, intramural sports and events contribute to an active University community.

Student Profile

Fall 2016 Enrollment
631 undergraduate students
99% of undergrad students are full time
40% male — 60% female
33.9% of students are from out of state

Faculty Profile

2016-2017 Academic Year
238 full-time faculty
165 part-time faculty
12.3 to 1 student/faculty ratio

Residence Life

Fall 2016
25.04% of first year students live on campus
55.99% of all students live on campus

School Location

Gannon University is located in Erie, Pennsylvania’s fourth-largest city, which is within a two-hour drive of Cleveland, Buffalo and Pittsburgh. Gannon’s urban campus in the heart of downtown Erie’s central business district is close to corporate headquarters, healthcare facilities, arts and cultural organizations and government agencies, many of which are active partners in helping students receive a hands-on education. An additional campus was opened in 2015 in Ruskin, Florida in the east side of Tampa Bay. This campus is home to the new Occupational Therapy Doctorate program and will soon offer other graduate programs in the rehabilitative sciences.

High-Impact Practices

Read more about the importance of High-Impact Practices

First-Year Seminars and Experiences X
Common Intellectual Experiences X
Learning Communities X
Writing-Intensive Courses X
Collaborative Assignments and Projects X
Undergraduate Research X
Diversity/Global Learning X
Service Learning, Community-Based Learning X
Internships/Coops/Practicums X
Capstone Courses and Projects/Senior Experience X

Retention Fall 2016

77.52% of students began in Fall 2015 and returned in Fall 2016 (full time, first time freshmen)

6 Year Graduation Rate 2016

63.59% of students graduated in 6 years


Nonresident aliens 9%
Hispanic/Latino 3%
Black or African American 5%
White 74%
American Indian or Alaska Native 0%
Asian 2%
Native Hawaiian or other Pacific Islander 0%
Two or more races 2%
Race and/or ethnicity unknown 5%


Gannon University is a NCAA Division II institution, offering 20 varsity sports.

Mascot: Victor E. Knight (Golden Knights)
Colors: maroon and gold

Academic Programs

Gannon University offers a wide variety of degrees, including Certificates, Associates, Bachelors, Masters and Doctorates. These degrees encompass over 100 programs in the fields of health professions, sciences, engineering, business, education, social sciences and humanities. Additionally, over 30 pre-professional programs with cooperative professional school agreements are offered, which allow students to pursue careers in the medical and legal fields.


More Distinctions

  • Gannon University is the only regional university in western Pennsylvania to be named a "Best Value School" in the 2016 edition of U.S. News & World Report's "America's Best Colleges." This is the 10th consecutive year that Gannon University has been recognized in this category. Gannon had the third-lowest net cost among the universities named to the exclusive list, combining excellence with access for students.

  • Gannon University is one of the best colleges in the nation to work for, according to The Chronicle of Higher Education's 2015 Great Colleges to Work For. Gannon University received recognition for confidence in senior leadership having the knowledge, skills and experience necessary for the success of the institution

  • Gannon University was named one of the top 100 colleges and universities in America in a new report by the Brookings Institution's Metropolitan Policy Program. The report, "Beyond College Rankings: A Value-Added Approach to Assessing Two and Four- Year Schools," measures "value added" for a broad array of two- and four- year colleges and captures the contributions that the colleges themselves make to their graduates' eventual economic success.

  • Gannon University was among the 240 U.S. colleges and universities selected by the Carnegie Foundation for the Advancement of Teaching to receive its 2015 Community Engagement Classification. This honor recognizes Gannon’s deep historical commitment to service and care for humanity and the Erie community.

  • Erie, Pennsylvania was named to USA Today’s 25 best small college towns in March 2016. Erie was  was described as home to several higher learning institutions and boasts several museums, parks and a strong theater culture.

Global Learning

Preparing students to be global citizens is part of the University’s Mission and is experienced through an array of programs and opportunities. Gannon University offers study abroad, semester exchange, and faculty-led travel courses opportunities in over 15 countries across the world. In addition to academic-based experiences, Gannon offers service trips and travel opportunities with residence hall learning communities as well.

Supported by the University’s Barker Globalization Institute, Gannon students are able to travel the world, while students from around the globe are coming to learn at Gannon too.

Gannon’s international student population consists of nearly 800 students, representing 38 countries. To better serve this growing community, Gannon recently invested in a $6.3 million renovation project to Beyer Hall. This updated facility will more closely integrate international and domestic students, and bring Gannon’s global efforts under one roof. Additional accommodations will be included, such as a non-denominational chapel for all students, faculty and staff with foot wash stations for Muslim prayer preparation.

Undergraduate Research

Gannon University integrates teaching with research and service learning, enabling students to enhance their academic experience with hands-on opportunities outside the classroom.

Gannon offers research options through grant-funded opportunities such as NASA’s Undergraduate Student Instrument Program (USIP), or onboard the University’s 53-foot research vessel, the Environaut, while studying freshwater and marine biology on Lake Erie. Students in the Dahlkemper School of Business work alongside entrepreneurs and business professionals conducting research on markets, technologies and opportunities for real-world companies in the University’s Small Business Development Center and Erie Technology Incubator (ETI).

Professors encourage students to participate in local and national conferences and competitions to feature their research, which has resulted in patents for new ideas and inventions as well as various awards and monetary prizes.

Through funds from the National Science Foundation, Gannon University awards approximately 20 annual scholarships in various STEM fields. Many of the students who receive these scholarships are involved in cross-disciplinary research.

Academic Programs

Gannon University offers a wide variety of degrees, including Certificates, Associates, Bachelors, Masters and Doctorates. These degrees encompass over 100 programs in the fields of health professions, sciences, engineering, business, education, social sciences and humanities. Additionally, over 30 pre-professional programs with cooperative professional school agreements are offered, which allow students to pursue careers in the medical and legal fields.

The University has recently added several new innovative academic programs to meet the growing demand of today’s job market. These new programs include:

Bachelor’s Degree Programs

  • Biochemistry
  • Biomedical Engineering
  • Forensic Science
  • Freshwater and Marine Biology
  • Healthcare Management
  • Industrial Engineering
  • Public Health
  • Supply Chain Management


Master’s Degree Programs

  • Athletic Training
  • Criminalistics
  • Health Communication
  • Information Analytics


Doctoral Degree Programs

  • Doctor of Nursing Practice
  • Occupational Therapy Doctorate


For a full listing of Gannon University’s academic programs, click here.


Activities Offered

Campus Ministries X
Choral groups X
Concert band X
Dance X
Drama/theater X
International Student Organization X
Jazz band  
Literary magazine X
Marching band  
Model UN X
Music ensembles  
Musical theater  
Pep band X
Radio station X
Student government X
Student newspaper X
Student-run film society  
Symphony orchestra  
Television station  

Perhaps the most outstanding characteristic of a Gannon University education is the exceptional degree of personalized attention given to students by dedicated and award-winning faculty. Gannon’s 13:1 student-to-faculty ratio ensures an educational experience characterized by collaborative learning.

Gannon’s innovative academic programs continue to grow and adapt to a changing world and economy. In the last five years, 15 new undergraduate and graduate programs have been created, including programs in biomedical engineering, supply chain management, criminalistics and freshwater and marine biology, one of only 60 such programs in the country.

Exceptional Learning Environments

Gannon University provides resources for growing academic programs and research opportunities by investing in its exceptional learning environments and state-of-the-art technology.

Eight major construction or renovation projects are underway or have been recently completed on Gannon’s campus, including a renovation of the Nash Library. Recently renovated or new facilities include:

  • Beyer Hall
  • Center for Advanced Engineering
  • Center for Business Ingenuity
  • Center for Communication and the Arts
  • Forensic Investigation Center
  • Human Performance Laboratory
  • Recreation and Wellness Center


Gannon recently opened a second campus in Ruskin, Florida as an innovative response to the increasing demand for high-quality graduate education in disciplines that serve the rapidly expanding healthcare sector of the Florida economy. Located between Tampa and Sarasota, the campus offers an occupational therapy doctorate (OTD) program, which will soon be joined by other health profession programs.

Honors Program

For academically talented and highly motivated students, Gannon’s Honors program offers a rigorous curriculum that prepares them to be ethical, thoughtful and effective leaders with a global worldview. Selected from the top ten percent of Gannon’s incoming class, honors students excel not only academically, but also in leadership.

Common Core

Arts/fine arts X
Computer literacy  
English (including composition) X
Foreign languages  
History X
Mathematics X
Philosophy X
Sciences (biological or physical) X
Social science X

Other: Theology, leadership, speech, literature

Class Size Breakdown

Size 2-9 10-19 20-29 30-39 40-49 50-99 100+ Total
Number of Classes 135 241 225 89 6 1 0 697

A Dynamic Setting

Located in a city named to USA Today’s list of 25 Best Small College Towns, Gannon University’s urban campus in Erie, Pennsylvania is close to internship opportunities and co-op jobs with government agencies, local businesses and hospitals.

When the school day is done, Gannon students can explore museums, galleries, theaters and restaurants within walking distance. They can also enjoy the seven miles of beaches, tax-free shopping, minor league sports, and a vibrant entertainment and cultural scene.

Erie has small-town friendliness and big-city attractions. Gannon’s campus is also only a two-hour drive from Cleveland, Buffalo and Pittsburgh.


Gannon University students can lead and participate in more than 100 clubs and organizations on campus. With an array of social, athletic, professional, faith-based, and academic groups, Gannon makes it easy and fun for every student to belong, become engaged, and grow in leadership ability.

Service in the community

Service to community is a concept embedded in the University’s Mission and inspired by Catholic Social Teaching.

Through annual activities such as the United Way’s Day of Caring and Gannon’s Invitation to Volunteer Everywhere (GIVE) Day, students, faculty, staff, alumni and friends gather to volunteer in the neighborhoods surrounding campus, the city of Erie and cities across the country. This gives Gannon students the opportunity to be present in their community and support community partners.

Alternative Break Service Trips are held domestically and internationally, and are based on the concepts of service, simplicity, community and reflection, and led by trained student leaders.

Housing Communities

To immerse students in learning that extends beyond the classroom, Gannon is home to several learning communities organized by professional and academic interests.

Students enrolled in the health sciences can learn and study demanding coursework in a learning community in North Hall, Gannon’s newest residence hall. The Bishop Donald W. Trautman House is a home for Gannon students who want to be part of a special living and learning community focused on holistic development in the Catholic faith.

Juniors and seniors in the Transforming Residents Abroad Via Engaged Learning (T.R.A.V.E.L.) program can live on-campus in learning communities that meet regularly to study a variety of topics. They then get to travel with faculty and staff facilitators to apply these topics at an international destination of their choice.


Coed dorms X
Men’s dorms  
Women’s dorms  
Apartments for married students  
Apartments for single students X
Special housing for disabled students X
Special housing for international students  
Fraternity/sorority housing X
Cooperative housing  
Theme housing X
Wellness housing X
Other housing options  

Gannon University is committed to creating an environment where students can achieve personal and academic goals.

Gannon’s Student Success Center (SSC) provides support services including the Academic Advising Center, Disability Support Services, and the newly created STEM Center, which is designed to deliver students assistance in science, technology, engineering, and mathematics courses. The SSC serves as the primary resource for academic support, and is committed to assisting students with meeting educational and career goals.

Gannon’s TRIO Student Support Services (SSS) Program is a federally funded program designed to help students maximize their skills and to assist them in working more effectively toward graduation. In collaboration with other offices at Gannon University, the SSS Program provides students with assistance in their transition to university life by offering academic, financial, career and personal guidance.

Internship Opportunities

Hands-on learning opportunities are abundant and close to Gannon’s campus, which is in the heart of Erie’s central business, administrative and cultural districts. With several businesses, minor-league sport teams, hospitals and schools located within blocks of campus students are provided a variety of internship opportunities.

Measuring Success

Students graduating from Gannon’s Bachelor’s Degree programs enjoy a 91% job placement or continuing education rate; while 94% of Master’s and Doctoral program graduates are employed in substantive roles or are continuing their education.

Students graduating from the undergraduate health professions and sciences programs at Gannon in 2014-15 achieved a 97% employment or continuing education rate.

Nearly 47% of 2014-15 undergraduate students chose to continue their education and pursue professional or graduate degrees at institutions such as Lake Erie College of Osteopathic Medicine (LECOM), Case Western Reserve University, and Villanova University.

Graduates from various graduate and doctoral programs such as Counseling Psychology Ph.D., Organizational Learning and Leadership, Electrical Engineering, Software Engineering, and Nursing-DNP achieved a 100% job placement rate.

Gannon graduates have achieved success and obtained careers locally, nationally, and globally with employers such as Johns Hopkins; Boston Medical Center; Cleveland Clinic; Ernst and Young; Parker Aerospace; Progressive Insurance; YMCA; and GE-Transportation
and Samsung Engineering.


Admissions Fall 2016

4,710 Total Applicants
3,662 Total Admissions
631 Total Freshmen Enrollment

77.75% of applicants admitted

Admissions Deadlines for 2017-18 Admission

Rolling Admission? Yes

Admissions Factors

Very Important
Rigor of secondary school record
Academic GPA
Standardized test scores

Class rank
Application Essay
Extracurricular activities
Character/personal qualities
Alumni/ae relation
Work experience

Freshmen Profile Fall 2016

  25th Percentile 75th Percentile
SAT Critical Reading 450 560
SAT Math 470 570
SAT Writing    
SAT Essay    
ACT Composite 20 26
ACT Math 20 26
ACT English 19 25
ACT Writing    


Net Price Calculator


Tuition $30,180
Fees $752
Total $30,932
Room and Board (on campus) $12,320
Estimated Total On Campus $43,252


Average Financial Aid Packages 2015-2016 estimated

$24,800 First year students
$24,840 All undergrads

Financial Aid Breakdown 2015-2016 estimated

74% on average, the percentage of need that was met
24% of financial need students that had need fully met

$19,725 Average need-based scholarship or grant award
$4,483 Average need-based loan

Scholarship and Financial Aid

Gannon University’s scholarship and financial aid packages ensure a quality education is within reach for all students. This commitment to affordability has been a core principle of the University and finds expression in the many financial aid options available to students.

Over $64 million in financial aid was provided to 98 percent of Gannon undergraduate students during the 2015-16 academic year, more than $37 million of this being institutional grants and scholarship funds provided by the University.

The University provides scholarship and financial aid opportunities for all kinds of students, including first-generation, transfer, low-income and more. Some of these opportunities include:

  • The Archbishop Gannon Scholars Program, which when combined with a full Federal Pell Grant and full PHEAA state grant covers the total cost of tuition for qualified high school students from Erie’s public schools.
  • The Full Tuition (Presidential) Scholarship Competition, which welcomes high school seniors from across the country on campus to compete for up to ten full-tuition scholarships.
  • Endowed scholarships in the 2015-16 academic year awarded more than $1.3 million to 413 students. Gannon University has nearly 250 scholarships established by the generosity of benefactors.