Gwynedd Mercy University - Colleges of Distinction - Colleges of Distinction
Gwynedd Mercy University
Perfectly located on 160 beautiful acres just 30 minutes outside Philadelphia, Gwynedd Mercy University...

Gwynedd Mercy University

Gwynedd Valley, Pennsylvania

Being a Distinctive Mercy Graduate does not stop once you graduate. It’s something that continues no matter what career path you choose… By having people believe in us here, we believe in others the rest of our lives.” – Jenna Caffarello, Education, ‘16


As one of 16 Sisters of Mercy colleges and universities in the United States, GMercyU is shaped by its Catholic identity and Mercy heritage. It’s a place where values are valued, open dialogue is encouraged, and service is expected. Focusing on educating the whole person—intellectually, spiritually, socially, and morally—GMercyU offers professional education grounded in the liberal arts, so students are prepared to do more than just do. Distinctive Mercy Graduates are prepared to think critically, communicate clearly, and live productive and meaningful lives.


“I just try to take the values and things I’ve learned from GMercyU and use them every day. At Gwynedd, I was taught to try to help everybody that I can.” – Michael Gioquindo, Criminal Justice, ‘13


With a campus community that is small but big-hearted, GMercyU students find a warm and inclusive community in which to learn, grow, and succeed.


“The sincerity and compassion of the campus community is what makes GMercyU an enriching learning environment that creates … strong leaders with morals.” – Christina Harris, Human Services, ‘16


Did you know the real James Bond once lived on Gwynedd Mercy University’s campus? Explore GMercyU while catching up with MERV latest antics!



Student Profile

Fall 2015 Enrollment
1,935 undergraduate students
93% of undergrad students are full time
25% male — 75% female
20% of students are from out of state

Faculty Profile

2015-2016 Academic Year
75 full-time faculty
224 part-time faculty
10 to 1 student/faculty ratio

Residence Life

Fall 2015
69% of first year students live on campus
20% of all students live on campus

School Location

Gwynedd Mercy University sits on a beautiful 160-acre suburban campus. While on campus, students can enjoy running along tree-lined paths; relaxing with friends in one of four residence halls; hanging out in the Late Nite, Griffinaerie or Rotelle Lounges; or catching a sporting event in the Griffin Complex. When it’s time for a change of scene, local restaurants, shopping areas, and movie theaters are within minutes of campus and accessible via a free shuttle service. Within 30 minutes, students can be in the heart of Philadelphia enjoying its many historical sites, museums, restaurants, sporting events, concerts, and career opportunities.

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 2015

80.2% of students began in Fall 2014 and returned in Fall 2015 (full time, first time freshmen)

6 year graduation rate 2015

57% of students graduated in 6 years


Nonresident aliens 0%
Hispanic/Latino 5%
Black or African American 23%
White 57%
American Indian or Alaska Native 0%
Asian 5%
Native Hawaiian or other Pacific Islander 0%
Two or more races 0%
Race and/or ethnicity unknown 10%


Gwynedd Mercy University offers 19 NCAA Division III men’s and women’s athletic teams.

Men’s Teams:
Cross Country
Track & Field (indoor/outdoor)

Women’s Teams:
Cross Country**
Field Hockey**
Track & Field (indoor/outdoor)

*2015-16 CSAC Champions
+2015 CSAC Champions
**2014 CSAC Champions

Official Site of the Gwynedd Mercy University Griffins:
Team Colors: Red and Gold
Mascot: MERV, the Griffin.  Voted one of the craziest, most unique mascots by in 2015
Conference: Colonial States Athletic Conference

Intramural sports and recreation program also offered

Academic Programs

Accounting Behavioral and Social Gerontology Biology Communication Computer Information Science Criminal Justice Education (including a path to teacher certification) English Finance History Human Resource Management Human Services Liberal Studies (AS) Management Marketing Mathematics Medical Laboratory Science Natural Science (AS) Nursing Philosophy Psychology Radiation Therapy Radiologic Technology Respiratory Care Sports Management Undecided/Undeclared (University Studies)

More Distinctions

  • IDEA is a nonprofit organization that offers a nationwide student rating system designed to help colleges and universities improve the quality of the student instruction and learning. According to 2015 IDEA course survey data, Gwynedd Mercy University ranked 20% higher than national norm for “excellent course;" 25% higher than national norm for “excellent teacher;" and 26% higher than mid-east private colleges for “challenging students to do their best work."

  • Payscale 2016 College ROI Report,
    Top 20 Schools in PA for Return on Investment
    Top 30% nationally for Return on Investment
    Top 50 among religious colleges/universities for Return on Investment

Student Leadership

Through the Griffin Student Leadership Institute, students are invited to participate in a multi-year, comprehensive leadership program that offers three levels of leadership certification: Emerging Leaders, Organizational Leadership, and Exceptional Leadership. In addition, the GSLI holds a campus-wide leadership conference each year for the entire GMercyU community.

Students also have many opportunities to take on leadership roles in any of the dozens of clubs and organizations on campus.

First-Year Experience

To help students make a successful transition to college, Gwynedd Mercy University’s First-Year Experience program focuses on helping students successfully manage the academic and social aspects of college life, as well the importance of giving back through community service. Through two courses and myriad planned activities, students join together to explore issues, such as academic integrity, time management, communication skills, research skills, information literacy, and social responsibility. Students also participate in a common reading program, complete an AlcoholEdu program, and spend time learning about the University’s Mercy history and heritage and the high-impact practices that support students in becoming a Distinctive Mercy Graduates.

Global Learning and Service

Beginning as early as students’ first week on campus, there is a tremendous emphasis placed on service at Gwynedd Mercy University. In keeping with the University’s Mercy history and heritage, students are encouraged to step outside their immediate worlds and take part in weekly service projects across the greater Philadelphia area. They’re also invited to participate in annual Alternative Spring Break service trips that are designed to make differences in communities and the lives of individuals around the country and the world. In 2015, for example, one group of students traveled to an Apache Reservation in Arizona to join Stephen Rufe, Education ’12 by working with his elementary school students.

Gwynedd Mercy University also encourages students to turn the world into their classroom through study abroad programs in 26 countries, including a Dublin Pilgrimage to the Mercy International Centre in Ireland, which was built by Catherine McAuley before she founded the Sisters of Mercy.

GMercyU students gain hands-on and real-world experience through undergraduate research, internships and clinical opportunities. Learn more about how GMercyU Biology students spent their summer!

Activities Offered

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

“I can truly say that the professors at GMercyU care about their students. They push their students to the best of their ability in order to succeed.” – Katie McGuigan, Psychology, ‘16

Close Faculty Connections

Faculty mentoring is one of the hallmarks of the GMercyU experience. With a student-faculty ratio of just 10:1, Gwynedd Mercy University offers plenty of opportunities for faculty and students to really get to know one another. Faculty not only support students academically, but they take a genuine interest in helping them achieve their personal and professional goals. Many faculty members bring both academic credentials and years of professional experience to their classrooms, giving students opportunities to step outside the classroom and into the real world through networking and professional development opportunities, as well as through internships, clinicals, student teaching, research, memberships in professional associations, and participation in industry conferences.

Liberal Arts

In addition to the courses in the major, students also take courses in the liberal arts to extend their understanding of the world, developing the breadth and depth of knowledge and skills they need to be successful in today’s changing world. These courses focus on the critical thinking, reflection, communication, collaboration, and problem-solving skills so much in demand by today’s employers, encouraging an open dialogue in warm and welcoming learning environments.

Internships, Clinicals, Practicals

All of Gwynedd Mercy University’s education and nursing & health professions students gain hands-on experience as part of their clinical and student teaching requirements. The University also encourages students in other majors to take advantage of many internship opportunities as well as join professional associations, participate in student research projects, and attend/present at industry conferences.

Academic Resource Center

The Academic Resource Center (ARC), located in the Learning Commons, is Gwynedd Mercy University’s hub of academic support. The ARC offers one-on-one and small group tutoring, placement assessments, academic workshops and advising, and many other resources.  The Learning Commons also houses Advising, First-Year Experience, and the Career Development Center, which offers career support throughout all four years of a student’s academic journey.

E-STEM Program

Supported by a grant from the National Science Foundation, Gwynedd Mercy University’s Ethics in Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (E-STEM) Program is designed to help grow the STEM workforce in the United States.  Following the University’s Mercy tradition, E-STEM students build the ethical framework needed to make a positive difference in STEM fields.  Program participants benefit from an E-STEM Living Learning Community; faculty and peer-to-peer mentoring; E-STEM study skill modules; training in ethics, decision making, and leadership; and internship and networking opportunities within the STEM disciplines. Eligible students also may receive a $3,000 or $8,000 annual scholarship.

Due to small class sizes, GMercyU students share a special connection with their professors. In this video, Griffins thank their professors for their dedication and passion in honor of National Teacher Appreciation Day.

Common Core

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

Class Size Breakdown

Size 2-9 10-19 20-29 30-39 40-49 50-99 100+ Total
Number of Classes 53 151 86 30 3 10 2 335

Learning Communities

In addition to Living Learning Communities, such as those offered as part of the E-STEM Program (Ethics in Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics) and the Honors Program, Gwynedd Mercy University offers a wide array of co-curricular opportunities for students to join other students as they develop their leadership skills, support those in need, gain real-world experience, and further explore the world and their role in it.


GMercyU offers 19 competitive NCAA Division III men’s and women’s athletic teams. In 2016, the University will add a new intramural sports program, as well. Gwynedd Mercy University’s student-athletes are encouraged to excel on and offer the field and court. In fall 2015, 58 student-athletes were named to the Colonial States Athletic Conference (CSAC) All-Academic Team, and 6 different teams won CSAC championships during the 2014-2015 and 2015-2016 seasons.


Located on 160 private acres in Gwynedd Valley, Pennsylvania, Gwynedd Mercy University offers the best of all worlds. Students can enjoy a beautiful tree-lined campus setting that’s just 30 minutes from Philadelphia. The University offers a free shuttle service to local shopping areas and restaurants, as well as to the local train station, which offers frequent trips to and from Center City Philadelphia. Adult learners have the option of earning an accelerated undergraduate or graduate degree on one of three satellite locations in East Norriton, Bensalem, and Philadelphia.

Residence Life

With four residence halls and dozens of clubs and activities, Gwynedd Mercy University offers a perfect home away from home. Each residence hall offers bright and airy rooms, along with access to a community lounge, kitchen, and laundry area. The Residence Life staff makes students feel welcome, available both day and night when needed.

Campus Conversations and Common Hour Series

In 2015, Gwynedd Mercy University launched a unique Campus Conversation Series designed to provide an open forum for education and discussion about some of the nation’s most pressing and controversial issues. The series presents multiple sides of an issue and opens the door to an open dialogue among students, experts in the field, and the general public. The Common Hour is a weekly opportunity for the entire community to participate in workshops and/or lectures.

Voices of Gwynedd

Enriching the campus and the region, the Voices of Gwynedd is a 100-member choir comprised of students, faculty, staff, alumni and friends of Gwynedd Mercy University. In addition to on-campus concerts and events throughout the year, the ensemble represents the University at a number of high-profile regional events, and in international venues around the world.

One of GMercyU’s many traditions is Griffin Madness, an annual event that signifies the start of the basketball seasons and is sure to get you fired up for #GriffinNation!


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


Service learning is an integral part of the GMercyU experience. In keeping with the University’s history and heritage of helping those most in need, all students engage in service learning programs. In addition to those included in the First-Year Experience and offered throughout the year, students are encouraged to make service a regular part of their lives. Each year, Gwynedd Mercy University takes students around the country and around the world as part of its Alternative Spring Break service learning experiences.

Capstone Courses

All students complete a capstone course designed to synthesize the knowledge and skills that they gained throughout their programs. They provide a means for their demonstration of advanced research, critical thinking, communication, and other essential skills within their disciplines.

Career Development

Through Gwynedd Mercy University’s H.I.R.E. Education Program, students engage in a four-year, four-step process to identify career goals, develop effective job search strategies and skills, and put themselves on a path to career success. GMercyU’s Career Development Center also regularly sponsors workshops and programs to connect students with career resources, including career assessment tools, resume-writing and interviewing support, graduate school application preparation, internships, job fairs, and many other services.

GMercyU Education alum shares how the university helped prepare him to be a compassionate and dedicated teacher in an urban community.



Admissions Fall 2015

850 Total Applicants
785 Total Admissions
241 Total Freshmen Enrollment

92.35% of applicants admitted

Admissions Deadlines for 2016-17 Admission

Rolling admission? No

Closing date: Aug 15
Priority date: Feb 1

Admissions Factors

Very Important
Rigor of secondary school record

Class rank Academic
GPA Standardized test scores
Extracurricular activities

Application Essay
Character/personal qualities
Alumni/ae relation
Volunteer work
Work experience

Freshmen Profile Fall 2015

  25th Percentile 75th Percentile
SAT Critical Reading 410 500
SAT Math 420 510
SAT Writing    
SAT Essay    
ACT Composite 18 22
ACT Math    
ACT English    
ACT Writing    


Net Price Calculator 


Tuition $31,780
Fees $700
Total $32,480
Room and Board (on campus) $11,300
Estimated Total On Campus $43,780


Average Financial Aid Packages 2015-2016 Estimated

$24,024 First year students
$17,810 All undergrads

Financial Aid Breakdown 2015-2016 Estimated

64% on average, the percentage of need that was met
14% of financial need students that had need fully met

$17,810 Average need-based scholarship or grant award
$4,097 Average need-based loan

Scholarships and Other Financial Aid

In addition to generous University merit scholarships and grants, eligible Gwynedd Mercy University students can take advantage of state and federal financial aid programs to make a GMercyU education even more affordable. GMercyU financial aid professionals also work closely with students to answer any questions they have along the way.

GMercyU merit scholarships and grants are offered to eligible first-time students and transfer students, as follows:

First-Time Students:

Presidential Scholarship**
Annual Amount+: Full Tuition
Four-Year Amount++: $123,000**
Eligibility: SAT 1300*, Campus visit, Interview

Mother Mary Bernard Award
Annual Amount+: $13,000-$18,000
Four-Year Amount: $52,000-$72,000
Eligibility: SAT 800-1290*

Maquire Scholars Grant
Annual Amount+: $5,000
Four-Year Amount: $20,000
Eligibility: High financial need, 3.0 GPA, extra-curricular activities, essay, attendance at designated high school

Catholic High School Grant
Annual Amoun+t: $3,000
Four-Year Amount: $12,000
Eligibility: Graduate of Catholic High School


Transfer Students:

Gold Scholarship
Annual Amount+: $15,000
Three-Year Amount: $45,000
Eligibility: 3.5 GPA or higher

Crimson Scholarship
Annual Amount+: $10,000
Three-Year Amount: $30,000
Eligibility: 3.0-3.49 GPA

Transfer Student Grant
Annual Amount+: $8,500
Three-Year Amount: $25,500
Eligibility: 2.5-2.99 GPA

Phi Theta Kappa Award
Annual Amount+: $2,000
Three-Year Amount: $6,000
Eligibility: Membership in Phi Theta Kappa


*Minimum required SAT score (Critical Reading and Math only)
**Limited scholarships available to students with demonstrated excellence; not stackable with other scholarships
+Annual scholarships are renewable provided academic standards are met
++Amount may be higher depending on the annual costs of your program

GMercyU alum and 2016 Student Commencement Speaker shares why he chose GMercyU and how the university stood apart from all of the other schools he applied to.