Misericordia University – a name meaning “Heart of Mercy” – is a Catholic liberal arts college founded in 1924, ten years after the Sisters of Mercy bought land in Dallas, PA, to start a school. The Sisters were an order founded a century earlier in Dublin, Ireland, and they brought their focus on education and protection for women and children to the US, founding schools, hospitals, and orphanages. Misericordia’s mission of providing educational opportunity to the young people and working adults of Pennsylvania’s coal country has continued into the 21st century, earning the college top 50 regional ranking for the North from U.S. News & World Report.
Academic ProgramsMisericordia’s curriculum is based on a traditional liberal arts model, with all students earning a strong grounding in the humanities and sciences as a preparation for professional success and lifelong learning. With its heritage as a Sisters of Mercy college, Misericordia is also deeply committed to Catholic values and faith, and to the tenets of the Sisters of Mercy – mercy, service, justice, and hospitality. Misericordia’s 34 degree programs, from three schools, all focus on building students into responsible professionals and leaders, carrying Misericordia’s values into all aspects of their lives.
Students benefit from the small liberal arts environment at Misericordia, including the small class sizes and low, 11:1 student:faculty ratio, that ensures close personal attention and mentorship from faculty. Misericordia has also embraced online education, with 10 online undergraduate and six online graduate programs extending the college’s reach to working adults and other nontraditional students. Misericordia also offers a unique Guaranteed Placement Program; for any student who takes part in the GPP through their four years of college, Misericordia will guarantee a paid internship for students who do not find a job or graduate school within six months of graduation.
Student LifeMisericordia’s student body is just short of 3000, putting the college in the proverbial sweet spot of large enough for ample opportunities, and small enough for students to feel at home. More than two-thirds of the student population is made up of women. Misericordia’s suburban campus is home to the majority of the student body, and students have made a close-knit and supportive community. As the Sisters of Mercy’s values demand, Misericordia puts service and engagement at the center of student life, from service learning opportunities to the activities of the Outreach Office, which leads students in community service in the Black Mountain region.
More than 40 student-led clubs and organizations keep students busy and connected, from academic clubs and honor societies to recreational groups. The Misericordia Cougars compete in the NCAA Division III Eastern College Athletic Conference, with 22 men’s and women’s varsity sport represented. The SOAR program – Student Outdoor Adventure and Recreation – uses outdoor recreation activities to build leadership skills, help students overcome anxieties, and create a sense of competence and confidence in Misericordia’s future alumni.