graduate cost and financial aid

mercyhurst university offers affordable graduate education, with per-credit costs competitive with every other graduate school in the region. if you have questions about cost or available financial aid, please contact the office of graduate and continuing education at or 814-824-3351.

graduate program costs

the following per-credit and program costs are based on the 2020-21 academic year, running from summer 2020 through spring 2021. program totals are estimates based on full-time enrollment over the minimum length of the program, and include tuition and anticipated fees. actual totals may vary based on number of credits taken, number of online courses taken, and annual tuition and fee increases.

   per-credit cost   
   estimated m.s. total cost   
   estimated grad cert total cost   
anthropology and archaeology  
applied intelligence
criminal justice administration
cyber risk management
cyber security
data science
int. nursing leadership (msn)
organizational leadership
physician assistant studies
secondary education
special education*
teaching excellence^

*also includes autism graduate certificate (four courses) and aba graduate certificate (six courses).
^also includes principal leadership m.s. and graduate certificate. special tuition rate available for mercyhurst alumni, in-state teachers, and u.s. veterans.

graduate financial aid

students pursuing a master’s degree or graduate certificate at mercyhurst university have several opportunities for reducing or eliminating their out-of-pocket tuition and fee expenses. 

federal direct loans

graduate students enrolled in at least six credits per semester are eligible for direct unsubsidized loans. these loans are not need-based. to apply for a direct unsubsidized loan, you must first complete and submit the free application for federal student aid (fafsa). if this is your first time receiving a direct loan at mercyhurst, you will be required to complete entrance counseling to ensure you understand your obligation to repay the loan. you'll also need to sign a master promissory note (mpn), agreeing to the terms of the loan. these steps can be completed at

the annual loan limit for graduate students is $20,500—more than enough, in most cases, to cover your tuition and fee expenses for a given academic year.

alternative student loans

students needing additional loans for tuition and fees, particularly in the physician assistant studies program, or hoping to borrow additional loans to help with living expenses, can visit for alternative student loan options.

graduate assistantships/employment

a limited number of graduate assistantships (gas) are available for eligible students who can accept employment on the mercyhurst campus. graduate assistants receive a full or partial waiver of tuition and a stipend in return for a minimum of 20 hours of work per week. to be eligible, students must meet the following criteria:

  • students must be accepted into a graduate, post bac, or second degree program
  • students must have a current resume and/or ga application on file with the office of graduate and continuing education
  • students must not be receiving any additional institutional aid (including athletic scholarships)
  • students cannot hold another working position on campus

the awarding of a ga position is not need-based. it is an extremely competitive process based on the positions available in a given academic year and the skills that a ga area's supervisor values. ga candidates are selected by an area supervisor. they are not assigned by the office of graduate and continuing education. traditionally, graduate assistants work in one of the following areas:

  • athletics
  • residence life
  • information technology
  • academic department specific

qualified students not awarded a ga position may be offered a graduate employment (ge) opportunity. ge positions allow a graduate student to earn up to $9,000 annually on campus. student with ge positions are paid bi-weekly and are typically asked to work september through may of an academic school year.

both ga and ge positions are considered annual awards. each position can be cut and/or reclassified for the following year. there is no guarantee that a student will be awarded a ga or ge position in their second year.

in order to be considered for either a ga or ge position, please submit the ga/ge application.

veteran benefits

information regarding veterans' benefits may be obtained by contacting the veterans’ services program manager at 814-824-2617. we are proud to be included on both the yellow ribbon and military friendly university lists.

employer reimbursement/tuition deferment

students whose employers offer a tuition reimbursement program can enroll in the university’s employer reimbursement/tuition deferment program by completing an enrollment form, available on the student financial services page of the mercyhurst hub. enrollment allows a student’s account balance to be deferred until 30 days after the end of the term for which the student enrolls. enrollment deadlines and payment deadlines are listed on the form. please direct inquiries to the office of student financial services at 814-824-2288 or

educational benefits supplemental grant (ebsg)

does your employer participate in the educational benefits supplemental grant (ebsg) program? mercyhurst university has established a limited number of partnerships with businesses and organizations that allow for a $650 per-class grant toward eligible academic programs. to find out if your employer is a part of the ebsg program, email travis lindahl at

if you’ve confirmed your employer is a partner, you’ll need to determine eligibility for your tuition discount. all applicants must submit the employer reimbursement form (available on the student financial services page of the mercyhurst hub) and the educational benefits supplemental grant program application. after completing the forms, please submit them to travis lindahl in the office of graduate and continuing education by email to

corporate partnership tuition discount

mercyhurst university has tuition discount programs with a number of businesses and organizations, including the gold-, platinum- and diamond-level corporate members of the erie regional Chamber & Growth Partnership. the tuition rate equates to a savings of more than 30 percent compared to the standard tuition rate for the graduate programs in applied intelligence, cyber risk management, cyber security, and data science.

if your employer has a corporate partnership tuition agreement with mercyhurst, you’ll need to fill out the corporate partner tuition rate agreement form upon application to one of the eligible graduate programs.