Gwynedd Mercy University is a small private university with an enrollment of roughly 2,600 students. Founded by the Sisters of Mercy, who purchased the land for the school from a local family in 1948, classes opened just one year later. The campus itself was once a large farm, and the home used by the original family who owned the property is now the main art gallery of the university. Affiliated with the Roman Catholic Church, GMU offers lots of options for both current and future students. It hosts a summer program every year that allows high school students to live in one of its residence halls and take classes. Current students can work on campus, join the choir, work on the newspaper or join one of its sports teams.
GMU is unique because it offers degrees at all levels, including at the associate's and bachelor's levels. Students enrolled in an associate's program can actually move right into one of its bachelor's programs, and those finishing a bachelor's degree can get help enrolling in a master's program. Gwynedd Mercy University also offers certificate programs that students can complete while enrolled in one of these programs, and the university recently expanded into the world of online classes.
Gwynedd Mercy University Accreditation Details
The Middle States Commission on Higher Education (MSCHE) granted regional accreditation to Gwynedd Mercy University after a thorough review of the university's course offerings, graduate rates and student satisfaction. MSCHE accreditation is important because this type of accreditation allows the university to accept government money and allows students to apply for financial aid from the federal and state governments.
Six different organizations awarded the university specialized accreditation for some of its specific programs. Often called program accreditation, it covers programs like those in business and respiratory care. The Commission on Accreditation for Health Informatics and Information Management accredited both its associate's and bachelor's programs in health information management, and its business program has accreditation from the International Assembly for Collegiate Business Education. Gwynedd Mercy University also has accreditation from the Accreditation Commission for Education in Nursing, Inc., Commission on Accreditation for Respiratory Care, Commission on Accreditation of Allied Health Education Programs and Joint Review Committee on Education in Radiologic Technology.
Gwynedd Mercy University Application Requirements
Gwynedd Mercy University puts all its application and admissions requirements online to help you know what you need to do before you apply. All undergrads must take at least 16 units of high school classes that better prepare them for college, including four units of English, three units of life sciences and math, one unit of history and at least three units of college prep electives. The university asks for an official transcript that lists those classes as well as the grades you earned in each one and your overall class ranking. You must have a cumulative grade point average of 2.5 or higher on a standard 4.0 scale and take either the ACT or SAT and submit your score. GMU asks that you fill out the online application and submit a letter of recommendation. That letter should come from a supervisor, principal, guidance counselor or teacher.
The main requirement for prospective graduate students is that they have a bachelor's degree from an accredited college or university in the same field or a field similar to the one they want to study. In addition to filling out the online application and paying the application fee, you'll need to submit a transcript that shows you maintained a 3.0 GPA in college and provide the university with at least two professional letters of recommendation.
Tuition and Financial Aid
GMU charges a tuition rate of $615 per credit hour for all part-time students. Full-time students pay a flat rate of $32,820 per year, which includes all fees and tuition that lets them take 12 to 18 credits during the two main semesters in the school year. Any courses you take over 18 credits will cost you $615 per credit. If you enroll in one of the GMU graduate programs, you'll pay between $525 and $800 per credit hour. Each program in its graduate school sets its own tuition rate.
If you're like most students and need help paying for college, you can get help with the FAFSA. Filling out this form with some basic information lets the university know how much your family can contribute and then find financial aid packages to help you afford the total cost. Undergrads can sign up for the work study program on the GMU campus, take out subsidized student loans, request that their parents sign up for loans and use grants. Graduate students may qualify for some grants, but they also qualify for unsubsidized student loans and PLUS loans for parents. If you work part-time or full-time, you may qualify for alternative loans in your own name too.
Degrees in Counseling and Psychology
Though Gwynedd Mercy University only offers one counseling program, it offers its Master of Science in School Counseling as both a residential program that meets on campus and as an online program. These program teaches you how to meet the unique demands of working with children as young as elementary school age all the way up through those enrolled in high school. It includes 48 credits of courses like theories of counseling, assessment techniques in counseling, communication skills for educators and foundations of special education. GMU requires that counseling students do two internships too. Online students must do clinical fieldwork in a local school that involves direct supervision.
The university offers both a Bachelor of Science and a Bachelor of Arts in Psychology for undergrads also. Students in either program must take 48 credits of core psychology classes like ethical issues in the behavioral and social sciences, social psychology, developmental psychology, abnormal psychology, history of psychology and the psychology of personality. You'll also take a practicum course on a topic that regularly changes and do some type of capstone project. GMU will also award you credit for any work that you do in an internship that you register and receive approval from the university for during the program. Students enrolled in the BA and BS psychology programs at Gwynedd Mercy University previously did internships in local nonprofit agencies as well as homeless shelters and shelters for victims of domestic violence.
See also: The Best Low-Cost Online Master's in Counseling Programs