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Core Curriculum

Whatever your goal, it’s within your reach with a Mercyhurst education.

A Mercyhurst North East education not only prepares you to succeed in a high-demand job or to go on to further education, but also provides you with the knowledge, skills and attitudes to live a better, fuller, richer life.

If you’re pursuing an associate degree, you’ll complete the REACH Curriculum in addition to your major courses. The REACH Curriculum, adopted in 2016, includes special experiences in the freshman year, as well as coursework from a wide variety of the liberal arts and sciences.

The courses in the REACH Curriculum should:

  • Challenge mindsets and assumptions
  • Develop critical thinking and problem-solving skills
  • Encourage curiosity and creative inquiry
  • Cultivate an appreciation of arts and culture
  • Ignite community awareness and engagement
  • Help you learn to become resilient in the face of challenges


The Freshman Experience

An introduction to academic writing and thought, as well as to college life. COMP120 (Writing and Research) plus a one-credit course to help ease the transition from high school to college: iMU101 (Introduction to Mercyhurst).


The Liberal Arts Experience

Four three-credit courses in the liberal arts and sciences that will expand your understanding of knowledge, contexts, ideas, and disciplines.

The liberal arts courses in the REACH Curriculum are grouped in five general areas listed below. One course must come from the Reason and Faith section, and you can take the other three in any of the remaining areas. To make sure you explore different fields of study, no more than two REACH courses can be taken from any one category and no two courses can have the same prefix.

  • R Reason and Faith (Catholic Studies, Philosophy, Religious Studies)
  • E Expression and Creativity (one in English, plus one in Art, Dance, Music or Theatre)
  • A Analytical Thought (Biology, Chemistry. Geology, Mathematics, Physics, Science, including at least one science with a lab)
  • C Contexts and Systems (Economics, History, Political Science)
  • H Humans in Connection (Anthropology, Psychology, Sociology, World Languages)

Note: ENG 100, Critical and Evaluative Reading, and ENG 110, Composition, do not count for the Expression category.