DISTANCE LEARNING FAQs

Who can take Mercyhurst University’s distance education courses?

Will I receive the same degree as a Mercyhurst campus student?

Do distance education students have access to Mercyhurst on-campus resources?

Are accommodations available for student enrolled in distance education courses?

What type of IT support is available to students enrolled in distance education courses?

What kind of computer and software do I need to take a distance education course?

How will I learn online at Mercyhurst University?

How long is an online course at Mercyhurst University?


Who can take Mercyhurst University’s distance education courses?

Mercyhurst University’s distance education programs are ideal for everyone; especially adult learners, working professionals, military personnel, anyone looking for new opportunities for employees, and of course, Mercyhurst alumni. A bachelor's degree is required to be admitted to a graduate degree program. Some courses may require prerequisite college-level work.

Will I receive the same degree as a Mercyhurst campus student?

Yes. Mercyhurst University is committed to providing the student with the same level of educational excellence for which Mercyhurst is renowned, and graduates receive the same degree and diploma awarded to our on-campus students.

All of Mercyhurst University’s distance education programs and/or courses are accredited by the Middle States Commission on Higher Education. Accreditation is your assurance that the education provided by Mercyhurst University meets acceptable levels of quality. Click here for accreditation information. 

Do distance education students have access to Mercyhurst on-campus resources?

Yes, many on-campus resources can be accessed electronically by distance education students through our website. This includes purchasing textbooks online through our bookstore and accessing the Library's books, journals, and databases. Information on accessing these resources can be found here. In addition, a library consultant is available via email, text, or chat to support student use of the library.

Students enrolled in a distance education course also have access to technical support, academic support, advising, and a variety of additional resources that facilitate student success.

Are accommodations available for student enrolled in distance education courses?

Yes, Mercyhurst University and its faculty are committed to ensuring accessibility of online instruction to all students. We strive to make all online courses accessible by using reasonable efforts to prevent and remove barriers to online learning. Any student with a condition or disability that may require instructional accommodation should notify the Director of Equal Opportunity Programs upon admission to the University or prior to the first week of class to make appropriate arrangements.

What type of IT support is available to students enrolled in distance education courses?

There is Live Help available by phone or email from 7:30am-8pm during the Academic Year and 7:30am-5pm during the summer. There are also a number of IT services that are available 24/7. Those include: Password account reset functions, Blackboard resources, LMS Support, and an Online Ticketing system where students can request help any day and it will be answered by the next business day.

What kind of computer and software do I need to take a distance education course?

The following minimum computer requirements are needed to successfully participate in a distance education program:

PC – Windows 7 or 10, High-speed Internet connection (8Mbps DSL/Cable or greater recommended), 2 GHz Processor, 2 GB of RAM, Internet Browser (Chrome, Firefox, or Internet Explorer), Java, Microsoft Office 2007 or newer, Adobe Reader.

Mac – Mac OS X 10.7 Lion, High-speed Internet connection (8Mbps DSL/Cable or greater recommended), Intel 2 GHz Processor, 2 GB of RAM, Internet Browser (Chrome, Firefox, or Internet Explorer), Java, Office: Mac 2011 or newer), Adobe Reader or Preview.

We recommend you install the latest versions of Adobe Flash, Adobe Reader, QuickTime and Windows Media Components (for Mac users). Some professors may require you to download additional software to complete coursework.

NOTE: Microsoft Office is provided to current Mercyhurst University students for free through their Mercyhurst Office 365 email accounts. Students can install Office by logging into their email and going into the Office 365 Settings in their email.

How will I learn online at Mercyhurst University?

Delivered through the Blackboard Learning Management System, online classes are asynchronous so students can access the course material 24/7 without having to be "in class" at a specific time. There is not any specific day or time you need to log into the class each week; however, students generally log into the course at least three to five times per week and can expect to spend 8-16 hours a week on course related readings, assignments and discussions, depending on the length of the course.

Courses are designed in Blackboard with weekly learning units which include due dates and times each week for regular participation, assignments, including required readings, postings to the discussion board, written products, presentations, and other projects within Blackboard. In addition to communication through Blackboard, instructors are accessible by phone and email.

How long is an online course at Mercyhurst University?

Our online courses are offered in a variety of durations, ranging from three weeks to 16 weeks in length. Class sizes are limited to approximately 25 students, so that individual attention is assured. It is important that you review the course syllabus and schedule for important due dates.