Mercer University was founded in 1833 by Georgia Baptists, starting under the leadership of Baptist minister Adiel Sherwood. The school is named for Jesse Mercer, a prominent Baptist leader who became the first chairperson of the Mercer Board of Trustees. The school began with a gift of $2,500 from Josiah Penfield with many other Georgia Baptists providing matching funds in order for the Georgia Baptist Convention to open the school.
Mercer was originally a boys’ preparatory school known as the Mercer Institute. The initial school consisted of a red clay farm and two log cabins which were worth approximately $1,935. Tuition for the first year was $35 and there were 39 students enrolled. Board was provided for an additional $8 per month, but students were required to supply their own bedding, candles and furniture. The first female seminary was approved in 1839 and the first graduating class was in 1841.
In 1843, the school suffered a loss when the principal college was destroyed by fire. During the Civil War, Mercer as one of the few colleges in the South and the only one in Georgia to remain open. Most of the 1861 and 1862 senior classes joined the Confederate Army together when war was declared. In 1866, Mercer awarded General Robert E. Lee the honorary Doctor of Laws degree, making them the only university to award a degree to General Lee.
In 1870, a decision was made at the Georgia Baptist Convention to move the school from Penfield. On October 28, 1870, Mayor George S. Obear presented $125,000 in bonds to purchase a six-acre site in Macon along with the title to the land to Mercer.
A law school was organized in 1873 and a new chapel was built in 1880. The chapel was dedicated in 1881. The School of Pharmacy opened at Mercer in 1903 and closed in 1918.
During World War I, buildings and equipment at the school were dedicated to use by the United States Navy. The Student Army Training Corps began at Mercer on October 1, 1918, offering military training throughout the war years. Mercer sustained 14 casualties during World War I. The university continued their military training by establishing the Navy V-12 School, becoming one of only nine institutions in the Southeast to provide aviation training to the Navy War Training Service.
In 1963, Sam Jerry Oni of Ghana, Africa, became the first black student to graduate. Mercer became one of the first colleges in the South do admit students regardless of race before the 1964 Civil Rights Act was passed.
Today, Mercer has an enrollment of more than 8,300 students. For almost two decades, the university has been ranked by U.S. News & World Report as one of the leading universities in the South. In addition, the school ranks in the top ten percent of all colleges in North America, according to the Princeton Review.
Mercer University Accreditation Details
Mercer University is accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges. In addition, specific programs are accredited by the following accrediting bodies:
- Accreditation Board for Engineering and Technology
- Accreditation Review Commission on Education for Physician Assistant, Inc.
- American Bar Association
- American Chemical Society
- American Council of Pharmaceutical Education
- Association of Theological Schools
- Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business
- Commission on Accreditation for Marriage & Family Therapy Education
- Commission on Accreditation on Physical Therapy Education
- Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education
- Council for Accreditation of Counseling and Related Educational Programs
- Council on Education for Public Health
- Georgia Board of Nursing
- Georgia Professional Standards Commission
- Liaison Committee on Medical Education
- National Association of Schools of Music
- National Collegiate Athletics Association
- National Council for Accreditation for Teacher Education
Mercer University Application Requirements
Anyone who wishes to attend Mercer University must complete an application for admission and supply an official copy of their high school or GED transcript. In addition, students who are newly entering college should provide official SAT/ACT scores if they have graduated from high school within the last three years.
Students transferring from other colleges or universities must provide official transcripts from all schools attended and must have a 2.25 cumulative GPA. Some degree programs require a 2.5 cumulative GPA. All transcripts, whether high school or college, must be received by the university in sealed, official envelopes.
Tuition and Financial Aid
The annual tuition to attend Mercer University is $33,480, which averages to $1,116 per credit hour. Students entering law school pay $36,960 per year while graduate programs range from $425 to $850 per credit hour. Medical School tuition is $41,457 per year while graduate medical tuition ranges from $747 to $968 per credit hour.
In addition, fees students must pay at Mercer include:
- Applied Music – $218 for one half-hour lessons or $436 for two half-hour lessons per week
- Internship/Practica – $200
- Fieldwork – $150
- Leadership Academy – $50
- Lab Fee – $100 to $150 per course
- Online Payment Plan Enrollment Fee – $40 to $50
- Dissertation Binding Fee – $65
- Thesis Binding Fee – $30
- Facilities and Technology Fee – Undergraduate Students enrolled in 12 hours or more – $150/semester
- Facilities and Technology Fee – Undergraduate Students enrolled in 11 hours or less – $12.50 per credit hour
- Facilities and Technology Fee – Graduate Students enrolled in 9 hours or more – $150/semester
- Facilities and Technology Fee – Graduate Students enrolled in 8 hours or less – $17 per credit hour
Mercer University offers financial aid in the form of scholarships, grants and loans for students who qualify. Students must complete a financial aid application as well as the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA).
Online Degrees Available
Bachelor in Psychology
Mercer University offers a Bachelor in Psychology + 2 Degree in an online format. The program is designed for students who have completed 60 or more hours of undergraduate coursework to earn their Bachelor of Science in Psychology in as little as two years. The program is designed for students who have already completed an Associate Degree in Psychology or another related field. Up to 64 credits may be transferred to Mercer from another college or university.
The program prepares students to think critically about psychology in order to obtain positions in a variety of fields upon graduation. Students learn to interpret, design and conduct basic psychological research as well as the skills necessary to obtain positions as social workers, human resources directors, teachers or in probation and correction. It does not prepare students for work as psychologists as those types of positions require graduate degrees.
Bachelor of Public Safety Leadership
The Public Safety Leadership +2 degree is available completely online. Students who have completed 60 hours or more of undergraduate study may earn their Bachelor of Public Safety Leadership in as little as two years. Students with an Associate’s Degree in Criminal Justice, Emergency Management Services, Paralegal Studies, Fire Science, Paramedicine or other safety related field may apply for the online Bachelor of Public Safety Leadership program.
Students are provided skills and knowledge in a wide range of safety related topics. The program demonstrates that public safety goes far beyond law enforcement as well as the many requirements placed on public safety professionals today. Students develop critical thinking skills, as well as information regarding homeland security, emergency response, the court system, corrections and more.
Master in Early Childhood Education
The Master in Early Education program is offered online and students may complete the program in 12 months. Students are provided knowledge in the social, behavioral, emotional, cognitive and physical needs of young children as well as how small children differ in their capabilities. Students will learn to design, implement and evaluate an integrated curriculum to meet the needs of young people. Classes are delivered online in 8-week sessions and students may arrange face-to-face meetings with faculty when necessary.
Education Specialist Early Childhood Education
The Education Specialist Early Childhood Education program at Mercer is offered completely online and is designed for those who are seeking certification at eh master’s level. Students develop a greater depth of knowledge regarding curriculum assessment, theory and research as well as diversity. Successful completion of the program qualifies students to upgrade their teaching certification to a T-6 certificate based on Georgia Professional Standards Committee requirements. Students also have the opportunity to earn a GaPSC approved endorsement in Reading, ECE Math, ECE Science or ESOL.
Master in Software Engineering
The Master in Software Engineering degree at Mercer provides students with techniques for defining, analyzing and solving complex problems. Students learn to conduct software development as well as the entire life cycle of a maintenance project using analysis, object oriented design, object oriented programming and testing. Students are provided instruction in Refactoring, Desng Patterns, Java, C++ and C#. Student are also provided the knowledge and skills necessary for positions in the software engineering industry including software architecture, enterprise architecture, software testing and software security.
The program is offered online and complies with applicable state and federal regulations regarding distance learning programs. Mercer University is unable to offer this program in all states so it is advised that potential students contact the Admissions Office prior to enrollment.
Master in Software Systems
Students enrolled in the Master in Software Systems program are provided techniques for defining, analyzing and solving problems related to software. Students develop high quality lower level design as well as higher level design using Design Patterns. Students develop proficiency in Java, C++ or C#.
Mercer University complies with applicable state and federal regulations related to Distance Learning so this program may not be available in all states. Students who are interested should contact the Admissions Office prior to enrollment to be sure the program is available online in their state.
Master in Technical Communications Management
The Master in Technical Communications Management program at Mercer University focuses on the managerial role of technical communication. Students develop the skills and knowledge necessary to obtain positions in highly technical fields through applicable career-focused projects. Because the program is offered online, students throughout the world are able to collaborate and learn.
This program may not be available in all states as Mercer University must comply with federal and state regulations regarding programs offered through distance learning. Students should contact the Admissions Office to learn whether the program is available in their state.
Mercer University offers a wide range of online programs designed for students who have family, employment and social responsibilities that make it difficult for them to further their education in a traditional classroom format.