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Gannon University was first opened in 1933 by the Roman Catholic Diocese of Erie to provide two-year vocational study as Cathedral College. Eleven years later, it evolved into a four-year men’s college named for Bishop John Mark Gannon. Since acquiring Villa Maria College from the Sisters of St. Joseph in 1989, Gannon University has become a private, co-educational liberal arts school within the ACCU. Organized into three colleges, Gannon educates around 4,400 Golden Knights and employs 347 academic faculty on a $58.2 million endowment. Occupying 38 urban acres, Gannon University offers courses in Erie between Peach and Myrtle Streets, in Ruskin, Florida, and online.

According to the U.S. News, Gannon University is the North’s 51st best regional college, 29th most veteran-friendly school, and 10th top value with the 88th best engineering degrees nationwide. On Niche, Gannon stands as America’s 69th “Best Catholic College” and 260th “Best Small College” for 2017. The Brookings Institution placed Gannon in the top 100 nationally for value-added education. College Factual ranked Gannon University in the top 5 percent for health professions and highest-paid marketing grads. PayScale.com picked Gannon as the 24th best value religious school with a $197,000 20-year net ROI. Gannon was also given the Carnegie Foundation’s prized Community Engagement Classification.

Gannon University Accreditation Details

Through the 2023 reaffirmation, Gannon University holds master’s-level regional accreditation from the Middle States Commission of Higher Education (MSCHE). This distinction is recognized by the U.S. Department of Education for Title IV eligibility. Gannon programs also maintain discipline-specific accreditation from:

• Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education (CCNE)
• Council on Accreditation of Nurse Anesthesia Educational Programs (CANAEP)
• Accreditation Board for Engineering and Technology (ABET)
• Accreditation Council for Business Schools and Programs (ACBSP)
• Accreditation Council for Occupational Therapy Education (ACOTE)
• Association of Gerontology in Higher Education (AGHE)
• Council on Social Work Education (CSWE)

Gannon University Application Requirements

Getting accepted at Gannon University means passing the “selective” admission rate of 76 percent. Freshmen need to have completed a 16-unit, college-prep curriculum for a high school diploma or earned the GED equivalent. Advanced Placement exams graded 3 or higher can transfer for academic rigor. On average, Gannon Golden Knights have a cumulative secondary GPA of 3.53. First-year students also possess a mean SAT score of 1030 and ACT score of 23. Undergrad transfers with less than 90 credits should have a minimum “C” average at accredited colleges. The Online RN to BSN requires state nursing licensure, 32 nursing articulation credits, and a 2.7 GPA or greater.

Graduate applicants must finish a bachelor’s degree from a regionally accredited college and exhibit the motivation for online study. Gannon typically mandates a minimum 2.75 GPA overall with a 3.0 average in major and prerequisite coursework. Although Online MPA students can receive a GMAT waiver, the average score is 547. The M.S. in Criminalistics requires passing an FBI background check and Act 33/34. The Doctor of Nursing Practice online only welcomes nurses with an MSN, 3.5 GPA, and three years of experience. Any international students must show English fluency with a minimum IELTS score of 6.5.

Undergraduate applications are processed on a rolling basis, except for the Physician Assistant program’s November 1st deadline. The Graduate Admissions Office sets deadlines of August 1st for Fall, November 1st for Spring, and May 1st for Summer enrollment. Online students can submit the Common Application or Adult Student Application with the following:

• Payment for the $25 application fee
• High school and college transcript requests
• One applicant evaluation form
• Standardized testing scores
• Typed, one-page personal statement

Tuition and Financial Aid

Full-time undergrads in Erie are charged $30,180 for tuition, $5,800 for housing, $4,940 for board, and $752 for mandatory fees. Luckily, online learners usually spend considerably less than this $42,002 price tag. Studying online will cost bachelor’s students $730 per credit with a $25 university fee. Online graduate programs will vary by cost, though the average full-time student pays $17,370 yearly. The Online MPA charges $995 per credit, while the M.Ed. in Curriculum and Instruction bills $500 per credit and OTD demands $1,135 per credit.

The NCES shows that 79 percent of full-time Gannon Golden Knights earn financial aid worth $19,049 on average. Institutional awards like the Presidential Scholarship, Founders Scholarship, Maroon & Gold Award, University Scholars Program, Diocesan High School Grant, and Edward Lamb Model UN Scholarship are plentiful. Federally, low-income students could earn up to $5,920 from the Pell Grant or $4,000 from the FSEOG Grant. “Keystone State” natives could claim the Pennsylvania State Grant or New Economy Technology Scholarship. The Yellow Ribbon Program serves men and women in uniform. Federal Work-Study (FWS) could be completed off-campus for $2,300 maximum. Online students also qualify for borrowing Perkins, Direct Subsidized/Unsubsidized, PLUS, and private loans.

Online Degrees Available

Gannon University uses Blackboard to deliver 11 online programs from a value-centered, Judeo-Christian approach with flexible 24/7 course scheduling. Courses have an average student-faculty ratio of 13:1 to keep full-time, tenured professors available. Online learners can also still check out the Nash Library, get free tutoring from the Student Success Center, learn abroad from Madaba to Oxford, and access the Erie Technology Incubator. Two sample online Gannon degrees are:

Master of Science in Criminalistics

Delivered by retired FBI, ATF, and DEA agents with 90+ years of combined experience, the Master of Science in Criminalistics teaches Gannon graduates the scientific methods used in law enforcement during criminal investigations. The 36-credit, two-year program integrates courses like crime mapping, courtroom procedures, interviewing, legal psychology, and digital evidence. Students must complete a one-week, summer residency at the cutting-edge Forensic Investigation Center (FIC). Since 2016, there’s been a 4+1 B.A./M.S. program too.

Master of Public Administration

Within the ACBSP-accredited College of Engineering and Business, the Online MPA is a 36-credit program offering Gannon graduates the interdisciplinary skills to make socially responsible decisions for the public and nonprofit sector. Featuring courses from financial accounting to strategic marketing, the program has two specializations: Administrative and Organizational Leadership. Unlocking a median salary of $97,630, the two-year program ends with a capstone project. Residents of some states like Kansas or Wyoming may not be eligible.

Other online degrees at Gannon University include the Master of Education in Curriculum & Instruction, Master of Education in Reading, RN to Bachelor of Science in Nursing, and Post-Professional Doctor of Occupational Therapy.