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Mercy College History

Original Mercy College Campus Tarrytown, New York c.1950s

Founded by the Sisters of Mercy in 1950, Mercy College became a four-year college offering programs leading to the baccalaureate degree in 1961. The College was accredited by the Middle States Association’s Commission on Higher Education in 1968. In the next half-decade, Mercy College boldly set a course for its future with a series of actions including declaring itself independent, nonsectarian and coeducational. In addition, it doubled the size of the existing physical plant and initiated the first of many community outreach efforts.

Mercy College’s innovative spirit soared in the 1970s when it broadened its outreach through the establishment of extension centers and branch campuses throughout communities in Westchester County and New York City. This expansion enhanced the College’s reach to the traditional college market and positioned the College on the leading edge of higher education for those who were the first generation in their families to seek college degrees and the adult student market.

Always seeking ways to expand academic and career opportunities for its students, Mercy College was authorized to offer its first graduate program (in nursing) in 1981. Since then, 30 diverse graduate programs have been introduced, and in 2006, the College was granted authorization to offer its first doctoral program (in physical therapy). Mercy College has become one of the regional leaders in the preparation of health care professions as well as a leading provider of teacher education preparation for the New York City Schools and the surrounding communities.

The College expanded its offerings to include online programs in the late 1980s, and was soon granted the ability to offer entire degree programs online. Thousands of Mercy College students take one or all of their courses online through the more than 40 undergraduate and graduate programs offered.

At the heart of Mercy College is its dedication to the motivated student, and the College’s commitment to quality, student support, and affordability - as well as innovation - remains as strong today as ever.