Reflecting on Our Progress

In 2011, Merrimack College set out to achieve true distinction through the development of an ambitious plan. The Agenda for Distinction was composed of big dreams, bold ideas and strategic goals. Since its launch, we’ve made significant progress on the objectives — we’ve grown our student population, improved the on-campus experience, enhanced internal performance and been recognized for our efforts. In fact, we have driven measurable results across all categories: enrollment, academics, student success, student experience and athletics.

Enrollment Highlights

  • Increased the number of undergraduate and graduate students (matriculated full-time equivalents) from 2,249 to 3,350.
  • Received 8,214 freshmen applications in 2016, a 100 percent increase from 2010.
  • Received 862 graduate applications in 2016, up from 63 in 2010.
  • Ranked 21st by Money magazine for schools that add the most value.
  • Joined an elite list of institutions ranked by U.S. News and World Report as a 2017 Best Regional University, North — a new category based on the high standards of the the Carnegie Classification system.

The moment he set foot on campus, Sheon James ’19 knew that Merrimack College was the place for him.

“I had visited several campuses with my dad during my college search, but hadn’t gotten the feeling of home yet,” he said. “As soon as we drove onto campus, I immediately got that feeling I was waiting to feel.”

James immediately made a home at Merrimack, as well as made a mark. He was elected class president by his classmates, has been honored with the Outstanding Class Leader LEAD Award and joined the track team as a walk-on his sophomore year.

“Merrimack saw a path for me and made it financially possible for this son of a single dad from Southern Maine to expand his horizons and envision a future he didn’t even know was possible,” he said. “I love being looked at as a leader, love being pushed to do great things and I love this community. I can’t wait for the future.”

Academic Highlights

  • Established the Center for Excellence in Teaching and Learning.
  • Increased the full-time faculty from 143 to 192, with another 20-plus planned to come on board across all four schools in fall 2017.
  • Added 32 new undergraduate programs and nine new graduate programs.
  • School of Science and Engineering awarded a $500,000 grant from the National Science Foundation to support the school’s retention program, Foundations for STEM Success.
  • Received a $1 million Robert Wood Johnson Foundation grant to expand the innovative Active Science program to help increase physical activity and science achievement among school-age children.
  • National Institute for Health grant (collecting info).

Student Success Highlights

  • Grew the national model First-Year Experience program to 1,006 students, a 20 percent increase from its inaugural year in 2014.
  • Enhanced more than 350,000 square feet of new and renovated space, including The Writers House, the Mucci Capital Markets Lab, Augie’s Pub, residential villages and the Center for Excellence in Teaching and Learning.
  • Increased fundraising from $5.2 million in fiscal year 2012 to $9.1 million in fiscal year 2016, and provided an additional $34 million in scholarships.
  • Ninety-seven percent of the class of 2015 were employed, in graduate school or completing a year of service within nine months of graduation.
  • Sixty percent of students participate in an internship or co-op program.
  • Ninety-six percent of students are employed or in graduate school within nine months of graduation.

The Academic Success Center provides a wide range of opportunities to students wishing to enhance their academic performance. From one-on-one academic counseling to comprehensive support initiatives like our Compass and Promise programs, the center is designed to help students achieve their goals.

One of the most important things college can do for students is help them find a career path that is exciting, rewarding and inspiring. Through the O’Brien Center for Career Development, Merrimack makes this easy by expanding students’ horizons while educating and inspiring them to make informed career decisions; providing access to experiential learning and full-time employment opportunities; and linking employers to campus resources.


A 2016 Best College in the Northeast — The Princeton Review

Top College That “Adds the Most Value” for Students — Money magazine

A Best Regional College in the Northeast — U.S. News & World Report