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merrimack-collegeMerrimack College, a private Roman Catholic college located in suburban North Andover, Massachusetts, was founded in 1947. Merrimack, which has graduated over 22,000 students, currently has nearly 3,200 full-time undergraduates and 575 graduate students representing 32 states and 31 countries. With over 90 academic programs, including master’s degrees in Data Science and Business Analytics, and a student-faculty ratio of 14:1, Merrimack College makes education a major priority.

Merrimack also boasts 22 National Collegiate Athletic Association Division II sports and 60 student-run clubs, meaning the extra-curricular activities are as numerous as the in-class options. Boston, Massachusetts is also located a mere 25 miles away, meaning that there is always something to do on or off-campus. The close proximity to this major city also gives students access to major corporations and opportunities to get a taste of the real world.

North Andover, Massachusetts, where Merrimack College is located, has a rich Irish history. In 1796, the first Roman Catholics came to Massachusetts, and a small group of friars founded the Province of St. Thomas of Villanova. In the 1840’s, this province went on to found Villanova University located close to Philadelphia. In 1947, this group of friars was invited by Richard Cushing, the then-archbishop of Boston, to found Merrimack College for the needs of the soldiers returning from World War II.

Merrimack College Accreditation Details

Merrimack College is a member of the New England Association for Schools and Colleges (NEASC), one of seven regional accreditation bodies in the United States. Merrimack has been accredited by NEASC since 1953, undergoing comprehensive reviews every 10 years, with the latest review coming to completion in 2011.

Other program-specific accreditations that certain programs at Merrimack have attained include the bachelors and masters Athletic Training programs, which have been accredited by the Commission on Accreditation of Athletic Training Education (CAATE); the undergraduate and graduate Education programs, which have been accredited by the Massachusetts Department of Elementary and Secondary Education; the Civil, Electrical, and Mechanical Engineering undergraduate programs, which have been certified by the Engineering Accreditation Committee of ABET; and the Chemistry and Biochemistry undergraduate programs, which have been accredited by the American Chemical Society.

The Masters of Science program in Business Analytics and the Masters of Science in Data Science program are both included in the NEASC accreditation.

Merrimack College Application Requirements

Merrimack College, which was ranked the 79th best test-optional school by school review website Niche, doesn’t require standardized test scores, class rank, or religious affiliation for admission. Instead, incoming freshmen must submit:

  • The Common Application
  • High school transcripts
  • Secondary School Report, which is available as a PDF on the school’s website
  • Teacher Evaluation

To be accepted into Merrimack College, students must have completed:

  • Four credits of math
  • Three credits of science
  • Two credits of a foreign language
  • Two credits of social studies
  •  Two credits of history
  • Five credits of electives

Merrimack participates in both Early Admission as well as Early Decision. The application for freshman applicants is as follows:

  • Freshman Early Decision: November 15 application deadline, late-December admission decision
  • Freshman Early Action 1: November 15 application deadline, late-December admission decision
  • Freshman Early Action 2: January 15 application deadline, late-February admission decision
  • Freshman Regular Decision: February 15 application deadline, late-February admission decision
  • Freshman Spring Semester: January 6 application deadline, with a rolling admissions decision.

Applicants are not required to submit an application fee along with their application. The applications that come from freshman applicants are weighted based on the following factors:

  • Essay
  • Strength of curriculum
  • Community involvement
  • Extracurricular activities
  • Academic achievement
  • Recommended interview
  • Common Application

Transfer students are offered a streamlined application through the Common App and are therefore not required to submit any supplementary materials. Admissions decisions are decided on a rolling basis.

Graduate students, including those in the Masters of Science program in Business Analytics and the Masters of Science in Data Science program, require a more extensive list of admissions materials. The application of a graduate student contains:

  • Free online application
  • Resume
  • Official undergraduate college transcripts from all colleges and universities the applicant has attended in the past
  • 1,000-word personal statement
  •  Two academic or professional recommendations
  • An interview is required for some programs
  • If applying to the School of Education & Social Policy, applicants are required to submit additional materials depending on their major.

Tuition and Financial Aid

During the 2016-17 school year, Merrimack provided $54 million in institutional grants and scholarships, with 99 percent of the freshman class receiving at least one type of aid. Without any aid, the estimated cost of attendance is $55,415, with an additional approximately $2,500 estimated for books, transportation, and personal expenses.

Merrimack offers scholarships and loans for students, and the average cost per student comes out to around $33,003 per year, over double the national average. Merrimack also offers on-campus employment and paid community service at a minimum rate of $11 per hour for those who need to supplement their financial aid.

Graduate students are eligible to borrow up to $20,500 a year, or the entire cost of attendance, so long as they maintain a 3.0 GPA and are taking at least 4 credit hours. The cost for the Masters of Science program in Business Analytics and the Masters of Science in Data Science program is the same cost per credit hour as most other graduate programs– $865 per credit hour.

Master’s Programs in Business Analytics and Data Science at Merrimack College

Interested students can pursue an online Master’s degree in Business Analytics or a Master’s degree in Data Science from Merrimack College. Both programs are accredited by the New England Association for Schools and Colleges (NEASC), cost $865 per credit hour, and are offered as online classes, giving students incredible levels of flexibility. Some of the program’s unique features include the interdisciplinary nature of class instruction, the flexible, all-online format, and the way the class was developed with getting hands-on experience for students.

The degree in Business Analytics is co-run by the School of Science and Engineering and the Girard School of Business. As part of the Business Analytics program, students take eight, four-credit classes, some of which are Data Visualization, Foundations of Statistical Analysis, and Data Governance, Laws, and Ethics. These classes help prepare students for the real-world applications of Business Analytics.

The degree in Data Science is also co-run by the School of Science and Engineering and the Girard School of Business. Students in the Data Science program at Merrimack College learn Statistical Analysis as well as other courses like Predictive Modeling, Machine Learning.


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