A Community of Scholarly Excellence

The Honors Program at UDM holds that scholarly excellence can only be promoted through a dedicated and stimulating faculty, academic rigor, and a community grounded in excellence and collegiality.

The University of Detroit Mercy

The University of Detroit Mercy is Michigan's largest Catholic university, with nearly 6000 students total and a very low student/faculty ratio of 16:1. More than half of all undergraduate classes have only 8-19 students in them. This makes UDM large enough to offer a variety of degree options, but not so large that students lose the advantage of smaller class size. In The Honors Program at UDM , courses are capped at 20. Furthermore, Honors courses are taught by the best of a remarkable group of experienced faculty known for its accessibility, its commitment to teaching, and its interest in your ultimate academic and professional success. More than 90% of UDM faculty have a Ph.D. (or other highest possible degree) in their various fields of expertise.

The Honors Program at UDM

The Honors Program at UDM serves the Colleges of Business, Engineering & Science, Liberal Arts & Education and the School of Architecture. The Program strives to integrate the intellectual, spiritual, ethical and social development of its members by fostering a community of scholarly excellence, encouraging exploration of the larger world beyond the classroom, and promoting compassionate service to society at large and persons in need. The Program Director reports directly to the Academic Vice President, and three Student Deans help administer the Program with the advice and consent of the general membership.

The Honors Students

The Honors Program at UDM is highly selective: invitations to apply are only sent to those high school students with very high GPAs and standardized test scores.  Just receiving an invitation means you’re already among select company.  Of those applying to The Program, only twenty freshmen are accepted every year.  So if you’re one of these twenty freshmen, not only will you be among even more rarefied company; your classmates will be the brightest students on campus.

The Honors Curriculum and Courses

Each new group of Honors students move through the Honors curriculum together: six specially designed courses that will be like nothing you’ve ever experienced before--intimate, exciting, intensive, interactive and demanding classes taught by the best of a great teaching faculty who will help widen your world.  Honors classes are scheduled so they won’t interfere with the required courses in your major, and each Honors class earns core credit, which means that being in The Honors Program won’t delay your graduation from UDM.  Special Honors advisors will make sure you move through The Program efficiently, and in the following way:

Coursework (& Core Objectives)


Service Hours

Freshman Year

Fall Term
Honors Introduction to Philosophy (4a)

Winter Term
Honors Introduction to History (5a)



Complete 100 hours of voluntary acts of compassionate service to society at large and individuals in need before the end of undergraduate program of study, which must be verified by the Institute for Leadership & Service 


Sophomore Year

Fall Term
Honors Diverse Voices in Fiction (5d)

Winter Term
Honors Ethics (6a)

Junior Year

Fall Term
Honors On the Divine (4b)

Winter Term
Honors Elements of Political Thought (3c)

Register for Honors Thesis Proposal (HON 4997)

Register for Honors Thesis Approval (HON 4998)

Senior Year

Register for Honors Thesis Defense (HON 4999)

Defend Honors Thesis before Honors Convocation

Submit Honors Thesis to Honors Director

The Honors Thesis

The Honors Thesis affords each student an inspiring, exciting and unique opportunity to develop and complete an individually-determined project of passionate interest to them, and which brings each student closer to intellectual and creative maturity and imbues them with a deeper appreciation of both an aspect of the world and their own abilities.  In order to accommodate the various curricular demands of the several different majors The Program serves, a great deal of flexibility is allowed as to when students may begin work on their theses.  Generally speaking, students can start their theses whenever they have determined their topic and are ready to start.  Typically a thesis is not started before a student's sophomore year, and no later than the second term of a student's junior year.  See the Honors Handbook for more detail.

The Honors Community

Out of the Honors classroom a small but diverse scholarly community emerges to plan activities outside the classroom.  From Movie & Pizza Nights in the Gardella Honors House to off-campus group service projects to the plentiful cultural offerings of the Detroit metro area (film, theater, dinners, the opera, the symphony, the DIA, Tigers games, even curling), you will immerse yourself in this intimate community, making friends for life.