Detroit Mercy ranks among top U.S. universities in U.S. News & World Report’s 2021 rankings of Best Colleges

September 14, 2020
An aerial photograph of University of Detroit Mercy's McNichols Campus.

U.S. News & World Report's 2021 best colleges badge. Detroit Mercy was again ranked among the top 200 national universities by U.S. News & World Report, earning a No. 187 rank in the National Universities category of the publication’s “Best Colleges” 2021 edition. This is the second year in a row that Detroit Mercy has ranked high in this newly designated category; only three other Michigan universities earned a place in this year’s group.

In addition to placing high in the overall national universities classification, Detroit Mercy received favorable recognition in the following four special categories:

  • Best Value Schools, National Universities – No. 34
  • Best School for Veterans, National Universities – No.136
  • Top Performers on Social Mobility – No. 129
  • A+ Schools for B Students

“Detroit Mercy’s high ranking again among the nation’s top universities in the 2021 U.S. News & World Report’s ‘Best Colleges’ edition bolsters the University’s enduring reputation of providing an academically excellent education for students of all backgrounds,” said President Antoine M. Garibaldi. “Our core principle of providing an affordable, values-centered, and academically-rigorous education is as important to current and prospective Detroit Mercy students and our 88,000 alumni as it was to our Jesuit and Mercy founders in 1877 and 1941, respectively. Continuing to provide a high-quality education for our students, many of whom are the first in their families to attend college, so they will excel in their professions is the central theme of our current five-year strategic plan: Boundlessly Forward,” he added.

The 2021 rankings from U.S. News & World Report reinforce Detroit Mercy’s Boundlessly Forward initiatives as the world confronts COVID-19.

A month before the pandemic in February 2020, Detroit Mercy announced an expansive McNichols Campus Renovation Project that will significantly transform the McNichols Campus that continues to be a major anchor Institution in northwest Detroit. The multi-year, multi-million-dollar renovation project will begin with a renovation and expansion of the Student Union, followed by the eventual demolition of the University’s Fisher Administration Center and Reno Hall. In addition to upgrades to academic buildings, administrative space and residence halls, the multi-phase plan includes new on-campus student apartments, greenspace on newly acquired land and a Center for Excellence in Teaching & Learning, among other projects. The project will also enhance the quality of life and business development potential in the Livernois and Six Mile neighborhoods, areas which President Garibaldi has actively promoted through his 2015 establishment and co-founding of Live6 Alliance with The Kresge Foundation.

U.S. News & World Report's 2021 best colleges badge for best value.Since March, when Detroit Mercy seamlessly transitioned to virtual learning, faculty, staff and the administration have worked diligently to ensure a safe and healthy environment for students returning to classes on all campuses on Aug. 17. This includes the creation of Titans Together, a branded initiative that was developed to provide guidance and plans and also encourage the solidarity of the University community as faculty, staff and students engage in University business and operations in different and novel ways. As an example, teaching and learning are provided through an innovative flexible hybrid model of instruction that prioritizes the health and safety of students and faculty.

The Titans Together initiative followed Detroit Mercy’s December 2019 completion of the largest fundraising campaign ever, which raised nearly $115 million and exceeded the $100-million goal. As a result, the University has increased the scholarship endowment from $25 million to more than $70 million today, which will assist the institution in attracting more academically talented students.

Recently, Detroit Mercy also implemented several new academic programs that align with industry and student needs and interest. These programs include

  • A Six-Year Accelerated Law Scholars Program in Biology, Business Administration, Chemistry, Economics, English, Political Science and Mathematics
  • Post-bachelor’s certificate in Health Information Management and Technology for undergraduates
  • The Master's Entry Advanced Generalist in Nursing (MEAGN).

U.S. News & World Report's 2021 best colleges badge for social mobility.And this month, the University received renewal of a five-year TRIO Student Support Services (SSS) grant of more than $1 million from the U.S. Department of Education. TRIO is a federally-funded program that provides underrepresented student populations with academic support, cultural engagement and personal development programming to increase student persistence, degree completion and the accomplishment of career or academic goals. For more information on this program, please visit

These milestones, coupled with the institution’s undergraduate tuition reset in 2017 that lowered tuition from $41,000 to $28,000, and the graduate tuition reset in 2019 for MBA, Master of Community Development and graduate programs in Architecture, Nursing and Engineering, make the institution’s nationally ranked, Jesuit and Mercy education affordable for all students.

Since 2020, Detroit Mercy has been ranked in the national universities category. Prior to 2020, Detroit Mercy was ranked in the top Midwest regional universities category by U.S. News & World Report for more than 18 consecutive years. This includes a No. 25 rank in 2019 U.S News & World Report’s “Best Colleges” edition for regional universities.