Special Academic Programs

This section lists a number of programs and services which are available and may be of interest or use to undergraduate, professional and transfer students in any school or college.

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    American Language and Culture Program

    Program Manager: Catherine Franklin
    Office: Reno Hall, Room 016
    McNichols Campus
    Phone: (313) 993-3320
    Fax: (313) 993-1192
    Email: franklca1@udmercy.edu

    Through assessment, placement, and instruction, the American Language and Culture Program equips students with language skills and cultural understanding necessary for them to meet their educational and professional goals in an American university setting. This pathway program collaborates with University partners, providing English language evaluation, consultation and intercultural exchange to foster a diverse international community.


    Assessment of language skills is made during the week prior to the first official class day.


    After assessment testing, students are placed in one of the following courses of study:

    • Intensive English - 21 hours of instruction per week.
    • Intermediate English - 3-9 hours of instruction per week.
    • Academic Writing and Culture Seminar - 3 hours of instruction per week.
    • Full-time degree-directed study - not taking classes with ALCP.


    Regular Detroit Mercy students are provided instruction on the McNichols Campus. The regular University academic calendar has three 15-week terms (Fall, Winter and Summer) beginning the last week of August, the first week of January and May.

    Course Offerings

    • ALCP 1010 - Intensive English (0 credits)

    This intensive full-time English course is designed to provide students with a strong foundation across all subject areas and to prepare students for ALCP’s intermediate and advanced English classes. Class hours are divided among seven subjects: Reading, Writing, Listening/Speaking, Pronunciation, Grammar, Vocabulary, and Computer Assisted Language Learning (lab). Academic and American culture instruction is included in each class. This intensive level course is considered full time. International students enrolled in this course may not concurrently enroll in academic classes.

    • ALCP 2011, 2012, 2013 - Intermediate English (0-1 credits per module)

    An intermediate-level course with three modules that emphasize reading (2011), listening/speaking (2012), and writing (2013). 3, 6, or 9 hours per week.

    Intermediate Reading (2011): This class is designed to prepare students for reading textbooks and other academic materials at the University and expose students to a variety of authentic academic texts across multiple reading genres.

    Intermediate Listening and Speaking (2012): This class is designed to prepare students to understand and participate in listening and speaking tasks, including lectures, group work and discussions, conversations, presentations, and to prepare students to communicate with English speakers in an academic setting.

    Intermediate Writing (2013): This class is designed to prepare students to complete academic writing tasks, including writing essays, proofreading, editing, and incorporating sources, and will also include practice with strategies to avoid plagiarism.

    • ALCP 3150 - Academic Writing and Culture Seminar (0-1 credits)

    This class is designed to prepare students to complete advanced academic writing tasks, including writing essays and research papers, proofreading, editing, and incorporating sources, and will also include practice with strategies to avoid plagiarism.

    Note: Undergraduate students can receive three credits for ALCP 2011, 2012, 2013 and receive one credit for ALCP 3150. These credits can be counted toward elective credit in an undergraduate degree program. Students receive a letter grade on their transcripts. Points for the grade are factored into the grade-point averages of undergraduate students.


    Black Abolitionist Archive

    Director: Roy E. Finkenbine, Ph.D.
    Office: Briggs Building, Room 318
    McNichols Campus
    Phone: 313-993-1016
    Email: finkenre@udmercy.edu

    The Black Abolitionist Archive is a historical research center devoted to the study of African Americans involved in the transatlantic struggle against slavery—America's "first civil rights movement." The collection housed in the archives contains a wealth of materials that document the lives of some 300 black abolitionists, including some 14,000 documents, an extensive microfilm library, a clippings file, and a library of scholarly books, articles and dissertations. James O. Horton, Ph.D., of the Smithsonian Institution's Afro-American Communities Project has called it "the most extensive primary source collection on antebellum black activism."


    Carney Latin American Solidarity Archive

    Director: Gail Presbey, Ph.D.
    Office: Briggs Building 314
    McNichols Campus
    Phone: 31-993-1124
    Email: presbegm@udmercy.edu

    The James Guadalupe Carney Latin American Solidarity Archive's purpose is to serve students, scholars and community members as a depository for materials on Latin American human rights and solidarity work. It offers students and scholars a place to conduct primary research on Latin American solidarity work, human rights and liberation theology through courses, programs and research materials. The archives, staffed by a director, students and volunteers is a community institute offering resource and referral information regarding local community and national groups that work on human rights issues in the United States and Latin America.


    Catholic Studies

    The Arthur McGovern, S.J., Catholic Studies Certificate Program

    The Catholic Studies Program, recognizing the richness, depth and breadth of the Catholic tradition, seeks to help students understand the Catholic vision, its contribution to various fields of study, and its influence on contemporary life. The course of studies aims at developing a thoughtful appreciation of the living tradition of the Catholic faith in dialogue with social and personal experience. Students will earn a Certificate in Catholic Studies.

    The program is guided by the principle that faith should inform life in the real world and awaken a responsibility to seek social justice. The certificate program requires the completion of 18 credit hours in courses from several disciplines that address six content areas:

    • Traditions of Catholic Spirituality and Theology
    • Christian Social Justice Traditions
    • The Catholic Imagination and the Diversity of Its Expression
    • Christian Perspectives on the Human Person and on Human Development
    • Church History as It Informs Today's Church and Society
    • The Meaning and Importance of Vatican Council II

    Core Courses (9 credits)

    • CAS 1000 Catholic Studies and the Self (1 credit)
    • CAS 2000 Catholicism: Spirit & Methods (3 credits)
    • CAS 3000 Catholic Church History: Crystallizing Moments (3 credits)
    • CAS 4000 Senior Seminar (2 credits)

    Electives (9 credits)

    The other nine hours of the program are drawn from courses throughout the University that meet at least one of the following criteria:

    • Are taught from a Catholic perspective;
    • Have a Catholic content or a content consistent with Catholic theology, spirituality, or social thought;
    • Cover a topic in which there is considerable Catholic contribution;
    • Are interdisciplinary with a Catholic component;
    • Raise issues that impinge on religious faith;
    • Deal with topics and issues that have a variety of competing understandings and interpretations, one or more of which are consistent with a Catholic perspective;
    • Have a content that could be augmented by reading and reflection to develop a Catholic content or perspective;
    • Put into practice a Catholic vision, involving spirituality and a concern for social justice;
    • Put into practice a professional skill with a dimension that includes a Catholic vision, involving spirituality and a concern for social justice; and
    • Develop a Catholic imagination
    A Sampling of Courses that May Be Taken for Catholic Studies Credit:
    • ARCH 2120 Architectural History and Theory I (3 credits)
    • BUS 3110 Organizational Design and Structure (3 credits)
    • BUS 3190 Ethics, Business Leadership, and Social Responsibility (3 credits)
    • CHM 4740 Recent Advances in Biochemistry (3 credits)
    • CST 3040 Small Group Communication (3 credits)
    • ENL 2350 Study of Fiction (3 credits)
    • ENL 2450 Study of Poetry (3 credits)
    • ENL 2650 Study of Drama (3 credits)
    • ETH 3680 Catholic Health Care Ethics (3 credits)
    • HIS 2000 The Ancient Mediterranean World (3 credits)
    • HIS 2100 Medieval Europe (3 credits)
    • HIS 2200 Early Modern Europe (3 credits)
    • PHL 2020 Person and Society (3 credits)
    • PHL 3020 Philosophy of Religion (3 credits)
    • PHL 3030 Philosophy of God (3 credits)
    • PHL 3040 Aquinas: First University Masterpieces (3 credits)
    • PHL 3070 Medieval Philosophy (3 credits)
    • PHL 3560 Peace and Social Justice (3 credits)
    • PYC 3500 Psychology of Religion (3 credits)
    • RELS 2150 The Rise of Christianity (3 credits)
    • RELS 2300 Catholic Theology Today (3 credits)
    • RELS 2310 Introduction to Theology (3 credits)
    • RELS 2350 Christ in Faith Fiction and Film (3 credits)
    • RELS 2360 Religion and Film (3 credits)
    • RELS 2420 Religion and Science in the West (3 credits)
    • RELS 2500 The Quest For God today (3 credits)
    • RELS 2510 Theology and Literature (3 credits)
    • RELS 2560 God and The Human Condition (3 credits)
    • RELS 3310 The Christian God (3 credits)
    • RELS 3330 Theology of Karl Rahner (3 credits)
    • RELS 3340 Theology of Death and Resurrection (3 credits)

    Program Contact Information

    Program Director: Si Hendry, S.J.
    Telephone: 313-578-0352
    Email: hendrysi@udmercy.edu

    Arthur McGovern, S.J., Catholic Studies Program
    University of Detroit Mercy
    4001 W. McNichols Rd., Detroit, MI 48221


    Extended Off-Campus Instructional Sites

    To meet the learning needs of employed adults wishing to pursue a degree, the University offers certain degree programs at a number of off-campus sites. Degree and major requirements, content of the coursework and faculty are the same as provided in the major courses on the main campuses. Undergraduate programs offered at off-campus sites are:

    • B.S.N. Degree Completion program in Grand Rapids
    • Bachelor of Science in Nursing at Aquinas College
    • R.N. Degree Completion, Economics, Financial Economics and Health Services Administration programs at University Center, Macomb
    • Courses toward the Bachelor of Social Work and Health Information Management at WCCCD University Center in Harper Woods  Students must transfer to McNichols Campus to complete bachelor's degree.
    • Various hospital locations in southeastern Michigan, Ann Arbor and Grand Rapids

    International Services

    International Services Office Contact Information: 
    Phone: (313) 993-1205
    Reno Hall Basement

    The International Services Office is the University’s immigration compliance and risk management center and serves as the liaison between the University and the Student and Exchange Visitor Program and other government agencies. In alignment with the greater Detroit Mercy mission, the ISO also serves the Detroit Mercy community and the Detroit area by enriching the quality of life of all Detroit Mercy students, providing immigration and academic support to non-immigrant students and faculty, fostering cultural understanding and awareness through practical and creative experiences, and advancing a campus culture that admires and celebrates Detroit Mercy’s rich global diversity.

    • We provide admitted and current students as well as scholars and University departments with information, advice and assistance in matters of immigration.
    • We provide current non-immigrant students with ongoing orientation to the University and American society.
    • We administer the University’s health insurance program for international students.
    • We work with other areas of the University to ensure that the academic and social needs of non-immigrant students are met.
    • We sponsor a broad range of on- and off-campus recreational, educational, and cross-cultural programs and events for both international and domestic students.


    Director: Lara Wasner, M.A., MATESOL
    Office: Reno Hall, Room 40
    McNichols Campus
    Phone: 313-993-1102
    Email: wasnerle@udmercy.edu

    Through its offerings in many world languages and English as a Second Language, the Language and Cultural Training Department seeks to imbue students with linguistic and cultural knowledge of contemporary foreign countries. Because today's students live in a multicultural and multilingual world, the curriculum provides the tools, competence, and cultural orientation to enable them to do so successfully. Certificates in Foreign Language Studies are available in the following languages: Arabic, Chinese, French, German, Japanese, Korean and Spanish.

    The certificate program includes four semesters (12 credits) of study in the target language: 1100, 1110, 1120 or 1150, 2100. Placement test determines entry. However, no placement test is required to take introductory-level coursework at the 1100 level.

    University of Detroit Mercy's language courses are also available for dual high school and college credit. Please visit Detroit Mercy's High School Dual Enrollment Program page for more information.



    Detroit Mercy’s Institute for Leadership and Service provides opportunities for all members of the University community to engage in social change for the common good. The Emerging Leaders Program (E.L.P.) is designed to educate, engage and empower all Detroit Mercy students. Using the Social Change Model, the E.L.P. offers students the opportunity to explore their leadership potential and abilities. Recognition will be given in the form of the Leadership Pin or the Leadership Medallion.The Leadership minor is the largest minor on campus. All undergraduate students are eligible to add a Leadership minor to their major. The minor is a total of 18 credits. This minor is a perfect complement to any field of study at the University. Visit the Leadership minor page for more information.

    Student Success Center

    Contact: Susan Trudeau
    Office: Library, 3rd Floor, Room 319
    McNichols Campus
    Phone: (313) 993-3383
    Email: trudeasm@udmercy.edu

    The Student Success Center (SSC) provides student-centered services to the University community with the goal of supporting the retention and academic success of undergraduate students. The SSC provides services to the University community in the following areas:

    Academic Interest & Major Exploration (AIME) program

    SSC sponsors the Academic Interest & Major Exploration (AIME) program. AIME's specialized advisors are familiar with the requirements for all degrees and programs offered at Detroit Mercy. AIME is designed to help students explore majors by offering developmental advising and individualized academic plans.

    Health Exploration program

    The Health Exploration (HealthX) program is designed for students who wish to explore any major related to the health sciences. HealthX is designed to help students explore majors by offering developmental advising and individualized academic plans.

    University College (UC) program

    The Student Success Center sponsors the readmission program, University College (UC). Students are selected for participation in UC through review and interviews with the SSC staff. Students admitted through this process sign a contract agreeing to specific conditions, and are linked to necessary support services, developmental advising, and individualized academic plans of action.

    Assessment and Orientation Services

    The Student Success Center conducts placement testing for all new and transfer undergraduate students. The SSC coordinates the placement testing, academic advising and registration components of summer orientation for traditional age full-time freshmen. The SSC also provides an alternative testing site/time testing for students in need of these accommodations. 

    Academic Support Services

    The Student Success Center provides free tutorial services through the Learning Center, including one-on-one tutoring sessions and learning communities, for all registered Detroit Mercy students. An appointment is recommended for individual tutoring sessions, although a limited number of walk-ins is available each day. Day, evening, and weekend appointments are available during each term. Students should call (313) 993-1143, make and appointment online at udmercy.accudemia.net or visit the SSC/Learning Center on the 3rd floor of the Library to make an appointment.

    Learning communities in math and science are directed by a tutor who has completed the course and then coordinates with the professor to gain insight on the specific course content. Any student in the course may attend these sessions; the schedule is posted each term outside the SSC office. No appointment is necessary for the learning communities.

    The tutorial staff, which includes undergraduate and graduate students, is available for appointments by the second week of each term. The Learning Center supports freshman level coursework, focusing on basic Core Curriculum and beginning major-specific courses. Some upper-division tutoring is available, primarily in the sciences.

    University Academic Services (UAS)

    The Student Success Center also offers developmental coursework in a variety of courses. These classes are currently offered during the Fall and Winter terms. These courses include UAS 0750-Basic Math Review, UAS 0800-Basic Mathematics, UAS 0950-Elementary Algebra, UAS 1045-Academic Empowerment, UAS 1050-Success Skills II, and UAS 1070-Academic/Athletic Transitions.

    Disability & Accessibility Student Services 

    University of Detroit Mercy is committed to equal educational opportunities for students with disabilities and recognizes that reasonable accommodations may be necessary to ensure access to campus courses, services, activities, and facilities. Disability & Accessibility Support Services (DAS), a division of the Student Success Center, is the office designated by UDM to review disability documentation, determine reasonable accommodations, and develop plans for the provision of such accommodations, in accordance with Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973 and the Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990 as Amended (ADAA). Students with physical, learning, psychological or pregnancy/parenting challenges should contact Laura Bagdady, assistant director of DAS, with questions at (313) 993-1158 or via email at bagdadlm@udmercy.edu


    Study Abroad Programs

    Director: Lara Wasner, M.A., MATESOL
    Office: Reno Hall, Room 40
    McNichols Campus
    Phone: (313) 993-1191
    Email: wasnerle@udmercy.edu

    University of Detroit Mercy provides students with opportunities to gain global perspective and experience by encouraging them to study abroad. Through its various schools and colleges, the University expands its curricula through study programs in other parts of the world. Interested students should consult with the departments sponsoring the programs for more information. Please refer to the University's Study Abroad Program page for the many opportunities available as semester-study and short-term programs.


    University Honors Program

    Co-Director: Evan A. Peterson, J.D. Ph.D.
    Office: C&F Building, Room 216
    McNichols Campus
    Phone: (313) 993-1202
    Fax: (313) 993-1673
    Email: petersea@udmercy.edu
              Co-Director: Nicholas Rombes, Ph.D.
    Office: Briggs Building, Room 232
    McNichols Campus
    Phone: (313) 993-1085
    Fax: (313) 993-1166
    Email: rombesnd@udmercy.edu

    The University Honors Program (UHP) at University of Detroit Mercy integrates 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 directors administer UHP with the advice and consent of the Honors Leadership Council, the general student membership of the program. Each member of UHP must fulfill the Honors curriculum and complete 100 hours of community-engaged service as members of Detroit Mercy's Emerging Leaders Program.


    University Honors Program students must fulfill 22 required Honors credits during their university careers by taking:

    • University Honors Freshman Seminar (HON 1000) (Fall semester, freshman year)
    • Eighteen (18) hours of Honors courses (one per semester for the first three academic years)
    • Three (3) hours devoted to writing a Senior Thesis or developing a Senior Project under the guidance of a faculty member (This takes place over the course of three or more semesters.)

    Membership Requirements - Incoming Freshmen:

    • High school GPA of 3.5 or better
    • Minimum ACT score of 28 or a minimum SAT score of 1860
    • Involvement in high school extra-curricular activities
    • Participation in the University Honors Program is by invitation only

    Graduation Requirements

    • Fulfillment of University Honors curriculum
    • Fulfillment of 100 hours total of community-engaged service
    • A minimum GPA of 3.3 at time of graduation*

    Students who complete all the graduation requirements will have the Honors distinction printed on their diplomas and transcripts as part of their degree name when they graduate and will wear golden honors stoles at the Commencement ceremony.

    *Note: The required 3.3 GPA policy was approved for Fall 2017 and will include those students who started their program in Fall 2016 and beyond. If a student's overall GPA falls below the 3.3 requirement, the student will be placed on UHP probation. Failure to raise the overall GPA to 3.3 or higher will result in removal from the program. Students must demonstrate that they are progressing toward the fulfillment of the program's requirements or they risk removal from the program and loss of the Honors scholarship.

    Honors Courses

    UHP students take six Honors courses taught by outstanding faculty members who are committed to students' academic, personal and professional success. In their junior and senior year, UHP students write an Honors Thesis in the discipline of their choice under the guidance and mentorship of a faculty thesis advisor.

    *Note: UHP students who do not take an honors elective course for two consecutive semesters (regular academic year only) are subject to removal from the honors program at the discretion of the program co-directors for failure to make progress toward program requirements.

    Students may petition to take up to two – and no more than two – non-honors courses for honors credit. (Note: students who petition to have an Advance Placement (AP) score of four or five counted for honors credit may take up to one non-honors course for honors credit). Non-honors courses taken for honors credit will require additional work above-and-beyond what is required of other students in the course. Students must submit a completed “Taking a Non-Honors Course for Honors Credit” form (located in the honors handbook) to the honors co-directors via email no later than noon on Friday during the first week of the relevant semester. The form must be signed by the student, the instructor, and approved by the Honors co-directors.

    Honors Handbook

    Click here for a PDF of the Honors handbook

    Honors Study Abroad Option

    Members of the University Honors Program may take up to two accredited study abroad courses in lieu of required Honors courses. Students who choose this option should select study abroad courses in consultation with the UHP co-directors.

    Honors Community

    The scholarly excellence of the University Honors Program is complemented by a vibrant Honors community. All members of UHP are also members of the Honors Leadership Council, which plays an active role in planning the program. The council meets regularly throughout the academic year to help plan social events, lectures, forums and film nights. Members of the University Honors Program in good standing have the privilege of using the Gardella Honors House.


    Women's and Gender Studies


    University of Detroit Mercy's Women's and Gender Studies (WGS) Program is a diversity and social-justice-focused area of study that examines how our beliefs about gender and sexuality shape our personal identities and the world we live in. The program also examines how gender and sexuality intersect with other facets of our identities such as race, class, nationality, ability and age. WGS draws on many academic disciplines to ask questions about the roles gender and sexuality play in key areas of the human experience such as: Politics, Popular Culture, Religion, Science, Law, History, Art, Economics, Health, Education, Citizenship and Families.

    The WGS Program offers a multifaceted approach for students to discover, engage and transform through the lens of women's and gender issues including an academic minor, social justice activism, grants, writing competitions, events/speakers and arts.

    Program Contact Information

    Rosemary Weatherston, Ph.D., Women's and Gender Studies Program Director
    Telephone: 313-993-1083
    Email: weatherr@udmercy.edu

    Patricia Rouen, Ph.D., Women's and Gender Studies Program Curriculum Committee Chair
    Telephone: 313-993-1739
    Email: rouenpa@udmercy.edu