College of Liberal Arts & Education

University of Detroit Mercy’s College of Liberal Arts & Education remains steadfast since 1877 to inspire and prepare students for many possible careers, lives rich in meaning with an understanding and appreciation of diversity of thought and culture and hearts touched and impassioned by social justice.

As part of a Catholic university, grounded in the Jesuit and Mercy traditions, our programs extend beyond academics and both encourage and incorporate applied learning experiences to serve those in need, develop lifelong friendships and strengthen our community. Our small class sizes, student-faculty relationships and the academic rigor of our professional faculty, create a unique and effective learning environment within the city of Detroit.

The College provides more than 15 diverse majors, numerous minors and certificates, 5-year accelerated bachelor’s to master’s programs as well as an accelerated 6-year (3+3) law scholars program for select majors at the undergraduate level. These programs encourage academic inquiry and scholarship that examine enduring questions and foster innovative thinking. At the graduate level, the College offers more than 20 programs and post-degree certificates — including online and accredited programs — to deepen students' knowledge and expertise, generate new knowledge, cultivate personal enrichment and contribute thought leadership in their fields of study.

Through a solid grounding in the liberal arts, our graduates emerge as creative and critical thinkers, strong communicators, leaders and team collaborators — the enduring and adaptable skills that employers and graduate schools demand and that are always relevant in an ever-changing world.

Mission Statement

The College of Liberal Arts & Education prepares students to participate in a diverse and changing world in the Jesuit and Mercy traditions as "men and women for others." The College provides a student-centered education in an urban context which stimulates a desire for the life-long exploration of the intellectual, spiritual and ethical dimensions of what it means to be human.

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    College Contact Information

    Jocelyn M. Boryczka, Ph.D., Dean

    Briggs Building, Room 120
    McNichols Campus
    Phone: 313-993-3250
    FAX: 313-993-1266

    Victoria Mantzopoulos, Ph.D., Associate Dean

    Briggs Building, Room 120
    McNichols Campus
    Phone: 313-993-3254
    FAX: 313-993-1266

    College Office

    College of Liberal Arts & Education
    Briggs Building, Room 108
    University of Detroit Mercy
    4001 W. McNichols Road
    Detroit, MI 48221

    Phone: 313-993-1287
    FAX: 313-993-1166

Academic and College Policies

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    Academic Integrity and Plagiarism

    As members of an academic community engaged in the pursuit of truth and with a special concern for values, students must conform to a high standard of honesty and integrity in their academic work. Instances where academic misconduct occur include, but are not limited to, falsification or misrepresentation of material used in the admission process, presenting the work of others as one's own, theft, plagiarism and cheating. These actions pose a threat to the academic integrity of the University and its mission and will be treated accordingly. Academic misconduct is subject to disciplinary sanctions. These sanctions include, but are not limited to, reprimand, probation, suspension and dismissal. Students are required to familiarize themselves with the specific protocols of this College. Click here for the CLAE Plagiarism and Academic Integrity policy.


    Academic Standards

    A student should regularly monitor his/her student records in the Self-Service portion in My Portal. The academic deans monitor the records of students enrolled to assure that reasonable progress is being made toward the student's educational objectives. Student records are reviewed at the end of each semester. Based upon this review and regardless of formal notice, the dean may place the student on the Dean’s List (for excellence), note that the student is in good standing, place the student on academic probation, give him/her an academic warning or dismiss the student from the college/school for poor scholarship. Academic standings are noted on the students’ official academic records and in the Self-Service portion in My Portal.

    Academic Warning
    Undergraduate students will be warned whenever the semester GPA falls below 2.00. Such warning enables students to take early corrective action concerning their academic performance.

    Academic Probation
    Students are placed on academic probation when it appears that their performance places their academic objectives in jeopardy. Undergraduate students will be automatically placed on academic probation when the cumulative GPA falls below 2.00. An undergraduate student who fails to raise the cumulative average to at least 2.00 or satisfy the additional program/school criteria in the following term is subject to academic dismissal for poor scholarship.

    When a student has been placed on academic probation, the dean may, at his/her discretion, establish specific requirements or conditions that the student must meet. The dean may require the student to enroll in particular courses, repeat courses, establish minimum or maximum number of credit hours to be attempted or earned, require a specific minimum GPA for the next term, require the student to consult a counselor or tutor, or engage in supervised study, etc. Failure to meet such conditions, when established, may lead to academic dismissal.

    Academic Dismissal
    Students may be dismissed from the College and University as a result of poor academic performance. Students are automatically subject to dismissal the second consecutive term the cumulative average falls below 2.00 for undergraduate students. Dismissal may occur when an undergraduate student has not achieved a 2.00 cumulative quality point average in the term following one in which he/she was placed on probation, when terms or conditions established for probation have not been met, or when the academic record reflects poor performance.

    Students who wish to appeal an academic dismissal should contact the Dean’s Office immediately upon their receipt of notice that they have been dismissed. If first contact is made by telephone or in person, it should be immediately followed by a written statement of their intent to appeal the dismissal.


    Accelerated 5-Year Programs

    Students who are enrolled in accelerated 5-year bachelor's to master's programs can take up to four graduate-level courses at the 5000-level or above in their senior year (up to 12 credits total with a maximum of six credits in one term and six in the second term) while an undergraduate student when approved by the director of the graduate program and the Dean's Office as part of the 5-year curriculum plan for their degrees. Such courses cannot be counted for credit towards their undergraduate degree and would appear only on a graduate transcript. The student must have earned senior status with at least 90 credit hours and have maintained at least a 3.25 GPA in all terms at Detroit Mercy.

    In order to complete both the bachelor's and master's degrees in five years, the student must maintain an undergraduate GPA of 3.25 at University of Detroit Mercy and maintain full-time enrollment in each semester of the five years (10 consecutive semesters). See program details for additional requirements.


    Accelerated 6-Year (3+3) Law Scholars Program

    Students who have enrolled in the 6-Year (3+3) Law Scholars Program must be enrolled as full-time undergraduates at Detroit Mercy each Fall and Winter Term. All necessary undergraduate coursework must be completed at the McNichols Campus within the three calendar years immediately prior to beginning the law school phase of the program at Detroit Mercy Law.

    Students must fulfill the requirements of the University Core Curriculum, as well as the required courses in their chosen major. Students will be eligible to apply for the law school phase of the program in their third year of undergraduate studies. The following requirements must be met:

    • The undergraduate school/college must certify that the student has or will have completed and passed all of the University and major requirements necessary for the conferral of their undergraduate degree (other than elective credits) by the end of the junior year.

    • Overall undergraduate grade point average of at least 3.5 at the end of the junior year.

    • Take the Law School Admission Test (LSAT) no later than December of the junior year and obtain a score of at least 154.

    • Complete the Detroit Mercy Law admission application with all required components by February 1 of the junior year.

    • Meet the character and fitness requirements for admission to Detroit Mercy Law.

    • Interview with the Detroit Mercy Law Admission Committee.


    Directed Studies

    A directed study is intended to provide a student the opportunity to conduct an in-depth examination of a topic that is not typically offered in a traditional course. A directed study is not intended to duplicate or act as a substitute for a required course. A directed study course should demand a substantial project that is equivalent to an upper division course in the department. The details of the work must be specified in a directed study contract. There are several limitations and requirements for directed study courses. For further information, timeline, and requirements, click here for the Directed Studies policy.


    Grade Grievances

    In some instances a student may believe that the final grade received in a particular course is unjustified. In such cases the student may choose to appeal the grade received. Each college or school has published written grievance procedures that must be followed. In general, students are advised to consult with the instructor concerned prior to beginning the appeals process. All appeals should be filed in a timely manner, within 30 days after the final grade is issued. Click here for a copy of the Academic Policy, Procedure, and Petition.

    The process includes moving the grievance through various stages including through the instructor, chairperson, a College committee composed of faculty and students, and then the dean. The decision of the dean is final. All grade appeals must be finalized before a degree can be conferred. Appeals to the provost and vice president for Academic Affairs will be considered only on procedural grounds.


    Graduation and Commencement

    Application for Graduation

    An “Application for Graduation” should be filed early in the academic year in which the student intends to graduate. Candidates for degrees must file their applications online through Self-service at no later than the first week of the semester they intend to graduate. Applications for a degree or certificate (i.e., Legal Studies or a language) should be filed by the last week of August for fall/December graduation; the first week of January for winter/April through August graduation. Applications are completed online through the student's MyPortal account. Applications received after the deadline or failure to file an application may result in denial to participate in the Commencement ceremony and/or delay in the date of graduation. Application deadlines are set by the University. Be sure to follow all necessary steps and additional deadlines outlined by the Registrar such as RSVPs, caps and gowns, etc. Applications received after the deadline or failure to RSVP by the deadline may result in denial to participate in the Commencement ceremony and/or delay in the date of graduation.


    The Commencement ceremony occurs once a year in May. Students must apply for graduation to be considered eligible for Commencement. Students who have completed their degree requirements at any point in the preceding academic year are invited to participate. June and August graduates may be permitted to participate in the May Commencement exercises with permission of the Dean’s Office as long as they are enrolled in all of the courses to complete their degree by August. Participation in Commencement will be denied to students who have more than 12 credit hours remaining. The remaining credit hours cannot include the math requirement or ENL 1310 Academic Writing (or its equivalent). Applications received after the deadline or failure to RSVP by the deadline may result in denial to participate in the Commencement ceremony. Commencement is ceremonial; participation in Commencement exercises does not assure that all requirements have been met or that a degree has been or will be granted.


    Senior Residency Rule

    Candidates for a bachelor's degree are to complete the last 30 credit hours of their program at the University of Detroit Mercy. Any exception to this rule must be petitioned in writing to the Student Affairs Committee.


    Transfer Credits

    In addition to the transfer credit rules established by the University, the College of Liberal Arts & Education limits the number of transfer credits counted in the major to half of the total required credits in the major. For example, if the major requires 30 credits, half of them (15) may be transfer credits. This limitation does not apply to required supportive courses.


    Undergraduate Senior Privilege

    University of Detroit Mercy undergraduate seniors with at least a 3.25 GPA or who have been accepted to a University of Detroit Mercy master's program may be permitted to take a limited number (nine credits; maximum of six credits in one term) of graduate (5000-level or above) courses to be used toward a graduate degree. Such courses cannot be counted for credit towards their undergraduate degree and would appear only on a graduate transcript. The student must have earned senior status (at least 90 hours) and obtained the approval of the instructor, director of the graduate program offering the courses to be taken, as well as signatures of their advisor and Dean's Office. See the full University policy for further details and requirements.