New Students FAQ

Meaningful Interactions Based on Smaller Class Size

At the University Detroit Mercy, the average student-to-faculty ratio in online program courses is 15:1. Smaller class size allows students to receive more personalized guidance, feedback, and instruction. In this setting, you will have the opportunity to build real relationships with your professors and your classmates. 

Engaged Faculty who are Invested in Your Learning

The University of Detroit Mercy’s faculty are here to help you succeed. Our professors are active participants in your online courses, providing feedback and direction, answering your questions, and helping you stay on track. At the University of Detroit Mercy, you will be working with faculty who are not only experts in their fields, but who are dedicated to the art of teaching and learning.

Active Learning

Research suggests that active learning in online courses is beneficial for students to succeed and grow and our online course curriculum reflects that. Courses in the online programs at the University of Detroit Mercy actively engage students in problem solving, critical thinking, and research that integrates theory with practice.

Informed by Jesuit and Mercy Values and Charisms

University of Detroit Mercy faculty integrate our sponsoring religious communities’ values, including compassionate service to persons of need, commitment to quality education, service of faith, and the promotion of justice into their lectures, discussions, content, and assignments.

No matter how experienced you are in using computers, you may still find yourself in need of help. That’s where University of Detroit Mercy’s extensive support services come in. If you are not sure who to contact about what, this list should help.

I need help using an online course tool

The Center for Excellence in Teaching and Learning (CETL) is here to help students and faculty use online course tools more efficiently and effectively. The CETL is also here to help if you happen to encounter an error message when trying to use an online tool. There are a few ways you can take to get help from the CETL:

  • The CETL home page is an excellent source of help outside of regular (8:30AM – 5:00PM EST) business hours. If you need help using a tool, this is the best place to start.
  • Contact the CETL via phone at (313) 578-0580 or via email at

When contacting the CETL for help, please be sure to include your course ID, the section (e.g., NUR5700 OL), and let us know where in the course we can find the tool you’re having a problem with.

I need help with email, My Portal, or logging into Blackboard

Information Technology Services (ITS) supports all My Portal and Email services. This includes email accounts, online registration, and even logging into Blackboard (because you will also use your Microsoft O365 username and password to log into Blackboard). To get help with any of these services, you’ll want to contact the ITS helpdesk: (313) 993-1500 or You can also select a specific service and make an appoint  here.

I need help finding or using online library materials

A Librarian Consultant is assigned to each subject area taught at the University. The Librarian Consultant have developed lists of resources, including books and databases, that would be of particular interest to students and faculty for each subject area. You can find these resources, as well as the contact information for the librarian consultant, on the Libraries’ Research Guides Page.

The Detroit Mercy Libraries also offer 24-7 chat support via the Libraries home page.

If you are having problems accessing library resources, contact George Libbey, Associate Dean for Public Services at (313) 993-1078 or

I have questions about content or an activity inside my online course

For questions related to content and activities in your online course, you should contact your professor either during class sessions (in synchronous courses) or via email, using your University of Detroit Mercy email account. All online courses on Blackboard also include a Messages tool that you can use to contact your professor, whether you have their email address handy or not. Need help using the tool in Blackboard? Click here for more information.

I have questions about my online program

If you have unanswered questions about your online program, you should contact the program chair. You will find the program chair’s contact information in the About the Programs section of this site.

Desktop or Laptop Computer: You will need a laptop or personal computer (PC) to complete assignments such as posting content (online discussion, assignments, etc.), taking tests, or participating in live classroom sessions. This should have a current operating system, either Microsoft Windows or MacOS.  

Please note: Smart phones and tablets are not recommended for these activities as they have more limited capabilities. 

Stable Internet Access: Stable broadband internet access is strongly suggested to support your class activities. Inconsistent internet connectivity will affect your ability to timely participate in your academic program.

Web Browser: Your web browser is the software you use to view the internet. We recommend Firefox or Chrome as a primary browser. Whatever browser you use, please stay up to date with the latest updates.

Web Cam: Whether you are using a laptop or desktop computer, is essential that the device is equipped with an internal or external web cam to engage with your instructors and classmates. 

Speakers: Because most courses include audio elements, you will need speakers and/or headphones.

Adobe Acrobat Reader: The Adobe Acrobat Reader is an excellent tool for viewing PDF (Portal Document Format) files online. Many of your professors — and Detroit Mercy’s database vendors) — provide documents as PDF, as these files can be viewed by anyone with a PDF reader. The Acrobat Reader can be downloaded for free from Adobe’s web site. Note: on the download page, an “additional offer” is preselected for you. We recommend you do NOT install this additional software.

Program Requirements: Check your online program’s specific page on this site to see what additional hardware and software may be specifically required for your studies. 

The University provides Microsoft Office licenses for the duration of your academic career. 

Need more help, or looking for instruction on how to use a specific online course tool?

We’ve got a comprehensive set of tutorials for both students and faculty on the CETL Knowledge Base website..

Online education at the University of Detroit offers numerous benefits to learners. Not only will you be instructed by leading experts in your field of study, but you will be able to take advantage of the online modality’s convenience and engage with your classes through a variety of educational technology and best practices. Before you begin your journey, however, it is important to reflect upon whether online education is the right fit for you right now. 

Please review the following list of qualities to determine if online programming fits within your skill set and lifestyle, keeping in mind that even if you cannot answer yes to all these questions now, the University of Detroit Mercy offers numerous online support services to help to the motivated learner become better prepared for your educational journey.

Am I…


Taking a course online requires discipline. There will not be anyone standing over your shoulder, making sure you are participating in online discussions, watching lectures, or completing readings. To succeed, you will need to be self-motivated to manage your time in a meaningful way. This includes regularly blocking time off time your schedule to complete your coursework, connecting with instructors when you have questions or concerns, as finally, having a quiet place to focus on your course work.

Comfortable with technology?

You do not need to be a computer expert to be a good online student, but you will need to be comfortable using basic technology. Your laptop or desktop will be your classroom for the duration of your program, so being at ease using it will be key to your success. If you can check, send, and attach files to email, search and browse commonly used sites like YouTube, Facebook, or Amazon, and you can view and produce simple documents and presentations using productivity software like Microsoft Office, you will be able to effectively navigate your online courses.

Comfortable with actively reading academic content?

While a lot of your online course time may be spent watching videos, listening to audio, or interacting with your classmates and professors using synchronous classroom tools, you will likely spend quite of bit of time completing reading assignments. You will be reading textbooks, journal articles, and notes from your professors and classmates. As such, a good level of reading comprehension will be critical to your performance as an online student.

Able to express myself effectively in academic writing?

While many online courses incorporate technology that allows you to communicate with your professors and peers using your voice, your primary mode of interaction will often be through writing. Academic writing in an online course moves beyond sending text messages or making a social media post. Writing in an academic environment requires good planning and organization as well as effective time management to complete your projects. 

A Reflection Point… If you have all the skills and qualities listed above, then congratulations! You are an excellent candidate for online learning! If you are still developing some these skills, the University of Detroit Mercy has many resources and systems to support to help bring you up to speed and ensure you are a successful in your endeavors.