Frequently Asked Questions About Returning to Campus

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This FAQ provides the most up-to-date responses to questions that students have asked regarding upcoming semesters and campus operations during the pandemic. Please note that this information changes frequently due to guidance and information released by the state of Michigan and Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). Many of these answers pertain to McNichols Campus. Be sure to review the Dental and Law websites for Corktown and Riverfront locations.

Have a question? Ask now.

Academics / Classes

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    I have a science lab on campus , how will that work considering labs are usually in partners/ groups?

    At this time, we expect that these labs, traditionally-known for partner work, will be performed individually with data shared and analyzed online in larger groups.


    I have Clinicals (College of Health Professions). How will those be run?

    The College of Health Professions clinical partners have indicated that clinical rotations will resume in most instances. We continue to work closely with our clinical partners as the environment is dynamic. In order to participate in clinical rotations, students must demonstrate compliance with all requirements related to health, immunization, HIPPA, and criminal background checks.

    If a professor has changed a class to "online only," are there any in-person options (other sections etc.)? 

    If a course section was changed to 100% online, there may be other options depending on the subject and the course. Students can review the class schedule and search on a course Subject and course number to view the options for each course. 

    If there was only one section of a specific course being offered that moved to 100% online, it is unlikely that there will be an in-person option. Almost every in-person/hybrid class now has a cross-listed 100% online section for those who have become COVID-19 positive, have been exposed and need to quarantine or who just prefer to take online classes.   
    The best resource for students to check is Click on the title of the course to obtain class details that may assist in explaining how the course is being taught including times/days, if applicable.  Some 100% online courses are asynchronous (no specific time or day to be online) and others may be synchronous where there are times and days listed to be online for that course.


    I’m enrolled in a face-to-face class session; can I move online if I am uncomfortable about attending in person?

    Yes! Almost every course with face-to-face instruction has a crosslisted 100% online section or other online options you can choose to take. Just check the class schedule or contact your advisor if you want to identify an online section. You can also contact your instructor at any time to discuss options—just click on the instructor’s name in the schedule of classes to bring up their email address.

    And don’t worry—If public health concerns necessitate a transition to online classes this fall, faculty will be prepared to accommodate all of our students!


    How do I tell which classes are face-to-face and which ones are online?

    When you look at the schedule of classes there are two easy ways to identify how a course is taught. Look at the column titled Campus.

    • If it says On-Line it is a 100% online course.
    • If it says McNichols campus, it includes face-to-face class sessions.
    • If it says Online and On-Campus it has a mix of online and face-to-face.

    You can also look at the column called Meeting Times (use your cursor to expand the column if you can’t see everything). In this column you will find when the class will meet and where it will meet, either online in a virtual classroom, in-person in a physical classroom, or both. If there is no assigned time it is an asynchronous online class and you will complete requirements within a larger window of time, e.g. one week.


    example of class schedule

    example of class schedule1

    Make sure you don’t get confused by the class times vs. final exam times.


    I want to take classes in person; what is the best way to find which classes are taught face-to-face?

    To find all face-to-face courses on the McNichols campus (there are almost 350!), go to the class schedule, leave the Subject blank, and select McNichols Campus under Campus. Or select a Subject and Campus to find face-to-face courses in a particular department.

    I want to take my classes online; what is the best way to find which classes are taught virtually?

    To find online courses, go to the class schedule, leave the Subject blank, and select "On-Line" under Campus. Or select a Subject and On-Line to find virtual options in a particular department.

    If a professor has not determined the instructional method for teaching the course yet, what format should students expect?

    At this point the instructional method for the majority of classes has been determined for the fall 2020 semester so students can plan ahead. However, in any given semester, there may be changes that occur after the schedule of classes is available. Classes may be cancelled and new classes added, for example. It is less likely that the instructional method will change. 

    Students can contact the Registrar's Office with any questions, Monday-Friday between 8:30-4:30 by calling 313-993-3313 or by emailing  It is also recommended that students contact their advisor with any issues as well. 


    My class is online but there is a day and time listed on the schedule of classes. What does that mean?

    If an online course has a day and a time listed on the schedule of classes, it includes synchronous instruction where the instructor and students meet in a virtual classroom at a set time. In a typical synchronous session, the instructor and students log in to a video-conferencing system like Blackboard Collaborate for real-time interaction. Students are expected to participate in synchronous sessions as part of course requirements.

    If a course does not have an assigned meeting time it is an asynchronous class and students are not required to attend synchronous sessions. In asynchronous classes students view and complete course material within a broader window of time, e.g. one week. Tools such as discussion boards, wikis, and shared documents can be used to support and facilitate student interaction.

    Online classes may be 100% asynchronous (“on demand”), 100% synchronous (“real time”), or utilize a mix of synchronous and asynchronous instruction.


    I have a question about a course for fall. How can I contact the instructor?

    The best way to contact an instructor is by sending them an email. If you are looking at a course in the schedule of classes, just click on the instructor’s name then click on their email address in the popup window.


    How is attending Detroit Mercy in the fall different from generic online programs elsewhere?

    Whether you take courses online or face-to-face this fall, Detroit Mercy remains committed to our mission: providing excellent, student-centered education that seeks to integrate students’ intellectual, spiritual, ethical, and social development. In the Ignatian and Mercy traditions, teachers and students are companions in learning, dedicated to the formation of the whole person and the growth of men and women for and with others.

    In addition to offering a number of classes online, the university has adopted a flexible hybrid model of instruction for the fall semester. The defining characteristic of flexible hybrid courses is that students have the option to attend face-to-face sessions or participate in instructional activities online. To give students flexibility and choice, almost all classes with face-to-face instruction have cross-listed sections that are 100% online.

    In preparation for expanded online offerings and successful adoption of a flexible hybrid model, University of Detroit Mercy is providing substantially expanded pedagogical and technical support to all who teach. Find out more.


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    Do you think we will still have fall sports?

    The competition planning framework for the Horizon League, of which Detroit Mercy is a member, is being discussed daily given the changing national environment and NCAA-related issues for 2020-21 competition. At this moment, Detroit Mercy is planning to compete in fall sports. That may change, however, as the pandemic progresses.

Face Coverings

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    Am I required to wear a face covering?

    Yes. A face-covering must be worn at all times inside any building except when an individual is working alone in an assigned work area or having lunch in an isolated area. In all situations, individuals are encouraged to have their face-coverings readily available. For all details regarding face covering requirements, see the campus guide.

    By face covering, do you mean a facemask or face shield?

    The term ‘face covering’ is the umbrella term for facemasks, face shields, etc. 

    A mask that fits snuggly over the nose and mouth would be a face covering, like this:


    Also a "face shield" which means a clear plastic shield that covers the entire face area, like this:

    guy wearing a face shield


    Can a face shield can be worn in place of a mask when teaching? 

    Yes. The shields are an acceptable form of face covering. In the guide, we wrote for 'teaching purposes' because it was mentioned that it may be difficult to teach with the mask, for multiple reasons, including the need for facial recognition, as an attempt to decrease any anxiety potential, and to offer a solution to medical issues related to wearing a facemask.


    Must face masks be commercially manufactured? What about face shields?

    Facemasks can be homemade or commercially made.

    Face shields must be commercially manufactured and must completely cover the nose and mouth.


    Do people need to wear masks in the dining halls? What about indoor events that have food?

    In the TDR, we’re requiring face coverings to be worn when walking around the café to receive your food/beverage. Once at the table, coverings can be removed. We’re asking people to social distance even at tables. Food will be to-go items, so people could ideally take their breakfast/lunch/dinner and go eat it in an isolated area/in their dorm room/outside/etc.

    For events, it would be a similar request, people should wear the face covering while moving about/mingling and once seated to eat, can remove it. The plan is for all events to be set-up with social distancing.

    It is unclear how many social gatherings will be planned that will include food service. The University policy is to not have gatherings of more than 50 people for the forseeable future. Food service at any gathering will change, probably to individually wrapped items as opposed to a buffet table.


    I share office space, do I have to wear my mask all the time?

    When six feet of separation is not achievable, face-coverings must be worn by everyone in the area.

    If your department work stations meet or exceed the six distance and there is no one within your six foot radius, then you don’t have to wear your face covering. But if someone encroaches your six feet then you would have to wear your face covering.  


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    Will students have roommates? 

    Students can sign up for a single room or a double room.  Single room rates have been discounted for 2020-21 only. Submit a residence hall application.

International Students

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    I read an article about SEVP ... For F-1 Visa Holders

    International Student Office will be hosting a Town Hall meeting online for F-1 visa holders to clarify what SEVP has published and answer your questions, tentatively, July 8, 2020.  Details will be in your student email.

    News articles have only been writing some of the information. Please review the material from the source:


    After Thanksgiving Break, would I be considered a student illegally staying in the U.S.? 

    Detroit Mercy has reached out to our SEVP Field Rep for clarification. We hope to have more answers very soon.


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    For the daily screening at the gate or on the app, how do you define domestic travel?

    Domestic travel is basically when individuals travel between different cities within the same country i.e Los Angeles to New York or Bangkok to Phuket. Travelling within same state is not classified as domestic travel.

    If student-athletes travel out of state for competition for a few days, what is the process for their return to campus? Will they need to quarantine for 14 days and/or remain away from campus?

    Detroit Mercy Athletics, in conjunction with the NCAA and various leagues, will use a re-socialization process for student-athletes returning to their sport. Student-athletes will practice social distancing and gradually be phased into their full sport activity. Once this activity is complete, they will continue social distancing and protective measures. All schools will be taking these measures and screening prior to any home or away competition. The goal for a successful return to the sport and avoiding quarantine, during the season, will be continued through best health practices, daily screening, monitoring and re-socialization.


    What happens should a student-athlete leave campus for the weekend to go somewhere that is not associated with a game? For example, the student-athlete goes to visit a friend at another college?

    Student-athletes would undergo a new re-screening based on where they went. The initial screening will cover their recent trip and an abbreviated “did anything change from your initial screening” during the daily screening. Also, Detroit Mercy Athletics would inquire about any exposure to people with COVID-19. According to University guidelines, student-athletes are accountable, complete the screening form and submit the form for review sports medicine to rule out any exposure/potential need for quarantine/testing.

Tuition / Fees

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    Will Detroit Mercy lower tuition due to the impact of COVID-19?

    We will not be lowering our tuition. We will continue to provide transformative, student-centered education in the Jesuit and Mercy traditions, prioritizing inclusion, equity and care of the whole person. In fact, our size and institutional mission make us uniquely suited to weather this storm together through flexibility, adaptability, and working to address the unique needs of individual students. Students will receive the same access to such important resources and services as counseling, tutoring, University ministry services, virtual and on-site fitness resources and programs, access to the library and virtual services as well as computer labs.  To learn more about our flexible hybrid and in-person modes of instruction, please click here.

    What about additional fees in the College of Health Professions?

    Several College of Health Professions programs have fees associated with some of the courses. These fees support equipment, training, clinical activities (both on-site and virtual formats), and testing. The fees have not changed as we are continuing to provide these essential aspects for clinical education and testing.