Ethics Bowl

Ethics Bowl Team Photo

What is the Ethics Bowl?

The University of Detroit Mercy Ethics Bowl is inspired by TV's College Bowl, but modified rules adapt the game to the subject of ethics. In Ethics Bowl, a moderator poses questions to teams of three to five students. Questions may address ethical problems on:

  • classroom topics (e.g. cheating or plagiarism),
  • personal relationships (e.g. dating or friendship),
  • professional ethics (e.g. engineering, law, medicine) or
  • social and political ethics (e.g. free speech, gun control, etc.).

Each team receives a set of ethical issues in advance of the competition, and questions posed to teams at the competition are taken from that set. A panel of judges rates answers in terms of intelligibility, focus, depth and judgment. No specialized knowledge in ethical theory is required to compete in or judge an Ethics Bowl.

Why Should I Compete in the Ethics Bowl?

The competition draws participants from every part of the University. Many students who initially compete for extra credit in a course are surprised at how much they enjoy Ethics Bowl, and often enthusiastically return to compete in subsequent years. Judges and moderators are drawn from faculty, staff, administration and alumni, many of whom return every year. In addition, the first-place team has the honor of representing University of Detroit Mercy at a regional Ethics Bowl and may go on to compete in the national Intercollegiate Ethics Bowl, which takes place at the annual meeting of the Association for Practical and Professional Ethics in February.

When is the Ethics Bowl?

The  Ethics Bowl is held in the Fall term of each academic year.

How Do I Compete in the Ethics Bowl?

  • FIRST, form a team of three to five members.
  • SECOND, download the Detroit Mercy Ethics Bowl Rules.
  • THIRD, fill out the Ethics Bowl Registration Form and slide it under the door of Briggs 310.
  • FINALLY, download the 2019 Ethics Bowl. Contact for a copy.

For more information contact:

Professor Martin G. Leever, Ph.D.
Director, University of Detroit Mercy Ethics Bowl
Office: Briggs Building, Room 312
Phone: 313-993-1135
Fax: 313-993-1166