The University of Michigan is a public research university located in Ann Arbor, Michigan, United States. It is the state's oldest university and has two satellite campuses located in Flint and Dearborn. The university was founded in 1817 in Detroit as the Catholepistemiad, or University of Michigania, about 20 years before the Michigan Territory officially became a state. The university has very high research activity and its comprehensive graduate program offers doctoral degrees in the humanities, social sciences, and STEM fields (Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics) as well as professional degrees in medicine, law, nursing, social work and dentistry. Michigan was one of the founding members of the Association of American Universities, and its body of living alumni (as of 2012) comprises more than 500,000. In fall 2012, the university had an enrollment of 43,426 students: 27,979 undergraduate students, 12,714 academic degree-seeking graduate students, and 2,733 first professional students.
The University of Michigan was founded in 1817 as one of the first public universities in the nation. It was first established on 1,920 acres of land ceded by the Chippewa, Ottawa, and Potawatomi. The school moved from Detroit to Ann Arbor in 1837, when Ann Arbor was only 13 years old. The city had a booming population of 2,000, a courthouse and jail, a bank, four churches and two mills. It had been established in 1824 by two Easterners, John Allen and Elisha Rumsey. The town was named to honor the wives of the founders, Mary Ann Rumsey and Ann Allen, and the natural arbor created by the massive oaks in the area. It took four years to build the necessary facilities for the new campus in Ann Arbor. The buildings consisted of four faculty homes and one classroom-dormitory building. The University of Michigan was established in Detroit in 1817 as the Catholepistemiad, or University of Michigania, by the governor and judges of Michigan Territory In its first year in Ann Arbor, the University had two professors and seven students. There were more Regents (nineteen) than faculty and students combined. The reorganized University did not have a president, but the faculty elected a presiding officer each year from their own ranks.
Arrival of students had started in 1841 but still women were not allowed to take admission at the beginning. They were able to apply for college only after 1870. In 1866, Twenty-five years after the move to Ann Arbor, the University of Michigan became the largest university in the country, with 1205 enrolled students. In 1867, the enrollment reached an all-time high of 1255 students. At that time, the University was comprised of the Medicine Department, with 525 students; the Law Department, with 395 students; and the Literary Department, with 335 students. There were 33 faculty members.
Today, the University of Michigan remains one of the most distinguished universities in the world and a leader in higher education. It is one of a small number of public institutions consistently ranked among the nation’s best universities, and it regularly is in the top three of the country’s public institutions, with over 51,000 students and 5,600 faculty at three campuses. The University of Michigan boasts of one of the largest health care complexes in the world, the best university library system in the country, and the some of the best computer access for students and faculty of any campus in the world. Over 5,500 undergraduate courses are taught each term in over 100 programs. Undergraduate, graduate and professional students have a choice of 17 separate schools and colleges, 588 majors, over 600 student organizations, 350 concerts and recitals every year, as well as hundreds of speakers, symposia, films, and readings.
The students at the University of Michigan come from all 50 states and over 100 foreign countries from Afghanistan to Zimbabwe. Almost 50 percent come from the top five percent of their graduating high school class and 66 percent are in the top tenth of their class. U-M is the largest pre-med and pre-law university in the country; more Michigan students are accepted into U.S. medical schools than are students from any other undergraduate campus in the nation.
Michigan’s teaching and research staff is considered one of the top five faculties in the country. They have included an astronaut, distinguished world authorities, Pulitzer Prize winners, internationally acclaimed performing artists and composers, Supreme Court Justices, best-selling novelists, artists, and filmmakers. Michigan has more than 100 named endowed chairs.
Michigan receives over $374 million in research expenditures annually, the largest research expenditure for any university in the country. The diversity of the University’s research activities, from medical to social to cultural, is a major contributor of Michigan’s capacity for growth and development. And, through their teachers, Michigan students are often among the first to learn the applications of such research findings.
Life-changing events, moments, and discoveries happen at the University of Michigan every day. Whether in a classroom, lab, seminar, residence hall or in conversations with others, we encourage students to question old assumptions and think about new and meaningful ways of addressing both personal and global challenges.
Michigan has long been a great place for linguistically adventurous students. Classes are offered in more than 65 languages, from Polish, Spanish and Urdu to Tagalog, Punjabi and Swahili to Russian, Chinese and Portuguese.
Creating and sustaining a welcoming climate requires mutual respect for all. And that means discrimination and harassment are not acceptable at the University of Michigan.
The University of Michigan has, as one of its core values, an abiding commitment to sustaining a community in which the dignity of every individual is respected. Key to this value are efforts to foster and nurture an environment of civility and mutual respect by preventing discrimination and harassment on our campus.
The University of Michigan, as an equal opportunity/affirmative action employer, complies with all applicable federal and state laws regarding nondiscrimination and affirmative action. The University of Michigan is committed to a policy of equal opportunity for all persons and does not discriminate on the basis of race, color, national origin, age, marital status, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity, gender expression, disability, religion, height, weight, or veteran status in employment, educational programs and activities, and admissions.