University of Michigan

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University of Michigan
Latin: Universitas Michigania
Former names
Catholepistemiad (1817–1821)
MottoLatin: Artes, Scientia, Veritas
Motto in English
"Arts, Knowledge, Truth"
TypePublic research university
EstablishedAugust 26, 1817; 206 years ago (1817-08-26)[1]
Academic affiliations
Endowment$17.9 billion (2023)[2]
Budget$13.1 billion (2024)[3]
PresidentSanta Ono
ProvostLaurie McCauley
Academic staff
8,189 (2023)[4]
Administrative staff
23,798 (2023)[4]
Students52,065 (2023)[4]
Undergraduates33,730 (2023)[4]
Postgraduates18,335 (2023)[4]
Location, ,
United States

42°16′37″N 83°44′17″W / 42.27694°N 83.73806°W / 42.27694; -83.73806
CampusMidsize city[6], 3,177 acres (12.86 km2)
Total: 20,965 acres (84.84 km2), including arboretum[5]
NewspaperThe Michigan Daily
ColorsMaize and blue[7]
Sporting affiliations

The University of Michigan (U-M, UMich, or simply Michigan) is a public research university in Ann Arbor, Michigan. Founded in 1817, it is the oldest institution of higher education in the state. The University of Michigan is one of the earliest American research universities and is a founding member of the Association of American Universities. In the fall of 2023, the university enrolled over 52,000 students.[4][8]

The university is classified among "R1: Doctoral Universities – Very High Research Activity". It consists of nineteen colleges and offers 250 degree programs at the undergraduate and graduate level across various liberal arts and STEM disciplines.[9] The university is accredited by the Higher Learning Commission. In 2021, it ranked third among American universities in research expenditures according to the National Science Foundation.

The University of Michigan's athletic teams are collectively known as the Wolverines. They compete in NCAA Division I FBS as members of the Big Ten Conference. The university currently fields varsity teams across 29 NCAA-sanctioned sports. As of 2022, athletes from the university have won 188 medals at the Olympic Games.

Notable alumni from the university include 8 domestic and foreign heads of state or heads of government, 47 U.S. senators, 218 members of the U.S. House of Representatives, 42 U.S. Cabinet secretaries, and 41 U.S. governors.


The Catholepistemiad (1817–1821)[edit]

The University of Michigan traces its origins to August 26, 1817,[1] when it was established in the Territory of Michigan as the Catholepistemiad, or University of Michigania, through a legislative act of the territory. The territorial act was signed into law by acting governor and secretary William Woodbridge, chief justice Augustus B. Woodward, and judge John Griffin. The university's corporate existence has persisted through all subsequent modifications to its foundational charter, as codified in the Michigan Territorial Act of 1817, which served as the primordial basis for its organic law.[10]: 11  Catholepistemiad, a neologism, derived from a blend of Greek and Latin roots, can be loosely translated as "School of Universal Knowledge".[11]

The Catholepistemiad, an antecedent to the contemporary university paradigm, did not constitute a unitary establishment but rather a consolidated schema of scholastic and cultural institutions, borrowing its model from the Imperial University of France, an entity established by Napoleon I a mere decade prior.[12][10]: 10  This centralized system encompassed an array of schools, libraries, and institutions, all under the auspices of a single administrative body.[13] The president and didactorium of the Catholepistemiad were empowered not only to maintain the central organization but also to establish schools throughout the Michigan Territory.[10]: 10  It was not until the State of Michigan attained statehood in the year 1837 that a revised plan was adopted, refocusing the corporation's efforts on the provision of higher education exclusively.[12]

Promptly after the Territory of Michigan's formation in 1805, several of its preeminent citizens acknowledged the exigency for a structured education. As early as 1806, Father Gabriel Richard, who presided over several schools in the Town of Detroit, had petitioned the gubernatorial authority and presidentially appointed jurists overseeing the territory's administration for a tract of land upon which to establish a college.[14][15] Governor William Hull and Woodward promulgated an act in 1809 to inaugurate public school districts, yet this preliminary endeavor yielded negligible results.[16] Woodward harbored an aspiration to taxonomize the entirety of human knowledge (which he termed encathol epistemia) and deliberated upon this subject with his trusted confidant and mentor, Thomas Jefferson, at Monticello in 1814.[17]

First Annual Report of the University of Michigania, authored by its first president Rev. John Monteith, November 16, 1818

In 1817, Woodward drafted a territorial act establishing the Catholepistemiad, or University of Michigania, organized into thirteen distinct professorships, or didaxiim, adhering to his previously promulgated classification system in "A System of Universal Science."[18] The act was promulgated into law on August 26, 1817, by Woodward himself, judge Griffin, and acting governor Woodbridge, with Governor Lewis Cass absent on an excursion with President James Monroe. Father Richard was granted six didaxiim and the Vice-Presidency, while Rev. John Monteith, a recent Princeton Theological Seminary graduate who had relocated to Detroit a year earlier, was granted seven didaxiim and the Presidency.[19]

When it came to financing the project, Woodward, being a Freemason himself, sought pecuniary support from Zion Masonic Lodge. On September 15, 1817, Zion Lodge convened and subscribed the sum of $250 in aid of the university, payable in the sum of $50 per annum. Subscriptions amounting to $5,000 payable in instalments running over several years were obtained to carry on the work.[10]: 12  Of the total amount subscribed to start the university, two-thirds emanated from Zion Lodge and its members.[20]

The cornerstone of the first school house, situated near the intersection of Bates Street and Congress Street in Detroit, was laid on September 24, 1817, and within a year, both a Lancasterian primary school taught by Lemuel Shattuck and a classical academy were functioning within its confines.[21] Monteith and Richard also enacted that schools should be established in Monroe and Mackinaw, and before the end of September 1817, the schools were in operation.[10]: 11 


University of Michigan (1855) Jasper Francis Cropsey
Colored elevation of Mason Hall (built in 1841; demolished in 1950), the first building devoted to instruction on the Ann Arbor campus. The design was used as a reference by John F. Rague to build the North Hall (built in 1851) in Madison, Wisconsin, which is a National Historic Landmark.[22]

After the state of Michigan entered the Union in 1837, its constitution granted the university an unusual degree of autonomy as a "coordinate branch of state government". It delegated full powers over all university matters granted to its governing Board of Regents.[12] On June 3–5, the Board of Regents held its first meeting in Ann Arbor and formally accepted the proposal by the town to locate the university there.[1] The town of Ann Arbor had existed for only 13 years and had a population of about 2,000.[23] A grant of 40 acres (16 ha), obtained through the Treaty of Fort Meigs,[24] formed the basis of the present Central Campus.[25]

Since the founding period, the private sector has remained the primary provider of university financing to supplement tuition collected from students. Early benefactors of the university included businessman Dexter M. Ferry (donor of Ferry Field), Arthur Hill (regent, donor of Hill Auditorium), the Nichols family (regents, donors of the Nichols Arboretum), William E. Upjohn (donor of the Peony Garden), William P. Trowbridge, John S. Newberry, who funded the construction of Helen H. Newberry Residence, and Henry N. Walker, a politician who rallied Detroit businessmen to fund the Detroit Observatory. Clara Harrison Stranahan, a close friend of Scottish-American industrialist Andrew Carnegie, donated $25,000 to the university in 1895. The Waterman Gymnasium was financed by donations from citizens and matched Joshua W. Waterman's pledge of $20,000.[10]: 67 

Alexander J. Davis's original University of Michigan designs featured the Gothic Revival style. Davis himself is generally credited with coining the term "Collegiate Gothic".

In 1838, the Regents contracted with Alexander Jackson Davis, who according to Superintendent John Davis Pierce provided truly "magnificent designs" in the Gothic Revival style; but unfortunately the completion of them at that day would, as Pierce said, involve an expenditure of half a million dollars.[10]: 31  Although approving the designs, the tight budget of the fledgling university forced the Regents to ultimately abandon them and instead adopted a much less expensive plan.[26] The superintendent of construction on the first structure to be built for the university was Isaac Thompson, an associate of Davis.[27]

Mason Hall was the first building at the University of Michigan dedicated to instruction, serving as both a dormitory and a classroom facility. The building was known as the University Main Building upon its completion in 1841 before changing its name to honor the state's first governor, Stevens T. Mason, in 1843. In 1849, a twin building called South College was constructed south of Mason Hall. University Hall, built between 1871 and 1873, connected the two buildings, which were then referred to as the South Wing and the North Wing.

Asa Gray was the first professor appointed to Michigan on July 17, 1837.[28] His position was also the first one devoted solely to botany at any educational institution in America.[29][30][31][32]Douglass Houghton was named the university's first professor of geology, mineralogy, and chemistry in 1839.[32] Other notable faculty members appointed at the university during this period included Andrew Ten Brook, Samuel Denton, Alexander Winchell, Franz Brünnow, Henry Simmons Frieze, Thomas McIntyre Cooley, and De Volson Wood.[32] Andrew Dickson White, founder and first president of Cornell University, filled the first permanent chair of history in the country at the university from 1857 to 1864.[32] White was one the earliest benefactors of the University of Michigan; he joined the Michigan faculty in 1858.[33]

The first classes in Ann Arbor were held in 1841, with six freshmen and a sophomore, taught by two professors. Eleven students graduated in the first commencement in 1845.[34]

In the following years, the regents established branches of the university in various parts of the state.[35] These decentralized branches were designed to serve as preparatory schools for the primary university.[35] The first branch was located in Pontiac, and others followed in Kalamazoo, Detroit, Niles, Tecumseh, White Pigeon, and Romeo.[35] Despite its optimism, the branches floundered, finding it difficult to enroll students. Some of the branches would later merge with local colleges. Kalamazoo College, the oldest private college in the state, once operated as the Kalamazoo Branch of the University of Michigan from 1840 to 1850.[35]

The years 1837–1850 revealed weakness in the organization and working of the university. Regents of the university discovered that the organic act from which they derived their powers made them too dependent upon the legislature. The subject was brought to the attention of the legislature more than once but without securing the desired action in order to achieve increased independence. By the late 1840s, the Regents achieved a strong position relative to collective bargaining with the legislature as the opinion was becoming common among capitalists, clergymen and intellectual elites, since by then the state derived significant tax revenue through them. Such a situation ultimately led to a change in the organic act of the university. Remodeled, the act, which was approved April 8, 1851, emancipated the university from legislative control that would have been injudicious and harmful. The office of Regent was changed from an appointed one to an elected one, and the office of President was created, with the Regents directed to select one. As Hinsdale argued, "the independent position of the university has had much to do with its growth and prosperity. In fact, its larger growth may be dated from the time when the new sections began to take effect."[10]: 40 

Statue of Benjamin Franklin, stood on west side of South State Street in front of University Hall

The University of Michigan conferred the degree of Bachelor of Science in 1855, four years after the Lawrence Scientific School at Cambridge conferred the degree in 1851, for the first time in the United States, making Michigan the second institution in the country to confer the degree.[10]: 48  The degree of Bachelor of Philosophy was conferred for the first time in the university's history upon six students in 1870.[10]: 79  The degrees of Master of Philosophy and Doctor of Philosophy was first offered in 1875.[10]: 88 

The Diag in the 19th century

Michigan established its medical school in 1850, engineering courses in 1854, and a law school in 1859.[12] In 1875, the University of Michigan established the College of Dental Surgery, becoming the second university in the United States to offer dental education after Harvard Dental College, which was founded in 1867. The university was also the first to provide graduate-level dentistry education. In 1876, Albert B. Prescott established the university's College of Pharmacy, which was the nation's first school of pharmacy at a state university.

The university was among the first to introduce instruction in fields as diverse as zoology and botany, modern languages, modern history, American literature, speech, journalism, teacher education, forestry, bacteriology, naval architecture, aeronautical engineering, computer engineering, and nuclear engineering.[12] In 1856, Michigan built the nation's first chemical laboratory.[36] That laboratory was the first structure on the North American continent that was designed and equipped solely for instruction in chemistry.[36] In 1869, the University of Michigan opened the first hospital in the country owned and operated by a university.

Methods of instruction had also undergone important changes. The seminar method of study was first introduced into the university by Charles Kendall Adams in 1871–1872, making the university the first American institution to naturalize this product of the German soil.[37][10]: 71 

Literary Class of 1880 (includes Mary Henrietta Graham, the first African American woman graduate of the University of Michigan)

By 1866, enrollment had increased to 1,205 students. Women were first admitted in 1870,[38] although Alice Robinson Boise Wood was the first woman to attend classes (without matriculating) in 1866–67.[39] In 1870, Gabriel Franklin Hargo graduated from Michigan Law as the second African American to graduate from a law school in the United States. In 1871, Sarah Killgore became the first woman to graduate from law school and be admitted to the bar of any state in the United States.[40] Among the early students in the School of Medicine was Jose Celso Barbosa, who graduated as valedictorian in 1880, becoming the first Puerto Rican to earn a university degree in the United States.[41] Ida Gray graduated from the School of Dentistry in June 1890, becoming the first African-American woman dentist in the United States.[42]

By the 1870s, the university had built an international reputation. During this period, over 80 subjects of the Emperor of Japan were sent to Ann Arbor to study law as part of the opening of that empire to external influence.[43] The University of Michigan was also involved with the building of the Philippine education, legal, and public health systems during the era of the American colonization of the Philippines through the efforts of Michigan alumni that included Dean Conant Worcester and George A. Malcolm.[44]

Descendants of Massachusetts founding families made up a large portion of the university population in the 19th century; among them was Regent Charles Hebard, a lineal descendant of William Bradford, a founding father of Plymouth Colony.[10]: 204  In the early 20th century, the university became a favored choice for high-achieving Jewish students seeking a quality education free of religious discrimination when the private colleges with Protestant affiliation often imposed quotas on Jewish admissions. Since then, the university has served as a haven for the community of Jewish-American scholars.[45][46]

Commencement, 1912: University President H.B. Hutchins and dignitaries walking across The Diag toward the Engineering Arch

Throughout its history, Michigan has been one of the nation's largest universities, vying with the largest private universities such as Harvard University and Columbia University (then known as Columbia College) during the 19th and early 20th centuries, and then holding this position of national leadership until the emergence of the statewide public university systems in the post-WWII years.[12] By the turn of the 19th century, the university was the second largest in the United States after Harvard University.[47]

20th century[edit]

Law Quadrangle, ca. 1930s

From 1900 to 1920, the growth of higher education led the university to build numerous new facilities. The Martha Cook Building was constructed as an all-female residence in 1915 as the result of a gift from William Wilson Cook in honor of his mother, Martha Walford Cook.[48] Cook planned to endow a professorship of law of corporations, but eventually made possible the development of the Law Quadrangle.[49] The five buildings comprising the Law Quadrangle were constructed during the decade of 1923–33 on two city blocks purchased by the university: Lawyers Club, Dormitory Wing, John P. Cook Dormitory, William W Cook Legal Research Library, and Hutchins Hall.[49] The buildings, in the Tudor Gothic style, recalled the quadrangles of the two English ancient universities Oxford and Cambridge.[49]

Physicists G.E. Uhlenbeck, H.A. Kramers, and S.A. Goudsmit circa 1928 at Michigan

From 1915 to 1941, the physics department was led by H.M. Randall, who established the importance of theoretical colleagues. O.B. Klein, S.A. Goudsmit, G.E. Uhlenbeck, O. Laporte and D.M. Dennison joined the physics faculty during this time. Theoretical physicist W. Pauli, who became known as one of the pioneers of quantum physics, held a visiting professorship at the university in 1931.[50] Other physicists with ties to the university include the inventor of the Race Track Synchrotron H.R. Crane, G.B.B.M. Sutherland and H.A. Kramers. S. Timoshenko, who is considered to be the father of modern engineering mechanics, created the first U.S. bachelor's and doctoral programs in engineering mechanics when he was a faculty professor at the university.

H.A. Kramers, second row, sixth left with J. Robert Oppenheimer, second row, fourth left, in a photograph of the Summer Symposium on Theoretical Physics in 1931 at the University of Michigan

The University of Michigan Summer Symposium in Theoretical Physics was held annually from 1928 to 1941.[51] During this period, virtually every world-renowned physicist lectured at the symposium, including N. Bohr, P.A.M. Dirac, E. Fermi, W. Heisenberg, P. Ehrenfest, E. Schrödinger, and others.[50] No fewer than fifteen of the visiting physicists were either Nobel laureates or would later receive the Nobel Prize in physics. J. Robert Oppenheimer, who was a professor at the California Institute of Technology and would later be known as the "father of the atomic bomb", visited in 1931 and 1934.[50]

West Engineering Building, 1905
University Hall

The University of Michigan has been the birthplace of some important academic movements, establishing the Michigan schools of thought and developing the Michigan Models in various fields. John Dewey, Charles Horton Cooley, George Herbert Mead, and Robert Ezra Park first met at Michigan. There, they would influence each other greatly.[52] In political science, Angus Campbell, Philip Converse, Warren Miller and Donald Stokes, proposed the Michigan model of voting.[53]

Shortly after the war, in 1947, the Regents appointed a War Memorial Committee to consider establishing a war memorial in honor of students and alumni who fell in World War II, and in 1948, approved a resolution to "create a war memorial center to explore the ways and means by which the potentialities of atomic energy may become a beneficent influence in the life of man, to be known as the Phoenix Project of the University of Michigan," leading to the world's first academic program in nuclear science and engineering.[54][12] The Memorial Phoenix Project was funded by over 25,000 private contributors by individuals and corporations, such as the Ford Motor Company.[55]

During the 1960s, the university campus was the site of numerous protests against the Vietnam War and university administration. On March 24, 1965, a group of U-M faculty members and 3,000 students held the nation's first-ever faculty-led "teach-in" to protest against American policy in Southeast Asia.[56][57] The university's Spectrum Center is the oldest collegiate LGBT student center in the U.S., pre-dating Penn's.[58]

Due to concerns over the university's financial situation there have been suggestions for the complete separation of the university and state through privatization.[59][60] Even though the university is a public institution de jure, it has embraced funding models of a private university that emphasize tuition funding and raising funds from private donors.[61] Considering that "the University of Michigan already has only minimal fiscal ties to the state," the legislature convened a panel in 2008 that recommended converting the University of Michigan from a public to a private institution.[62]

Since the fall of 2021, the university has had the largest number of students in the state, surpassing Michigan State University's former enrollment leadership.[63] Given the state's shrinking pool of college-age students, there is public concern that the university's expansion could harm smaller schools by drawing away good students.[64][65] Some of the state's regional public universities and smaller private colleges have already seen significant declines in enrollment, while others face difficulties in maintaining enrollment figures without lowering admission standards.[64]

Historical links[edit]

University presidents Harry Burns Hutchins, left, and James Burrill Angell, center, with Cornell University founder Andrew Dickson White, right, in a 1900s photograph

The University of Michigan was the first attempt in the New World to build a modern university in the European sense. The institution was the clearest and strongest presentation that had yet been made of what, in this country, at once came to be called the "Prussian ideas". It was a radically different approach to higher education; a complete civil system of education, in contradistinction to the ecclesiastical system made out of the colonial colleges. Michigan alumni and faculty members carried this newer concept of the university with them as they founded other institutions including Andrew Dixon White, a cofounder of Cornell University.[12] Cornell alumni David Starr Jordan and John Casper Branner passed the concept to Stanford University in the late 19th century.[66] Clark Kerr, the first chancellor of the University of California, Berkeley, called Michigan the "mother of state universities" and credited the university for the first creation of the research university in America.[67]


William W. Cook Legal Research Library

The Ann Arbor campus is divided into four main areas: the North, Central, Medical, and South campuses. The physical infrastructure includes more than 500 major buildings,[74] with a combined area of more than 37.48 million square feet (860 acres; 3.482 km2).[75] The Central and South Campus areas are contiguous, while the North Campus area is separated from them, primarily by the Huron River.[76] There is also leased space in buildings scattered throughout the city, many occupied by organizations affiliated with the University of Michigan Health System. An East Medical Campus was developed on Plymouth Road, with several university-owned buildings for outpatient care, diagnostics, and outpatient surgery.[77]

In addition to the University of Michigan Golf Course on South Campus, the university operates a second golf course on Geddes Road called Radrick Farms Golf Course. The golf course is only open to faculty, staff and alumni.[78] Another off-campus facility is the Inglis House, which the university has owned since the 1950s. The Inglis House is a 10,000-square-foot (930 m2) mansion used to hold various social events, including meetings of the Board of Regents, and to host visiting dignitaries.[79] The university also operates a large office building called Wolverine Tower in southern Ann Arbor near Briarwood Mall. Another major facility is the Matthaei Botanical Gardens, which is located on the eastern outskirts of Ann Arbor.[80]

All four campus areas are connected by bus services, the majority of which connect the North and Central campuses. There is a shuttle service connecting the University Hospital, which lies between North and Central campuses, with other medical facilities throughout northeastern Ann Arbor.[81]

Central Campus[edit]

James Burrill Angell Hall

Central Campus was the original location of University of Michigan when it moved to Ann Arbor in 1837. It originally had a school and dormitory building (where Mason Hall now stands) and several houses for professors on 40 acres (16 ha) of land bounded by North University Avenue, South University Avenue, East University Avenue, and State Street. The President's House, located on South University Avenue, is the oldest building on campus as well as the only surviving building from the original 40-acre (16 ha) campus.[25] Because Ann Arbor and Central Campus developed simultaneously, there is no distinct boundary between the city and university, and some areas contain a mixture of private and university buildings.[82] The Central Campus residence halls are split up into two groups: the Hill Neighborhood and Central Campus.[83]

Central Campus is the location of the College of Literature, Science and the Arts, and is immediately adjacent to the medical campus. Most of the graduate and professional schools, including the Ross School of Business, the Gerald R. Ford School of Public Policy, the Law School and the School of Dentistry, are on Central Campus. Two prominent libraries, the Harlan Hatcher Graduate Library and the Shapiro Undergraduate Library (which are connected by a skywalk), are also on Central Campus.[84] as well as museums housing collections in archaeology, anthropology, paleontology, zoology, dentistry and art. Ten of the buildings on Central Campus were designed by Detroit-based architect Albert Kahn between 1904 and 1936 including Burton Memorial Tower and Hill Auditorium.[85]

North Campus[edit]

Earl V. Moore Building on North Campus

North Campus is the most contiguous campus, built independently from the city on a large plot of farmland—approximately 800 acres (3.2 km2)—that the university bought in 1952.[86] It is newer than Central Campus, and thus has more modernist architecture, whereas most Central Campus buildings are classical or Collegiate Gothic in style. The architect Eero Saarinen, based in Birmingham, Michigan, created one of the early master plans for North Campus and designed several of its buildings in the 1950s, including the Earl V. Moore School of Music Building.[87] North and Central Campuses each have unique bell towers that reflect the predominant architectural styles of their surroundings. Each of the bell towers houses a grand carillon, 2 of only 57 globally. The North Campus tower is called Lurie Tower.[88] The University of Michigan's largest residence hall, Bursley Hall, is part of North Campus.[83]

North Campus houses the College of Engineering, the School of Music, Theatre & Dance, the Stamps School of Art & Design, the Taubman College of Architecture and Urban Planning, and an annex of the School of Information.[89] The campus is served by the Duderstadt Center, which houses the Art, Architecture and Engineering Library. The Duderstadt Center also contains multiple computer labs, video editing studios, electronic music studios, an audio studio, a video studio, multimedia workspaces, and a 3D virtual reality room.[90] Other libraries located on North Campus include the Gerald R. Ford Presidential Library and the Bentley Historical Library.

South Campus[edit]

The University of Michigan Golf Course was designed by Scottish golf course architect Alister MacKenzie and opened in 1931

South Campus is the site for the athletic programs, including major sports facilities such as Michigan Stadium, Crisler Center, and Yost Ice Arena. South Campus is also the site of the Buhr library storage facility, Revelli Hall, home of the Michigan Marching Band, the Institute for Continuing Legal Education,[91] and the Student Theatre Arts Complex, which provides shop and rehearsal space for student theatre groups.[92] The university's departments of public safety and transportation services offices are located on South Campus.[91]

The University of Michigan Golf Course is located south of Michigan Stadium. It was designed in the late 1920s by Alister MacKenzie, the designer of Augusta National Golf Club in Augusta, Georgia, home of the Masters Tournament.[93] The course opened to the public in 1931 and has one of "the best holes ever designed by Augusta National architect Alister MacKenzie" according to the magazine Sports Illustrated in 2006.[94]

Organization and administration[edit]


Photograph of Michigan University Regents 75th Anniversary Celebration on June 27, 1912.
Standing L-R: Frank B. Leland, John H. Grant, Shirley W. Smith, Harry O. Bulkey, William L. Clements, Lucius Lee Hubbard, Benjamin Hanchett, Junius E. Beal
Seated L-R: Luther L. Wright, James B. Angell, Harry B. Hutchins, Walter M. Sawyer

The University of Michigan is governed by the Board of Regents, established by the Organic Act of March 18, 1837. It consists of eight members, elected at large in biennial state elections[95] for overlapping eight-year terms.[96][97] As of 2021–22, the board is chaired by Jordan B. Acker (B.A. '06).

Before the Office of President was established in 1850, the University of Michigan was directly managed by the appointed Board of Regents, with a rotating group of professors to carry out the day-to-day administration duties.[98] The Constitution of the State of Michigan of 1850 restructured the university's administration. It established the Office of the President and transitioned the Board of Regents to an elected body. The state constitution granted the Board of Regents the power to appoint a non-voting presiding president to lead their meetings,[99] effectively elevating the board to the level of a constitutional corporation independent of the state administration and making the University of Michigan the first public institution of higher education in the country so organized.

The board delegates its power to the university president who serves as the chief executive officer responsible for managing the day-to-day operations of the university, that is, the main campus in Ann Arbor. The president retains authority over the regional campuses in Dearborn and Flint but is not directly involved in their day-to-day management. Instead, two separate chancellors are appointed by the president to serve as chief executive officers overseeing each regional campus. All presidents are appointed by the Board of Regents to serve five-year terms, at the board's discretion, and there are no term limits for university presidents. The board has the authority to either terminate the president's tenure or extend it for an additional term.

The university's current president is Santa Ono, formerly the president of the University of British Columbia in Canada. After an extensive presidential search conducted by the executive search firm Isaacson, Miller, the board announced its selection of Santa Ono as the university's 15th President on July 13, 2022.[100][101] Ono assumed office on October 14, 2022, succeeding the outgoing president Mark Schlissel.[102][103] Ono is the first Asian American president of the university, as well as the second to have been born in Canada, since the 10th president, Harold Tafler Shapiro. Laurie McCauley has been serving as the 17th and current provost of the university since May 2022, and she was recommended by the president to serve a full term through June 30, 2027.[104]

The President's House, located at 815 South University Avenue on the Ann Arbor campus, is home to the Office of the President. Constructed in 1840, the three-story Italianate President's House is the oldest surviving building on the Ann Arbor campus and a University of Michigan Central Campus Historic District contributing property.[105]

Student government[edit]

The Central Student Government, housed in the Michigan Union, is the university's student government. As a 501(c)(3) independent organization, it represents students from all colleges and schools, manages student funds on campus, and has representatives from each academic unit. The Central Student Government is separate from the University of Michigan administration.[106]

Samuel Trask Dana Building (West Medical Building) houses the School for Environment and Sustainability

Over the years, the Central Student Government has led voter registration drives,[107] revived Homecoming events,[108] changed a football seating policy,[109] and created a Student Advisory Council for Ann Arbor city affairs.[110] A longstanding goal of the Central Student Government has been to create a student-designated seat on the Board of Regents.[111] In 2000 and 2002, students Nick Waun, Scott Trudeau, Matt Petering, and Susan Fawcett ran for the Board of Regents on the statewide ballot as third-party nominees, though none were successful.[112] A 1998 poll by the State of Michigan concluded that a majority of voters would approve adding a student regent position if put to a vote.[111] However, amending the composition of the Board of Regents would require a constitutional amendment in Michigan.[113]

In addition to the Central Student Government, each college and school at the University of Michigan has its own independent student governance body. Undergraduate students in the College of Literature, Science, and the Arts are represented by the LS&A Student Government.[114] Engineering Student Government manages undergraduate student government affairs for the College of Engineering. Graduate students enrolled in the Rackham Graduate School are represented by the Rackham Student Government, and law students are represented by the Law School Student Senate as is each other college with its own respective government. In addition, the students who live in the residence halls are represented by the University of Michigan Residence Halls Association, which contains the third most constituents after Central Student Government and LS&A Student Government.[115]


The William W. Cook Legal Research Library and other buildings comprising the Law Quadrangle were built during 1923–33 and then donated to the university by William Wilson Cook. It was the university's most significant private gift at the time.

In the fiscal year 2022–23, the State of Michigan spent $333 million on the university, which represents 3.03% of its total operating revenues of $11 billion.[116] The Office of Budget and Planning reports that Michigan Medicine's auxiliary activities are the largest funding source, contributing $6.05 billion to the Auxiliary Funds, which accounts for 55.1% of the total operating budget. Student tuition and fees contributed $1.95 billion to the General Fund, accounting for 11% of the total budget.[116] Research grants and contracts from the U.S. federal government contributed $1.15 billion to the Expendable Restricted Funds, accounting for 10.4% of the total budget.[116]

The university's current (FY 2022–23) operating budget has four major sources of funding:[116]

  • General Fund money, which accounts for 25.4% of the operating budget, is derived from various sources: student tuition and fees ($1.95 billion or 75.2%), state support ($333 million or 12.8%), sponsored research ($301 million or 11.6%), and other revenue ($8 million or 0.3%). It covers the costs of teaching, student services, facilities, and administrative support. The state's annual contribution to the school's operating budget was 3.03% in 2023 and does not cover intercollegiate athletics, housing, or Michigan Medicine.[116]
  • Expendable Restricted Funds, which account for 14.2% of the operating budget, are from providers who designate how their money is spent. Funding comes from research grants and contracts, endowment payout ($305 million), and private gifts ($157 million). It pays for scholarships and fellowships; salaries, benefits and research support for some faculty; and research, programs and academic centers.[116]
  • Designated Funds, which account for 2.2% of the operating budget, come from fees charged for and spent on experiential learning, programs, conferences, performance venues, and executive and continuing education.[116]


The university's financial endowment, known as the "University Endowment Fund", comprises over 12,400 individual funds.[117] Each fund must be spent according to the donor's specifications.[117] Approximately 28% of the total endowment is allocated to support academic programs, while 22% is designated for student scholarships and fellowships.[117] Approximately 19% of the endowment was allocated to Michigan Medicine and can only be used to support research, patient care, or other purposes specified by donors.[117]

As of 2023, the university's endowment, valued at $17.9 billion, ranks as the tenth largest among all universities in the country.[118][119] The university ranks 86th in endowment per student.[118] The law school's endowment, totaling over $500 million, has a significantly higher per-student value compared to that of its parent university.[120] It ranks as the eighth wealthiest law school in the nation in 2022.[120]

Schools and colleges[edit]

There are thirteen undergraduate schools and colleges.[121] By enrollment, the three largest undergraduate units are the College of Literature, Science, and the Arts, the College of Engineering, and the Ross School of Business.[122] At the graduate level, the Rackham School of Graduate Studies serves as the central administrative unit of graduate education at the university.[123] There are 18 graduate schools and colleges. Professional degrees are conferred by the Taubman College of Architecture and Urban Planning, the School of Nursing, the School of Dentistry, the Law School, the Medical School, and the College of Pharmacy.[122] Michigan Medicine, the university's health system, comprises the university's three hospitals, dozens of outpatient clinics, and many centers for medical care, research, and education.

College/school Year
(FA 2023)
General Fund Budget
($, 2022–23)[116]
per student
($, 2022–23)[116]
A. Alfred Taubman College of
Architecture & Urban Planning
1906 737 25,707,200 34,881
School of Dentistry 1875 670 41,055,284 61,277
College of Engineering 1854 11,113 276,845,246 24,912
School for Environment and Sustainability 1927 516 28,034,976 54,331
School of Information 1969 1,760 50,147,537 28,493
School of Kinesiology 1984 1,312 22,088,845 16,836
Law School 1859 1,017 57,495,856 56,535
College of Literature, Science, and the Arts 1841 21,973 522,704,411 23,788
Marsal Family School of Education 1921 371 19,058,427 51,370
Medical School 1921 1,677 124,714,812 74,368
School of Music, Theatre & Dance 1880 1,134 43,101,134 38,008
School of Nursing 1893 1,183 31,644,687 26,750
College of Pharmacy 1876 561 22,056,888 39,317
School of Public Health 1941 1,162 49,478,265 42,580
Gerald R. Ford School of Public Policy 1914 362 17,191,821 47,491
Stephen M. Ross School of Business 1924 4,433 137,479,144 31,013
School of Social Work 1951 940 31,557,111 33,571
Penny W. Stamps School of Art & Design 1974 740 18,111,495 24,475
University of Michigan, Ann Arbor*  – 52,065 2,590,485,130 49,755
*included other standalone units



First-time fall freshman statistics
  2023[125] 2022[126] 2021[127] 2020[128] 2019[129]
Applicants 87,605 84,289 79,743 65,021 64,972
Admits 15,714 14,914 16,071 16,974 14,883
Admit rate 17.94% 17.69% 20.15% 26.11% 22.91%
Enrolled 7,462 7,050 7,290 6,879 6,830
Yield 47.49% 47.27% 45.36% 40.53% 45.89%
SAT range 1350–1530 1350–1530 1360–1530 1340–1520 1340–1530
ACT range 31–34 31–34 31–35 31–34 31–34

U.S. News & World Report rates Michigan "Most Selective"[130] and The Princeton Review rates its admissions selectivity of 96 out of 99.[131] Admissions are characterized as "more selective, lower transfer-in" according to the Carnegie Classification.[132][133] Michigan received over 83,000 applications for a place in the 2021–22 freshman class, making it one of the most applied-to universities in the United States.[133][134] Of those students accepted to Michigan's Class of 2027, 7,050 chose to attend.

Admission is based on academic prowess, extracurricular activities, and personal qualities. The university's admission process is need-blind for domestic applicants.[135] Admissions officials consider a student's standardized test scores, application essay and letters of recommendation to be important academic factors, with emphasis on an applicant's academic record and GPA, while ranking an applicant's high school class rank as 'not considered'.[126][127] In terms of non-academic materials as of 2022, Michigan ranks character/personal qualities and whether the applicant is a first-generation university applicant as 'important' in making first-time, first-year admission decisions, while ranking extracurricular activities, talent/ability, geographical residence, state residency, volunteer work, work experience and level of applicant's interest as 'considered'.[126] Some applicants to Music, Theatre and Dance and some applicants to the College of Engineering may be interviewed.[126] A portfolio is required and considered for admission for Art, Architecture and the Ross School of Business.[126] Submission of standardized test scores is recommended but not compulsory. Of the 52% of enrolled freshmen in 2023 who submitted SAT scores; the middle 50 percent Composite scores were 1350–1530. Of the 18% of the incoming freshman class who submitted ACT scores; the middle 50 percent Composite score was between 31 and 34.

Enrollment in University of Michigan-Ann Arbor (2013–2024)
Academic Year Undergraduates Graduate Total Enrollment
2013–2014[136] 28,283 15,427 43,710
2014–2015[137] 28,395 15,230 43,625
2015–2016[138] 28,312 15,339 43,651
2016–2017[139] 28,964 15,754 44,718
2017–2018[140] 29,821 16,181 46,002
2018–2019[141] 30,318 16,398 46,716
2019–2020[129] 31,266 16,824 48,090
2020–2021[128] 31,329 16,578 47,907
2021–2022[127] 32,282 17,996 50,278
2022–2023[126] 32,695 18,530 51,225
2023–2024[125] 33,730 18,335 52,065


The requirements for admission to the freshman class were first published in August 1841, with fluency in ancient languages, such as Latin and Greek, being among the many requirements.[10]: 33  Candidates for admission to the freshman class were examined in English grammar, geography, arithmetic, algebra, Virgil, Cicero's Select Orations, Jacob's or Felton's Greek Reader, Andrews and Stoddard's Latin Grammar, and Sophocles's Greek Grammar. In 1851, the university dropped the requirement for students who did not wish to pursue the usual collegiate course embracing the ancient languages, permitting their admission without examination in such languages.[10]: 44  This provision may be considered a prelude to scientific education.

The archway to the Law Quadrangle

Requirements for admission varied from department to department in the early days, and admissions were mostly given by referral. Candidates were required to do no more than satisfying professors on such inquiry as professors saw fit to make of their ability to do the work to obtain admission to the university. Such a practice was deemed flawed, eventually leading to corruption. In 1863, a rigid generalized entrance examination was imposed, creating one standard of qualifications for admission to all the departments, academical and professional.[10]: 79  The early administration praised the then-new practice for its role in strengthening admission to the university.[10]: 44  The entrance examination imposed in 1863 had played a significant role in the admission process during the 19th century until the emergence of the nationwide standardized tests, which were not offered until 1900.

Affirmative action[edit]

In 2003, two lawsuits involving U-M's affirmative action admissions policy reached the U.S. Supreme Court (Grutter v. Bollinger and Gratz v. Bollinger). President George W. Bush publicly opposed the policy before the court issued a ruling.[142] The court found that race may be considered as a factor in university admissions in all public universities and private universities that accept federal funding, but it ruled that a point system was unconstitutional. In the first case, the court upheld the Law School admissions policy, while in the second it ruled against the university's undergraduate admissions policy.[citation needed] The debate continued because in November 2006, Michigan voters passed Proposal 2, banning most affirmative action in university admissions. Under that law, race, gender, and national origin can no longer be considered in admissions.[143] U-M and other organizations were granted a stay from implementation of the law soon after that referendum. This allowed time for proponents of affirmative action to decide legal and constitutional options in response to the initiative results. In April 2014, the Supreme Court ruled in Schuette v. Coalition to Defend Affirmative Action that Proposal 2 did not violate the U.S. Constitution. The admissions office states that it will attempt to achieve a diverse student body by looking at other factors, such as whether the student attended a disadvantaged school, and the level of education of the student's parents.[143]

Majors and programs[edit]

The university offers 133 undergraduate majors & degrees across the College of Engineering (18), College of Literature, Science, and the Arts (77), College of Pharmacy (1), Ford School of Public Policy (1), LSA Residential College (3), Marsal Family School of Education (3), Ross School of Business (1), School of Dentistry (1), School of Information (2), School of Kinesiology (3), School of Music, Theatre & Dance (16), School of Nursing (1), School of Public Health (2), Stamps School of Art & Design (2), and Taubman College of Architecture & Urban Planning (2). The most popular undergraduate majors, by 2021 graduates, were computer and information sciences (874), business administration and management (610), economics (542), behavioral neuroscience (319), mechanical engineering (316), experimental psychology (312).[144]

The Horace H. Rackham School of Graduate Studies offers more than 180 graduate degree programs in collaboration with fourteen other schools and colleges. Nineteen graduate and professional degree programs, including the juris doctor, master of business administration, doctor of dental surgery, master of engineering, doctor of engineering, doctor of medicine, and doctor of pharmacy, are offered exclusively by the schools and colleges; Rackham does not oversee their administration. The university conferred 4,951 graduate degrees, and 709 first professional degrees in 2011–2012.[145][146]

Libraries and publications[edit]

The University of Michigan library system comprises nineteen individual libraries with twenty-four separate collections—roughly 13.3 million volumes as of 2012.[147] The university was the original home of the JSTOR database, which contains about 750,000 digitized pages from the entire pre-1990 backfile of ten journals of history and economics, and has initiated a book digitization program in collaboration with Google.[148] The University of Michigan Press is also a part of the library system.

Several academic journals are published at the university:

Reputation and rankings[edit]

Academic rankings
U.S. News & World Report[152]21
Washington Monthly[153]23
WSJ/College Pulse[154]28
U.S. News & World Report[158]19

The University of Michigan is a large, four-year, residential research university accredited by the Higher Learning Commission.[132][159][160] The four-year, full-time undergraduate program comprises the majority of enrollments and emphasizes instruction in the arts, sciences, and professions with a high level of coexistence between graduate and undergraduate programs. The university has "very high" research activity and the comprehensive graduate program offers doctoral degrees in the humanities, social sciences, and STEM fields as well as professional degrees in medicine, law, and dentistry.[132] U-M has been included on Richard Moll's list of Public Ivies.[161]

The 2021 U.S. News & World Report Best Colleges report ranked Michigan 3rd among public universities in the United States.[162] Michigan was ranked 6th in the 2021 U.S. News & World Report Best Undergraduate Engineering Programs Rankings.[163] Michigan was ranked 3rd in the 2021 U.S. News & World Report Best Undergraduate Business Programs Rankings.[164] The 2020 Princeton Review College Hopes & Worries Survey ranked Michigan as the No. 9 "Dream College" among students and the No. 7 "Dream College" among parents.[165]

University of Michigan-Ann Arbor was ranked 26th among world universities in 2023 by the Academic Ranking of World Universities, based on the number of alumni or staff as Nobel laureates and Fields Medalists, the number of highly cited researchers, the number of papers published in Nature and Science, the number of papers indexed in the Science Citation Index Expanded and Social Science Citation Index, and the per capita academic performance of the institution.

The 2024 edition of the CWUR Rankings ranked the university 13th nationally and 16th globally, with an overall score of 89.1, taking into account all four areas evaluated by CWUR: education, employability, faculty, and research.[166][167] The university excels in research (ranked 9th globally), measured by the total number of research papers (10% weight), the number of research papers appearing in top-tier journals (10% weight), the number of research papers appearing in highly-influential journals (10% weight), and the number of highly-cited research papers (10% weight).[166] However, its ranking in the faculty category is relatively lower at 63rd globally. This metric evaluates the number of faculty members who have received prestigious academic distinctions (10% weight).[166] The university's employability ranking is 42nd globally, based on the professional success of the university's alumni, measured relative to the institution's size (25% weight).[166] In the education category, the university is ranked 35th globally. This metric assesses the academic success of the university's alumni, measured relative to the institution's size (25% weight).[166]

In the 2025 QS World University Rankings, University of Michigan-Ann Arbor was ranked 44nd in the world, its lowest position in 10 years, with an overall score of 79.[168][169] The university excels in academic reputation (97.9), international research network (95.8), employment outcomes (94.5), and employer reputation (92.1), indicating a strong academic standing and industry recognition. However, it lags in areas like international faculty ratio (65.5), sustainability (62.2), citations per faculty (47.6), and international students ratio (39.2). The faculty-student ratio (80.3) is decent but could be improved.[168]

National rankings[edit]

National Institution Rankings
Institution Rank Year Change
University of Michigan—Ann Arbor Best National Universities 21 2023 U.S. News
Dream College Among Students 5 2024 Increase 4 Princeton
Dream College Among Parents 6 2024 Increase 2 Princeton
Undergraduate Research/
Creative Projects
5  – U.S. News
College of Engineering Undergraduate Engineering 5  – U.S. News
School of Nursing Bachelor of Science in Nursing 7  – U.S. News
College of Literature, Science, and
the Arts
Undergraduate Psychology 3  – U.S. News
College of Engineering Best Engineering Schools 7 2023 U.S. News
Aerospace Engineering 7 2023 U.S. News
Biomedical Engineering 9 2023 U.S. News
Civil Engineering 5 2023 U.S. News
Computer Engineering 7 2023 U.S. News
Electrical Engineering 4 2023 U.S. News
Environmental Engineering 2 2023 U.S. News
Industrial Engineering 2 2023 U.S. News
Materials Engineering 7 2023 U.S. News
Mechanical Engineering 5 2023 U.S. News
Nuclear Engineering 1 2023 U.S. News
Gerald R. Ford School of
Public Policy
Best Public Affairs Programs 4 2024 Steady U.S. News
Political Science 4 2021 U.S. News
School of Information Best Library and
Information Studies Programs
6 2021 U.S. News
Marsal Family School of
Best Education Schools 3 2024 Decrease 2 U.S. News
School of Public Health Best Public Health Schools 5 2024 Steady U.S. News
Biostatistics 4 2022 U.S. News
Health Care Management 3 2023 U.S. News
College of Literature, Science, and
the Arts
Biological Sciences 23 2022 U.S. News
Chemistry 14 2023 U.S. News
Clinical Psychology (Doctorate) 10 2020 U.S. News
Earth Sciences 9 2023 U.S. News
Economics 12 2022 U.S. News
English 8 2021 U.S. News
History 2 2021 U.S. News
Mathematics 11 2023 U.S. News
Physics 13 2023 U.S. News
Psychology 3 2022 U.S. News
Sociology 2 2021 U.S. News
Statistics 7 2022 U.S. News
School of Social Work Best Schools for Social Work 1 2024 Steady U.S. News
Stamps School of Art & Design Best Art Schools 8 2020 U.S. News
Stephen M. Ross School of
Best B-Schools 9 2023–24 Bloomberg
Best Business Schools 12 2024 Decrease 4 U.S. News
Part-time MBA 6 2024 Increase 1 U.S. News
Law School Best Law Schools 9 2024 Increase 1 U.S. News
Medical School Best Medical Schools: Research 13 2023 U.S. News
Best Medical Schools: Primary Care 26 2023 U.S. News
School of Nursing Best Nursing Schools: Master's 7 2024 Increase 1 U.S. News
Best Nursing Schools: Doctor of
Nursing Practice
8 2024 Decrease 2 U.S. News
Midwifery 6 2024 Decrease 4 U.S. News
College of Pharmacy Best Pharmacy Schools 2 2024 Increase 1 U.S. News
University of Michigan—Ann Arbor Top Public Schools 3 2023 U.S. News
Public Universities 1 2022 THE
Top 25 Public Colleges 4 2023 Forbes
Top Public Universities In America 2 2024 Niche

World rankings[edit]

World University Rankings

Institution Rank Year Change
(5 Yr.)
University of Michigan—Ann Arbor Academic Ranking of
World Universities
26 2023 Increase 2 Decrease 6 ShanghaiRanking
Best Global Universities 19 2022–23 U.S. News
Top Global Universities 44 2025 Decrease 11 Decrease 23 QS
World University Rankings 23 2024 Steady Decrease 2 THE
World Reputation Rankings 18 2023 Steady Decrease 3 THE
World University Rankings 16 2024 Steady Steady CWUR


R&D statistics, by year
National Science
Nature Index
Total R&D
Share National
2022 Increase1,770,708[173] 4 Increase 365.97[174] 6 23
2021 Decrease 1,639,645[173] 3 Decrease 337.95[175] 6 24
2020 Decrease 1,673,862[173] 2 Increase 398.46[176] 4 16
2019 Increase 1,675,805[173] 2 Decrease 343.82[177] 5 19
2018 Increase 1,600,869[173] 2 Increase343.95[178] 6 19
2017 Increase 1,530,139[173] 2 Increase 336.02[179] 5 16
(Web of Science)
National Academies of
Sciences, Engineering,
and Medicine
Total faculty* Highly Cited
2023 8,189[180] Decrease 28[181]  –  –
2022 7,954[180] Increase 32[181]  –  –
2021 7,719[180] Decrease 27[181]  –  –
2020 7,667[180] Decrease 29[181]  –  –
2019 7,664[180] Decrease 37[181] 120[182] 10
2018 7,570[180] Increase 38[181] 118[183] 9
2017 7,329[180] Decrease 20[181] 113[184] 12
2016 7,225[180] Steady 25[181] 108[185] 13
2015 7,056[180] Decrease 25[181] 106[186] 13
*Regular Instructional//Research/Librarinan/Curator/Archivist,
Supplemental Instructional/Research, Emeritus/a

The University of Michigan is one of the twelve founding members (in the year 1900) of the Association of American Universities. The university manages one of the largest annual collegiate research budgets of any university in the United States. According to the National Science Foundation, the university spent $1.639 billion on research and development in 2021, ranking it 3rd in the nation.[187] This figure totaled over $1 billion in 2009.[188] The Medical School spent the most at over $445 million, while the College of Engineering was second at more than $160 million.[188]

The university has a significant presence in the Nature Index, ranking 6th nationally and 23rd globally among research institutions, with a share of 365.97 and a count of 1199 in 2022.[174] In 2023, the university boasted 28 researchers who were recognized by Clarivate as being highly cited.[181] In 2019, the university had 120 faculty members who were national academy members, placing it 10th among its peers in this metric.[182]

Discoveries and innovation[edit]

Natural science[edit]

Computer & applied sciences[edit]

  • Internet – the NSFnet national backbone, an initiative supported by the National Science Foundation and overseen by Douglas Van Houweling while he was serving as chief information officer at the university, was the foundation upon which the global Internet was built.[190]
  • Michigan Terminal System – is an early time-sharing computer operating system developed at the university, was the first system outside of IBM to use the 360/67's virtual memory features.[191] In the mid-1960s university's researchers worked with IBM to develop a new virtual memory architectural model[192] that model became part of IBM's Model 360/67 mainframe computer (the 360/67 was initially dubbed the 360/65M where the "M" stood for Michigan).[193]

Medical science[edit]

Social science[edit]

Research infrastructures[edit]

The university is also home to major research centers in optics, reconfigurable manufacturing systems, wireless integrated microsystems, and social sciences. The University of Michigan Transportation Research Institute and the Life Sciences Institute are located at the university. The university is a major contributor to the medical field with the EKG[200] and the gastroscope.[201]

The University of Michigan Institute for Social Research, the nation's longest-standing laboratory for interdisciplinary research in the social sciences,[202] is home to the Survey Research Center, Research Center for Group Dynamics, Center for Political Studies, Population Studies Center, and Inter-Consortium for Political and Social Research. Undergraduate students are able to participate in various research projects through the Undergraduate Research Opportunity Program (UROP) as well as the UROP/Creative-Programs.[203]

In 2009, the university signed an agreement to purchase a facility formerly owned by Pfizer. The acquisition includes over 170 acres (0.69 km2) of property, and 30 major buildings comprising roughly 1,600,000 square feet (150,000 m2) of wet laboratory space, and 400,000 square feet (37,000 m2) of administrative space. At the time of the agreement, the university's intentions for the space were not fully articulated, but the expectation was that the new space would allow the university to ramp up its research and ultimately employ in excess of 2,000 people.[204]

The Thomas Henry Simpson Memorial Institute for Medical Research was constructed in 1924 as the result of a donation from the widow of iron magnate Thomas H. Simpson, in memory of her late husband, who succumbed to pernicious anemia

The university's 13,000-acre (53 km2) biological station in the Northern Lower Peninsula of Michigan is one of only 47 Biosphere Reserves in the United States.[205] In May 2021, the university announced plans to cut carbon emissions from its campuses. The plan covers all of its operations and goals include removing emissions from direct, on-campus sources by 2040.[206]

Collaborations and networks[edit]

The American National Election Studies, formally established by a National Science Foundation grant in 1977, has been based at the University of Michigan since its origin and, since 2005, has been run in partnership with Stanford University. As of 2017, the principal investigators are Ted Brader and Vincent Hutchings of the University of Michigan and Shanto Iyengar of Stanford University.

In the late 1960s the university, together with Michigan State University and Wayne State University, founded the Merit Network, one of the first university computer networks.[207] The Merit Network was then and remains today administratively hosted by the university. In 1987, they led a proposal to upgrade and expand the National Science Foundation Network backbone from 56,000 to 1.5 million, and later to 45 million bits per second.[208] In 2006, the university joined with Michigan State University and Wayne State University to create the University Research Corridor.[209] The three universities are connected via the high-speed Michigan LambdaRail (MiLR) data network, providing 10 Gbit/s links between their campuses and other major network hubs.[210]

Student life[edit]

Student body[edit]

Undergraduate student body composition as of October 10, 2023
Race and ethnicity[211] Total
White 53% 53
Asian 17% 17
Hispanic 7% 7
Black 4% 4
Other[a] 10% 10
Foreign national 8% 8
Economic diversity[citation needed]
Low-income[b] 18% 18
Affluent[c] 82% 82

As of October 2023, the university had an enrollment of 52,065 students: 33,730 undergraduate students and 18,335 graduate students[212] in a total of 600 academic programs.[citation needed] This makes it the largest university in the state of Michigan.[213] The largest college at the university was the College of Literature, Science, and the Arts with 21,973 students (42.2% of the total student body), followed by the College of Engineering (11,113; 21.3%) and Ross School of Business (4,433; 8.1%). All other colleges each hosted less than 5% of the total student population.[214]

Students come from all 50 U.S. states and nearly 100 countries.[133] As of 2022, 52% of undergraduate students were Michigan residents, while 43% came from other states. The remainder of the undergraduate student body was composed of international students.[215] Of the total student body, 43,253 (83.1%) were U.S. citizens or permanent residents and 8,812 (16.9%) were international students as of November 2023.[216]

In terms of race, as of October 2023 the undergraduate student body was approximately 53% White, 17% Asian, 7% Hispanic, 4% Black, 5% from two or more races, and 5% from an unknown racial composition. The remaining 8% of undergraduates were international students.[211]

According to a 2017 report by the New York Times, the median family income of a student at Michigan was $154,000. 66% of students came from families within the top 20% in terms of income.[217] As of 2022, approximately 23% of in-state undergraduate students and 14% of out-of-state students received a Pell Grant.[215]

Residential life[edit]

Law Quadrangle
Law Quadrangle, constructed during the decade of 1923–33, was designed by York and Sawyer in the Tudor style. Its design recalled the quadrangles of two ancient English universities, Oxford and Cambridge

The University of Michigan's campus housing system can accommodate approximately 10,000 students.[218] The residence halls are located in three distinct geographic areas on campus: Central Campus, Hill Area (between Central Campus and the University of Michigan Medical Center) and North Campus. Family housing is located on North Campus and mainly serves graduate students. The largest residence hall has a capacity of 1,270 students,[219] while the smallest accommodates 25 residents.[220] A majority of upper-division and graduate students live in off-campus apartments, houses, and cooperatives, with the largest concentrations in the Central and South Campus areas.

Lawyers Club Dining Hall
Stockwell Residence Hall

Groups and activities[edit]

Photograph of the University of Michigan Democratic Club in 1898.
Back Row (L–R): Arthur Lacy, C. Thomas, J.M. Baily
Front Row (L–R): F.K. Bowers, C.F. Kelley, C.D. Landis, JS. McElligott

In 2012, the university has 1,438 student organizations.[221] The student body is politically engaged, though, with 96% stating they intended to vote in the 2020 election. It is largely progressive, with 43% identifying as very liberal, 33% as somewhat liberal, and 13% moderate. 11% identified as conservative or very conservative.[222] With a history of student activism, some of the most visible groups include those dedicated to causes such as civil rights and labor rights, such as local chapters of Students for a Democratic Society and United Students Against Sweatshops. Conservative groups also organize, such as the Young Americans for Freedom.[223]

There are also several engineering projects teams, including the University of Michigan Solar Car Team, which has placed first in the North American Solar Challenge six times and third in the World Solar Challenge four times.[224] Michigan Interactive Investments,[225] the TAMID Israel Investment Group, and the Michigan Economics Society[226] are also affiliated with the university.

The university also showcases many community service organizations and charitable projects, including Foundation for International Medical Relief of Children, Dance Marathon at the University of Michigan,[227] The Detroit Partnership, Relay For Life, U-M Stars for the Make-A-Wish Foundation, InnoWorks at the University of Michigan, SERVE, Letters to Success, PROVIDES, Circle K, Habitat for Humanity,[228] and Ann Arbor Reaching Out. Intramural sports are popular, and there are recreation facilities for each of the three campuses.[229]

Michigan Union, an Art Deco building constructed on land wholly owned by the student society in 1917, was designed by Michigan alumni Irving Kane Pond and Allen Bartlit Pond.

The Michigan Union and Michigan League are student activity centers located on Central Campus; Pierpont Commons is on North Campus. The Michigan Union houses a majority of student groups, including the student government. The William Monroe Trotter House, located east of Central Campus, is a multicultural student center operated by the university's Office of Multi-Ethnic Student Affairs.[230] The University Activities Center (UAC) is a student-run programming organization and is composed of 14 committees.[231] Each group involves students in the planning and execution of a variety of events both on and off campus.

Michigan Marching Band on the field at Michigan versus Harvard football game in 1940

The Michigan Marching Band, composed of more than 350 students from almost all of U-M's schools,[232] is the university's marching band. Over 125 years old (with a first performance in 1897),[233] the band performs at every home football game and travels to at least one away game a year. The student-run and led University of Michigan Pops Orchestra is another musical ensemble that attracts students from all academic backgrounds. It performs regularly in the Michigan Theater. The University of Michigan Men's Glee Club, founded in 1859 and the second oldest such group in the country, is a men's chorus with over 100 members.[234] Its eight-member subset a cappella group, the University of Michigan Friars, which was founded in 1955, is the oldest currently running a cappella group on campus.[235] The University of Michigan is also home to over twenty other a cappella groups, including Amazin' Blue, The Michigan G-Men, and Compulsive Lyres, all of which have competed at the International Championship of Collegiate A Cappella (ICCA) finals in New York City. Compulsive Lyres are the first and only group from Michigan to claim an ICCA title, having won in 2002.[236] The Michigan G-Men are one of only six groups in the country to compete at ICCA finals four times, one of only two TTBB ensembles to do so, and placed third at the competition in 2015.[237] Amazin' Blue placed fourth at ICCA finals in 2017. In 2020, The A Cappella Archive ranked The Michigan G-Men and Amazin' Blue at #7 and #13, respectively, out of all groups that have ever competed in ICCA.[238]

The University of Michigan has over 380 cultural and ethnic student organizations on campus.[239] There are organizations for almost every culture from the Arab Student Association to Persian Student Association[240] to African Students Association[241] to even the Egyptian Student Association.[242] These organizations hope to promote various aspects of their culture along with raising political and social awareness around campus by hosting an assortment of events throughout the school year. These clubs also help students make this large University into a smaller community to help find people with similar interests and backgrounds.

Fraternities and sororities[edit]

Photograph of the 14 founding members of Acacia, the only general fraternity to be founded in Michigan.

Fraternities and sororities play a role in the university's social life; approximately seven percent of undergraduate men and 16% of undergraduate women are active in the Greek system.[243] Four different Greek councils—the Interfraternity Council, Multicultural Greek Council, National Pan-Hellenic Council, and Panhellenic Association—represent most Greek organizations. Each council has a different recruitment process.[244]

Delta Sigma Delta, the first dental fraternity in the world

National honor societies such as Phi Beta Kappa, Phi Kappa Phi, and Tau Beta Pi have chapters at U-M.[245] Degrees "with Highest Distinction" are recommended to students who rank in the top 3% of their class, "with High Distinction" to the next 7%, and "with Distinction" to the next 15%. Students earning a minimum overall GPA of 3.4 who have demonstrated high academic achievement and capacity for independent work may be recommended for a degree "with Highest Honors", "with High Honors", or "with Honors".[245] Those students who earn all A's for two or more consecutive terms in a calendar year are recognized as James B. Angell Scholars and are invited to attend the annual Honors Convocation, an event which recognizes undergraduate students with distinguished academic achievements.[245]

Phi Delta Phi, the oldest legal organization in continuous existence in the United States

Collegiate secret societies[edit]

The University of Michigan hosts three secret societies: Michigauma, Adara, and the Vulcans. Michigauma and Adara were once under the umbrella group "The Tower Society", the name referring to their historical locations in the Michigan Union tower. Michigauma was all-male while Adara was all-female, although both later became co-ed.

  • Michigauma, more recently known as the Order of Angell, was formed in 1902 by a group of seniors in coordination with University president James Burrill Angell. The group disbanded itself in 2021 due to public concerns about elitism and the society's history. The group was granted a lease for the top floor of the Michigan Union tower in 1932, which they referred to as the "tomb", but the society vacated the space in 2000. Until more recent reforms, the group's rituals were inspired by the culture of Native Americans.[246] Some factions on campus identified Michigauma as a secret society, but many disputed that characterization, as its member list has been published some years in The Michigan Daily and the Michiganensian, and online since 2006 reforms.
  • Adara, known as Phoenix, was formed in the late 1970s by women leaders on campus and disbanded itself in 2021 amid campus criticisms of secret societies.[247] In the early 1980s they joined the tower society and occupied the sixth floor of the tower just below Michigamua.
  • Vulcans, occupied the fifth floor of the Union tower though were not formally a part of the tower society. They draw their heritage from the Roman god Vulcan. The group which used to do its tapping publicly is known for its long black robes and for its financial contributions of the College of Engineering.

Media and publications[edit]

Stanford Lipsey Student Publications Building

The student newspaper is The Michigan Daily, founded in 1890 and editorially and financially independent of the university. The Daily is published five days a week during academic year, and weekly from May to August. The yearbook is the Michiganensian, founded in 1896. Other student publications at the university include the conservative The Michigan Review and the progressive Michigan Independent. The humor publication Gargoyle Humor Magazine is also published by Michigan students.

WCBN-FM (88.3 FM) is the student-run college radio station which plays in freeform format. WOLV-TV is the student-run television station that is primarily shown on the university's cable television system. WJJX was previously the school's student-run radio station. A carrier current station, it was launched in 1953.[248]


Violent crime is rare on the campus though a few of the cases have been notorious including Theodore Kaczynski's attempted murder of professor James V. McConnell and research assistant Nicklaus Suino in 1985. Kaczynski, also known as the Unabomber, graduated from Michigan with his PhD in 1967.

A radical left-wing militant organization Weather Underground was founded at the university in 1969.[249] It was later designated a domestic terrorist group by the FBI.[250]

In 2014, the University of Michigan was named one of 55 higher education institutions under investigation by the Office of Civil Rights "for possible violations of federal law over the handling of sexual violence and harassment complaints." President Barack Obama's White House Task Force to Protect Students from Sexual Assault was organized for such investigations.[251] Seven years later, in 2021, the university attracted national attention when a report commissioned by the university was released that detailed an investigation into sexual assault allegations against doctor Robert Anderson who reportedly abused at least 950 university students, many of whom were athletes, from 1966 to 2003.[252] Several football players from that time say football coach Bo Schembechler ignored and enabled the abuse and told players to "toughen up" after being molested.[253] Schembechler reportedly punched his then 10-year-old son Matthew after he reported abuse by Anderson.[254] Following the exposure of a similar history of abuse at Ohio State University, male survivors of both Anderson at Michigan and Strauss at Ohio State spoke out to combat sexual abuse.[255] The University of Michigan settled with the survivors for $490 million.[256]


Burgee of University of Michigan

The University of Michigan's sports teams are called the Wolverines. They participate in the NCAA Division I Football Bowl Subdivision and in the Big Ten Conference in all sports except women's water polo, which is a member of the Collegiate Water Polo Association. U-M boasts 27 varsity sports, including 13 men's teams and 14 women's teams.[257] In 10 of the past 14 years concluding in 2009, U-M has finished in the top five of the NACDA Director's Cup, a ranking compiled by the National Association of Collegiate Directors of Athletics to tabulate the success of universities in competitive sports. U-M has finished in the top 10 of the Directors' Cup standings in 21 of the award's 29 seasons between 1993–2021 and has placed in the top six in nine of the last 10 seasons.[258]

More than 250 Michigan athletes or coaches have participated in Olympic events,[259] and as of 2021 its students and alumni have won 155 Olympic medals.[260]

Michigan Stadium is the largest college football stadium in the nation and one of the largest football-only stadiums in the world, with an official capacity of 107,601[261] (the extra seat is said to be "reserved" for Fritz Crisler[262]) though attendance—frequently over 111,000 spectators—regularly exceeds the official capacity.[263] The NCAA's record-breaking attendance has become commonplace at Michigan Stadium.

U-M is also home to 29 men's and women's club sports teams, such as rugby, hockey, volleyball, boxing, soccer, and tennis.

National championships[edit]

The Michigan football program ranks first in NCAA history in total wins (1,004 through the end of the 2023 season) and tied for 1st among FBS schools in winning percentage (.734).[264][265] The team won the first Rose Bowl game in 1902. U-M had 40 consecutive winning seasons from 1968 to 2007, including consecutive bowl game appearances from 1975 to 2007.[266] The Wolverines have won a record 44 Big Ten championships. The program claims 12 national championships,[267][268] most recently the 2023 National Championship,[269] and has produced three Heisman Trophy winners: Tom Harmon, Desmond Howard and Charles Woodson.[270]

The men's ice hockey team, which plays at Yost Ice Arena, has won nine national championships.[271]

The men's basketball team, which plays at the Crisler Center, has appeared in five Final Fours and won the national championship in 1989. The program also voluntarily vacated victories from its 1992–1993 and 1995–1999 seasons in which illicit payments to players took place, as well as its 1992 and 1993 Final Four appearances.[272] The men's basketball team has most recently won back-to-back Big Ten Tournament Championships.

In the Olympics[edit]

Through the 2012 Summer Olympics, 275 U-M students and coaches had participated in the Olympics, winning medals in each Summer Olympic Games except 1896, and winning gold medals in all but four Olympiads. U-M students/student-coaches (e.g., notably, Michael Phelps) have won a total of 185 Olympic medals: 85 golds, 48 silvers, and 52 bronzes.[273]

Fight songs and chants[edit]

Singing The Yellow and the Blue between halves of the Penn Game, November 1916

The University of Michigan's fight song, "The Victors", was written by student Louis Elbel in 1898 following the last-minute football victory over the University of Chicago that won a league championship. The song was declared by John Philip Sousa to be "the greatest college fight song ever written."[274] The song refers to the university as being "the Champions of the West". At the time, U-M was part of the Western Conference, which would later become the Big Ten Conference. Michigan was considered to be on the Western Frontier when it was founded in the old Northwest Territory.

Although mainly used at sporting events, the Michigan fight song is often heard at other events as well. President Gerald Ford had it played by the United States Marine Band as his entrance anthem during his term as president from 1974 to 1977, in preference over the more traditional "Hail to the Chief",[275] and the Michigan Marching Band performed a slow-tempo variation of the fight song at his funeral.[276] The fight song is also sung during graduation commencement ceremonies. The university's alma mater song is "The Yellow and Blue". A common rally cry is "Let's Go Blue!" which has a complementary short musical arrangement written by former students Joseph Carl, a sousaphonist, and Albert Ahronheim, a drum major.[277]

Before "The Victors" was officially the university's fight song, the song "There'll Be a Hot Time in the Old Town Tonight" was considered to be the school song.[278] After Michigan temporarily withdrew from the Western Conference in 1907, a new Michigan fight song, "Varsity", was written in 1911 because the line "champions of the West" was no longer appropriate.[279]


Newberry Hall (Kelsey Museum of Archeology)

The university is also home to several public and research museums including but not limited to the University Museum of Art, University of Michigan Museum of Natural History, Detroit Observatory, Sindecuse Museum of Dentistry, and the LSA Museum of Anthropological Archaeology.

Kelsey Museum of Archeology has a collection of Roman, Greek, Egyptian, and Middle Eastern artifacts.[280] Between 1972 and 1974, the museum was involved in the excavation of the archaeological site of Dibsi Faraj in northern Syria.[281] The Kelsey Museum re-opened November 1, 2009, after a renovation and expansion.[282]

The collection of the University of Michigan Museum of Art include nearly 19,000 objects that span cultures, eras, and media and include European, American, Middle Eastern, Asian, and African art, as well as changing exhibits. The Museum of Art re-opened in 2009 after a three-year renovation and expansion.[283] UMMA presents special exhibitions and diverse educational programs featuring the visual, performing, film and literary arts that contextualize the gallery experience.[284]

The University of Michigan Museum of Natural History began in the mid-19th century and expanded greatly with the donation of 60,000 specimens by Joseph Beal Steere in the 1870s. The building also houses three research museums: the Museum of Anthropology, Museum of Paleontology. Today, the collections are primarily housed and displayed in the Ruthven Museums Building which was completed in 1928.[285]

Notable people[edit]


Henry Ford (second from the left) at the dedication of Yost Field House in 1923

The Zion Masonic Lodge funded the university's first academic building in the 1810s.[286] Two-thirds of the total funding to establish the university was contributed by the Masonic lodge and its members.[286] Since then, private donors have become an important source of funding for the university. Among the individuals who have made significant donations commemorated at the university are William Wilson Cook, Dexter Mason Ferry, the Ford family, the Nichols family, the Marsal Family, the Tisch Family, William Erastus Upjohn, John Stoughton Newberry, Clara Harrison Stranahan, William K. Brehm, William Morse Davidson, A. Alfred Taubman, Penny W. Stamps, and Ronald Weiser. The Zell Family Foundation, led by Sam and Helen Zell, has donated a total of $152 million to the university over the years.[287][288] Stephen M. Ross made a $200 million donation to the business school and athletic campus in 2013.[289] Ross made a separate $100 million contribution to the university in 2004.[290] Charles Munger pledged $110 million in 2013 for a graduate residence and fellowships.[291]

Faculty and staff[edit]

The university employs 7,954 faculty members,[292] including 37 members of the National Academy of Sciences,[293] 62 members of the National Academy of Medicine,[294] 30 members of the National Academy of Engineering,[295] 99 members of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences,[296] and 17 members of the American Philosophical Society.[297][298] The university's current and former faculty includes thirteen Nobel laureates, eight Pulitzer Prize winners, 41 MacArthur Fellows, as well as eighteen AAAS fellows. Notable faculty members include Nobel Prize–winning physicists Martinus Veltman, Gérard Mourou, Martin Lewis Perl, Donald A. Glaser, Carl Wieman, and Charles H. Townes; mathematician Frederick Gehring; poets Joseph Brodsky and Robert Frost; philosopher John Dewey; Nobel laureate Lawrence R. Klein; Pulitzer Prize-winning composer Leslie Bassett; Nobel Prize–winning physiologists Charles B. Huggins, Peyton Rous, and Hamilton O. Smith; Institute of Medicine members Francis Collins and Huda Akil; National Medal of Science recipient Elizabeth C. Crosby and MacArthur Fellowship recipients George Zweig, Karen Uhlenbeck, Amos Tversky, John Henry Holland, and Robert Axelrod. The faculty also includes transgender activist Lynn Conway, and A. Galip Ulsoy, co-inventor of the Reconfigurable Manufacturing System.


As of 2013, nine Michigan alumni have won the Nobel Prize.[299] As of 2022, 35 of Michigan's matriculants have been awarded a Pulitzer Prize winners. By alumni count, Michigan ranks fifth as of 2018, among all schools whose alumni have won Pulitzers. The university is, as of 2020, associated one Mitchell Scholar.[300] As of 2021, 30 Michigan students or alumni have been named Rhodes Scholars.[301]

Government and law[edit]

Presidential candidate Gerald Ford wears a "Michigan #1" sweater during the kick-off of Ford's 1976 presidential campaign at the University of Michigan's campus in Ann Arbor

Michigan graduates have held a range of high-level U.S. government positions, including United States President (Gerald Ford[302]); United States Secretary of State (William Rufus Day[303]); United States Supreme Court justice (William Rufus Day,[303] Frank Murphy,[304] George Sutherland[305]); United States Secretary of the Treasury (George M. Humphrey[306]); United States Attorney General (Harry Micajah Daugherty[307]); United States Secretary of the Interior (Kenneth Lee Salazar[308]); United States Secretary of Agriculture (Clinton Anderson,[309] Julius Sterling Morton,[310] Arthur M. Hyde,[311] and Dan Glickman[312]); United States Secretary of Commerce (Roy D. Chapin[313] and Robert P. Lamont[314]); United States Secretary of Health and Human Services (Tom Price[315]); United States Secretary of Housing and Urban Development (Ben Carson[316]); Director of the United States Office of Management and Budget (Rob Portman[317]); United States Trade Representative (Rob Portman[317]).

More than 250 Michigan graduates have served as legislators as either a United States Senator (47 graduates) or as a Congressional representative (over 215 graduates), including former House Majority Leader Dick Gephardt,[318] U.S. Representative Justin Amash.[319] As of 2021, Michigan has matriculated 63 U.S. governors or lieutenant governors, including former Governor of Michigan Rick Snyder,[320] former Governor of New York Thomas E. Dewey,[321] and former Governor of California Culbert Olson.[322] Former Los Angeles Mayor Richard Riordan,[323] former Chicago Mayor Lori Lightfoot,[324] and Detroit Mayor Mike Duggan[325]are also Michigan graduates. As of 2019, Michigan has placed onto various State Supreme Courts over 125 graduates, 40 of whom served as Chief Justice. As of 2022, Michigan has matriculated 64 Ambassadors who served as Ambassador in more than 72 countries.

Foreign alumni include the Prime Minister of Singapore (Lawrence Wong[326]); the current ruler of the Emirate of Ras Al Khaimah (Saud bin Saqr Al Qasimi[327]); the 51st Prime Minister of Italy (Lamberto Dini); the Prime Minister of Antigua and Barbuda 1994–2004 (Lester Bird); the 47th President of Costa Rica (Luis Guillermo Solís); the Prime Minister of Peru 1993–1994 (Alfonso Bustamante); the Prime Minister of Jordan 2012–2016 (Abdullah Ensour[328]); the 13th President of Pakistan (Arif Alvi[329]); Chief Secretary of Hong Kong 2007–2011 (Henry Tang Ying-yen[330]); Deputy Prime Minister of South Korea 2017–2018 (Kim Dong-yeon); Deputy Prime Minister of Bulgaria in the government of Boyko Borisov (Simeon Djankov); the Chief Minister of Punjab 1952–1964 (Pratap Singh Kairon).


Numerous U-M graduates contributed to the field of computer science, including Claude Shannon (who made major contributions to the mathematics of information theory),[331] and Turing Award winners Edgar Codd, Stephen Cook, Frances E. Allen, and Michael Stonebraker.

U-M's contributions to aeronautics include aircraft designer Clarence "Kelly" Johnson of Lockheed Skunk Works fame.[332]


Michigan alumni have founded or cofounded companies such as Alphabet Inc. (Larry Page[333]), The Boeing Company (Edgar Gott[334]), Stryker Corporation (Homer Stryker[335]), Loews Corporation (Preston Robert Tisch[336]), Merrill Lynch (Charles Edward Merrill[337]), JetBlue (Dave Barger[338]), Science Applications International Corporation (J. Robert Beyster[339]), Rocket Mortgage (Gary Gilbert[340]), Domino's Pizza, Inc. (Tom Monaghan[341]), H&R Block (Henry W. Bloch[342]), Related Group (Stephen M. Ross[343]), Admiral Group (Henry Engelhardt[344]), Five Guys Enterprises (Jerry Murrell[345] ), Leo Burnett Company (Leo Burnett[346]), Dart Container Corporation (William A. Dart[347]), Groupon (Eric Lefkofsky[348]and Brad Keywell[349]), EQ Office (Samuel Zell[350]), Saba Capital (Boaz Weinstein[351]), Barracuda Networks (Dean Drako[352]), Munger, Tolles & Olson (Charlie Munger[353]and Ronald L. Olson[354]), Club Quarters (Ralph Bahna[355]), Taubman Company (A. Alfred Taubman[356]), and Skype (Niklas Zennström[357]).

As of May 2024, about 2.8% of all Fortune 1000 executives with MBAs are alumni from Michigan Ross, ranking it as the 6th highest among all business schools in the United States.[358][359] Alumni have led several companies, including Berkshire Hathaway (Charlie Munger[353]), Ford (James Hackett[360]), General Motors (Roger Smith, Frederick Henderson, and Richard C. Gerstenberg[361]), Walgreens (Charles Rudolph Walgreen Jr.[362]), State Farm Insurance (Jon Farney[363]), Citigroup (John C. Dugan[364]), Tencent (Martin Lau[365]), Wells Fargo (Timothy J. Sloan[366]), Albertsons (Vivek Sankaran[359]), Allstate Corp. (Thomas J. Wilson[359]), American Airlines (Robert Isom[359]), Eli Lilly and Company (Josiah K. Lilly Jr.), PNC Financial Services (William S. Demchak), Turkish Airlines (Temel Kotil[367]), Meijer (Doug Meijer[368]and Hank Meijer[369]), Chrysler Group LLC (C. Robert Kidder[370]), BorgWarner Inc. (Timothy M. Manganello[371]), Activision Blizzard (Bobby Kotick[372]), Restaurant Brands International (J. Patrick Doyle[373]), Guardian Industries (William Morse Davidson[374]), Bloomin' Brands (David Deno[359]), Coinstar (Gregg Kaplan[375]), Craigslist (Jim Buckmaster[376]), Twitter (Dick Costolo[377]), and Bain Capital (Edward Conard[378]).

Authors and journalists[edit]

Notable writers who attended U-M include playwright Arthur Miller,[318] essayists Susan Orlean,[318] Jia Tolentino,[379] Sven Birkerts, journalists and editors Mike Wallace,[318] Jonathan Chait of The New Republic, Indian author and columnist Anees Jung, Daniel Okrent,[318] and Sandra Steingraber, food critics Ruth Reichl and Gael Greene, novelists Brett Ellen Block, Elizabeth Kostova, Marge Piercy,[318] Brad Meltzer,[318] Betty Smith,[318] and Charles Major, screenwriter Judith Guest,[318] Pulitzer Prize-winning poet Theodore Roethke, National Book Award winners Keith Waldrop and Jesmyn Ward, composer/author/puppeteer Forman Brown, Alireza Jafarzadeh (a Middle East analyst, author, and TV commentator), and memoirist and self-help book author Jerry Newport.

Music and entertainment[edit]

Musical graduates include operatic soprano Jessye Norman,[318] singer Joe Dassin, multiple members of the bands Tally Hall and Vulfpeck, jazz guitarist Randy Napoleon, and Mannheim Steamroller founder Chip Davis.[318] Well-known composers who are alumni include Frank Ticheli, Andrew Lippa, and the Oscar and Tony Award-winning duo Benj Pasek and Justin Paul. Pop superstar Madonna[318] and rock legend Iggy Pop[318] attended but did not graduate.

Film and television[edit]

In Hollywood, famous alumni include actors Michael Dunn,[318] Darren Criss, James Earl Jones,[318] and David Alan Grier;[318] actresses Lucy Liu,[318] Gilda Radner,[318] and Selma Blair[318] as well as television director Mark Cendrowski and filmmaker Lawrence Kasdan.[318] Many Broadway and musical theatre actors, including Gavin Creel,[318] Andrew Keenan-Bolger, his sister Celia Keenan-Bolger, and Taylor Louderman attended U-M for musical theatre. Emmy Award winner Sanjay Gupta attended both college and medical school at the university.[380] Conservative pundit Ann Coulter is another U-M law school graduate (J.D. 1988).[318]


U-M athletes have starred in Major League Baseball, the National Football League and National Basketball Association as well as in other professional sports. Notable among recent players is Tom Brady of the New England Patriots and the Tampa Bay Buccaneers.[318] Three players have won college football's Heisman Trophy, awarded to the player considered the best in the nation: Tom Harmon (1940), Desmond Howard (1991), and Charles Woodson (1997).[270] Professional golfer John Schroeder and Olympic swimmer Michael Phelps also attended the University of Michigan; the latter studied Sports Marketing and Management. Phelps also swam competitively for Club Wolverine, a swimming club associated with the university.[381] The Canada national team's Shelina Zadorsky played soccer at the University of Michigan.[382]

National Hockey League players Marty Turco, Luke Hughes, Chris Summers, Max Pacioretty, Carl Hagelin, Dylan Larkin, Zach Hyman, Brendan Morrison,[318] Jack Johnson, and Michael Cammalleri[318] all played for U-M's ice hockey team. MLB Hall of Famers George Sisler and Barry Larkin also played baseball at the university.[318] Several team owners have been alumni, including multiple-team owner Bill Davidson (NBA Detroit Pistons, NHL Tampa Bay Lightning, WNBA Detroit Shock, among others) and NFL owners Stephen M. Ross (Miami Dolphins), Preston Robert Tisch (New York Giants), and Ralph Wilson (Buffalo Bills).

Activists and humanitarians[edit]

Activists associated with the university include Weather Underground radical activist Bill Ayers,[383] activist Tom Hayden,[318] architect Charles Moore,[384] Swedish hero of the Holocaust Raoul Wallenberg,[385] Civil War General Benjamin D. Pritchard,[386] and assisted-suicide advocate Jack Kevorkian.


Several astronauts attended Michigan including the all-U-M crews of both Gemini 4[387] and Apollo 15.[388] The university claims the only alumni association with a chapter on the Moon, established in 1971 when the crew of Apollo 15 placed a charter plaque for a new U-M Alumni Association on the lunar surface.[318][388]


  1. ^ Other consists of Multiracial Americans & those who prefer to not say.
  2. ^ The percentage of students who received an income-based federal Pell grant intended for low-income students.
  3. ^ The percentage of students who are a part of the American middle class at the bare minimum.


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