A public university founded in 1817, the University of Michigan had a rustic beginning. At its campus in Ann Arbor, west of Detroit, cows owned by the faculty once grazed, and as late as 1845, wheat was grown on site as part of a janitor’s remuneration.
By 1866, the university had become the largest in the country. Now, the University of Michigan is one of the biggest research universities in the United States. Considered one of the foremost research universities in the United States, the university has very high research activity and its comprehensive graduate program offers doctoral degrees in the humanities, social sciences, and STEM fields (science, technology, engineering and mathematics) as well as professional degrees in architecture, business, medicine, law, pharmacy, nursing, social work, public health, and dentistry.
The university is also home to major research centers in optics, reconfigurable manufacturing systems, wireless integrated microsystems, and social sciences.
The university’s sporting tradition began in 1865, and its sports teams, collectively known as the Michigan Wolverines, have won more than 50 national championships in 12 sports. Why the wolverine became the university’s mascot is a mystery, as although the nickname caught on in the middle of the 19th century, the first verified sighting of the animal in Michigan state did not occur until 2004.
Michigan’s mission is to serve the people of Michigan and the world through “preeminence in creating, communicating, preserving and applying knowledge, art, and academic values, and in developing leaders and citizens who will challenge the present and enrich the future”. It offers 250 undergraduate majors, 100 doctoral and 200 master’s programmes, as well as more than 1,400 student clubs.
The university has high rankings. U.S. News National University Rankings 2016 placed it the 27th. Academic Ranking of World Universities (ARWU) 2016 placed the university the 23rd.
Notable Michigan alumni include Nobel laureates, activists, and astronauts. Among them are Robert Cailliau - co-developer of the World Wide Web, Larry Page - co-founder of Google, John Fahey - President and CEO of the National Geographic Society, David Barger - the founder and chief executive officer and director of JetBlue Airways.
University of Michigan offers very wide program selection. The most popular majors by the number of registered students are economics, business administration and management, research and experimental psychology, political science and government, computer and information studies, physiological psychology.