Best Colleges in Michigan – Introduction
If you’re considering attending college in Michigan, you’re probably wondering about the best colleges in Michigan. Michigan offers a beautiful college setting with plenty of college options.
When it comes to pursuing higher education, Michigan offers a wealth of opportunities for students. With its vibrant cities, diverse culture, and renowned academic institutions, there is no shortage of great schools for students to attend. So, just what are the top colleges in Michigan?
In our Guide to the Best Colleges in Michigan, we’ll discuss everything you need to know about top universities in Michigan, including:
- 10 of the best colleges in Michigan
- Hardest colleges in Michigan to get into
- Colleges in Michigan map
- Community colleges in Michigan
- Best colleges in Michigan for psychology, nursing, and education
- How to find the best colleges in Michigan for you, and more!
As you’ll soon learn, some Michigan colleges and universities rank highly among the best colleges in the US. There are big and small colleges in Michigan, public and private colleges in Michigan, and everything in between. Choosing the right colleges in Michigan to apply to can seem daunting, but we’re here to help. However, before we take a look at the ten top colleges in Michigan, let’s see which school tops that list.
What is the best college in Michigan?
The University of Michigan – Ann Arbor is widely considered the best out of all colleges in Michigan. Prospective students will see the University of Michigan ranking highly among the best colleges in the US. UMich ranks #3 in U.S. News’ list of Top Public Schools, #10 in Undergraduate Research/Creative Projects, and #25 in National Universities.
We’ll dig into the colleges in Michigan ranked in the next section. But first, let’s learn a bit more about why UMich is one of the top colleges in Michigan.
What makes UMich special
As one of the nation’s premier research institutions, many factors make UMich a great school. UMich is ranked #2 in research volume among U.S. research universities. In fact, over 1,500 students participate in undergraduate research opportunities. The school also ranks #11 in software engineering and #1 in marketing. On top of UMich’s great academic offerings, students get to enjoy the school’s wonderful college setting: the vibrant city of Ann Arbor.
There’s no shortage of major names in Michigan’s alumni network. Accomplished alumni include actors James Earl Jones and Lucy Liu, president Gerald Ford, playwright Arthur Miller, and computer engineer Larry Page, co-founder of Google.
While UMich is one of the best colleges in Michigan, it is certainly not the only choice for students looking for a great college experience. Let’s learn a bit more about other top colleges in Michigan.
Top 10 best colleges in Michigan
There are many ways to determine the best colleges in Michigan. While the U.S. News & World Report college rankings provide a good starting point, the best colleges in Michigan will vary for each student. So, as you search for top colleges in Michigan, keep your own needs in mind.
Factors like rankings, student satisfaction, and financial aid can all influence students’ opinions when comparing colleges in Michigan. To showcase some of the top colleges in Michigan, let’s take a look at the U.S. News list of the Best Colleges in Michigan:
Top Colleges in Michigan
The first school on our list of top colleges in Michigan is the University of Michigan – Ann Arbor. This is unsurprising given the high University of Michigan ranking among National Universities (#25) and low acceptance rate (20%). As one of the best public colleges in Michigan, students can take courses with small class sizes across UMich’s 19 schools and colleges thanks to UMich’s 15:1 student-to-faculty ratio. UMich also provides students access to highly rated undergraduate academic programs, including engineering (#6), business (#4), and nursing (#3).
One of the best public colleges in Michigan is Michigan State. Michigan State has an acceptance rate of 83% and is ranked #77 nationally. Students at Michigan State can choose from over 400 academic programs. You’ll see Michigan State ranking highly in many fields, including #1 in supply chain management/logistics, #6 in biological/agricultural engineering, and #9 in game/simulation development. Additionally, future Michigan State students can look forward to checking off their Spartan Bucket List during their time on campus in East Lansing, MI. This includes activities like visiting the Broad Art Museum, learning the fight song, and climbing to the top of Beaumont Tower.
Up next is Michigan Tech, another large public university located in Houghton, MI. Ranked #151 in National Universities with an 86% acceptance rate, there’s a lot to love about this university. Michigan Tech is one of the best colleges in Michigan for students interested in STEM. At the country’s #4 public STEM university, students can choose from over 140 degree programs and 80 minors. Outside of the classroom, students can also join one of Michigan Tech’s 230 student organizations or take advantage of the school’s many research opportunities.
If you’re looking for small colleges in Michigan, consider the University of Detroit Mercy. This Catholic university has an acceptance rate of 93% and ranks #202 in National Universities. Unlike other top colleges in Michigan, an education from Detroit Mercy is rooted in Jesuit and Mercy values. There are over 100 academic programs to choose from in interesting fields like dentistry, protective security services, and architecture.
Next on our list is Central Michigan University, which is located in Mount Pleasant, MI. It’s ranked #250 in National Universities and has an acceptance rate of 77%. Central Michigan is another great research-oriented, large public college. Over 24,000 students call Central Michigan’s diverse, tight-knit community home. The top programs at CMU include health, biological sciences, marketing, and psychology.
Like CMU, the Wayne State University ranking is #250 nationally. Located in Midtown Detroit, Wayne State is a selective university with a 63% acceptance rate. With 13 schools and colleges, Wayne State is one of the best colleges in Michigan for a variety of fields. The school’s values include collaboration, integrity, innovation, excellence, diversity and inclusion, and leadership.
Ranked #263 in National Universities is Grand Valley State, a university located in Allendale, MI. With an acceptance rate of 92%, students at Grand Valley State can choose from 100 different undergraduate degrees. In addition to their courses, students can explore over 400 student organizations and 4,000 study abroad programs. Grand Valley State gives its students a Laker Lifetime Learning (L3) Commitment, supporting them through career advancement programs, financial resources, and a robust alumni network.
Next on our list of top colleges in Michigan is Western Michigan University. Located in Kalamazoo, MI, Western Michigan has an 83% acceptance rate and is ranked #285 in National Universities. Western Michigan provides students with small class sizes and a one–on–one guidance from academic advisors and professors.
Berrien Springs, MI is home to Andrews University, ranked #299 in National Universities. Andrews is one of the best private colleges in Michigan. With an 82% acceptance rate, Andrews University is the only nationally-ranked Adventist university. Students looking for small colleges in Michigan should consider Andrews University. At Andrews, students can explore accelerated programs in fields such as architecture, aviation, business administration, and physical therapy. Their most popular degrees include architecture and physical therapy as well as biology, nursing, psychology, and engineering.
The last school on our list of best colleges in Michigan is Hillsdale College. Hillsdale is a highly regarded liberal arts college, ranking #48 in the country. Additionally, the school is one of the more selective colleges in Michigan, with an acceptance rate of just 24%. Approximately 1,400 students call this nonsectarian Christian college home. Outside of more typical degrees, students can explore interdisciplinary majors, like international studies in business and foreign language and political economy. Students can also enroll in various pre-professional programs, like dentistry and veterinary medicine.
Now, you should have a solid sense of the best colleges in Michigan. Next, let’s see which of the top colleges in Michigan are the hardest to get into.
What is the hardest college to get into in Michigan?
Of all the top colleges in Michigan, the hardest one to get into is the University of Michigan – Ann Arbor.
As one of the best colleges in the US, UMich has a competitive admissions process. In fact, the University of Michigan acceptance rate is just 20%. So, you can expect UMich to be more selective than many other colleges in Michigan.
Incoming students boast impressive academic statistics, including a 3.9-4.0 average GPA, 31-34 average ACT, and 1350-1530 average SAT. However, the admissions team reviews each application holistically, meaning they look for compelling candidates with more to offer than just high test scores. Things like extracurriculars, evidence of leadership and service, and essays all contribute to your University of Michigan application.
Given its competitive application process, UMich wants to help prepare students as much as possible. Online, students can find more details about UMich’s selection process and essay questions. UMich also provides details on everything you need to know about requirements & deadlines.
Colleges in Michigan Map
Michigan is a great college setting with plenty of natural beauty. To help you get a visual representation of the top colleges in Michigan, we’ve created our colleges in Michigan map. This map shows you where to find top universities in Michigan.
In Detroit, you’ll find some of the top colleges in Michigan, including the University of Detroit Mercy and Wayne State University. Ann Arbor is of course home to the University of Michigan. Western Michigan University is located in Kalamazoo, just a few hours west of Detroit.
Remember, these are just a small sampling of the top universities in Michigan. So, just how many colleges are there in Michigan?
How many colleges are in Michigan?
There are a total of 104 colleges in Michigan. This means there is no shortage of public and private colleges in Michigan for students to explore.
In Michigan, there are:
- 46 public colleges in Michigan
- 43 nonprofit private colleges in Michigan
- 15 for-profit private colleges in Michigan
Michigan’s education system provides a diverse range of options for students. This includes both large and small colleges in Michigan as well as public and private colleges in Michigan. With no shortage of college options, Michigan offers all students the chance to find a suitable educational path that aligns with their goals and aspirations.
For in-state students, considering the Michigan public university system is important. Public schools often give reduced tuition for in-state students compared to out-of-state students. While private colleges in Michigan may offer better financial aid packages, every case is different. Overall, your family’s financial and residential status will dictate your cost of college at any of the top universities in Michigan.
For some students, the thought of jumping into a four-year program at one of the top universities in Michigan is daunting. So, let’s take a look at some community colleges in Michigan.
Best community colleges in Michigan
There are many community colleges in Michigan for students who aren’t ready to attend one of the four-year colleges in Michigan. Many of these colleges have transfer agreements with public universities, allowing students to seamlessly transition into bachelor’s degree programs.
Michigan Reconnect provides a comprehensive list of community colleges in Michigan. Still, let’s take a closer look at some of the best colleges in Michigan for students interested in attending community college.
Best Michigan Community Colleges
Macomb Community College has the largest enrollment of all community colleges in Michigan. Their total enrollment is 20,220, which includes both full-time and part-time students.
The least expensive of all community colleges in Michigan is Oakland Community College. The tuition per credit hour is just $107 for Oakland County residents and only $205 for out-of-district students.
Delta College is highly rated among community colleges in Michigan. The school offers courses to help students earn an Associate of Arts or Science, prepare to transfer to a four-year program, or build technical skills.
Kalamazoo Valley Community College is another great option for students looking for a two-year program. As one of the best community colleges in Michigan, this school offers courses in a wide variety of academic and pre-professional fields.
Community colleges in Michigan provide a wide range of amenities, including smaller class sizes, personalized attention, and the opportunity to explore different fields of study before committing to a four-year degree. They serve as an excellent starting point for students seeking to build a strong academic foundation or save on tuition costs.
Up next, let’s discuss how students can prepare to pay for colleges in Michigan.
Is college free in Michigan?
No, attending the top universities in Michigan is not free. At most major colleges in Michigan, students will pay similar amounts in tuition and fees that they would pay in other states. Even though community colleges in Michigan are fairly inexpensive, they still cost something to attend.
However, under Michigan Reconnect, students can attend community college free of charge at their in-district colleges in Michigan. This initiative aims to provide accessible education opportunities to Michigan residents looking to enhance their skills or pursue a new career path. Through Michigan Reconnect, individuals can gain valuable knowledge and qualifications without the burden of tuition fees.
To be eligible for Michigan Reconnect, students must:
- Be 25 years of age or older when they submit their application
- Have been a Michigan resident for no less than 1 year
- Received a high school diploma (or high school equivalency)
- Have not yet earned a degree (associate or bachelor’s)
The Michigan Reconnect application is simple. Once completed, you’ll then need to apply to a public community college in Michigan and submit your FAFSA.
Best Colleges in Michigan – By Major
Since there are so many top universities in Michigan, it can be hard to narrow down your college list. While looking at colleges in Michigan ranked, you may be tempted to only look at top schools based on overall rankings of colleges in Michigan. However, not all lists of colleges in Michigan are created equal.
You can learn how to find the best colleges in Michigan for you by looking at lists related to your chosen fields of study. So, look at lists of colleges in Michigan ranked according to specific majors.
In our guide, we’ll review the top universities in Michigan for psychology, nursing, and education. However, you can find other lists of colleges in Michigan ranked by many other majors online. While not all undergraduate schools will have major-specific rankings, a bit of research can help you find the best colleges in Michigan for various fields.
Best colleges in Michigan for Psychology
There isn’t an official list of the best colleges in Michigan for psychology at the undergraduate level. However, that doesn’t mean that the top universities in Michigan don’t have great psychology programs.
Let’s learn about five excellent schools we’ve gathered from lists of colleges in Michigan ranked by their psychology programs.
Best Michigan Colleges for Psychology
The first of our best colleges in Michigan for psychology is once again the University of Michigan – Ann Arbor. Their goal is to provide students with a broad foundation of the various methodologies and approaches used to study human behavior. The program combines major-specific coursework with research, providing students with a well-rounded psychology education.
As another one of the top universities in Michigan, Michigan State has a large and well-resourced psychology program. The school’s psychology department has over 50 faculty members, all of whom are highly regarded in their field for their knowledge and research contributions. At Michigan State, students can explore specific subfields within psychology, from behavioral neuroscience to clinical science to social/personality and industrial/organizational psychology.
The psychology department at Hillsdale College gives students access to state-of-the-art facilities, which assist in student teaching and research. These include a developmental psychology lab, social psychology lab, observation rooms, a psychophysiology lab, computer work rooms, and a departmental library.
At Kalamazoo College, the psychology program emphasizes critical thinking, research, and hands-on experiences to prepare students for future success. With a psychology degree from Kalamazoo College, students can feel prepared to pursue graduate studies or begin careers as therapists, pharmacologists, and more.
Wayne State University provides a diverse range of psychology programs including clinical, industrial-organizational, and experimental psychology. While there’s no definitive Wayne State University ranking in psychology, the program is universally well-regarded.
Another popular major is nursing. So, let’s take a look at some colleges in Michigan with strong nursing programs.
Best colleges in Michigan for Nursing
Like psychology, most top colleges in Michigan do not feature a specific undergraduate nursing ranking. However, by understanding the graduate nursing rankings for the top universities in Michigan, students can learn which departments have the best resources and most distinguished faculty.
Here are a few schools on our list of the best colleges in Michigan for nursing.
Best Michigan Colleges for Nursing
The University of Michigan’s School of Nursing offers a highly regarded undergraduate nursing program. The University of Michigan ranking as the best Master’s nursing program out of all colleges in Michigan reflects the similar quality of their undergraduate BSN program. Over four years, students will have access to world-class faculty expertise and comprehensive training, completing their clinical and observational experiences in their second year.
Students looking for a three-year program should check out Wayne State’s BSN program. The Wayne State University ranking in graduate nursing is #34 in the country, and their undergraduate programs are similarly strong. Undergraduate students looking to complete their BSN can apply during their first year for the three-year program. Alternatively, high school students can apply directly to the College of Nursing via the Direct Admit program.
While the Michigan State ranking is #73 in the country, it’s ranked the third-best Master’s nursing program of all colleges in Michigan. Students who complete MSU’s BSN program will be prepared to take the NCLEX-RN exam and become registered nurses. MSU also offers students a curriculum where they can integrate their science studies with humanities and engage in special programs including study abroad opportunities.
Oakland offers undergraduate nursing programs focused on preparing competent, compassionate, and culturally sensitive nurses. Students can apply to the Basic-BSN track once they’ve completed their prerequisite coursework. Applicants will need to submit an essay, professional reference form, and character assessment to be considered for the nursing program.
The McAuley School of Nursing offers students a quality nursing education with a dedication to serving underserved populations. Students at MSON benefit from the campus’s central location in Detroit and the program’s flexibility, which includes part-time, full-time, and accelerated nursing tracks. Nursing students can expect to learn critical thinking, ethical decision-making, effective communication, and leadership skills.
Now, you should have a great starting point as you find the best colleges in Michigan for nursing. Next, let’s take a look at the best colleges in Michigan for education.
Best colleges in Michigan for Education
Now, let’s look at some of the schools included on this list of the best colleges in Michigan for education!
Best Michigan Colleges for Education
The School of Education at the University of Michigan provides students with an opportunity to pursue a Bachelor of Arts or Science with a teacher certification. Depending on what age group of students you are interested in teaching, you may be interested in their elementary teacher education program or their secondary teacher program.
The Michigan State ranking for education is first in both elementary and secondary teacher education. With its renowned College of Education, Michigan State University offers a variety of programs, including teacher preparation, counseling, and educational administration. So, it’s no surprise that it’s one of the best colleges in Michigan for education.
As one of the best colleges in Michigan for education, Wayne State University’s College of Education focuses on urban education. This prepares teachers to work in diverse classrooms and meet the needs of urban communities. Beyond teaching, students can also learn more about design & technology, health, exercise and sports, educational evaluation and research, and more.
Next on our list is Western Michigan University’s College of Education and Human Development, which offers a wide range of programs including elementary and secondary education, special education, and counseling. They offer both in-person and online programs, so students have the flexibility to pursue their degrees however they need to.
At Eastern Michigan University, students have access to one of the best education schools among the many public colleges in Michigan. Students can choose from many exciting programs, from special education to children and families to early childhood teaching and learning. Certain courses offer certification while others don’t, so be sure to check the specifics of each of their programs.
Best college in Michigan for you!
In this guide, we’ve learned a lot about the best colleges in Michigan. However, as you consider the top universities in Michigan, you should remain focused on your own needs.
When comparing the best colleges in Michigan, you should consider a variety of factors. These include college size, college location, campus feel, and academic offerings.
Here are some points to keep in mind as you narrow down your list of the best colleges in Michigan:
Considering Your List of Best Colleges in Michigan
1. College size
Determine whether you prefer a large university with extensive resources and a diverse student body or a smaller college with a close-knit community and more personalized attention.
2. College location
Consider the college location that suits you best, whether it’s the vibrant city life of Detroit or the college town atmosphere of Ann Arbor or Kalamazoo.
3. Campus feel
Visit the campuses virtually or in person if possible to get a sense of the environment, facilities, and overall atmosphere.
4. Academic offerings
Research the specific programs and departments that align with your interests and career goals.
5. Additional factors
Look into extracurricular activities, internship opportunities, career services, and any other features that matter to you.
As you search for colleges, try to think critically about what matters most to you. Additionally, look for overlap on lists that show how colleges in Michigan ranked against one another.
For instance, if you want to pursue a nursing degree at a small, public university, look at lists of small colleges in Michigan, colleges in Michigan for nursing, and public colleges in Michigan. That way, you can see what schools might be featured on all three lists.
No matter what you decide, you can’t go wrong with any of the top universities in Michigan. Remember, the best colleges in Michigan for you are the ones that align with your goals, interests, and personal preferences.
Best Colleges in Michigan Takeaways
In this guide, we explored the best colleges in Michigan, from the top-ranked University of Michigan – Ann Arbor to the diverse community colleges across the state. We looked at a mix of public and private colleges in Michigan and reviewed how these colleges in Michigan ranked against one another. Then, we provided insight into the best colleges in Michigan for nursing, education, and psychology. Additionally, we highlighted where these schools are located on our colleges in Michigan map.
We also discussed the availability of free education through the Michigan Reconnect program. Finally, we offered guidance on finding the best-fit college based on factors like college size, location, campus feel, and academic offerings.
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