Western Michigan University

2014 Quick Stats
1903 W. Michigan Avenue

Kalamazoo, MI 49008

Phone: (269) 387-1000
2013-2014 Tuition
male /
rolling admission

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U.S. News Rankings

Ranking score and category
U.S. News rank Category Name
#181 Overall Score: 30 out of 100. National Universities

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Western Michigan University is a public institution that was founded in 1903. It has a total undergraduate enrollment of 19,478, its setting is urban, and the campus size is 1,200 acres. It utilizes a semester-based academic calendar. Western Michigan University's ranking in the 2014 edition of Best Colleges is National Universities, 181. Its in-state tuition and fees are $10,355 (2013-14); out-of-state tuition and fees are $24,109 (2013-14).

Western Michigan University is located in the city of Kalamazoo, midway between Detroit and Chicago. The university offers more than 140 undergraduate programs and many master's degrees as well, including those in the Haworth College of Business, the College of Engineering and Applied Sciences and the College of Education and Human Development. Graduate students interested in careers in health can enroll in highly ranked programs training speech-language pathologists, physician assistants, rehabilitation counselors and audiologists.

Outside the classroom, WMU students can get involved by exploring more than 300 student organizations, playing a recreational sport or pledging one of the nearly 30 fraternities and sororities. Off campus, WMU students can check out Kalamazoo's zoo, theater and festivals, or drive 40 minutes to the Lake Michigan beaches of South Haven. Student athletes can try out for the many WMU Broncos varsity sports teams, which compete in the NCAA Division I Mid-American Conference. Notable WMU alumni include Tim Allen, who starred in the television program "Home Improvement" and voiced Buzz Lightyear in the animated "Toy Story" movies.

School mission and unique qualities (as provided by the school):

According to the school, Western Michigan University is a dynamic, globally engaged institution that combines the resources of a national research university with the support and personal attention often found at a small college. Taking full advantage of that combination gives students an edge in graduate school, the workplace and life.

WMU is among fewer than 100 public U.S. universities to be granted a chapter of Phi Beta Kappa, America's premier honor society. Still, two-thirds of all classes have fewer than 30 students and most are taught by full-time professors. Advisors, career specialists, mentors and tutors are close at hand, as are dedicated offices to assist groups such as first-year and transfer students, military veterans, and students who have aged out of foster care.

WMU also is among the most affordable of Michigan's 15 public universities, ranking 10th from the top in tuition and required fees. Plus, the Western Edge compact offers undergraduates a merit-based retention scholarship, four-year freeze on room and board rates, and rapid path to degree completion.

WMU is located in Kalamazoo, an ideal college town of more than 74,000 situated midway between Detroit and Chicago just 40 miles from scenic Lake Michigan. The region encompasses strong businesses, including Haworth, Kellogg, Stryker and Whirlpool, many of which offer internships to WMU students. And with its rolling hills, small lakes and dense woodlands, outdoor recreation abounds.

Students often rub elbows with faculty members at Kalamazoo's Art Hops, Mixers on the Mall and annual festivals. The city also offers a variety of museums, theatres, music, minor league sports teams, eateries, brew pubs and coffee houses.

On campus, WMU supports more than 360 Greek, academic, personal-interest and other student groups. It also fields 15 NCAA Division I-A sports teams and offers nationally recognized arts programs, a lively cultural calendar, and extensive service-learning, intramural and fitness activities.

Minority and international students make up 19 percent of the university's diverse student body and graduate students make up 19 percent. Although not mandatory, about 86 percent of first-time freshmen live on campus. The residence halls offer numerous options and amenities, and focus on such themes as athletics, multiculturalism, health and fitness, and specific areas of study.

WMU offers 246 degree programs encompassing arts and sciences, aviation, business, education, engineering, fine arts, and health and human services. Academically talented students may join the Lee Honors College, which is among the oldest honors programs in the nation and has a student profile rivaling that of the most elite private colleges.

WMU places equal emphasis on undergraduate and graduate education, and with 145, offers the second most bachelor's programs in Michigan. Many offerings rank among the top programs of their kind in the country, giving WMU a national or international reputation in such varied fields as aviation, atomic physics, creative writing, fine arts, graph theory, jazz studies, medieval studies, paper engineering and occupational therapy.

Instructional programs are designed so graduating students are ready to immediately add value to their employers. Courses are taught by well-established faculty members who bring a global perspective to the classroom and have a passion for research as well as teaching. They not only share their cutting-edge work in the classroom, but also welcome undergraduate and graduate students alike into their research laboratories and creative studios.

Further bolstering WMU's robust educational environment are some of the best academic and cultural facilities in the Midwest; worldwide partnerships providing countless opportunities to find internships, conduct research and study abroad; and national award-winning environmental sustainability initiatives

General Information

School type public, coed college
Year founded 1903
Religious affiliation N/A
Academic calendar semester
Setting city
2012 Endowment $204,124,390


When applying to Western Michigan University, it's important to note the application deadline is rolling. Scores for either the ACT or SAT test are due September 1. The application fee at Western Michigan University is $35. It is selective, with an acceptance rate of 83.3 percent.

For more information about the tests, essays, interviews, and admissions process, visit the Applying to College knowledge center.

Selectivity selective
Fall 2012 acceptance rate 83.3%
Application deadline rolling
SAT/ACT scores must be received by September 1

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Academic Life

The student-faculty ratio at Western Michigan University is 18:1, and the school has 39.6 percent of its classes with fewer than 20 students. The most popular majors at Western Michigan University include: Business, Management, Marketing, and Related Support Services; Education; Health Professions and Related Programs; Multi/Interdisciplinary Studies; and Engineering. The average freshman retention rate, an indicator of student satisfaction, is 73.8 percent.

Class sizes
Class sizes
Student-faculty ratio 18:1
4-year graduation rate 24%
Five most popular majors for 2012 graduates
Business, Management, Marketing, and Related Support Services 21%
Education 9%
Health Professions and Related Programs 9%
Multi/Interdisciplinary Studies 7%
Engineering 6%

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Student Life

Western Michigan University has a total undergraduate enrollment of 19,478, with a gender distribution of 50.1 percent male students and 49.9 percent female students. At this school, 27 percent of the students live in college-owned, -operated, or -affiliated housing and 73 percent of students live off campus. Western Michigan University is part of the NCAA I athletic conference.

Total enrollment 24,598
Student gender distribution
Student gender distribution
Undergraduate men who are members of a fraternity
Undergraduate men who are members of a fraternity
Undergraduate women who are members of a sorority
Undergraduate women who are members of a sorority
Collegiate athletic association NCAA I

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Campus Info & Services

Western Michigan University offers a number of student services including nonremedial tutoring, women's center, placement service, day care, health service, and health insurance. Western Michigan University also offers campus safety and security services like 24-hour foot and vehicle patrols, late night transport/escort service, 24-hour emergency telephones, lighted pathways/sidewalks, student patrols, and controlled dormitory access (key, security card, etc). Alcohol is permitted for students of legal age at Western Michigan University.

Students who have cars on campus N/A
Health insurance offered Yes

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Paying for School

At Western Michigan University, 73.6 percent of full-time undergraduates receive some kind of need-based financial aid and the average need-based scholarship or grant award is $5,200.

Paying for college doesn't have to be difficult or devastating. Go to the Paying for College knowledge center to get advice on raising cash and reducing costs.

In-state tuition and fees $10,355 (2013-14)
Out-of-state tuition and fees $24,109 (2013-14)
Room and board $8,687 (2013-14)
Financial aid statistics
Financial aid statistics

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* Overview details based on 2012 data

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