Ferris State University, located in Big Rapids, Michigan, is a public university and the ninth largest in the state. Established in 1884, the University was originally called the Big Rapids Industrial School, founded by Woodbridge Nathan Ferris, an educator from Tioga County, New York who later served as the governor of the State of Michigan and in then in the United States Senate. In 1898 the school was renamed Ferris Institute in honor of its founder. In 1949 the Institute was gifted to the State of Michigan which took control of the institution in 1950; by 1963 the school was granted another new name, Ferris State College and in 1987 achieved university status.
Academic ProgramsFerris State University is accredited by the North Central Association of Colleges and Schools and has been so since 1959. The University is divided into several colleges, including the College of Arts and Sciences, the College of Business, the College of Health Professions, the College of Professional and Technological Studies, the College of Education and Human Services, the College of Engineering Technology, the Michigan College of Optometry, the College of Pharmacy, and the Kendall College of Art and Design.
Ferris State University offers more than 180 undergraduate and graduate majors, including two-year degrees which “ladder” into four-year degrees. All classes are taught by professors, never graduate assistants, and many classes are taught in small groups rather than in large lecture halls. At the graduate level, the University awards several master’s and doctoral degrees including the Master of Business Administration; Master of Education; Master of Healthcare Administration; Master of Public Health; Master of Science in CJ Administration; Master of Science in Nursing; Master of Science Info Security and Intelligence; Master of Social Work; Doctor of Education; Doctor of Optometry; and Doctor of Pharmacy.
Student LifeFerris State University has a total enrollment figure of nearly 15,000, including well over 13,000 undergraduate students. All single students are required to live in University residence halls for two full academic semesters, unless they are over the age of 19 or living at home with their parents within 50 road miles of the University. Ferris State University offers a variety of living options including more than a dozen residence halls, each of which are staffed by Hall Directors and Resident Advisors; the East Campus Suites which are fully furnished with open access throughout the year; and University Apartments which are available to students as well as their families.
Ferris State University is home to a variety of student-led clubs and organizations which cater to a wide range of interests including academic, professional, social, recreational, athletic, and other hobbies. These, and other campus activities and events, provide students with valuable opportunity to interact with one another outside of the classroom as well as develop leadership qualities. As an NCAA Division II school, Ferris State University’s varsity athletic teams compete in the Great Lakes Intercollegiate Athletic Conference and the Western Collegiate Hockey Association.