One of the Midwest’s top STEM-centered institution, the University of Michigan-Dearborn was founded out of a unique situation. When the Ford Motor Company became concerned about the supply of well-educated, capable engineers and managers, they went directly to the source – the University of Michigan. In exchange for Ford’s gift of land and funds to start a new campus, the University of Michigan opened UM-Dearborn in 1959, using a groundbreaking cooperative education program to train students for the automotive industry with a mix of classroom and experiential, on-the-job education. Today UMD is ranked by U.S. News & World Report as a top 5 public regional university in the Midwest, with a top 10 College of Engineering & Computer Science.
Academic ProgramsThe University of Michigan-Dearborn was originally focused on engineering and business, and those remain the university’s greatest strengths, with a top-10 ranked engineering school, and one of the highest-ranked business schools in Michigan. One reason UMD is able maintain such quality is the selectivity and small size; with just 9000 students, and a lower student:faculty ratio than most public universities, students are able to build mentoring relationships, take part in collaborative projects, and engage in independent undergraduate research at a high level.
Not surprisingly, since UMD’s founding came directly from corporate partnership, UMD has an excellent network of partners for research, cooperative education, internships, and other significant advantages for students. The Office of Sponsored Research and Partnerships organizes faculty and student research with government contracts, such as the NSF and the Department of Defense, and with private companies throughout Michigan and the Detroit metropolitan area. From the social sciences to health professions, UMD students have access to the most current knowledge, and more importantly, take part in creating it alongside some of the most accomplished faculty in the Midwest.
Student LifeAs a deeply engaged part of the metro Detroit community, UM-Dearborn is known for community service and outreach. With Community Engagement Classification from the Carnegie Foundation, UMD keeps their focus on improving life for Michiganders; 96% of students come from in-state. A quarter of UMD’s student body comes from minority groups, and more than 40% of students are first-generation college students, making UMD a significant force for social mobility and uplift. UMD keeps their education accessible as well by charging one of the lowest tuition rates in the state.
Life at UMD is largely residential; most of the university’s diverse student body lives on campus, 200 acres of the former Henry Ford Estate. The school proudly keeps nearly half of its acreage as an undeveloped preserve so students have access to nature even within walking distance to the Ford Motor Company’s headquarters. Student life revolves around on-campus activities, student-led clubs, and service activities. The UMD Wolverines compete in NAIA varsity sports, as well as accomplished men’s and women’s ice hockey teams.