The University of Michigan (Michigan, UMich, or U-M) is a public research university in Ann Arbor, Michigan. Founded in 1817 by an act of the old Michigan Territory, as the Catholepistemiad, or the University of Michigania, 20 years before the territory became a state, the university is Michigan‘s oldest. The institution was moved to Ann Arbor in 1837 onto 40 acres (16 ha) of what is now known as Central Campus, a U.S. historic district. Since its establishment in Ann Arbor, the university has expanded to include some 500 buildings spread out over the city. The university has been governed by an elected board of regents independently of the state since 1850, when the state’s second constitution was officially adopted.
The university consists of nineteen colleges and offers degree programs at undergraduate, graduate and postdoctoral levels in some 250 disciplines. Michigan has nine professional schools: the Taubman College of Architecture and Urban Planning, Ross School of Business, Medical School, Law School, Ford School of Public Policy, College of Pharmacy, School of Social Work, School of Public Health, and School of Dentistry. It affiliates with two regional universities located in Flint and Dearborn (each separately accredited universities) and operates a center located in Detroit. The university also previously owned a National Historic Landmark Fair Lane donated by the Ford family in 1957 and transferred to the not for profit Henry Ford Estate, Inc. in 2013. The estate is open to the public as an historical landscape and house museum.
Michigan has been a coeducational institution since 1871. The university’s enrollment is approximately 32,000 undergraduate students and 16,000 graduate students. Undergraduate admission to the university is categorized as “most selective.” Nearly half of the students are from out of state. International students from some 130 countries account for 15 percent of the entire student body. In 2021, Michigan’s six-year graduation rate was 93 percent.
Michigan is one of the earliest American research universities, part of the URA, as well as a founding member of the Association of American Universities. As a major research center, it ranked 2nd among American universities in research expenditures and produces a large proportion of the country’s publications and citations. The university achieved the fourth-highest overall research publication output among American research universities in the 2020 Nature Index, behind Harvard, Stanford and MIT. It has been consistently ranked among the top universities in the United States by college and university rankings. In international comparison, the university occupies top positions in rankings and enjoys a distinguished academic reputation. As of October 2019, 26 Nobel Prize laureates, six Turing Award laureates and one Fields Medalist have been affiliated with the university. It is also a leading producer of Fulbright Scholars and MacArthur Fellows.
Michigan is home to the country’s oldest continuously existing legal organization, oldest international professional dental fraternity, oldest continuously running university hospital and longest-standing laboratory for interdisciplinary research in the social sciences. The university’s noted alumni include eight domestic and foreign heads of state or heads of government; 42 cabinet-level officials; and 26 living billionaires. As of 2021, Wolverine athletes have won 155 medals at the Olympic Games.[