About Northern Michigan University

Students enjoying the fall colors from Mount Marquette

Northern Michigan University, located in Marquette, Michigan, is a dynamic four-year, public, comprehensive university that has grown its reputation based on its award-winning leadership programs, cutting-edge technology initiatives and nationally recognized academic programs.

Northern Michigan has a population of about 7,900 undergraduate and graduate students.  It offers 177 degree programs, including 25 graduate programs.

The university has two semesters per year, a fall and winter semester, and two summer sessions.  NMU  is one of three Michigan public universities to also serve a community college role for its region, which means the breadth of NMU’s academic programs range from one-year diplomas through a doctorate. NMU began offering its first doctoral program – the Doctor of Nursing Practice –  in fall 2014. NMU’s most popular bachelor’s degrees are art and design, nursing, criminal justice, elementary education and biology.  The university’s fastest growing academic areas are clinical science, biology, and the geographical and environmental sciences.

Some of the NMU degree programs to receive national or international recognition in the recent years have been art and design, business, computer science, education, English and nursing. Some unique aspects of Northern’s academic menu include being the only university to offer five national Accrediting Agency for Clinical Laboratory Science accredited programs in the United States and one of three universities nationwide with both diagnostic molecular science and cytogenetics programs.  NMU is one of only two Michigan universities to have an entrepreneurship major.  It also has one of the few programs in the country for both ski management and wildland firefighting.  Programs that boast 90 percent placement rate or higher are business, clinical sciences, engineering technology, music education, line and power technician, and theater, as well as our pre-medical and pre-dental students for professional school admittance.  In fact, Northern has programs in 42 of the 50 fastest growing occupations as identified in the “Training for Michigan’s Hot Jobs” report.

One of Northern’s most consistent traits is for providing outstanding personal attention to students. 

More than 75 percent of NMU's  300-plus full-time faculty members have doctorates or the highest degree in their fields, and a hallmark of the NMU experience is that full-time faculty members teach at all levels - freshmen through graduate courses.  NMU’s 1,100 employees view helping students succeed as not only a university priority, but a personal goal.

Northern Michigan University has two highly acclaimed leadership programs: the Student Leader Fellowship Program (SLFP) and Superior Edge. The SLFP, which has been in existence for more than 20 years, is a highly selective, two-year leadership experience for the 50 selected students each year.  The Superior Edge program is open to all NMU students and has nearly a third of the student population participating in the program’s four edges:  citizenship, diversity awareness, leadership and real-world application of classroom theory.  These two programs, along with NMU’s efforts in academic service learning, an active volunteer center on campus that does extensive outreach throughout Michigan’s Upper Peninsula region, and about 300 student organizations combine to make the NMU campus a place where involvement is a natural component of the Northern student experience.  Northern Michigan University was selected as the recipient of the 2013 Engaged Campus of the Year Award from Michigan Campus Compact. Northern is one of about 300 colleges and universities nationwide to have the Carnegie Foundation’s “community-engaged campus” designation.

Other NMU programs of note include the First Year Experience program, Honors Program, Freshman Fellows, which matches incoming freshmen with faculty members for collaborative research. Northern also offers outstanding study abroad opportunities.

NMU is also home to an Olympic training site for elite-level Greco-Roman wrestlers and weightlifters.  Northern sponsors 13 intercollegiate sports: seven men’s (basketball, football, golf, ice hockey Nordic skiing, soccer, swimming and diving) and 10 women’s teams (basketball, cross country, golf, lacrosse, Nordic skiing, soccer, swimming and diving, indoor track and field, outdoor track and field and volleyball). Most of the programs compete at the NCAA Division II level in the Great Lakes Intercollegiate Athletic Conference.  The Wildcat men’s ice hockey program is NCAA Division I and a member of the Western Collegiate Hockey Association.  NMU has won NCAA team titles in football (1975), men’s hockey (1991) and women’s volleyball (1993, ’94).  The university also has strong club sports and intramural programs.

Over the past decade, Northern Michigan University has been selected for numerous international and national awards for its use of next-generation technology in the higher education setting. 

NMU is one of the largest notebook computer campuses in the United States, with all full-time students receiving either a ThinkPad or MacBook as part of tuition. The university has been cited as one of the most wired and most densely wireless campuses in the country.  Northern was the first U.S. university to own and operate a WiMAX (4G) network, which has now been converted to LTE and spans about 40 square miles. Northern’s work with WiMAX technology was so innovative at the time it resulted in President Barack Obama choosing the NMU campus as the site to announce his national wireless initiative in 2011.

Northern’s hometown of Marquette is a city of 20,000 residents located along the southern shore of Lake Superior. Michigan’s Upper Peninsula region is known for its safe, friendly and natural environment.  Marquette enjoys four distinct seasons that are celebrated by a wide variety of festivals and activities throughout the year. The Marquette community and Northern Michigan University are intricately intertwined, which adds to the vitality of the area and to the opportunities available to NMU students.

NMU’s 360-acre campus features 52 facilities, including the Seaborg Science Complex, a state-of-the-art venue with more than two dozen laboratories, and recently renovated Thomas Fine Arts and Art and Design buildings.  NMU's campus also houses a university theater, an award-winning library, a university center, two art galleries, and a three-structure sports and recreation complex of which one is the Superior Dome, the world's largest wooden dome. Students gain professional skills at NMU's three public broadcasting stations, WNMU-TV, WNMU-FM and student radio WUPX, which also greatly enhance the region with news, educational and cultural programming. The diversity of the U.P.’s geographical terrain serves the NMU community as an extensive outdoor classroom. The university also owns an 18-hole golf course and a large woodland area.