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Is Michigan weak in any way?

AlexandreAlexandre 24277 replies434 threads Senior Member
I often ponder that very question and always fail to come up with a weakness. Even the nasty weather has its benefits.

Let us start with the most important variable and the primary reason why most people decide to go to university...ACADEMICS. In the simplest of terms, Michigan is better in more fields than any university in the country. Here's a closer look:

Anthropology: #1
Arabic #2
Political Science: #2
Psychology: #2
American Studies: #3
Atmospheric Sciences: #3
Business: #3
- Accounting #4
- Finance #3
- Insurance #10
- International Business #4
- Management #2
- MIS #8
- Marketing #2
- Production/Operations: #5
- Quatitative Analysis: #5
- Real Estate #10
Sociology: #3
Music: #4
Nursing: #4
Philosophy: #4
Classics: #5
Geology: #5
History: #5
- African American History #1
- Asian History #9
- Cultural History #8
- European History #5
- Modern US History #10
- Women's History #2
Russian Language: #5
Russian and Slavic Studies: #5
Southeast Asian Studies: #5
Scandinavian Languages: #6
Spanish: #6
Asian & Oriental Studies: #7
Engineering: #7
- Aerospace #3
- Biomedical #7
- Chemical #9
- Civil #7
- Computer #6
- Electrical #5
- Environmental #3
- Industrial #2
- Materials #2
- Mechanical #2
- Nuclear #1
French: #7
Italian: #7
Japanese: #7
Latin: #7
Near and Middle Eastern Studies: #7
Art/Art History: #9
Mathematics: #9
East Asian Studies: #10
Economics: #11
English: #11
Hebrew: #12
Computer Science: #13
Physics: #13
German: #14
Biology: #15
Chemistry: #16

Professional graduate programs:
Business: #4-#12
Dentistry: #4
Engineering: #9
Law: #9
Medicine: #10
Pharmacy: #5

As far as pre-law and pre-med are concerned, Michigan sends 100-150 students to the top 14 Law Schools and over 200 students to top 15 medical schools annually (mostly to Michigan, Columbia, Harvard, Penn, Cornell, Chicago and Northwestern). According to a recent survey conducted by the Wall Street Journal, only 6 or 7 universities place a significantly higher ratio of their students into top 15 professional programs.

Not only do graduate school adcoms accept Michigan students at alarming rates, but corporate recruits constantly visit the campus to hire our students. The following companies recruit over 10 Michigan undergrads annually: Bain, Boeing, Boston Consulting Group, Booz Allen, Cisco, Citigroup, Credit Suisse, Ford, General Electric, General Motors, Goldman Sachs, IBM, JP Morgan, Lockheed Martin, McKinsey, Microsoft, Mercer, Morgan Stanley, Pfizer and UBS.

Obviously, the campus has amazing resources. The University of Michigan hospital is ranked among the top 10 nationally on an annual basis. Unlike most state universities, Michigan is almost self-reliant financially speaking. Over 90% of its budget comes from independent sources. Only 8% of Michigan's budget comes from state funding.

Research is a huge part of the university and its culture. Michigan spends over $800 million on research. Only 2 universities spend more. And the research is not limited purely to graduate students. There are over 1,000 research projects availlable to undergraduates at any point in time.

The University's endowment now stands at $7.6 Billion (thanks to our recent fund raising campaign). That makes Michigan the 6th wealthiest university in the nation. Michigan wasn't even among the 20 wealthiest in 1990. In the last 20 years, Michigan's endowment has grown 3,000%. No other top 25 university has an endowment that has grown by more than 1,500%. At this rate, Michigan will be one of the five wealthiest universities in the nation by 2010.

The Michigan faculty is one of the most accomplished anywhere. 20+ intellectuals have either studied, research or taught at Michigan prior to winning the Nobel Prize in every academic discipline. Not only are our professors at the cutting edge of research in their respective fields, but they are also entertaining and gifted!

YouTube - Econometrics Song

Where else would an Econ professor come up with such an enticing tune!

In terms of diversity, Michigan does alright too. Of its 41,000 students, close to 22,000 come from States other than Michigan. And close to 5,000 students are international!

Don't get me started with the sports. Michigan has one of the top 5 Football and Hockey programs in the nation. Their 11 national championships in Football and 9 national Championships in Hockey are 4th and 1st respectively in the NCAA. Michigan is the only university to have won national championships in Football (11), Hockey (9), Baseball (2) and Basketball (1). They are also tops in Gymnastics (2 national championships), Swimming (an NCAA record 18 national championships), Wrestling, Rowing, Field Hockey (1 national championship) and Softball. Of course, having one of the liveliest hockey arenas, the largest football stadium (111,000 per game) and one of the proudest and most rousing fight songs doesn't hurt!!! hehe

Ann Arbor as a city is often regarded as one of the most pleasant and fun college towns in America. It is rated among the top 10 places to live in the US by several sources, including Money Magazine and Forbes Magazine. And that's not only for students. It is rated one of the top 10 places to live for women, young children, young professionals and retirees.

In terms of location, Ann Arbor is ideally situated. Although Detroit is a horrible place to live, the subburbs around Detroit are among the nicest in the country. They are filled with good restaurants, nightclubs, museums (the 5th largest art collection in the country) and then, there is the music! From the Temptations to Eminem and from Madona to literally dozens of other performers, Detroit continuously produces some of the best music talent in the country. Of course, Detroit is a major transportation hub. Northwestern Airlines has build a terminal that has made Detroit the 5th largest and busiest airports in the country. You can get straight flights to any city in the US as well as direct flights to Paris, London, Rome, Madrid, Frankfurt and Tokyo!

I know I left a few things out...remind me if you think of any!!! hehe
edited January 2014
1191 replies
Post edited by Alexandre on
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Replies to: Is Michigan weak in any way?

  • nirvanarageatmnirvanarageatm 478 replies16 threads Member
    Wolverines kick ass! Oh yeah we also had like 20 Olympic Athletes...gold medalists even-Peter Van der Kaay, Klete Keller, and of course Michael Phelps(who will matriculate in January. Basically, the "Leaders and Best" makes us awesome...but my UROP is at the VA which is SO FAR AWAY haha just kidding...UROP kicks ass (rated no. 1 undergrad research program in the country)
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  • kazzkazz 245 replies5 threads Junior Member
    I've always said that Michigan is probably THE most complete of any university in the country.

    I don't think you mentioned anything about the party or social scene, but it is about as good as it gets... especially for a school of its academic caliber.
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  • amdandrewamdandrew 249 replies38 threads Junior Member
    Where did you get those statistics?
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  • nirvanarageatmnirvanarageatm 478 replies16 threads Member
    Yah the parties rock
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  • Lbtg47Lbtg47 328 replies83 threads Member
    bad weather... and id like to know where you got those rankings too.
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  • techiedorktechiedork 335 replies18 threads Member
    they look like the US News rankings to me....
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  • AlexandreAlexandre 24277 replies434 threads Senior Member
    Amdandrew, I got those stats from several places. For the main disciplines (Biology, Chem, CS, Physics, Econ, History, English, Sociology, Poli Sci, Psych, Geology, Math), I got the stats from the USNWR Best Graduate Schools rankings. Engoneering and Business rankings were from the USNWR Best Undergraduate rankings. And then, all the other rankings came from the Gourman Report/Princeton Review rankings.

    As for the research and endowment stats, those come from a variety of sources.
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  • nirvanarageatmnirvanarageatm 478 replies16 threads Member
    If you want more reliable sources, try the Wall Street Journal. They ranked Michigan Business #1 nationally. Hail to the Victors ****.
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  • AlexandreAlexandre 24277 replies434 threads Senior Member
    Nirvana, WSJ is a great newspaper, but I think their MBA rankings are generally considered loopy! LOL Although Michigan is generally believed to be a top 10 MBA program, few will rank it in the top 2 or 3. I would say that BW and USNWR are closer to the mark. They rank Michigan #6 and #10 respectively. That is why I listed Michigan as the #8 MBA program above. That's an verage between the two rankings. In general, most companies and academics rank Michigan's Business program anywhere between #4 and #8 in the nation.
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  • nirvanarageatmnirvanarageatm 478 replies16 threads Member
    Wall Street Journal based their rankings off of what corporate recruiters said. US news factors in all kinds of other crap like president's opinion and alumni giving rate (for grad schools also)
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  • AlexandreAlexandre 24277 replies434 threads Senior Member
    Don't get me wrong Nirvana. I love it that a high profile publication such as the WSJ ranked Michigan #1. And you are correct that the perception of employers is very important. But the USNWR and BW also have employer rankings, and Michigan does very in those as well. According to the USNWR, Michigan is ranked #8 according to recruiters according to BW, Michigan is ranked #4 according to recruiters. So clearly, recruiters love Michigan. That's because our students have great prior experience, very good attitudes and a sound education in Business matters. In many respects, Michigan is a reasonable choice at #1. But there are many other equally sound programs out there, and some of them have a slight advantage in the intangible column. I realize it is cliche, but I genuinely believe that Harvard, Kellogg and Wharton at the top 3 programs. Stanford follows them very closely. After those 4, you have Chicago, Columbia, Michigan and MIT in no particular order.

    By the way, there are several rankings that maintain that Michigan is the #2 Law School in the nation. It is definitely one of the top 7 (Chicago, Columbia, Harvard, NYU, Stanford and Yale being the other 6), but some argue that it is as good as #2. When you consider that Harvard and Yale are out there, #2 is pretty impressive.

    However, at the present time, Michigan is focusing most on the Medical school. We have gone from #11 to #7 in the last 5 years. And despite its focus on the Medical school, Michigan has still managed to raise $350 million for the Business school this year alone and intends to build up the name and the facilities of the program!!! You gotta love this school!!!
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  • amdandrewamdandrew 249 replies38 threads Junior Member
    The Business Week MBA rankings are the "industry standard." Mich did well there, but I am too lazy to find the specifics.
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  • AlexandreAlexandre 24277 replies434 threads Senior Member
    I agree with you Amdandrew. I too feel that BusinessWeek is the closest thing to an accurate ranking where MBA programs are concerned. This year, Michigan was #6 overall and #4 according to recruiters. That is an excellent showing. Historically, Michigan is #5 overall.

    Historical Business Week Rankings:
    #1 Kellogg
    #2 Wharton
    #3 Harvard
    #4 Chicago
    #5 Michigan
    #6 Stanford
    #7 Columbia
    #8 MIT
    #9 Dartmouth
    #10 Duke

    Here's a link to the historical rankings.

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  • luciferlucifer 37 replies8 threads Junior Member
    Umich needs improvements in sciences. In collecting Nobel prizes, Michigan is a loser in camparison to his counterparts.
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  • dstarkdstark 33322 replies919 threads Senior Member
    Alexandre, I think the advising at Michigan leaves comes up a little short.
    They have advisors everywhere, but the students have to seek them out. If the students don't, then there really isn't much advising.
    My daughter changed her classes and nobody knows.
    The weather also, sucks.
    Overall, my daughter thinks the school is great.
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  • dstarkdstark 33322 replies919 threads Senior Member
    Alexandre, I think the advising at Michigan leaves comes up a little short.
    They have advisors everywhere, but the students have to seek them out. If the students don't, then there really isn't much advising.
    My daughter changed her classes and nobody knows.
    The weather sucks.
    Overall, my daughter thinks the school is great.
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  • GoBlue81GoBlue81 3902 replies58 threads Senior Member
    The Hill Auditorium is one of the best concert halls in the country. The U-M Men's Glee Club is the second oldest collegiate chorus in the United States (founded in 1859), and certainly one of the best. Now we also have the Women's Glee Club.

    The very popular Summer Art (Street) Fair originated from Ann Arbor, and now it is everywhere.

    U-M's Architecture school is ranked #11 in USNWR (1999). It's ranked 7th to 15th in most of the architecture polls.
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  • AlexandreAlexandre 24277 replies434 threads Senior Member
    Lucifer, I agree. Michigan needs to improve its status in the Sciences and do something about having Novel Prize winners work on campus. That will not necessarily improve the university, but it will improve its image. There is no reason Michigan cannot be as good in the Sciences as it is in the Humanities or the Social Sciences. As it stands, the Sciences are good (Michigan is ranked close to the top 10 in Computer Sciences, Biology and Physics and in the top 10 in Mathematics and Geology), but compared to the Humanities or the Social Sciences, we are lacking.

    DStark, I agree about advising at Michigan. We lag in that department too. There is no reason we cannot improve here. We should develop a system that is more effective and proactive.

    Keep 'em coming folks. Not everything about Michigan is good.
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  • esrajayesrajay 270 replies39 threads Member
    1. Weather
    2. Financial Aid
    3. Too many from the state of Michigan.
    4. Too big (its weakness can also be its strength)
    5. Competitive - All people care about are grades.
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  • AlexandreAlexandre 24277 replies434 threads Senior Member
    You know Esrajay, Michigan's size is actually its main weakness. If Michigan's freshmen class were 4,000 rather than 6,000, all of its problems would be solved.

    When I joined Michigan in 1992, my Freshman class had well under 5,000 freshmen. Today, Michigan has a Freshman class of 6,000+. That's ridiculous when you take three factors into consideration:

    1) The population of the state of Michigan is contracting, not expanding. It has gone from well over 10 million in the late 80s to well under 10 million in 2004.

    2) State funding to the University has steadily declined over the last 3 or 4 years.

    3) At 4,000 students per class, Michigan is already HUGE!!! Why have a class of 6,000?!

    This reduction in size would have to be occur slowly but steadily (over the course of 4 or 5 years), with the aim to return to a class size of 4,000, primarily by reducing the number of in-state students from 4,000 Freshmen to 2,000 Freshmen.

    Afterall, state funding is so low, we really should not have more than a 50% in-state student body. And that would solve your #3 and #4 issues with the university.

    It would also make Michigan far more selective. Finally, given our resources, we would be able to give our students the best possible education.
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