Fast Facts

Western Michigan University

Established: 1903
Main campus: Kalamazoo
Enrollment: 24,598
Nickname: Broncos
Mascot: Buster Bronco
Colors: brown and gold

Campuses and facilities

Photo of WMU Chemistry Building.Western Michigan University’s campuses encompass more than 1,200 acres and 151 buildings, and feature some of the finest facilities in the country.

  • 1,200 acres of campuses
  • 143 buildings

Campuses

  • Aviation Campus - W.K. Kellogg Airport in Battle Creek, home of the aviation college
  • Main Campus - Kalamazoo, just west of downtown, divided into three adjoining areas: East, Oakland Drive and West campuses; home to most of WMU's academic programs, campus services, residence halls and other facilities.  
  • Parkview Campus - Kalamazoo, three miles west of main campus, home of the engineering college and Business Technology and Research Park

The main campus is able to house nearly 5,500 students. It includes a large, well-equipped recreation center, modern student apartment complex, and a variety of new facilities for instruction, science and other research and the visual and performing arts.

The University’s highly rated engineering college and thriving Business Technology and Research Park are at the Parkview Campus, while its nationally known aviation college is based at the W.K. Kellogg Airport in Battle Creek. Both the aviation campus and BTR Park are components of Michigan economic development SmartZones.

Regional locations and online education

Extended University Programs offers WMU’s quality academic programs close to home through its online and lifelong education units, as well as eight regional locations:

Academic colleges

Number of programs and degrees awarded

WMU offers numerous degree programs at both the undergraduate and graduate levels. It ranks second among Michigan's 15 public universities in the number of bachelor’s programs offered.

 Degree programs
2012-13
Degrees awarded
F.Y. 2011-12
Degrees awarded
since 1918
Totals 247 5,386 267,152
Bachelor's 145 3,988 201,234
Master's 71 1,281 62,773
Specialist 1 0 555
Doctoral 30 117 2,590

Enrollment (fall 2012)

WMU is Michigan’s fourth largest research university, attracting a diverse, culturally rich student body from around the state, country and globe.

  • Total students - 24,598 (100%)
  • Men - 11,857 (48%)
  • Women - 12,741 (52%)
  • Minorities - 4,638 (19%)
  • Michigan - 21,428 (87%)
  • Other states - 1,595 (6.5%)
  • Other countries - 1,575 (6.4%)
  • Undergraduate - 19,478 (79%)
  • Graduate - 5,120 (21%)

Entering freshman profile (fall 2012)

  • Middle 50 percent range ACT scores - 20-25
  • Average high school GPA - 3.33
  • Students in top 25 percent of high school class - 719

Student costs

Tuition and fees are available online, including information on differential tuition charged students in the Haworth College of Business and College of Fine Arts. WMU ranks 10th in tuition and fees among the state’s 15 public universities and is the least expensive of Michigan’s five top-tier research universities.

Financial aid and scholarships (fiscal year 2011-12)

WMU awarded $278 million in financial assistance to more than 20,100 students. About $54 million of this total went to nearly 3,600 graduate students.

Worldwide information resources

Photo of WMU's Waldo Library and Stewart Tower.Extensive computing facilities are available in classrooms, laboratories and residence halls across campus. University Libraries is the state's fourth largest academic library system, with more than 5 million items. These items include online versions of more than 245,576 books and 62,674 serial publications. Library patrons are also connected with the holdings of 72,000 libraries worldwide.

  • Archives and Regional History Collections (269) 387-8490
  • Education (269) 387-5223
  • Music and Dance (269) 387-5237
  • Waldo Library (main) (269) 387-5155

Graduate education

WMU offers nationally and internationally recognized graduate programs in a wide range of disciplines, from physics and speech pathology and audiology to creative writing and medieval studies.

More than 5,100 graduate students study and conduct research at the University. They are welcomed into faculty labs and studios, and participate in groundbreaking work being done in partnership with business, industry and government across Michigan and around the world.

International education

Photo of students at annual International Festival.WMU enrolls nearly 1,575 international students from 95 countries. The faculty includes hundreds of scholars with academic or research experience outside of the United States, who are engaged in collaborative activities and projects on six continents.

The University offers students study abroad programs in more than 30 countries, and access to foreign study opportunities in almost every country in the world through linkages with other universities and organizations.

On campus, major and minor offerings include interdisciplinary programs in global and international studies as well as programs in comparative politics, international business, selected regions of the world, and foreign language studies that encompass nontraditional yet critical languages, such as Arabic, Chinese and Russian. The University also hosts a fully accredited intensive English language program for international students.

Student life

Major components of student life include health and wellness, diversity and inclusion, residence life and campus dining, career and leadership development, student-led activities and organizations, and a host of programs designed to support the academic mission of the University and help guide students toward lives as responsible citizens and leaders.

Arts and entertainment

WMU offers a wide range of arts and entertainment including more than 1,200 plays, concerts, exhibitions and readings featuring the work of student, faculty and guest artists. The Campus Activities Board and other student organizations sponsor performances by popular comedians and musicians. WMU is home to Miller Auditorium, the third largest theatre in Michigan, which features Broadway hits and internationally acclaimed performances of ballet, opera, music and dance.

Principal visual arts and performance venues

  • Dalton Center - dance studios, recital hall, multimedia room 
  • Gilmore Theatre Complex - Shaw Theatre, Williams Theatre, York Arena Theatre
  • Little Theatre - films and readings
  • Miller Auditorium - 3,500-seat auditorium
  • Richmond Center for Visual Arts - galleries and presentation space

Intercollegiate athletics

WMU is committed to gender equity and is an NCAA Division I (Football Bowl Subdivision) member of the Mid-American Conference and the Central Collegiate Hockey Association. WMU supports 15 varsity sports—six for men and nine for women. Visit wmubroncos.com for complete information.

Men’s varsity sports

  • Baseball
  • Basketball
  • Football
  • Hockey
  • Soccer
  • Tennis

Women's varsity sports

  • Basketball
  • Cross Country
  • Golf
  • Gymnastics
  • Soccer
  • Softball
  • Tennis
  • Track and Field (indoor and outdoor)
  • Volleyball

Alumni

WMU has 180,000 alumni worldwide, living in all 50 U.S. states and more than 140 other countries. While the alumni population has grown significantly over the past 20 years, the geographic distribution has remained fairly constant.

  • 96 percent of all WMU alumni live in the United States. Other countries with the largest number of alumni are Malaysia, India, Japan, China and Canada.
  • 67 percent of all WMU alumni live in Michigan. Other states with the largest number of WMU alumni are Illinois, Florida, California, Indiana and Ohio.
  • 60 percent of all WMU alumni live in the southern half of Michigan’s Lower Peninsula.
  • The largest concentrations of alumni are in the metro areas of Kalamazoo, Detroit, Chicago and Grand Rapids.

Major milestones in WMU history

  • May 27, 1903 - WMU established by act of the Michigan legislature
  • 1904 - First classes offered with 117 students enrolled
  • 1905 - Two-year teaching certificates awarded at first commencement
  • 1909 - First regional location opens in Grand Rapids
  • 1920 - First bachelor's degrees awarded
  • 1939 - Nickname changed from Hilltoppers to Broncos
  • 1953 - First master's degrees awarded
  • Feb. 26, 1957 - Western Michigan becomes the state's fourth public university.
  • 1968 - First doctoral degrees awarded
  • 1997 - Phi Beta Kappa chapter established at WMU
  • 2000 - WMU joins the University of Michigan, Michigan State and Wayne State as Carnegie Foundation-classified doctoral-research universities.
  • 2013 - WMU becomes a medical university

Human resources (fall 2012)

  • Regular staff - 1,904
  • Full-time faculty - 861
  • Faculty chairs - 52
  • Part-time faculty - 543
  • Graduate assistants - 874
  • Total - 4,234

Research and sponsored programs

Fiscal YearDollars awarded
2011-12 $22,748,380
2010-11 $35,715,764
2009-10 $34,107,248
2008-09 $32,290,781
2007-08 $23,564,158

Private gifts

 F.Y. 2011-1210-year avg.
Total $37,822,944 $20,612,743
Paper Tech Foundation $164,699 $387,745
Private grants $2,389,872 $3,365,085
WMU Foundation $35,268,373 $16,859,912

Financial operations (fiscal year 2011-12)

CategoryDollars awarded
Total current funds $511,952,622
General fund $302,849,893
Auxiliary enterprises $104,169,040
Other activities $104,933,689

Economic impact (2010)

Jobs created 9,539
Total spending impact $819,700,000
Student spending $242,600,000
Visitor spending $16,600,000
University spending $535,000,000