Fast Facts

Fast Facts

Established 1903
Main Campus Kalamazoo, Michigan
Maps and directions
Nickname Broncos
Mascot Buster Bronco
Colors Brown and gold

Enrollment (fall 2018)

WMU attracts a diverse, culturally rich student body from around the state, country and globe.

Total students 22,562
Michigan residents 18,552 or 82 percent
Undergraduate 17,760 or 79 percent
Graduate 4,802 or 21 percent

Programs offered (2017-18)

WMU offers scores of 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, and has awarded a total of 293,404 degrees since 1918.

Bachelor's 152
Master's 78
Specialist 1
Doctoral 34
Total 265

Research and sponsored programs (Fiscal year 2017-18)

Dollars awarded $25,805,341

Economic Impact (Fiscal year 2016-17)

At $1.6 billion, WMU’s economic impact is greater than Michigan’s entire $1.4 billion budget line for all state universities. And for every one of the $104 million the state invests in WMU, the University returns $15.40 in economic vitality to the Calhoun, Kalamazoo and Van Buren county region. In addition, students contribute 235,000 hours to volunteer service and other off-campus community engagement activities each year.

Jobs supported* 6,690
Total local region impact $1.6 billion
Per-student annual spending $11,500
*Direct, indirect and induced

Affiliated Professional Schools

School of Medicine
School of Law

Top national institution

Western Michigan University is a globally engaged, national research university that promotes success for learners at all levels and stands out among America’s more than 4,600 public and private degree-granting colleges and universities.

  • INSIGHT into Diversity consistently honors WMU for its outstanding commitment to diversity and inclusion.
  • Military Times ranks WMU among the best institutions for veterans, and WMU is the only Michigan school to appear on all nine years of its annual Best for Vets list.
  • U.S. Department of State data shows that WMU was No. 6 among producers of American Fulbright Scholars in 2016-17.
  • WMU operates the nation’s largest and most comprehensive collegiate support program for former foster-care youth and is an international model for teaching, research, learning and public service related to foster care and higher education.

A cultural destination

  • College of Fine arts students, faculty and guest artists annually stage 1,400 plays, concerts and exhibitions while students and the University stage dozens of cultural events each year.
  • The International Festival brings 5,000 students and community members together each year to experience the music, dance, food and fashions of a sampling of the 100 home countries of WMU's international students.
  • Miller Auditorium, Michigan’s third largest theatre, presents everything from concerts, comedy acts and multimedia events to touring Broadway shows and internationally acclaimed music and dance productions.

Campuses and facilities

WMU’s campuses encompass about 1,300 acres as well as 170 buildings and feature some of the finest facilities in the Midwest.

Kalamazoo-area campuses

Aviation site—Located at the W.K. Kellogg Airport in nearby Battle Creek, the College of Aviation site serves as the "campus" that houses WMU's aviation-related instructional facilities and sophisticated fleet of aircraft.

East Campus—Located in Kalamazoo just west of the downtown, the East Campus is comprised of landholdings east of Stadium Drive. It has become a hub for health and human services programs and as WMU’s birthplace, features the University’s most historic buildings.

Main Campus—Located in Kalamazoo just west of the downtown, the Main Campus is comprised of landholdings west of Stadium Drive. It is home to a majority of WMU’s academic programs, campus services, instructional buildings and residence halls.

Parkview Campus—Located in Kalamazoo three miles south of the Main Campus, the Parkview Campus is home to the College of Engineering and Applied Sciences as well as WMU’s Business Technology and Research Park.

Major facilities

State-of-the-art buildings are available in areas such as business, chemistry, education, health and human services, science research, and the visual and performing arts. In addition, ongoing improvements to residential neighborhoods across the Main Campus keep a variety of resources and amenities close at hand.

  • Main Campus apartments, residence halls and apartment-style complexes are able to house about 6,000 students, and nearly 90 percent of degree-seeking, first-time freshmen typically live on campus each fall semester.
  • Four dining centers and seven cafés, including a new facility offering nine distinctive food venues in a restaurant-like atmosphere, provide a variety of meal and takeout options.
  • Kalamazoo-area landholdings include two nature preserves that are open to the public and used for research as well as education.

Regional locations and online education

Extended University Programs offers academic classes and programs close to home through its online unit as well as six regional locations in Michigan. Professional and enrichment programming also is available.

Student life

The student affairs division supports WMU’s challenging academic mission; engages students in learning and personal development as well as the life of the University; and helps WMU maintain its safe, healthly and inclusive campus climate. Among its many responsibilities are overseeing the housing and dining system, Career and Student Employment Services, parent and family programs, and an accredited health center complete with counselors and psychologists who are dedicated to helping students manage educational, career and personal issues.

WMU offers a vibrant climate for arts, entertainment and student engagement. Thousands of performances, cultural events, athletic contests, exhibitions and talks are staged each year. The fun and learning begins each fall with a welcome-back festival drawing some 20,000 students and community members and continues throughout the year with everything from movies, magicians and motivating speakers to popular bands, comedians and special events like an evening in the escape rooms.

In addition, more than 500 registered student organizations provide even more opportunities for fun and recreation as well as educational, professional, social and spiritual growth. The University also supports a full complement of fraternities and sororities, an interfaith chapel, and programs dedicated to developing student leaders. Meanwhile, the Division of Intercollegiate Athletics adds to the vitality of campus life. WMU is committed to gender equity and is an NCAA Division I school in the Mid-American Conference (Football Bowl Subdivision) and National Collegiate Hockey Conference.

Men’s sports

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

Women’s sports

  • Basketball
  • Cross country
  • Golf
  • Gymnastics
  • Soccer
  • Softball
  • Tennis
  • Track and field
  • Volleyball
Photo of the ESPN College GameDay cast choosing WMU as the likely winner of a 2016 football game they were featuring.

When "ESPN College GameDay" featured WMU football in 2016, alumnus Greg Jennings, middle, and ESPN's Lee Corso, wearing the Bronco headgear, correctly predicted WMU would win the contest. Photo credit: ESPN

Alumni (2017)

WMU has more than 250,000 alumni worldwide, living in all 50 U.S. states and some 140 other countries. Of the University's total alumni, about 73 percent —183,831—reside in America and about 51 percent—128,887—reside in Michigan.

Complexity and character

  • The University has a diverse student body, with minority groups making up 23 percent, graduate students 21 percent and international students 8 percent.
  • Despite its size and complexity, WMU has a 17-to-1 student-to-faculty ratio, two-thirds of undergraduate classes have 30 or fewer students, and undergraduates have ample opportunities to work closely with faculty researchers and artists.
  • Within three months of graduation, 91 percent of alumni are employed, engaged in military service or full-time volunteer work, or continuing their education; 88 percent are satisfied with their jobs; and 85 percent have jobs related to their degree.
  • Emphasis is given to shaping academic programs so graduates can hit the ground running and immediately add value to their workplaces and communities.
  • The first known American university to require all students to study the non-Western world, WMU has made global engagement and building intercultural competence part of its mission.
  • WMU offers some of Michigan’s largest awards for incoming freshmen, including the Medallion and Foundation scholarships worth $60,000 each and the MLK GOLD Scholarship worth $32,000.
  • Demonstrating its transfer-friendly status, WMU has signed agreements with all 28 of Michigan’s public community colleges to allow students to begin their studies at the community college level.
  • The Lee Honors College is one of the oldest honors programs in the country and serves as an intimate home for more than 1,700 academically talented students whose profile rivals that of the most elite private colleges.

Academic excellence

  • Ranked No. 1 among Top U.S. Sales Schools by, the sales and business marketing program is one of just a handful of majors focusing on both selling and sales leadership and since 2007 has been recognized by the Sales Education Foundation as being one of the Top University Sales Programs.
  • National researcher Gartner lists the integrated supply management program among the nation's 10 leading supply chain undergraduate programs and has done so for the past three years.
  • WMU has the world’s oldest, largest and premiere blindness and low vision studies program of its kind.
  • The Haworth College of Business is among an elite group of fewer than 5 percent of business schools worldwide that are accredited at both the undergraduate and graduate levels by the Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business as well as among the select 1 percent that have additional specialized AACSB accreditation for their accountancy programs.
  • The jazz studies program routinely numbers among the top-three jazz programs that garner the most annual awards from DownBeat magazine.
  • Considered one of the best aviation schools in the world, the College of Aviation offers the only comprehensive aviation program at a public university in Michigan.
  • The College of Fine Arts is the only such college in Michigan and one of just eight fine arts colleges in the country to have all of its disciplines professionally accredited.
  • The Parkview Campus is home to the Business Technology and Research Park, which is being expanded but already supports more than 50 advanced engineering, life sciences and information technology firms that regularly hire WMU students and alumni as interns, co-op students and permanent employees.
  • Students have a chance to practice their clinical skills and serve the public during the more than 80,000 patient visits that take place each year in units affiliated with the College of Health and Human Services.
  • In health and human services areas alone, U.S. News and World Report places the audiology, occupational therapy, rehabilitation counseling and speech-language pathology programs among the 50 best of their kind in the nation and the social work and physician assistant programs among the 100 best.
  • Graduate programs ranked in the top 150 nationally by U.S. News & World Report include art, clinical psychology, education, English, geosciences/earth sciences, history, public affairs and psychology.
  • Psychology faculty and the multifaceted Autism Center of Excellence are internationally known for their expertise in autism-related research, professional training and service activities.
  • WMU has paper, paper coating and printing pilot plants, making it the only higher education institution in the world where students can get firsthand experience in pulping, paper making, printing and recycling without leaving campus.
  • Students, faculty and alumni of the highly regarded creative writing program frequently earn prominent fellowships and prizes. Since 2009, two were finalists for the National Book Award and one received the honor in 2010.
  • After developing a rigorous science curriculum that addresses pressing industry issues, WMU and Kalamazoo Valley Community College launched the nation’s first sustainable craft brewing program.
  • The Evaluation Center is one of the top such centers in the world, housing the only interdisciplinary doctoral degree of its kind and serving clients such as the Kellogg Foundation, U.S. Marine Corps and National Science Foundation.
  • The Specialty Program in Alcohol and Drug Abuse was the first of its kind in Michigan and the state’s first university-based training clinic to address the criminal justice population of substance abusers.
  • A 2017 study published by the Journal of Education for Business cites the business school as ranking 68th internationally in the importance of education research published in quality journals as well as research co-authorship, the highest placement of any Michigan institution.
  • The program in food and consumer package goods marketing is one of the largest marketing programs in the nation, enjoys a near-100 percent placement rate and organizes an industry-leading food marketing conference each year.
  • In 2015, the intensive English language program for international students became only the sixth program worldwide to be reaccredited twice by the prestigious Commission on English Language Program Accreditation.
  • By posting the league's best overall GPA for the academic year, the 398 student-athletes in WMU's 15 Mid-American Conference sports brought home the 2016-17 MAC Institutional Academic Achievement Award.

  • WMU's male student-athletes have had the highest overall GPA in the Mid-American Conference five times, capturing the MAC's academic achievement award for men more often than any other school in the league.

The bright and airy Health and Human Services Building is the country’s first higher education facility to receive gold-level LEED certification for an existing building.

Photo of cars recharging at one of WMU’s electric vehicle charging stations.

With 22, WMU is fourth in the number of electric-vehicle charging stations on college campuses connected with ChargePoint, the world's largest EV charging network. The University of California at Davis is in the top spot with 38 stations and the Massachusetts Institute of Technology in fifth with 21.

Photo of two students strolling across the scenic Goldsworth Valley Pond walkway.

WMU was one of 29 U.S. colleges and universities and only two in Michigan to be recognized as a Tree Campus USA school during the program’s inaugural year. Since then, it has been recertified to receive this national Arbor Day Foundation designation ten times.


  • WMU is a founding member of the Alliance for Resilient Campuses, forming part of a college and university network committed to leading the nation’s response to challenges triggered by changing global weather patterns.
  • The Sustainable Endowments Institute has named WMU among 80 “national campus sustainability leaders” and recognized the University for having the country’s oldest green revolving fund for investing in sustainability projects that generate cost-savings.
  • Second Nature, the nation’s leading collegiate climate action organization, has presented a Climate Leadership Award to WMU in recognition of campus innovation and leadership.
  • WMU earned the 2014 Best of Green Schools designation in the higher education category from the U.S. Green Building Council’s Center for Green Schools.
  • Sierra Club magazine included WMU on its 2015, 2016 and 2017 top-100 ranking of “Cool Schools” that are the greenest colleges and universities.
  • All incoming first-year and transfer students receive their pick of one of three free reusable products from the Office for Sustainability as a way to save resources and reduce waste. The program, begun in 1999 and recognized by the National Wildlife Federation, has distributed more than 20,000 water containers so far through giveaways and sales.
  • Since 2005, 59 percent of the buildings WMU has constructed or significantly renovated have earned Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design—LEED—certification.
  • WMU received one of the six Best of GRITS—Green Revolving Investment Tracking System—awards given out thus far. It was honored as the large educational institution with the most carbon emissions saved to date.
  • WMU students, faculty and staff with a valid WMU ID can travel around campus and Kalamazoo by city bus for free.
  • WMU is the first university in Michigan to open a large-scale Consumers Energy Solar Garden on its campus.
  • Among the first five U.S. organizations to earn Landscape Management and Operations Accreditation, WMU was the only one from Michigan and just one of two to be accredited at the highest level.
  • The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency presented a College/University Partner of the Year Award to WMU for outstanding waste reduction achievements as a partner in WasteWise, the country’s first national voluntary solid waste reduction program.
  • The University completely eliminated the use of coal in its power plant in 1999 and heats, cools and powers much of its campus using two super efficient natural gas co-generation turbines.
  • A leader in using healthy and sustainable cleaning approaches, WMU earned the Grand Cleaning Award for higher education institutions in the American School & University’s 2017 competition. The University was the nation’s fourth higher education institution and the first in the state to achieve Green Seal certification.
  • STARS, the Sustainability Tracking, Assessment and Rating System administered by the Association for the Advancement of Sustainability in Higher Education, has awarded WMU a gold rating.
  • In a statewide competition, the Detroit Free Press named WMU a Michigan Green Leader in the public sector category for its “remarkable range of green activities.”

Land Acknowledgement Statement

Land acknowledgement is a process by which individuals are prompted to consider the history of the space they currently inhabit.

We would like to recognize that Western Michigan University is located on lands historically occupied by Ojibwe, Odawa, and Bodewadmi nations. Please take a moment to acknowledge and honor this ancestral land of the Three Fires Confederacy, the sacred lands of all indigenous peoples and their continued presence.