Why Western Michigan University

At WMU, you can seek a deeper understanding of who you are and who you're meant to be. Beyond book smarts, your potential lies in your pursuit of purpose. It's unleased in a tenacity to question answers and the ability to rethink differently. 

It's time to Rethink Smart. Are you ready? 

The Western Difference

You can pursue it all here! 

WMU students like to say that WMU offers the student life and resources of a major university, while at the same time, students feel cared for and the experience feels personal. Western offers every amenity and endless opportunities for fun and personal growth. With Division I athletics, Greek life and more than 300 registered student organizations, students thrive at WMU.

  • Life experience is part of your education with WMU Signature

    Unique to Western, WMU Signature integrates your out-of-class learning experiences and on-campus engagement to focus your purpose in one of eight areas, such as entrepreneurship, social justice or sustainability. Your transcript and diploma will bear a WMU Signature designation to recognize your co-curricular achievements. The program will help you stand out to graduate schools and employers by showcasing what you have accomplished outside of the classroom. 

  • Find your purpose through Exploratory Advising

    As an undeclared student, Exploratory Advising, an academic success program at WMU, will help you explore possible majors in meaningful and productive ways by helping you gain knowledge about programs and guiding you through potential career outcomes. You can pursue your passions, purpose and interests at WMU before deciding a major while receiving guidance and support from advisors. 

  • We approach wellness holistically

    Rethink Smart means a happier life by focusing on personal wellness while striving for a career that adds well-being for everyone. As a student you'll have access to our full-service health center with everything you need for your physical and mental health so that you can be your best self.

    You will also find the latest equipment and classes at the comprehensive Student Recreation Center so you can stay fit and recharge in 240,000 square feet of recreation space featuring a climbing wall, weight training and eight full-sized indoor basketball courts.

Kalamazoo is a great place to call home

Whatever you’re looking for—nightlife, festivals, eclectic eateries, unique shopping or invigorating outdoor recreation, Kalamazoo delivers. Our wonderful city also offers students an abundance of internships, jobs and experiential learning opportunities. It’s home to big players like Stryker Corporation, Pfizer, Bell’s Brewery and Zoetis.

  • Downtown to-dos have everything

    Downtown Kalamazoo offers foodie havens, local shopping and hangouts buzzing with live music, theater and dancing. You’ll find fresh farmers markets, plus cultural and food festivals all summer long. It's no surprise why WMU was named a "Top 20 Best College Town" by WalletHub. 

     

  • Ample opportunities for internships and networking

    Kalamazoo and West Michigan is a hotbed of opportunities for internships and networking. Major employers include Kellogg’s, Stryker, Whirlpool and three regional health care systems. Through these opportunities, you can experience, grow and thrive in your chosen industry with support and assistance from local mentors and Career and Student Employment Services, whose staff will assist you with exploring career options, interviewing, negotiating, and finding internships and jobs.

     

  • Thrive when you live and learn on campus

    On-campus residents in WMU Living-Learning Communities talk about how they enjoy living with like-minded peers, attending events together and using the academic resources provided in their community. As one resident put it, learning communities are "a great way to make personal, professional and life-long connections."

    Bonus: On-campus Living-Learning Community residents graduate in four years at nearly double the rate as students living off-campus. 

Students learn, think and do—all at the same time

WMU has a strong tradition of providing undergraduate students with mentored research and creative activity experiences. You’ll benefit from a major research university and learn from a top-tier faculty that advances the frontiers of knowledge by participating in research in a laboratory, classroom, field, studio and more. WMU also offers opportunities for you to apply for grants to subsidize your engagement in scholarly activities.

  • Pursue your own research opportunities

    As a Bronco, you can pursue independent research projects and get involved in research opportunities within all seven academic colleges.  The Student Opportunity Center gives all students access to over 8,000 opportunities, across the country and right here on campus, related to research and creative scholarship including conferences, research opportunities, journals for publishing student work, and other funding opportunities.

    Compared to its competitor institutions, WMU does not reserve research opportunities for only upperclassmen. Undergraduate students may apply for research opportunities as early as their sophomore year. Funding opportunities are available through the Undergraduate Research Excellence Award, Lee Honors College and some of the other academic colleges. 

     

  • Collaborative scholarly work is recognized

    WMU has a long history of public service and community partnership, including experiential learning opportunities that allow faculty and students to apply their work and produce useful solutions for business, government and nonprofit agencies. As a result of that work,  WMU has received the Carnegie Community Engagement Classification for the second consecutive time, which recognizes higher education institutions across the country for their outstanding institutional commitment to transformative collaboration locally and beyond. WMU is one of 119 institutions in the country to be awarded the designation in the 2020 cycle, one of only 13 doctoral-granting universities with a “high research activity” classification to receive this recognition, and one of 11 in Michigan to be named.

     

     

  • Experience-based learning

    Western actively creates experiential opportunities for all students. You can stagger your experiences throughout your time at Western and possibly even earn some income. WMU facilitates and supports these out-of-class learning opportunities for you to learn new skills, make connections and develop knowledge in new areas.

    93% of graduates have an experienced-based learning opportunity to add to their resume. 

     

Better together

Western staff, faculty and students are proud of the diverse community on our campus. In addition to academic support, the WMU Offices of Diversity and Inclusion, Multicultural Affairs for Students, LGBTQ Student Services and Disability Services for Students support students in all aspects of their identity, so they're included, represented, and heard while on campus. 

Together, we can build a better University that truly demonstrates the values of diversity, equity, and inclusion. 

  • Expand your global perspective

    In addition to enhancing your education by raising your geographical and cultural awareness, participating in a study abroad program has been linked to cognitive, academic and professional benefits.  Whether you are a business major, biology major, fashion major, foreign language major, or any major in between, Western Michigan University has a study abroad program suited for you. Specifically, studying abroad and experiencing a new culture can help you gain a heightened awareness of your own individual origins, practices and habits, and empathizing with other cultures.

  • WMU Essential Studies is all about your choices

    Preparing to move from student to professional can be daunting, but Western Michigan University has you covered. As a WMU student, you will complete  12 courses from WMU Essential Studies (WES), a program that helps you develop the general education and intellectual skills employers seek most in graduates—demonstrated complex problem solving, critical thinking, creativity, emotional intelligence, judgment and decision making. 

    And, since WES is all about your choices, the sequence of courses you select will help you succeed in your chosen major, minor, graduate degree and future career. This includes one required course covering diversity and inclusion topics where you'll not only learn how diversity and inclusion impacts affect yourself and others, you will engage in meaningful interactions and understand the historical influences that impact today's world.

  • Thrive in a diverse world; start on a diverse campus

    Several departments and multiple student organizations on the WMU campus to help grow diversity and foster inclusion and to support you holistically to help you thrive on campus. In addition to services that support academics and wellness at Western, the WMU offices of Diversity and Inclusion, Multicultural Affairs for Students, LGBTQ Student Services, and Disability Services for Students will support you all aspects of identity, so you feel included, represented and heard as a part of the WMU community. 

It's more than "going green"

WMU has been named one of the Top 15 most affordable, eco-friendly colleges by BestChoiceSchools.com. This is due to our passion to continually explore and develop new opportunities to create a culture of sustainability and improve quality of life for all.

  • Earn funds to make a difference on campus

    The Student Sustainability Grant (SSG) program supports student research, projects, and other activities that have the potential to advance our campus culture of sustainability. We believe in the power of our students like you to build a greener world, and our current students are solving real-world sustainability issues, both building their resumes and making a difference on our campus. 

    As a student, you can apply for a student sustainability grant to implement research, a project or other activity that will advance our campus culture of sustainability. The water bottle filling stations found throughout the WMU campus were started through a student's idea and sustainability grant. 

     

  • Campus sustainability programs

    WMU is a national higher education sustainability leader and has earned accolades such as the state’s first higher education institution to achieve Green Seal certification and is one of the nation's top 50 most affordable, eco-friendly colleges. You'll benefit and learn from WMU’s sustainable practices and programs through the Office for Sustainability, such as: 

    • EcoMug program: Since 2009, WMU has given all incoming first year and transfer students a free re-usable mug. 
    • BroncoBikes program: A low cost, campus-wide bicycle rental program. It serves as a convenient and inexpensive way to ride to and from classes and get around Kalamazoo. With a BroncoBike, there is no reason to pay for gas, pay for car repairs, or wait around in traffic. 

     

  • We're driven by sustainability

    As a Climate Leadership Award recipient, WMU sustainability leadership drives us, literally. 

    • WMU was named on of the five best U.S. campuses for electric cars, based on a review of nationwide electric vehicle charging availability by Transport Evolved, a news site based in Great Britain.
    • WMU has the most extensive electric vehicle infrastructure on campuses nationwide, including five battery electric AzureTransit Connect work vans, a 50kW photovoltaic array and 15 EV charging stations next to the Miller Auditorium Parking Deck. This equipment, made possible by a grant from the Department of Energy through the Ann Arbor based Clean Energy Coalition, was a product of the vision and support of the Office of Business and Finance.
    • All WMU students, faculty, and staff have been eligible to ride Kalamazoo County METRO Transit (bus system) free of charge since 1998.