Student Outcomes Data

Student success is at the core of Western Michigan University's mission. Every day, a diverse student body finds access, opportunity, growth and, ultimately, personal and professional success at WMU. Here are some of the basic outcomes of the WMU commitment to recruit, retain and graduate students from around the globe.


WMU's student body is made up of people from every county in Michigan, every state in the nation and nearly 100 other nations. Relatively balanced in terms of gender—with males accounting for 48.9 percent of the student population and females at 51.1 percent—the student body totals nearly 23,000. It is heavily represented—82 percent—by Michigan residents. 20.2 percent of the student body is made up of students from underrepresented minority populations, while 8.3 percent of students hail from other nations. Nearly 22 percent of WMU students are studying at the graduate level. Just over 30 percent of WMU students receive Pell grants.

Retention and graduation rates

Last year, almost 80% percent of the previous fall's incoming freshmen returned for their sophomore year. Within six years of enrolling, some 53 percent have earned a WMU degree. Others are still enrolled and on track for graduation, some have moved to other schools to complete their degrees, while WMU has similarly welcomed transfer students to its campus.

Number of degrees awarded annually

WMU awards an average of 5,240 degrees annually during three separate sets of commencement ceremonies—one in December, a second in April and the final one in June. Of that average total, an average of 1,452 are degrees awarded at the graduate level, including an annual average of 125 at the doctoral level.

Post-graduate success

Within three months of graduation, a full 91 percent of new WMU alumni are actively engaged in the next step in their professional development—either employed or enrolled in graduate school. For those employed, 86 percent are employed in jobs related to their academic discipline, 89 percent are satisfied with their jobs and 76 percent are employed in Michigan. The median salary range for all respondents in the most recent year's graduates was in the $45,000 to $50,000 range, while the median salary for new alumni in some majors was as high as the $70,000 to $75,000 range.

For a complete report on WMU's overall post-graduate success rate as well as a look at the success rates, starting salaries and sample employers for individual academic majors, see Career Outcomes for WMU Graduates*.

*For the 2017-18 post-graduate survey, data was collected from 77% of graduates (N=4,000). 69% of the 4,000 respondents’ data was obtained from an online questionnaire, and 31% of the 4,000 respondents’ data was obtained from public LinkedIn profiles.

Licensure rates

Some professions require new graduates to take a post-degree licensure exam. Licensure passage rates are available for a select number of programs. They include: