Ferris State University
1201 South State St.
Big Rapids, MI, 49307
Tel 231-591-2100



Room and board:

Freshmen receiving aid:


Ferris State University
Big Rapids, MI 49307

College Description
FSU's 800-acre campus is located in Big Rapids, a city of about 12,600 on the banks of the Muskegon River in Mecosta County, midway between Grand Rapids and Cadillac in west-central Michigan. Big Rapids' major economic base is the University, which employs 1,450 faculty and staff members. Known as the "tubing capital of Michigan," the Big Rapids area provides a wide array of recreational activities and community events with more than 100 lakes, thousands of acres of rolling terrain and woodlands, and creeks and rivers throughout the county.Ferris State University (FSU) is Michigan's foremost professional and technical university, providing career-oriented education to 11,000 students. Accredited by the Higher Learning Commission of the North Central Association of Colleges and Schools, the University offers more than 150 majors through the Colleges of Allied Health Sciences, Arts and Sciences, Business, Education and Human Services, Pharmacy, and Technology and the Michigan College of Optometry. These offerings lead to bachelor's and associate degrees and certificates as well as master's and doctoral degrees.

Ferris awards a Master of Science in Business Administration degree and the Master of Science in Information Systems Management degree through the College of Business, the M.S. degree in career and technical education and in criminal justice administration and a Master of Education degree in curriculum and instruction through the College of Education and Human Services. An M.F.A. is offered in drawing, painting, photography, printmaking, and dual concentration through Kendall College of Art and Design of Ferris State University. The Michigan College of Optometry offers the Doctor of Optometry degree. The College of Pharmacy offers the Doctor of Pharmacy degree.

One of Michigan's fifteen public universities, FSU is recognized for its career-oriented educational majors that are designed to meet the technology and workforce demands of business and industry, the health-care professions, and society in general through applied research and practical education. Ferris was founded in 1884 by Woodbridge N. Ferris (1853-1928), a distinguished Michigan educator and politician who served two terms as the state's governor and was elected to the United States Senate. Ferris was a private institution until 1950 when it joined the state higher education system. The college obtained university status in 1987.

The student body consists primarily of Michigan residents (about 91 percent), with about 6 percent from out of state and 3 percent from other countries. Students who are members of minority groups represent about 21 percent of the enrollment. Nearly 36 percent of Ferris students live on campus. The University's nineteen residence halls can accommodate 4,333 students, and married students or students with dependents may apply for one of the nearly 400 one-, two-, and three-bedroom apartments located on campus. The University also maintains dining service facilities for students.

Ferris graduates consistently have experienced high job placement rates because Ferris majors are tailored to the needs of employers. The most recent annual survey of graduates showed that 98 percent of Ferris's graduates were employed or continued as full-time students. Of those in the job market, 91 percent found employment in a position related to their major field of study.

Academic Life
Ferris is dedicated to the ideal of blending career-oriented professional training with a solid base of general education. While major programs of study provide graduates with the skills and knowledge required to enter a chosen career, general education provides graduates with the academic skills, analytic flexibility, and broad base of knowledge required for continued learning, performance, and advancement in their personal and professional lives. Ferris currently is on the semester system, and the minimum requirement for a baccalaureate degree is 120 semester hours. The average major requires between 120 and 130 semester hours. The minimum number of hours required for an associate degree is 60. The University's academic year begins in August and ends in early May.

There are 457 full-time, 182 adjunct, and 33 temporary faculty members teaching at Ferris State University. Many have earned doctorates and have come to Ferris from positions with other colleges and universities, government, and business. Most of the faculty members in technical majors offer their students practical expertise derived from working in the fields they teach.

The College of Allied Health Sciences awards B.S. degrees in environmental health and safety management, health-care systems administration, medical record administration, medical technology, nuclear medicine technology, and professional nursing. Associate degrees are offered in dental hygiene, diagnostic medical sonography, environmental health and safety technology, medical laboratory technology, medical record technology, nuclear medicine technology, radiography (X-ray), respiratory care, and technical nursing.

The College of Arts and Sciences offers B.S. degrees in applied biology, applied mathematics, applied speech communication, biotechnology, public administration, social work, and technical and professional communication. This college offers B.A. degrees in biochemistry, biology, chemistry, communication, English, history, mathematics, psychology, and sociology and a Bachelor of Integrative Studies. Associate degrees are offered in applied speech communication, industrial chemistry technology, liberal arts, and ornamental horticulture technology. Preprofessional programs include engineering, law, mortuary science, optometry, pharmacy, and science.

The College of Business awards B.S. degrees in accountancy, advertising, business administration, computer information systems (CIS), e-commerce marketing, finance, hotel management, human resource management, integrated resource management, international business, management, marketing, music industry management, professional golf management, professional tennis management, public relations, resort management, small business and entrepreneurship, and visual design and Web media. Associate degrees are offered in accountancy, computer information systems, general business, legal assistant studies, restaurant and food industry management, and visual design and Web media.

The College of Education and Human Services awards B.S. degrees in allied health education, biology education, business education, chemistry education, criminal justice, elementary education, English education, mathematics education, recreation leadership and management, social studies education, technical education, television and digital media production, and training in business and industry. Associate degrees are offered in early childhood education, pre-criminal justice, and preteaching in elementary and secondary education.

The College of Technology awards B.S. degrees in automotive engineering technology; automotive and heavy equipment management; computer networks and systems; construction management; electrical/electronics engineering technology; facilities management; heating, ventilation, air-conditioning, and refrigeration engineering technology; heavy equipment service engineering technology; manufacturing engineering technology; mechanical engineering technology; plastics engineering technology; printing management; printing and publishing, new media; product design engineering technology; quality engineering technology; rubber engineering technology; surveying engineering technology; and welding engineering technology. Associate degrees are awarded in architectural technology; automotive body; automotive service technology; building construction technology; CAD drafting and tool design technology; civil engineering technology; heating, ventilation, air-conditioning, and refrigeration technology; heavy equipment technology; industrial electronics; manufacturing tooling technology; mechanical engineering technology; plastics technology; printing and digital graphic imaging technology; rubber technology; surveying technology; and welding technology.

University College provides a variety of academic and career selection services and opportunities to students enrolled in the other seven colleges on the Big Rapids campus. Among those housed under the University College umbrella are the Honors Program, Career Exploration Program, University College Program, educational and career counseling, disabilities services, the Academic Support Center and Tutoring, the Structured Learning Assistance workshops, SCHOLAR program, and freshman seminars.

Kendall College of Art and Design of Ferris State University awards B.F.A. degrees in fine arts drawing, fine arts functional art, fine arts painting, fine arts photography, fine arts printmaking, fine arts sculpture, furniture design, illustration, industrial design, interior design, metals jewelry design, and visual communication and a B.S. degree in art history.

Campus Life
Services available to Ferris students include academic and personal counseling, tutoring, structured learning assistance workshops, disabilities services, aptitude and CLEP testing, career study classes, career planning and placement, and a variety of programs and seminars on crime prevention, safety, and substance abuse prevention and education. In addition to an extensive academic support system characterized by close student-faculty interaction, FSU offers positive experiences to help students grow socially and culturally as well as academically. Students may participate in any of 200 student organizations, including an intramural program, fifteen varsity sports, and theater and musical activities, as well as many social and academic fraternities and sororities that are open to students majoring in any field.

Off-Campus Programs
Off-campus sites include Ferris State University-Grand Rapids; the University Center for Extended Learning, with classes in Big Rapids and Alma; the Northern Michigan Regional Center, with classes in Traverse City and Ludington; the Southeast Michigan Regional Center, with classes in Flint, Dearborn, Monroe, Clinton Township, and Lansing; and the Southwest Michigan Regional Center, with classes in Dowagiac, Niles, Jackson, and Muskegon. Selected classes are also offered over the Internet.

Facilities and Resources
FSU's strikingly modern physical plant of 115 buildings contains numerous special-purpose classroom buildings to support its distinctive course offerings and includes only one structure predating a 1950 fire that destroyed the former buildings. In March 2001, the new four-story, 173,000-square-foot Ferris Library for Information, Technology, and Education (FLITE) opened. It provides state-of-the-art information technology, houses 300 new computers, and has more than thirty individual and group study rooms. Collections include more than 340,000 books and bound journals. FLITE contains a food court, a family study room, and an extended-hours study area designed to be open 24 hours a day, seven days a week.

Athletics/Sports/ Coaches Directory
FSU is a member of the NCAA and competes in Division I hockey and in Division II basketball, cross-country, football, golf, tennis, and track for men and basketball, cross-country, golf, soccer, softball, tennis, track, and volleyball for women.

Financial Aid/ Scholarships
Approximately 74 percent of Ferris students receive some type of financial aid through federal, state, and University programs. Last year, student financial aid included more than $76 million in scholarships, grants, loans, work-study, or a combination of these. The Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) must be submitted by March 15 to receive priority consideration for need-based financial aid. The University also provides merit-based scholarships in recognition of superior academic performance and residence-based scholarships for students living on campus who maintain high academic grades. The Woodbridge N. Ferris Scholarship Program offers competitive awards ranging from $2000 to $5000 per year to those who qualify. The Residential Life Scholarship offers $2000 per year for entering students who live in a residence hall on campus, have a 3.25 or better high school GPA, and have a minimum score of 21 on the ACT. Information and counseling are available from the Office of Scholarships and Financial Aid (telephone: 231-591-2110 or 800-940-4-AID, toll-free).

Admission Requirements/ Application
The Office of Admissions and Records receives and reviews all applications and credentials for admission. Some programs are selective in nature and require the completion of specific courses and a minimum grade point average in high school or previous college work. High school applicants are encouraged to apply any time after the end of their junior year and are strongly advised to submit the application and all credentials during the first semester of their senior year. Applications should be completed carefully, with a $30 application fee (check or money order) attached, and returned to the high school guidance officer for processing. The high school completes the second page and attaches an official academic transcript before sending the application to Ferris. Freshmen are also required to submit their ACT test results (Ferris ACT code #1994) to determine eligibility.

Transfer students should apply by the beginning of the last semester or quarter at their transferring institution. Completed applications for admission, the $30 application fee, and one official academic transcript from each college or postsecondary institution previously attended must be submitted. Transfer students are required to submit ACT test results for advising and course placement, except if the student (1) has had both a college English and algebra or higher math class, (2) has completed at least 60 semester hours or 90 quarter hours of college work, or (3) has an associate degree or higher from a regionally accredited college.

The application for admission, the $30 application fee, and academic credentials (high school and/or college transcript and official ACT scores) must be received no later than these deadline dates: December 23 for winter semester, April 29 for summer semester, and August 4 for fall semester.

Go To Profile Index Page

Go To Top Of Page