In the Great Lakes State, there is no shortage of opportunities for higher education. There are 15 public universities, as well as dozens of community colleges, private universities and technical centers. As a hub for the automotive industry, many of the schools and universities focus on engineering and other automotive needs. The three main research universities in the state are the University of Michigan-Ann Arbor, Michigan State University and Wayne State University. All three of these universities have elected boards that oversee the operation of the universities.
The University of Michigan is the oldest university in the state, and it was founded in 1817, when Michigan was still a territory. The school was first located in Detroit and was known as the University of Michigania. In 1837 it became a university and moved its location to Ann Arbor, where the school's flagship campus remains today. There are two other University of Michigan campuses, one located in Dearborn just outside of Detroit and another just north of Detroit in the city of Flint. The University of Michigan is considered a Public Ivy institution, and it was one of the original 8 universities with that distinction. It has very high research activity, and boasts the highest research expenditures of any other university in the country. It is considered to be one of the top 20 universities in the world.
Michigan State University is another notable university in Michigan. Located in East Lansing, the campus resides just outside the state's capital city of Lansing. Michigan State University, known locally as MSU, is the first land-grant institution in the United States. It was founded under the Morrill Act of 1862 and would proceed to serve as a model for all future land-grant universities. Its main focus originally was agriculture, but the university has grown to include many other notable campus programs, such as its journalism programs, nuclear physics programs and packaging programs. With a campus population of almost 50,000 undergraduate students, Michigan State University is the 8th largest university in the country.
Given the heart of the Michigan economy has long been the automotive industry, it is not surprising that there was an educational institution devoted entirely to automotive engineering. Formerly the General Motors Institute, Kettering University is a school located near the GM headquarters in Flint, Michigan. Today the university focuses on engineering, math, business and science programs, and all students must complete five co-operative programs before they are qualified to graduate.