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Studying a Postgrad Program in Michigan

Postgrad Study In MichiganAlmost entirely surrounded by water – in fact, comprising two peninsulas – Michigan is one of the northernmost American states, snuggled close to the Canadian border. It shares a border with US states of Ohio, Indiana and Wisconsin, and it shares a water boundary with Illinois and Minnesota. It has a population of just under ten million people, and boasts a thriving motor industry in cities like Detroit and Grand Rapids – the two largest cities in the state. The state boasts amazing scenery, stunning natural landscapes and water views as well as breath-taking urban cityscapes.

Where can you study a postgrad program in Michigan?

The three main universities in Michigan are the University of Michigan, Michigan State University and Eastern Michigan University. But there is a host of other, less known (and therefore, perhaps more intimate) institutions, allowing for plenty of choice in the matter of tertiary education.

Here is a roundup of some of your options:

The University of Michigan: Now just over two hundred years old, is the state's oldest university. It offers a comprehensive range of graduate programs and degrees up to doctoral level, specialising in STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics) subjects, but also a strong contender for business, medicine, law and many other subjects.

Michigan State University: This university was established in 1855 as an agricultural college, expanding its curriculum after 1862 to subjects outside of agriculture. MSU boasts the ninth largest enrolment of any US university, and is ranked very highly for its programs in criminology, various disciplines of psychology, education and even subjects as diverse as African history and nuclear physics.

Eastern Michigan University: Also known as EMU for short, Eastern Michigan University was established in 1849. Of the three main Michigan universities, EMU has the smallest – by almost half – enrolment. It has seven faculties, which include Health and Human Services, Education, Arts and Sciences, Business, and Technology amongst others. EMU was the state's first and premier teacher-training institution for many years, until the dramatic expansion of its curriculum – but it still produces an impressive percentage of the state's teachers.

All three of these establishments offer postgraduate study in programs as diverse as Educational Technology (which can even be entirely done online) and Criminal Justice. In many cases, if the university offers an undergraduate course in a subject or specialism, it is possible to find a masters or postgraduate program in that same field.

Tuition fees & living costs in Michigan

Attending university as a postgrad in the United States is not cheap, and it is no different in Michigan. Tuition fees per year can cost anywhere from $30,000 upwards for an international student, depending on the course and the university, and living costs are a minimum of around $20,000 per year (or $7,000 per term). Many students will need to get a job while studying to eke out this sum, as the $20,000 will cover food and rent, with very little left over for emergencies or treats. Various financial aid options are available to students from all over, both international and local, so do check with your chosen institution rather than struggling to survive!

Applications & admissions to universities in Michigan

Nearly all universities offer online applications to their students and this is also true of postgraduate programs for international students too. Do not leave the application to the last minute, as soon as you have decided that you would like to try a particular university, for example, the University of Michigan, visit their admissions page and spend some time seeing what documentation and proof they will need. For non-English speakers, there is a proof of English proficiency test. Without this, it is highly unlikely that even the brightest student will succeed in a graduate program. Other requirements will be visas, and travel documents, as well as the expected proof of academic prowess in the form of undergraduate qualifications, transcripts and credentials.

Interesting Michigan alumni

Gerald Ford, the 38th President of the US is an alumnus of the University of Michigan, along with James Earl Jones and Lucy Liu. A less savoury graduate was the disturbed, but undeniably brilliant Ted Kaczynski, better known as the Unabomber. James Caan, the actor, attended Michigan State University, along with a host of senators, billionaire businessmen and television personalities. Many well-known sport's stars got their big break while attending MSU, which has a strong sporting tradition. A notable EMU alumnus is James Kellogg, the founder of the global cereal company. Others include businessmen, actors and politicians too numerous to elucidate.

Student case study

One postgraduate psychology student studying at the University of Michigan who is delighted with her course, describes it as being well-funded, properly organised and with satisfactorily small class numbers, despite it being a popular faculty with large enrolment.

What can you do in Michigan when you aren’t studying?

But life is not only about the grind of studying, lectures and assignments. Find time to get away from the campus and explore your new home: play tourist for a day and 'do' the sights, then explore with a local to discover all the hidden gems that make a place feel like a home. Something as simple as climbing Sleeping Bears Dunes puts you literally as well as spiritually in the footsteps of every great Michigander, while “touristing” your way around Belle Island's zoo, aquarium, conservatory and swimming beach will take you back to the day-tripping excitement of your youth. Indulge in water-sports in summer and learn how to ride a snowmobile in winter. Above all, enjoy your time in Michigan – you are making some of the happiest memories of your life, even as you prepare for your long-term career.

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