Michigan’s Best Colleges and Universities of 2021

Here are the best colleges and universities in Michigan. Our list will help you find the right kind of school for you.

Michigan’s Best Colleges and Universities of 2021

Colleges and Universities in Michigan

With over 80 public and private colleges to choose from, students hoping to earn their associate, bachelor’s, master’s, or doctoral degree can find a program that suits their educational needs and budget. Michigan State University and the University of Michigan are the two largest schools, both serving around 42,000 students and costing $16,000 in tuition. Most of the schools in The Wolverine State, however, serve smaller student populations, with tuition fees ranging from $3,000 to $49,000.

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Additionally, students pursuing their degree at a school with religious affiliations have more than 20 options to choose from, including Sacred Heart Major Seminary in Detroit, Grand Rapid’s Calvin College, and Hope College in Holland. Students attending one of Michigan’s private schools, like Davenport University, can earn their degrees in fields like nursing, education, criminal justice, and history. Michigan, like many other states, also provides a special loan forgiveness program to those in medical, dental, and mental health professions who work in underserved communities. Recipients can receive up to $200,000 of tax-free funds over an eight-year period.

The great state of Michigan famously serves as the major hub of the United States auto industry — and also boasts the longest freshwater coastline in the nation. Students who love the outdoors but are also drawn to the metropolitan energy of big cities like Detroit and Grand Rapids will feel very much at home in Michigan.

To find your degree program, explore some of the top schools in Michigan.


What are Michigan’s Colleges & Universities?

Michigan’s Best Overall

Related: Differences between research universities and teaching colleges

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How do we determine Michigan's best colleges and universities?

The people affiliated with a school are ultimately what make it great. This is why, at the undergraduate level, we rank the best colleges and universities based on what we call “Concentrated Influence”. Concentrated Influence takes the combined influence score of a college or university’s top academic influencers (including faculty and alums) and divides it by the school’s total number of undergraduates.

Using concentrated influence gives small and mid-sized schools an opportunity to shine by taking away the size advantage of larger universities. A small school with proportionately more influential faculty than a large school, whose influence in absolute terms may be bigger, will nonetheless score higher in a concentrated influence ranking. Our approach highlights undergraduate schools that truly rank for excellence, regardless of size.

If you are serious about finding the best colleges and universities for a bachelor’s degree, you should be asking where the most influential professors are teaching and whether their graduates are themselves advancing the school’s reputation for academic excellence.

Most ranking sites rely on an opaque combination of reputation surveys and arbitrary performance metrics. Concentrated Influence provides a ranking that is free from bias, insulated from manipulation, and reflective of real-world educational outcomes.

Find out more about our ranking methodology here.


Every fall, more than 2 million high-school graduates will enroll in colleges and universities across the United States. Finding the best college for your educational, personal, and professional goals may be challenging. The purpose of this ranking is to help you manage this challenge with an accurate, objective, and up-to-date ranking of the best colleges and universities in Michigan for earning a bachelor’s degree.

We’ve identified a total of 43 colleges and universities in Michigan, 27 of which meet our criteria. The list below of the top 20 schools focuses on those that offer four-year undergraduate degrees, includes both public and private colleges and universities, and also meet the following two conditions:

  1. It must be fully accredited.
  2. It must have a graduation rate of greater than 50%.

20 Best Colleges & Universities in Michigan

  1. #1

    University of Michigan

    #12 institution's historical influence
    #37 overall school desirability

    Tuition + fees

    $17K

    Acceptance

    26%

    Graduation

    93%

    Student body

    45K

    Median SAT/ACT

    1435/32

    Ann Arbor, MI

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    What is University of Michigan known for?

    University of Michigan’s faculty and alumni have been influential in:

    • Mathematics
    • Computer Science
    • Biology
    • Psychology
    • Business
    • Engineering
    • Medical
    • Law
    • Philosophy
    • Literature

    Most Influential Alumni

  2. #2

    Kalamazoo College

    #1144 institution's historical influence
    #566 overall school desirability

    Tuition + fees

    $52K

    Acceptance

    74%

    Graduation

    79%

    Student body

    2K

    Median SAT/ACT

    1270/28

    Kalamazoo, MI

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    What is Kalamazoo College known for?

    Kalamazoo College’s faculty and alumni have been influential in:

    • Political Science
    • Economics
    • Business
    • Literature
    • History
    • Philosophy
    • Biology
    • Mathematics
    • Religious Studies
    • Sociology

    Most Influential Alumni

  3. #3

    Kettering University

    #1291 institution's historical influence
    #1207 overall school desirability

    Tuition + fees

    $43K

    Acceptance

    74%

    Graduation

    67%

    Student body

    2K

    Median SAT/ACT

    1275/27

    Flint, MI

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    What is Kettering University known for?

    Kettering University’s faculty and alumni have been influential in:

    • Engineering
    • Business
    • Computer Science
    • Biology
    • Chemistry
    • Physics
    • Medical
    • Mathematics
  4. #4

    University of Detroit Mercy

    #724 institution's historical influence
    #262 overall school desirability

    Tuition + fees

    $30K

    Acceptance

    79%

    Graduation

    73%

    Student body

    4K

    Median SAT/ACT

    1155/24

    Detroit, MI

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    What is University of Detroit Mercy known for?

    University of Detroit Mercy’s faculty and alumni have been influential in:

    • Law
    • Engineering
    • Medical
    • Business
    • Literature
    • Religious Studies
    • Political Science
    • Education
    • History
    • Psychology
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  5. #5

    Michigan State University

    #94 institution's historical influence
    #1461 overall school desirability

    Tuition + fees

    $16K

    Acceptance

    76%

    Graduation

    81%

    Student body

    44K

    Median SAT/ACT

    1210/26

    East Lansing, MI

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    What is Michigan State University known for?

    Michigan State University’s faculty and alumni have been influential in:

    • Biology
    • Business
    • Medical
    • Education
    • Literature
    • Psychology
    • Engineering
    • Philosophy
    • Political Science
    • Mathematics

    Most Influential Alumni

    REQUEST INFO
  6. #6

    Lawrence Technological University

    #1671 institution's historical influence
    #1026 overall school desirability

    Tuition + fees

    $37K

    Acceptance

    82%

    Graduation

    60%

    Student body

    2K

    Median SAT/ACT

    1145/24

    Southfield, MI

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    What is Lawrence Technological University known for?

    Lawrence Technological University’s faculty and alumni have been influential in:

    • Engineering
    • Computer Science
    • Education
    • Physics
    • Mathematics
    • Medical
    • Literature
    • Psychology
    • Communications
    • Chemistry
    REQUEST INFO
  7. #7

    Michigan Technological University

    #893 institution's historical influence
    #1220 overall school desirability

    Tuition + fees

    $18K

    Acceptance

    70%

    Graduation

    72%

    Student body

    7K

    Median SAT/ACT

    1270/27

    Houghton, MI

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    What is Michigan Technological University known for?

    Michigan Technological University’s faculty and alumni have been influential in:

    • Engineering
    • Biology
    • Computer Science
    • Chemistry
    • Business
    • Physics
    • Earth Sciences
    • History
    • Literature
    • Political Science

    Most Influential Alumni

  8. #8

    Andrews University

    #823 institution's historical influence
    #241 overall school desirability

    Tuition + fees

    $31K

    Acceptance

    49%

    Graduation

    61%

    Student body

    3K

    Median SAT/ACT

    1210/25

    Berrien Springs, MI

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    What is Andrews University known for?

    Andrews University’s faculty and alumni have been influential in:

    • Religious Studies
    • Education
    • Business
    • Medical
    • History
    • Engineering
    • Philosophy
    • Biology
    • Literature
    • Political Science
  9. #9

    University of Michigan–Dearborn

    #2351 institution's historical influence
    #894 overall school desirability

    Tuition + fees

    $14K

    Acceptance

    68%

    Graduation

    55%

    Student body

    7K

    Median SAT/ACT

    1185/25

    Dearborn, MI

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    What is University of Michigan–Dearborn known for?

    University of Michigan–Dearborn’s faculty and alumni have been influential in:

    • Engineering
    • Literature
    • Education
    • Business
    • Political Science
    • History
    • Medical
    • Anthropology
    • Communications
    • Computer Science

    Most Influential Alumni

  10. #10

    Hope College

    #1046 institution's historical influence
    #868 overall school desirability

    Tuition + fees

    $37K

    Acceptance

    78%

    Graduation

    76%

    Student body

    3K

    Median SAT/ACT

    1230/26

    Holland, MI

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    What is Hope College known for?

    Hope College’s faculty and alumni have been influential in:

    • Chemistry
    • Medical
    • Biology
    • Education
    • Business
    • Religious Studies
    • Psychology
    • History
    • Economics
    • Political Science
  11. #11

    Albion College

    #931 institution's historical influence
    #376 overall school desirability

    Tuition + fees

    $51K

    Acceptance

    74%

    Graduation

    68%

    Student body

    2K

    Median SAT/ACT

    1095/24

    Albion, MI

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    What is Albion College known for?

    Albion College’s faculty and alumni have been influential in:

    • Chemistry
    • Biology
    • Business
    • Computer Science
    • Literature
    • Mathematics
    • Physics
    • Earth Sciences
    • Political Science
    • Education
  12. #12

    Calvin University

    #588 institution's historical influence
    #1196 overall school desirability

    Tuition + fees

    $38K

    Acceptance

    73%

    Graduation

    75%

    Student body

    4K

    Median SAT/ACT

    1250/27

    Grand Rapids, MI

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    What is Calvin University known for?

    Calvin University’s faculty and alumni have been influential in:

    • Philosophy
    • Business
    • Religious Studies
    • Literature
    • Computer Science
    • Engineering
    • Education
    • Physics
    • History
    • Communications
    REQUEST INFO
  13. #13

    Western Michigan University

    #511 institution's historical influence
    #434 overall school desirability

    Tuition + fees

    $13K

    Acceptance

    85%

    Graduation

    57%

    Student body

    18K

    Median SAT/ACT

    1105/22

    Kalamazoo, MI

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    What is Western Michigan University known for?

    Western Michigan University’s faculty and alumni have been influential in:

    • Business
    • Education
    • Mathematics
    • Engineering
    • Philosophy
    • Medical
    • History
    • Political Science
    • Literature
    • Biology

    Most Influential Alumni

    REQUEST INFO
  14. #14

    Aquinas College

    #4849 institution's historical influence
    #384 overall school desirability

    Tuition + fees

    $35K

    Acceptance

    71%

    Graduation

    65%

    Student body

    1K

    Median SAT/ACT

    1105/23

    Grand Rapids, MI

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    What is Aquinas College known for?

    Aquinas College ’s faculty and alumni have been influential in:

    • Education
    • Business
    • History
    • Philosophy
    • Medical
    • Economics
    • Religious Studies
    • Political Science
    • Biology
    • Communications

    Most Influential Alumni

  15. #15

    Central Michigan University

    #941 institution's historical influence
    #746 overall school desirability

    Tuition + fees

    $13K

    Acceptance

    69%

    Graduation

    64%

    Student body

    16K

    Median SAT/ACT

    1095/23

    Mount Pleasant, MI

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    What is Central Michigan University known for?

    Central Michigan University’s faculty and alumni have been influential in:

    • Business
    • Education
    • Political Science
    • Medical
    • History
    • Computer Science
    • Communications
    • Psychology
    • Chemistry
    • Engineering
  16. #16

    Madonna University

    #3467 institution's historical influence
    #1209 overall school desirability

    Tuition + fees

    $24K

    Acceptance

    68%

    Graduation

    58%

    Student body

    2K

    Median SAT/ACT

    1030/21

    Livonia, MI

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    What is Madonna University known for?

    Madonna University’s faculty and alumni have been influential in:

    • Psychology
    • Education
    • Medical
    • Business
    • Criminal Justice
    • Nursing
    • History
    • Religious Studies
    • Communications
    • Law

    Most Influential Alumni

    REQUEST INFO
  17. #17

    Alma College

    #1823 institution's historical influence

    Tuition + fees

    $43K

    Acceptance

    67%

    Graduation

    71%

    Student body

    2K

    Median SAT/ACT

    1130/22

    Alma, MI

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    What is Alma College known for?

    Alma College’s faculty and alumni have been influential in:

    • Education
    • Business
    • Biology
    • Psychology
    • History
    • Medical
    • Communications
    • Philosophy
    • Literature
    • Anthropology

    Most Influential Alumni

  18. #18

    Adrian College

    #2886 institution's historical influence
    #426 overall school desirability

    Tuition + fees

    $39K

    Acceptance

    61%

    Graduation

    54%

    Student body

    2K

    Median SAT/ACT

    1030/21

    Adrian, MI

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    What is Adrian College known for?

    Adrian College’s faculty and alumni have been influential in:

    • Education
    • Business
    • Chemistry
    • Political Science
    • History
    • Criminal Justice
    • Philosophy
    • Biology
    • Medical
    • Mathematics

    Most Influential Alumni

  19. #19

    Grand Valley State University

    #1546 institution's historical influence
    #873 overall school desirability

    Tuition + fees

    $14K

    Acceptance

    88%

    Graduation

    69%

    Student body

    22K

    Median SAT/ACT

    1150/24

    Allendale, MI

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    What is Grand Valley State University known for?

    Grand Valley State University’s faculty and alumni have been influential in:

    • Business
    • Education
    • Political Science
    • Biology
    • History
    • Medical
    • Engineering
    • Literature
    • Philosophy
    • Computer Science
  20. #20

    Cornerstone University

    #3654 institution's historical influence
    #373 overall school desirability

    Tuition + fees

    $26K

    Acceptance

    87%

    Graduation

    65%

    Student body

    2K

    Median SAT/ACT

    1070/22

    Grand Rapids, MI

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    What is Cornerstone University known for?

    Cornerstone University’s faculty and alumni have been influential in:

    • Religious Studies
    • Education
    • Social Work
    • Business
    • Communications
    • History
    • Psychology
    • Literature
    • Medical
    • Biology

    Most Influential Alumni

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