Michigan’s Best Graduate Schools of 2021

Graduate school may be a critical step in your higher education, whether you are interested in expanding your knowledge, learning a specialization, or earning advanced credentials required by your profession. The best graduate schools in Michigan offer advanced degrees, such as master’s and doctoral degrees, as well as opportunities for independent research, mentorships, and professional networking.

Michigan’s Best Graduate Schools 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


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There are 14 doctorate-granting universities in Michigan, 12 of which meet our criteria. The top graduate schools below are composed of both private and public schools that satisfy the following four conditions:

  1. It must be a non-profit institution.
  2. It must be fully accredited.
  3. It must offer doctoral degrees and a broad array of graduate degrees.
  4. It must have a graduation rate greater than 40%.

How do we determine Michigan's best graduate schools?

The people affiliated with a school are ultimately what make it great. This is why influence gets at the heart of what is truly best in education. At the undergraduate level, the best colleges and universities are those with the highest concentration of influence. Our Concentrated Influence metric adjusts overall influence by size of undergraduate student body, thus allowing smaller schools to compete with larger schools so long as they have proportionately as strong influential faculty and alums.

But at the graduate level, the combined influence score of a college or university’s top academic influencers is the best indicator of academic excellence. Overall influence, and not influence controlled by other variables, thus becomes the best gauge of academic excellence at the graduate level. Where smaller size is an advantage at the undergraduate level (hence Concentrated Influence), graduate studies benefit from a large and vibrant community of graduate students, who promise to become the new generation of academic influencers.

If you are serious about finding the best graduate schools, you should be asking where the most influential professors are teaching, and whether their graduates themselves are advancing the school’s reputation for academic excellence. Most ranking sites rely on an opaque combination of reputation surveys and arbitrary performance metrics. Influence, as measured by our InfluenceRanking engine, provides a ranking that is free from bias, insulated from manipulation, and reflective of real-world educational outcomes.

Find out more about our methodology here.

Best Grad Schools 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:

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

    Most Influential Alumni

  2. #2

    Michigan State University

    #89 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
    • Engineering
    • Education
    • Psychology
    • Literature
    • Mathematics
    • Computer Science
    • Physics

    Most Influential Alumni

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  3. #3

    Western Michigan University

    #556 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
    • Philosophy
    • Education
    • Engineering
    • Mathematics
    • Medical
    • History
    • Political Science
    • Literature
    • Biology

    Most Influential Alumni

    REQUEST INFO
  4. #4

    Michigan Technological University

    #955 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
    • Chemistry
    • Biology
    • Computer Science
    • Business
    • Physics
    • History
    • Literature
    • Mathematics
    • Earth Sciences
  5. #5

    University of Michigan–Dearborn

    #2470 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

  6. #6

    University of Detroit Mercy

    #769 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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  7. #7

    Central Michigan University

    #1053 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
    • Communications
    • Political Science
    • Medical
    • History
    • Chemistry
    • Biology
    • Engineering
    • Psychology
  8. #8

    Oakland University

    #1051 institution's historical influence
    #587 overall school desirability

    Tuition + fees

    $15K

    Acceptance

    81%

    Graduation

    56%

    Student body

    16K

    Median SAT/ACT

    1125/23

    Rochester Hills, MI

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    What is Oakland University known for?

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

    • Medical
    • Biology
    • Engineering
    • Business
    • Computer Science
    • Education
    • Psychology
    • Chemistry
    • History
    • Political Science
    REQUEST INFO
  9. #9

    Eastern Michigan University

    #754 institution's historical influence
    #891 overall school desirability

    Tuition + fees

    $15K

    Acceptance

    75%

    Graduation

    47%

    Student body

    14K

    Median SAT/ACT

    1080/22

    Ypsilanti, MI

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    What is Eastern Michigan University known for?

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

    • Education
    • Business
    • History
    • Medical
    • Communications
    • Literature
    • Mathematics
    • Political Science
    • Philosophy
    • Psychology
  10. #10

    Lawrence Technological University

    #1673 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
    • Education
    • Computer Science
    • Physics
    • Mathematics
    • Medical
    • Literature
    • Chemistry
    • Psychology
    • Communications
    REQUEST INFO
  11. #11

    Andrews University

    #876 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
    • Biology
    • Philosophy
    • Literature
    • Political Science

    Most Influential Alumni

  12. #12

    Ferris State University

    #1881 institution's historical influence
    #402 overall school desirability

    Tuition + fees

    $13K

    Acceptance

    82%

    Graduation

    50%

    Student body

    9K

    Median SAT/ACT

    1050/21

    Big Rapids, MI

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    What is Ferris State University known for?

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

    • Medical
    • Education
    • Business
    • History
    • Political Science
    • Computer Science
    • Criminal Justice
    • Engineering
    • Nursing
    • Communications

Michigan’s Best Grad School for Your Interest!

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