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#12 Overall Influence #37 Desirability Rank

University of Michigan

Public research university in Ann Arbor, Michigan, United States

Featured Alumnus

Marshall Sahlins ranks among our Top Influential Anthropologists Today.

Michael J. Fischer ranks among our Top Influential Computer Scientists Today.

By James Barham, PhD

The flagship campuses of many of the state university systems have superb faculties and excellent academic reputations. However, setting aside Berkeley as a special case, by our criteria the University of Michigan’s Ann Arbor campus is the most distinguished of all these many fine institutions. That is, Michigan has a strong claim to be considered (after Berkeley) the best public research university in the US.

One thing in Michigan’s favor is its sheer size (more than 46,000 students and 6,000 academic staff members) and corresponding wealth (an annual research budget of around $1.5 billion). Administratively, the university is subdivided into 17 schools and colleges offering some 600 undergraduate and graduate major programs.

Another reason for Michigan’s research prowess is its truly astonishing library, containing more than 14 million individual items, including over 220,000 serials.

Michigan has some 25 Nobel Prize laureates associated with its name. Prize-winners in physics include:

  • Wolfgang Pauli
  • Charles Townes
  • Samuel Ting
  • Donald Glaser

while Robert Shiller and Lawrence Klein were Michigan-connected Nobelists in economics. In addition, the great Russian poet Joseph Brodsky, who taught at Michigan for many years after being expelled from the USSR, was a Nobelist in literature.

Many other famous people have been connected to the University of Michigan over the years, including:

  • Clarence Darrow, the famed criminal attorney who defended Nathan Leopold, Richard Loeb, and John T Scopes
  • Claude Shannon, the father of the modern theory of information
  • Distinguished poet, W.H. Auden
  • Celebrated playwright and author of Death of a Salesman, Arthur Miller
  • Raoul Wallenberg, the Swedish diplomat who rescued tens of thousands of Jews from Nazi-occupied Hungary during World War II
  • Gerald Ford, the 38th President of the US
  • Distinguished stage and screen actor, James Earl Jones
  • Legendary dramatic soprano, Jessye Norman
  • Google co-founder, Larry Page
  • Lori Lightfoot, the current mayor of Chicago

From Wikipedia

The University of Michigan is a public research university in Ann Arbor, Michigan. Founded in 1817 in Detroit, as the Catholepistemiad, or the University of Michigania, 20 years before the territory became a state, the university is Michigan's oldest. The school was moved to Ann Arbor in 1837 onto of what is now known as Central Campus. Since its establishment in Ann Arbor, the flagship university campus has expanded to include more than 584 major buildings with a combined area of more than spread out over Central Campus and North Campus, two satellite campuses in Flint and Dearborn, and a Center in Detroit. The university is a founding member of the Association of American Universities.

Source: Wikipedia


What does this school look for?

Annual Applications




Graduation Rate


Median SAT Score


Median ACT Score



How much does it cost to attend?

Tuition (in-state)


Fees (in-state)


After Graduation

Averages for 10 years after enrolling

Avg Earnings




Campus Life

What's it like to attend this school?

The People

Full time on-campus stats

Student Body






The Campus

Where will you be attending?


503 Thompson Street, Ann Arbor MI 48109

City Crime Rates

Property Crime

17 per 100K

Violent Crime

2 per 100K

What is University of Michigan known for?

Our answer to this is to show you the disciplines in which a school's faculty and alumni have had the highest historical influence. A school may be influential in a discipline even if they do not offer degrees in that area. We've organized two lists to show where they are influential and offer corresponding degrees, and where they are influential through scholarship although they don't offer degrees in the disciplines.

Top areas of influence with degrees offered

#18 World Rank
#7 World Rank
Computer Science
#14 World Rank
#5 World Rank
#8 World Rank
#8 World Rank
#8 World Rank
#7 World Rank
#18 World Rank
#16 World Rank
#8 World Rank
#10 World Rank
Political Science
#15 World Rank
#11 World Rank
#19 World Rank
#7 World Rank
#15 World Rank
#7 World Rank
#8 World Rank
#59 World Rank
Religious Studies
#16 World Rank
Earth Sciences
#10 World Rank
#9 World Rank
Social Work

Other areas of influence

#14 World Rank
Criminal Justice

Influential People

Who are University of Michigan's Most influential alumni?

University of Michigan 's most influential alumni faculty include professors and professionals in the fields of Psychology, Computer Science, and Law

Larry Elder

Larry Elder

American political commentator

Leo Burnett

Leo Burnett

American advertising executive

J. Anthony Blair

Canadian philosopher

Robyn Dawes

American psychologist

Randolph Quirk

British linguist

William K. Black

William K. Black

Professor of law and economics at UMKC

Kunle Olukotun

Kunle Olukotun

American computer scientist

Martin Ford

Martin Ford

American non-fiction writer

Allan Schnaiberg

Allan Schnaiberg

American sociologist

Ray Stannard Baker

Ray Stannard Baker

American journalist

Karen Uhlenbeck

Karen Uhlenbeck

American mathematician

William E. Connolly

American political theorist