construction helmet

Northern Michigan University

Northern Michigan University is a four-year public university established in 1899 located in Marquette, in Michigan's Upper Peninsula. With a population of over 9000 students, Northern Michigan University is the Upper Peninsula's largest university.


Northern Michigan University was established in 1899 by the Michigan Legislature as a new school to provide teacher preparation programs in Michigan's Upper Peninsula. When it opened its doors in 1899, Northern enrolled thirty-two students who were taught by six faculty members on a 22 acre campus.

In 1963, Northern was designated as a comprehensive university serving the diverse educational needs of Upper Michigan. Accredited undergraduate and graduate degree programs are offered by the College of Arts and Sciences, the College of Business, the College of Professional Studies.

Graduate education was inaugurated in 1928 when courses at the master’s degree level were offered in cooperation with the University of Michigan. In 1960, Northern established its own graduate program.

Academic profile

NMU has five academic divisions:

  • College of Arts and Sciences
  • Walker L. Cisler College of Business
  • College of Graduate Studies
  • College of Professional Studies: • School of Education • School of Nursing • School of Technology and Applied Sciences
  • School of Art and Design (as of 07-08 School Year)

Within these five academic divisions 180 undergraduate and graduate degree programs are offered.


Art and Design.

  • This facility contains over of studios, lecture hall, digital green screen room, sound studio, photography suite, critique and screening rooms, as well as the DeVos Art museum. The DeVos museum displays monthly exhibitions of hippie, contemporary, national, regional, and local art, and is the largest art gallery on campus.

Cohodas Hall.

  • The tallest building on campus, Cohodas Hall houses the administrative offices, as well as the offices for many academic departments. It is named after U.P. banker and philanthropist Sam M. Cohodas.

Forest Roberts Theatre.

  • The 532 seat Forest Roberts Theatre is named after a former head of the English department. The theatre has a computerized lighting system and modern sound system. Performances of up to five major theatrical productions per year are held in this facility.

Gries Hall

  • A former residence hall, Gries is now home to the Military Science, Criminal Justice, English, Sociology, Social Work and Psychology departments. The Ada B. Vielmetti Health Center provides family health care and pharmacy services to students and staff.

CB Hedgcock Building

  • This building houses the offices of the Dean of Students, Admissions, Registrar, Financial Aid, Housing and Residence Life, and other student services. Also located in Hedgcock is the Reynolds Recital Hall, a 303 seat concert hall featuring state of the art technology.

Jamrich Hall

  • Jamrich Hall contains five large lecture halls, the largest holding up to 500 students, and numerous smaller classrooms.

Lydia M. Olson Library.

  • The Lydia M. Olson Library , located within the Learning Resource Center (LRC), houses a collection of 592,689 titles, 2,588 serial subscriptions and 7,369 audiovisual materials.

McClintock Hall

  • The building features a Black Box Theatre for student-directed productions and state-of-the-art audio laboratories as well as general classrooms.

Seaborg Science Complex

  • The Seaborg Science Complex comprises West Science and the New Science Facility. This facility is the home to the Geography, Mathematics, Natural, Physical and Health Science Departments. The complex is named after Glenn Seaborg, a UP native.

Whitman Hall

  • This facility contains the Dean of Professional Studies, the School of Education, the Department of International Studies, Foreign Languages, and the Center for Native American Studies.


Northern Michigan University is accredited by the North Central Association of Colleges and Secondary Schools.

All education programs are accredited by the National Council for the Accreditation of Teacher Education.

Other accreditations include the American Alliance for Health, Physical Education, Recreation and Dance; American Chemical Society; Commission on Accreditation of Allied Health Education Professionals (surgical technology); Council on Academic Accreditation of the American Speech-Language-Hearing Association (communication disorders); Council on Social Work Education; Department of Transportation Federal Aviation Administration Certification; International Association of Counseling Services, Inc.; Michigan Department of Licensing and Regulation, State Board of Nursing; National Accrediting Agency for Clinical Laboratory Sciences; National Association of Industrial Technology; National Association of Schools of Music.

In addition, the nursing programs (practical nursing, baccalaureate and master’s degrees) are fully approved by the Michigan Department of Licensing and Regulation, State Board of Nursing and the baccalaureate and master’s degrees are fully accredited by the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education (CCNE).

The baccalaureate degree programs of the Walker L. Cisler College of Business are accredited by the Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business.


The Teaching, Learning, and Communication initiative places a notebook computer in the hands of every full-time undergraduate student and faculty. This initiative makes NMU one of the largest public university laptop programs in the world. Laptop program participants receive a new notebook computer every two years. Northern’s campus-wide effort for technological mastery helps NMU students compete in the high-tech global marketplace after they graduate. The university has national and international awards for its innovative work in the area of technology in higher education.

Vision of the initiative

Northern Michigan University's vision for education in the 21st century is a learning environment that embraces technology to enhance student access, promote the development of independent learners and encourage greater student-faculty communication and collaboration. To help achieve this vision, the university has implemented a laptop program that ensures students and faculty have a standard set of tools (hardware and software) that meet a majority of their computing and telecommunications needs, promotes communication and enables quality support. NMU is the first public university in Michigan — but one of many nationwide — to pursue the idea of a "laptop" campus.


In fall 2000, full-time NMU undergraduate and graduate students (registered for 12 or more credit hours) were supplied with a general purpose, laptop computer with a standard set of applications and convenient, 24-hour access to the campus network (including the Internet). Since 2002, most of the campus and surrounding city is covered by a wireless network. Although electronic documents are encouraged, networked printers are installed in various campus locations for hard copy documents.

The university has a help desk and walk-in service center to handle laptop maintenance problems.

Cost to students

NMU leases the laptop computers and issues them to students on a two-year replacement cycle (a student will not have a computer more than two years old). Students or their parents may contact their insurance provider about adding the computer system to their existing coverage if they desire more insurance than the initiative provides. Continuing students who pre-register for the following fall will be able to use the laptop through the summer at no additional charge.

Part-time students may, at their option, participate in the program. Part-time students may also, for a fee, check out the laptops from the library on a daily basis.

Additional aspects

NMU continues to support and improve "specialty labs" as a function of need and resource availability. These are labs designed to meet the needs of specific academic programs that have special equipment and software needs (e.g., graphic design, computer science, GIS, CAD among others). Many of the administrative processes of the university are now available via the Web. Students can register, view their grades and will soon be able to do their own on-line degree audits. An increasing amount of information about the university is now available on the Web, including: enrollment statistics, academic program information, department information, computer use and help information, minutes of various campus committees, the university activity center and much more. The Center for Instructional Technology in Education (CITE) in the LRC is a place where faculty can, for example, scan materials for use in lecture presentations or on Web pages, learn how to use new Web development tools or other instructional support applications, and find/review materials on course design. Faculty can obtain assistance in preparing course materials from full-time staff and trained student assistants.


NMU’s Wildcats compete in the NCAA's Division II Great Lakes Intercollegiate Athletic Conference in basketball, football, golf, skiing, cross country, soccer, volleyball, track & field, and swimming/diving. The hockey program competes in Division I as a member of the Central Collegiate Hockey Association. One group who attends the hockey games regularly are the Puckheads who are the die-hard fans. They are identifiable by the construction helmet adorned with a puck atop of them. The Division II football team plays in the world's largest wooden dome, the Superior Dome Notable athletes include Mike Dellangelo, famed tailback for Ishpeming High School. Dellangelo, led IHS to a 1975 MHSAA Class 'C' Football title. Gary Stewart, an all-American wide receiver from Menominee High School.Others, include Bernie Anderson, and James Marana, current head football coach of Westwood High School.

National Championships (4):

  • 1975 - Football - NCAA Division II
  • 1991 - Men's Ice Hockey - NCAA Division I
  • 1993 - Women's Volleyball - NCAA Division II
  • 1994 - Women's Volleyball - NCAA Division II

National Runners-up (4):

  • 1980 - Men's Ice Hockey - NCAA Division I
  • 1992 - Women's Swimming and Diving - NCAA Division II
  • 1992 - Women's Volleyball - NCAA Division II
  • 1995 - Women's Volleyball - NCAA Division II

Basketball Final Four (1):

  • 1961 - Men's Basketball - NAIA Division I


The United States Olympic Education Center on the campus of Northern Michigan University is one of four Olympic training centers in the country and the only one located on a college campus. The USOEC provides secondary and post-secondary educational opportunities for athletes while offering world-class training.

With more than 70 resident athletes and coaches, the USOEC is the second-largest Olympic training center in the United States, in terms of residents, behind Colorado Springs. The USOEC has more residential athletes than the Lake Placid and Chula Vista sites combined. Over the years, it has grown into a major contributor to the U.S. Olympic movement.

Current resident training programs include boxing, Greco-Roman wrestling, short track speed skating, weightlifting, and women’s freestyle wrestling. Athletes must be approved by the USOEC, their national governing body and NMU to be admitted into the program.

USOEC athletes attend NMU or Marquette Senior High School, Marquette, Michigan while training in their respective sports. The student athletes receive free or reduced room and board, access to world-class training facilities as well as sports medicine and sports science services, academic tutoring, and a waiver of out-of-state tuition fees by NMU. Although athletes are responsible for tuition at the in-state rate, they may receive the B.J. Stupak Scholarship to help cover expenses.

On-campus USOEC athletes live in NMU’s Meyland Hall, eat in campus dining halls, and train at the university’s Berry Events Center and Superior Dome.

The USOEC also offers a variety of short-term training camps; regional, national, and international competitions; coaches and officials education clinics; and an educational program for retired Olympians.

In December 2007 budget cuts forced the closing of the USOEC boxing program.

Student life

Residential life

Residence hall government is an important facet of student life and NMU. Ten to twenty students from each of the ten residence halls are elected and/or appointed to meet with the staff from their hall on a weekly basis. They represent their peers on a variety of matters pertaining to their residence hall community and campus life.

Students who participate in hall government have the option of participating in various leadership training activities.

One student from up campus (2 halls) and two from down campus (8 halls) are elected to serve on ASNMU, NMU's Student Government.

The ten residence halls are :

  • Gant Hall
  • Halverson Hall
  • Hunt Hall
  • Magers Hall
  • Meyland Hall
  • Payne Hall
  • Spalding Hall
  • Spooner Hall
  • VanAntwerp Hall
  • West Hall

In addition to the residence halls, NMU operates and maintains seven apartment buildings on campus.

The apartments are

  • Woodland Park (Opened in 2006)
  • Lincoln Apartments
  • Summit / Center Apartments
  • Center / Norwood Apartments
  • Norwood Apartments

Many halls that have been listed above contain "houses" which are basically communities separate from the their hall which participate in volunteer events and socialize. Many have long running traditions for example Brûlé House named after the French explorer run in the nude around the courtyard of the dormitories. This tradition is called the Brûlé Run and happens after the first big snowfall sticks for 24 hours. The Malibu House traditionally flashes the runners through the window as they pass by. Arctic house takes a swim in Lake Superior in the middle of winter. This is known as the Arctic plunge. Northern Michigan Hall traditions are numerous and are not as revealing as this but these kind of opportunities involve the students, letting them bond as a community.

Groups and activities

Student organizations

NMU hosts a large number of student organizations which are governmental, academic, programming, social, religious, and athletic, as well as residence hall related, in nature. There are over 250 registered student organizations that provide programs and activities for the campus community.

Greek life



Student Leader Fellowship Program

The Student Leader Fellowship Program (SLFP) is committed to developing competent, ethical, and community-centered leaders. Over a two-year period, students participate in six component areas (Fall Retreat, Mentors, Leadership Theory and Practice Course, Skill Builders! Leadership Workshops, Community Service Internship, and Special Occasions) focusing on self-development and community development.

The Volunteer Center

The NMU Volunteer Center is designed to assist students, both individuals and in student organizations, as well as faculty and staff at the university with finding ways in which they can contribute to the Marquette community.

Superior Edge

The Superior Edge was developed in 2004-2005 by a task force that included students, faculty, and staff. The Superior Edge encompasses a wide range of in- and out-of-classroom experiences that will provide Northern Michigan University students with a distinct advantage by better preparing them for careers, lifelong learning, graduate school, and life as engaged citizens.

Honors Program

The Honors Program provides talented undergraduates the opportunity to take rigorous coursework that leads to the designation of Lower Division Honors, Upper Division Honors, or Full Honors on their academic transcript. For Full Honors, students must complete two years (16-20 credits) of lower division honors courses, two years of a foreign language, mathematics at the pre-calculus level or higher, 12 credits of upper division coursework in their major or minor that have been "honorized", and a capstone project in the final semester before graduation. To qualify for acceptance to the program, students must have a recalculated GPA of 3.5 or higher (on a 4.0 scale), an ACT score of 27 or above and submit two letters of recommendation. About 40 freshman are admitted to the program annually.

The North Wind

The North Wind is Northern Michigan University's independent student newspaper, and covers news from the university and community alike. The weekly paper prints on Thursdays and has a distribution of 6,000, most of which are placed on campus. Around the community the paper has a better reputation for accurate reporting and strong writing than the local Marquette paper, the Mining Journal. The paper also has a Web site.


WUPX is Northern Michigan University's non-commercial, student run, radio station. WUPX provides NMU Students and the Marquette area with a wide variety of music, event announcements, and activities. WUPX broadcaststs at 91.5 FM with an effective radiated power of 360 Watts. WUPX also has a Web site.

Student Government

The Associated Students of Northern Michigan University (ASNMU) is made up of three distinct branches: Executive, Legislative and Judicial. As of April 8, 2008 ASNMU elections turnout was 1,885. The new ASNMU President, Hobart Webster, the Vice President is Jaclyn Calamaro, Treasurer is Andrew Foster, and the Chair of the Assembly is Holly Kasberger.

Representatives elected to represent Student Affairs groups and Academic Affairs comprise the Legislative Branch. A member of the Legislative Branch is elected as chair of the Assembly. The All Student Judiciary (ASJ) is a panel composed of 16 students who hear cases involving students who violate the regulations of the University Student Code is the judicial branch of ASNMU.

The Legislative and Executive branches of the student government oversee collection and disbursement of Student Activity Fee and govern the disbursement of funds to registered student organizations.

Notable alumni

Alma mater

Hail Northern, we thy sons and daughters
Now bring thee tribute long deserved
Thou beacon light 'mid nature's grandeur
Through passing decades well-preserved
Oh, may we labor with untiring zeal
That when these golden days have flown
We may with honor face the future
And match thy courage with our own

Charter Schools

NMU operates five charter schools throughout Michigan.

  • Bahweting Anishnabe Public School in Sault Ste. Marie.
  • Burton Glen Charter Academic in Burton.
  • Nah Tah Wahsh Public School Academy in Wilson.
  • North Star Academy in Marquette.
  • Wilson Academy in Pontiac.


The 2008 edition of "America's Best Colleges", compiled by U.S. News & World Report, ranked Northern Michigan University as a Master's (Midwest) - Third Tier institution.


Hilton, Miriam. Northern Michigan University: The First 75 Years. Marquette, Michigan: Northern Michigan University Press, 1975. and Northern's Communications & Marketing director, Cindy Paavola, 2006.

External links

Search another word or see construction helmeton Dictionary | Thesaurus |Spanish
Copyright © 2015, LLC. All rights reserved.
  • Please Login or Sign Up to use the Recent Searches feature