Michigan Technological University (abbr. Michigan Tech or MTU) is an American public university with a range of degree offerings. The largest portion of Michigan Tech's campus is located on the Upper Peninsula of Michigan in the city of Houghton.
Michigan Tech was founded in 1885 as the Michigan Mining School. Established by the state of Michigan to train mining engineers to operate the local copper mines, the school started with four faculty members and twenty-three students. The name changed to the Michigan College of Mines, then Michigan College of Mining and Technology, and, in 1964, greatly expanded academic offerings propelled the school to its current designation as Michigan Technological University. Although engineering still accounts for some 55 percent of all enrollment, the University now offers more than 120 degree programs.
The average overall ACT scores for incoming students is 25.6, compared to 21.2 nationally. Undergraduate enrollment in environmental, geological, and mechanical engineering all rank in the top eight nationally, and the scientific and technical communication program is one of the nation’s largest. According to the US News and World Report, Michigan Tech graduates leave campus with some of the lowest debt in the nation.
Michigan Tech is known for academic excellence in engineering
, natural and physical sciences
, computing, business, technology, environmental studies, arts, humanities and social sciences. The university is divided into several schools and colleges—
- The College of Engineering has majors in many fields of engineering. Environmental engineering, geological engineering, and mechanical engineering all rank in the top ten in enrollment nationally.
- The College of Sciences and Arts includes one of the largest technical communications programs in the United States
- School of Business and Economics students invest $1 million in the stock market each year in the Applied Portfolio Management Program.
- The School of Forest Resources and Environmental Science has been recognized nationally for excellence in its research program, and its PhD program was ranked fourth in the nation by Academic Analytics in 2007.
- The School of Technology features the BS in Computer Systems and Network Administration and other four-year degree programs.
Michigan Tech is ranked among the top half of all 249 national universities in U.S. News & World Report’s "America’s Best Colleges" and is ranked a "tech powerhouse" by the Princeton Review's "Best 361 Colleges." Michigan Tech is also ranked among the top 500 universities in the world by Shanghai Jiaotong University and number 159 in the nation by Washington Monthly Magazine. In 2007, PC Magazine ranked Michigan Tech the seventh most wired campus in the nation, and U.S. News and World Report ranked five graduate engineering programs among the best in the nation: earth sciences, environmental engineering, mechanical engineering, civil engineering, and materials science and engineering.
Michigan Tech has also developed an innovative enterprise program which fosters engineering skills by allowing students to work in business-like environments on real-world projects while completing their education. Different enterprises include Hybrid Transportation, Aerospace, Blue Marble Security, Husky Game Development, Boardsports Technologies, Integrated Microsystems, and Wireless Communications Enterprises.
Michigan Tech is ranked 179th of 600 US colleges and universities in research and development expenditures (NSF, 2004). Michigan Tech ranks ahead of Michigan State, the University of Michigan, Wayne State, and benchmark universities RPI, Georgia Tech, Carnegie Mellon, and Notre Dame in invention disclosures per $10 million of research.
Examples of recent research include studies in climate change, osteoporosis in bears, biofuels, calculus rules, disaster planning, tree genomes, and high-tech security communications.
Research expenditures exceeded $44 million in 2006.
There are over 65,000 Michigan Tech alumni living in all 50 states and over 100 countries. Michigan Tech Alumni Relations
and the Alumni Association mission is to provide a mutually beneficial link between Michigan Tech alumni and a) the university, b) other alumni, and c) Michigan Tech students (future alumni). There are many different products and services
offered to all alumni and friends including the exclusive HuskyLink
online alumni community which was launched in early 2007.
Michigan Tech has both an official fight song and an official Alma Mater. At most sporting events, however, both the "Engineers Song" and "In Heaven There Is No Beer" are played by the Huskies Pep Band
, and many students consider these to be the unofficial school songs. The "Blue Skirt Waltz" is played at home ice hockey games and is called the "Copper Country Anthem." During the song, the fans join arms and swing back and forth to the music.
The main Michigan Tech campus is located mainly on US 41 in Houghton, Michigan. It is the safest campus in Michigan, and the among the safest in the United States Michigan Tech also maintains a building in Hancock; the Ford Forestry Center and Research Forest in Alberta, Michigan the Keweenaw Research Center at the Houghton County Airport in Boston, Michigan (site of vehicle testing, the Winter Driving School) ; the Portage Lake Golf Course in Portage Township, the Mont Ripley ski hill in Ripley, Michigan and the Michigan Tech Research Institute (MTRI) in Ann Arbor. Michigan Tech opened a campus in the New Delhi area, India in 2003. The University recently purchased the UPPCO Building one block off of downtown Houghton.
In addition, the offices of the Michigan Tech Fund are located in the Citizens Bank Building in Hancock.
Faculty are involved in several distance education programs, with clients such as General Motors.
Michigan Tech students are primarily from Michigan, Wisconsin, Minnesota, and Illinois, and about 11 percent are from outside the United States. The student body is approximately 78 percent Caucasian, 12 percent Asian, 2 percent African American, 1 percent Native American and 1 percent Hispanic.
The university has recently focused on achieving a more diverse student body, in terms of ethnicity, gender, and areas of study. A key step in this effort was the recent introduction of several new academic majors
, including psychology, biochemistry and molecular biology, sound design, cheminformatics, communication and culture studies, pharmaceutical chemistry, exercise science, and theatre and entertainment technology.
Students attending Michigan Technological University have a wide range of activities to participate in, whether or not they are living in the residence halls
. In addition to the various small interest groups which form throughout the year, they participate in Greek Life
, Student Organizations
, and the Enterprise Program
; many organise and attend varsity day events, such as K-Day, the Parade of Nations, and the Winter Carnival
; furthermore, there are motivational drives to raise student activity levels and involvement in the school community, typically for those without membership in a student organization
A student organization
is a group of students who have formed under a common name, interest, and set of goals. The size of these organizations varies greatly, from the very large, to the small and specialized. For example, the Undergraduate Student Government
, which despite its name is actually a student organization
, is composed, according to its constitution, of the entire undergraduate body.
More specialized groups, such as the various fraternities
located on campus, list in their constitutions that membership pends approval by the organization itself, thus limiting its size. Many of these groups have long standing histories, such as the WMTU Radio Station, which was chartered in January 1975, while still others are recently established specialty groups, such as the Alpine Racing Team, which was established in January 2003.
MTU currently boasts a list of over two hundred different student organizations , and the number is continuing to grow at a steady rate. Any group of students composed of not less than ten members, not including the required faculty advisor, and who has a member-written, university approved constitution qualifies to be a student organization. Once this status has been given, the organization may request funding from the Undergraduate Student Government through the submission of a budget proposal. Through funding, many of these organizations put on special events, such as the Winter Carnival, or provide sought-after services to the students, such as the WMTU Radio Station.
Notable Student Organizations include:
- WMTU-FM, an entirely student-run radio station
- The Michigan Tech Lode, an award-winning, weekly published student newspaper
- The Daily Bull, a widely-read newsletter published 3-4 times weekly, offering content with a satirical and/or humorous bent
- The Huskies Pep Band, an integral part to football, men's and women's basketball, and ice hockey
- The Inter-Residence Hall Council, a governance council and event-planning group representing the one-third of students living on-campus
- Mitch's Misfits, the enthusiastic and passionate student section at Husky Hockey home games
- Blue Key, an affiliate of the National Blue Key honor society, which organizes the annual Winter Carnival
- Numerous ethnic, cultural, and diversity groups, aimed at exposing the campus to a variety of world views
- Many fraternities and sororities
- MTU 4 Wheelers
is considered by many of the students to be an important part of the "Tech Experience", and this can be seen in the high level of student participation in the many Greek-sponsored events hosted throughout the school year. Michigan Tech is currently host to sixteen different fraternities
, including three international fraternities
, and three local fraternities.
Additionally, there are eight sororities
on campus, including four local sororities.
Events held on campus can be both planned out, and spontaneous. Students who are interested in Greek Life
are encouraged to look at the various campus squares and message boards, where fraternities and sororities will typically publish information pertaining to their scheduled recruitment activities.
Additionally, students already involved can reference the Greek Life Calendar
for a list of planned activities.
The Enterprise Program
Michigan Technological University's Enterprise Program
is considered by many to be the University's defining feature. Originally designed and implemented in the fall of 2000
, the Enterprise Program allows students from different disciplines to work together to function as a professional company. Once established, students work together with industry leaders to solve real world problems, ranging from researching and developing new wireless technologies, the design and manufacture of specialty materials, to the development of an alternatively powered, full scale vehicle. The program is considered to be a separate curriculum
from the student's chosen major, and is typically considered to be a minor program that requires the student to take a certain amount of credit-based participation in each year.
Each year, the university will establish between ten to fifteen different openings, depending on student demand, and industry support. These openings are then filled by both returning enterprise teams, and potentially new teams as well. The groups consist of twenty to thirty students from various majors, who are then assigned a specific task by the university staff; in certain cases a team may request their own topic, which is then subject to approval by the university's administration. Each student is then assigned various roles and responsibilities according to their ability, maturity, and schedule, as evaluated by the university. Once established, an enterprise is responsible for managing their own budgets, management of multiple projects under their direction, and working with university faculty, who act as mentors and coaches to the students involved. At the end of April of each year, the various enterprises publish detailed reports outlining their analysis and solution for their particular assignment, and additionally, they will meet with their various industry sponsors to give verbal presentations, and outline their designs and solutions.
Notable Student Enterprises include:
- Blue Marble Security, which works to help individuals, companies, and local governments to protect their homes, workers, and communities; through the implementation of broad-level security solutions.
- Forumula SAE Car, an enterprise which is working to develop an indy style racing vehicle for use in competitions, while focusing on the optimization of chassis, wheel, frame, and engine design, in order to provide a safer, more efficient vehicle.
- The Wireless Communication Enterprise which is a highly diverse group of student disciplines, working to further the advancement of the communications industry through the development and implementation of new wireless technology, or improvements on existing ones.
As the school mascot is the husky (specifically, Blizzard T. Husky), the school's sports teams are known as the "Huskies". MTU competes in the NCAA's Division II Great Lakes Intercollegiate Athletic Conference. The hockey team competes in Division I as a member of the Western Collegiate Hockey Association. MTU has its own downhill ski/snowboard hill, Mont Ripley, just across Portage Lake from campus, and maintains extensive cross-country ski trails (used for mountain biking in summer). The university has a major rivalry with Northern Michigan University.
The football program at Tech has been around for over 80 years. On March 18, 2003 the football program was eliminated due to budgets cuts made by the university, but through alumni funding, the program was brought back on March 28, 2003. The 2004 football season brought the Huskies into the spotlight with the winning of a GLIAC
championship. The 2004 season was also a highlight for the football program due to the "Bash at the Big House," a football game played at Michigan Stadium
in Ann Arbor
against rival Grand Valley State University
attempted to set an all time attendance record. The team was the 2004 GLIAC Champions.
Men's Ice Hockey
The Men's Ice Hockey program has had a storied history from its inception in 1919, producing three national championships. The program has played in five different home arenas including the Amphidrome
, Calumet Colosseum, Dee Stadium
, and the John MacInnes Student Ice Arena
. The Husky hockey program became a national powerhouse under the leadership of Coach John MacInnes
during the 1960s, 1970s, and early 1980s.
The program, under the leadership of head coach Jamie Russell, is entering a renaissance after many seasons of disappointment.
The team has won many NCAA Division I and WCHA championships, especially during the 1950s through 1970's.
- The first Friday of the fall term is K-Day (Keweenaw Day), a university-sponsored half-day holiday. This is primarily celebrated at nearby McLain State Park, which is overrun by Michigan Tech students and organizations for the day. Activities include a student organizations fair, games, swimming, and music.
- Each fall, the Parade of Nations highlights the more than eighty nations represented on campus with a parade, food, and performances by a multitude of groups.
- In February Michigan Tech hosts its Winter Carnival, where students compete in a variety of artistic and athletic events. The highlight of Winter Carnival is a snow statue competition in which students construct snow and ice sculptures consistent with an annual theme. Some groups of students complete their work in a single evening, while the more grandiose are one month in the making. Statues must be pristine white and structurally sound; they must be self-supporting with no external scaffolding or hidden beams inside. They may not be walked upon. Carnival also features a queen competition, NCAA Division I ice hockey, and other special events.
- In spring, Michigan Tech hosts Spring Fling, which celebrates the coming end of the school year. Local talent plays on stage, carnival games are offered, free food can be found, and the entire campus is transformed into a festival. Recent Spring Fling events have included MTU Idol, a pig roast, a water balloon fight, a comedy routine, a pool tournament and more. The event is planned annually by the Memorial Union Board.
- In the summer Michigan Tech hosts the Summer Youth Program (SYP), Women in Engineering (WIE), American Indian Workshop (AIW), and Orchestra Fellowship Programs (OFP) to introduce high school students to college opportunities.
- During June and July, Michigan Tech's Rozsa Center for the Performing Arts is one of the main venues for the Pine Mountain Music Festival, with many musical and operatic performances. The Rozsa Center also holds performances by university, local, and touring companies during the school year.
- Michigan Tech holds two world records, the largest snowball (21' 3" circumference) and largest snowball fight (3,745), which they accomplished in 2006, as verified by Guinness World Records officials. They originally held three world records, the third of which was the most people making snow angels simultaneously in a single venue (3,784). This record was taken from the city of Bismarck, ND, but about a year later, Bismarck took the record back with 8,962 snow angels.
- Every fall and spring Michigan Tech's University Career Center holds a Career Day. The event draws large support from students, faculty, administration, and alumni. The Fall Career Day of 2007 saw 283 companies recruit over 3000 students. The Alpha Kappa Psi fraternity helps coordinate the Fall Career Day each year.
- Wadsworth Hall
- McNair Hall
- Douglass Houghton Hall
Because of a very large incoming class, the Franklin Square Inn, a Best Western located in downtown Houghton, is housing approximately 60 students through an agreement with Housing and Residential Life.
The residence halls each have a council representing the students of that hall. The councils are: the Wadsworth Hall Student Association (WHSA), the McNair Hall Association (MHA), and the Douglass Houghton Hall Council (DHHC). The Inter-Residence Hall Council consists of members from all of these hall councils, as well as several at-large members, and represents all of the residents to the campus and community.
- Joe Berger, NFL Player - Dallas Cowboys
- Melvin Calvin, Nobel Laureate and discoverer of the Calvin Cycle
- Chris Conner, NHL Player - Dallas Stars
- Tony Esposito, former NHL Player - Chicago Blackhawks
- David House, former Vice President of Intel
- Randy McKay, former NHL Player - Detroit Red Wings, Montreal Canadiens, Dallas Stars, and the New Jersey Devils when they won two Stanley Cups.
- Kanwal Rekhi, successful businessman and entrepreneurship promoter in the Silicon Valley; recently donated $5 million to MTU for its new computer science building.
- Dick Robbins, whose company built the tunneling machine that dug the English Chunnel.
- Damian Rhodes, NHL Player - Toronto Maple Leafs, Ottawa Senators, Atlanta Thrashers
- Donald G. Saari, prominent game theorist
- Matthew Songer, CEO and founder of Pioneer Surgical Technology
- Andy Sutton, NHL Player - Atlanta Thrashers, New York Islanders
- John Vartan, mega-millionaire Pennsylvania businessman, developer, banker, restaurateur, and philanthropist.