Skip to Top NavigationSkip to ContentSkip to Footer
Ferris State University BulldogFerris State University Logo
Woodbridge N. Ferris statue

Ferris State University Key Facts

Historically Speaking

Established in 1884 by Woodbridge N. and Helen Gillespie Ferris, the University today continues its founders’ vision of providing a career-oriented education that meets the challenges of a changing economy. Woodbridge, a distinguished Michigan educator and politician who served two terms as the state’s governor and was elected a United States Senator, and Helen, co-founder and teacher, built their school on the concept of not only providing students with marketable skills, but giving students opportunities regardless of race, age, or status. Ferris was a private institute until 1950, when it joined the state higher education system. The college obtained university status in 1987.


Ferris State University’s main campus is located in Big Rapids, a west central Michigan town nestled in a vacation-recreation region. In addition to being home of Ferris State University, Big Rapids is the county seat of Mecosta County. The 935-acre campus is readily accessible by the US-131 expressway and state highway M-20. Big Rapids is 55 miles north of Grand Rapids and within 200 miles of Chicago and Detroit.

Campus Size

935 acres

Academic Colleges

College of Arts, Sciences and Education
College of Business
College of Engineering Technology
College of Health Professions
College of Pharmacy
Kendall College of Art and Design
Michigan College of Optometry at FSU

Educational Programs

Ferris offers more than 190 educational programs through the Colleges of Arts, Sciences and Education, Business, Engineering Technology, Health Professions, Kendall College of Art and Design, Michigan College of Optometry, Pharmacy, and the offices of Extended and International Operations as well as University College. These programs lead to doctorate, master, bachelor, and associate degrees, as well as certificates. Master’s degrees are offered specifically in Business Administration, Career and Technical Education, Criminal Justice, Curriculum and Instruction, Educational Leadership, Fine Arts, Information Security and Intelligence, Nursing, and Social Work. Doctoral degrees offered at Ferris are in Community College Leadership, Optometry and Pharmacy. Each college offers a cluster of related programs that are targeted to prepare students for specific careers, responsible citizenship, and lifelong learning.

Financial Aid

More than 79% of the students presently enrolled in a degree-granting program at Ferris State University receive some type of financial aid through federal, state, institutional, private, and other sources including: scholarships, grants, loans, and student employment. Ferris State University awards more than $173 million in student aid annually. Financial aid is primarily based on financial need and is intended to assist students whose families lack the total resources needed to pay for college. Information on financial aid programs available at Ferris may be obtained by contacting the Office of Scholarships and Financial Aid at (231) 591-2110.

Student Costs

  • Tuition Rates
  • An Online Learning Fee will be assessed at $10 per credit hour to all online courses to support on-line instruction

Office Of Multicultural Student Services

The Office of Multicultural Student Services (OMSS) promotes the intellectual understanding and appreciation of diversity, inclusion and social justice by creating opportunities for learning and leadership development for the campus community. In addition, the office provides meaningful support to assist in the transition, retention, and graduation of underrepresented student populations. As students matriculate through Ferris, the OMSS staff is committed to supporting our students through our five pillars of service:

  • Advocacy – OMSS makes every attempt to ensure that our students’ college experiences are fair and as rewarding as possible by providing meaningful support.

  • Leadership Development – Through the T.O.W.E.R.S. Leadership Development Program, OMSS provides development opportunities for students to learn and develop important transferable skills that will assist them in becoming leaders on campus and in their future careers.

  • Mentorship – OMSS staff provides one-on-one guidance to students and organizations to encourage growth and development and to help them make healthy choices socially and academically.

  • Cultural Awareness – OMSS sponsors a variety of programs, guest speakers, and discussions to engage the campus community and facilitate student learning as it relates to multiculturalism and inclusion.

  • College Access – OMSS spreads awareness and creates a college-going culture to prospective middle and high school students through the federal and state funded MI GEAR UP/KCP College Day Program.

OMSS coordinates many cultural awareness events throughout the year, listed are just a few: Culture 365 Signature Event Series, Transitions to Success: Minority Freshman Orientation, Cultural Connections Open House, Hispanic Heritage Month Celebration, Native American Heritage Month Celebration, Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Celebration, Black History Month Celebration, Women’s History Month Celebration, Asian American History Month Celebration, OMSS Minority Graduate Recognition Program, TOWERS Leadership Development Program, and Black Male Network Initiative.

Office Of Transfer And Secondary School Partnerships

The Office of Transfer and Secondary School Partnerships is committed to creating conditions that foster student success and promoting access to higher education and degree attainment by facilitating the successful transfer of college and articulated credit. The office offers support and services for community colleges and transfer students through community college agreements, articulation agreements, and transfer guides. For high school students, the office coordinates dual enrollment, concurrent enrollment, articulation, as well as programs to help high school students become college ready through the Center for College Readiness.