Ferris State University is a public university located in Big Rapids, Michigan. It was originally called Big Rapids Industrial School. Its founder was an educator and state senator named Woodbridge Nathan Ferris who wished to create a private school where students could get a meaningful vocational education.
Woodbridge Nathan Ferris disliked public education, but the state took control of his school in 1950. Now, Ferris State University is a public institution and one of the largest universities in Michigan.
Graduate students do not teach at Ferris State. Instruction is carried out by professional lecturers who can dedicate their time fully to teaching and research.
180 degree programmes are offered at the university. Academics are organised in eight colleges: Arts and Sciences, Business, Education and Human Services, Engineering Technology, Health Professions, the Kendall College of Art and Design, the Michigan College of Optometry and Pharmacy. There are specialist schools within several of these colleges, focusing on programmes which prepare students for careers in areas like law, education and nursing.
Ferris has an active social life, with over 200 student organisations including faith groups, professional societies, special interest clubs and 27 fraternities and sororities.
The Ferris State athletics teams, known as Bulldogs, have had particular success in men’s ice hockey. The Bulldogs compete in eight men’s sports and nine women’s sports in the NCAA Division II, except for the ice hockey team, which compete in Division I.