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Central Michigan University: Academics, Admissions & Tuition Info

Learn about Central Michigan University in Mount Pleasant, MI. Read about its admission info, financial aid, and degree programs to make an informed education decision.

About Central Michigan University

Central Michigan University (CMU), located in the small city of Mount Pleasant, Michigan, is a public, four-year university and the fourth-largest university in the state. The university was founded in 1892 as a teacher's college and business school, later expanding its offerings to become a full university. In addition to its main campus in Mount Pleasant, CMU also offers courses in over 50 locations across North America. Central Michigan has been ranked on several U.S. News & World Report's Best lists, including a ranking as the #29 school in the country for graduate studies in audiology.


Central Michigan University is comprised of nine colleges offering over 400 degree programs. Its most popular programs include business administration, kinesiology, and psychology.

There are three libraries available to students at Central. The main library is the Park Library, which contains just over one million books and periodicals. The Clarke Historical Library offers not only books and documents about Michigan and CMU History, but also textbooks and other educational aids and children's books from the past. Finally, to serve students attending courses through its Global Campus program, Central offers the Global Campus Library, which has librarians on staff to help off-campus students get access to materials for their studies.

Central Michigan University offers online courses and entire degree programs through its CMU Online program. Students also have the opportunity to study abroad; Central offers semester- or year-long programs in over 40 countries across six continents.


Central Michigan University has a rolling admissions policy, accepting applications all year long. However, incoming freshmen should apply during the fall of their senior year of high school. To apply, students can fill out an online or paper application form and send it, along with their official transcript, standardized test scores, and $35 application fee to the Office of Admissions. Central accepts both Advanced Placement (AP) and College Level Examination Program (CLEP) scores.

The National Center for Education Statistics notes that 68% of those who apply to CMU are accepted, and of those, 30% go on to enroll in classes. Demographically speaking, the student population at Central Michigan University is 79% white, 55% female, and 95% Michigan residents.

Tuition and Financial Aid

Tuition for residents of Michigan was $365 per credit hour in 2012-13, and $789 per credit hour for non-residents. Students can expect to pay approximately $1,000 per year for books and other materials. The cost of attendance for a Michigan resident going to Central Michigan University full-time in 2012 was $20,556. For an out-of-state student, the cost of attendance was $32,624.

Central Michigan University has several merit scholarships available. Many are department or program-based, but a few are available to the general student population regardless of major. The Centralis Scholarship Award is available for students with a high school GPA Of 3.5 or higher. It pays the full amount of tuition for three years. The Outstanding High School Student Award is awarded to students who ranked first or second in their graduating class, and awards students $4,000 per year.

Graduate tuition for master's and specialist degrees is a set rate of $476 per credit for in-state students for the 2012-2013 academic year. In-state students pursuing doctoral degrees pay $548 per credit hour. Figures for out-of-state students are higher, though they follow the same structure. Central has graduate assistantships available through individual departments.

School Type Public, 4-year**
Degrees Offered Bachelor's, master's, doctorate**
Religious Affiliation None**
Academic Calendar Semesters*
School Setting Small town**
Student Body About 21,700 undergraduates and 6,500 graduates in 2011**
Student Housing Residence halls and on-campus apartments are available. All first-year students are required to live on campus.*
Schools and Programs Nine colleges, more than 400 degree programs*
Student-Faculty Ratio 22 to 1**
Most Popular Fields of Study by Degree Level (Number of Recipients) In 2011: Bachelor's: Psychology (194)
Master's: Business Administration (260)
Doctorate: Physical Therapy (41)**
Undergraduate Graduation Rates 18% in four years
54% in six years**
Admission Rate 68% in 2011**
Entering Class Size About 3,800 in 2011**
First-Year Retention Rates 76% for full time students**
Average ACT Score of Admitted Students Middle 50% ACT scores 21 to 24 in 2011**
Application Due Date Rolling; however, incoming freshmen should apply by fall of their senior year of high school.*
Decision Notification Date Four weeks after receipt of all documents.*
Tuition (2012) $10,024 per year for Michigan residents, $22,092 for non-residents (full-time) in 2011-2012**
Financial Aid Sources Available (Percent of Students Receiving it) In 2011: Federal grants (34%), state and local grants (15%), institutional scholarships and grants (64%), federal loans (68%)**
Percent of Students Receiving Some Form of Aid 86% in 2011**

Sources: *Central Michigan State University, **National Center for Education Statistics

School Contact Information

  • Address: Warriner Hall 102, Mount Pleasant, MI 48859
  • Phone: (888) 292-5366
  • Website:

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