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Wayne State University College Portrait

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Wayne State University

Wayne State University is one of the nation’s top urban, public, research institutions, offering about 380 academic programs to over 27,000 students through 13 schools and colleges.

Wayne State is a nationally ranked urban, public research university, dedicated to preparing its students to excel as informed participants in an increasingly high-tech, interconnected global society. Wayne State’s over 27,000 students make up the most diverse student body among Michigan’s public universities; men and women representing 50states and 69countries attend classes on the main campus. Wayne State’s 13schools and colleges offer about 380 academic degree programs including 116 master’s, 57 doctoral and over 70 certificate, specialist and professional programs to students seeking outstanding opportunities for advanced study.


Living in the Warriors Community

A Carnegie-rated research university positively engaged in its urban setting, Wayne State is a vibrant center of scholarship, research and social activities in the heart of Detroit.

Graphic Silhouette of College Students

Located in the University Cultural Center, Wayne State’s lively campus is an integral part of Midtown Detroit, making students truly members of the community in which they study. The university’s commitment to engaging with its home city is put into practice by students, faculty and staff who take part in activities ranging from Alternative Spring Break Detroit and Habitat for Humanity to the Detroit Fellows Tutoring Project. Warriors who participate in one or more of our 360 recognized student organizations – including an active Greek system -- learn leadership and organizational skills that will aid them during their years on campus and later in the workplace. Our three state of the art residence halls are only steps from the 24-hour Adamany Undergraduate Library, the Mort Harris Recreation and Fitness Center, the Student Center and most classrooms, as well as the world-renowned Detroit Institute of Arts.


The Big Picture: How many students were on campus in Fall 2015?

Undergraduate and Graduate Student Total
Total Students 27,222

Undergraduate Snapshot

Undergraduate Student Demographic Breakdown
Total Undergraduate Students 17,669
Women 9,798 55%
Men 7,871 45%
American Indian / Alaskan Native 50 <1%
Asian 1,424 8%
African American / Black 3,311 19%
Hispanic 813 5%
Native Hawaiian or Other Pacific Islander 21 <1%
White 9,930 56%
Two or More Races 576 3%
International 694 4%
Race/Ethnicity Not Reported 850 5%
Geographic Distribution (Degree-Seeking)
Where do WSU undergraduates call home?
Michigan 96%
Other US States & Territories 1%
Other Countries 2%
How old are WSU undergraduates?
Average Age 24
Percent of Undergraduates Age 25 or Older 25%

New Student Applications (Fall 2015)

Of the 10,009 new freshman applicants, 80% were admitted and 32% of the admitted students enrolled at Wayne State University in Fall 2015.
Of the 3,919 transfer applicants, 86% were admitted and 51% of the admitted students enrolled at Wayne State University in Fall 2015.

New Freshmen High School Background and Test Scores

Test(s) Required for Admission: SAT or ACT recommended

Shows middle 50% of testing range
Test Scores of Enrolled New Freshmen ACT
Composite 20 - 26
Math 18 - 26
English 20 - 27
50% of admitted students have test scores within the ranges listed, 25% have scores above, and 25% have scores below.
High School Preparation
High School Background of Enrolled New Freshmen
Percent in top 25% of High School Graduating Class 51%
Percent in top 50% of High School Graduating Class 78%
Percent of New Freshmen who submitted HS GPA 52%
Average High School GPA (4-point scale) 3.31
Percent who submitted High School GPA 99%

Sticker Price: How much does it cost on average?

Typical Undergraduate Costs for without Financial Aid (Full-Time, In-State Students)

Total Typical Cost of Attendance: $26,022

Out-of-State & Other Costs

More Information

The cost to attend Wayne State University varies based on the individual circumstances of students and may be reduced through grants and scholarships.

How much would I pay?

Financial Aid: How much help is there to pay?

Scholarships & Grants

  • <1% of full-time undergraduates received need-based grants or scholarships; the average award for the year was $0. Scholarships and grants are financial aid that does not need to be repaid and is sometimes referred to as gift aid.

Annual Need-Based Loans

  • <1% of full-time undergraduates received need-based work-study and/or loans (not including parent loans); the average loan for the year was $0. Loans need to be repaid. Typically, repayment starts once you are no longer enrolled full-time. Please refer to page 12 of the Funding Education Beyond High School guide on the US Department of Education's Federal Student Aid website for more information about Financial Need.

Percent of 2014 Full-time Beginning Students Receiving Each Type of Financial Aid

NOTE: Students may receive aid from more than one source.


WSU Classes & Instructors

Classroom Environment
Students per Faculty 16 to 1
Undergraduate classes with fewer than 30 students 77%
Undergraduate classes with fewer than 50 students 92%
Total Full-Time Instructional Faculty 1,024
% of Full-Time Instructional Faculty Who Are Female 46%
% of Full-Time Instructional Faculty Who Are Persons of Color 27%
% of Full-Time Instructional Faculty Who Have the Highest Academic Degree Offered in Their Field of Study <1%

Campus-based Housing

38% of new freshmen live in campus-based housing or residence halls.
12% of all undergraduates live on campus

More Information


Campus Safety

The Wayne State University Police Department was formed in 1966 and provides a full range of professional police services to both the main and medical center campuses as well as the surrounding neighborhoods. Each Officer has at least a bachelor's degree and many have advanced degrees.  All Wayne State University Police Officers are fully licensed through the Michigan Commission on Law Enforcement Standards (MCOLES). All officers are sworn Peace Officers commissioned under State law and each officer has also been commissioned as a Detroit Police Officer. Officers are empowered to enforce all federal and state laws as well as the Michigan Motor Vehicle Code and city of Detroit Ordinances, both on and off the campus. As sworn police officers, they are authorized to investigate, arrest or take any other necessary action to address any criminal or other public infraction in the vicinity of the WSU campus. WSU Police Officers work very closely with the Detroit Police Department, Wayne County Sheriff’s Department and the Michigan State Police.

The Wayne State University Police Department is committed to providing our students, staff, faculty, visitors and guests with prompt, courteous and professional police services. While we provide a committed effort to ensure your safety, we can not promise you total isolation from crime. Personal safety and crime prevention efforts are the responsibility of the entire Wayne State University community and it is important that everyone takes responsibility for the safety of their person and property. The key to preventing crime is awareness, which can be best accomplished through education.

Campus Crime Statistics


Carnegie Classification of Institutional Characteristics

The Carnegie Classification's were created "to reference the great diversity of colleges and universities in the United States, and ... enable [people] to identify groups of roughly comparable institutions." For information on the Carnegie Classifications system, please visit their website: http://classifications.carnegiefoundation.org/

Basic Type
Research Universities (very high research activity)
Size and Setting
Large four-year, primarily nonresidential
Enrollment Profile
Majority undergraduate
Undergraduate Profile
Full-time four-year, selective, higher transfer-in
Undergraduate Instructional Program
Arts & sciences plus professions, high graduate coexistence
Graduate Instructional Program
Comprehensive doctoral with medical/veterinary

NOTE: Institutional classifications based on the Carnegie 2005 edition.


Student Activities and Involvement at WSU

Students who are actively involved in their own learning and development are more likely to be successful in college. Colleges and universities offer students a wide variety of opportunities both inside and outside the classroom to become engaged with new ideas, people, and experiences. Institutions measure the effectiveness of these opportunities in a variety of ways to better understand what types of activities and programs students find the most helpful.

Institutions participating in the VSA program measure student involvement on campus using one of four national surveys. Results from the one survey are reported for a common set of questions selected as part of VSA. Following are the selected results from the National Survey of Student Engagement (NSSE). The questions have been grouped together in categories that are known to contribute to student learning and development. The results reported below are based on the responses of seniors who participated in the survey.

Group Learning Experiences

  • 91% percent of seniors worked with classmates on assignments outside of class.
  • 95% of seniors tutored or taught other students
  • 19% of seniors spent at least 6 hours per week participating in co-curricular activities such as student organizations and intramural sports

Active Learning Experiences

  • 78% of seniors spent at least 6 hours per week preparing for class
  • 17% of seniors worked on a research project with a faculty member
  • 39% of seniors participated in an internship, practicum, or field experience
  • 50% of seniors participated in community service or volunteer work
  • 8% of seniors participated in study abroad
  • 88% of seniors made at least one class presentation last year

Institutional Commitment to Student Learning and Success

  • 96% of seniors believe this institution provides support for student success
  • 65% of seniors rated the quality of academic advising at this institution as good or excellent
  • 58% of seniors reported that this institution provided help in coping with work, family and other non-academic responsibilities
  • 84% of seniors reported working harder than they thought they could to meet an instructor's standards or expectations

Student Interaction with Campus Faculty and Staff

  • 43% of seniors believed that the campus staff were helpful, considerate, or flexible
  • 73% of seniors believed that faculty are available, helpful, or sympathetic
  • 91% of seniors reported that faculty members provided prompt feedback on their academic performance
  • 66% of seniors discussed readings or ideas with faculty members outside of class

Experiences with Diverse Groups of People and Ideas

  • 68% of seniors reported that they often tried to understand someone else's point of view
  • 89% of seniors reported their experience at this institution contributed to their understanding people of other racial and ethnic backgrounds
  • 82% of seniors often had serious conversations with students of a different race or ethnicity

Student Satisfaction

  • 75% of seniors would attend this institution if they started over again
  • 74% of seniors rated their entire educational experience as good or excellent
  • 82% of seniors reported that other students were friendly or supportive

Evaluation of Experiences

Survey Administration Process

Survey Information


Majors and Degrees

Degrees awarded at Wayne State University in 2014-15
Degrees awarded at Wayne State University in 2014-15
Bachelor's 3,180
Master's 2,046
Doctoral 810
Total 6,036
Areas of Study with the largest number of bachelor's degrees awarded in 2014-15
Areas of Study with the largest number of bachelor's degrees awarded in 2014-15
Links to degree programs at Wayne State University
Links to degree programs at Wayne State University





Future Plans of Bachelor's Degree Recipients


Student Success & Progress Rate

A 76% four-year success and progress rate means that 76% of students starting in Fall 2009 either graduated or are still enrolled at a higher education institution four years later.
Counts for the Fall 2009 entering class shown in the graph above.
  • 2,690 First-Time, Full-Time Students
  • 1,207 Full-Time Transfer Students

Success & Progress Rate Table


Retention of Freshman Class

First-time students in Fall 2014 that returned for their second year: 77%

More Information


Student Learning at Wayne State University

All colleges and universities use multiple approaches to measure student learning. Many of these are specific to particular disciplines, many are coordinated with accrediting agencies, and many are based on outcomes after students have graduated.

Learning Assessment Examples


Pilot Project to Measure Core Learning Outcomes

Colleges and universities participating in the College Portrait measure the typical improvement in students' abilities to think, reason, and write using one of three tests. This is part of a pilot project to better understand and compare what students learn between their freshman and senior years at different colleges and universities.