Michigan Technological University

Michigan Technological University is a public research university in Houghton, Michigan. Its main campus sits on on a bluff overlooking Portage Lake. Michigan Tech was founded in 1885 as the first post-secondary institution in the Upper Peninsula of Michigan and was created to train mining engineers to operate the local copper mines. Science, technology, forestry and business have been added to the numerous engineering disciplines, and Michigan Tech now offers more than 130 degree programs through its five colleges and schools.
Michigan Tech's athletic teams are nicknamed the Huskies and compete primarily in the NCAA Division II Great Lakes Intercollegiate Athletic Conference. The men's hockey team competes in Division I as a member of the Western Collegiate Hockey Association, and has won three national championships. The women's basketball team were national runners-up in 2011.


Michigan Tech was founded in 1885 as the Michigan Mining School. After much agitation by Jay Abel Hubbell, the state legislature established the school to train mining engineers. Hubbell donated land for the school's first buildings.
The school started with four faculty members and twenty-three students. It was housed in the Houghton Fire Hall from 1886 through 1889.
MTU's first president was Marshman E. Wadsworth. Enrollment grew to such a point that its name no longer reflected its purpose. The name was then changed to the Michigan College of Mines in 1897. This name lasted through World War I until 1925, but by this time the school began offering a wider variety of degrees and once again decided to change its name to the Michigan College of Mining and Technology in 1927.
Fred W. McNair was the college's second president. By 1931, enrollment had reached nearly 600. Over the next few years, due to the Great Depression, money was scarce, causing department heads and even the president of the university, William O. Hotchkiss, to take pay cuts.
Under President Grover C. Dillman, the school underwent many notable changes, including the construction of the Memorial Union Building, the purchasing an ice rink and a golf course as well as the procurement of the village of Alberta, Michigan.
In 1956, J. Robert Van Pelt became the new president of the university. He restarted many PhD programs and created a focus on research. This included the school's first analog computation class in 1956–57.
In the final years of his presidency, the school changed from a college to a university, changing its name a final time to Michigan Technological University. The change from the Michigan College of Mining and Technology was necessary for two reasons, according to Van Pelt. First, the college had expanded too greatly and the current name was no longer an accurate title. Also, including "mining" in the name of the college was misleading. The name "Michigan Technological University" was chosen in order to retain the nickname "Michigan Tech" that had already been in use since 1927.
Richard J. Koubek has been president since July 1, 2018.
Although engineering still accounts for some 59 percent of all enrollment as of fall 2010, the university now offers more than 120 undergraduate degree programs and 70 graduate degree programs.
Along with its new name, the school also gained new constitutional status in 1964. This gave responsibility for control of the university to its Board of Control rather than the state legislature.


The main Michigan Tech campus is mainly situated on US-41 in Houghton. It is the safest campus in Michigan, and the third safest in the United States, according to Reader's Digest. The main part of campus can be traversed in about 10 minutes. The offices of the Michigan Tech Fund are located in the Huntington Bank Building in Hancock. The Lakeshore Center in downtown Houghton houses the offices of Human Relations, Vice President for Research, and other departments.
Faculty are involved in several distance education programs with clients including General Motors.
The Portage Lake Golf Course opened for play in April 1902. In 1945, the members could no longer support the needs of the course and sold it to Michigan Tech for one dollar. Since then, many improvements have been made such as the addition of another nine holes in 1969. In 1984, the new clubhouse was constructed. In 1996, a sprinkler system was installed to modernize the course and keep it playable. The Portage Lake Golf Course is located two miles southeast of campus. With 18 holes on 160 acres, it offers two nines of distinctly different flavors and challenges.
Mont Ripley is the oldest ski area in Michigan in the snowiest city in the Midwest. It's also University-owned, so Michigan Tech students ski or snowboard for free. Mont Ripley has twenty-two trails, a terrain park, a tubing park, sits on 112 acres, and has a scenic overlook of the Keweenaw Waterway. It's about two miles from campus; the hill is viewable from most campus buildings. In 2019, Michigan Tech's Mont Ripley earned the University a No. 13 rating on College Census' 25 Best Colleges for Skiing and Snowboarding list.


Michigan Tech offers more than 120 undergraduate and graduate degrees in engineering, natural and physical sciences, computing, business and economics, technology, environmental studies, arts, humanities, and social sciences. Home to the first College of Computing in the state of Michigan, the University is divided into five Colleges: Business; Computing; Engineering; Forest Resources and Environmental Science; and Sciences and Arts. The average overall ACT scores for incoming students is 27.2 in fall 2017, compared to 21.2 nationally. It currently has the highest tuition of all public universities in Michigan, exceeding both Michigan State and the University of Michigan. The College of Engineering's environmental engineering and mechanical engineering enrollments rank in the top ten nationally and their respective graduate programs are ranked in the top 50 in the US. The electrical engineering department uses an innovative "DSP First" curriculum found at only a few leading universities.
Michigan Tech's Enterprise Program provides students with real-world design, engineering, and entrepreneurial experiences. Enterprises develop engineering skills by allowing students to work in business-like environments on real-world projects while completing their education. Enterprises include Nanotechnology Innovations, Hybrid Transportation, Aerospace, Blue Marble Security, Husky Game Development, Boardsports Technologies, and Wireless Communications Enterprises.

Student body

The student body consists of more than 7,000 graduate and undergraduate students and more than 470 academic faculty. As is historically true of engineering institutions, female enrollment at Michigan Tech is low. The male to female student ratio was 22:1 in 1960; since 1980 it has remained around 3:1. Michigan Tech's admissions office has enlisted female students and faculty to contact every admitted female applicant via telephone or personal letter in an attempt to increase female enrollment. The Fall 2010 freshman class had a ratio of 3.1:1. In the Fall 2012 semester, female enrollment rose for the 6th straight year to reach a then all-time high of 1,837 students. Female enrollment for the 2017-18 academic year was 27.1%.
Michigan Tech students are primarily from Michigan, Wisconsin, Minnesota, and Illinois. The student body is approximately 75.4% European-American/Non-Hispanic, 14.2% International, 1.6% Hispanic, 1.5% percent African American, 1.0% Asian, 0.6% Native American, 1.0% Multiracial, 0.1% Pacific Islander, and the remaining 4.5% was not supplied.


Michigan Tech ranked 172nd of 600 US colleges and universities in research and development expenditures in 2007. Research expenditures exceeded $50 million in 2017.
The university has 17 research centers and institutes and 273,000 square feet of research space and labs.

Student life

Students attending Michigan Technological University have a wide range of activities to participate in, whether or not they are living in the residence halls, of which there are four. In addition to the various small interest groups which form throughout the year, students participate in Greek Life, Student Organizations, Senior Design, and the Enterprise Program; many organize and attend campus traditions, such as K-Day, the Parade of Nations, Design Expo, Career Fair, and 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.

Student organizations

Michigan Tech currently recognizes more than two hundred student organizations, including:
Michigan Tech is currently host to twelve fraternities, including three international and three local fraternities. Additionally, there are seven sororities on campus, including three local sororities.


As the school mascot is the husky, the school's sports teams are known as the Huskies. Michigan Tech competes primarily in the NCAA's Division II Great Lakes Intercollegiate Athletic Conference, while the men's hockey team competes in Division I as a member of the Western Collegiate Hockey Association. The men's hockey team has won three national championships and the women's basketball team were national runners-up in the 2010-2011 season.
Michigan Tech owns a downhill skiing/snowboarding hill, Mont Ripley, just across Portage Lake from campus, and maintains extensive cross-country skiing trails.

School songs

Michigan Tech has both an official fight song and an official Alma Mater. At most sporting events, however, both the "Engineer's 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.


There are over 68,000 Michigan Tech alumni living in all 50 states and over 100 countries. Some notable alumni include: