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Schools and colleges

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Wayne State’s 13 schools and colleges offer more than 380 academic and certificate programs for graduates and undergraduates. Pre-professional programs in medicine, law and pharmacy allow select students to pursue an advanced degree as undergraduates, while other students may prefer options such as the music business curriculum that teaches marketing and promotion, contracts and record production. The university provides additional information on all majors.

Mike Ilitch School of Business

Founded in 1946, the Wayne State University Mike Ilitch School of Business has a distinguished history of preparing leaders to excel in a wide range of industries. More than 31,000 business alumni can be found around the world, developing innovative entrepreneurial ventures, managing multinational corporations, and making a difference in nonprofit and government agencies.

Guided by supportive faculty who are respected for their contributions to business research, these exceptional leaders get their start in the school's classrooms, where they develop a solid foundation in business principles including accounting, finance, information systems, management, global supply chain and marketing.

Accreditation from AACSB International — The Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business — confirms the school’s commitment to quality and continuous improvement, as does recognition from third-party reviewers such as The Princeton Review and U.S. News and World Report.

College of Education

The College of Education's mission is to prepare effective urban educators — reflective, innovative and committed to diversity. With nearly 40 program areas from teacher certification to counseling education and many disciplines in between, the college reflects the dynamic character of urban life and is sensitive to the special experiences, conditions and opportunities presented by a culturally diverse student body.

The college and its administrators, faculty and staff are dedicated to preparing professionals who can contribute in meaningful ways to a global, technology-oriented society by helping them acquire the knowledge, skills and attitudes necessary to succeed in their chosen careers in education, health, counseling and more. To achieve this mission, the College of Education is dedicated to excellence in teaching, research and service, and to undertaking continuous improvement to keep its programs relevant, up-to-date and technologically innovative.

College of Engineering

Established in 1933, the College of Engineering draws strength from the region’s robust engineering culture, providing students and faculty unrivaled connections to industry and the latest research and technology. To the region and state, the college provides leadership in emerging growth areas shaping our future.

College of Engineering faculty generate approximately $20 million annually in research expenditures, particularly in areas of biomedical engineering and computing; advanced materials and flexible manufacturing; and green technologies such as alternative energy technology, alternative energy and advanced battery storage. The college offers a full range of engineering disciplines, while several research areas in which faculty members focus on interdisciplinary teamwork and partnerships with industry are prominent — alternative energy technology, automotive engineering, electric-drive vehicle engineering, environmental infrastructures and transportation engineering, materials and biomedical engineering, bioinformatics and computational biology, nanotechnology and sustainable engineering.

College of Fine, Performing and Communication Arts

Established in 1986, the College of Fine, Performing and Communication Arts (CFPCA) is educating the next generation of visual artists, musicians, communication professionals, designers, art historians, actors and dancers. The college offers 16 undergraduate programs, 10 graduate programs and three graduate certificates through the James Pearson Duffy Department of Art and Art History, the Maggie Allesee Department of Theatre and Dance, and the departments of communication and music. The departments of music and theatre/dance are nationally accredited.

As the university’s cultural gateway, CFPCA plays a major role in enlivening the social cityscape of Detroit by inviting the public to campus for a variety of cultural experiences and by taking outreach activities into the community. CFPCA’s location in Detroit’s Midtown neighborhood offers students easy access to museums, galleries, professional performance venues and internship opportunities in industry, advertising, public relations, newspapers and national broadcast network affiliates.

In a setting of cultural diversity and advanced technologies, students benefit from expert faculty and state-of- the-art resources, and win top rankings in national and international competitions and tournaments. CFPCA’s alumni include a Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist and winners of and nominees for the Grammy, Emmy, Tony, Golden Globe, Obie, Screen Actors Guild and Caldecott awards.

The Graduate School

Established in 1933, The Wayne State University Graduate School provides leadership in advancing graduate education and cultivating a supportive environment for research, scholarly activities and other creative endeavors that are integral to successful graduate students, faculty members and programs. The Graduate School assures the quality and integrity of graduate programs and monitors the academic requirements for the Ph.D. degree, specific master’s degrees and graduate certificates. The Graduate School also administers and regulates funds that support graduate studies and disseminates information related to graduate programs and policies. Wayne State has received the Carnegie Foundation's highest classification for research, which is reflective of the university's deep commitment to excellence in graduate education, relevance in academic curriculum, and leadership in research and scholarship. Accordingly, the Graduate School is committed to the highest standards of academic performance and ethical behavior.

Irvin D. Reid Honors College

The mission of the Irvin D. Reid Honors College is to promote informed, engaged citizenship as the foundation for academic excellence in a diverse global setting. Honors accomplishes its mission by attracting and retaining talented students and cultivating within them not only a different way of thinking, but also a desire to make a difference in the world.

The Honors College experience is built on four pillars: community, service, research and career. The focus of the Honors’ first year is community and the urban experience; during year one, students concentrate on urban issues and history. Year two involves service learning, which takes skills cultivated in the classroom and puts them to use in real-world situations. In year three, students are encouraged to work with faculty mentors to develop individual funded research projects. And in year four, students complete a senior thesis, which represents the culmination of their undergraduate work and the first step toward a postgraduate career.

The Honors College is home to Scholars Day, MedStart, Health Pro Start and BStart, the Urban Scholars/ Leaders program, CommunityEngagement@Wayne, Scholars Day, Honors Transfer, and the Detroit Urban Scholars program.

Law School

One of just two public law schools in Michigan, the Law School is the Midwest’s premier public interest law school. Approved by the American Bar Association since 1936, Wayne Law blends cutting-edge legal theory with real-world practice skills through eight legal clinics; four externship programs; local and international fellowships and internships; and numerous co-curricular programs, including moot court, scholarly journals and trial advocacy. Its faculty is composed of dedicated teachers and distinguished scholars known nationally and internationally for their contributions to legal study. And its location — minutes away from courts, major law firms, government agencies, corporate headquarters and the nation’s busiest international border — offers incomparable opportunities in employment, hands-on experience and public service. The Law School’s vast alumni network of more than 11,000 — who have gone on to become judges, justices, law firm partners, entrepreneurs, government officials — represents every state in the nation and more than a dozen foreign countries.

College of Liberal Arts and Sciences

The College of Liberal Arts and Sciences (CLAS) consists of 19 departments, including African American studies, sociology, English, chemistry, and many more. CLAS is the core and hub of Wayne State University, providing most of the undergraduate instruction—including almost all of the general education and pre-professional curricula for undergraduates — and a variety of graduate programs that produce many master’s degrees and almost half of the Ph.D. degrees awarded at the university. CLAS faculty members engage in research in a wide range of fields, in several nationally ranked departments, with robust extramural funding.  

New CLAS programs include global studies; a bachelor of public health; the Wayne Med Direct (Wayne MD) program, where 10 students pursue an undergraduate degree from CLAS and an M.D. from the School of Medicine; and the Wayne Law Start program, where students can earn an undergraduate degree in CLAS and a J.D. in a total of six years.   

School of Library and Information Science

The School of Library and Information Science prepares information professionals to assume leadership roles in libraries and other information organizations. By emphasizing the practical application of knowledge and skills, the school trains students in the core principles of librarianship and information studies — information access, organization, services and management — as well as emerging fields incorporating electronic media such as digital collections, competitive intelligence, information architecture and website development.

The American Library Association first accredited the Master of Library and Information Science (MLIS) degree in 1967. The School of Library and Information Science is ranked in the top 25 among 62 ALA- accredited programs in the United States, according to the most recent U.S. News and World Report survey. The school is one of only 22 library and information science programs in the country to have a fully online MLIS program. The school has one of the largest graduate programs on campus, as well as one of the nation’s largest programs in library and information science. Faculty members conduct research into issues that enhance the value of library and information services as an essential component of cultural enrichment, knowledge dissemination, economic development and the overall quality of life.

School of Medicine

Founded in 1868, the Wayne State University School of Medicine is known for developing superior urban clinical skills in 1,200 medical students through one of the nation’s most robust standardized patient programs and partnerships with the area’s leading hospital systems. The school also offers master’s, Ph.D., M.D./Ph.D. and M.P.H. programs in 14 areas of basic science and public health to about 400 students annually.

The school’s research emphasizes neuroscience, pediatrics, obstetrics and gynecology, perinatology, cancer, cardiovascular disease including diabetes and obesity, and psychiatry and addiction research. Research funding levels in 2014, including all grants and contracts from government agencies, private organizations and pharmaceutical companies, was $94.5 million. One of the school’s major assets is the Richard J. Mazurek, M.D., Medical Education Commons, opened in 2009. This building was designed specifically for students, and houses classrooms, student services divisions, the medical library and a sophisticated patient simulation center, the Kado Family Clinical Skills Center.

In 2015, Wayne State opened the new Integrative Biosciences Center (IBio), a $93 million state-of-the-art facility dedicated to studying and eliminating health disparities that affect Detroit’s residents. The center supports researchers from varying fields and enhances their ability to collaborate to solve problems related to human health and society. IBio features nearly 200,000 square feet for approximately 500 researchers and nearly 60 principal investigators.

The school’s faculty physicians provide $60 million in uncompensated care annually to patients in Southeast Michigan. 

College of Nursing

Established in 1945, the College of Nursing shares the university’s research, teaching and community enrichment missions.

The college is committed to providing an exceptional nursing education. Its faculty conducts innovative research that helps build the scientific foundation for clinical practice, advances preventive care, manages symptoms of illness, enhances end-of-life and palliative care, and influences the development of health care policy at all levels. Reflecting its location in a culturally diverse metropolitan area, the college is particularly concerned with reducing health disparities and improving health outcomes among minority populations.

Students in the College of Nursing are passionate about making a positive difference in people’s lives. Whether graduate or undergraduate, they choose Wayne State University because they want access to outstanding research and clinical faculty, the latest high-tech simulation facilities and a curriculum that prepares them for leadership in their profession.

Eugene Applebaum College of Pharmacy and Health Sciences

Established in 1924, the Eugene Applebaum College of Pharmacy and Health Sciences is one of the founding colleges of Wayne State University. It is committed to advancing the health and well-being of society by educating and preparing students to be highly skilled health care practitioners and by discovering, evaluating and implementing improved models of practice and treatments in the health sciences and pharmacy. The college is organized into four departments: Fundamental and Applied Sciences, Health Care Sciences, Pharmacy Practice and Pharmaceutical Sciences. It offers 11 different fully accredited degree-granting programs, which maintain autonomous admission requirements, curricula, degree requirements and academic procedures. The college produces 300 committed and compassionate health professionals each year; 85 percent of its graduates remain and work in Michigan.

The college is fortunate to have exceptionally talented and dedicated faculty who provide students with an excellent educational experience. Many faculty members have national and international reputations and funded programs of research. Faculty prepare graduates to be leaders in the delivery of excellent patient care and scholars in basic, clinical, translational, and applied sciences and in teaching, learning and service.

The college strives to be a leader in developing curricula, practice delivery modes and research that together contribute to the health sciences.

School of Social Work

In 2015, the School of Social Work celebrated its 80th anniversary as a national leader in professional practice education and training.  Building on this tradition, the college is moving forward with a 21st century agenda that includes promoting social justice and fostering overall well-being through engaged teaching. The school offers academic programs at the bachelor’s, master’s and Ph.D. levels. Over the last two years, innovative changes and new programs have been added, including a joint-title doctoral degree in social work and anthropology (SWAN) – one of only two such degrees combining these disciplines in the United States.

Beyond its reputation for providing quality education, the School of Social Work is known for its commitment to student success and retention. The Office of Field Education uses an innovative placement process that results in the best possible match between the interests of students and their field placement sites. In the fall of 2015, the school hosted more than 630 students at 307 social work, social welfare, education, health and other human service organizations field placement sites in 14 Michigan counties and Canada for their field experiences.