was founded in 1884 by Michigan
educator and statesman Woodbridge N. Ferris
. It has a 600-acre campus in Big Rapids
, MI about 45 minutes north of Grand Rapids
. Initially, Ferris was known as the Ferris Industrial School, but in 1899 the title was changed to Ferris Institute. It was privately owned and operated until 1931 when it became a non-profit, non-stock education corporation. In 1949, Ferris became a state college, and the school was officially renamed Ferris State College in 1963 and Ferris State University in 1987.
More than 120 educational programs -- including doctorates, master's, bachelor's and associate degree
s -- are offered through the colleges of Allied Health Sciences, Arts and Sciences, Business, Education and Human Services, Optometry, Pharmacy and Technology.
The state-supported university has on-campus residential facilities for more than 30 percent of its 9,847 students. Students and faculty work closely together at Ferris with an instructor for every 16 students. Classes are taught at all levels by professional teachers, not graduate assistants