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Michigan State University

Founded in 1855, Michigan State University is a research-intensive, land-grant university; one of the first institutions of higher learning in the nation to commit itself to the education of all citizens. Its distinguished history of access and excellence continues as it provides graduate students with unique opportunities to make a difference through teaching, research, and public service. The curriculum now includes more than 200 programs of undergraduate and graduate study, all taught by nearly 4,500 academic staff members in 14 degree-granting colleges. Of the 44,000 students at MSU, 9,400 are graduate students. MSU is one of only few institutions with membership in both the National Association of State Universities and Land-Grant Colleges and the Association of American Universities.

Renowned as one of the most beautiful campuses in the nation, MSU's property holdings number 5,200 acres with approximately 100 miles of walkways. The Computer Laboratory supports a wide array of computing services, which includes the operation of more than fifty public microcomputer laboratories, consultation and training, custom programming, computer design and repair, hardware and software sales, and faculty support.

MSU Libraries have an extensive research collection of more than 4,000,000 volumes housed in the main library and 14 branch libraries serving classroom buildings across campus. Other highlights include the Wharton Center for Performing Arts, which presents a variety of cultural events, the Kresge Art Museum, the MSU Historical Museum, and the Abrams Planetarium. In addition, campus plantings serve as a vast collection for teaching and research. The collection includes some 7,000 kinds of trees, shrubs, and vines. The W.J. Beal Botanical Garden is an outstanding campus resource with more than 3,000 plant species and varieties. The Red Cedar River flows through the university, providing many scenic and restful places. MSU students also have access to three intramural sports facilities located throughout the campus, as well as a wide variety of sports and leisure activity programs. These include competitive club sports and informal fitness activities designed to provide all members of the university community the opportunity to participate regardless of skill level.

As an institution, MSU places great value in diversity. In fact, MSU's efforts to recruit and retain a diverse student body, as well as support a diverse campus, are considered a national model. More than 16 percent of the university's enrollment is made up of minority students, and women are 54 percent of the student body. Women and minorities now account for nearly 60 percent of all academic personnel on campus. The university also enrolls thousands of international students at both the undergraduate and graduate levels, who hail from some 125 countries.

Erickson Hall

Erickson Hall is home to the College of Education. Located along the banks of the Red Cedar River, the building contains more than a dozen classrooms, numerous conference and meeting rooms and offices for faculty and graduate students. The Department of Kinesiology faculty and graduate students are housed in the IM Sports Circle building near the library. Erickson Hall also has a kiva, which is used by the college for special events such as the graduate convocation and technology conference.

Erickson Hall is enhanced by its technological infrastructure. The entire building is now a wireless portal to the Internet, and the former Technology Exploration Center on the first floor has been refurbished into 5,000 square feet of state-of-the-art teaching and conference facilities with smart boards, digital conferencing, and other equipment. Erickson Hall also houses a computer lab, an instructor's station that is connected to a ceiling-mounted projector, and laptop connections. In addition, the building contains a state-of-the-art digital editing room that is equipped with nine computer workstations. The Center for Teaching and Technology, which helps faculty and graduate students use computers and software as powerful teaching tools, is located in Erickson Hall.

East Lansing and Surrounding Areas

Michigan State University is located in the heart of the state, just 90 miles west of Detroit and 200 miles east of Chicago. It is among the state's most livable regions, a wonderful place to live, work, and pursue graduate study. The area's hub is Lansing, the state capital. The city has a population of 125,000, and is home to the Lansing Lugnuts minor league baseball team, Oldsmobile Park, Riverfront Plaza, Potter Park Zoo, Impressions 5 Science Museum, and the R.E. Olds Museum.

The region is made up three counties--Ingham, Eaton, and Clinton--that are home to about 450,000 people spread across a multitude of smaller towns, each with their own distinctive identity. The second largest city in the region is East Lansing, which has a population of 46,000. East Lansing is a strong community of close-knit neighborhoods, excellent public schools, and extensive neighborhood parks. MSU students often use the city's many recreation facilities, including the outdoor family aquatic center, biking and hiking trails, and soccer and softball fields.

Because of the many amenities in East Lansing and surrounding areas, quality of life in the region is high. The economy is anchored by state government, MSU, and General Motors. The region is also emerging as a center for the insurance industry. Employment is typically stable, and the region draws labor from throughout mid-Michigan thanks to a mature network of interstate roadways connecting the area with virtually all of the other population centers of the state. Getting around is easy as well, with a typical drive between home and work of about 20 minutes. Public transportation is also readily available through a bus system that serves the campus and surrounding areas.

The region was awarded the "Five Star Quality of Life Quotient" rating by Expansion Management magazine, and is the only community in Michigan that has received this top rating. The economic stability, affordable housing, qualified workforce, advanced education systems, and low cost of living contributed to Lansing's selection. Cultural amenities include two community theaters, one equity theater, and the famed Wharton Center for Performing Arts, which annually schedules touring productions of Broadway shows and other acts from throughout world. Many of the top recording artists and groups also perform at the Breslin Center on campus. Festivals and celebrations are almost nonstop in the community, and national championship caliber collegiate athletics are available for the sports fan at MSU, a perennial contender in Big Ten competition.

The region also boasts a strong educational infrastructure. MSU is the center of the education sector, with nearly 44,000 students and a worldwide reputation. Students come from more than 100 countries and throughout the nation. Many of the state's 17 public universities are also represented in the Lansing area offering graduate programs. Cooley Law School, the nation's third largest law school, is based in downtown Lansing, as is Davenport University and Lansing Community College. One of the strengths of the area for prospective doctoral students with families is the quality of public schools available in the region. The area has more than 72,000 students enrolled in its 27 school districts. The area has some of the best schools in the state. The region also has an extensive system of parochial schools.

Diversity is also among the region's strengths. Nearly 19 percent of Lansing's population is African American, and another seven percent is made up of minority groups that include Hispanics and Asians. East Lansing's minority population is about 15 percent. Overall, Ingham County's minority population is more than 20 percent.

Another aspect that makes Lansing a great place is the affordability of homes. Because of this affordability, some doctoral students opt to purchase a home instead of renting during their four or five years of graduate study. The median price of a home in Lansing is $51,000, and in East Lansing it's $97,000. Rental prices are also affordable and available near MSU and throughout the region.

The region has an average temperature of 84 degrees in July and 30 degrees in January. The average annual rainfall is 31 inches and average annual snowfall is 48 inches. Centrally located, Lansing is only a few hours from many resorts and beaches along Michigan's coastline. In the winter, Michigan offers many opportunities for skiing and other activities, and in the summer it is a haven for water sports and tourism.

The area is easily accessible by major national airlines, Amtrak railroad, and bus lines. In addition to Capital City Airport, airports in Detroit, Grand Rapids, Kalamazoo and Flint are within an hourand- a-half drive.

In summary, the Lansing region has many of the small town amenities that provide a hometown feel, yet still tops the list with city sophistication offering exciting nightlife and attractions. Whether it's the cultural attractions, outstanding schools, performing arts, or shopping, the region is a terrific place to pursue a graduate education.

Recreational Sports and Fitness Services

The Recreational Sports and Fitness Services Department conducts and supervises a safe, supportive, active environment that is responsive to the MSU community's diverse recreative needs. Collaborative efforts are continually developed in order to enhance excellence in leadership development, employment possibilities, indoor and outdoor facility management, and programmatic opportunities including health and fitness competitive and informal sports, sports clubs, and special activities.