michigan college of optometry ranking

Last Updated on September 5, 2022 by Alvina Ibe

michigan college of optometry ranking

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The Michigan College of Optometry is a college affiliated with Ferris State University in Big Rapids, Michigan that specializes in optometry. It is the only college of optometry in Michigan.

The school was established in 1974 by legislation in response to a documented need for optometrists in the state. Currently,[when?] each admitted class consists of 38 students and there is a low faculty-to-student ratio.

Ferris Ranked in Top 20 among Midwest Regional Public Schools by U.S. News and World Report

Ferris State UniversityFerris State University has been ranked among the “Top Public Schools,” in the Midwest, as announced by U.S. News and World Report.

Ferris is ranked 18th, among regional public institutions in the Midwest, in the recently-released 2017 Best Colleges Rankings. Overall, the university ranked in a tie for 74th among Midwest regional universities. Ferris also ranked 42nd in the Midwest among best colleges for veterans and tied for 111th for best undergraduate engineering programs, nationally.

The U.S. News and World Report rankings are based on a number of factors, including first-year student retention rate, quality of the faculty and graduation rate.

Ferris recently announced a Fall 2016 enrollment of 14,187 students, including more than 10,000 on its main campus, in Big Rapids. This semester’s first-year students also feature a slightly stronger academic profile with a higher composite ACT score, 21.85, up from 21.65, and a mean high school grade point average of 3.26, up from 3.24.

Click U.S. News and World Report to read more about Ferris in the publication’s 2017 Best Colleges Rankings.

Ferris State University is a four-year public university with campuses in Big Rapids, Grand Rapids and satellite campuses across the state of Michigan. Ferris offers more than 180 educational programs, including doctorates, master’s, bachelor’s and associate degrees, through eight academic colleges: Arts, Sciences and Education, Business, Education and Human Services, Engineering Technology, Health Professions, Kendall College of Art and Design, Michigan College of Optometry and Pharmacy.

A Canada-based online publication has included the Michigan College of Optometry at Ferris State University among its Best Optometry Schools in America, for 2018.

University Magazine, which is produced in Windsor, Ontario and Edmonton, Alberta, ranked MCO seventh in its Top-10 list of optometry schools, based on its assessment of mean grade point average, pass rates on the exam administered by the National Board of Examiners in Optometry, student-faculty ratio and other criteria.

MCO Dean Dr. David Damari is the current President of the Association of Schools and Colleges of Optometry, an academic leadership organization based in Rockville, Maryland. The ASCO was established in 1941, and is committed to promoting, advancing and achieving excellence in optometric education. Damari cited the association’s website and its Students/Future Students tab as a valuable resource for students who are considering their optometry educational pursuits. He further suggested that careful research should be taken up by any student who is interested in a professional Doctor of Optometry program.

The Michigan College of Optometry began instruction as part of what was then known as Ferris State College, in 1975. The college’s 2017 NBEO pass rate was 97.14 percent, more than six points above the national average. The next site visit for the MCO from the Accreditation Council on Optometric Education is expected in November 2021.

About Ferris State University

Ferris State University is a public university located in Big Rapids, Michigan. It was originally called Big Rapids Industrial School. Its founder was an educator and state senator named Woodbridge Nathan Ferris who wished to create a private school where students could get a meaningful vocational education.

Woodbridge Nathan Ferris disliked public education, but the state took control of his school in 1950. Now, Ferris State University is a public institution and one of the largest universities in Michigan.

Graduate students do not teach at Ferris State. Instruction is carried out by professional lecturers who can dedicate their time fully to teaching and research.

180 degree programmes are offered at the university. Academics are organised in eight colleges: Arts and Sciences, Business, Education and Human Services, Engineering Technology, Health Professions, the Kendall College of Art and Design, the Michigan College of Optometry and Pharmacy. There are specialist schools within several of these colleges, focusing on programmes which prepare students for careers in areas like law, education and nursing.

Ferris has an active social life, with over 200 student organisations including faith groups, professional societies, special interest clubs and 27 fraternities and sororities.

The Ferris State athletics teams, known as Bulldogs, have had particular success in men’s ice hockey. The Bulldogs compete in eight men’s sports and nine women’s sports in the NCAA Division II, except for the ice hockey team, which compete in Division I.

Explore rankings data for Ferris State University

All ranked institutions have an overall score and 4 pillar scores. However for each pillar, only institutions ranked in the top 500 overall or the top 500 in this pillar have a publicly visible score

Key statistics

  • $9,894 On-campus Room and Board (1)
  • $11,984 Out-of-state Tuition and Fees (1)
  • $42,900 Salary after 10 years (1)

Based on data collected for the (1) 2021 US Rankings

Ferris State University

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Former namesBig Rapids Industrial School
Ferris Industrial School
Ferris Institute
Ferris State College
TypePublic university
EstablishedSeptember 1, 1884; 136 years ago
Endowment$87.4 million (2019)[a]
PresidentDavid L. Eisler
Academic staff584[2]
Doctoral students59[2]
LocationBig Rapids & Grand Rapids, Michigan, United States
43°41′51″N 85°29′02″WCoordinates: 43°41′51″N 85°29′02″W
CampusMain campus: Rural, 880 acres (360 ha)
Grand Rapids: urban[2]
ColorsCrimson and Gold[3]
   Division II: GLIAC
   Division I: WCHA
MascotBrutus the Bulldog[5]

Previous logo

Ferris State University (FSU or Ferris) is a public university with its main campus in Big Rapids, Michigan. It was founded in 1884 as the Big Rapids Industrial School by Woodbridge Nathan Ferris, an educator from Tioga County, New York, who later served as governor of the State of Michigan and finally in the US Senate where he remained until his death in 1928. From its foundation, the school accepted female students beginning with its first graduating class. It is also the only public university in Michigan to be founded by an individual.

Today, Ferris is the ninth-largest university in the state[6] with 14,560 students[2] studying on its main campus, at one of the 19 off-campus locations across the state,[7] or online. Two- and four-year degrees are offered through eight academic colleges and graduate degrees from six. Ferris grants professional doctorate degrees via its optometry and pharmacy colleges and a multidisciplinary doctorate of education in community college leadership through the Colleges of Arts and Sciences, Business, and Education and Human Services.


The school

Ferris State University seal, prominently displaying the school’s year of foundation, 1884

Big Rapids Industrial School, as it was originally named, opened on September 1, 1884 in temporary quarters in the Vandersluis Block (present location of J.C. Penney Co.) in Big Rapids. The goal of the school was to provide students with marketable skills for a changing society. By the beginning of the next semester in January 1885 the school changed its name to Ferris Industrial School. In January 1894, the School moved into and dedicated its new building, Old Main, on the corner of Oak and Ives Streets. At this same time, the school was incorporated with capital stock of $50,000.[8]

In 1898, the institution was again renamed to Ferris Institute. In 1900, W. N. Ferris sold capital stock in Ferris Institute to the public, keeping a controlling interest in his own hands. It remained privately owned until August 25, 1931 when the Board of Incorporators, a group of 39 businessmen, purchased Ferris Institute from the old stockholders and selected a board of trustees from their number to govern the school.[8]

The college

In February 1943, alumnus Colin Smith introduced a bill in the legislature for the state to purchase Ferris Institute. It passed both houses but was vetoed by Governor Harry Kelly. Six years later on May 17, 1949, Governor G. Mennen Williams signed the bill accepting Ferris Institute as a gift to the State of Michigan, which took over its governance on July 1, 1950. But before the state took control, fire destroyed the Old Main and the Old Pharmacy Buildings on February 21, 1950. Only the Alumni Building and some minor buildings were left standing. Immediate rebuilding of the Institute began and on July 1, 1963 it was again renamed, this time as Ferris State College.[8]

The university

In November 1987 the institution became Ferris State University.[8] When Ferris became a state college in the fall of 1950, it had consisted entirely of one permanent structure, the Alumni Building, and some surplus Army barracks. At that time, fewer than 1,000 students were enrolled; there were fewer than 50 faculty members, and the campus itself covered less than 20 acres (8.1 ha). By contrast, current enrollment is more than 14,000, and the 880-acre (360 ha) campus contains 115 buildings, including educational, administrative, maintenance, student activity and residence hall facilities.

Academic rankings
U.S. News & World Report[10]293-381


Ferris State University joined the state’s Higher Education System in 1950. The campus was all but destroyed by fire the same year. The only building to survive was the Alumni Building, built in 1929, at the north edge of campus. Since the fire, more than 117 buildings have been built on the main campus.

Main campus

Ferris Library for Information, Technology and Education (FLITE)

Timme Center for Student Services

Interdisciplinary Resource Center

Located on the southern edge of the City of Big Rapids, straddling the border between Big Rapids Township and the city, the university has over 880 acres (3.6 km2) for its main campus. The campus begins about four blocks south of the historic central business district. It is bordered on the north by single-family homes built in the early to middle of the twentieth century. North of Perry Street, the university is bordered by strip commercial development. The university is bordered to the south and west by Big Rapids Township. The township is mostly undeveloped and rural.[11]

The main campus is within easy walking distance of downtown Big Rapids with its restaurants, shops, movie theater, art gallery and municipal park. Bicyclists, hikers and in-line skaters have easy access to the White Pine Trail, Michigan’s longest “rails to trails” project.[12]

The campus has undergone major changes since 1990. Several new and renovated buildings, reworked roads and parking areas, pedestrian walkways, and greenspace areas have contributed to the changes on campus.

  • The National Elastomer Center was added in 1998 to house the Plastics Engineering and Rubber Engineering Technology programs.
  • The FLITE building (FSU Library for Information, Technology and Education), located at the termination of Perry Street, reintroduced the historic front entrance to the university, and defined the adjacent quad at the campus epicenter.
  • The renovation of the Timme Library to the Timme Center for Student Services consolidated previously scattered student services in one location.
  • The Granger Center for Construction and HVACR, stimulated redevelopment of the northern part of campus. The building was designed with an open layout that left most of the mechanical components open for viewing by the students as a working lab.[13]
  • The IRC Connector between the Business School and the Interdisciplinary Resource Center (IRC) created a collaborative meeting and lounge space which is heavily used by students at all hours.
  • Opening of the new Michigan College of Optometry building in January 2011.
  • North Hall opened in August 2017. It is a “Freshman Experience” Residence Hall, and features classrooms, study rooms, a lounge, game room, and a kitchen for residents.

The University has 3,483,298 square feet (323,609.0 m2) of building space on the Big Rapids campus, with 1,764,658 square feet (163,942.1 m2) in academic use.[11]

Satellite and online locations

In addition to the main campus, Ferris State University has programs offered at 19 off-campus locations including Dowagiac, Grand Rapids, Flint, Lansing, Traverse City, and University Center. Although the main campus of the university is located in a rural setting the satellite locations are all located in larger, more urban communities. Some programs, such as the Doctor of Pharmacy program, are split between locations having students take the first 2 years of study at a campus in one city and the next 2 years at another.[14] These locations are managed by the division of Extended and International Operations under the heading Ferris Statewide and Online.[7]


Administrative structure

Ferris State University is governed by a Board of Trustees which has general supervision of the institution and controls and directs institutional expenditures. Members of the Board serve eight-year, staggered terms as appointed by the Governor with the advice and consent of the State Senate.[15]

The President of the University is appointed by the Board of Trustees as its principal executive officer and serves at its pleasure. The President is an ex-officio member of the Board without the right to vote.

Current leadership

At present, the University is led by its 18th president, Dr. David L. Eisler, who was inaugurated on October 2, 2003.[16]

Student government

The mission of the Student Government of Ferris State University is to represent student interests in all aspects of campus life as well as maintain open channels of communication between students, faculty, staff, administration, and the Big Rapids community.[17]

The General Assembly of Student Government is composed of two voting bodies; a House of Representatives and a Senate. Each registered student organization (RSO) in good standing is eligible to hold one seat on the House of Representatives. Senators are elected by the students in their respective academic colleges.[18]

The leadership rests in the Cabinet; president, executive vice president, treasurer, director of finance, and director of internal assessment.[18]

Academic colleges

College of Business building

Carillon Tower and Music Center

The university has 8 colleges offering more than 170 educational programs—Arts and Sciences, Business, Education and Human Services, Engineering Technology, Health Professions, the Kendall College of Art and Design, Michigan College of Optometry, and Pharmacy. Program offerings lead to bachelor’s and associate degrees and certificates. Master’s degrees in Information Security and Intelligence, Career and Technical Education, Criminal Justice, Business Administration, Curriculum and Instruction, Nursing, and Fine Arts are available. Ferris also offers doctoral degrees in Optometry, Pharmacy, and Community College Leadership.

Kendall College of Art and Design offers graduate and undergraduate fine arts degrees as well as a B.S. degree in Art History. Kendall’s campus is in Grand Rapids, Michigan.

The Michigan College of Optometry is one of 16 schools or colleges of optometry in the United States and the only college of optometry in Michigan. MCO doctors and student interns deliver eye-care to patients in the region. Graduates receive a Doctor of Optometry degree.

The College of Pharmacy graduates comprise more than half of Michigan’s practicing pharmacists. Graduates receive a Doctor of Pharmacy degree.

Academic schools

Within the Colleges there exist some schools of specialized education. These Schools exist to provide focused education for specific careers.

Housed in the College of Education and Human Services, there are three areas of concentration for undergraduate degrees: Corrections, Generalists, and Law Enforcement.

Housed in the College of Education and Human Services. Three bachelor’s degree programs in early childhood, elementary, and secondary education in addition to master’s degrees with several concentrations.

Housed in the College of Health Professions, the School of Nursing offers BSN and MSN programs.

Honors Program

The Honors Program includes students from every college and school at Ferris except Kendall—students from almost every major participate in the Honors Program. About 1⁄3 of the Honors students major in Pre-Pharm or similar disciplines, but there is a large number of students in the College of Business, College of Health Professions and the College of Engineering Technology. Honors students live in specialized residence halls (mostly in single rooms), take enhanced general education courses, attend cultural events, and complete 15 hours of community service per semester.


Main article: Ferris State Bulldogs

The Ferris State Bulldogs are the athletic teams for the university. Ferris State offers an intercollegiate athletic program that includes 14 men’s and women’s sports at the NCAA Division II level, except for men’s ice hockey which competes in NCAA Division I. Ferris State is a member of the Great Lakes Intercollegiate Athletic Conference (GLIAC) in all sports except men’s ice hockey, in which the team is part of the Western Collegiate Hockey Association.

Year in and year out, nearly 400 student-athletes have the opportunity to compete for the Bulldogs on a regional and national level for conference titles and NCAA Championships. Ferris’ men’s club ice hockey won the American Collegiate Hockey Association Division II national title in 1994. In March 2018, the men’s basketball team won the NCAA Division II national championship.


Top Taggart Field, Ferris State’s football stadium

Men’s SportsWomen’s Sports
Cross CountryCross Country
Ice Hockey
Track and fieldTrack and field

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