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Oakland University

Michigan, United States

Est. 1957

About Oakland University

Oakland University is a public research university situated in Rochester, Michigan. In 1957, Matilda Dodge Wilson donated her 1443-acre estate, which is known as the present day campus of OU. In 1959, the college opened its door to students under the aegis of Michigan State University. In 1963, the college formally came to be branded as Oakland University.

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Situated in southeast Michigan, the Oakland University campus spans two cities, Auburn Hills and Rochester Hills. The suburban setting of the campus gives it a quiet and peaceful feel. However, it’s proximity to three different cities, Auburn Hills, Rochester Hills and Rochester City means there is plenty for the students to do. Detroit is about 30 miles from the campus, giving the students an opportunity to explore the famous city on a weekend.

Residing Options

16% of students attending OU live on-campus. Although it is slightly expensive, on campus housing offers security and 24 hour services such as lounges and laundry. Students have the option of living in a suite style apartment, or a two-bedroom apartment in a dormitory building. Very recently, OU opened its newest residential facilities, which has an apartment for two people with extensive facilities.
Living off-campus is slightly cheaper. It will save you money since the amount you pay on rest and utilities will still be less than what you would pay for on-campus housing.


The weather in Rochester is extreme. Eight months of winter and an average of 32 inches of snowfall are followed by scorching heat with temperatures going up to 83 degrees. You might probably have to keep two separate wardrobes, one for winter and one for summer.
Be prepared to navigate your way through intense biting cold as well as scorching summers, interspersed with periods of rain in between.

Faculty and pedagogy

The Student Faculty ratio at the university is 21:1. A large number of classes have 20-49 students, while most other classes have fewer than 20 students in class. A small number of classes are large enough to accommodate more than 50 students.
Undergraduates will be required to satisfy requirements in areas such as Humanities, Mathematics, English, Philosophy and History before graduation. They can pick from the 130 majors offered in the school. Some of the most popular majors in the recent years include Business, Management, Marketing, and Related Support Services, Communication, Journalism, and Related Programs, Education and Psychology.
Graduate and Doctoral students are also offered an extensive assortment of programs to pick from, including but nor limited to programs in Biology, Nursing, Education and various fields of Engineering. Graduate students are expected to be more mature and therefore expected to require less guidance than undergraduate students.

Financial aid

Students requiring financial assistance apply for need based financial aid. About 63.6% of full time undergraduate students who applied for aid received it. These applications are made through the FAFSA (Free Application for Federal Student Aid) program, which allows United States Citizens only to apply for aid.
Graduate students have the opportunity to apply for fellowships or teaching assistantships to offset the cost for their education. It is recommended that you apply well in advance as these positions feel up fast.

Jobs and placements

The 100,000 strong Alumni network is a huge advantage for students at OU. The Alumni network is extremely active in and around the Detroit Area, as most Alumni who went to OU live or work in this area. They are extremely active on campus and conduct various workshops. It is always an advantage to network extensively if you plan on staying in the Detroit area after graduation.
Abut 90% of graduating OU students find a job within the first 6 months of graduation. This number largely depends on your major, your academic qualifications, whether you are an in-state, out-of-state or international student. Another determining factor is location, whether you want to move to another part of the country or stay in Michigan.


  • APJ Abdul Kalam (honorary doctorate)– India's 11th President 
  • Thomas Lynch – poet and author, National Book Award finalist
  • N.R. Narayana Murthy (honorary doctorate) founder, CEO, and Ex Chairman, Infosys Limited
  • Tom Stanton – author and journalist


The suburban campus is in close proximity with three cities and only 30 miles from Detroit, and with the services on campus, there is no lack of activities. However, form an academic standpoint, several reviews have suggested that the school does not have a strong structure in place for graduating programs. It would be prudent to talk to current students at OU about their experiences before deciding to apply or take up their offer of admission.

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