Frequently Asked Questions


Q. Where is Ferris State University located?

A. Ferris State University is located at Big Rapids, Michigan in west central Lower Michigan, an hour north of Grand Rapids. It is 50 miles (80 Km.) from Grand Rapids, 190 miles (305 Km.) from Detroit, and 250 miles (402 Km.) from Chicago.

Q. Who can apply for the Information Systems Management (ISM) program?

A. Individuals must have a Bachelor degree from a regionally accredited institution. Applicants for the MS-ISM should have a 2.75 overall GPA (4.0 scale).

Q. Who can apply for the MBA program?

A. Applicants to the MBA program should have 3.0 overall GPA (4.0 scale) from a regionally accredited institution.

Q. Is it necessary to have work experience to apply for these programs?

A. No, but it is helpful.

Q. Do I need a personal interview to be admitted?

A. No.

Q. What is the admission process?

A. View the admission requirements for the MBA program and the MS-ISI Program.

Q. Is it necessary to get somebody to sponsor me if I am an international student?

A. No. The statement of financial support and the official bank statement satisfy this need.

Q. What happens after I apply? When will I be told whether I have been admitted?

A. You will be notified by letter of the admission decision four to six weeks after we receive your application materials. International applicants will also be sent an I-20 if seeking a student F-1 visa.

Financial Aid

Q. Is financial aid available?

A. Yes, for individuals who can document need (difference between the annual cost of graduate program and the amount the student or parents can reasonably be expected to contribute toward that cost).

Q. Are there any scholarships available? Are there any provisions for grants, assistantships, or loans available?

A. There are no scholarships available. There is a provision for limited number of Graduate Assistantships for qualified students.

Q. Is there any provision for work? Can I work while studying?

A. Yes, it depends on the availability of the work. International students may not work more than 20 hours per week. Students holding F-1 Visas may apply for part-time on-campus employment under the following guidelines:

  • The position must not displace a United States resident.
  • The student must obtain written clearance from the Ferris State University international advisor located in Arts & Science Commons.
  • The student must apply for a Social Security Number.
  • Off-campus employment is not permitted except under special permission granted through the Immigration and Naturalization Service (INS).
Q. How do I apply for financial aid?

A. You have to fill out the necessary forms available through the financial aid office or phone 231.591.2110.

Q. When will I be told whether I have qualified for financial aid?

A. Every effort is made to notify the students of conditional financial aid decisions at the time of admission.


Q. How and where are classes offered?

A. Graduate classes are offered in a variety of formats.

MBA courses will be offered in a 15 week (standard semester) format starting in Spring of 2016.

MS-ISI courses are offered year round in a 7 week format.

The MBA with management concentration can be done entirely on-line. Other MBA concentrations require weekend participation at Big Rapids, Grand Rapids or Kendall College.

The MS-ISM is about half on-line and half on-line/weekend at the Big Rapids or Grand Rapids campus.

On-line courses require interaction and participation on a regular basis

Weekend courses meet 9 AM – 5 PM Saturday and Sunday for 1 or 2 weekends depending on the course.

Q. What is an on-line class? Are there any on-line classes? If there are, can I do those courses from my own place? Are they totally on-line?

A. On-line classes are courses that can be held without the need of physically meeting in a physical location, such as a classroom. A pure on-line class will not ever meet in a classroom. In this case, the class materials, lessons, and lectures will be made available through e-mail, a web forum/community setting (such as WebCT), materials provided via CD-ROM, or any combination of these methods. Assignments are submitted to the professor via e-mail or posting to a web location.

Q. What is Web/Weekend?

A. Web/Weekend classes offer the majority of the class work over the internet with portions scheduled for weekend meetings to conduct activities which are best learned in a hands-on format.

Q. How long will it take to complete my degree?

A. It depends on the number of credit hours you take in each semester. Nine credits are considered full-time for graduate studies.

Q. Will my degree from Ferris State University be widely accepted?

A. Yes. Ferris State University is one of the 15 universities comprising Michigan’s public higher education system. Ferris is accredited by The Higher Learning Commission (HLC), and the College of Business is a member of the Association to Advance Collegiate Colleges of Business (AACSB) and the Association of Collegiate Business Schools and Programs (ACBSP). The MBA program will apply for individual accreditation by the ACBSP after a mandatory two-year waiting period.

Q. Will previously earned college credit transfer to this program?

A. Yes. Graduate credit hours, earned from an accredited graduate program may be applied to either the MBA or MS-ISM program. How courses apply depends on the courses taken.

Q. How big are classes in the ISM program?

A. The class size varies, but is limited to no more than 20 students.

Q. Are there services for students with disabilities?

A. Yes, Ferris State University is in compliance with the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA)

Students Life

Q. Is the campus safe?

A. Yes. There are “blue light” emergency call boxes at different places all over the university area. There is also patrolling security service.

Q. Do I need a car?

A. No car is required, although one is helpful.

Q. What about sports at FSU?

A. Click here for Sports.

Q. How much will health insurance cost?

A. Students who do not have medical insurance coverage through their family or employment may want to purchase the health and accident insurance plan through University’s Health Center. Information on rates and coverage is available by writing the Birkam Health Center, 1019 Campus Drive, MI 49307 or calling 231.591.2614. For more information see Birkam Health Center.


Q. What is the seasonal climate in Big Rapids?

A. The average low temperature in winter is 28 degrees F (-2 degrees C) and in summer, the average high temperature is 82 degrees F (28 degrees C). Regarding the average moisture, annual snowfall is 70 inches (178 centimeters) and annual rain is 33 inches (79 centimeters).


Q. Is housing guaranteed and what is the process for this? What are the residences like?

A. Housing is not guaranteed. This has to be arranged by student. More than 3000 students enrolled at Ferris live in the 18 residence halls around the campus area. Family apartments are also available for the students around campus. Private apartments are also available outside the campus area.

Q. What do I have to do if I want to bring my family with me?

A. Students with families may rent one of the University’s 400 apartments.