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What is a Michigan Learning Community?

Learning communities are what a college education is all about! Students and faculty from many different backgrounds come together to discuss ideas, be creative, grow personally, advance intellectually, and make lifelong friendships. These programs can make it easy to integrate your academic challenges and your social experiences into your college life. Each community is designed to support your efforts to broaden understandings, succeed academically, and pursue your dreams; and each individual contributes to the community's well-being. The Michigan Learning Communities provide a rich selection of different program options, but all focus on learning and community.

Why should I join a Michigan Learning Community?

  • To enjoy a small college atmosphere and benefit from a large university's resources
  • To meet faculty and be engaged with intellectual ideas
  • To study and to build lasting friendships with peers from many different backgrounds
  • To be an involved and active student whose individuality is noticed
  • To ease the transition from high school to college

What are the differences between the programs?

Programs vary in several ways, including academic and participation requirements, thematic focus, residential setting, size, and eligibility by college and class standing. Visit the program websites in order to identify differences among specific programs.

How will these programs help me be a successful student at U-M?

Students who are engaged in their learning and feel connected to their university are more likely to be successful in their undergraduate studies. It is easier for many students to be engaged and feel connected with a large university when they participate in a small learning community; it allows them to take advantage of opportunities to meet faculty and to make close friendships with peers around ideas and academic studies. They are more likely, in their first year, to make a successful transition from high school to college and to build a strong academic and social foundation for success in subsequent years.

Can I apply to several MLC programs?

Yes! You can apply to several MLC programs, and you will be asked to rank up to two program preferences and submit the required essay(s) for each.

How do I apply?

Refer to the How to Apply section for complete application information.

Can an LSA student be in both the Residential College and the Honors Program?

Yes, because Honors Housing is optional. You would live in the Residential College for the first two years, and also be a member of the Honors Program.

Can an LSA student be in the Honors Program and another MLC?

Yes, because Honors Housing is optional. If admitted to another MLC, you would live there and also be a member of the Honors Program.

How long does each program last?

Minimum participation is one-year for most programs. The Residential College has a two-year live-in requirement for first-year students.

Is admission competitive?

The enrollment in each MLC is kept small by design, and there are usually more applicants than available spaces. Each program is looking to enroll a well-rounded community of students to join and actively participate, so your GPA and test scores are not relevant. Prior experience related to the topic of the MLC is also not required. Contact individual MLCs directly with further questions about what they're looking for in an applicant.