About the U-M Museum of Natural History

The museum is a part of the University of Michigan’s College of Literature, Science and the Arts.

The U-M Museum of Natural History opened its spectacular new facility in the Biological Sciences Building on April 14, 2019. The building design blurs the boundaries between public and research areas, putting science on display. All-new exhibits and educational programs feature LSA’s world-class natural science collections, cutting-edge research by U-M faculty, and interdisciplinary topics of global and local concern.  



A unit of the University of Michigan's College of Literature, Science & the Arts.


Mission Statement

The University of Michigan Museum of Natural History transforms hearts and minds by promoting understanding of the natural world, our place in it, and our impact on it. We bring campus and community together in participatory and inclusive learning experiences to explore the processes of science and to address urgent global and local challenges.



A world in which people understand the interconnectedness of all life and the responsibility we have to sustain it.


Strategic Plan

2018-2022 U-M Museum of Natural History Strategic Plan Summary


UMMNH Diversity, Equity, Inclusion, & Access

The University of Michigan Museum of Natural History (UMMNH) is actively and purposefully working to create an anti-racist, diverse, equitable, inclusive, and accessible museum that is welcoming and inspiring to all. 


Brief History

  • U-M's natural history collections were founded in 1837
  • Collections were on public display already in the early 1840s
  • Ruthven Museums Building completed in 1928
  • Exhibit Museum formally established in 1956
  • The museum changed its name to the "University of Michigan Museum of Natural History" in 2011
  • The U-M Museum of Natural History opened in the Biological Sciences Building in 2019

Read more about the museum history


Communicating research is a priority for the new UMMNH:

  • Visitors will be able to see working labs in the new facility.
  • Over 330 faculty, postdocs, and grad students have completed UMMNH’s Science Communication Fellows program, based on NSF’s Portal to the Public framework.
  • Since 2005, UMMNH has supported Broader Impacts outreach components for more than 300 faculty NSF proposals, with a 28% funding rate (36% rate for junior faculty CAREER grants).
  • The Nature Investigate Lab and the Micro Worlds Investigate Lab feature hands-on science activities and Research Stations featuring faculty research.



Over 200,000 general public visitors in the new museum’s first 11 months of opening.



General visitors, families, U-M students, faculty, staff, and alumni, tourists, and school children.