Oakland University is a large public university that sprawls across parts of two cities in Michigan: Rochester Hills and Auburn Hills. Founded in 1957 after a local woman donated her estate, it was originally a branch of Michigan State University. Though it admitted students in 1959, it adopted the name Oakland University just a few years later and separated from MSU in 1970. The university is now its own independent college and has the right to develop its own curriculum as well as offer programs in different branches of education.
This Michigan university ranks on the national level, according to two popular publications. Washington Monthly ranked Oakland at number 271 on its own list, and U.S. News & World Report ranked it at number 529 on its list. The university now offers more than 100 programs for graduate and doctoral students. These programs include a number of certificate programs that are open to those with a bachelor's or graduate degree. Incoming freshmen can select a major in one of 139 majors and pick from a variety of minors too. Oakland University is also home to a law school and several research institutes that give students access to learning opportunities outside of their classes.
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Oakland University Accreditation Details
This Michigan university has regional accreditation from the North Central Association of Colleges and Schools (NCACS). NCACS accreditation is important because it lets you know that you can apply for financial aid from the federal government like loans and grants and that the university will maintain its level of education in the coming years. This organization requires that the schools renew their accreditation every decade, and Oakland University has its own review panel that prepares for that renewal. Some of the specialty accreditation that the university has comes from other organizations that include:
- Accreditation Board for Engineering & Technology, Inc. (ABET)
- Council for Accreditation of Counseling and Related Educational Programs
- National Council for Accreditation of Teacher Education
- American Physical Therapy Association
- National Association of Schools of Dance
- National Association of Schools of Music
Oakland University Application Requirements
Before applying to Oakland University, you must select the type of application that best describes your current level of study. The university has its own online admissions department that has different applications available for undergrads, graduate students and doctoral candidates. All prospective students can create a free account that they use for logging in and completing the application.
Freshmen students must have a cumulative grade point average of 3.2 or higher in all their high school classes. Though the university will admit those with a GPA of 2.5 or higher, those students enter on a conditional basis and may need to take more preparatory classes. Students must also score 940 or higher on the SAT or 18 or higher on the ACT. The university recommends that high school students follow a college prep curriculum. Undergrads must submit an official high school transcript and send in an ACT or SAT score after completing the online application.
Graduate and doctoral candidates can also fill out an online application, but these students must also submit proof of the degree(s) they have and any experiences they have in their chosen fields. Oakland University looks for candidates who are serious about their futures and those who have degree(s) from an accredited college or university. In addition to the online application, you must also submit a transcript that shows your GPA and shows that you either completed your degree or will complete your degree in the future. Graduate students must have a bachelor's degree, while doctoral students must have both a bachelor's degree and a master's degree.
Tuition and Financial Aid
Undergrads attending Oakland University pay around $12,000 a year, which lets them take 12 or more credits that semester, which qualifies them as full-time students. This rate applies only to students who are residents of Michigan. Nonresidents, who are students from other states and countries, pay more than $24,000 a year. Other costs, including room and board as well as personal expenses, bring those costs up to more than $24,000 a year for residents and more than $37,000 a year for nonresidents. The costs are similar for graduate and doctoral students, though some programs like the university's MBA program and its physical therapy, cost more.
All students attending Oakland University has the right to request financial aid. The university requires that students file the FAFSA, which they can now do online, a few months before classes start. Based on how much you and your family can contribute, you may receive an aid package that comes with both grants and loans from the federal government and the state government. Oakland University also offers grants for graduate students and has assistant programs available for those students too as well as private student loans and scholarships.
Psychology and Counseling Degrees
Oakland University offers a number of degree programs in both psychology and counseling. Its BA in Psychology program, which is open to undergrads, includes courses on positive psychology, social psychology, social cognition, biological psychology, behavior analysis and group dynamics. This program also allows students to gain experience through seminars, independent study projects and internships or field experiences.
Its MS in Psychology program give students the option of selecting a concentration in one of five fields: social psychology and personality, behavioral health, evolutionary psychology, developmental psychology or cognitive psychology. Each program requires that students spend two full years working on their degrees and that they spend time doing independent research for the thesis papers that they write at the end of their studies.
Also available through Oakland University is an MA in Counseling. The university offers different concentrations that allow students to study topics relating to their own career goals. They can study mental health counseling, addiction counseling, couple and family counseling, child and adolescent counseling or student affairs and administration. Courses may include college student development and the campus setting, couple and family assessment and personality assessment. Some concentrations require that students spend a year or more working in the field too.
The university also has a PhD program available for those who want to work in educational counseling. Oakland University requires that all PhD candidates do both independent research as well as some fieldwork before they graduate.