The University of Michigan ( UM , U-M , UMich , or U of M ), frequently referred to as simply Michigan , is a public research university located in Ann Arbor, Michigan, United States. It is the state's oldest university and has two satellite campuses located in Flint and Dearborn. The university was founded in 1817 in Detroit as the Catholepistemiad , or University of Michigania , about 20 years before the Michigan Territory officially became a state. What would become the university moved to Ann Arbor in 1837 onto 40 acres (16 ha) of what is now known as Central Campus. Since its establishment in Ann Arbor, the university campus has expanded to include more than 584 major buildings with a combined area of more than 31 million gross square feet (712 acres or 2.38 km²), and has transformed its academic program from a strictly classical curriculum to one that includes science and research.
The university has very high research activity and its comprehensive graduate program offers doctoral degrees in the humanities, social sciences, and STEM fields (Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics) as well as professional degrees in medicine, law, social work and dentistry. Michigan was one of the founding members of the Association of American Universities, and its body of living alumni (as of 2012) comprises more than 500,000.
Michigan's athletic teams compete in Division I of the NCAA and are collectively known as the Wolverines. They are members of the Big Ten Conference.