5 go-to-study spots on campus

By Zane Harding April 29, 2019

While I’m sure you’re excited for football Saturdays at the Big House or for the plethora of diverse musical and theatrical performances put on across campus, I have news: as a student at the University of Michigan, you are going to study, and you are going to study a lot.

Thankfully, in case you haven’t heard or haven’t had a chance to visit, the University of Michigan is a very big school with plenty of spaces to study. The best part? If you’re joining us as part of #Victors2023, you’re going to have a go-to place to study in your dorm, as the dorms on campus are equipped with some of the best study spaces Michigan has to offer.

In the event you’re not living in the residence halls or are looking for other spaces, I’ve compiled a great list for you. Today, I’ll highlight five of the best study spaces on campus, all while discussing the following details about them: location, hours, seat availability, and atmosphere, all while highlighting other perks the spaces may offer.

Note: Please keep in mind this list intends to highlight general study spaces more-so than specialized study spaces, such as the Science Learning Center, the Sweetland Writing Center, the Language Resource Center, or school-specific study spaces. Additionally, if you find yourself studying late at one of these locations, there are various options to get a ride home, including SafeRide, which will drop you off within a one mile radius of campus up until 2 a.m., seven days per week during the Fall and Winter terms.

1. Shapiro Undergraduate Library (The UGLi)

  • Location: Central Campus
  • Hours: Open 24/7 (hours may differ during breaks and holidays)
  • Seat Availability: Not the best; you may have to walk around some
  • Atmosphere: Collaborative on first/second floors; generally quieter on third and fourth
  • Other Perks: Shapiro Design Lab, Bert’s Cafe

The Shapiro Undergraduate Library, known as the UGLi (it’s actually pretty post renovation), is the go-to study space at U-M for undergraduate students. The first two floors are very collaborative and open work spaces, while the third and fourth floors are quieter. Additionally, Bert’s Cafe provides an area to get food right within the library.

Also worth noting: the UGLi is home to both the Shapiro Design Lab and the Askwith Media Library. The Shapiro Design Lab has various learning opportunities for research, artistic, and teaching projects (for example, if you shoot them an email, they can introduce you to various audio recording softwares if you’re a musician). The Askwith Media Library, meanwhile, is free real-life Netflix with a much more complete selection. Check them out!

2. The Duderstadt Library (The Dude)

  • Location: North Campus
  • Hours: Open 24/7 (hours may differ during breaks and holidays)
  • Seat Availability: Fantastic
  • Atmosphere: Quiet on some floors, collaborative on others
  • Other Perks: Computer & Video Game Archive, Bert’s Cafe

The Dude is perhaps the most underrated library on campus, as many students who are placed into a dorm on Central Campus can go their entire four years at Michigan without visiting North campus. In addition to having fantastic seat availability and a place to grab food, the Dude is the home of the Computer & Video Game Archive, a massive collection of classic and contemporary video games that can be played within the library. If that’s your kind of thing, there’s no better place to go for a study break.

3. Angell Hall Courtyard Computing Center (The Fishbowl)

  • Location: Central Campus
  • Hours (Fall/Winter):
  • Sunday: 10 a.m. – 11:59 p.m.
  • Monday–Thursday: Open 24 Hours
  • Friday: Midnight – 11:30 p.m.
  • Saturday: 10 a.m. – 11:30 p.m.
  • Seat Availability: You can always find one
  • Atmosphere: Loud/collaborative

The Angell Hall Courtyard Computing Center, lovingly known as The Fishbowl, is chock full of computers for you to work at. In fact, there are 85 Windows computers, 78 Mac computers, and 17 CAEN-equipped computers in the Fishbowl – over 150 total computers! The Fishbowl is also a great place to simply print out a paper on the way to class.

If you’re looking for a different study space in the same building, try Perlman Honors Commons for a more peaceful environment! Perlman is open 10 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. during the fall and winter for quiet study.

4. Pierpont Commons

  • Location: North Campus
  • Hours (Fall/Winter):
  • Sunday 8 a.m. - 2 a.m.
  • Monday 7 a.m. - 2 a.m.
  • Tuesday 7 a.m. - 2 a.m.
  • Wednesday 7 a.m. - 2 a.m.
  • Thursday 7 a.m. - 2 a.m.
  • Friday 7 a.m. - 12 a.m.
  • Saturday 8 a.m. - 12 a.m.
  • Seat Availability: Fantastic
  • Atmosphere: Quiet, but not silent
  • Other Perks: Panda Express, Ahmo’s, Fireside Grill, U-Go’s

While the Michigan Union is under renovation, I personally crown Pierpont as the king of study spaces on campus. I love to study in spaces that are quieter, but not silent, per se, and Pierpont masterfully captures that vibe. I also enjoy study spaces with various dining options, and Pierpont has that. If my apartment was on North campus, I’d probably practically be living in Pierpont.

5. Hatcher Graduate Library

  • Location: Central Campus
  • Hours (Fall/Winter):
  • Saturday 10 a.m. – 6 p.m.
  • Sunday 1 p.m. – 2 a.m.
  • Monday 8 a.m. – 2 a.m.
  • Tuesday 8 a.m. – 2 a.m.
  • Wednesday 8 a.m. – 2 a.m.
  • Thursday 8 a.m. – 2 a.m.
  • Friday 8 a.m. – 7 p.m.
  • Seat Availability: Very good
  • Atmosphere: Quiet
  • Other Perks: Reading Room; fantastic collections for humanities and social science research

Finally, there is Hatcher Graduate Library. While there are many other libraries I could have highlighted, very few undergraduate students know that Hatcher is open to all students, not just graduate students. Many students love the Reading Room for its focused, silent atmosphere, while others utilize Hatcher for its unparalleled collection of humanities and social science research. If you ever happen to be tasked with a daunting research paper, you would do yourself a service to check out Hatcher for physical references to complement your digital citations.

Finally, if you’re looking for other study spaces on campus, such as the Law Library, the Michigan League, or Palmer Commons, check out this comprehensive list of study spots on campus! Best of luck in finding a window seat.

Zane Harding
Zane Harding

Zane is a graduating senior in the College of Literature, Science, and the Arts with a major in English. He first became passionate about writing when he helped found the Michigan Society for American Baseball Research (better known as M-SABR) and joined SB Nation's Bless You Boys contributing articles on the Detroit Tigers. Zane has spent the past month living vicariously through his Animal Crossing villager and looking at U-M job listings to pass the time during social distancing.