North Campus: Places to Go and Things to See

By Alexa Caruso February 1, 2018

If you know the University of Michigan, then you know some of its major landmarks. The Diag, the Big House, the Union, and so on. What these landmarks all have in common, though, is that they’re on Central and South Campus.

‘But wait!’ You might be thinking. ‘What about North Campus?’

That, my friend, is what I’m here to tell you about.

So, what’s even ON North Campus?

If you’ve ever hopped on a Commuter North or Bursley-Baits bus, then you’d know that North Campus is home to the College of Engineering, the School of Music, Theatre, and Dance, the Taubman College of Architecture, and the Stamps School of Art & Design.

On North, you’ll also find Bursley and Baits residence halls, as well as Northwood Apartments.

Overall, North Campus is quieter and more low-key than Central Campus. If you’re not a fan of the hustle and bustle of Central, then be sure to take the 10-minute trip to North Campus.

But even if you’re all about life on Central, there are still plenty of things to check out on North Campus, including…

The Wave Field

Probably one of the most well-known North Campus landmarks is the Wave Field. Maya Lin, the artist who made the Vietnam Veterans Memorial in Washington D.C., installed the work in 1995. Tucked behind the Francois-Xavier Bagnoud Building, the work is meant to mimic sine waves – perfect for the Engineering section of campus!

Whether or not you’re into math, stop by and snap a pic, sit and read a book, and enjoy the public art.

Visit the Duderstadt

Who doesn’t love a good library? If you consider yourself a bookworm, stop by the Duderstadt Library, or “the Dude” as students call it. There you’ll find a wide variety of books, and more.

The materials library is great if you find yourself working on a project or building a prototype but aren’t sure what materials you should use, or what you even have access to. There you can find samples of materials and librarians who can help you get your hands on them.

If you’re more into visuals, you might want to check out the state-of-the-art video studio available to students at the Dude. There you can do anything from creating your own film to making your own performance demo reel, using professional lighting, cameras, and green screens.

Or you might check out the Computer and Video Game Archive – yes, this is a thing that actually exists. The archive contains a myriad of video games and consoles from the 1970s up to the present. Whether you need to research a game for a class – I actually had to do this – or you just want to head up and play some classic games with your friends, the CVGA is a great place to visit.

Check out the newly-renovated Rec Building this fall

The North Campus Recreation Building, or the NCRB, closed back in May to begin undergoing a 16-month renovation to the 1970s-era building.

Scheduled to reopen fall of 2018, the new building will feature improved cardio, strength, and group exercise areas, updated racquetball courts, a resurfaced track, air conditioning, new ADA-accessible locker rooms and sauna, plus more windows and light. The pool area is getting infrastructure and architectural updates.

Whether you want to play a friendly game of squash, or are looking to train for your upcoming 5K, the NCRB will definitely be a place for your workout.

Keep an eye out for wildlife

As I mentioned before, North Campus is much more quiet and relaxed than Central Campus. The serenity makes it perfect to observe some wildlife. I remember grabbing an extra piece of bread before I left the dining hall freshman year to feed to the squirrels, observing some hawks in a nearby tree as I walked from building to building, and passing by a herd of deer late one night.

I’m sure many of my fellow seniors also have fond memories of the infamous Bursley turkey. You truly never know what you’ll find up on North Campus!

Grab a Cookie at Bursley

Ok, I know this is an unpopular opinion, but hear me out.

Bursley has the best cookies on campus.

Any Michigan student reading this is probably yelling that the cookies in the MoJo Dining Hall are far superior, but I have to disagree. I’ve had both and I can say from experience that I found the cookies in the Bursley Dining Hall to be way better.

Whenever I grabbed one before heading out, they were always warm and fresh out of the oven. Maybe I got lucky and got there at the right time. Maybe they’re just that good. Either way, you’ll have to try one to see if I’m right. (I am.)

I could go on about the various other things to do on North Campus, but I’ll let you discover them for yourself.


Alexa Caruso

is a senior in the Stamps School of Art & Design. Contact her at [email protected]