Northern has a distinctive sense of place – some refer to it as the upper hand. We are a warm, friendly, caring and helpful university.  We are collaborative, on campus and off, valuing partnerships and service to each other, the community and the region. Our focus is always on students.


Like Lake Superior’s vastness, there is depth and breadth to Northern’s wide range of academic, research and scholarship, international travel and student service programs. We are affordable and accessible. We use our many resources to achieve deep personal and professional growth in ourselves and provide it for others.


A Northern education is like the black rocks that protect Gichigami’s shores – a solid foundation that will endure the waves of time and change. We achieve academic excellence through top-caliber teaching, learning, research and service. Our work ethic and integrity are powered by discipline, courage, pride, sisu (determination), perseverance and the desire to help others succeed, in and out of the classroom.


The unparalleled rugged beauty of the physical environment at Northern's campus doorstep is something we admire, study, learn from, strive to protect and enjoy year-round. And like the Anishinaabe, we see a responsibility to plan for sustainability seven generations into the future.


Northern is a safe and welcoming place. We aspire to learn from and encourage each other as global citizens, neighbors, colleagues and family. We desire to be a role model in embracing all types of diversity and diverse points of view, engaging in civil society and governance, protecting human rights and promoting social justice.


At Northern, we make connections in dynamic ways, creatively using resources and technology to link people, ideas and projects. We nurture strong ties to the environment, community, disciplines, and our rich history and traditions. Like the Northern Lights (Aurora Borealis), these connections are often luminous and inspiring.


Michigan’s Upper Peninsula has always been home to bold, creative risk-takers and problem-solvers. Here, we excel at being inquisitive in looking beyond what is to what could be. We believe exploration unleashes and builds strength of mind and character. We endeavor to be entrepreneurs, discoverers and the best within our chosen fields.


We bring our whole, authentic selves to everything we do at Northern.  We celebrate the strength we find in each other, and understand that in life, biidaashkaa (Anishinaabemowin - waves come here), for all of us. Together, with care and attention, we persevere, and grow into our full wellbeing.