Finlandia University: Delivering World-Class Preparation for Career in Athletics

A learning community dedicated to academic excellence, spiritual growth, and service. With a body of highly dedicated faculty, Finlandia University fosters intellectual challenge, open dialogue, service to others, and an entrepreneurial response to a world characterized by change.

Located in the Keweenaw Peninsula , the northernmost point of land in Michigan, Finlandia University is the place where enthusiastic students from all over the world come to pursue an extraordinary career in sports. Finlandia sits on wonderful land offering natural scenic beauty, mining, and immigrant history, a thriving arts community and year-round outdoor recreation opportunities.

Finlandia University offers its students numerous public beaches nearby, more than 25 local waterfalls and easy access to Lake Superior, the largest body of fresh water in the world. Apart from offering multiple interesting academic courses in sports education, the University ignites the adventurous spirits who finds inspiration and enjoyment on the miles of local hiking and biking trails, at two national and four state parks, and on acres of pristine, natural forest land.

Founded in 1896, Finlandia University is the only private institution of higher education in Michigan’s Upper Peninsula, and also the business school that was named as Most Innovative College Department in 2016. For creating milestones in the education industry, the university has won various recognitions including the Best Value University in 2017. The University is accredited by the Higher learning Commission of the Northern Central Association for Colleges and Schools (NCA – HLC).

To Look Out For

Finlandia University is the home of the world’s largest collection of Finnish American Artifacts in the World. It is also the home of the Finnish American Heritage Center, which hosts dozens of greatly known cultural events each year and also the home to 13 NCAA Division III Athletics Programs. Other than Sports related courses, the University offers more than two dozen academic programs of study leading to associate and baccalaureate degrees in the disciplines of art and design (BFA), Business (BBA), Liberal studies (BA, AA, AGS) and Health Science (BSN, AAS).

 Finlandia University is best known for its nursing programs, including an on-campus four-year program and online RN-BSN program , Physical Therapist Assistant Program , Criminal Justice , fine arts including graphic design and fiber arts and Sports Management . Interestingly, the University maintains a very well balanced teacher-student ratio and an average class within the university is about 11 students. It even offers unique financial opportunities and interestingly, it appears that 100 percent of its full-time domestic students receive financial aid.  

Preparing Students for the Next-Generation Sports Industry

Finlandia University is considered to be a great place for the ones who wants to pursue a career in Sports and Athletics. The University offers the following educational programs to regularly yield students to work in the sports industry.

  • Sports Management Program
  • Graphic Design Program
  • Communication Program
  • Physical Therapist Assistant Program
  • Biology (pre-athletic trainer, etc.) program.

The expert faculty of the University is committed to its students’ personal and intellectual growth. The average class size is about 11 students, hence, each of the students enjoy the benefit of individual guidance and training from the industry expert faculty members. “Finlandia faculty is committed to your personal and intellectual growth. With the careful mentorship that occurs in our small class settings, you’ll forge relationships with your teachers that will inspire you and last a lifetime,” said Philip Johnson, President at Finlandia University.

These extraordinary courses and curriculum structure have placed the students of the University in well-reputed positions in renowned organizations. Finlandia University boasts about its students among whom three are currently working in the NHL, one with Philadelphia Flyers and one with Tampa Bay Lightning and one with Detroit Red Wings.

Offers Enormous Scope for Numerous Exciting Outdoor Activities

The students of the University enjoy enormous number of outdoor activities including mountain biking, hiking, fishing, camping, canoeing and boating. The place receives an annual snowfall of 250-300 inches and opens a window to snowboarding, skiing, and ice hockey. Finlandia University, popularly known for its exotic location, which opens its window to the natural vista, mining, and enormous opportunities for adventure sports, is a place where sports are not just in its curriculum but also in extracurricular activities. The University host or co-host various cultural events including Festival Ruska in the fall, Parade of Nations in the fall, Heikinpaiva Mid-Winter Festival in the Winter and Juhannus Mid-Summer Festival in the summer.

University’s Exceptional Financial Aid Helps Meritorious Students to Pursue their Studies

Finlandia University believes that everybody deserves education, irrespective of their social or economic background. To achieve this target of the University, it provides numerous scholarships and financial aid opportunities to its students to help them pursue their studies and achieve their desired career goals. In fact, 100 percent of its full-time domestic students receive financial aid. To extend its services and contribute majorly to the education industry, the University offers various needs-based, merit-based, service-based and location-based scholarships for its students.

The President of the University further expands the discussion and says, “We have several incredible scholarship opportunities, including a competitive $20,000 scholarship for students interested earning a Bachelor of Fine Arts, nursing scholarships available to returning students and a unique scholarship only available to women as they enter their second year at the university.

Life after Finlandia University

Life at Finlandia University is more than exciting and life after Finlandia University is more than interesting. Study abroad is a huge opportunity for students at Finlandia, and there are a few key opportunities that students often get benefitted with. One of such opportunity is a competitive research-based trip to Finland where the majority of the costs are covered, a service-based trip to Tanzania, an eye-opening experiential learning trip for sociology/criminal justice major to Europe, highly targeted/affordable exchange relationships with several schools in Finlandia and one in Great Britain, and a partnership with the Cooperative Center for Study Abroad that provides experiences all over the world.

The business students of the University take part in internship programs which they must complete as an undergraduate student. The interesting part is that with 13 NCAA Division III athletic programs, the students of the Finlandia University have the unique opportunity to get involved in every portion of hosting athletics from marketing, to game management, to customer service to NCAA eligibility, to coaching.

About the President of the University

President Philip Johnson is the only ELCA pastor to serve as a president of an ELCA institution. He has been the president of the institute since 2007. Prior becoming the FinnU President, Dr. Johnson has served as campus pastor and associate dean of Finlandia’s Suomi College of Arts & Sciences. Since he was appointed was the 16th President of the University, Johnson has advanced Finlandia’s mission with new initiatives in planning, governance, finance, campus leadership and visioning.

Dr. Johnson earned his BA at Concordia College in Moorhead, Minnesota and completed his M.Div. and Ph.D at Luther Seminary in St. Paul, Minnesota. Interestingly, this man showcases an extraordinary career. He is a pastor and has and worked in the United States, Tanzania, Kenya, and Ethiopia.

The President talks about the future plans of the University and says, “Plan 2021, Finlandia’s current visioning document imagines a learning community that champions expansive learning to foster enduring positive change in how students think, act and feel in matters of the self, others, and the wider world.

Words of Trust

  • “If you’re an outdoorsy person, this place is a great place to be at. Everything clicked together and there are a lot of students here that are also from small towns so you’re able to connect one on one with them and have similarities.”
    -Brittney Coleman (‟15), Liberal Arts Major from Anchorage, Alaska who now works for Red Bull.
  • “The small classes turned out to be the best part of Finlandia. You get that one-on-one time with teachers, you get to know your classmates better.”
    -Katelyn McLean (‘10), Sports Management Major from Houghton, Michigan who now works for the Detroit Red Wings
  • “Finlandia has been a great time with schoolwork, hockey and all of the above. I was also able to get out of the country with study abroad, there was a lot of work along the way, but when you’re out and about, we saw Wimbledon, Lord’s Cricket Ground and the World Rugby Museum. It was a lot of fun, a lot of great things that we experienced with the different cultures and the food.”
    -Travis Cornwell, a senior Communication major, who completed an internship as a sports broadcaster for Finlandia University’s radio partner 99.3 FM The Lift.
  • “I was swayed to attend Finlandia because of the sports management program and I had classmates in Finland that spoke very highly of their experience while at Finlandia. I loved it. I found the curriculum to be very engaging, and it aligned to my interests better than I thought possible. I also made the Finlandia University’s NCAA Division III hockey team. Even though I mainly watched the games from a press box, I made some great friends, and those guys were a big part of my experience at Finlandia.”
    -Ilkka Kortesluoma, from Finland who was a Sports Management major and now works for the Philadelphia Flyers as Senior Director of Ticket Sales.

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