He is frequently consulted by media members for analysis and comment on breaking news in the Middle East.  Gunter has written more than 75 articles in scholarly journals and books including Middle East Journal, American Journal of International Law and World Affairs. He has authored nine books about the Kurdish people of Turkey, northern Iraq, Syria and Iran, and two of those books were among the first analyses in English of the Kurdish unrest in the Middle East. In writing his analyses, Gunter has worked directly with top Kurdish and other Middle Eastern political leaders. He received the Kurdish Human Rights Watch’s “Service to the Kurds Award” in 1998. Gunter’s analyses and writings sometimes strike readers as controversial, but he says his views are often based on information that hasn't yet been made public.
Gunter earned his B.A. degree in American history in 1964 from Columbia University. He went on to receive his M.I.A. degree from Columbia's School of International and Public Affairs in 1966. In 1972, he received his Ph.D. degree in international relations from Kent State University. 
Gunter taught at Kent State from 1967 to 1971. He was the Senior Fulbright-Hays Lecturer in international relations at Middle East Technical University in Ankara, Turkey from 1978 to 1979. He was an instructor of ESL and American Culture at Shanghai Xuhui Education College in Shanghai, China during the summer of 2001. He was an adjunct professor for Fisk University in the fall of 2002. He was a visiting professor for The International University in Vienna, Austria during the summers of 2002 and 2003, where he won the Distinguished Visiting Professor Award in 2003.
Since 1972, Gunter has taught political science at Tennessee Tech. He was an assistant professor from 1972 to 1976, an associate professor from 1976 to 1981, and a professor since 1981. He won the university’s Caplenor Faculty Research Award in 1995-1996 and the Outstanding Teaching Award in 1999-2000. He is only the second faculty member in Tennessee Tech’s history to win both of these awards.  
- "Gunter Named Outstanding Teacher". www.college.columbia.edu. Retrieved 2008-07-09.
- "Campus Watch Lists Gunter Among Nation's Best Specialists Covering the Middle East," Tech Times, 27 August 2004.
- "Dr. Michael M. Gunter". www.tntech.edu. Archived from the original on 2008-04-09. Retrieved 2008-07-09.