Kansas State University, known as K-State, is a public research university that serves nearly 25,000 students each year. The school’s main campus is located in Manhattan, Kansas and branch campuses can be found in Salina as well as Olathe. The oldest public university in the state, it currently awards bachelor’s, master’s, doctoral, and professional degrees. It is regionally accredited by the North Central Association of Colleges and Schools.
The university defines its mission in part as one of “developing human potential, expanding knowledge, enriching cultural expression, and extending its expertise to individual, business, education, and government.” It is classified as a Carnegie high research university, and there is a heavy emphasis on quality teaching, research, and life-long learning through extension courses.
In addition to the numerous classroom, student housing, and administration buildings, K-State features an art museum, which focuses on the state of Kansas but includes art from other areas and has exhibit shows, and a series of gardens. There is also a small butterfly conservatory and insect zoo.
Founded in 1863 on the grounds of Bluemont Central College, the university was moved to its present-day location in 1875 where the main campus rests on 665 acres in the scenic Flint Hills. In 1991 K-State merged with the Kansas College of Technology along with its campus 70 miles from Manhattan.
The university is comprised of 65 academic departments within the following colleges:
- Arts & Sciences
- Business Administration
- Human Ecology
- Technology and Aviation
- Veterinary Medicine
In addition to the requirements of every student’s chosen major, general university education coursework is also necessary among all students. These core courses are intended to link students’ classwork and broaden their acquisition of knowledge while developing critical thinking skills. Core classes are spread over the entire course of a student’s time at the university rather than being taken in bulk or at the during the freshman and sophomore years.
Bachelor’s degrees are awarded in a number of different disciplines, including different fields of agriculture and horticulture, interior architecture, liberal arts and sciences, fisheries and wildlife biology, sociology, business, education, aviation, engineering, and technology. The College of Technology and Aviation offers associate degrees in aviation-related fields. A few certificate programs exist within each college except veterinary medicine. While no undergraduate degree is awarded in veterinary medicine, students may take courses with a pre-veterinary concentration through the College of Arts & Sciences. The College also offers other pre-professional programs on a non-degree basis.
Master’s degrees are awarded largely in the sciences, with an emphasis in agriculture and agriculture-related sciences, and in engineering and technology. A few Master of Arts are offered in economics, English, environmental planning and management, geography, history, modern languages, political science, sociology, and speech.
The school offers around 50 doctoral degrees in fields such as education, the sciences, economics, and engineering. No doctoral degrees are awarded in English or other languages, philosophy, art, or related fields. Ph.D.’s are offered in history, mathematics, sociology, and geography, but the University’s focus is on the sciences, especially as related to agriculture and nutrition.
The K-State library system offers electronic catalogs and on-line databases, in additional to physical volumes stored on site. There are special libraries for architecture, engineering, math & physics, and veterinary medicine. The university main library has a special collection of rare books and the university archives and manuscripts, and also houses a bindery.
Most Popular Fields of Study
The Department of Grain Science and Industry grants Bachelor of Science degrees in baking science, feed science, and milling science. Minors are also offered in these fields as well as in cereal science. The Department’s facilities include mills, storage facilities, and bakeries.
The university has fairly liberal requirements for freshman admissions. Applicants can meet admissions requirements in one of three ways: First, they can score a 21 or better on the ACT or a 980 or better on the SAT. Second, they can rank in the top third of their class as determined by GPA. Finally, they can complete the Kansas pre-college curriculum with a GPA of 2.0 (out of state residents must achieve a 2.5 GPA). Approximately 10 percent of freshmen who are admitted gain admission under exceptions to these three rules.
Graduate students must provide the following for admissions to the graduate school: application, fee, and transcripts. Individual programs set their own requirements, and students should consult directly with the program for specific requirements.
Requirements may vary for transfer and international students.
Eligible students may be entitled to financial aid in the form of grants, loans, scholarships, or work study. The financial aid application process begins with submission of the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA). Award letters are issued that detail any institutional, state, or federal aid that an applicant is entitled to. The university’s financial aid department can offer assistance and advice for students and their families.
Student Financial Aid Details
The Student Union describes itself as the “living room” for the campus community. It is home to events, food, shopping, and a number of recreational outlets including pinball, pool tables, and a full-service bowling alley, and facilities for the hundreds of student clubs and organizations. K-State is also home to a large number of Greek organizations.
Student Enrollment Demographics
Student Graduation Demographics
The Kansas State Wildcats compete in Division I-A of the NCAA in football, baseball, volleyball, rowing, and men’s and women’s basketball and golf, among others. Sports facilities include a coliseum, a football stadium, a baseball stadium, a field house, a golf course, and stables. Teams are supported by a marching band, a color guard, and a mascot.
Impressively, K-State won Big 12 conference titles in three sports during the 2012-13 academic year: baseball, basketball, and football.
Willie the Wildcat is selected every year by a panel appointed by K-State’s cheerleading coach. While the Wildcat has been K-State’s mascot for years, originally they known as the Aggies and at one time known as the Farmers. A real, live wildcat known as “Touchdown” used to attend every K-State football game, but has since been rehoused at the local zoo.
Melissa Rhone earned her Bachelor of Music in Education from the University of Tampa. She resides in the Tampa Bay area and enjoys writing about college, pop culture, and epilepsy awareness.