Wichita State University


Wichita State University is an urban university located in Wichita, Kansas. The school was founded in 1895 as a Congregational college and received university status in 1926. Wichita State University now awards associate, bachelor’s, master’s, and doctoral degrees. It is accredited by the North Central Association of Colleges and Schools.

Wichita State University defines its mission in part: “through teaching, scholarship, and public service, the University seeks to equip both students and the larger community with the educational and cultural tools they need to thrive in a complex world, and to achieve both individual responsibility in their own lives and effective citizenship in the local, national, and global community.”

Wichita State was founded from the previous Fairmount College, which had been established a decade earlier by Rev. Joseph Homer Parker. The University’s mascot, the “Wheatshocker,” traces its origins as far back as 1905. Wichita State managed to emerge from difficult times in the Depression, World War II, and the Vietnam War.

Information Summary

Ranks 5th in Kansas and 568th overall. See the entire top 2,000 colleges and universities list
Overall Score (about) 85.8
Total Cost On-Campus Attendance $24,042
Admission Success rate N/A
ACT / SAT 75%ile scores 26 / 1290
Student Ratio Students-to-Faculty 18 : 1
Retention (full-time / part-time) 73% / 36%
Enrollment Total (all students) 15,778


The University is composed of a number of different schools and colleges: the Barton School of Business, the College of Engineering, the College of Education, the College of Fine Arts, the College of Health Professions, and the College of Liberal Arts & Sciences in addition to the Graduate School.

Bachelor’s degrees are awarded in a number of different disciplines, including accounting, aerospace engineering, English, geology, mathematics, physics, women’s studies, bioengineering, engineering, education, business administration, nursing, fine arts, biology, communication, and dental hygiene, among others. The liberal arts and sciences are well represented and the university offers modern degrees tailored to employment in a global environment.

Master’s degrees are awarded in over forty fields, including accounting, anthropology, business administration (MBA), counseling, creative writing, education, liberal studies, music, nursing (MSN), public administration (MPA), social work (MSW), special education, and studio art. The educational specialist degree (Ed.S.) is awarded in school psychology.

The school awards nearly fifteen doctoral degrees as well as almost thirty graduate certificate programs, in such areas as aerospace engineering, audiology, educational leadership, electrical engineering, industrial engineering, mathematics, mechanical engineering, physical therapy, and psychology.

Most Popular Fields of Study


Wichita State University 2

Unique Programs

There are graduate certificate programs in a few fields in the College of Education, the College of Engineering, the College of Health Professions, and the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences.

Wichita State offers majors in such unique areas as communication disorders and sciences, dental hygiene, decision sciences, and social work. The area of Intensive English prepares graduates to teach English as a second language (ESL) classes.


In addition to the application form and fee, students must provide official high school transcripts with class rank if available and ACT or SAT scores. Applications can be submitted on-line.

Undergraduate admissions criteria are the same for both Kansas residents and non-residents. The college grants admittance to students with either minimum test scores, GPA’s or class ranks. All students that meet one of these three criteria are admitted as long as they have also completed the required high school coursework which includes four units of English, three units of natural science, three units of mathematics and three units of social sciences.

All potential graduate students must hold a bachelor’s degree from an accredited institution. Graduate students must provide the following for admissions to the graduate school: application and fee, transcripts, and any materials required by the department. Applicants to doctoral programs must also submit appropriate graduate school admission test scores. As admission to each program is managed by the individual program, it is best for potential students to work with the graduate coordinator of the program of interest.

Financial Aid

Financial aid is offered in the form of scholarships, grants, loans and work-study programs for undergraduate students and in the form of scholarships, work-study programs, loans and fellowships for graduate students. The first step to applying for financial aid is to complete the FAFSA which is available online starting in January. The university also has a financial aid department available to assist students with finding every avenue possible to make an education affordable.

Student Financial Aid Details

Ranks 2016th for the average student loan amount.
Secrets to getting the best scholarships and financial aid in Kansas.


Wichita State University has a public observatory, a museum of anthropology, and an art museum. There are a number of institutions and centers as part of the University, including the National Institute for Aviation Research and the Kansas Small Business Development Center.

The Wichita State University Library offers electronic catalogs and on-line databases, in additional to physical volumes stored on site or available through inter-library loan. There are special libraries for music and chemistry. The special collections include maps, rare books, local history, government documents, and the University archives.

Wichita State is home to over 15,000 students, including students from nearly every state in the nation and over 100 countries around the world. The 330-acre campus is located in an urban setting and decorated by dozens of sculptures by world-renowned artists. There are over 120 student organizations and more than twenty Greek organizations on the Wichita State campus. WS also offers recreational sports in the form of both intramural and club sports as well as having an intercollegiate athletics organization.

Student Enrollment Demographics

Student Graduation Demographics


Wichita State University is an NCAA Division I school, which the university eligible for athletic scholarships. Sports offered include baseball, basketball, cross-country, golf, tennis, bowling and track & field for men; and basketball, cross-country, golf, softball, tennis, track & field, bowling and volleyball for women. The team’s nickname is the Shockers. WSU plays in the Missouri Valley Conference.

The most renowned teams are men’s and women’s bowling, as both have won national championships. Several other WSU teams also boast such victories as national titles and trips to the Final Four. Athletic facilities include Cessna Stadium, Eck Stadium, the Coleman Tennis Complex, Charles Koch Arena, and the C. Howard Wilkins Softball Facility.

Local Community

The city of Wichita is home to museums, gardens, a zoo, and a convention center. It is located in southern central Kansas and has a population of approximately 344,000.

Wichita is Kansas’ largest city and home to the Mid-America Manufacturing Technology Center, one of Wichita State’s leading industry partners that makes the University such a boon to the community. Local attractions include an annual jazz festival, barefoot water skiing, and some of the best art and children’s museums in the country.


  • WSU Wichita State University. Wichita State University. 2011. Web. 25 June 2011.
  • “Wichita State University.” The Princeton Review. The Princeton Review. 2011. 25 June 2011.

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