University of Kansas is a major public research and teaching institution of 28,000 students and 2,600 faculty on five campuses (Lawrence, Kansas City, Overland Park, Wichita, and Salina). Its diverse elements are united by their mission to educate leaders, build healthy communities, and make discoveries that change the world.
A member of the prestigious Association of American Universities since 1909, KU consistently earns high rankings for its academic programs. Its faculty and students are supported and strengthened by endowment assets of more than $1.44 billion. It is committed to expanding innovative research and commercialization programs.
KU has 15 schools and offers more than 370 degree programs. Their schools are Architecture, Design, and Urban Planning; Business; College of Liberal Arts and Sciences; Education; Engineering; Health Professions; Journalism and Mass Communications; Law; Medicine; Music; Nursing; Pharmacy; Public Affairs and Administration; Arts; and Social Welfare. Their particularly strong programs are:
Pharmacy Medicine Special education City Management Engineering Speech-language pathology Rural medicine Clinical child psychology Nursing Occupational Therapy Social Welfare
Students, split almost equally between women and men, come from all 50 states and 100+ countries.
International Student Services
The University of Kansas welcomes students from around the world. Currently 2,182 international students from more than 100 countries study at KU. The Office of International Student Services (ISS) assists international students with immigration advising and employment workshops; academic support; and social enrichment programs. ISS also coordinates mandatory health insurance for international students and presents “You at KU” International Student Orientation, a week long program designed to ease students’ transition to life in the U.S. and at KU.
The office also connects students with each other and the community, sponsoring the International Student Association and hosting a variety of programs, such as International Coffee Hour, the Kansas City Trip Series, and the Thanksgiving Homestay and Lawrence Friendship Family Programs.
The University of Kansas is known for the high quality of its academic programs. KU has more than 190 undergraduate majors in the sciences, the arts, and humanities that provide a firm foundation for almost any career choice. KU offers professional education in medicine, nursing, pharmacy, engineering, music, law, social welfare, journalism, business, and architecture.
Nearly 50 of KU’s graduate programs are nationally ranked, and the University Honors Program is among the best in the United States.
Students deepen and enrich their academic experience by participating in study abroad, doing original research, or becoming involved in special programs in languages, indigenous studies, history, environmental policy, or a dozen other topics.
On Campus Housing
On-campus housing is minutes from class—either by free bus or by foot—and is comparable to off-campus housing in price, especially when you consider your internet and utilities are included. KU has ten different residence halls from you to choose from. Three of the residences were built in 2015 and come Fall 2018 they will offer apartment style housing. On-campus housing features 24-hour card-swipe entry and nighttime security rounds. Each wing of KU’s residence halls is staffed by a resident assistant—a student employee trained to help meet your needs. Quiet study spaces and on-site tutoring in math and writing are available, too. KU offers nine residence halls with a variety of rooms, twelve scholarship halls that emphasize cooperative living, and two apartment complexes.
Off Campus Housing
KU does not provide off-campus housing, nor does KU help students find housing off campus. Off-campus rooms, studios, apartments, or houses are available in the Lawrence community. Prices range from $400-700 for a studio, $500-800 for a one-bedroom apartment, and $600-1,100 for a two-bedroom apartment. You might also have to pay for utilities such as electricity, water, internet, etc.
Living in Lawrence, Kansas
Lawrence, KS (population 90,000) offers international cuisine, unique shopping experiences, and a thriving arts and music scene. Take a walk down Massachusetts Street (known as Mass Street to the locals), and you will see that this is a town that supports its university. If you enjoy outdoor recreation, beautiful green spaces are only minutes away. Add a cost of living that’s low in comparison to the coasts and a relaxed, friendly Midwestern atmosphere, and it’s no wonder Lawrence consistently makes lists of “top college towns.”
Kansas has all four seasons: autumn (September – November), winter (December – February), spring (March – May), and summer (June – August). Kansas weather is unpredictable, changing frequently throughout the day or week, so it is best to have clothes for all types of weather and to consider wearing layers.
Temperatures in autumn and spring range from 10 to 21 degrees Celsius. Most students are comfortable in jeans and a t-shirt, but a light jacket or sweatshirt might be necessary on cooler days. You should also be prepared for rain with an umbrella or raincoat and waterproof shoes.
Winter temperatures are often below freezing, and ice and snow storms are common. You will need a heavy coat, hat, gloves, boots, and layered clothing to keep warm. It is also common to have warm days during the winter months, but this warm weather doesn’t normally last more than a week.
Spring weather usually begins in March. Spring often has rain and some severe weather, such as thunderstorms, so it is a good idea to own an umbrella or raincoat. The weather changes quickly throughout the day during the spring, so it is best to dress in layers and be ready for all types of weather.
Summer temperatures can exceed 37 degrees Celsius, and the humidity can be very high. Most students wear shorts and t-shirts. Thunderstorms are also common, so waterproof shoes and an umbrella or raincoat are often necessary.
International Student Association
International Student Association brings together all international students on the Lawrence campus to promote international friendships and cultural appreciation. The association hosts a variety of social events, such as holiday parties, talent and fashion shows, international food courts, language tables, and expositions.
Applied English Center
The University of Kansas’ Applied English Center (AEC) is home to one of the first twelve English language programs in the United States. The AEC is widely recognized as a leader in English language instruction. Students enjoy close attention from qualified faculty, all of whom have at least a master’s degree in teaching English to speakers of other languages.
Students also have access to the AEC’s digital library and English-learning computer lab. The center also provides cross-cultural advising, hosts conversation groups and activities, and sponsors field trips in Lawrence and the surrounding communities to enhance students’ English language instruction.
There is no minimum English proficiency test score for undergraduate admission to KU. However, all applicants to KU must submit scores to be considered for admission. Test scores must be less than two years old. If students have a score of 79 or above on the TOEFL iBT, 550 or above on the paper-based TOEFL with minimum part scores of 18, or a 6.5 or above on the IELTS with minimum part scores of 6.0, they are not required to take the AEC test and will be qualified to enroll in full-time degree coursework. Alternate measures of English proficiency are explained at: irua.ku.edu/English-requirements
Global partners is an exciting way to meet people from all over the world and make lifelong friends at the University of Kansas. International students and U.S. students are matched and placed into semester-long groups of four, based on members’ interests, academic majors, and languages. Groups meet at their own leisure. All members participate in events such as playing soccer or Frisbee, meeting at a restaurant for dinner, playing world trivia, or volunteering in the Lawrence community.
Undergraduate research at KU enables you to apply what you’re learning in the classroom to real-world problems. You can do research in your major or in an area that’s not in your major field. It’s up to you and your interests. Students from more than 50 academic departments conduct undergraduate research annually, studying topics as varied as autism, aquatic food chains, and architecture.
The Center for Undergraduate Research provides support with advice on writing research proposals and sharing research; research skill development; competitions for research funding, and help presenting research.
The University Honors Program at KU helps exceptional students launch extraordinary lives. KU honors students benefit from small courses led by top university faculty, priority enrollment, and specialized advising from both departmental and honors advisors.
Honors students also enjoy the guidance of full-time program staff and faculty fellows; participate in experiential learning such as research, internships, and study abroad; and access Nunemaker Center, a space dedicated to honors students with classrooms, conference rooms, meeting and study areas, a student kitchen, and extended operating hours.
KU Recreation Services brings together fitness, intramural, outdoor, and sport club programs across four facilities. The Ambler Student Recreation Fitness Center houses cardio and resistance training machines, four racquetball courts, six basketball and volleyball courts, aerobics and martial arts studios, a suspended walking/jogging track, a 42 foot rock climbing wall, and an indoor golf simulator. Intramural teams include basketball, bowling, soccer, soccer, and more. Hiking, camping, and canoeing equipment is available for rent. And yes, there really is a KU quidditch team.
Student organizations enable you to connect around common interests, whether they’re pastimes, social or political issues, or academics. There are a variety of student nationality organizations, too. Membership in student organizations not only connects you with your classmates, but it can provide valuable leadership experience.
The Student Involvement and Leadership Center at KU is the place to start. You can also get involved with Student Union Activities, a student-run organization that develops movies, concerts, comedy shows, and other events for the KU community.
For international students in Kansas there are many different universities and colleges to choose from. Top-rated universities offer students hundreds of undergraduate options, excellent graduate programs, and financial aid assistance. These universities are located in some of the largest cities in Kansas which are home to many of the state's historic sites, parks, museums, festivals, and professional sports teams.
Read our full article on studying in Kansas