Wichita State University Profile
Wichita State is distinctive for opening pathways to applied learning, applied research and career opportunities, alongside unsurpassed classroom, laboratory and online education. The university's beautiful 330-acre main campus is a supportive, rapidly expanding learn-work-live-play environment, where students gain knowledge and credentials to prepare for fulfilling lives and careers.
Students enjoy a wide selection of day, evening and summer courses in more than 200 areas of study at the main campus and other locations throughout the metro area and online. WSU's approximately 17,000 students come from every state in the United States and more than 115 countries. About eight in 10 students are from Kansas, representing every county in the state.
About 72 percent of students attend full time, and students in every field of study find opportunities in Wichita as varied as financial accounting, performance art, cybersecurity analysis, archaeology, health care professions and marketing for global corporations.
Degree-seeking students are required to complete applied learning and often take advantage of the university’s solid partnerships with more than 500 employers throughout the United States — including NetApp, Deloitte, Airbus, Bombardier Aerospace, Spirit AeroSystems, Textron Aviation (including Beechcraft and Cessna), Koch Industries, Wichita Public Schools, Ascension Via Christi, Wesley Medical Center, AGH CPAs and Advisors, BKD CPAs and Advisors, Cargill, Evergy, Johnson Controls, Cox Communications, and the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives.
In 2022, about 6,000 Wichita State students earned more than $28 million in applied learning experiences, allowing them to gain valuable career skills and industry knowledge while earning a paycheck to help offset tuition and living expenses.
Wichita State — which is classified by the Carnegie Foundation as a doctoral-granting, high-research institution — offers undergraduate and graduate degree programs with 62 bachelor’s degree programs, an associate’s degree, 13 doctoral degrees, 52 master’s degrees, a specialist in education degree and 109 credit-bearing certificates from eight colleges: the Dorothy and Bill Cohen Honors College, W. Frank Barton School of Business, College of Applied Studies, College of Engineering, College of Fine Arts, College of Health Professions, College of Innovation and Design, and the Fairmount College of Liberal Arts and Sciences.
The Higher Learning Commission and 21 program-specific accrediting agencies accredit WSU. A listing of WSU programs and degrees is located in both the graduate and undergraduate catalogs.
Wichita State has more than 550 full-time faculty, with 85 percent of the faculty having earned the highest degree in their field. Academic programs also draw on the professional expertise of adjuncts from Wichita-based businesses and organizations. Instructors and guest lecturers include those actively practicing their professions in venues from boardrooms and technology startups to operating rooms and the world’s great opera stages.
In 2012, WSU’s main campus in northeast Wichita was expanded by 120 acres with the conversion of a golf course to a new, interconnected community of academic and partnership buildings, research laboratories and mixed-use facilities known as Innovation Campus.
The Innovation Campus is home to more than 50 companies, agencies and industry leaders in advanced manufacturing, digital transformation, logistics, aerospace engineering, law enforcement, cybersecurity, energy, crash dynamics, software development and health science. Students work in state-of-the-art laboratories and learn from outstanding faculty and professionals.
The Innovation Campus is also home to high-quality student housing, Food Truck Plaza, shopping and dining spots, outdoor walking and running paths, a YMCA, Hyatt Place Hotel, and the National Institute for Research in Digital Transformation.
WSU is closely affiliated with WSU Tech, which trains its students for high-demand careers in the fields of aviation, health care, manufacturing, general education, design and hospitality. WSU Tech offers more than 100 degree and certificate programs. Through the Shocker Pathway program, students can begin their studies at WSU Tech and earn 50 credit hours that will transfer to Wichita State. With an additional 15 credit hours at WSU, students will be awarded an Associate of Arts degree. Shocker Pathway students have the option to continue at WSU for bachelor’s degree completion.
WSU and WSU Tech share several facilities and work together on initiatives and programs, including the Maintenance, Repair and Overhaul program, which repurposes aging aircraft and gives hundreds of students from both institutions valuable and cutting-edge industry experience.
Wichita State’s commitment to the community includes robust curriculum and relevant research that prepares students for the careers of tomorrow and supports Kansas businesses with a talent pipeline that meets employer needs.
For example, the National Institute for Aviation Research consistently receives funding from such agencies as the Department of Defense, the FAA and NASA to continue important research in such areas as composites and aging aircraft. According to the National Science Foundation, WSU is one of the top research universities for aerospace research in the country. It is the top industry-funded aviation research university in the nation.
Businesses, local government, industry and nonprofits benefit from such WSU resources as the Mid-America Manufacturing Technology Center, Small Business Development Center, Center for Management Development, Center for Entrepreneurship, Community Engagement Institute and Hugo Wall School of Public Affairs.
WSU offers numerous recreational and cultural opportunities through the many concerts, recitals, theatre, dance and other productions performed in its fine arts facilities. The Ulrich Museum of Art specializes in contemporary art. More than 80 pieces of sculpture by internationally known artists adorn the campus as part of the Martin H. Bush Outdoor Sculpture Collection. The university’s premier cultural collection of Asmat art, one of the largest such collections in the United States, is on display in its Lowell D. Holmes Museum of Anthropology.
As an NCAA Division I institution and a member of the American Athletic Conference, WSU fields teams in tennis, cross country, basketball, track, golf, baseball, volleyball and softball. The men's basketball team reached the NCAA Tournament 16 times in its history, highlighted by trips to the Final Four in 1965 and 2013. Shocker softball played in three of the past four NCAA regionals and Wichita State baseball won the College World Series in 1989. Wichita State’s most recent Olympian is United States marathoner Aliphine Tuliamuk, an NCAA All-American for the Shockers.
In club and competitive sports, Wichita State men’s and women’s bowling teams have won 22 national championships. Men’s and women’s rowing teams compete in state, regional and national championships. The rowing teams occupy a new boathouse on the Arkansas River, at a prime location in downtown Wichita. Esports is an up-and-coming feature of student life. The Esports Varsity Team and the Esports club both have a home in the Heskett Recreation Center on campus.
More than 200 social and special interest clubs provide opportunities for students to meet and work with others who share their interests, and there are 25 national sororities and fraternities active on campus.
The 330-acre traditional campus is modern and accessible and at the same time retains the flavor of the university’s heritage, combining distinctive Georgian-style architecture with more modern buildings of stone and brick that are accentuated by attractive landscaping. Internationally, the most-recognized building on the WSU campus is the Corbin Education Center, which was one of the last buildings designed by one of America's best-known architects, Frank Lloyd Wright.
In August of 2022, the university completed construction of its first new academic building in 30 years: Wayne and Kay Woolsey Hall, a state-of-the-art facility that’s home to the W. Frank Barton School of Business. Woolsey Hall is focused on creating an environment for students and faculty that inspires collaboration, innovation and an entrepreneurial mindset. Its location on the Innovation Campus nurtures applied learning experiences with partners and businesses active there. It is anticipated that the 125,000-square-foot building will be certified with a Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) Silver rating, the most widely used green building rating system.
In the Barton School’s former home, Clinton Hall, Wichita State has begun construction on the Shocker Success Center, which will house 17 student services that are currently scattered across campus in 10 buildings. The building’s centralized location between Ablah Library and the Rhatigan Student Center, the Shocker Success Center will serve as an all-inclusive facility that supports students throughout their academic journeys.