Kansas’s Best Research Universities of 2021

Interested in attending a STEM school in Kansas? Our ranking of top research universities for bachelor’s degrees displays schools that will best prepare you for STEM careers.

Kansas’s Best Research Universities of 2021

Colleges and Universities in Kansas

Beyond the 23 community and technical colleges, Kansas also has nine public universities, the largest being the University of Kansas (KU) with over 28,000 students. The school’s main campus is located in Lawrence, Kansas, but there are four other locations where students can attend KU classes: Overland Park, Kansas City, Wichita, and Salina. Kansas is also home to 22 private higher education institutions, with tuition ranging from $7,000 to $31,000.

Find college admissions consultants in your state.

In addition, students can choose from one of 18 religiously affiliated schools, including Newman University, Wichita — a Catholic liberal arts university serving the state’s largest private school student population at just over 2,000. Just under the national tuition average at $9,230, Kansas is also an affordable state in which to earn your degree. The state awards associate, bachelor’s, master’s, and doctoral degrees in common fields of study, like economics, nursing, business, and education. Specialized degrees include aerospace engineering at the University of Kansas and agribusiness from Kansas State University. Those in the medical and health fields can check out loan forgiveness programs, such as the National Health Service Corps Loan Repayment Program, which awards up to $50,000, tax free, for those who serve two years at an approved site.

Arguably, it was the 1939 cinema classic, The Wizard of Oz, that put Kansas on the map. But The Sunflower State is also known for its mouth-watering barbecue, open plains, and vast sunflower fields. Prospective students can also choose from 50 colleges and universities across this Midwestern state.

See what Kansas has to offer by checking out the top programs and career paths available.

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What are Kansas’s Colleges & Universities?

Kansas’s Best Overall

Related: Differences between research universities and teaching colleges

A research university is a great option for students interested in obtaining STEM degrees. Research universities invest heavily in research, which consequently provides meaningful and extensive opportunities for its students and faculty to participate in research. There are 5 research universities in Kansas. The list below of the best research universities in the state satisfies the following four conditions:

  1. It must be a fully accredited university.
  2. It must offer doctoral degrees across the range of STEM subjects (Science, Technology, Engineering, Math).
  3. It must report high levels of research activity based upon the number of research and/or practice doctorates awarded each year.
  4. It must have a graduation rate of greater than 50%.

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How do we determine Kansas's best colleges and universities?

The people affiliated with a school are ultimately what make it great. This is why, at the undergraduate level, we rank the best colleges and universities based on what we call “Concentrated Influence”. Concentrated Influence takes the combined influence score of a college or university’s top academic influencers (including faculty and alums) and divides it by the school’s total number of undergraduates.

Using concentrated influence gives small and mid-sized schools an opportunity to shine by taking away the size advantage of larger universities. A small school with proportionately more influential faculty than a large school, whose influence in absolute terms may be bigger, will nonetheless score higher in a concentrated influence ranking. Our approach highlights undergraduate schools that truly rank for excellence, regardless of size.

If you are serious about finding the best colleges and universities for a bachelor’s degree, you should be asking where the most influential professors are teaching and whether their graduates are themselves advancing the school’s reputation for academic excellence.

Most ranking sites rely on an opaque combination of reputation surveys and arbitrary performance metrics. Concentrated Influence provides a ranking that is free from bias, insulated from manipulation, and reflective of real-world educational outcomes.

Find out more about our ranking methodology here.

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Best Research Universities in Kansas for Undergraduates

  1. #1

    University of Kansas

    #124 institution's historical influence
    #620 overall school desirability

    Tuition + fees

    $11K

    Acceptance

    91%

    Graduation

    63%

    Student body

    23K

    Lawrence, KS

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    What is University of Kansas known for?

    University of Kansas’s faculty and alumni have been influential in:

    • Biology
    • Business
    • Mathematics
    • Literature
    • Engineering
    • History
    • Psychology
    • Medical
    • Law
    • Education

    Most Influential Alumni

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  2. #2

    Kansas State University

    #332 institution's historical influence
    #1154 overall school desirability

    Tuition + fees

    $10K

    Acceptance

    94%

    Graduation

    68%

    Student body

    18K

    Manhattan, KS

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    What is Kansas State University known for?

    Kansas State University’s faculty and alumni have been influential in:

    • Biology
    • Engineering
    • Business
    • Education
    • Mathematics
    • History
    • Chemistry
    • Literature
    • Computer Science
    • Physics

    Most Influential Alumni

  3. #3

    Baker University

    #1532 institution's historical influence
    #947 overall school desirability

    Tuition + fees

    $31K

    Acceptance

    93%

    Graduation

    62%

    Student body

    2K

    Median SAT/ACT

    1085/22

    Baldwin City, KS

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    What is Baker University known for?

    Baker University’s faculty and alumni have been influential in:

    • Business
    • Medical
    • Education
    • History
    • Nursing
    • Philosophy
    • Psychology
    • Religious Studies
    • Literature
    • Mathematics

    Most Influential Alumni

  4. #4

    Washburn University

    #710 institution's historical influence

    Tuition + fees

    $9K

    Graduation

    51%

    Student body

    4K

    Topeka, KS

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    What is Washburn University known for?

    Washburn University’s faculty and alumni have been influential in:

    • Law
    • Literature
    • Business
    • Education
    • Medical
    • Mathematics
    • History
    • Communications
    • Political Science
    • Psychology
  5. #5

    Wichita State University

    #832 institution's historical influence
    #407 overall school desirability

    Tuition + fees

    $8K

    Acceptance

    80%

    Graduation

    48%

    Student body

    12K

    Median SAT/ACT

    1150/23

    Wichita, KS

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    What is Wichita State University known for?

    Wichita State University’s faculty and alumni have been influential in:

    • Engineering
    • Business
    • Education
    • History
    • Literature
    • Medical
    • Political Science
    • Mathematics
    • Chemistry
    • Biology

    Most Influential Alumni

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