Jul 13, 2024  
2018-2019 Undergraduate Catalog 
2018-2019 Undergraduate Catalog [ARCHIVED CATALOG]

About the University

Kansas State University

Kansas State University was founded February 16, 1863, as a land-grant institution under the Morrill Act. It was initially located on the grounds of the old Bluemont Central College, which was chartered in 1858. The university moved to its present location in 1875.

The 664-acre main campus is in northern Manhattan, convenient to both business and residential districts. Under an enactment of the 1991 Kansas Legislature, the Salina campus was established through a merger of the former Kansas College of Technology with the university. The Olathe campus opened in April 2011. Located in the Kansas Bioscience Park, it brings K-State research, education and commercialization programs to Johnson County.

Additional university sites include 18,000 acres in the four locations of the Agricultural Research Centers - Hays, Garden City, Colby, and Parsons - and 8,600 acres in the Konza Prairie Biological Station.

One of the six universities governed by the Kansas Board of Regents, Kansas State University continues to fulfill its historic educational mission in teaching, research, and public service.

Mission statement

The mission of Kansas State University is to foster excellent teaching, research, and service that develop a highly skilled and educated citizenry necessary to advancing the well-being of Kansas, the nation, and the international community. The university embraces diversity, encourages engagement and is committed to the discovery of knowledge, the education of undergraduate and graduate students, and improvement in the quality of life and standard of living of those we serve.

Kansas State University is a comprehensive, research, land-grant institution serving students and the people of Kansas, the nation, and the world. Since its founding in 1863, the university has evolved into a modern institution of higher education, committed to quality programs, and responsive to a rapidly changing world and the aspirations of an increasingly diverse society. Together with other major comprehensive universities, K-State shares responsibilities for developing human potential, expanding knowledge, enriching cultural expression, and extending its expertise to individuals, business, education, and government. These responsibilities are addressed through an array of undergraduate and graduate degree programs, research and creative activities, and outreach and public service programs. In addition, its land-grant mandate, based on federal and state legislation, establishes a focus to its instructional, research, and extension activities which is unique among the Regents’ institutions.

Through quality teaching, the university is committed to provide all students with opportunities to develop the knowledge, understanding, and skills characteristic of an educated person. It is also pledged to prepare students for successful employment or advanced studies through a variety of disciplinary and professional degree programs. To meet these intentions, the institution dedicates itself to providing academic and extracurricular learning experiences which promote and value both excellence and cultural diversity. K-State prepares its students to be informed, productive, and responsible citizens who actively participate in advancing cultural, educational, economic, scientific, and socio-political undertakings.

Research and other creative endeavors comprise an essential component of K-State’s mission. All faculty members contribute to the discovery and dissemination of new knowledge, applications and products. These efforts, supported by public and private resources, are conducted in an atmosphere of open inquiry and academic freedom. Basic to the pursuit of this mission is the university’s commitment to broad-based programs in graduate education at both the master’s and doctoral levels.

Faculty, staff, and administrators share their expertise through service to the university and disciplinary organizations via outreach, engagement and extension-related activities. Their work provides support to numerous projects related to the goals, missions or aspirations of the departments, colleges of the university, and to the members of the professional community. Through outreach and engagement initiatives, partnerships are established with various stakeholders to translate knowledge and basic research into applications that address public needs. These service activities are integrally related to the land-grant mission.

Extension is governed by Kansas statutes that empower elected county councils and district governing boards with authority and responsibility to assess needs and conduct a local educational program in cooperation with Kansas State University and the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA). A network of local extension professionals and volunteers link Kansas State University faculty, the National Cooperative Extension System to the USDA, which produces high-quality educational programs.


Kansas State University is fully accredited by the Higher Learning Commission (HLC) of the North Central Association of Colleges and Schools (230 South LaSalle Street, Suite 7-500, Chicago, IL 60604, 1-800-621-7440), www.k-state.edu/assessment/accreditation/.


The faculty at Kansas State University are dedicated to excellence in teaching, student advising, research, extension education, scholarly achievement, and creative endeavor.

K-State recognizes superior teaching with annual faculty awards. Citations for the Outstanding Teachers of the Year and for Distinguished Graduate Faculty Members are presented at commencement. The university also honors faculty members who contribute to the expansion of knowledge in their respective fields.

The faculty assume a major responsibility to participate in outreach activities that serve the citizens of the state, and many hold leadership positions in their disciplines and in professional organizations.

Undergraduate student learning outcomes

Kansas State University strives to create an atmosphere of intellectual curiosity and growth, one in which academic freedom, breadth of thought and action, and individual empowerment are valued and flourish. We endeavor to prepare citizens who will continue to learn and will contribute to the societies in which they live and work.

Students share in the responsibility for a successful university educational experience. Upon completion of their degree, all undergraduates are expected to demonstrate ability in at least five essential areas.


Students will demonstrate a depth of knowledge and apply the methods of inquiry in a discipline of their choosing, and they will demonstrate a breadth of knowledge across their choice of varied disciplines.

Critical thinking

Students will demonstrate the ability to access and interpret information, respond and adapt to changing situations, make complex decisions, solve problems, and evaluate actions.


Students will demonstrate the ability to communicate clearly and effectively.


Students will demonstrate awareness and understanding of the skills necessary to live and work in a diverse world.

Academic and professional integrity

Students will demonstrate awareness and understanding of the ethical standards of their academic discipline and/or profession.

Assessment of student learning

K-State is committed to student learning and to providing the highest quality educational experiences for its students. The university upholds assessment of student learning and the use of the results of assessment as key strategies to ensure continuous improvement of student leaning. Student learning outcomes at the university, degree program, and support program levels provide a shared vision of what we value and what students are expected to learn.

Within a culture of reflection, scholarship, trust, and shared responsibilities, faculty, with participation from students, administrators, alumni, and K-State constituents, develop and implement ongoing and systematic assessment strategies to understand what, how much, and how students learn. Through the use of both direct and indirect sources of evidence of student performance, results from assessment guide collective actions for, among others, curricular change, better learning opportunities for students, improvement of teaching, and more effective academic support services.

Further information can be found on the K-State Office of Assessment web page.