Baker University - Colleges of Distinction - Colleges of Distinction
Baker University
The first four-year university in Kansas, founded in 1858, Baker University has developed a...

Baker University

Baldwin City, Kansas

Baker University’s academic reputation is built on its liberal arts tradition. Its professors challenge students while giving them the tools to rise to new heights. Baker offers more than 40 areas of study and encourages students to explore unique educational experiences through internships, study abroad, and research opportunities.


With more than 75 student activities and organizations from which to choose, students have no trouble finding their niche. At Baker, every person matters and everyone is connected. Students either learn together, play together, or live together—in many cases, it’s all three.

Student Profile

Fall 2014 Enrollment
1,848 undergraduate students
58% of undergrad students are full time
44% male — 56% female
39% of students are from out of state

Faculty Profile

2014-2015 Academic Year
72 full-time faculty
452 part-time faculty
10 to 1 student/faculty ratio

Residence Life

Most Baker students, 80%, live on campus in a residence hall, apartment, or Greek house.

School Location

Baker University is located in Baldwin City, Kansas, a community of 4,100 people. It is 20 minutes south of Lawrence and 45 minutes west of Kansas City.


80% of students began in Fall 2013 and returned in Fall 2014 (full time, first time freshmen)


58% of students graduated in 6 years


Nonresident aliens 1%
Hispanic/Latino 5%
Black or African American 9%
White 73%
American Indian or Alaska Native 2%
Asian 2%
Native Hawaiian or other Pacific Islander 0%
Two or more races 1%
Race and/or ethnicity unknown 6%


National Association of Intercollegiate Athletics
20 Varsity sports
Men: baseball, basketball, cross country, football, golf, soccer, tennis, track and field, wrestling, spirit squad
Women: basketball, bowling, cross country, golf, soccer, softball, tennis, track and field, volleyball, spirit squad

Mascot:  Wildcats
Colors: Orange


Baker University is a four-year, liberal arts college affiliated with the United Methodist Church, founded in 1858.

Academic Programs

accounting, art history, biology, business, chemistry, criminal justice, communication studies, computer science, conflict management, economics, education, engineering, English, exercise science, French, German, graphic design, health & physical education, history, international business, mass media, mathematics, music, music education, nursing, philosophy, physics, pre-law, pre-medicine & health, psychology, public sociology, religious studies, social justice, sociology, Spanish, sports administration, studio art, theatre

More Distinctions

  • In 2015, The Economist called Baker University one of the best-value universities in the nation, ranking in the top 50 of more than 1,200 institutions.

  • In 2015, the federal Department of Education noted that Baker University grads, on average, earn higher salaries than their peers from any other university in the state.

  • In the most recent edition of the U.S. News & World Report’s Best Colleges, Baker was the highest-ranked private university in Kansas.

  • In the most recent 100 Best Values in Private Universities by Kiplinger’s Personal Finance, Baker was the highest ranked school in the Kansas City metropolitan area for combining outstanding quality with affordability.

  • Of Baker graduates who responded to surveys, 98.6% were employed or in graduate school within six months of graduation.

  • Of education majors who graduated in 2014, 100% reported having full-time employment within six months of graduation.

  • The first-time pass rate for Baker nursing students on the NCLEX national licensure exam is consistently well above state and national averages.

  • Baker awarded more financial aid from all sources than any other Kansas Independent College Association institution in 2013-14.

  • Baker won conference championships in seven sports, and 13 teams received NAIA Scholar-Team awards in 2014-15.

  • Baker has been continuously accredited by the Higher Learning Commission of the North Central Association of Colleges and Schools since 1913. Baker has also met the rigorous accrediting standards of the National Council for Accreditation of Teacher Education.

  • The Baker School of Nursing program is accredited by the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education and the Kansas State Board of Nursing.

  • The majors of accounting, business, and international business offered at the College of Arts and Sciences in Baldwin City are fully accredited at the national level by the Accreditation Council for Business Schools and Programs (ACBSP).

  • The Bachelor of Arts in Music and Bachelor of Music Education programs are accredited by the National Association of Schools of Music.

At Baker, a big part of a student’s education takes place outside the classroom.

Study Abroad

Baker offers a full range of study abroad options worldwide in almost any discipline. The most popular program is that of England’s Harlaxton College, recently ranked the No. 1 study abroad program by Best College Reviews.


Nothing puts knowledge to the test like real-world experience, so Career Services and professors work diligently to help students land rewarding internships. Often times, internships lead to offers for full-time positions after graduation. In recent years, Baker students have interned with the FBI, Polygram Records, Sprint, Hallmark, NASCAR, PriceWaterhouseCoopers, and the U.S. Senate.

Service Learning

Through community service projects, Baker students develop their leadership skills while helping to create meaningful social change. The fraternities and sororities on campus are well known for their philanthropic efforts.

Original Research

In classes of a dozen students or fewer, students work closely with professors to produce original research and present it at regional, national, and even international conferences.

Developing Leaders

Members of “Mungano,” Baker University’s student-run diversity organization, regularly attend the Big XII Conference on Black Student Government, where participants gain the tools and knowledge to become successful leaders for their organizations and communities.

Mentoring Partnerships

The parMentor organization is a long-standing tradition that pairs the university’s best and brightest with Baker alumni mentors. Board of Trustees members, alumni, and local business and community leaders are paired with students to help them develop and work toward careers.

Baker faculty encourage students to pursue their passions, challenge themselves, and take charge of their own education.

Original Research

As part of a National Science Foundation grant, biology students have identified and analyzed the DNA of tardigrades. During the last two summers, students have written and published eight peer-reviewed scientific papers, discovered and described three species new to science, established new records for Kansas and North America, identified new arboreal ecology for tardigrades, and suggested new distribution patterns.

Unique Sociology Course

Sociology students and an associate professor travel weekly to an area correctional facility as part of the Inside-Out Prison Exchange Program. During the course, students interact with inmates to learn more about the criminal justice system. Baker is the first university in Kansas to participate in the exchange program.

Senior Seminar

After completing the Inside-Out Prison Exchange Program, a Baker student, through her Senior Sociology Seminar course, developed and facilitated a poetry-writing workshop for 11 incarcerated writers at the Topeka Correctional Facility.

Award-Winning Newspaper

In the past decade, the Baker Orange, the university’s weekly student-run newspaper, has repeatedly received high distinctions from the Associated Collegiate Press, Kansas Associated Collegiate Press, and Society of Professional Journalists, earning the Orange a place in the ACP Hall of Fame. ACP has recognized the Orange with two Pacemaker nominations, one for the print edition and one for the Orange online. Several Baker Orange staff members also have earned the distinction of KACP journalist of the year.

Hands-On PR Experience

Students and a business professor traveled to Atlanta to learn more about event operations and strategies connected to the Chick-fil-A Bowl and other organizations as part of the interterm course Bowl Game Extravaganza: Sport Public Relations in Action.

Social Justice and Service in Haiti

An associate professor of sociology took 10 students to Haiti for 12 days as part of a Social Justice and Service in Haiti interterm class. The students worked on restoring earthquake damage, helped build a school, taught English and computer literacy and worked with orphans.

Award-Winning Stagecraft

Baker theater students earned two top honors at the Kennedy Center American College Theater Festival Region 5 competition, winning the Golden C Wrench as Stagecraft Showdown champions and the Stagecraft Spirit Trophy.

Honing Communication Skills

“In a world today that is moving faster than ever before, the ability to communicate effectively has never been in higher demand. At Baker, we want to graduate students who can clearly articulate the ideas they fostered during their years here,” says the assistant professor of communication who developed the Speech Center to fill this need. “Whether students are giving their first individual presentation on campus or are interviewing for internships or job opportunities, we want to be there every step of the way so they can competently articulate their ideas.”

Baker University is a small school that offers big opportunities.

Performing Arts

Baker University music students have all the advantages an intimate, small college environment affords, along with the performance opportunities of much larger schools. Baker has historically drawn nationally and internationally renowned lecturers, entertainers, and musicians to campus. Before or after the events, the performers frequently hold workshops and master classes with students.

The Annual Christmas Candlelight Vespers has been a beloved tradition for more than 80 years. The program includes performances by Baker choral and instrumental ensembles, the Speech Choir, and the University Community Choir.

Mungano, Baker’s student-run diversity organization, is a host to an annual Gospel Extravaganza, which draws musicians from the area and has led trips to Civil Rights sites during spring break. The same organization also attracts well-known speakers, such as Cheryl Brown Henderson, the president of the Brown v. Board of Education National Historic Site.

Visual Arts Across Campus

The university’s art collection, which is displayed across campus, contains works created by a variety of renowned artists. Most of the pieces were gifts to the university from private art collections. Generous friends and alumni through the years have created for Baker a captivating collection that presents a diversity of views.

International Flavor

Weekly language tables, an international film series, and International Education Week allow Baker students to explore cultures and languages from around the world and celebrate international diversity.

Spiritual Life

The Clarice L. Osborne Memorial Chapel was moved stone by stone from the village of Sproxton, England, in 1996 to serve as the spiritual center of the university. University Ministry is ecumenical in nature and open to all people of faith regardless of practices and denomination. Thursday worship services are lively, musical, joyful, and relevant to students. University Ministry hosts a variety of leadership and community service opportunities.

The foundation of Baker’s liberal arts education is teaching students how to think, speak, write, and find answers so they can actively contribute to a global community.

Following a Passion from High School Through Graduate School

Lauren, a psychology major, has studied eating disorders and body image issues since she was in high school, where she co-founded REbeL, a nonprofit organization that educates students about body image issues and creates mentorship programs. She carried this interest to Baker and became the first American to receive an honorary research fellowship at Huntercombe Hospital in Edinburgh, Scotland, where she worked on the Ravello Project, a major study about the neuropsychological underpinnings of anorexia nervosa. Now in grad school, she is among two George Mason Univeristy Ph.D. students awarded the National Science Foundation’s 2014 Graduate Research Fellowship, one of the most prestigious grants for graduate researchers.

Using Soccer to Help Immigrants

Five years after graduating from Baker University, Mark gained national attention for developing a program in California that uses soccer to motivate young immigrants and survivors of war to transition to a better life through education and leadership. Eager to share the success and inspiration behind YALLA, which means “Let’s go” in Arabic and stands for Youth and Leaders Living Actively, Mark delivered the keynote address to the Class of 2013 at Baker’s commencement ceremony. “I wanted to let the graduates know that their education at Baker has prepared them to accomplish anything they want to do,” said  Mark, who studied international relations and political science. “I wanted to encourage them to take risks, believe in themselves, and to follow their passions and dreams. I’ve learned that when you do that you are motivated, and when you pursue what you want to do is when you are the happiest.”

Study Abroad Experience Leads to Peace Corps Assignment

Sam, a sociology major, learned about sustainable farming methods during his study abroad semester in New Zealand. He was able to combine his love of travel and interest in farming during his two-year Peace Corps assignment in Zambia. “Joining the Peace Corps has been a lifelong goal,” he said. “I got to implement sustainable farming techniques. My job was to encourage farmers to plant perennial trees and shrubs that will not only provide fruit but also help with soil fertility, structure, stop soil erosion and increase food security.” Sam is now applying to graduate schools, where he plans to focus on the environment, sociology, and public administration in rural development.

Well-Rounded Education Prepares Graduates for Med School

For generations, Baker University has earned a reputation for preparing students for medical school. Seventy-eight percent of the pre-med students who apply to med school are accepted. Two recent graduates were accepted into the University of Kansas School of Medicine’s early decision program. “Brandon got involved in undergraduate research and has published papers on his work,” his advisor noted. “Abbey took advantage of a study abroad opportunity to learn more about the medical system in the United Kingdom. Both students demonstrated a thirst for knowledge and a curiosity about the world. Of course, it doesn’t hurt that they are both brilliant.”

“I feel my experience at Baker has fully equipped me to take on the adventure of medical school,” Brandon said. “The factual knowledge I’ve learned is obviously important, but it’s also been a place where I’ve experienced a lot of emotional and spiritual growth, which is equally vital for success.”



1,060 Total Applicants
737 Total Admissions
224 Total Freshmen Enrollment

69.53% of applicants admitted


  25th Percentile 75th Percentile
SAT Critical Reading 430 525
SAT Math 430 580
SAT Writing    
ACT Composite 20 26
ACT Math 19 26
ACT English 20 26
ACT Writing    


Net Price Calculator 


Tuition $25,950
Fees $340
Total $26,290
Room and Board (on campus) $8,040
Room Only  $3,740
Board Only $4,300
Estimated Total On Campus $34,330


Financial Aid Breakdown 2014-2015

100% of full-time first-time undergraduates receiving any financial aid
66% of full-time first-time undergraduates receiving student loan aiD

$18,673 Average amount of federal, state, local, or institutional grant aid received
$7,206 Average amount of student loan aid received by full-time first-time undergraduates

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