Friends University - Colleges of Distinction - Colleges of Distinction
Friends University
"Informed by its Quaker heritage and rooted in the liberal arts tradition, Friends University...

Friends University

Wichita, Kansas

Friends University, a Christian University of Quaker heritage, equips students to honor God and serve others by integrating their intellectual, spiritual and professional lives.


Friends University believes learning happens everywhere and is lifelong. No matter which of the approximately 60 areas of study a student chooses, the classroom is only the beginning. From competing in an athletic competition to performing in a fine arts production, Friends’ students engage in a wide variety of campus activities. On average, more than 70 percent of Friends’ undergraduate students participate in off-campus service projects—in the U.S. and abroad.


Friends University is located in Wichita, Kan., the largest city in Kansas. Friends is a small, close-knit college community with access and proximity for great internship and networking opportunities. Fine Arts students have access to the Wichita Symphony, Wichita Music Theater, and the Wichita Grand Opera among other great cultural opportunities.


Friends 14 athletic teams compete in division two of the NAIA and are part of the Kansas Collegiate Athletic Conference (KCAC). Sixty percent of Friends University student athletes maintain a 3.0 GPA or higher. Friends Falcon Intramurals also host 33 different intramural activities ranging from Fantasy Football to softball and everything in between.

Student Profile

Fall 2015 Enrollment
1,266 undergraduate students
81% of undergrad students are full time
48% male 52% female
30% of students are from out of state

Faculty Profile

2015-2016 Academic Year
68 full-time faculty
177 part-time faculty
11.4 to 1 student/faculty ratio

Residence Life

Fall 2015
53% of first year students live on campus
25% of all students live on campus

School Location

Friends University is located in Kansas’ largest city, Wichita. Wichita has been named an All-American City four times and a Top 10 Best Place to Live by Money magazine.

High-Impact Practices

Read more about the importance of High-Impact Practices

First-Year Seminars and Experiences X
Common Intellectual Experiences  
Learning Communities X
Writing-Intensive Courses  
Collaborative Assignments and Projects X
Undergraduate Research X
Diversity/Global Learning X
Service Learning, Community-Based Learning X
Internships/Coops/Practicums X
Capstone Courses and Projects/Senior Experience X

Retention Fall 2015

64% of students began in Fall 2014 and returned in Fall 2015 (full time, first time freshmen)

6 Year Graduation Rate 2015

43.6% of students graduated in 6 years


Nonresident aliens 0%
Hispanic/Latino 5%
Black or African American 11%
White 68%
American Indian or Alaska Native 1%
Asian 2%
Native Hawaiian or other Pacific Islander 0%
Two or more races 8%
Race and/or ethnicity unknown 5%


National Association of Intercollegiate Athletics (NAIA); Kansas Collegiate Athletics Conference (KCAC)

15 Varsity sports
Men:  Football, soccer, cross country, basketball, baseball, track and field, tennis
Women:  Volleyball, soccer, cross country, basketball, softball, track and field, tennis

Mascot: Freddy Falcon 
Colors: Crimson and gray

Academic Programs

Business and Information Technology:
Majors available:
Accounting, B.S.; Business Administration, B.S. (Management Concentration, Operations Management Concentration); Computer Science and Information Systems, B.S.; Finance, B.S.; International Business, B.S.; Marketing, B.S.
Minors available:
Accounting, Business Administration, Computer Science and Information Systems, Economics, Entrepreneurship, Finance, Management, Marketing

Majors available:
Art Education, B.A. (Grades Pre-K–12); Elementary Education, B.S. (Grades K–6); English Language Arts, Secondary Education, B.A. (Grades 6–12); Health and Physical Education, B.S.; Math Education, Secondary Education, B.S. (Grades 6–12); Music Education, B.M. (Grades Pre-K–12); Physical Education Teacher; Education, B.S. (Grades Pre-K–12); Spanish Education, B.A. (Grades Pre-K–12); Speech/Theatre Education; Secondary Education, B.A. (Grades 6–12)
Minors available:
Exercise Science, Physical Education

Fine Arts:
Majors available:
Art, B.A. (Computer Graphics Concentration, Graphic Design Concentration, Studio Concentration); Ballet, B.F.A.; Music, B.A.; Music Performance, B.M. (Instrumental Jazz Performance Concentration, Instrumental Performance Concentration, Piano Performance Concentration, Vocal Performance Concentration); Theatre, B.A.
Minors available:
Art Studio, Computer Graphics, Dance, Graphic Design, Music, Theatre

Religion and Humanities
Majors available:
Christian Spiritual Formation (Secondary Major Only); English, B.A. (Literature Concentration, Writing Concentration); Religion and Philosophy, B.A. (Youth Ministries Concentration, Christian Spiritual Formation Concentration); Spanish, B.A. (emphasis in Interpretation and Translation)
Minors available:
English, Language and Culture Studies, Religion and Philosophy, Spanish

Natural Science and Mathematics
Majors available:
Biology, B.S. (Field Biology Concentration); Chemistry, B.S. (Forensic Science Concentration); Health Management, B.S.; Health Sciences, B.S.; Mathematics, B.S. (Pre-engineering Concentration, Computer Science Concentration, Professional Mathematics Concentration); Radiologic Technology, B.S.; Zoo Science, B.S.
Minors available:
Biology, Chemistry, Field Biology, Forensic Science, General Science, Mathematics

Social and Behavioral Sciences
Majors available:
Criminal Justice, B.A.; History and Political Science, B.A.; Human Services — Psychology, B.S.; Human Services — Sociology, B.A.
Minors available:
Criminal Justice, History and Political Science, Human Services — Psychology, Human Services — Sociology, International Relations, Pre-law

Communications, B.A. (Media Studies Concentration, Visual Communications (Graphics) Concentration); Liberal Studies, B.S. or B.A.

More Distinctions

  • Affiliate member of the Council for Christian Colleges and Universities

  • Foundations of Excellence First Year

  • Military Friendly School

  • Residence halls ranked #1 in the state in student satisfaction

  • Online Master’s Degree in Health Care Leadership ranked #22 in nation

  • #44 Best Risk-Reward for College Students as ranked by the 2016 College Risk-Reward Indicator (CRRI)

Student Engagement

As with any institution, student engagement is vital throughout the educational experience – not only in the classroom, but beyond the smartboard as well. Allowing students to apply their classroom lectures and lessons to the real world allows them to see the value in continuing their education. Students are encouraged to join Campus Ministries on mission trips in Houston and Chicago, where they work with and help needy, impoverished and homeless people.

Study Abroad

Students also have the chance to take their education on the road with dozens of study abroad opportunities throughout the year. Cultural immersion experiences allow students to really dig deep and embrace their sense of adventure. Undergraduate and graduate opportunities are available and include trips to Mexico, China, Cuba, Africa, Europe and South America. Trips may range from a few days to several weeks with experiences that include setting up computer systems for third-world hospitals, performing jazz music in Cuba or discussing spirituality in Brazil.

Honor Societies

Additionally, top students are honored with membership into several academic honor societies. Such organizations include:

  • The Alpha Chi Honor Society: which promotes academic excellence and exemplary character in the arts, sciences, and education
  • Alpha Sigma Lambda: which recognizes special achievement for nontraditional adult learners
  • Delta Kappa:  mentors individuals in leadership positions in the marriage and family therapy professions
  • Mu Phi Epsilon Music Fraternity
  • Psi Chi National Honor Society in Psychology
  • Sigma Delta Pi National Collegiate Spanish Honor Society
  • Sigma Tau Delta International English Honor Society.

Activities Offered

Campus Ministries X
Choral groups X
Concert band X
Dance X
Drama/theater X
International Student Organization  
Jazz band X
Literary magazine  
Marching band  
Model UN  
Music ensembles X
Musical theater X
Pep band  
Radio station  
Student government X
Student newspaper  
Student-run film society  
Symphony orchestra X
Television station  
Yearbook X

Experienced Faculty

Friends University attracts top minds to its faculty – not only academic intellectuals who have spent lifetimes studying and researching, but also leaders of industry with years of practical experience. Students learn through traditional classroom lectures, group projects, thoughtful discussion, one-to-one tutoring, in-depth research, and opportunities beyond the brick and mortar of the institution.

Nichole Pendleton, assistant professor in accounting, has often been the subject of student praise. One student who nominated Pendleton for a teaching award noted that “Friends professors treat students better than any other school I’ve attended, and they focus on creating real relationships with students. Pendleton is a perfect example of this kind of professor.”

Bassam Jaradat, adjunct professor in business, is not only a teacher at Friends University, but an alumnus as well. “His class wasn’t just about the book. It was about life experience and making learning meaningful,” said one student who commented about Jaradat.

Unique Programs

Offering not only traditional liberal arts fields of study, Friends University also has several unique academic niches. The University’s Zoo Science degree is one of the only programs of its kind in the country. Students in this program benefit from a 20-plus-year relationship with the Sedgwick County Zoo that allows them to obtain practical experience working with zoo animals and personnel. On the other end of the liberal-arts spectrum, Friends University’s ballet program is among the top in the region. Ballet students have the opportunity to travel throughout the country to perform. Additionally, ballet dancers from New York, Chicago and Dallas have graced the stage in Sebits Auditorium with their extraordinary talents and expertise.


Beyond the University’s notable faculty, guest speakers supplement students’ educational experience with wisdom beyond the classroom. The Garvey Institute of Law brings distinguished speakers and legal experts to serve as resources for the community. Past speakers have included Martin Luther King III; Dr. Eileen Borris, a trainer in global peace initiatives; Jodee Blanco, an anti-bullying expert; the most Rev. Thabo Cecil Makgoba, archbishop of Cape Town and head of the Anglican Church of South Africa; Dr. Vernon Smith, Nobel Prize winner in economics; and relationship expert Dr. Harriet Lerner.

Common Core

Arts/fine arts X
Computer literacy X
English (including composition) X
Foreign languages X
History X
Humanities X
Mathematics X
Philosophy X
Sciences (biological or physical) X
Social science X

Class Size Breakdown

Size 2-9 10-19 20-29 30-39 40-49 50-99 100+ Total
Number of Classes 94 96 20 10 2 4 0 226

A Beautiful Campus

Walking onto the Friends University campus in Wichita, students notice lush gardens, scents of flowers and fresh-cut grass, well-maintained beautiful buildings, and plenty of woodland creatures skittering throughout centuries-old trees.

But Friends University is so much more than just a pretty face. It’s a place where tradition flourishes even more persistently than the blooms that decorate Rose Window Plaza. Homecoming, the spring Cherry Carnival, and Christmas lights adorning the clock tower are just a few of the age-old traditions that keep the Friends University community thriving and connected throughout the years.


As an institution founded on Quaker values, Friends University prides itself on its service opportunities – engaging students, faculty, staff and alumni in projects that benefit not only the University community, but also have global implications. Each December, the University closes its doors for an entire day for Salvation Army Service Day. The University community helps the Salvation Army prepare Christmas gifts for thousands of needy families throughout the Wichita area. Other service opportunities take students across the country or across the globe on a mission to make the world a better place.

Clubs and Organizations

Students also connect with each other through an array of organizations, clubs and honor societies. Dozens of groups cover a variety of interests – whether it be Acts of Faith, University Band or the Arabesque Society for performance artists; the Art and Design Society; the English Club, or the Drama Club; or varsity and intramural sports for the athletically minded. Additionally, several academic honor societies honor students’ academic achievements.

Campus Housing Options for Undergraduates

Coed dorms X
Men’s dorms  
Women’s dorms  
Apartments for married students  
Apartments for single students X
Special housing for disabled students  
Special housing for international students  
Fraternity/sorority housing  
Cooperative housing  
Theme housing  
Wellness housing  
Other housing options X

The Whole Picture

With a rich history of being one of the region’s top liberal-arts institutions, Friends University doesn’t just teach students facts, figures and statistics. Their top-notch faculties teach students how to think and learn through rigorous curriculum that produces well-rounded, thoughtful graduates who are capable of not only seeing the big picture, but the smaller parts that make up the whole.

Many graduates leave the walls of Friends University knowing they have a greater chance of success. More than 90 percent of Friends University Health Sciences students go on to study at their graduate school of choice. In the last seven years, 85 percent of Computer Science and Information Systems and Management Information Systems graduates maintained employment in their field. The University has the highest number of alumni and adult students named to the Wichita Business Journal’s 40 Under 40, compared to other Kansas private institutions. This program recognizes young professionals who have excelled in their career and contributed to their community.

Successful Alumni

Students are in good company with former Friends University alumni that include Vernon Smith, a 2002 recipient of the Nobel Prize in Economics; Kansas state senators Carolyn McGinn and Donald Betts; Ken Canfield, founder of the National Center for Fathering; opera singer Beverly Hoch; and Rich Mullins, Christian music singer and songwriter.


Admissions Fall 2015

713 Total Applicants
387 Total Admissions
163 Total Freshmen Enrollment

54.28% of applicants admitted

Admissions Deadlines for 2016-17 Admission

Rolling Admission? Yes

Admissions Factors

Very Important
Academic GPA
Standardized test scores

Rigor of secondary school record
Class rank
Extracurricular activities
Character/personal qualities
Alumni/ae relation
Work experience


Freshmen Profile Fall 2015

  25th Percentile 75th Percentile
SAT Critical Reading 410 460
SAT Math 400 530
SAT Writing    
SAT Essay    
ACT Composite 18 24
ACT Math 17 24
ACT English 18 24
ACT Writing    


Net Price Calculator


Tuition $25,650
Fees $180
Room and Board (on campus) $7,590
Room Only $3,680
Board Only $3,910
Estimated Total On Campus $33,420


Average Financial Aid Packages 2014-2015

$6,775 First year students
$7,679 All undergrads

Financial Aid Breakdown 2014-2015

74% on average, the percentage of need that was met
23% of financial need students that had need fully met

$8,273 Average need-based scholarship or grant award
$4,178 Average need-based loan


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