Baker University - Colleges of Distinction - Colleges of Distinction
Baker University
Baker University is home to a diverse, open-minded, and vibrant student body. It has...

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.


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 2016 Enrollment
847 undergraduate students
58% of undergrad students are full-time
45% male — 55% female
33% of students are from out of state

Faculty Profile

2016-2017 Academic Year
59 full-time faculty
26 part-time faculty
12 to 1 student-to-faculty ratio

Residence Life

Fall 2016
80% of all students live on campus

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.

High-Impact Practices

Read more about the importance of High-Impact Practices

First-Year Seminars and Experiences X
Common Intellectual Experiences X
Learning Communities X
Writing-Intensive Courses X
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


80% of students began in Fall 2015 and returned in Fall 2016 (full-time, first-time freshmen)


54% of students graduated in 6 years


Nonresident aliens 2%
Hispanic/Latino 7%
Black or African American 8%
White 75%
American Indian or Alaska Native 2%
Asian 1%
Native Hawaiian or other Pacific Islander 1%
Two or more races 3%
Race and/or ethnicity unknown 3%


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

Academic Programs

Accounting, Allied Health Care, Art Studio, Biochemistry, Biology, Business, Chemistry, Church Leadership, Criminal Justice, Communication Studies, Computer Science, Conflict Management, Economics, Education, English, Exercise Science, French, German, History, Health Humanities, Human Biology, International Business, International Studies, Mass Media, Mathematics, Music, Music Education, Nursing, Philosophy, Physical Education & Health, Physics, Prechiropractic, Preeningeering, Prelaw, Premedicine & Health Care, Psychology, Public Health, Public Sociology, Recreation, Religious Studies, Social Justice, Sociology, Spanish, Sports Administration, Theatre

More Distinctions

  • 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 2016, 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.

  • The Wildcats boasted the 2016 NAIA National Player of the Year for football and the CoSIDA Academic All-American of the Year.

  • In 2016-17, Baker athletes received 53 NAIA Scholar-Athlete honors, and 14 teams received NAIA Scholar-Team awards.

  • 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.

  • The exercise science program is accredited by the Commission on Accreditation of Allied Health Education Programs, making it the first fully accredited program in Kansas and one of just a handful in the nation.

  • 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, on average, Baker University grads 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.

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 professors and the staff at Career Services work diligently to help students land rewarding internships. Often times, these internships can lead full-time job offers 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. Projects such as the Big Event and the Martin Luther King, Jr. Day of Service are organized by Baker students to reach beyond the campus and connect with agencies such as Habitat for Humanity and Harvesters Community Food Network. The fraternities and sororities on campus are also well known for their philanthropic efforts.

Original Research

In classes of a dozen students or fewer, students get to work closely with professors, producing original research to present 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.


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

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. And, during the last four summers, students have written and published peer-reviewed scientific papers, discovered and described 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

Alongside an associate professor, sociology students can make weekly trips to an area correctional facility as part of the Inside-Out Prison Exchange Program. During this course, students interact with inmates to learn more about the criminal justice system. Baker is the first university in Kansas to participate in such an exchange program. The lessons that come from these often-stifled voices inspire students to take their knowledge far beyond their experience. For example, through her Senior Sociology Semester after completing the Inside-Out Prison Exchange Program, a Baker student 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. Having been recognized with two Pacemaker nominates (one for the print edition and one for the Orange online), the Orange has earned its place in the ACP Hall of Fame. Several Baker Orange staff members also have earned the distinction of KACP journalist of the year.

Hands-On PR Experience

With their business professor, some students got the opportunity to travel to Atlanta through an interterm course known as Bowl Game Extravaganza: Sport Public Relations in Action. This course showed them the ins and outs of the event operations and strategies connected to the Chick-fil-A Bowl and other organizations.

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 theatre 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 as well as 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.”


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

Baker University is a small school that offers big opportunities.

Performing Arts

Baker University music students have all the advantages that 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 leads trips to historic Civil Rights sites during spring break and hosts an annual Gospel Extravaganza that draws musicians from the area to wow students with a culturally rich experience. 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 had been gifts to the university from private art collections. Through the year, generous friends and alumni have contributed to Baker’s captivating, diverse collection of art.

International Flavor

Weekly language tables, an international film series, and the International Education Week all allow Baker students to explore cultures and languages from around the world, collectively celebrating 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, open to all people of faith regardless of practices and denomination. Thursday worship services are lively, musical, joyful, and relevant to students. University Ministry also hosts a variety of leadership and community service opportunities.


Baker athletic teams know how to win. In the past two years, the Wildcats have sent two teams to the NAIA national title game: women’s basketball and football. In 2016, the women’s soccer team reached the NAIA Fab Four, and the Competitive Dance team finished third in the NAIA and won the NAIA Champions of Character Team Award. Baker athletes also excel in the classroom, with numerous scholar-athlete and scholar-team awards each year.


Coed dorms X
Men’s dorms X
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 X
Cooperative housing  
Theme housing  
Wellness housing  
Other housing options  

The foundation of Baker’s liberal arts education is teaching students how to think, speak, write, and find answers so that they may contribute actively 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. She was one of two George Mason University 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, an alumnus named 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 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.”

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 premed 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.”



899 Total Applicants 
699 Total Admissions 
238 Total Freshman Enrollment

77.75% of applicants admitted


  25th Percentile 75th Percentile
SAT Critical Reading    
SAT Math    
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SAT Essay    
ACT Composite 20 25
ACT Math    
ACT English    
ACT Writing    


Net Price Calculator


Tuition $27,600
Fees $350
Total $27,950
Room and Board (on campus) $8,230
Estimated Total On Campus $36,180


Financial Aid Breakdown 2014-2015

100% of full-time, first-time undergraduates awarded 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 awarded
$7,206 Average amount of student loan aid awarded to full-time, first-time undergraduates