Founded in 1858, Baker University was the first college founded in Kansas (earlier institutions began as academies or local schools). Baker is so deeply embedded in the life of Kansas that Abraham Lincoln himself personally donated to the construction of the university’s buildings, and three sites on campus are on the National Register of Historic Places. In its long history, Baker has grown a reputation for excellence that can’t help but spill out beyond Kansas; the Economist cited Baker as a best value nationally, while US Department of Education statistics show Baker graduates have the highest salaries of any Kansas college. It’s no wonder Baker has been U.S. News & World Report’s top regional college in the state.
Academic ProgramsBaker University takes pride in their student-centered curriculum, which blends the liberal arts with the most current professional and career preparation available. Much of Baker’s excellence is due to their inspiring, demanding faculty, who are able to interact directly with Baker students due to small class sizes and a low student:faculty ratio. The mentorship and motivation Baker’s faculty offers makes the difference between success and failure for many students. With its Methodist heritage, Baker puts respect, community, and diversity at the center of its curriculum, and it shows in the leadership displayed by Baker graduates.
While Baker’s traditional liberal arts programs are popular with students, Baker’s reputation in the 21st century has been made on its professional, adult, and online education options. Baker’s School of Nursing is one of the most respected in the Midwest, and their online MSN degree has earned national attention. A number of online bachelor’s degree-completion programs, and online graduate programs (especially in business and education) have opened up Baker’s academic excellence to non-traditional students of all ages, backgrounds, and career goals.
Student LifeBaker University retains its affiliation with the United Methodist Church, but Methodist tradition is ecumenical and welcoming to a variety of faiths and beliefs. Students are encouraged to take part in worship, with no classes scheduled during weekly chapel, but all faiths are accepted and celebrated. Missions and community service are also central parts of Baker’s student life, as is study abroad, at locations as far-flung as Australia, China, and Hungary. With a student body of just under 1000, Baker University is a small, close-knit community with a growing diversity. As a Methodist institution, Baker is known for tolerance and acceptance, with initiatives such as All-Gender Bathrooms and Trans Visibility Day helping to ensure that all students feel welcome and cared-for.
Baker has more than 75 student-led organizations and clubs, and more than 90% of students participate in at least one extracurricular group or activity. Well-roundedness is highly encouraged, and opportunities are extended to all students to take part in sporting events, on-campus activities, and special traditions. The Baker Wildcats are one of the most successful varsity organizations in the NAIA. In addition to five NAIA national championships in the last five years, and Baker athletes have been acknowledged for the highest GPA of any school in their conference.