Higher Education

Whether you’re looking for an advanced degree or to put your child through a college close to home, it’s important to know your options. The KC region has a rich supply of higher education institutions including public universities and colleges, private universities and colleges, and for-profit universities.

Together these institutions enroll approximately 140,000 students annually, graduate approximately 31,000 students into the workforce each year, and work hard to retain these exceptional graduates in the KC region.

This two-state network of higher education institutions in the KC region offers a variety of undergraduate and graduate degrees aligned with the labor force needed by today's employers. Education is highly valued in KC and many employers pay at least a portion of the cost to obtain advanced degrees and certifications.

Here's a guide to Higher Ed in and around the Kansas City Metro.

Downtown Kansas City | Center of the Metro

  • University of Missouri – Kansas City (UMKC)
    Most recognized for its dental program, law school, school of business and arts programs, UMKC offers approximately 46 master’s degree programs.
  • Metropolitan Community College, Penn Valley
    One of five two-year colleges across the metro area, provides quality general education as well as healthcare career program, the Francis Child Development Institute and the Carter Arts Center.
  • The Kansas City Art Institute
    A leader in visual arts and design education, many graduates go on to be studio artists, museum curators, graphic designers, filmmakers and more.
  • Rockhurst University
    A Catholic Jesuit university, Rockhurst is consistently ranked by U.S. News & World Report as one of the top 15 schools in the Midwest.

North KC Metro

  • Benedictine College
    Consistently scores in the top five percent of colleges and universities on the National Survey of Student Engagement, and offers EMBA, International EMBA, MBA and MASL graduate degrees.
  • Northwest Missouri State University This four-year, regional institution offers more than 120 undergraduate programs and 50 graduate and certificate academic offerings at a vibrant campus in Maryville, Missouri, a modern facility in Gladstone, Missouri, and through Northwest Online. Among many of its distinctive programs are agriculture, business, education, and science.
  • Park University
    An independent, liberal, four-year, co-ed, residential Christian institution founded in 1875, offers 38 Bachelor’s degree programs, five Master’s degree programs and 10 online Bachelor’s degree programs.>
  • William Jewell College
    A private, liberal arts college founded in 1849, offers more than 70 undergraduate degrees, including pre-med, pre-law and pre-engineering programs.
  • Metropolitan Community College, Business and Technology
    One of five two-year colleges across the metro area, Business and Technology  is the college headquarters for technical education and services.
  • Metropolitan Community College, Maple Woods
    One of five two-year colleges across the metro area, houses cutting-edge geographic information systems program, a sign language interpreting program and an exceptional veterinary technology program.

East KC Metro

  • Kansas City University of Medicine and Biosciences
    A not-for-profit institution founded in 1916, it's the oldest medical school in Kansas City and the largest in Missouri.
  • University of Central Missouri
    UCM serves nearly 12,000 students from state, regional and national levels, with a diverse representation of international students from nearly 50 countries worldwide.
  • University of Missouri – Columbia
    The journalism school consistently ranks among the top in the country, along with programs in dispute resolution and family and community medicine.
  • Metropolitan Community College, Blue River
    One of five two-year colleges across the metro area, offers a solid gen-ed foundation as well as extensive music and theater courses, and exceptional peace officer and firefighter academies.
  • Metropolitan Community College, Longview
    One of five two-year colleges across the metro area, exceptional liberal arts education, human services and engineering programs, as well as one of the nation's finest automotive technology programs.
  • Kansas City Kansas Community College
    A public, urban, open-door and comprehensive community college committed to excellence in higher education.

South KC Metro

  • Avila University
    With approximately 1,800 students, offers 36 undergraduate majors, three graduate programs and three certificate programs. 
  • Cleveland Chiropractic
    Offers both regional and specialized accreditation, as well as both B.A. and Doctor of Chiropractic degree programs.
  • DeVry University
    Two locations in South Kansas City and downtown offering degrees in technology and business – including a degree in Game and Simulation Technology.
  • MidAmerica Nazarene University
    The University offers undergraduate academic majors in over 40 areas, including a bachelor's degree-completion program in Management and Human Relations, a baccalaureate degree affiliation with European Nazarene College in Germany, and graduate-level programs in education, nursing, business administration and counseling.
  • University of Kansas Medical Center
    Houses the University of Kansas’ schools of medicine, nursing, allied health and graduate studies.
  • University of Kansas – Edwards Campus
    Offers seven undergraduate, certificate and graduate programs, tailored to meet the needs of working adults including late afternoon and evening classes.
  • Webster University
    Emphasizes excellence in teaching and offers undergraduate and graduate programs in the liberal arts, the fine and performing arts, education, business and communications. 
  • Johnson County Community College
    The third largest educational institution in the state of Kansas, JCCC is a two-year comprehensive community college offering day and evening credit and noncredit classes and community service activities.

West KC Metro

  • Baker University
    Offers more than 40 areas of undergraduate study accelerated adult programs, B.S. in nursing and advanced education degrees.
  • Kansas State University
    K-State offers 250 undergraduate majors and more than 100 master's, doctoral and certificate programs.
  • University of Kansas – Lawrence
    KU is well-known for its programs in film and television, journalism, communications and business.


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