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Kansas State University
Kansas State University seal.svg
Motto Rule by Obeying Nature's Laws
Type Public
Space Grant
Established February 16, 1863 (1863-02-16)
Parent institution
Kansas Board of Regents
Academic affiliation
Endowment $506.23 million (2017)
Budget $818.6 million
President Richard Myers
Provost Charles Taber
Academic staff
Students 22,221 (Fall 2018)
39°11′30″N 96°34′51″W / 39.19167°N 96.58083°W / 39.19167; -96.58083
Campus College town, Urban,
668 acres (2.70 km2)
Nickname Wildcats
Sporting affiliations
NCAA Division IBig 12
Mascot Willie the Wildcat
Kansas State University wordmark.svg

Kansas State University (KSU), commonly shortened to Kansas State or K-State, is a public research university with its main campus in Manhattan, Kansas, United States. Kansas State was opened as the state's land-grant college in 1863 – the first public institution of higher learning in the state of Kansas. It had a record high enrollment of 24,766 students for the Fall 2014 semester.

The university is classified as one of 115 research universities with highest research activity (R1) by the Carnegie Classification of Institutions of Higher Education.

Branch campuses are in Salina and Olathe. The Kansas State University Polytechnic Campus in Salina is home to the College of Technology and Aviation. The Olathe Innovation Campus has a focus on graduate work in research bioenergy, animal health, plant science and food safety and security.


Fairchild Hall built 1894

The effort to establish the school began in 1861, the year that Kansas was admitted to the United States. One of the new state legislature's top priorities involved establishing a state university.

Kansas State University, originally named Kansas State Agricultural College, was founded in Manhattan on February 16, 1863, during the American Civil War. K-State is the third-oldest school in the Big 12 Conference and the oldest public institution of higher learning in the state of Kansas.

Kansas State University has 65 academic departments in nine colleges: Agriculture; Architecture, Planning and Design; Arts and Sciences; Business Administration; Education; Engineering; Human Ecology; Technology and Aviation; and Veterinary Medicine. The graduate school offers 65 master's degree programs and nearly 50 doctoral programs.

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