Colleges, Universities & Online Colleges in Kansas City

Kansas City covers 319 square miles and has more than 460,000 residents, making it the largest city in Missouri, outranking St. Louis. Fittingly, many colleges and universities are based in the city. Kansas City, like other areas, also has online college options for those who are too busy or would simply prefer online classes to on-campus courses. Kansas City offers higher education and training for those seeking to enter local industries such as health services and government, where postsecondary studies are common qualifications.

Colleges and Universities in Kansas City

Kansas City, Missouri, has one two-year college, Metropolitan Community College (MCC). Started in 1915 as the Polytechnic Institute, it’s the oldest public college in Kansas City. It has four campuses in the city. MCC offers a variety of degree programs, including audio engineering, interior design, surgical technology, teacher education and fire science technology. Most programs end in an associate degree or certificate, and MCC says 70 percent of students go on to a four-year institution when they’re finished at MCC.

MCC’s website claims the lowest tuition in the Kansas City area. For in-district students, the cost is $95 per credit hour. Out-of-district students pay $175 per credit hour, and it’s $229 per credit hour for out-of-state students. A range of financial aid options may be available to eligible applicants, including Pell Grants.

Kansas City is home to several public and private four-year universities. The largest is the University of Missouri-Kansas City (UMKC). According to U.S. News & World Report, UMKC has a 67.6 percent acceptance rate and employs rolling admissions, meaning applications are accepted all year.

UMKC offers more than 120 majors for undergraduate and graduate students. Majors offered include biology, dance, psychology, physics and urban studies. In-state students pay $9,456 per year and out-of-state students pay $22,203.

Private universities in the area tend to focus on specific areas, like religion, health sciences or the arts. Private four-year universities in Kansas City include Kansas City Art Institute, Kansas City University of Medicine and Biosciences and Avila University. These schools offer a large variety of majors, including marketing, piano, animation and digital filmmaking.

The table below showcases some of the options that students in Kansas City can find.

InstitutionTypeTraining/Degrees Offered
Metropolitan Community CollegePublicCertificates, associate degrees, continuing education
University of Missouri-Kansas CityPublicBachelor’s degrees, graduate degrees, PhD
Rockhurst UniversityNot for Profit PrivateBachelor’s degrees, graduate degrees
Avila UniversityNot for Profit PrivateCertificates, bachelor’s degrees, graduate degrees
Midwestern Baptist Theological SeminaryNot for Profit PrivateBachelor’s and graduate degrees in Christian Ministry, Biblical Studies or Divinity, PhD
Kansas City University of Medicine and BiosciencesNot for Profit PrivateUndergraduate and graduate degrees in health sciences areas, PhD, Continuing Education
Kansas City Art InstituteNot for Profit PrivateBachelor’s degrees, Continuing Education, post-baccalaureate program in Art Education

Online Colleges in Kansas City

Those who would rather take online classes as opposed to on-campus classes have options in Kansas City. UMKC offers a mix of online class offerings. Blended classes are both on-campus and online. For online synchronous classes, all students have to log on at the same time and there may be some in-person meetings, whereas in online asynchronous classes students can log on whenever they want and most classes are online. In contrast, video classes meet via video at a regular schedule. Programs offered online at UMKC include dental hygiene, nursing and pharmacy.

MCC also recognizes that some students may need a flexible schedule and thus offers many online classes. Degrees with classes that can be taken online include computer technology, criminal justice and early childhood educator. Students can also earn certificates of achievement online, in areas such as bookkeeping, language interpretation and financial planning.

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Top Industries, Careers and Employers

In addition to top-notch schools, many businesses call the Kansas City area home. In fact, Forbes lists Kansas City as number 40 on the “Best Places for Business and Careers” list. According to Forbes, the top two industries in Kansas City are agribusiness and the federal government. Additionally, Kansas City has 52 hospitals that employ many health sciences professionals.

The Kansas City Business Journal reports that top employers in Kansas City include:

  • Federal government
  • HCA Midwest Health System
  • Children's Mercy Hospitals & Clinics
  • Truman Medical Centers
  • General Motors Fairfax Assembly Plant
  • Hallmark Cards Inc.
  • Black & Veatch
  • The University of Kansas Medical Center

Those employers have a variety of workers with different job titles. According to Bureau of Labor Statistics data from May 2013, the most workers in the Kansas City area of Missouri and Kansas are found in these areas:

  • Office and administrative support
  • Sales and related occupations
  • Food preparation and serving
  • Transportation and material moving
  • Health care practitioners and technical occupations
  • Business and financial operations
  • Production
  • Management
  • Education, training and library occupations

Employment in some of these areas, such as health care and technical occupations, finance, and education, typically requires advanced education for job candidates.

Colleges & Universities in Kansas City

Colleges & Universities in Kansas City

University of Missouri-Kansas City20,512$7,737Public
Rockhurst University3,425$27,770Not For Profit (Private)
Avila University2,262$22,250Not For Profit (Private)
Midwestern Baptist Theological Seminary1,369$6,300Not For Profit (Private)
Kansas City University of Medicine and Biosciences1,085NRNot For Profit (Private)
Kansas City Art Institute880$30,762Not For Profit (Private)

Community Colleges and Vocational Schools in Kansas City

Metropolitan Community College-Penn Valley8,532$4,530Public
Metropolitan Community College-Business & Technology1,263$4,530Public

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Whether you’re looking to earn your online degree or you’re a parent looking for answers, you can find all of your questions covered here. Explore these resources to help you make informed decisions and prepare for whatever is thrown your way.

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