The University of Kansas is a comprehensive public research university with about 29,600 students - 8,200 of them graduate students - who study in 325 degree programs. The university has 76,498 alumni in Greater Kansas City.
KU includes the main campus in Lawrence, just 35 miles from metropolitan Kansas City; the KU Medical Center in Kansas City, Kansas; the adult education KU Edwards Campus in Overland Park; and a clinical branch of the KU School of Medicine in Wichita. KU Continuing Education also operates the Kansas Law Enforcement Training Center near Hutchinson and the Public Management Center in Topeka.
The university enjoys an excellent national reputation with 42 nationally ranked programs - 24 in the top 25 and 11 in the top 10 among public universities. KU's special education program and the city management and urban policy program are each ranked No. 1 among public universities. KU is one of only 32 public universities granted membership in the prestigious American Association of Universities. The university stands 12th in the nation for number of first-time National Merit scholars and has produced 25 Rhodes scholars.
A report from the Institute for Effective Educational Practice lauds KU as an "engaging public research university" that has "a distinctive 'sense of place' that instills school pride and an excitement about learning." The book, Student Success in College, cited KU as one of 20 universities nationwide that creates an effective learning environment for students to succeed in their college careers.
In 2005, KU research expenditures totaled $281 million. The National Science Foundation ranks KU 30th in federally funded life sciences research and 49th among public universities in science and engineering research and development expenditures. KU maintains cooperative research, educational, and service agreements with Midwest Research Institute, Stowers Institute, UMKC, Children's Mercy Hospital, Sprint, the Life Sciences Institute and other Greater Kansas City organizations and businesses.