Washburn University

Logo of Washburn University for our school profile


Accredited, Affordable Professional Education at WU

Washburn University appears in our ranking of the 50 Most Affordable Online Degree Programs For In-State Students. Washburn University is a public, coed AASCU member in Northeast Kansas. It offers:
  • 21 associate degrees
  • 79 bachelor’s degrees
  • 18 master’s degrees
  • two doctoral degrees
It has  five online-only options, plus a Concurrent Enrollment Partnership It has  a 12:1 student/faculty ratio. For example, the Music BA is a 124-credit, NASM-accredited curriculum at Garvey Fine Arts Center. Undergrads can:
  • perform in Elliott Hill White Concert Hall
  • join the Jazz Coalition
  • enjoy Total Percussion Camp
  • travel to Austria
The 124-credit Physics BS engages students in:
  • conducting Biophotonics Lab research
  • exploring at Crane Observatory
  • pledging Sigma Pi Sigma
  • attending the Thomas L. King Lecture Series
Online, the School of Applied Studies has a 36-credit, part-time Master of Health Science program. It’s for working adults with 2+ years of experience.  Web courses are eight weeks.  They run the gamut from Population Health to Instructional Technology. There is a 200-hour capstone practicum. The Master of Accountancy follows a 30-credit, AACSB-accredited path. Classes are evenings. There are 15-week internships like Grant Thornton or Ernst & Young. Other Washburn degrees include:
  • Radiologic Technology AS
  • Welding AS
  • Culinary Arts AA
  • Economics BBA
  • Kinesiology BS
  • Art History BFA
  • Forensic Chemical Science BS
  • Social Work MSW
  • Global Legal Studies LLM
  • Liberal Studies MLS,
  • Nursing Practice DNP

About Washburn University

Washburn University originated on February 6, 1865. The Kansas State Legislature approved a charter for a Congregational school called Lincoln College. In 1866, Rev. Horatio Butterfield welcomed the inaugural class of 38. In 1868, it was renamed after industrialist Ichabod Washburn donated $25,000 to the college’s efforts. In 1874, Rice Hall became the first building on its permanent Topeka campus. In 1886, Holbrook Hall was erected as the earliest dormitory for women. In 1903, Washburn College opened its School of Law. In 1918, college-preparatory courses were moved to Washburn Rural High School. In 1924, its Mulvane Art Museum became one of the first west of the Mississippi River. By 1952, the Washburn University name was adopted as graduate degrees debuted. In June 1966, Washburn persevered after being struck by an F-5 tornado. In 1988, WU founded the cutting-edge Bennett Computer Center. Endowed for $181.8 million, Washburn University now has 495 faculty. Enrollment is 5,719 undergrad and 852 post-grad students from 30+ countries. It has 138 clubs like League of Legends. It has a 71 percent retention rate. In 2018, WU received the Heartland Chapter Emmy Award for Special Event. In 2019, Washburn won the MIAA Academic Excellence Award. Washburn University accepted a 2018 CASE District VI Fundraising Campaign Award. The U.S. News & World Report named WU the 107th best law school and 196th top social work college. Niche ranked it America’s:
  • 188th best dorms
  • 225th best athletics
  • 306th top public education
College Factual picked Washburn 243rd for teacher education and 91st for allied health. National Jurist chose the WU School of Law third for government practice. Forbes ranked Topeka 48th for education too.

Washburn University Accreditation Details

Washburn University is accredited by the Higher Learning Commission of the North Central Association (HLC-NCA) This huge 19-state Heartland Region accreditor is recognized by the U.S. Education Department and Kansas Board of Regents. The Council on Higher Education Accreditation (CHEA) also lists the following Washburn approvals:
  • National Association of Schools of Music
  • Council for the Accreditation of Educator Preparation
  • National Association of Schools of Art and Design
  • Commission on Accreditation of Allied Health Education Programs
  • Joint Review Committee on Education in Radiologic Technology
  • Commission on Accreditation for Respiratory Care
  • Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business
  • Commission on Accreditation for Health Informatics and Information Management
  • American Bar Association Section on Legal Education
  • Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education
  • Accreditation Council for Occupational Therapy Education
  • Council on Social Work Education Commission on Accreditation

Washburn University Application Requirements

Enrolling at Washburn University is classified as “minimally difficult” by Peterson’s. There is a 100 percent acceptance rate. First-year students should graduate from an accredited high school. GED test scores above 145 after January 2014 would be equivalent. Freshmen must achieve at least a 16 ACT score and 3.0 GPA or 19 ACT score and 2.50 GPA. Automatic admission is available for GPAs above 3.50. The Class of 2022 reported an average 3.44 GPA and 22 ACT score. The Concurrent Enrollment Partnership only accepts high schoolers with 3.0 or better GPAs. Transfers are test-optional after 15+ credits or 21 years of age. Previous college credits must be graded C- or greater. International undergrads must present at least 72 TOEFL iBT, 49 PTE, or 6.0 IELTS scores. The Graduate College requires a bachelor’s degree completion with a GPA above 3.0 in the last 60 credits. Some programs, such as the Psychology MA, prefer combined GRE scores over 300. The School of Business accepts an average GMAT score of 530. Washburn University has rolling undergrad admission. The priority FAFSA deadline is November 15th. Apply at least three weeks before the current start dates of :
  • August 17th
  • January 18th
  • May 26th
The Graduate School has varying degree-based deadlines. For instance, MBA cohorts are considered until:
  • December 1st
  • May 1st
  • July 31st
The Doctor of Nursing Practice is open through February 1st. The Criminal Justice MS closes on April 1st and November 1st. Master of Social Work entrants must file by October 15th or January 15th. Prospective students submit the WU Application online for $20 ($40 if graduate). Official transcripts are mailed to 1700 SW College Avenue in Topeka, KS 66621. ACT scores are sent using code 1474. Contact (785) 670-1030 or admissions@washburn.edu about more requirements.

Tuition and Financial Aid

For 2019-20, Washburn University charged in-state undergrads $8,594 annually. Non-resident bachelor’s tuition was $19,346 each year. Full-time online education costs $11,114 yearly. Studying part-time cost $300 to $766 per credit. Living at the Topeka campus’ dorms added $3,971 to $7,907 for semester housing. Unlimited meal plans for Lincoln Dining Hall were $3,550 extra. WU budgeted:
  • $1,000 for books
  • $1,600 for travel
  • $2,000 for personal needs
Annual undergrad attendance equaled $23,585 in-state and $33,417 out-of-state. The Graduate School generally billed Kansans $415 and non-residents $842 per credit. Online-only master’s courses were $529 per credit. The MBA was priced at $899 per credit. Doctor of Nursing Practice cohorts paid $657 per credit. The School of Law required $16,500 each semester. The Office of Financial Aid connects 92 percent of new full-time Washburn Ichabods to tuition assistance averaging $6,986 each. University funds include:
  • the Nelly Fox Spangler Scholarship
  • Bertha Rightmire Scholarship
  • Cyrus Holliday Scholarship
  • Pollak Leadership Scholarship
  • Brunt Honors Scholarship
  • Clyde Hill Scholarship
  • Carswell Memorial Scholarship
  • Sara Lu Carter Science Scholarship
  • Gunnar Alksnis Scholarship
  • Gilbert Galle History Scholarship
The Freshman Academic Scholarship gives $5,000 yearly to outstanding applicants with a minimum 3.81 GPA and 35 ACT score. The $1,500 Transfer Academic Scholarship has a February 15th priority deadline for community college grads with GPAs over 3.76. Federal resources, such as the Teach Grant or Graduate Plus Loan, require FAFSA applications coded 001949. Kansans also utilize:
  • the State Scholarship
  • ROTC Service Scholarship
  • Nursing Service Scholarship
  • Ethnic Minority Scholarship
  • Comprehensive Grant
  • National Guard Assistance Grant, and more.
Explore seven accredited academic divisions that provide 120+ value-added degrees  at the Washburn University website.

Related Resources:

Should I Get a Certificate or Associate’s Degree?

Top 15 Bachelor’s in Economics Online

Ultimate Guide to Business Degrees and Careers

Ultimate Guide to Trades Degrees and Careers

Brenda Rufener

Julie McCaulley

Carrie Sealey-Morris