Establishment Dates

University of Kansas Lawrence Campus

First Charter - March 1, 1864

Established in 1865

First year postsecondary work offered - September 1866

First year students enrolled in postsecondary work - September 1867

First degree awarded in 1873, Baccalaureate

First summer session - 1903


Liberal Arts and Sciences 1893

School of the Arts


School of Languages, Literatures and Cultures


School of Public Affairs and Administration

Architecture and Design 1968
Business 1924
Education and Human Sciences 1909
Engineering 1891
Graduate School 1897
Journalism 1948
Law 1890
Music 1891
Pharmacy 1890
Social Welfare 1969

1Many schools began as departments. Dates given above are for when school designations were made by the Regents of the University of Kansas, later the State of Kansas Board of Regents.

1864 - state law designated KU would have 6 departments - science, literature and the arts; law; medicine; theory and practice of elementary instruction; agriculture; and normal.

1865 - Regents established a Preparatory Department as students were not ready for college-level work. The Preparatory Department was closed in 1891.

1866 - opening day KU had three faculty teaching department of science, literature, and the arts subjects.

1869 - first engineering professor hired.

1876 - Normal Department established, abolished in 1885.

1878 - Department of Law established.

1884 - Department of Music established.

1885 - State law established a Chair in Pharmacy.

2The School of Music and Fine Arts was established in 1891, reorganized in 2009 into the School of Arts and the School of Music. The School of Arts, within Liberal Arts and Sciences, includes Theatre, Film and Media Studies from Liberal Arts and Sciences, Dance from the former Department of Music and Dance in Fine Arts, and Visual Arts from Fine Arts. The School of Fine Arts Design program became part of the School of Architecture, Design, and Planning. In July 2017 Urban Planning moved to the School of Public Affairs and Administration in Liberal Arts and Sciences. Architecture and Design dropped Planning from its name.

3The School of Languages, Literatures and Cultures was established in September 2014 with approval of the Kansas Board of Regents.

4The School of Public Affairs and Administration was established in 2011 from the Department of Public Administration.

5The Graduate School became Graduate Studies July 1, 2007. Authority to confer degrees shifted to the schools where the degrees were earned.

6The School of Education was established in 1909. In April 2019 the Kansas Board of Regents approved a request to change the name to Education and Human Sciences to better represent the variety of program areas it offers. The new name began a phased implementation process in summer 2019 and was completed in fall 2020.


University of Kansas Edwards Campus

Regents Center - first postsecondary instruction offered - 1975

First building on new Edwards Campus built - 1992


Professional Studies 2019


University of Kansas Medical Center

Established in 1905

First instruction at postsecondary level - 1905

First degree awarded in 1906, M.D.

The University of Kansas Hospital became an independent hospital authority, separate from the Medical Center, on October 1, 1998.

School Established
Health Professions 1974
Medicine 1905
Nursing 1974

7The School of Allied Health, established in 1974, was renamed School of Health Professions in 2011.

8The Wichita campus of the School of Medicine was established in 1971, with an expansion to a four-year campus in 2011. The four-year Salina campus of the School of Medicine was established in 2011.

9The School of Nursing Salina campus was established in 2017.