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Fort Hays State University


Fort Hays State University was founded in 1902 as the western branch of the Kansas Normal School after the Kansas Congressional delegation passed legislation that established the Fort Hays Experiment Station and set aside of4,000 acres of the Fort Hays Reservation. Originally, classes met in buildings that had been used by the fort until the main building, which is now known as Picken Hall, was completed. In 1911, the school started offering free correspondence courses for teachers, providing the foundation for the Virtual College that operates today.

There are more than 13,800 students enrolled at FHSU with over 8,000 of those in the virtual school. The school is consistently ranked as one of the top online programs in the nation by organizations such as U.S. News and World Report,, and more.

Fort Hays State University Accreditation Details

Fort Hays State University is accredited by the Higher Learning Commission of the North Central Association of Colleges and Schools. In addition, the college has accreditation in specialized programs that include:

  • Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business
  • Association of Graduate Liberal Studies
  • Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education
  • Commission on Accreditation of Athletic Training Education
  • Council on Social Work Education
  • Joint Review Committee on Education in Radiologic Technology

Fort Hays State University Application Requirements

Students who are entering Fort Hays State University who have never attended another college must complete pre-college curriculum which includes:

  • English – 4 credits
  • Math – 4 credits or 3 credits and meet ACT college readiness benchmark of 22
  • Natural Science – 3 credits
  • Electives – 3 credits

In addition, students must have an ACT score of 21 or above, an SAT score above 980 or rank in the top 1/3 of their high school graduating class. Students who are homeschooled or attended a non-credited high school must complete the courses listed above as well as achieve the required scores on the ACT or SAT. Students who obtained a GED must score at least 510 on each sub-test as well as achieve an overall score of 2550.

Transfer students who have 24 credit hours or more must have a minimum 2.00 GPA. If the student is under 21 and has fewer than 24 credit hours, they must also meet the freshman admissions requirements noted above.

Adult learners with fewer than 24 credit hours must also have a 2.0 cumulative GPA and have graduated from an accredited high school or have an overall score of 680 on the GED. Adult learners who have no transfer credits must have graduated from an accredited high school or have an overall score of 680 on the GED.

Any students with prior college experience must submit official transcripts to the admissions office.

Fort Hays State University Tuition and Financial Aid

Tuition for students living on campus and taking 30 credit hours is $12,588.50 for Kansas residents and for non-residents is $21,278.30. The cost per credit hour for Kansas residents is $148.95 and for non-residents $438.61.

Online undergraduate course tuition is $186.50 per credit hour and graduate tuition for online courses is $251.38. Students who enter the Graduate MBA program pay $400.00 per credit hour.

Financial aid is available through loans, grants, scholarships and employment. Each year, Fort Hays State University offers more than $59 million in financial aid from university, federal, state and private sources.

Fort Hays State University Online Degree(s) Available

In addition to bachelor, master degrees, students may complete a variety of associate degree and certificate programs through the Fort Hays State University Virtual College. Fort Hays State University also partners with three distance education universities to offer doctorate level degrees online: Northcentral University, Lamar University and Baker University. Because Fort Hays State University offers such a wide variety of online degree programs, students are able to specialize their degree in the manner that best suits their professional needs. Some of the bachelor’s degrees offered completely online include:

Bachelor of Science in Business Education – Business Teacher Licensure

The Business Teacher Licensure concentration at FHSU prepares students to teach business courses in middle and high school. Courses include business content, professional education and general studies courses so that graduates meet the criteria for licensure as a business education teacher. Students are required to complete 55 credit hours in general education requirements, 33 credit hours in the major and 47 credit hours in the concentration core. Business education majors may obtain positions teaching accounting, business law, economics or other business related courses.

Bachelor of Science in Business Education – Corporate Communications

The Business Education Corporate Communication concentration prepares students for employment possibilities in business and industry. Students are given some flexibility in designing their course of study and graduates are in high demand due to their exposure to many different software programs, as well as educational experiences. Many graduates obtain positions in communications or public and media relations in both the corporate and private sector. Students must complete 55 credit hours of general education courses, 33 credit hours in the major and 36 credit hours in corporate communications concentration courses.

Bachelor of Science in Business Education – Training and Development

Students who complete the Training and Development concentration are prepared for positions in corporate training. The curriculum focuses on e-learning, computer-based learning, digital collaboration and web-based education. Students develop skills in management systems, training needs analysis, implementation of training programs as well as instructional design and development. The program requires 55 credit hours in general education, 33 credit hours in the major and 36 credit hours in training and development coursework.

Bachelor of Science in Education – Early Childhood Unified

This program is designed for those who wish to work with young children and their families. The program provides the education required for ECU licensure which allows individuals to work with children aged zero to eight years of age. Students are prepared for careers with Head Start, First Start, Even Start and other early childhood programs. The program requires 55 credit hours of general education, 9 credit hours of professional studies, 12 credit hours of non-restricted major courses and 37 credit hours of restricted major courses. In addition, students must complete 14 credit hours of student teaching.

Bachelor of Science In Education – Elementary

If you have always wanted to make a difference in the lives of young children, then a Bachelor of Science in Education with an Elementary concentration will give you that opportunity. The program focuses on themes linking general and professional education as well as practical application using field experience. Students link content, theoretical components and field work in order to develop the skills necessary to become an elementary school teacher. Students must complete 55 credit hours in general education requirements, 9 credit hours in professional studies, 21 credit hours in non-restricted major courses and 28 credit hours in restricted major courses. In addition, students must complete 14 credit hours of student teaching. There is also a Special Education Minor available with the Education – Elementary degree.

In addition to the wide range of Bachelor’s programs offered at FHSU, there are several Master’s degrees offered in a fully online format.

Master of Science in Education

The Master of Science in Education has a core of 18 credit hours that focus on educational philosophy and strategies that support the goal of preparing candidates for instructional leadership roles. Students may choose from the following areas of emphasis:

  • English for Speakers of Other Languages
  • Library Media Specialist
  • Reading Specialist
  • Transition to Teaching
  • JROTC Instructor Prep
  • Higher Education Student Affairs

Students are required to complete 18 credit hours in core courses and 15-18 credit hours in their concentration. There is also a comprehensive examination.

Master of Science in Educational Administration (Principal)

The Master of Science in Educational Administration provides students with the knowledge and skills to act as the principal of a private or public school. Students learn how to set the tone of a school, develop a climate for learning and help build the morale of staff. In addition, students develop skills in professionalism and learn to develop a degree of caring for what a student may or may not become. The program requires 36 hours of required courses.

Master of Science in Education with emphasis in Higher Education Student Affairs

The Master of Science in Education with an emphasis on Higher Education Student Affairs is beneficial for students working in Student Affairs positions. Students interact using innovative technologies and some classes are offered in a blended format with both online and campus requirements. The program is 36 credit hours and uses hands-on learning to provide the skills necessary for students to succeed. There is an end-of-program comprehensive examination and students complete their degree between 18 and 24 months.

Master of Science in Instructional Technology

This program was developed for teachers and trainers who are interested in working in the rapidly growing field of instructional technology. Students learn to incorporate instructional technology into the classroom setting as well as developing skills in multimedia, hypermedia techniques and distance education. It is offered entirely online and students must pass a comprehensive examination in order to successfully complete the program, which is 36 credit hours.

Master of Science in Special Education

An advanced degree in special education is designed for students who wish to make a difference in the lives of children with special needs. Teachers who are licensed in special education are in high demand throughout the United States and this program prepares students for careers working with both Gifted or High-Incidence Special Education students. The program is 36 credit hours.

Online degree programs at Fort Hays State University are accredited and taught by the same high-quality faculty that teach traditional classes at the university. Fort Hays University is consistently ranked highly as one of the best, most affordable online education options available.