Multicultural Students

Kent State University welcomes students from all ethnic, cultural and racial backgrounds. Kent State has a rich history, which has always included the contributions of multicultural students. From the student formation of the Center for Pan-African Culture to the variety of multicultural student organizations, Kent State has a lot to offer. 



Student Multicultural Center

The Student Multicultural Center serves as a university and community resource, coordinating educational, social and cultural programming, as well as Academic STARS, Kupita/Transiciones, University Mentoring Program and the Karamu Ya Wahitimu.

Academic STARS Program

The Academic STARS program is a transition/retention program for newly admitted African-American, Latino and Native American freshmen students who want to enhance their opportunity for academic success. The program begins with a five-week summer program that offers a unique opportunity for students to earn 6 credit hours that will be applied toward graduation. Students are provided instruction in the areas of time management, note taking, test taking, college life and decision making. Students selected to participate are awarded tuition and room and board scholarships for the summer. In addition, an earned book scholarship is awarded for the academic year. Annually, 25 students are selected to participate in the program. 

Karamu Ya Wahitimu

Swahili for Celebration of Graduates, Karamu Ya Wahitimu is a pre-commencement celebration and the final “rite of passage” in the graduation ceremony for African-American and African students. The Karamu Ya Wahitimu, co-sponsored with the Department of Pan-African Studies, is held each fall and spring. Kent State offers many support services and numerous opportunities to celebrate your heritage and learn about others through more than 29 campus organizations and groups.

Kupita/Transiciones Program

The Kupita/Transiciones program is a pre-transition program that includes a variety of culturally relevant and academic success workshops and activities. The program offers a unique opportunity for students and their families to be introduced to Kent State University. They will meet African-American, Hispanic or Latino and Native American students and student leaders from Black United Students (BUS) and Spanish and Latino Student Association (SALSA) organizations. Students will also have the opportunity to meet faculty, staff and administrators. The Kupita/Transiciones program is held three days prior to Welcome Weekend, the second part of Destination Kent State.

Department of Pan-African Studies

The Department of Pan-African Studies offers courses in African World Studies, which explore diverse and complex experiences of African peoples around the world. The undergraduate course of study provides an African-centered foundation for further research analysis and development. The Department of Pan-African Studies includes courses in Latino and Native American studies and seeks to expand our knowledge, understanding and interaction within and between peoples of color nationally and globally.

The Center for Pan-African Culture

The Center for Pan-African Studies Culture sponsors guest lectures, films, artistic performances and the annual spring Pan-African Festival. Other programs include public forums on current domestic political, social and educational issues, as well as issues on Africa, Europe, Asia, Central and South America, Canada and the Caribbean. The center also co-sponsors events for various student organizations including Black United Students, Black and Latino Greek Council, Native American Students Association, Harambee, NAACP, Kent African Student Association and Voices of Testimony among others. Many other student organizations have held programs in the center located in Ritchie Hall.



Mbari Mbayo Players

This repertory company of the African Community Theatre helps further the cultural development of students and extends the reach and wealth of African-American creativity as presented through theatre to the citizens of Northeast Ohio. 

The Institute for African-American Affairs

The Institute for African-American Affairs directs the Underground Railroad Project, the PAS Teachers programs and other research projects related to the African World experience. The Progressive Education Community School, a Saturday academic program led by Black United Students, is also under the guidance of the Institute for African American Affairs.

Diversity Mission Statement

Kent State University is committed to inclusive excellence.

Kent State students are from:  

  • All 50 states
  • More than 100 foreign countries
  • 15 percent ethnic minority population

Multicultural Student Clubs and Organizations

Kent State offers over 200 organizations for you to join. These organizations offer a variety of opportunities to sharpen your skills, learn new skills or just meet people with similar interests and goals. Kent State is home to more than 29 multicultural organizations. These organizations focus on the needs and the interests of multicultural students. Some examples of these organizations are listed in the following column.

  • Alpha Kappa Mu
  • Black United Students
  • Chinese Student and Scholars Association
  • Harambee
  • Kent African Student Organization
  • Kent Indian Students Association
  • Kent State University Russian Club
  • Korean Students Organization
  • National Association for Black Journalists
  • National Association for Multicultural Education
  • Native American Student Association
  • Spanish and Latino Student Association (SALSA)
  • Uhuru Magazine
  • Voices of Testimony
Greek Community
  • Alpha Phi Alpha
  • Alpha Psi Lambda
  • Black and Latino Greek Council
  • Delta Sigma Theta
  • Kappa Alpha Psi
  • Omega Psi Phi
  • Phi Beta Sigma
  • Phi Iota Alpha
  • Sigma Gamma Rho
  • Zeta Phi Beta