Kent State Overview

Kent State University: An Overview

Founded in 1910, Kent State University is ranked among the top 100 national public universities in U.S News & World Report’s Top Public Schools list. We strive to keep state-of-the-art facilities, world class academics and great sense of community. The Kent State University Main Campus offers 24 residence halls, 12 residential learning communities and 22 on-campus restaurants and eateries, as well as 290 student clubs and organizations.

Academic Programs

Currently, Kent State has more than 41,000 graduate and undergraduate students, including 3,000 international students from over 100 different countries - nearly a third of all international students come from from India. KSU boasts 227,000 alumni worldwide. There are also over 300 academic programs to choose from at the associate, bachelor, masters and doctoral levels and ten colleges that include:

  • College of Applied Engineering, Sustainability and Environmental Design. The aeronautics program is the only one in Ohio that is accredited by the Aviation Accreditation Board International (AABI)
  • College of Architecture and Environmental Design    
  • College of the Arts. The School of Fashion Design and Merchandising was ranked 22nd in the world by Fashionista Magazine
  • College of Arts and Sciences. Houses the Glenn H. Brown Liquid Crystal Institute, which was the birthplace of liquid crystal displays (LCD)
  • College of Business Administration. Recognized as a top-tier program in the United States by both US News & World Report and the Princeton Review
  • College of Communication & Information (CCI). The Schools of Communication Studies, Digital Sciences, Information, Journalism and Mass Communication and Visual Communication Design comprise CCI.
  • College of Education, Health and Human Services
  • College of Nursing. Several nursing programs are offered in conjunction with the world-renowned Cleveland Clinic
  • College of Podiatric Medicine
  • College of Public Health

Although Kent State is a large state school, students gain personal attention from the faculty due to smaller class sizes. More than 56 percent of our classes have less than 20 students and more than 92 percent have less than 50 students. Kent State University faculty are internationally recognized leaders in their field and enjoy an award-winning reputation for cutting-edge research and ground-breaking discovery.


Kent State University is recognized as one of the safest universities in the United States by the Consortium for Higher Education Campus Crime Research and FBI Uniform Crime Statistics. All residence halls on campus are locked 24 hours a day and are only accessible by assigned key cards. Every hall is also monitored by Residence Services Security Aides who can be called to escort students on campus between 8 p.m. and 4 a.m. seven days a week. The university has an emergency text and email system to alert students of critical information they need to know about, such as school closings.


Kent State University is known for its outstanding academics, but we also encourage all students to get involved on campus. There are more than 370 clubs and organizations on campus, some specifically for international students. There are also 18 sports teams and 32 sororities and fraternities. On-campus events are held daily, including speakers, concerts, comedians and plays.


Kent State is located in the northeastern area of Ohio, about 40 miles from Cleveland. Kent, also known as the “Tree City,” is a small tree-lined town with about 30,000 local residents, but is within driving distance to many larger cities, such as Chicago, Pittsburgh and Toronto, Canada. There are numerous green spaces in the area including the Cuyahoga Valley National Park. The charming downtown area was recently renovated and includes restaurants, shops, bars and entertainment venues.  Kent is also situated in one of the most affordable areas of the country and experiences all four seasons. Summer is warm and sunny, fall is colorful and the favorite season of many locals, winter is cold and snow can get quite heavy and spring is rainy, but is accompanied by the growth of colorful flowers and budding trees.

Nearby Natural Attractions

  • Cuyahoga Valley National Park
  • Lake Erie and the Great Lakes System
  • Holden Arboretum
  • Appalachian Mountains
  • Niagara Falls
  • Ohio River
  • Numerous State and Local Parks

Metropolitan Areas (within driving distance)

  • Cleveland
  • Pittsburgh
  • Columbus
  • Detroit
  • Toronto (Canada)
  • Chicago
  • Indianapolis
  • New York City
  • Washington, DC

Local Cultural and Entertainment Attractions

  • Blossom Music Center
  • E.J. Thomas Performing Arts Hall
  • Akron Zoological Park
  • Civic Theater
  • Akron Art Museum
  • Cleveland Museum of Art
  • Quicken Loans Arena, Home of the Cleveland Cavaliers
  • Playhouse Square
  • Great Lakes Science Museum
  • Severance Hall, Home of the Cleveland Orchestra
  • Rock and Roll Hall of Fame
  • Cleveland Zoo
  • Cedar Point Amusement Park
  • Pro Football Hall of Fame
International Student and Scholar Services

One of Kent State University’s primary focuses is bringing in international students from all over the world.  International Student and Scholar Services (ISSS) at the Office of Global Education assists these students by:

  • Hosting an orientation event for incoming international students to introduce them to the Kent State community and campus.
  • Advising international students about cultural adjustment issues and other concerns they may have about living in the United States.
  • Assisting students in maintaining their visa status.
  • Planning numerous programs and events throughout the year.  This gives international students an opportunity to meet other students and attend special events they may not have heard about otherwise.  Some events include attending a Cleveland Cavaliers game, going to Kalahari Indoor Waterpark and transportation to a local outlet mall.
Residence Halls

Kent State University offers students numerous housing options to choose from. On-campus housing depends on rates, sizes, amenities and locations of the residence halls. KSU puts a big emphasis on the safety and security of its dorms. Dorms are equipped with computer labs, internet access and cable TV, and many have dining halls as well. In addition, there is a campus bus service available to all students. 

Study Abroad Opportunities

Not only does Kent State University house many international students, it also has numerous study abroad opportunities all over the world.

  • Kent State Florence Center. Our premier international program is located in the heart of Florence, Italy and offers an Italian experience like no other.  Students live with others from Kent State, while attending classes from KSU professors. There are many course options available.
  • Kent State Geneva Center. Our program in Geneva, Switzerland offers a wide range of courses, as well as the opportunity to intern with globally recognized organizations.
  • International Student Exchange Programs (ISEP). Students can choose to become an exchange student at a partner university.  Kent State is part of a network of over 300 colleges and universities in 50 countries around the world.
  • Faculty-Led Programs. Students can participate in short-term faculty-led study abroad courses during spring break or summer intercession.