KCU has a long, rich history of osteopathic medicine. Founded in 1916 by George J. Conley, DO, KCU is the oldest medical school in Kansas City, Missouri, and the largest medical school in Missouri.
In the early 2000s, KCU expanded its academic offerings to include the College of Biosciences. In 2017, KCU established a Doctor of Clinical Psychology degree. KCU also opened its second location in Joplin, Missouri, in 2017.
KCU-Kansas City’s Administration Building was a gift from the Alumni Association in 1979. Prior to KCU-Kansas City calling it home, the Administration Building was the original Children’s Mercy Hospital. While renovated in 2015, the building kept the original skylights for the hospital’s surgery room.
Prior Kansas City locations for KCU-Kansas City include:
- 7th and Wyandotte (1916)
- 15th and Troost (1917)
- 2105 Independence Avenue (1921)
Evolving with the times and what best reflected the programs offered, KCU’s name has changed throughout the years.
- 1916 - The Kansas City College of Osteopathy and Surgery (KCCOS)
- 1970 - The Kansas City College of Osteopathic Medicine (KCCOM)
- 1980 - University of Health Sciences (UHS)
- 2004 - Kansas City University of Medicine and Biosciences (KCU)
- 2020 - Kansas City University (KCU)
Mamie E. Johnston, DO, became the first graduate from the Kansas City College of Osteopathy and Surgery, now KCU, in 1917. Dr. Johnston continued her education when the University instituted a new four-year curriculum and graduated again with the class of 1918.
1999 - KCU joins with seven other leading research institutions to form the Kansas City Area Life Sciences Institute.
2001 - KCU and Rockhurst University inaugurate a DO/MBA in health care leadership dual-degree program.
2006 - College of Biosciences confers first MS in Biosciences.
2007 - KCU launches a DO/MA in Bioethics dual-degree program.
2009 - College of Biosciences confers first MA in Bioethics degree.
2013 - KCU integrates tablet technology into curriculum.
2014 - KCU opens military track and becomes the third medical school in the U.S. to offer specialized training for military students.
2016 - KCU turns 100.
2017 - KCU opens a second campus in Joplin, Missouri.
- Dr. George J. Conley (1916-1950)
- Dr. Joseph M. Peach (1950-1964)
- Dr. Richard Eby (1964-1965)
- Dr. K.J. Davis (1965, Interim President)
- Dr. Eugene B. Powers (1966-1968)
- Dr. K.J. Davis (1968, Interim President)
- Dr. Rudolph S. Bremen (1968-1988)
- Dr. Elmer H. Whitten (1988-1991)
- John P. Perrin, JD (1991-1994)
- Dr. Jack T. Weaver (1994-1995)
- Karen L. Pletz, JD (1995-2010)
- Dr. H. Danny Weaver (2011-2013)
- Dr. Marshall Walker (2013, Interim President)
- Dr. Marc B. Hahn (2013-Present)
“Improving the Well-Being of the Communities We Serve.”
Kansas City University is a community of professionals committed to excellence in education, research, patient care and community service while improving the well-being of the communities we serve.
Become the most student focused health sciences university in the nation by: delivering value; cultivating team spirit; and becoming a trusted partner.
Integrity: Demonstrating respect, honesty and professionalism
Compassion: Caring for students, patients, colleagues and all humanity
Excellence: Achieving quality in all that we do
Collaboration: Working with others to recognize diverse perspectives and achieve mutual goals
Intellectual Curiosity: Pursuing personal and professional growth
Innovation: Embracing new practices to improve outcomes
Heritage: Remaining true to our Midwestern values and the guiding principles of osteopathic medicine
Five strategic goals form the foundations of this commitment:
Goal 1: Strengthen outcomes-based education for students through curricular innovation that incorporates teaching excellence and leading-edge technology.
Goal 2: Expand the national impact and reputation of KCU through the development of additional health science programs, new campuses and strategic partnerships.
Goal 3: Expand research that leverages the region’s diverse demographics and resources to improve the health of our community.
Goal 4: Develop partnerships that align with KCU’s mission and create value for our constituents.
Goal 5: Build the best University team in the profession.
Diversity & Inclusion
KCU is deeply committed to cultivating diversity and inclusion on its campuses and to challenging our students to embrace cultural proficiency and adeptness. As future physicians, psychologists, scientists and healthcare professionals, students must understand and embrace cultural diversity in order to be competent and successful in team-based healthcare delivery. The University’s faculty and staff must do the same.
KCU students, faculty and staff serve diverse, underserved, at-risk, urban and rural populations within geographically diverse communities nationwide. In addition, KCU’s alumni work to serve diverse communities all over the U.S., as well as internationally.
Furthermore, KCU’s institutional strategic plan calls for the University to create a culture of inclusion, by securing more students, faculty and staff from diverse backgrounds and enhance a campus sense of community. Our University’s strategic plan outlines our priorities and best practices to achieve diversity through on-going and vigilant evaluation of our institutional community. Students wishing to know and understand more about the University’s effort to enhance diversity and inclusion on campus can contact the Office of the Provost.
KCU is a private university accredited by the Higher Learning Commission (HLC) and recognized by the Coordinating Board of Higher Education for the Missouri Department of Higher Education.
The HLC is an independent corporation and one of two commission members of the North Central Association of Colleges and Schools (NCA), which is one of the six regional institutional accreditors in the U.S. The HLC accredits degree-granting post-secondary education institutions in the North Central region.
KCU College of Osteopathic Medicine (KCU-COM) is also accredited by the Bureau of Professional Education of the American Osteopathic Association (AOA). The AOA is the official accrediting agency for osteopathic medicine approved by the U.S. Department of Education and by the Council of Post-Secondary Accreditation.
The AOA Commission on Osteopathic College Accreditation (COCA) serves the public by establishing, maintaining and applying accreditation standards and procedures to ensure that academic quality and continuous quality improvement delivered by the colleges of osteopathic medicine reflect the evolving practice of osteopathic medicine. The scope of COCA encompasses the accreditation of the colleges of osteopathic medicine.
Questions or concerns regarding the University’s accreditation should be directed to either the American Osteopathic Association or the Higher Learning Commission.
Department of Accreditation
American Osteopathic Association
142 East Ontario Street
Chicago, IL 60611-2864
1.800.621.1773 - Toll free
312.202.8200 - Fax
The Higher Learning Commission
230 South LaSalle St., Suite 7-500
Chicago, IL 60604-1411
1.800.621.7440 - Toll free
312.263.7462 - Fax