What is it Like to Attend University of Missouri-Kansas City?

The tutors behind Varsity Tutors are not just here to teach – they’re sharing their college experiences as well. Marianne is a Kansas City tutor specializing in English tutoring, French tutoring, Public Speaking tutoring, and a number of other areas. She is currently a senior at University of Missouri-Kansas City majoring in Theatre and French. See what she had to share about University of Missouri-Kansas City:

VT: Describe the campus setting and transportation options. How urban or safe is the campus? Are there buses or do you need a car/bike?

Marianne: Kansas City is not your typical Midwestern town, and University of Missouri-Kansas City is not your typical state school. The university’s location is urban, hip, and directly in the middle of the best shopping and touring area in town. The public bus system runs right by the campus, and it runs all the way downtown to the soon-to-be-built arts campus area. In addition, University of Missouri-Kansas City students receive free bus passes with their student IDs. I do not think it is a very good city for bikers, as cars are the preferred method of transport.

VT: How available are the professors, academic advisers, and teaching assistants?

Marianne: I have never felt ignored at University of Missouri-Kansas City. All of my professors, advisers, and teaching assistants are very open with me, and they are willing to work with me on a one-on-one basis. I feel very encouraged by the entire faculty. Most of the general education courses have teaching assistants, but your major classes will usually have just one teacher.

VT: How would you describe the dorm life – rooms, dining options, location, socialization opportunities with other students?

Marianne: There are both apartment- and suite-style dorms at University of Missouri-Kansas City, as well as a wide variety of dining options. We have lots of different types of restaurants on campus or very close by. I have never eaten at the cafeteria. Though a mostly commuter campus, University of Missouri-Kansas City students are social, and most of the clubs are active. I have had absolutely no trouble finding great friends here, and I live off-campus. There are university houses located very close to campus with cheap rent, as well.

VT: Which majors/programs are best represented and supported? What did you study and why? Did the university do a good job supporting your particular area of study?

Marianne: The MFA Acting and Technical Directing programs are two of the best in the United States, and I hear that the Henry W. Bloch School of Management is also ranked very highly. I study Theatre and French because they are my passions, and I knew that University of Missouri-Kansas City would be a great place for me to hone my talents. The faculty and my fellow students inspire me every day, and I feel fully supported in both of my majors.

VT: How easy or difficult was it for you to meet people and make friends as a freshman? Does Greek life play a significant role in the campus social life?

Marianne: Because I am in Theatre, it was absolutely no problem for me to make friends quickly. I would say that you must involve yourself to make friends at University of Missouri-Kansas City. There are plenty of clubs and student activities where you can meet people. Greek life is not huge on campus, but we do have many sororities and fraternities.

VT: How helpful is the Career Center and other student support services? Do many reputable companies recruit on campus? 

Marianne: The Career Center on campus is a good starting point for freshmen who need to write a resume and find a part-time job. I still use the online career network periodically to find part-time opportunities. I know that University of Missouri-Kansas City has a close relationship with many reputable companies because of the Henry W. Bloch School of Management, and there are frequently recruiters on campus.

VT: How are the various study areas such as libraries, the student union, and dorm lounges? Are they over-crowded, easily available, spacious?

Marianne: The student union and the library attracted me to University of Missouri-Kansas City because they are new buildings with great options for study and relaxation. We also have an internationally renowned research library here. The library and union are quite spacious. Sometimes I think the university is trying to be too “cutting edge” because they have a “RooBot” that fetches your books at the library instead of having books on shelves.

VT: Describe the surrounding town. What kinds of outside establishments / things to do are there that make it fun, boring, or somewhere in between? To what extent do students go to the downtown area of the city versus staying near campus? 

Marianne: Kansas City is a blast! It is a diverse, up-and-coming city full of young people doing great things. It has an amazing theatre, music, and arts scene, and the downtown area is vibrant. There is a public event called First Fridays that occurs every month, and it draws thousands of people to the downtown art galleries and restaurants.

VT: How big or small is the student body? Were you generally pleased or displeased with the typical class sizes?

Marianne: There are roughly 15,000 students at University of Missouri-Kansas City. I feel like University of Missouri-Kansas City is a small school because the campus is fairly spread out, and most classes are around 20 students. The biggest class I have ever had was about 75. If you need help and you ask for it, you will get it. You just need to be proactive.

VT: Describe one memorable experience with a professor and/or class. Perhaps one you loved the most or one you regret the most.

Marianne: I am currently taking a beginning Directing class, and we recently collaborated with the beginning Playwriting course to perform short plays. This was a great experience because it not only allowed me to direct, but my classmates and I were able to combine two theatrical disciplines to produce new work. There is nothing more exciting than producing brand new theatre!

Check out Marianne's tutoring profile.

The views expressed in this article do not necessarily represent the views of Varsity Tutors.