• Our History

    Founded in 1874 as a teacher-training school, Worcester State University has grown to become a traditional liberal arts and sciences university with programs spanning the biomedical sciences, business, humanities, behavioral sciences, the health professions, and, of course, education. We are woven in the fabric of the Worcester community through myriad partnerships, and have evolved to become a resource for lifelong learning throughout Worcester County—and beyond. The links below let you follow the important milestones that brought Worcester State to where we are today.

    Worcester State University’s Early Years

    WSU History Early Years  

    Worcester State University was founded as the Worcester Normal School in 1874 as the fifth state-funded normal school in Massachusetts. We were among the dozens of teacher-training schools established during the 19th century. Our first campus was on St. Ann’s Hill in Worcester.

    Becoming Worcester State Teachers College

    WSU History state teachers college  

    In 1932, we became Worcester State Teachers College and moved to our present location, which was owned by Worcester inventor and philanthropist George I. Rockwood. Our sole building, the Administration Building, housed classrooms, labs, faculty and offices, gymnasium, library, and assembly hall.

    Transition to a Liberal Arts and Sciences College

    WSU History Liberal Arts Sciences  
    By 1963, we had evolved into a liberal arts and sciences college, The Massachusetts Board of Education acknowledged this in 1963 when it voted to drop the word “teachers” and change our name to Worcester State College.

    Recognition as a State University

    Recognition as a state universtiy Thumbnail  

    We became Worcester State University in 2010 when the Massachusetts Legislature voted to grant university status to all Massachusetts state colleges. This recognized the fact that we qualified as university according to the classification of institutions of higher education established by the Carnegie Foundation.