About the University of Wisconsin-Superior

UWS building

The University of Wisconsin-Superior is nationally recognized as a public liberal arts institution that fosters intellectual growth and career preparation with an emphasis on individual attention, inclusion and community engagement for more than 2,600 students. UW-Superior offers more than 60 programs, including select graduate programs, and research and scholarship programs that support the community and region.


Throughout its history, the University of Wisconsin-Superior has committed to improving the lives and livelihoods of people in northwestern Wisconsin and beyond by seeking knowledge and spreading it to all who may benefit.

Such commitment is reflected in its mission statement:

“The University of Wisconsin-Superior fosters intellectual growth and career preparation within a liberal arts tradition that emphasizes individual attention, embodies respect for diverse cultures and multiple voices, and engages the community and region.” (Approved by the University of Wisconsin Board of Regents, Feb. 2015)

History Timeline
  • 1893: Wisconsin Legislature establishes the Superior Normal School, the university’s predecessor.
  • 1896: First students begin classes.
  • 1897: First students graduate.
  • 1909: Launches pioneering full-scale training program for teaching kindergarten.
  • 1914: Original campus building (Old Main) burns to the ground.
  • 1916: Old Main rebuilt; first academic institution in Wisconsin to be accredited.
  • 1923: First in state to offer four-year program for high school teachers.
  • 1926: School becomes Superior State Teachers College and grants first bachelor’s degree.
  • 1950s-1960s: Enrollment grows, campus boundaries expand, new buildings go up. College adds degrees in Business, Sciences, Art and Music.
  • 1964: College renamed Wisconsin State University-Superior.
  • 1965: Education Specialist degree first offered for principals, superintendents and school business managers.
  • 1967: The Lake Superior Research Institute created to research, teach and publicize the Great Lakes Region.
  • 1971: Campus joins UW System and becomes the University of Wisconsin-Superior.
  • 1985, 1988: School begins offering graduate degrees in Instruction and Special Education.
  • 1998, 1999: UW-Superior launches the Transportation and Logistics Management major and the Transportation and Logistics Research Center.
  • 2003: The Health and Wellness Center is completed, the first new campus building in 30 years, and named Marcovich Wellness Center in 2010 after alumnus and regent Toby Marcovich.
  • 2004: The Great Lakes Maritime Research Institute is established to pursue research efforts in marine transportation, logistics, economics, engineering, environmental planning and port management.
  • 2009: The Yellowjacket Union, replacement to Rothwell Student Center, is opened.
  • 2010: Lake Superior National Estuarine Research Reserve is designated.
  • 2011: Swenson Hall is opened.
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