The University of Wisconsin-Platteville has a long rich history. It was founded in 1866 with the primary goal of training teachers. It has grown and expanded steadily into a university consisting of the Colleges of Business, Industry, Life Science, and Agriculture; Engineering, Mathematics, and Science; Liberal Arts and Education; and Graduate Programs.

Graduate work at the University of Wisconsin-Platteville had its inception in 1956 when the Coordinating Committee on Higher Education in Wisconsin formed the Joint Standing Committee on Graduate Education, which was composed of representatives of the University of Wisconsin and the Wisconsin State Universities. As a result of the committee’s efforts, the cooperative graduate program was launched in 1960. The program that was developed allowed students to take one half of their required graduate work on the state university campus and the other half at the University of Wisconsin.

In 1961 the committee recommended that the state universities begin plans for independent graduate programs. In the summer session of 1962, the first graduate work under the independent program was offered, modeled on the cooperative graduate program.

Concurrent with the North Central Association preliminary accreditation approval in 1964, the University of Wisconsin-Platteville inaugurated a master’s degree program whereby all the work leading to the master’s degree could be taken on the Platteville campus, with the University of Wisconsin-Platteville granting the degree. During the fall semester of 1964, the University of Wisconsin-Platteville began offering on-campus graduate courses in the evening and on Saturday mornings. Graduate offerings that enabled students to pursue full-time graduate study were inaugurated in September 1966.

In 1999, University of Wisconsin-Platteville first began offering master’s degrees online. In May 2001 the first online master’s degree was awarded.