Platteville Campus


UW-Platteville has a long, rich history. It was founded in 1866 as the first state teacher preparation institution in Wisconsin, then called the Platteville Normal School. Classes were held in Rountree Hall, located at the corner of Main and Elm streets. Rountree Hall was actually built 13 years earlier in 1853 to accommodate the rapidly increasing enrollment of the Platteville Academy, founded in 1839 (even before Wisconsin’s statehood) by the city’s Presbyterian Church.

The university also has roots in the Wisconsin Mining Trade School, established in 1907 to train specialized technicians to work in the mining operations surrounding Platteville. When the Normal School vacated Rountree Hall for its new quarters in Main Hall, the Mining School moved in. In 1917, a third year was added to the curriculum, making the Wisconsin Mining School the first school in the United States to offer a three-year course in mining engineering, upon completion of which a student received a diploma.

One of the university’s oldest traditions originated in the year 1936 when the Mining School students began work on the “Big M” by placing rocks in a pattern on the southwest slope of the mound, located a few miles east of the city. Completed the following year, the “M” measures 214 x 241 feet and consists of some 400 tons of whitewashed stone. The lighting of the “M” is now a tradition at UW-Platteville and is the featured ceremony each fall during Homecoming weekend.

The Mining School became the Wisconsin Institute of Technology in 1939 and later merged with the Platteville State Teachers College in 1959 to become the Wisconsin State College and Institute of Technology at Platteville.

During the 1960s, the college experienced a period of rapid growth resulting in the construction of several new halls. In 1966, the name was changed again to the Wisconsin State University-Platteville. The university and all other public institutions of higher education in Wisconsin merged in 1971 to form the UW System, governed by a single Board of Regents. As a result of the merger, the university experienced its most recent name change to the University of Wisconsin-Platteville.

In 2018, the 13 two-year campuses, formerly known as University of Wisconsin Colleges, were integrated as branch campuses with seven of the Universities of Wisconsin's four-year comprehensive or research institutions. As part of this restructure, UW-Baraboo Sauk County and UW-Richland became branch campuses of UW-Platteville.

From its beginning in 1866, the university has grown tremendously. Current enrollment at the two campuses – in Platteville and Baraboo – and via distance education is approximately 6,700 graduate and undergraduate students, making UW-Platteville large enough to provide diversity, yet small enough to assure students that they are more than just numbers.


The main campus of UW-Platteville is located in the southwest quadrant of the city of Platteville.

Spanning over 821 acres, the campus includes 20 academic and student services buildings, and 10 residential facilities. Over the last decade, there has been extensive facility development on the campus. New buildings since 1997 include the Children’s Center, the Markee Pioneer Student Center, the greenhouse and adjacent gardens, Southwest Hall, Rountree Commons, Busby Hall of Engineering, and Sesquicentennial Hall. 

Sesquicentennial Hall held its first classes in Fall 2022.  This new building joined Busby Hall of Engineering to create a 200,000 square foot complex to support interdisciplinary engineering and computer science. A massive Innovation Center, an accessible green roof, exposed building infrastructure, and several state-of-the-art teaching laboratories make the building itself a learning tool and a national exemplar for transforming engineering education. 

Additionally, there have been major renovations to Boebel Hall, Doudna Hall, Russell Hall, Pioneer Tower, Ullrich Hall, the Art Building, Ullsvik Hall, and Glenview Commons. There have also been extensive improvements in athletic and recreational facilities, including Ralph E. Davis Pioneer Stadium, the outdoor track and field facility, and the softball and baseball fields. A significant feature of the university campus is the Center for the Arts. The 565-seat concert hall is known for its excellent acoustics. There is also a 200-flexible seat theater and rehearsal halls in the facility. The center is home to the award-winning Performing Arts Series and productions from the Department of Performing and Visual Arts. 

Pioneer Farm, located about five miles southeast of the city of Platteville, is the university’s 400-acre systems research and education facility. Pioneer Farm features newly constructed buildings, including the Agriculture Technology Center, the Cooper Living and Learning Center, the Swine Center, and the Dairy Center. The farm enterprise includes dairy, swine, and beef herds plus corn, soybean, and alfalfa cropping. Pioneer Farm is a key component of the Wisconsin Agricultural Stewardship Initiative, a statewide collaboration between producers, state government, and the UW System to evaluate best management practices in Wisconsin and form policies based on practices that will enhance the environment and produce a profit for the producer. Pioneer Farm has developed to provide agricultural and environmental research in a production setting representative of Southwest Wisconsin and the Upper Mississippi Basin loess hills.

The Platteville Community

The Greater Platteville area, with a population approximating 25,000 people, is located in scenic Southwest Wisconsin. Platteville is served by U.S. Highway 151, a four-lane expressway that connects Cedar Rapids, Iowa, to Fond du Lac, and State Highways 80 and 81. Platteville is located in Wisconsin’s Driftless Area and is surrounded by gently rolling hills and beautiful farm country. The city has a historic Main Street and extensive retail opportunities both downtown and near the east-side expressway exit. Additionally, the city has excellent medical facilities, a bustling industry park, and several quickly developing housing areas. Residents and visitors enjoy 16 city parks, which include over 200 acres of open space, the city’s art gallery and museums, playgrounds, baseball and softball diamonds, biking and hiking trails, a skate park, picnic shelters, an arboretum and an outdoor aquatics center.

The city and university join together to offer local residents events and activities such as the Performing Arts Series, Homecoming, and the lighting of the “M.” More information about university events can be found on UW-Platteville’s home page Information about places to stay in Platteville can be found at or by calling the Platteville Area Chamber of Commerce at 608.348.8888.