Purdue University Global History

Shortly after the state of Indiana established Purdue University in 1869, the student body included just 39 students and six faculty. Today, that same flagship campus in West Lafayette, Indiana, is one of the world’s top public research institutions, and the Purdue University system now includes multiple universities with alumni from around the world.

Inspired by Purdue’s land-grant mission—to offer educational opportunities to those who had traditionally been excluded from higher education—the Purdue University Board of Trustees resolved in 2017 to expand the system’s capabilities in online education and to offer the benefits of a college degree to more adult learners.

To that end, Purdue University Global was formed when Purdue acquired the institutional operations and assets of Kaplan University and, under the leadership of Purdue trustees, officially began operations as Purdue Global in 2018.

The academic heritage of this new university has roots in the American Institute of Commerce (AIC), a postsecondary school that opened its doors in 1937 in Davenport, Iowa, to provide training for underserved job seekers in a nation still reeling from the Great Depression. That long and proud legacy continues to this day at Purdue University Global.