Purdue University Global History

We trace our roots to 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.

AIC was purchased by Quest Education Corporation in November 1998 and in April of 2000 changed its name to Quest College. Quest Education Corporation was purchased in July 2000 by Kaplan, Inc. In November 2000, the name of the College was changed to Kaplan College, which soon began to offer degrees online with just 34 students and a handful of degree options. In 2004, Kaplan College expanded its academic offerings to include master’s-level programs and became Kaplan University.

In 2007, Hamilton College merged with KU, and its locations became branch campuses of the University. That same year, Concord Law School, founded in 1998 as the nation's first wholly online law school, formally merged with Kaplan University.

In 2009, the Hagerstown campus, formerly a Kaplan College campus, became a branch campus of Kaplan University.  

In 2010, Andover College merged with KU, and its locations became branch campuses of the University and, in 2013, we opened an additional Maine campus in Augusta.

In 2017, it was announced that Purdue University would acquire Kaplan University, and in early 2018 this transition was completed, forming a new institution called Purdue University Global.