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UCM'S History

Rich Heritage

Founded in 1871, the University of Central Missouri is one of the oldest universities in the state. It opened its doors with only 30 students and is now home to more than 10,500 students who represent 47 states and 36 countries. With “Education for Service,” as its motto, UCM has a rich heritage of providing unparalleled student support, exceptional academic programs and valuable learning opportunities, helping students achieve success through affordable access to a high-quality education for the past 150 years.

What's In a Name?

The Second Normal School District was established by act of the General Assembly and approved on March 20, 1870, and Warrensburg was selected as the location for the school on April 27, 1871. The purpose of the school was to influence the educational progress of the state and its work in producing qualified teachers and developing the type of educated citizenship that made Missouri a rich and prosperous commonwealth. Originally founded as a training school for teachers, UCM has gone through a variety of name changes, each one reflecting the changed nature of the institution.

  • Normal School No. 2 (1871-1919)
  • Central Missouri State Teachers College (1919-1946)
  • Central Missouri State College (1946-1972)
  • Central Missouri State University (1972-2006)
  • University of Central Missouri (2006-present)

Diverse Programs

Not unlike the early 20th century, when the university offered unique courses such as Household Management, Typewriting, and Carpentry and House Building, UCM continues to offer unique academic programs, including more than 150 programs. From aviation and cybersecurity to education and nursing, students can easily find their fit and succeed.

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Vibrant Campuses

With its historic first year beginning in a single rented building, UCM now has three locations, offering students convenient delivery options and the opportunity to learn on their schedule.

UCM’s award-winning, 1,561-acre main campus is located in Warrensburg, 50 miles southeast of Kansas City. Here, students can learn how to secure cyberspace from attackers in a cutting-edge cybersecurity lab, keep their health on track at the Student Recreation and Wellness Center, enjoy a movie at the UCM Cinema or score a strike at the Union Bowling Center.

Lee’s Summit
UCM - Lee’s Summit, located in the Kansas City metro area at the state-of-the-art Missouri Innovation Campus, allows students to gain hands-on training in an advanced nursing suite and simulation lab, learn about high-tech engineering, biomedical and computer science, and perfect their skills in a workforce intensive environment.

With UCM Online, students can take classes anytime and anywhere. With hundreds of courses and many programs to choose from, students learn from the same expert faculty members who teach on campus.


University of Central Missouri
P. O. Box 800
Warrensburg, MO 64093
Tel: (660) 543-4111


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