NCATE Accreditation


Plymouth State University is a coeducational, residential university with an enrollment of approximately 4,200 undergraduate students and 2,800 graduate students. Plymouth State was founded in 1871 and over the years has expanded to 170 acres and forty-six buildings. During its history, the institution has evolved from a normal school to a teachers’ college to a state college and in 2003 to a state university. Plymouth State preserves the brick-and-ivy look of its New England small-college heritage while integrating state-of-the-art technology and facilities into an attractive, contemporary campus design.

With the White Mountains to the north, the Lakes Region to the south, and the Pemigewasset River bordering the town to the east, Plymouth, New Hampshire is surrounded by some of the country’s most beautiful and accessible natural landscape. A total of 3,528 full time residents reside in the town of Plymouth. Plymouth is less than 2 hours’ drive from Boston on Interstate 93. Two hours to the east is Portland, Maine; 2 hours northwest is Burlington, Vermont and 3-1/2 hours northwest is Montreal, Canada.

The university offers B.A., B.F.A., B.S., M.A.T., M.B.A., M.Ed., M.S., and EdD degrees, and the Certificate of Advanced Graduate Studies (CAGS) in Educational Leadership. Plymouth State is accredited by the New England Commission on Higher Education (NECHE), the New Hampshire Postsecondary Education Commission, and the National Council for Accreditation of Teacher Education (NCATE). Program-specific accreditations include the Association of Collegiate Business Schools and Programs (ACBSP) for undergraduate and graduate degrees in accounting, finance, business administration, management, and marketing; the Commission on Accreditation of Athletic Training Education (CAATE).; Council for the Accreditation of Counseling and Related Educational Programs (CACREP)  for Counselor Education; the Council on Social Work Education (CSWE) for social work, and the Accreditation Board for Engineering and Technology (ABET) Computing Accreditation Commission for computer science.

Students come to Plymouth State for its caring academic community and friendly campus, the Main Street New England setting, and easy access to New Hampshire’s great outdoors.

History of Plymouth State

New Hampshire State Normal School

The first New Hampshire State Normal School opened in Plymouth on March 15, 1871 with 80 students.  As the first N.H. school for training teachers for public schools (and one of the first in the U.S.), the school was established for the better training of teachers by securing the best teachers to manage and instruct them.

Plymouth Teachers College

Plymouth Teachers College evolved from the Normal School in 1939.  As in the Normal School years, Plymouth Teachers College students had a common goal—to train as the state’s best teachers.  Students took their classes together, were “in training” together, and shared the experience of the aftermath of shocking world events such as a “great depression,” world-wide wars, and the first U.S. “police actions.”

The goal of PTC expanded from not only educating the best teachers but also developing happy and responsible individuals who would contribute to the betterment of society.  In order to realize this goal, faculty members and students were charged with working together to achieve the following objectives:

  1. To receive and impart ideas with clarity, effectiveness, and exactitude.
  2. To demonstrate the ability to think critically.
  3. To apply in daily living the sound principles of physical and mental health.
  4. To respond sensitively to the various forms of creative expression and to participate in creative endeavor.
  5. To demonstrate in daily living the positive approach to life’s experiences through the development of spiritual resources and a consistent, comprehensive and integrated philosophy of life.
  6. To participate actively as an informed and responsible citizen in perpetuating and improving our democratic social order and in fostering international understanding and peace.

**from the 1961 PTC Catalog


University of New Hampshire System

After many changes to its missions and goals, a unified system of public New Hampshire colleges and universities was formed, and PTC became Plymouth State College.  The transition allowed the College to broaden its educational functions and grant degrees in the liberal arts, business administration, and secretarial science in addition to teacher education.


Where We Are Today (Plymouth State University)

In 2003, Plymouth State College became Plymouth State University.  The change was a natural evolution which recognized the regional university PSC had become.

Today, Plymouth State University is a comprehensive regional university offering a rich, student-focused learning environment for undergraduate, graduate, and non-traditional students.  PSU offers 42 undergraduate majors and 62 minors.

In addition to outstanding programs in education, business, humanities, arts, and the natural and social sciences, hallmark outreach programs include centers and institutes for meteorology, the environment, New Hampshire studies, and rural partnerships.