Our Past Strengthens Our Future

For the past century, Rasmussen University has prepared students to succeed. Although the world has changed dramatically, our goal has remained the same: to give our students a better education. With experience, innovation and dedication, we as an institution have not just evolved to meet demands but have led the way in supporting our students’ success.

120 Years of Preparing Students for Success

Learn how Rasmussen University has evolved over the decades, what’s fueled student development and how we continue to meet the needs of a changing workforce.

120 Years of Preparing Students for Success

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Speaker 1:

Education transforms lives. Not just with lofty goals far into the future, but through everyday achievements.

This idea is the foundation on which Rasmussen College—now Rasmussen University—was built. In 1900, Walter Rasmussen started a business school to meet the needs of a booming economy. And 53 students took their first steps, enrolling to become bookkeepers, secretaries, typists and accountants. They worked in a classroom, shoulder to shoulder, on typewriters. Now, we work online. When the digital age demanded evolution, Rasmussen University was an early leader in online education. Innovative curriculum and technology opened doors for students to learn on their own terms, while still gaining the valuable soft skills they would need to succeed. With kids, full-time jobs, life responsibilities and unwavering determination, Rasmussen students know that every step counts. In a workforce that needs great nurses, great people in education and the justice system, the business minded, the tech savvy and those with an eye for design, Rasmussen will continue to partner in your progress toward meaningful careers. Over 120 years after opening, we are still evolving to meet student and workforce needs, adding master's degrees and launching our first doctoral program. What started as a revolutionary business institution is now a university with over 50 programs, over 20 campuses, a national online presence and the most ADN nursing graduates in the U.S.

At Rasmussen University, we'll never stop finding ways to support our students and our communities. We’re lifelong learners, innovators and mentors. We'll stay curious, continue to take chances and keep putting students first, giving them the tools they're going to need for their next steps.

Rasmussen University: Milestones of Innovation

historic building


It’s a new century, and Walter Rasmussen has noticed a market need for the growing business class. He opens the Rasmussen Practical School of Business in St. Paul, Minnesota.

historic graduates


The women's suffrage movement leads to big changes. Women are becoming a growing force in the workplace—and sitting alongside men in classes.

historic figure


Walter Nemitz takes the helm as President of Rasmussen College in 1945. By the College's fiftieth anniversary, Rasmussen College has educated over 22,000 students.

teacher and student


These are busy years, with two new campuses opening to meet the ever-growing demand for secretaries, accountants and machine operators.

Rasmussen University Orlando campus building


The new millennium finds Rasmussen College accredited by the Higher Learning Commission, an institutional accreditation agency recognized by the U.S. Department of Education.

student using computer


As the unstoppable digital age continues, we take a leadership role in a whole new form of education—one that offers unprecedented access—online learning.

Rasmussen building circa 2006


It’s another year of expansion as Rasmussen College broadens its offerings to include Bachelor's degrees and launches its School of Nursing in Ocala, Florida.

Rasmussen building circa 2009


Dedicated to continuous improvement, Rasmussen College welcomed back the Higher Learning Commission for a comprehensive review for re-accreditation, resulting in an exceptionally successful visit with extensive expansion approval.

students walking


This year marks the launch of our Empowered Learning® programs, also known as competency-based education (CBE). Rasmussen College is a national leader in CBE, helping to advance this cutting-edge learning approach where you learn by doing, manage your pace and stay connected with faculty and peers.

female nurse holding papers


For the first time in its history, Rasmussen College introduces enrollment for graduate degrees. Experienced professionals know the value of constantly learning, and Rasmussen College has stepped up to the challenge in order to support them.

Three people in office discussing


Rasmussen College offers new Master of Public Health and Master of Business Administration degree programs.

Rasmussen University campus


Rasmussen College becomes Rasmussen University, and The Higher Learning Commission reaffirms Rasmussen University’s accreditation status for another ten years.

smiling female nurse doctor wearing lab coat in medical office


Rasmussen University offers its first doctoral program, the Doctor of Nursing Practice, building on the commitment to lift up the nursing profession by equipping excellent nurse leaders and educators.

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