About William Paterson University

From our beginnings as an educator preparation school to our current achievements as a comprehensive university, WP has been dedicated to providing outstanding educational opportunities and service to the community.

More about William Paterson

William Paterson University of New Jersey is a public institution that offers an outstanding and affordable education to a diverse traditional and nontraditional student body through baccalaureate, graduate, and continuing education programs. Our distinguished teachers, scholars, and professionals actively challenge students to high levels of intellectual and professional accomplishment and personal growth in preparation for careers, advanced studies, and productive citizenship. Faculty and staff use innovative approaches to research, learning, and student support to expand students’ awareness of what they can accomplish. Our graduates embody a profound sense of responsibility to their communities, commitment to a sustainable environment, and active involvement in a multicultural world.


The third oldest public institution in New Jersey, the University was founded in 1855 in the city of Paterson as a “normal school” dedicated to the professional preparation of teachers. The institution continued to expand and evolve, and in 1967, by state mandate, was transformed into a multipurpose liberal arts institution. In 1971, the institution was named after William Paterson (1745-1806), the New Jersey patriot who was a signer of the U.S. Constitution, New Jersey’s second governor, and a U.S. Supreme Court Justice.

Core Values

  • Academic Excellence: As individuals and as an institution, we seek to model and to impart to our students the highest standards of knowledge, inquiry, preparation, academic freedom, and integrity as well as an expanded sense of what an individual can accomplish.
  • Creating Knowledge: We strive to expand the boundaries of knowledge and creative expression in and outside of our classrooms. We help students think imaginatively and critically and encourage innovative solutions to social issues, the challenges of ecological sustainability and economic growth and ethical dilemmas confronting our communities, regions, nation, and world.
  • Student Success: Students are our reason for being. We judge our effectiveness, progress, and success in terms of how well we provide a platform for their personal, intellectual, and professional development, enabling them to transform their lives and become civically engaged.
  • Diversity: We value and promote the expression of all aspects of diversity. We maintain a campus culture that welcomes diversity of personal circumstances and experiences and prepares students to become effective citizens in an increasingly diverse, interdependent, and pluralistic society.
  • Citizenship: We challenge our students, faculty, staff, and alumni to recognize their responsibility to improve the world around them, starting locally and expanding globally. We offer critical expertise to New Jersey and our region while our scholarship and public engagement address pressing community needs in the region and beyond in keeping with our public mission.

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