The William Paterson University of New Jersey was established in 1855 as the Paterson City Normal School to meet the growing demand for professional training of teachers-in-service. In 1875, the school started offering a one-year teacher program for high school graduates interested in taking up the teaching profession. The duration of the program was eventually increased to two years. The school went through several locations before moving to 19th Avenue and East 22nd Street in Paterson. In 1923, an act was passed for establishing the New Jersey State Normal School at Paterson. The school started offering diverse programs and a four-year elementary curriculum. In 1967, the college transformed to a multipurpose liberal arts institution and was renamed as the William Paterson University of New Jersey in 1971.
Presently, WPU of New Jersey enrolls approximately 11,200 students and offers undergraduate and graduate degree programs through its five colleges: Christos M. Cotsakos College of Business; Arts and Communication; Education; Humanities and Social Sciences; and Science and Health.
This school is located on a 370-acre wooded area in Wayne, New Jersey, about 20 miles west of New York City. It is accredited by the Middle States Association of Colleges and Secondary Schools.