Towson University is a liberal arts-based university. On a campus of over 300 acres, the school lies eight miles north of Baltimore. The University offers over 40 majors and 60 concentrations leading to the bachelor's degree. The Graduate School offers 26 master's degree programs.

[photo, Administration Building, Towson University, 7720 York Road, Towson, Maryland] The University originated as the State Normal School, which was authorized in 1865 (Chapter 160, Acts of 1865). At that time, "normal" meant "standard", and described schools that promoted standardized teaching methods. "Normal" came from the French ecole normale, and the Prussian normal schools, that influenced American educators to establish norms or standards for the training of teachers. Opened in Baltimore in January 1866, the State Normal School was the first institution devoted exclusively to the preparation of teachers for the public schools of Maryland.

Administration Building, Towson University, 7720 York Road, Towson, Maryland, August 2003. Photo by Diane F. Evartt.

Originally, the School occupied four different sites in Baltimore. It started at the Red Men's Hall, 24 North Paca Street, in 1866. It then moved in 1876 to the Athenaeum Club Home at North Charles and East Franklin Streets. In February 1876, the School resettled in a new building on Lafayette Square at Carrollton and Lafayette Streets. To its present Towson location, the School moved in the summer of 1915, and opened for classes that September. When the Baltimore City Training School for Teachers closed in 1924, its students transferred to the State Normal School, doubling School enrollment.

As the State Normal School was renamed the Maryland State Teachers College at Towson in 1935, the Bachelor of Science degree in education was established (Chapter 554, Acts of 1935). Later, an arts and sciences program was introduced in 1946. Formerly under the State Board of Education, the College was placed under the Board of Trustees of State Colleges in July 1963 (Chapter 41, Acts of 1963). At that time, it increased its offerings in the arts and science, and was renamed Towson State College. Two years later, it began expanding its graduate program.

[photo, Richmond Hall, Towson University, Towson, Maryland] Towson State College was designated as Towson State University in July 1976, and became part of the University of Maryland System in 1988 (Chapter 246, Acts of 1988). When the System was renamed the University System of Maryland in July 1997, the University was renamed Towson University (Chapter 114, Acts of 1997).

Towson University is organized into five divisions: Academic Affairs, Administration and Finance, Innovation and Applied Research, Student Affairs, University Advancement, and University Marketing and Communications.

Richmond Hall, Towson University, Maryland, August 2003. Photo by Diane F. Evartt.


Administration Building, Room 311, Towson University

The Division of Academic Affairs oversees eight colleges:
College of Business and Economics
Fine Arts and Communication
Graduate Studies and Research
Health Professions
Liberal Arts
and the Fisher College of Science and Mathematics


Stephens Hall, Room 218, Towson University

The College of Business and Economics traces its origins to the creation of the departments of economics (1966), business administration (1970), and accounting (1981). These departments were restructured to form the School of Busines and Economics in 1982. The School was renamed College of Business and Economics in 1996.

Under the College are six departments: Accounting, E-Business and Technology Management, Economics, Finance, Management, and Marketing.


Hawkins Hall, Towson University

Baccalaureate degree in education with certification in early childhood education, elementary education, and special education, as well as programs for certification in secondary education and kindergarten through 12th grade (K-12) education are offered by the College of Education. Graduate degrees also are offered in these areas, and in reading, teaching, instructional technology, and human resource development.

Six departments comprise the College. They are: Early Childhood Education; Educational Technology and Literacy; Elementary Education; Instructional Leadership and Professional Development; Secondary and Middle School Education; and Special Education.

The College offers Master of Arts in Teaching for individuals with a bachelor degree in non-educational fields and no formal teacher training. The program is designed for recent graduates and those seeking career changes.


Center for the Arts, Room 3001, Towson University

The College of Fine Arts and Communication contributes to the cultural life of the University and community through its art exhibitss, concerts, plays, dance performances, films, debates, and lectures.

Six departments comprise the College: Art and Design, Art History, and Art Education; Dance; Electronic Media and Film; Mass Communication and Communication Studies; Music; and Theatre Arts.


7800 York Road, Towson

The College of Graduate Studies and Research began as the College of Graduate and Extended Education, and reformed as the College of Graduate Education and Research in May 1999. It became the College of Graduate Studies and Research in 2005.

Under the College are three main components: Finance, Graduate School Operations, and University Research Services.


Towson Center, Towson University

In 1981, the College of Health Professions began as the College of Allied Health Sciences and Physical Education. In 1996, it reformed as the College of Health Science Professions, and assumed its present name in 2001.

In a wide range of health professions and sport-related areas, the College offers educational programs and fosters the integration of health, wellness, and education.

Five departments make up the College of Health Professions: Audiology, Speech-Language Pathology, and Deaf Studies; Health Sciences; Kinesiology; Nursing; and Occupational Therapy and Occupational Science.

To bring all of the Collegeís departments and programs to one site, construction began on a six-story College of Health Professions building in April 2021. Scheduled to open in summer 2024, the new facility will enable the College to accept more students, and help fill current gaps in Marylandís health professions.


Liberal Arts Building, University Avenue

The College of Liberal Arts is the largest of the colleges at Towson. It consists of eleven departments: English; Family Studies and Community Development; Foreign Languages; Geography and Environmental Planning; History; Languages, Literatures, and Cultures; Philosophy and Religious Studies; Political Science; Psychology; Sociology, Anthropology, and Criminal Justice; and Women's and Gender Studies. In addition, the College offers a number of interdisciplinary programs at both the undergraduate and graduate levels.


Science Complex, 4th Floor

The Jess and Mildred Fisher College of Science and Mathematics formerly was the College of Natural and Mathematical Sciences. By 2001, it was called the College of Science and Mathematics. In June 2005, it became the Jess and Mildred Fisher College of Science and Mathematics.

Along with the School of Emerging Technologies, the College includes five departments: Biological Sciences; Chemistry; Computer and Information Sciences; Mathematics; and Physics, Astronomy, and Geosciences.

In April 2022, the College opened the Cyber4All Center for cybersecurity education and research. Towson University is one of just 21 universities nationwide designated by National Security Agency/Department of Homeland Security Cyber Operations as a National Center of Academic Excellence in Cyber Operations.


Stephens Hall, Towson University

The Honors College formed in 1998.

For the most academically qualified and motivated students who seek intellectual and personal growth, the Honors College involves students and faculty throughout the University in a community of scholars that explores questions within and beyond their disciplines.

Some 750 students from all degree-granting colleges and major departments participate in the Honors College. Students live together on campus and are offered smaller class sizes in a variety of disciplines in addition to those in their chosen college major. Honors College course work is recognized on transcripts, on diploma, and at graduation.

Admission to the Freshman class is based on high school academic record; standardized test scores; participation in leadership, extracurricular and community service activities; and an essay included with the student application.


401 Washington Ave., Towson, MD 21204

In 2004, the Division of Strategic Partnerships and Applied Research was initiated as the Division of Economic and Community Outreach. In 2013, it reformed as the Division of Innovation and Applied Research, and in July 2018 as the Division of Strategic Partnerships and Applied Research.

For businesses, nonprofit organizations, government agencies, and the Towson community who are interested in collaborating with the University, the Division of Strategic Partnerships and Applied Research serves as a point of entry.

Continuing Education. In addition to addressing economic and social issues, the Division oversees the adult education component of the University, formerly in the College of Extended Programs. The Division serves Baltimore's workforce and employers by providing professional certification courses designed to address critical skill gaps in high growth industries. Courses are offered that prepare students for certification to jump start careers in business management, information technology, health and medical administration, and digital marketing. Courses are offered in class as well as on-line.

Under oversight of the Division are Applied Research and Technical Services; the Center for Professional Studies; Entrepreneurship; and the Office of Partnerships and Outreach.


Administration Building, Room 237, Towson University

As the Division of Student Services, the Division of Student Affairs began. It reorganized as the Division of Student Life in 1996 and received its present name in 2001.

The Division oversees programs and services designed to enhance and support student learning and development outside of the classroom. Programs within the Division promote an inclusive and diverse campus community; engage students in activities, which encourage responsible decision-making and risk reduction; and create opportunities for students to develop leadership skills through civic engagement.

Under the Division are four departments: Campus Life; Engagement, Inclusion, and Student Success; Housing and Residence Life; and Student Development Programs and Services.


Administration Building, Room 325, Towson University

The Division of University Advancement started as the Division of Institutional Advancement, and was renamed the Division of University Advancement in 2005.

Under the Division are Alumni Relations, and Development.


Administration Building, 4th floor, Towson University

In 2012, the Division of University Marketing and Communications was established.

Five main components constitute the Division: Communications and Media Relations, Creative Services, Digital Strategy, Enrollment Marketing, and Marketing and Brand Strategy.

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