History of Franklin University

The History of Franklin University

Making higher education possible for adult students since 1902

Franklin's original mission was to make education, success, and a piece of the "American Dream" possible for everyone. Franklin has kept this promise for more than 100 years – and expanded this hope to students from all walks of life, from all around the world.

Franklin University was founded in Columbus, Ohio, in 1902 under YMCA sponsorship as the School of Commerce. As a leader in meeting the needs of busy adult students, Franklin University has grown to serve nearly 10,000 students each year – from all walks of life, all across the country, and all around the world.

Highlights in Franklin History

1902 - Courses offered at the Columbus YMCA are formally brought under the YMCA School of Commerce

1933 - The YMCA School of Commerce is renamed Franklin University

1964 - Franklin makes an amiable separation from the YMCA

1969 - Franklin celebrates the opening of its first building, Frasch Hall

1976 - Franklin earns accreditation by the North Central Association of Colleges and Universities

1993 - Franklin launches first graduate program (MBA)

1998 - Franklin forms the Community College Alliance

2002 - Franklin celebrates its 100th anniversary

2006 - Franklin earns a "Best Buy" designation from GetEducated.com

2007 - Franklin establishes the Four Cornerstones of Educational Philosophy

2008 - Franklin Earns Top Military Friendly College & Universities Honor

2009 - Franklin opens first out-of-state location in Indianapolis

2009 - Franklin introduces on-campus international offerings in Macedonia, Poland, and Slovakia

2009 - Franklin Receives Inaugural "Exemplar of Integrity" Award

2009 - Franklin Designated Military Friendly School by G.I. Jobs

2009 - Ancilla College and San Jacinto Community College Join Franklin's Community College Alliance

2009 - Franklin announces four new undergraduate majors: Interdisciplinary Studies, Applied Psychology, Emergency Management & Homeland Security (formerly Safety, Security & Emergency Management), and Healthcare Management

2009 - Franklin and Columbus State Community College Expand their 3+1 Partnership

2010 – Franklin’s Business Programs Receive Specialized Accreditation by the International Assembly for Collegiate Business Education (IACBE)

2010 -Franklin Ranks a Best Value in regionally Accredited Online MBAs by GetEducated.com

2010 - Franklin introduces on-campus international offerings in the Ukraine, Turkey, and Oman, and enlarges presence in Poland

2010 - Minnesota West Community and Technical College and Kentucky Community and Technical College System join Franklin University's Community College Alliance

2010 - Franklin University Designated A Military Friendly School by G.I. Jobs magazine

2010 - Franklin University designated by the U.S. Department of State (DOS) as a sponsor within the DOS Exchange Visitor Program (J-Visa)

2010 - Franklin Welcomes National Society of Collegiate Scholars Chapter

2010 - Announcing the New Master of Science in Accounting Program at Franklin

2011 - New M.S. in Instructional Design & Performance Technology Program Announced

2011 - Pima Community College and Pennsylvania Highlands Community College join Franklin's Community College Alliance

2011 - Franklin Purchases Neff Building on Grant Avenue to house the College of Arts, Sciences & Technology 

2011 - New Criminal Justice Major, Information Security, and New B.S. in Nursing (RN-BSN) majors announced

2011 - Franklin introduces on-campus international offerings in the Republic of Serbia

2011 - Franklin holds commencement ceremony in Wroclaw, Poland, to celebrate the graduation of its first international MBA cohort

2011 - Franklin named the Best in Business for Online education winner in Columbus C.E.O. magazine reader survey

2012 - Franklin MBA offered in Delaware, Ohio

2012 – Franklin accepted for membership in the National Association of Schools of Public Affairs and Administration (NASPAA)

2012 - Franklin announces the start of its international Business Administration (BSAD) Subsequent Degree program

2012 – Franklin celebrates the graduation of its 5,000th MBA student

2012 - Franklin  offers Social Media Design, Information Systems Auditing, and Public Administration Undergraduate Majors and newly enhanced online Healthcare Information Management major

2012 - Franklin announces the addition of four new graduate programs: Master of Science in Business Psychology, Master of Healthcare Administration, Master of Science in Human Resource Management, and the Master of Public Administration

2012 - Franklin announces new online Financial Aid Tool

2012 - Franklin University Awarded Military Friendly School Title from G.I. Jobs Magazine

2012 - Franklin opens new regional location in Beavercreek, Ohio

2012 - Franklin announces on-campus offerings through co-location agreements with North Central State College, Zane State College, and Southern State Community College

2012 – Franklin announces on-campus offerings at Cuyahogo Community College’s Brunswick University Center and Lakeland Community College’s Holden University Center

2012 - Franklin’s Student Learning Center’s Testing Center awarded Test Center Certification by the National College Testing Association (NCTA)

2013 - Franklin’s Center for Professional Training & Development (CPTD) announces rebranding as the Center for Continuing Education (CCE), along with access to a new learning portal and expanded course offerings

2013 - Three Franklin University Faculty Members Named Top Business Professors in Ohio

2014 - Franklin announces a partnership agreement with Urbana University, a private university in west central Ohio effective April 28, 2014.  

2014 - Franklin announces new Social Sciences and Entrepreneurship bachelor of science programs.

2014 - Franklin announces new co-location agreements with Rhodes State College  and Southwest Technical College (WI).

2014 - Franklin University granted specialized accreditation by the International Assembly for Collegiate Business Education (IACBE) for two additional Ross College of Business programs, Financial Planning and Operations & Supply Chain Management.

2014 - Franklin University named an Honorable Mention winner in the annual Institute of International Education (IIE) Andrew Heiskell Awards for Innovation in International Education recognizing its best practices within its international partnership with the Wroclaw School of Banking in Wroclaw, Poland.

2014 - Franklin's online Master of Science in Accounting (MSA) program again ranked by GetEducated.com as a "Best Buy." 

2014 - Franklin announces the creation of its International Institute for Innovative Instruction (“the Institute”). Capitalizing on the University’s curriculum design and faculty expertise, the Institute physically and intellectually integrates all of Franklin’s design-related functions and design-related academic programs under one roof.

What's new for Franklin? Catch up on the latest Franklin news by viewing our press releases.

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