Authorized by the Texas Legislature in 1899, Southwest Texas State Normal School opened its doors in 1903. Over the years, the Legislature broadened the institution's scope and changed its name, in succession, to Normal College, Teachers College, College, University, and in 2003 to Texas State University-San Marcos. Each name reflects the university's growth from a small teacher preparation institution to a major, multipurpose university. Texas State's original mission was to prepare Texas public school teachers, especially those of south central Texas. It became renowned for carrying out this mission, but today it does far more.
Texas State University-San Marcos is the 6th largest university in the state. Texas State's 27,500 students choose from over 111 undergraduate, 86 masters and six Ph.D. graduate degree programs offered by eight colleges (Applied Arts, McCoy College of Business Administration, Education, Fine Arts and Communication, Health Professions, Liberal Arts, Science and University College). With a diverse campus community including over 25% of the student body from ethnic minorities, Texas State is one of the top 20 producers of Hispanic baccalaureate graduates in the nation. Texas State is also the lead institution of a multi-institution teaching center offering several programs in the greater north Austin area.