The University of St. Francis was established in 1920 by the Congregation of the Third Order of St. Francis of Mary Immaculate for the education of its own members.
- In 1925, under the title Assisi Junior College, its doors opened to women outside the congregation.
- In the fall term of 1930, a senior college curriculum was established and a new name, the College of St. Francis was adopted.
- In 1971, the college became coeducational, and the first off-campus degree programs began in fall of 1972.
- In 1980, a master’s program in health services administration was offered followed in the early ’90’s by several more graduate offerings.
- In 1997, the College affiliated with Saint Joseph College of Nursing, which had been first, a diploma nursing school founded in 1920, and since 1987, a baccalaureate institution that awarded the Bachelor of Science in Nursing degree.
- The Board of Trustees of the College of St. Francis voted in May of 1997 to move to university status.
- Jan. 1, 1998, the institution became the University of St. Francis.