The History of East Coast Polytechnic Institute

The History of ECPI University

Founded in Norfolk, Virginia in 1966, ECPI University demonstrated early on its commitment to forward-thinking, market-based curriculum, being among the first to offer classes in the growing field of computer programming.

From that point forward, ECPI University has pursued a path of sustained growth based on addressing the needs of students and employers while playing a key role in the mid-Atlantic’s economic development.

The University eventually expanded its program offerings to include a variety of degrees in engineering technology, health sciences, nursing, business, and criminal justice. ECPI University also extended its reach by opening additional campuses and locations in Virginia, North Carolina, South Carolina, Florida, Texas, and through online programs. Degree programs at the associate, baccalaureate, and master’s degree levels were added as well. Successful student outcomes, including high graduation rates and program-related employment, were considered of primary importance. These values continue to serve the institution, its students, and graduates.

1966
ECPI opened in Norfolk, Virginia

1984
ECPI opened its second campus in Richmond, Virginia. (Subsequently, branches opened throughout Virginia, North Carolina and South Carolina.)

1987
Main campus relocated to Virginia Beach, Virginia.

1992
Began offering degrees in Health Sciences.

1998
Became accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges to award associate degrees. (Contact the Commission on Colleges at 1866 Southern Lane, Decatur, Georgia 30033-4097 or call 404.679.4500 for questions about the accreditation of ECPI University.)

2004
Following reaffirmation of accreditation, ECPI was accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges to award baccalaureate degrees.

2005
Additional baccalaureate degree programs and the use of distance learning technology were approved by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges.

2006
Program offerings were expanded to include Culinary Science, Dental Assisting, Medical Radiography and Associate Degree in Nursing programs.

2011
Attained University status and accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges to offer a Master of Science Degree in Information Systems.

2013
Reviewed by Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges and accreditation was reaffirmed. Next reaffirmation of accreditation review is scheduled for 2023.


Throughout its history, ECPI has maintained a strong relationship with industry and employers. Program advisory boards regularly meet and provide valuable feedback regarding employer needs and industry trends. This feedback often translates into curriculum revisions that add value and help to make the University's programs more effective.