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Celebrating National Higher Education Day: The Journey and Vision of the University of Advancing Technology

On National Higher Education Day, the University of Advancing Technology (UAT) proudly reflects on its storied history, the critical importance of higher education, and its unique role as one of the nation's premier 100% STEM universities.

The Evolution of UAT

Founded in 1983 by Dominic and Ann Pistillo, UAT began as the CAD Institute, focusing on computer-aided design and engineering. In a small classroom in Tempe, Arizona, with just ten students, the Pistillos recognized the transformative potential of emerging technologies. Their vision was to create an institution that would evolve alongside technological advancements, a goal they pursued by expanding their curriculum and ultimately achieving university status.

By 1990, UAT had developed its first bachelor's degree program, which included groundbreaking projects in virtual reality. The establishment of the Computer Reality Center in 1992 underscored the university's commitment to applied research and technological innovation. Accreditation in 1992 marked UAT's transition from a certificate-granting institution to an accredited university offering associate and bachelor's degrees. This evolution was further signified by a name change in 1997 to the University of Advancing Computer Technology, and finally, in 2002, to the University of Advancing Technology to encompass the broad spectrum of its offerings.

Importance of Higher Education

Higher education serves as the foundation for personal and professional growth, fostering critical thinking, innovation, and leadership. At UAT, the importance of higher education is amplified by a specialized focus on advancing technology. In a rapidly evolving digital age, higher education institutions like UAT play a pivotal role in preparing students to tackle complex technological challenges and drive future innovations.

UAT's commitment to higher education extends beyond traditional learning. This ensures that graduates are not only well-versed in current technologies but are also prepared to lead and innovate in their respective fields.

A 100% STEM University

As one of the few 100% STEM-based universities in the nation, UAT stands out for its dedication to science, technology, engineering, and mathematics. This exclusive focus allows UAT to provide an education that is both deep and broad, covering emerging fields such as Digital Arts, Cyber Security, Software Engineering, and Game Studies. The integration of artistic and programming elements in the curriculum has positioned UAT as a leader in technology education, often ahead of other institutions.

The university's technology-infused campus in Tempe is a hub for technophiles, fostering a community where students can immerse themselves in a culture of innovation. The urban campus is equipped with state-of-the-art facilities, including computer labs, program studios, the security operations center and collaborative workspaces, all designed to support the unique needs of a technology-focused education.

Mission and Vision

UAT's mission is to educate students in advancing technology who innovate for our future. This mission drives every aspect of the university's operations, from curriculum development to student support services. UAT strives to foster knowledge creation and achieve academic excellence, ensuring that students are prepared to become top technology executives, master programmers, cyber warriors, forensic sleuths, robotic engineers, interactive filmmakers, and game innovators.

The university's vision is to lead higher education by re-imagining the future of learning, intellectual property, and talent cultivation to accelerate Arizona and national tech-entrepreneurship. This vision reflects UAT's commitment to not only keeping pace with technological advancements but also shaping the future of the industry through innovative educational practices.


On this National Higher Education Day, the University of Advancing Technology celebrates its rich history and ongoing commitment to fostering innovation and excellence in technology education. From its humble beginnings to becoming a pioneering force in STEM education, UAT continues to cultivate future innovators who are equipped to make significant contributions to the technological landscape. The university's mission and vision are testaments to its dedication to advancing technology and supporting the next generation of leaders and innovators.


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