Sul Ross State University was founded in 1917. In 1923, the Legislature changed the name of the institution to Sul Ross State Teachers College, and advanced courses leading to baccalaureate degrees were added. In 1969, the Legislature again changed the name of the institution, this time signifying full state university status by the name — Sul Ross State University. The 1970s were years of stable or declining enrollments caused by the opening of several new colleges in West Texas. The main campus is situated in the unique environment of the Big Bend region and is the primary institution of higher education serving a 19-county area in West Texas.
As a coeducational, comprehensive, public institution of higher education, Sul Ross State University offers certificate programs and associate, bachelor's and master's degree programs.