The UTTC was founded in 1969 by an association of North Dakota's native tribes. The United Tribes of North Dakota Development Corporation chartered UTTC in Bismarck, North Dakota in 1969. The UTTC applied for, and was granted candidacy for accreditation status by the North Central Association in 1978. The UTTC received full membership in NCA as a vocational technical school in spring 1982. In 1987, the UTTC received authority from NCA to offer its first associate’s degree program. In 2003, the UTTC became the first Tribal College to receive accreditation for online programs offering associate of applied sciences degree programs. 
to develop economic, social, and cultural advancement of Indian families
to provide housing, daycare, health care services, counseling, a child development center, an elementary school, cafeteria, transportation, interdenominational chapel, athletic programs, and recreational services.
UTTC is a member of the American Indian Higher Education Consortium (AIHEC), which is a community of tribally and federally chartered institutions working to strengthen tribal nations and make a lasting difference in the lives of American Indians and Alaska Natives. UTTC was created in response to the higher education needs of American Indians. UTTC generally serves geographically isolated populations that have no other means accessing education beyond the high school level.