As the then-tiny campus could not otherwise support such large numbers of new students, college president Elmer Peterson convinced the state in 1918 to appropriate funds for permanent brick buildings, which could be used as barracks for SATC students during the war, and instruction afterward. ETP admission required passing the Eddy Test, one of the most selective qualifying exams given during the war years.
Starting March 23, 1942, and each month thereafter, a new group of 100 Navy students arrived for three months of 14-hour days in concentrated electrical engineering study. At a given time, some 300 Navy students were on the campus, greatly augmenting the war-years regular enrollment of 1000. Stock had earlier developed the Radio and Aviation Department, and entered the Navy as a Lieutenant Commander to assist in organizing electronics training.
Smart Gymnasium was converted to a dormitory, and Old Main was fitted out for classrooms and laboratories. He was a member of the committee in Washington that planned the ETP, and shortly returned to Utah State as the Officer-in-Charge. relations with Iran began to deteriorate throughout the decade, Iranian students on campus began staging protests against the Shah, which protests met with some backlash in the community.
The ETP Primary School continued at Utah State until August 1944, graduating about 2,750 students in 30 classes. Following the outbreak of the hostage crisis of 1979, immigration officials arrived on campus to interview each Iranian, an event which alienated many international and domestic students.
Lund of the Utah Territorial Legislature decided that there existed in Utah a need for such a school fusing the highest in scientific and academic research with agriculture, the way of life for the vast majority of locals.
Upon returning to the states, Lund heard about the Morrill Act, and pitched a vision for the college that would receive widespread support among the Territorial Legislature, who was at the time seeking to reapply for statehood. According to historian Joel Ricks in 1938, "Provo had received the Insane Asylum, Salt Lake City had the University and Capitol, and the majority of the legislature felt that the new institutions should be given to Weber and Cache Counties." Citizens in Logan, Cache County, banded together and successfully lobbied representatives for the honor.
Further, there are multiple performance opportunities both on and off campus.
Detractors in Salt Lake City feared that such an expansion would come at the expense of the University of Utah, and pushed consolidation as a counter.
Consequently, the University of Utah became solely responsible, for a time, for courses in engineering, law, medicine, fine arts, and pedagogy, despite the Agricultural College's initial charter in 1888 which mandated that it offer instruction in such things.
USU Eastern competes as the Eastern Utah Golden Eagles and is the only campus besides Logan that has an athletics program.
Regional campuses exist in Brigham City, Tooele, and the Uintah Basin (Vernal and Roosevelt).