Presidential debate 2012
Moderator Bob Schieffer (L) speaks to U.S. President Barack Obama (R) and Republican presidential nominee Mitt Romney during the final U.S. presidential debate in Boca Raton, Florida October 22, 2012. REUTERS/Rick Wilking

The four universities chosen to host the 2016 presidential and vice presidential debates were announced on 23 September. Among the host universities, is veteran host Washington University in Missouri and first time hosts University of Nevada, Las Vegas, Wright State University in Ohio and Longwood University in Virginia.

The four chosen beat out 12 other schools and cities that submitted their bids in April to the non-partisan Commission on Presidential Debates, ABC News reported. Hofstra University in New York will act as the back-up site, while Dominican University in California will be in charge of a technology and social media initiative to engage young voters on major issues.

"We look forward to working with these fine universities and their students and communities to bring these important civic events to the nation," commission co-chairmen Frank Fahrenkopf and Mike McCurry said in a statement.

The first presidential debate of the 2016 election will be held on 26 September at Wright State University. It will be followed by the second presidential debate on 9 October at Washington University and the final presidential debate on 19 October at the University of Nevada, Las Vegas.

ABC News reported that Washington University has hosted the most debates sponsored by the commission than any other university. It hosted the presidential debates in 1992, 2000 and 2004 and the vice presidential debate in 2008.

Chancellor Mark Wrighton credited the university's central US location and successful hosting track record. "They quite obviously have confidence in us," he said. "We're thrilled to have the opportunity to host again."

According to the commission, the first and only vice presidential debate will be held on 4 October at Longwood University. Longwood provost and vice president for academic affairs Joan Neff told ABC News, "For Longwood students, the chance to experience a debate on campus will be a part of their college experience hey will never forget."

The commission stated it "will announce in the near future additional details about the 2016 debates, including debate format and candidate selection criteria. Moderators will be announced in 2016."

The Republican Party has already hosted two presidential debates, with two candidates--Rick Perry and Scott Walker--announcing they were dropping out following disastrous performances at the debates.