In the early 1950s, the township of Kalyani was developed as the brainchild of Dr. Bidhan Chandra Roy, the then Chief Minister of West Bengal. Kalyani was planned to grow as a satellite town in the long-term perspective plan of the Calcutta Urban Agglomeration. For planned development of the town, the need for emphasising education and health infrastructure was duly emphasised in the master plan and the University of Kalyani was established in November 1960, as a unitary university with the faculties of Arts, Science, Education, and Agriculture. Since inception, the University marked its progress and attracted students of the region as well as many eminent scholars of the country. However, in its early stage of growth, the University was bifurcated in the year 1975 when its Faculty of Agriculture evolved into a full-fledged agricultural university, named as Bidhan Chandra Krishi Viswavidyalaya, which was established in the Mohanpur campus. Just after the bifurcation the University of Kalyani was left with 12 teaching departments under the faculties of Arts and Science only. It started reorganising its activities and by the end of 1970s, the University could introduce four more departments, namely History, Political Science, and Commerce under the Faculty of Arts, which was converted to Faculty of Arts and Commerce, and Bio-chemistry & Bio-physics under the Faculty of Science. Since then, the University has been continuously expanding its area of studies. In the 1980s, the Department of Environmental Science (under Faculty of Science), and the Department of Modern Languages (under Faculty of Arts & Commerce) were started. In the decade of 1990s, three more departments were started, namely, Folklore, Library Information Science (Faculty of Arts & Commerce) and Computer Science (Faculty of Science). Till 1998, the University was a unitary university offering also undergraduate teaching. In 1998 it became an affiliating university with its territorial jurisdiction extended to the districts of Nadia and Murshidabad, and it affiliated 37 colleges, earlier under Calcutta University. Since then the undergraduate teaching programmes at the University were discontinued and were left to its affiliated colleges. In the early part of the first decade of this century, the University introduced 6 new departments, namely, Business Administration, Microbiology, Geography, Molecular Biology & Bio-Technology, Physiology, and Rural Development & Management. It has also introduced the Faculty of Engineering, Technology, and Management, with the departments of Business Administration, Computer Science & Engineering, and Rural Administration & Management. During the last five years, a new Faculty of Music and Fine Arts consisting of the Department of Visual Arts, one new Department in the Faculty of Engineering viz Department of Engineering and Technology Studies, one in the Faculty of Science (Department of Environment and Ecology), and four in the Faculty of Arts and Commerce (Departments of Hindi, Philosophy, Sanskrit, Rural Development Studies) have been established. In addition research centres such as, Envis, Centre for Bengali Diaspora, Centre for Woman Studies, Rabindra Adhyan Centre, Centre for Cultural Studies etc have also been introduced during the last five years. Besides, two of the earlier existing centre have been upgraded into two departments viz. the Department of Adult, Continuing Education and Extension Studies and the Department of Engineering and Technological Studies. Both of these are providing excellent student support in addition to its commendable works. One more faculty, namely Law, is in the process of crystallization
Besides the teaching and research departments, the University has also affiliated several institutes which are providing extension related services through several certificate courses and diplomas.