Dhaka University gained a reputation as the “Oxford of the East” during its early years, and contributed tremendously to modern South Asian history. After the partition of India, it became the focal point of progressive and democratic movements in Pakistan. Its students and teachers played a central role in the rise of Bengali nationalism and the independence of Bangladesh.

Today, it is the largest public university in Bangladesh, with a student body of 33,000 and a faculty of 1,800. It was identified by Asia week as one of the top 100 Universities in Asia.[ However since the 1990s, the university has suffered from intensely politicized, partisan and violent campus politics promoted by Bangladesh’s feuding political parties.


The establishment of the university was a compensation of the annulment of the 1905 Partition of Bengal. The partition had established East Bengal and Assam as a separate province, with Dhaka as its capital. However, the partition was abolished in 1911.

In 1913, public opinion was invited before the university scheme was given its final shape. The secretary of state approved it in December 1913 The first vice-chancellor of the university, Dr. Philip Joseph Hartog, formerly academic registrar of the University of London for 17 years.

Established in 1921 under the Dacca University Act 1920 of the Indian Legislative Council, it is modelled after British universities. Academic activities started on July 1, 1921 with 3 Faculties: Arts, Science and Law; 12 Departments: Sanskrit and Bengali, English, Education, History, Arabic and Islamic Studies, Persian and Urdu, Philosophy, Economics and Politics, Physics, Chemistry, Mathematics, and Law; 3 Dormitories for students: Salimullah Muslim Hall, Dacca Hall and Jagannath Hall.

Academic departments               

The university has 70 departments under 13 faculties. The faculties are:

  • Faculty of Arts
    • Department of Arabic
    • Department of Bengali
    • Department of English
    • Department of History
    • Department of Philosophy
    • Department of Islamic Studies
    • Department of Pali & Bud-dist Studies
    • Department of Sanskrit
    • Department of Urdu
    • Department of Theater
    • Department of Linguistic
    • Department of Music
  • Faculty of Business Studies
    • Department of Accounting & Information System
    • Department of Finance
    • Department of Marketing
    • Department of Management Studies
    • Department of Banking and Insurance
    • Department of Management Information System
    • Department of International Business
    • Department of Tourism & Hospitality Management
  • Faculty of Biological Science
    • Department of Botany
    • Department of Soil, Water & Environment
    • Department of Microbiology
    • Department of Biochemistry & Molecular Biology
    • Department of Fisheries
    • Department of Genetic Engineering & Biotechnology
    • Department of Psychology
  • Faculty of Engineering & Technology
    • Department of Applied Chemistry & Chemical Engineering
    • Department of Applied Physics, Electronics & Communication Engineering
    • Department of Computer Science & Engineering
    • Department of Leather Engineering
    • Department of Footwear Engineering
    • Department of Leather Products Engineering
    • Department of Nuclear Engineering
  • Faculty of Education
  • Faculty of Fine Arts
    • Department of crafts
    • Department of Drawing & Painting
    • Department of Graphics Design
    • Department of printmaking
    • Department of Oriental Art
    • Department of Sculpture
    • Department of History of Art
    • Department of ceramics
  • Faculty of Law
  • Faculty of Medicine
  • Faculty of Postgraduates Medical Sciences & Research
  • Faculty of Pharmacy
    • Department of Pharmaceutical Chemistry
    • Department of Pharmacology
    • Department of Pharmaceutical Technology
  • Faculty of Science
    • Department of Chemistry
    • Department of Physics
    • Department of Mathematics
    • Department of Statistics
    • Department of Theoretical Physics
  • Faculty of Social Science
    • Department of Anthropology
    • Department of Criminology & Criminal Justice
    • Department of Development Studies
    • Department of Economics
    • Department of International Relations
    • Department of Information Science & Library Management
    • Department of Mass Communication and Journalism
    • Department of Population Sciences
    • Department of Political Science
    • Department of Public Administration
    • Department of Peace & Conflict Studies
    • Department of Women’s & Gender Studies
    • Department of Television & Film Studies

Bureaus and research centers

  • Bureau of Economic Research
  • Bureau of Business Research
  • Bose Centre for Advanced Study and Research in Natural Sciences
  • Centre for Advanced Studies and Research in Biological Sciences
  • Dev Centre for Philosophical Studies
  • Renewable Energy Research Centre
  • Centre for Advanced Research in Humanities
  • Centre for Advanced Research in Social Sciences
  • Semiconductor Technology Research Centre
  • Biotechnology Research Centre
  • DU Cyber Centre
  • Nazrul Research Centre
  • Nazmul Karim Study Centre
  • Disaster Research Training and Management Centre
  • Dr. Sirajul Haque Islamic Research Centre
  • Centre for Biomedical Research
  • Bangladesh-Australia Centre for Environmental Research
  • Delta Research Centre
  • Centre for Advanced Research in Physical, Chemical, Biological and Pharmaceutical Sciences – The Centre of Excellence
  • Centre for Advanced Research in Arts and Social Sciences – The Centre of Excellence
  • Centre for Corporate Governance and Finance Studies
  • Center for Microfinance and Development
  • Japan Study Centre
  • History Research Centre
  • Centre for Development and Policy Research
  • University and Industry Alliance
  • Professor Dilip Kumar Bhattacharya Research Centre
  • Organic Pollutants Research Centre
  • Refugee and Migratory Movement Research Unit
  • Center for Administrative Research and Innovation-CARI
  • Dhaka University Earthquake Observatory
  • Centre for Interreligious and Intercultural Dialogue
  • Dhaka University Arboriculture Section
  • Center for genocide studies.


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Residence halls

  1. Shahidullah Hall
  2. Amar Ekushey Hall
  3. Sergent Zahurul Haq Hall
  4. A.F. Rahman Hall
  5. Bangladesh-Kuwait Maitree Hall
  6. Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman Hall
  7. Begum Fazilatunesa Mujib Hall
  8. Fazulul Haq Muslim Hall
  9. IBA Hostel
  10. Jagannath Hall
  11. Kabi Jashimuddin Hall
  12. Muktijoddha Ziaur Rahman Hall
  13. Nabab Faizunnessa Chowdhuri Hostel
  14. Ruqayya Hall
  15. Salimullah Muslim Hall
  16. Shamsunnahar Hall
  17. Surya Sen Hall
  18. Sir P.J. Hartog Int. Hall
  19. Shahnewaz Hostel
  20. Haji Mohammad Mohshin Hall
  21. Kabi Sufiya Kamal Hall
  22. Bijoy Ekattor Hall


The University Library, housed in three separate buildings, is the biggest in Bangladesh. The Library holds a collection of more than 617,000 volumes, including bound volumes of periodicals. In addition, it has a collection of over 30,000 manuscripts on various languages and a large number of microfilms, microfiche and CDs. It subscribes to over 300 current foreign journals.

The Dhaka University Library comprises three buildings: The administrative building, the main library building, and the science library building. The administrative building has the administrative offices, a book acquisition section, a book processing section, a reprographic section, a book binding section, a manuscript section, and a seminar section.


Student counseling and guidance

The Students Counselling and guidance service is an integral part of the academic programs of students of the teaching departments and institutes of the university. It aims at helping students to adjust to campus life, effectively pursue curricular as well as co-curricular activities, develop their abilities for making wise choices and plans, and solve individual problems through counselling.

Sports and extracurricular activities

The University Of Dhaka Organizes Sports And Other Extracurricular And Recreational Activities. The Office Of The Director Of Physical Education Provides Three Types Of Programs:

  • Compulsory Physical Education,
  • Certificate Course In Coaching Major Games And Sports, And
  • Intramural And Extramural Programs.

The University Of Dhaka Ground Is The Official Stadium Of The University Of Dhaka. It Hosts Many Inter-Collegiate Sports Tournaments At Inter-City, Provincial And National Levels.

Intramural and extramural program (games and sports)

The Directorate Also Organizes And Conducts Interdepartmental And Inter-Hall Tournaments, Individual Hall Athletics, Dhaka University Athletics, And Inter- University Games And Sports. University Students Participate In National Championships In Different Games And Sports For Which Prior Training And Coaching Are Offered.


There Are Some Cafeterias In The Campus Of University Of Dhaka. Some Of Them Are Historically Important. The Madhur Canteen Is Not Only A Cafeteria, But Also A Place Of Historical Interest Of Bangladesh.


University Of Dhaka Has Transport Services For Students. Though The Number Of The Bus Is Not Enough For The Vast Student Community It Is A Great Facility For The Students. The Bus Schedule For Different Parts Of The City Can Be Found In The Bus Depot. The Service Is Always Available Even On University Holidays, To Help Those Students Who Come To University For Library Or Teacher’s Council.

Culture and activities                      

Students of Charukala (Fine Arts) Institute of University of Dhaka preparing for Pohela Boishakh

Pohela Boishakh (Bengali new year) celebrations in Dhaka, Bangladesh

Pohela Boishakh (Bengali new year) celebration in DU campus


  1. Institute of Education and Research(IER)
  2. Institute of Statistical Research and Training
  3. Institute of Business Administration(IBA)
  4. Institute of Nutrition and Food Science
  5. Institute of Social Welfare and Research
  6. Institute of Modern Language
  7. Institute of Health Economics
  8. Institute of Information Technology
  9. Institute of Renewable Energy
  10. Institute of Leather Engineering and Technology(ILET)


International ranking

In 2011-2012, the University of Dhaka made it into the list of “Top World Universities” in the ranking carried out by the ranking agency Times Higher Education and Quacquarelli Symonds (THE–QS), UK . Out of over 30,000 universities around the world, DU was placed as 551.In Engineering & IT the university positioned 100 th where in Life Sciences & Biomedicine the university ranked 284th. However, the university ranked better in 2007 (within top 500) and 2006 (365th). The ranking in 2007 was: 336th in Arts & Humanities, 256th in Natural Sciences, 256th in Engineering & IT, 297th in Social Sciences and 251st in Life Sciences & Biomedicine.

Ranking based on the website content and visibility

Although the university positioned 2nd within Bangladesh 14 and 45th within South Asia, it barely made position in top 7000 (6388nd) in the January 2009 ranking by Webometrics in their World Universities Ranking based on the web visibility of electronic publication, scientific results and international activities.

But in 2011 ranking by the Webometrics Ranking of World Universities it secured the 37th position.

In 2009, 4 International Colleges & Universities ranked the university as the most popular university in Bangladesh in their ‘Colleges and Universities By 2009 Web Popularity Ranking’ list.

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