University of Kragujevac rose from the foundations of the Lyceum of the Principality of Serbia, the first higher education institution in modern Serbia, established in Kragujevac by the decree of Prince Milos Obrenović on July 1st, 1838. Its first rector was Atanasije Nikolic (1803 – 1882). The Lyceum of the Principality of Serbia planted the seed of higher education from which first modern higher education institutions originated in the beginning of the 1960s.
University of Kragujevac was founded in May 21, 1976. At that time, the University incorporated five faculties: Mechanical Engineering, Economics, Law, Natural Sciences & Mathematics, Medicine and College of Mechanical Engineering in Kraljevo along with two research institutes: Small Grains Research Institute in Kragujevac and Fruit Research Institute in Čačak.
The University was established and developed based on the concept of dispersed university, comprising 12 faculties in six towns of the Central Serbia region: Kragujevac, Čačak, Jagodina, Kraljevo, Užice and Vrnjačka Banja. However, the University managed to turn this into one of its most distinctive advantages which allows it to use economic and geographical potentials and human resources from the territory which spreads over an area of 5000 square kilometers and has about 2.5 million citizens.