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The University of La Serena is the historical heir of the various initiatives in Higher Education developed in our Region in the last 200 years.

The 3 of June of 1838 arrives in La Serena the Polish scholar Ignacio Domeyko Ancuta, who initiates the professional education of the mining in Chile when being contracted by the Chilean Government like professor of the course of Chemistry and Mineralogy of the Departmental Institute of Coquimbo, present Liceo of Men of La Serena.

In 1874 is born the Normal School of Preceptors of La Serena, created by Decree No. 30, promulgated by President Federico Errázuriz Zañartu; After four years of operation, this School closes until its reopening the 6 of April of 1890, the year in which the German educator Isabel Bongard Cordes assumes its address.

The 26 of August of 1887 is founded the Practical School of Mining of La Serena, whose first director was Don Buenaventura Osorio Álvarez, continuing the legacy of education of the mining that Domeyko had begun years ago and that was characterized by a strong basic formation in sciences and engineering disciplines, much laboratory work and practical experience, and intense vocation of teachers to teach young people.

The 27 of February of 1952 establishes the regional headquarters of the Technical University of the State of which the School of Mines becomes part. Its first director was Don Carlos Rey Blanco.

The 27 of July of 1957 is based in La Serena the Regional Conservatory of Music dependent on the Faculty of Sciences and Musical Arts of the University of Chile, which is later integrated to the local headquarters of the same university. The first director of the Conservatory was Don Jorge Peña Hen.

The 5 of June of 1961 the University of Chile installs in the city the Regional University College, the one that began to impart the careers of pedagogy in the humanistic and scientific specialties. Two years later the Regional College becomes the University Center and in 1971 it acquires the category of headquarters of the University of Chile.

In 1974 the Normal School of Preceptors is transferred to the regional headquarters of the University of Chile.

The 20 of March of 1981 the former regional headquarters of the former Technical University of the State and the University of Chile are merged giving rise to the University of La Serena, whose first Rector was Mr. Daniel Arriagada Pineda.

The creation of the University of La Serena is established by the Decree with Force of Law N ° 12, of 1981, of the Ministry of Education. From its foundation, the ULS began its academic activities with three faculties: Engineering, Sciences and Humanities. In the year 2000, the Faculty of Social and Economic Sciences was created. The initial undergraduate enrollment was constituted by 4.200 students.