TERI University's roots can be traced back to 1998, when 'TERI School of Advanced Studies' was established. The School was subsequently renamed as the TERI University in October 2006. TERI University was conceived to cater to the need of disseminating the vast reservoir of knowledge created by TERI, a not for profit, independent research institute recognized globally for its contribution to scientific and policy research in the realms of energy, environment, and sustainable development. The genesis of TERI University is rooted in the comprehensive research, consultancy and outreach activities of TERI.
This vision was further strengthened in 1999, when the University was granted "Deemed to be University" status by the University Grants Commission and notified vide Ministry of Human Resources Development, Department of Education, Government of India, notification no. F 9/19/95-U-3 dated October 5, 1999.
Before moving into the Vasant Kunj campus, the University was housed in Darbari Seth Block of India Habitat Centre from 1998 to 2008. In 2008, TERI University started functioning from the new 'green campus', located in Vasant Kunj- a prestigious institutional area in New Delhi.