Yogyakarta State University (formerly IKIP Yogyakarta or Yogyakarta Institute of Teacher Education and Educational Sciences) was founded on May 21, 1964. Historically, IKIP Yogyakarta was a merger of two educational institutions: the Faculty of Pedagogy of Gadjah Mada University and the Institute of Teacher Education. These two institutions offered study programs of educational sciences and teacher education. The merger itself was mandated by the Presidential Decree of the Republic of Indonesia, Number I/1963.
About thirty six years later, on August 4, 1999, the President of the Republic of Indonesia, by Presidential Decree No. 93/1999, officially declared that IKIP Yogyakarta was converted into Yogyakarta State University (abbreviated as YSU) with a wider mandate.This university is also legitimate to offer non-education study programs. The conversion of IKIP Yogyakarta into a university was based on some considerations. One of them is the observation that the organizational structure of an educational institution was insufficient to support scientific development and that the number of graduates of IKIP Yogyakarta who entered non-teaching fields also increased. In carrying out the wider mandate, YSU initially offered 12 non-education study programs at the bachelor level and three-year undergraduate diploma levels in the following faculties: the Faculty of Languages and Arts Education, the Faculty of Mathematics and Natural Sciences Education, and the Faculty of Engineering and Vocational Education. The non-education study programs include those offered in the Faculty of Sport Sciences and the Faculty of Economics.
- The Faculty of Teacher Education and Educational Sciences became the Faculty of Educational Sciences
- The Faculty of Mathematics and Natural Science Education became the Faculty of Mathematics and Natural Sciences
- The Faculty of Languages and Arts Education became the Faculty of Languages and Arts
- The Faculty of Social Sciences and Economics Education became the Faculty of Social Sciences and Economics
- The Faculty of Technology and Vocational Education became the Faculty of Engineering
- The Faculty of Sport Education became the Faculty of Sport Sciences
To meet societal demands, in 2011 the Faculty of Social Sciences and Economics was divided into two separate faculties: the Faculty of Social Sciences and the Faculty of Economics. This was stipulated through the Education and Culture Ministerial Decree No. 23/2011 about the Organization and Governance of YSU signed on 22nd June 2011. YSU then has seven faculties.
As has been mentioned above, IKIP Yogyakarta was converted into YSU on August 4, 1999. Its anniversary, however, remains the anniversary of IKIP Yogyakarta, i.e. May 21.