Kocaeli University was founded as a state university in 1992 with the law numbered 3837. Before the 17 August 1999 Earthquake, Kocaeli University continued its education and training activities at 9 faculties, 3 institutes, and 12 vocational training schools on its campuses with a total area of 650.000 m2 and in 15 different districts with its 20.000 students and 1.150 academic staff. Our university lost approximately 75% of its physical assets during the 17 August Earthquake, which was seen as the disaster of the century. Despite this great loss, Kocaeli University started 1999-2000 academic year only one month later than the scheduled time and continued its education and training activities in the tents, prefabricated buildings and quickly-repaired buildings for a while.
Meanwhile, a search was carried out for a new campus site and in October 2000 the foundations of the new campus were laid on an area which was located 10 kilometers away from Izmit on the Former Road to Istanbul in the district called Üçtepeler, and the area, which covers 6500 decares, was named 'Umuttepe'. During the construction period, the Rectorate building started to provide service in September 2004, then in the following months Faculty of Science and Arts, Faculty of Economics and Administrative Sciences, Faculty of Communication, Faculty of Technical Education, Faculty of Medicine and Research and Application Hospital started to render service on the new campus.
Since 2004-2005 academic year, Kocaeli University has continued its practices at Umuttepe campus. As of 2017-2018 academic year; the education and training activities has been going on with 231 full professors, 214 associate professors, 482 assistant professors, 278 senior lecturers, 158 lecturers, 788 research assistants and 22 specialists; that is 2173 academic staff in total and 1639 administrative staff who work for 18 faculties, 2 schools, 21 vocational schools, 3 institutions. As of March, 2017, 87000 students in total have been continuing their education and training activities.