"Wiesenbauschule", a landscaping school established in 1853, of renown well beyond its local area, laid the foundation for University of Siegen. Following World War Two, its focus was shifted towards civil engineering and, in 1962, it was renamed "Staatliche Ingenieurschule für Bauwesen" (State School of Civil Engineering). The mechanical engineering department, meanwhile, has its roots in the "Fachschule für Eisen- und Stahlindustrie" (Iron and Steel Technical College), which was established in 1900.
With the foundation of "Pädagogische Hochschule Siegerland" (Educational University Siegerland) in 1964, Siegen’s academic heritage saw a revival. In 1972, the merger of the technical college and educational university paved the way for the establishment of University of Siegen. The new university started by offering a total of nine university programmes. The mission of theuniversity was to bring together theoretical and practical training, while driving a regional approach to study programmes and research.
In the decades after founding, the University continued to grow. The increase in the number of students greatly benefited the university as it meant it could expand its range of course which in turn attracted even more students. In 1993 around 13.500 Students were enrolled at the University, shared on at least 12 departments. In Winterterm 2010/11, a new all-time high was reached in matters of the number of students. In this time 14,100 students were enrolled at the university. Since 1 January 2011, the 12 departments were embraced in four faculties.