National Cheng Kung University (NCKU) was established during Japanese occupation in January 1931 as "Tainan Technical college" with only one campus, Cheng Kung campus, covering and area of 18.3 hectares. After the end of the Japanese occupation, the central government of the Republic of China took over the college in October 1945, and changed its name to "Taiwan Provincial Tainan Junior College of Technology" in February 1946. In October of the same year, its status was upgraded and renamed as "Taiwan Provincial College of Engineering". In August 1956, it was restructured and renamed as "Provincial Cheng Kung University". In 1971, it was finally upgraded to the status of national university and was named in full as "National Cheng Kung University", with four colleges including College of Engineering, College of Science, College of Liberal Arts and College of Management at that time. NCKU founded its own College of Medicine in 1983, and continued to establish new colleges, including College of Social Sciences in 1997, College of Electrical Engineering and Computer Science and College of Planning and Design in 2003, as well as College of Bioscience and Biotechnology in 2005.
Evolving up to the year 2012, the organization of the university can be divided into the three systems of teaching and researching, research centers and administrative support, along with other subordinate divisions. The NCKU teaching and researching system has 9 colleges (College of Liberal Arts, College of Sciences, College of Electrical Engineering and Computer Science, College of Planning and Design, College of Management, College of Medicine, College of Social Sciences and College of Bioscience and Biotechnology), 43 undergraduate programs, 75 master degree, 54 doctoral programs and 18 master's degree for working professionals.