DU | University of Dhaka

By Ismat Jahan Hoque

Published on October 2, 2020
Updated on March 6, 2021

University of Dhaka


University of Dhaka (DU) is an autonomous government university in Bangladesh, located in Shahbag, Dhaka, known as a multi-faculty research university. It was established in 1921 in  British India following the Oxbridge education system. It is recognized as the Oxford of the East. 




A specialty of Dhaka University is that it had a special contribution in the birth struggle of Bangladesh. Where the government of a country establishes a university, Dhaka University made a special contribution to the establishment of Bangladesh.




On February 2, 1912, Lord Hardinge, then Viceroy of British India, promised to establish a university in Dhaka.According to Rafiqul Islam's book 80 Years of Dhaka University, the Nathan Committee proposed to establish Dhaka University on 450 acres in Ramna area. Dhaka College, Government House, Secretariat and Government Press were in this place then. 


At the beginning of its creation, Dhaka University faced various adversities. Besides, with the outbreak of the First World War in 1914, there was uncertainty about the establishment of the university. As a result, the people of East Bengal expressed frustration. In March 1918, Syed Nawab Ali Chowdhury in the Imperial Legislative Council called on the government to introduce the Dhaka University Bill immediately.


On 23 March 1920, the Governor General approved the bill. This law is the basis of the establishment of Dhaka University. As a result of the implementation of this law, Dhaka University started its journey on 1 July 1921. The doors of the university were opened for the students on July 1, 1921. At that time, the most elite and beautiful Ramna area of Dhaka, on about 600 acres of land, the abandoned buildings of East Bengal and Assam province and the building of Dhaka College (now Curzon Hall), Dhaka University was built in a pleasant environment.


This day of establishment is celebrated every year as "Dhaka University Day". It started its journey as a residential university with three faculties and 12 departments. Dhaka University started its journey with the students studying in degree classes of Dhaka College and Jagannath College (now Jagannath University). Not only students, but also teachers and library books and other materials, these two colleges collaborated in the establishment of Dhaka University.


The two halls of the university were named Dhaka Hall (now Dr. Muhammad Shahidullah Hall) and Jagannath Hall in gratitude for this cooperation. The faculties of Arts, Science and Law included Sanskrit and Bengali, English, Education, History, Arabic, Islamic Studies, Persian and Urdu, Philosophy, Economics and Politics, Physics, Chemistry, Mathematics and Law.


In the first academic year, the total number of students in different departments was 6 and the number of teachers was only 60. The first female  student of this university was Leela Nag (English Department; MA-1923). Between 1947-61, 5 new faculties, 16 new departments and 4 institutes were established. 


From the language movement of 1952 to the war of independence of 1971, the university has played a glorious role. During the war of independence, this university was attacked by the Pakistani aggressors. Many people including teachers-officers-employees and students of this university have been martyred.


Dhaka University at a glance


Motto : Education Is Light

Chancellor : Abdul Hamid

Vice-Chancellor : Professor Mohammad Akhtaruzzaman

Student : Around 36,064

Faculties and institutes :

13 faculties, 63 departments,12 institutes and 57 research centers.

Residential Halls : 20


List of Vice Chancellors :


1. Sir P. J. Hartog  

Duration: 1 December 1920 - 31 December 1925

2. Professor George Harry Langley 

Duration: 1 January 1928 - 30 June 1934

3. Sir A. F. Rahman

 Duration:1 July 1934-31 December 1936

4. Professor Ramesh Chandra Majumder 

Duration: 1 January 1938 - 30 June 1942

5. Professor Mahmud Hasan

Duration: 1 July 1942 - 21 October 1948

6. Professor Syed Moazzem Hussain

Duration: 22 October 1948 - 8 November 1953

7. Professor W. A. Jenkins

Duration:: 9 November 1953 - 7 November 1956

8. Justice Mohammad Ibrahim

Duration: 9 November 1958 - 26 October 1956

9. Justice Hamidur Rahman

Duration: 5 November 1956 - 14 December 1970

10. Professor Mahmud Hussain

Duration: 15 December 1970 - 19 February 1973

11. Professor Osman Gani

Duration: 20 February 1963 - 1 December 1969

12. Justice Abu Saeed Chowdhury

Duration: 2 December 1979-20 January 1972

13. Professor Mozaffar Ahmed Chowdhury

Duration: 21 January 1972-12 April 1973

14. Abdul Matin Chowdhury

Duration:13 April 1973 - 22 September 1975

15. Professor M. Shamsul Haque

Duration: 23 September 1985 - 1 February 1986

16. Professor Fazlul Halim Chowdhury

Duration: February 2, 196 - March 20, 1983

17. AKM Siddique

Duration: 21 March 1983-18 August 1983

18. Professor M. Shamsul Haque

Duration:18 August 1973-12 January 1976

19. Professor Abdul Mannan

Duration:12 January 1962 - 22 March 1990

20. Professor Mohammad Moniruzzaman Miah

Duration:24 March 1990- 31 October 1992

21. Professor Emajuddin Ahmed

Duration:1 November 1992 - 31 August 1997

22. Professor Shahid Uddin Ahmed (Acting Vice Chancellor)

Duration: 31 August 1997-29 September 1996

23. Professor A. K. Azad Chowdhury

Duration: 30 September 1996 11 November 2001

24. Professor Anwarullah Chowdhury

Duration:12 November 2001-31 July 2002

25. Professor A. F. M. Yusuf Haider (Acting Vice Chancellor)

1 August 2002- 9 September 2002

26. Professor S. M. A. Fayez

Duration: 9 September 2002 - 15 January 2009

27. Professor. AAMS Arefin Siddique

Duration:: 15 January 2009-4 September 2018

28. Professor Mohammad Akhtaruzzaman

Duration:4 September 2018 - Present


Institutions under the University


The oldest university in the country currently has 13 faculties, 63 departments,12 institutes and 57 research centers. Besides, there are 20 residential halls and 3 hostels for students to stay.


Faculties of Dhaka University


DU Curzon Hall


Dhaka University currently has 64 departments in 13 faculties. Admission test for all Bachelor program is taken once a year. Graduate and Post Graduate programs have different timing for admission.  The faculties of Dhaka University and its affiliated departments are:


Faculty of Arts & Humanities:


1. Department of Bengali language and literature

2. Department of English language and literature

3. Department of Persian Language and Literature

4. Department of Urdu 

5. Department of Philosophy

6. Department of History

7. Department of Arabic

8. Department of Islamic Studies

9. Department of Islamic History & Cultural Studies

10. Department of Pali and Buddhist Education and Department of Sanskrit

11. Department of Informatics and Library Management

12. Department of Linguistics..

13. Department of Drama and Music

14. Department of World Theology


Faculty of Science:


1. Department of Physics

2. Department of Mathematics

3. Department of Chemistry

4. Department of Statistics

5. Department of Biochemical Physics and Technology

6. Department of Theoretical Physics

7. Department of Applied Mathematics


Faculty of LAW


Faculty of Social Science:


1. Department of Economics

2. Department of Political Science

3. Department of International Relationship

4. Department of Social Science

5. Department of Public Administration

6. Department of Mass Communication and Journalism

7. Department of Anthropology

8. Department of Population Science

9. Department of Peace and Conflict Studies

10. Department of Women's Education

11. Department of Development Education

12. Department of Television, Film and Photography

13. Department of Criminology


Faculty of Business Studies


1. Department of Management

2. Department of Accounting and Information System

3. Department of Marketing

4. Department of Finance

5. Department of Banking and Insurance

6. Department of Management Information System

7. Department of International Business

8. Department of Tourism and Hospitality Management

9. Department of Organization Strategy and Leadership


Faculty of Biology:


1. Department of Soil, Water and Environment

2. Department of Botany

3. Department of Zoology

4. Department of Biochemistry and Inspiration Sciences

5. Department of Psychology

6. Department of Microbiology

7. Department of Fisheries Science

8. Department of Medical Psychology

9. Department of Educational Psychology


Faculty of Pharmacy:


1. Department of Pharmaceutical Chemistry

2. Department of Clinical Pharmacy and Pharmacology

3. Department of Pharmaceutical Technology


Faculty of Engineering and Technology:


1. Department of Electrical and Electronic Engineering

2. Department of Applied Chemistry and Chemical Engineering

3. Department of Computer Science and Engineering

4. Department of Atomic Engineering

5. Department of Robotics and Mechatronics Engineering


Faculty of World and Environmental Sciences:


1. Department of Geography and Environment

2. Department of Geology

3. Department of Oceanography

4. Department of Disaster Science and Management

5. Meteorology


Faculty of Fine Arts:


1. Department of Drawing and Illustration

2. Graphics design department

3. Printmaking Department

4. Department of Oriental Art

5. Department of Sculpture

6. Department of Crafts

7. Department of Pottery

8. Department of Art History


Other faculties:


1. Faculty of Medicine

2. Faculty of Postgraduate Medical Sciences

3. Faculty of Education




1. Institute of Education and Research

2. Institute of Statistical Research and Teaching

3. Institute of Business Administration

4. Institute of Nutrition and Food Science

5. Institute of Social Welfare and Research

6. Institute of Modern Languages

7. Institute of Information Technology

8. Institute of Leather Engineering and Technology

9. Institute of Health Economics


List of affiliated 7 government honors colleges


1. Dhaka College

2. Eden College

3. Poet Nazrul Government College

4. Government Titumir College

5. Government Shaheed Suhrawardy College

6. Begum Badrunnesa Government Women's College

7. Government Bangla College


Dhaka University Library


The Central Library of Dhaka University is the largest library in Bangladesh. The library started its journey on July 1, 1921 with the collection of about eighteen thousand books from Dhaka College and Law College. At present there is a collection of about 9 lakh books and journals. Also, there are about thirty thousand rare manuscripts here. 


Dhaka University Central Students' Union


Dhaka University Student Union  was established in the academic year 1922-23. In 1953 it was renamed as Dhaka University Central Students' Union (DUCSU). Although DUCSU elections have been held many times since independence, DUCSU elections had been closed  since 1990-1991.


After a long 26 years, the much-anticipated DUCSU election was held in 2019 with some constitutional changes. Last VP of DUCSU was Nurul Haque Nur. The last GS of DUCSU was Golam Rabbani.


DUCSU has recently expired. It is to be noted that after the election of DUCSU, the swearing-in ceremony is valid for one year.


Residential halls


All the students of the university have to be associated with one or the other hall as residential / non-residential students. At present the university has 14 halls for students and 5 halls for female students. There are also separate hostels for students of the Faculty of Fine Arts and the Institute of Business Administration and international dormitories for foreign students.


Names of halls


1. Salimullah Muslim Hall

2. Shahidullah Hall.

3. Jagannath Hall.

4. Fazlul Haque Muslim Hall.

5. Martyr Sergeant Zahurul Haque Hall.

6. Rokeya Hall.

7. Master Da Suryasen Hall.

8. Haji Muhammad Muhsin Hall.

9. Shamsun Nahar Hall.

10. Poet Jasim Uddin Hall

11. Freedom fighter Ziaur Rahman Hall.

12. Father of the Nation Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman Hall.

13. Bangladesh-Kuwait Friendship Hall.

14. Sir P. J. Hartog International Hall.

15. Bangamata Sheikh Fazilatunnesa Mujib Hall.

16. Immortal Ekushey Hall.

17. Poet Sufia Kamal Hall.

18. Victory is seventy-one.




After the commencement of academic activities of Dhaka University on 1 July 1921, the first regular convocation of the university was held on 22 February 1923 during the British rule. From 1924 to 1947, convocations were held every year (24 times in total). The last convocation was held on 21 November 1947 during the British rule. The first convocation of Dhaka University was held on 24 March 1947 during the Pakistan period. 


Then until 1960 there were 15 more convocations. The last convocation during the Pakistan period was on March 7, 1970; That was the 39th convocation of the university. The first (40th) convocation after independence was to be held on 15 August 1975. The convocation of the university principal Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman as the President was to be inaugurated; But before that, at dawn, a brutal massacre took place, the August 15 tragedy.  


Then the 40th convocation was held on 16 December 1999. Then in 2001 the convocation was held. Since then convocations have been held regularly. The last 52nd convocation was held on 9 December 2019.


Notable Alumni


1. Sheikh Mujibur Rahman, Father of Nation

2. Syed Nazrul Islam, the first interim president of Bangladesh

3. Tajuddin Ahmed, the first Prime Minister of Bangladesh

4. Jamal Uddin Ahmed

5. Abdul Matin Chowdhury, Physicist

6. AKM Siddique, Physicist

7. Golam Mohammad Bhoona, Physicist

08. MA Wazed Mia, Physicist

09. Professor. Anupam Sen - Sociologist and Ekushey Padak winner

10. Khandaker Siddique-i-Rabbani, Physicist

11. Imdadul Haque Khan, Physicist

12. Mohammad Ataul Karim, Physicist

13. AM Harun-ur-Rashid, Physicist

14. M. Innas Ali, Physicist

15. Kamrul Haider, Physicist

16. Khandaker Abdul Muttalib, Physicist

17. Sultana Nurun Nahar, Physicist

18. Dr. AFM Yusuf Haider, nominated, Nobel Prize in Physics 1994, 2013

19. Dr. Shahida Rafiq, nominated, Nobel Prize in Physics 2001

20. Muhammad Munirul Islam, physicist

21. Saleh Farooq

22. Fazlur Rahman Khan, Civil Engineer, Architect

23. Dr. Muhammad Yunus, eminent economist of Bangladesh and founder of Grameen Bank. He was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize in 2006.

24. Hafiz GA Siddiqui, Vice Chancellor, Economist, North South University

25. Abdus Sattar Khan, Chemist

26. Fazlul Halim Chowdhury, Chemist, Former Vice Chancellor, Dhaka University

27. Abul Hussam, Chemist

28. Abed Chowdhury, Geneticist

29. Shah Mohammad Farooq

30. Shah AMS Kibria, Economist, Diplomat, Politician, Former Finance Minister of Bangladesh

31. Shahabuddin Ahmed, Former President

32. Shaikhul Hadith Principal Muhammad Abdus Samad, Sahih Bukhari's Bengali translator and Islamic thinker

33. Abdul Bari is a former vice chancellor

38. Muhammad Asadullah Al-Ghalib, Islamic thinker

39. Akhtaruzzaman Elias, Fiction Writer

40. Buddhadev Bose, Bengali poet, essayist, playwright, novelist, translator and editor

41. Jahanara Imam, writer, novelist, academic and leader of the anti-war criminals movement.

42. Humayun Ahmed, Fiction Writer

43. Humayun Azad, Fiction writer

44. Humayun Qadir, Fiction writer

45. Rafiq Kaiser, Researcher, Essayist

46. Muhammad Zafar Iqbal, author.

47. Dr. Muhammad Mushtaq Hossain, Public Health expert, pathologist and political figure

48. Professor Ali Azgar, scientist and author, etc 


Monuments and sculptures located at Dhaka University


DU Symbol of protest


1. Invincible Bengali

2. Anti-terror Raju memorial sculpture

3. Self-acquired freedom

4. Doyle Square

5. Shrine of three leaders

6. Dhaka Gate

7. Freedom struggle

8. Swami Vivekananda sculpture

9. Shaheed Minar

10. Hate column

11. Honeycomb sculpture

12. Satta Shahid Memorial

13. Buddhist sculpture

14. Martyr Dr. Milon sculpture

15. Peace dove sculpture

Dhaka University Gate


Known as the Oxford of the East, Dhaka University has maintained its uniqueness since its inception.



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