The University of Grenoble has been in existence since 1339. Discover the key dates in its history.
Created for the first time in 1339, the second in 1542, and the third in 1896 by regrouping the faculties of law, letters and sciences, Grenoble's university was at the beginning of the 19th century a part of the Imperial University. It was then divided into four institutions after the events of 1968, before being partially reestablished in its entirety in January 2016, and more completely on 1 January 2020.

The excellence of the site in research, training and innovation, and the effectiveness of the cooperation between the stakeholders allowed the university to obtain the "Initiative of Excellence" (Idex) label in January 2016. This prestigious label distinguishes a dozen university sites in France.

In 2019, the EPE ("Établissement Public Expérimental") named "Université Grenoble Alpes" was formed from the Communauté Université Grenoble Alpes (ComUE), Université Grenoble Alpes, Grenoble INP (INPG), Sciences Po Grenoble (IEPG) and Grenoble's National School of Architecture (ENSAG). The Comue disappeared, its collective missions taken over by the new institution that integrates the three schools.

Key dates


The decree of creation of the "experimental public establishment", dated October 31, published in the Journal Officiel on Sunday, November 3, 2019.
The new Université Grenoble Alpes was thus officially born. It is the culmination of a collective work that has made it possible to federate all the forces of higher education and research, particularly since 2012. It is a decisive step after the merger of the universities in 2016 and the culmination of a strategic project carried by the site's institutions and research organisations as part of the Excellence Initiative project, which is also decisive for the local, regional and national environment of Higher Education and Research (ESR).


Merger of the three Grenoble universities: Université Joseph Fourier (Grenoble 1, UJF), Université Pierre-Mendès-France (Grenoble 2, UPMF), Université Stendhal (Grenoble 3). The new university is now called Université Grenoble Alpes. Its ambition is to be even more visible internationally and thus to attract the best students, teachers and lecturers. A single large multidisciplinary university, Université Grenoble Alpes, together with its partners, "grandes écoles" and research organisations in the Alpine furrow, is committed to promote Grenoble's expertise in terms of training and research at an international level.


March: Deployment of the common scientific signature. Integration of the research poles.
September: Start of the construction of PILSI (International Pole for Intelligent Systems).
December: Abolition of the PRES and creation of the ComUE Université Grenoble Alpes.


Opening of the Clinatec center under the guidance of the CEA (Center for Nuclear Studies), the UJF, the CHU (University Hospital Center) and INSERM (The National Institute of Health and Medical Research) to bring medical research closer to new technologies.


Creation of the University of Grenoble PRES: implementation of the campus operation, integration of the doctoral college.


The GIP (Grenoble pôle européen universitaire et scientifique) becomes Grenoble Universités.


Inauguration of the Minatec platform (Micro and Nano TECHnologies) developed by CEA, INP and UJF.


Creation of the GreEn-ER innovation cluster on energy and renewable resources.
Launch of the GreCO project (Grenoble, Open Campus) to define a common and coherent strategy in the training sector, and to develop "reasoned uses of information and communication technologies".


Inauguration of the Institute of Communication and Media at Stendhal University.


Creation of MARSH (Maison Rhône-Alpes des Sciences de l'Homme), which became MSH-Alpes in 1998.


Commissioning of the Synchrotron.
Creation of the Drôme-Ardèche University Development Agency (ADUDA), in the form of a Public Interest Grouping (GIP), on the joint initiative of three local authorities.


Creation of the GIP Grenoble European university and scientific pole.


Creation of the IUFM (Institut Universitaire de la Formation des Maîtres), which has now become the INSPE (Institut National Supérieur du Professorat et de l'Education).
The University of Social Sciences becomes the Pierre Mendès France University.
Creation of the IUT of Valence.


Opening of the Valencia Centre of the Stendhal University.


Creation of PARN (Pôle Alpin Risques Naturels).
The scientific and medical university becomes the Joseph Four University.
The University of Languages and Letters becomes the Stendhal University.


Creation of the CUEFA (University Centre for Adult Education) under the supervision of the INP and the Scientific and Medical University.


First inter-institutional structure dedicated to campus management.
Creation of the PUG (Presses Universitaires de Grenoble).


Creation of three disciplinary universities which regroup the former faculties: the University of Science and Medicine (Grenoble 1), the University of Social Sciences (Grenoble 2), the University of Languages and Letters (Grenoble 3) and creation of the Grenoble Polytechnic Institute.


Creation of the IUT of Grenoble on an experimental basis, with four departments: Mechanical engineering; Energy, electrical engineering; Computer science; Business management. In May 1968, it was divided into two separate institutions (IUT 1 (now 1) and IUT B (now 2)).


Creation of the mixed faculty of medicine and pharmacy in Grenoble.
Birth of the Scientific Campus on the grounds of the polygon. Start of construction of the CNRS (National Centre for Scientific Research) buildings.
Laying of the foundation stone for the first building on the Saint-Martin-d'Hères campus, the Applied Mathematics building to house Jean Kunzmann's IBM computer.


10 July: presentation of the master plan for the new Saint-Martin d'Hères campus.


Installation of the CENG (Centre d'Etudes Nucléaires de Grenoble), which Louis Néel took over on 27 January.


Foundation of the Association of Friends of the University of Grenoble under the presidency of Paul-Louis Merlin.


May: Celebration of the 600th anniversary of the University of Grenoble.


The Faculty of Science leaves the Palace on the Place de Verdun for good. Its dean, René Gosse, moved to the Fourier Institute built opposite the Church of the Sacred Heart, which had become Place Doyen Gosse.


Creation of the seventh École régionale d'architecture in Grenoble, since renamed École nationale supérieure d'architecture de Grenoble


Multiplication of new institutes attached to the various faculties: Electrotechnics (1901) which became the Polytechnic Institute in 1909 after the creation of the School of Papermaking; Alpine Geography (1905); Phonetics (1908), Business Studies (1912); Electrochemistry and Electrometallurgy (1921). At the same time, the Faculty of Letters created the two French Institutes of Florence (1908) and Naples (1921).


Start of construction of the buildings of the Polytechnic Institute on a plot of land donated by the industrialist Casimir Brenier.


Decree on the decentralization of the University of France and the creation of sixteen universities. That of Grenoble is inaugurated by the President of the Republic Félix faute on August 6, 1897.
Foundation of the Committee for the Patronage of Foreign Students attached to the Faculty of Letters, which became the University Centre for French Studies (CUEF) of Grenoble (integration of the CPEE into Stendhal University in 2012).


Creation of the Jardin Alpin du Lautaret.
Opening of the new medical school building in rue Lesdiguières.


Creation of the AGEG (Association Générale des Etudiants de Grenoble).


Inauguration of the Palais de l'Université de Grenoble on Place de Verdun built by the Parisian architect Honoré Daumet and the Grenoble architect Riondet.
March: Creation of the society for the development of technical education near the University of Grenoble.


Restoration of the Faculty of Arts.


The Secondary School of Medicine is transformed into the Preparatory School of Medicine and Pharmacy.


Abolition, then re-establishment of the law faculty following the Didier conjuration and for Orléanism.


Installation of the faculties in the former Dominican monastery, known as "la Halle" because of its partial conversion to accommodate this service.


Decree of 31 October abolishing the faculty of letters for Bonapartism.


Creation of the Faculty of Science.


Creation of the Faculty of Arts.


Decree of 18 March creating the Imperial University, authorizing the creation of a faculty within a new institution, the academy, whose boundaries are modeled on those of the courts of appeal, and headed by a rector. The jurist Benoît Pal was the first rector of this academy. The mathematician Joseph Fourier was then prefect of Isère.
The Law School becomes the Faculty of Law.


Creation of the Grenoble Law School.


15 September: The Convention abolishes the University of Valencia and all the universities of the Ancient Regime.


Successive attempts to transfer from the University of Valence to Grenoble failed.


Abolition of the University of Grenoble at the request of the Bishop of Valence, Jean de Montluc, and allocation of its income to the latter.


Re-establishment of the University of Grenoble at the request of the parliament of Dauphiné and the city's municipal magistrates.


Abolition of the University of Grenoble and creation of the University of Valence by the Dauphin Louis II (future King Louis XI).


Creation of the University in Grenoble by the dauphin Humbert II. Classes take place in rented rooms on Place Saint-André. The university's activities quickly dwindle at the end of the 14th century.
Published on  July 20, 2020
Updated on May 4, 2023