The Bombay legislature of the erstwhile Bombay Presidency established Karnatak University through the Karnatak University Act 1949. It became a statutory University on 1st March 1950. The jurisdiction of the University covers Dharwad. Gadag, Haveri and Uttar Kannada districts. It has several Post Graduate centres. The University (888 acres) is offering courses in the faculties of Arts, Commerce, Education, Law, Management, Science and Technology and Social Sciences. Symbolic of the University’s vision and mission the emblem of the University consists of papal tree at the centre, an open book. Figures of a bull, a rising sun and the legend ‘Arive Guru’ i.e., Wisdom is Guru, implying that both wisdom and knowledge should be all pervading like the ramifying papal tree and light up the world with knowledge and eradicate illiteracy.
There are 47 PG Departments, 224 teachers and 4500 students (PG, M.Phil., Ph.D.). The girl students constitute 47% of the tota strength. Including PG Diploma, M.Phil and Ph.D. Courses. 6% of the students are from outside the State. To eliminate social exclusion and promote social justice, seats are reserved for SC/ST, Cat-I, Minorities, OBC and BC categories in accordance with the policy of the State Government. One seat each is reserved for the children of ex-servicemen, freedom fighters, physically challenged and sportsmen. The University has its own High School (University Public School) since 1964. Which meets the practice requirements of the B.Ed College of Karnatak University.