The tradition of university education in Košice began in 1657 with the founding of the university “Academia Cassoviensis” by Bishop Benedikt Kisdy. The Golden Bull, granted on August 6, 1660 by the Roman Emperor Leopold I, ensured the university similar privileges as universities in Vienna, Prague and other European cities. The university in its changed form, first as the Royal Academy, later as the Law Academy, lasted until 1921.
In its modern form, the University of Košice was founded in 1959 as the second university in Slovakia. It meant an important contribution to the development of educational and scientific research activities in Košice. The university was named after the scientist, poet, linguist, ethnographer and archaeologist Pavol Jozef Šafárik (1795 – 1861). At the time of its establishment, it comprised the Faculty of Medicine and Philosophy. Gradually, other faculties were established in Košice and Prešov: Faculty of Natural Sciences, Faculty of Law, Faculty of Pedagogy, Greek Catholic Theological Faculty and Orthodox Theological Faculty.
P.J. Šafárik University was divided into two universities on January 1, 1997: P.J. Šafárik University in Košice and Prešov University in Prešov. Today, UPJŠ in Košice comprises 5 faculties: Faculty of Medicine, Faculty of Science, Faculty of Law, Faculty of Public Administration and Faculty of Arts.