The University of Trento is one of the youngest Italian Universities. In the year 1962 the Autonomous Province of Trento founded the Istituto Superiore di Scienze Sociali with the purposes of 'promoting the progress of the social sciences by providing the scientific knowledge and methodological skills, required by those embarking on careers in teaching, scientific research, or activities and professions which require an academic background in the social disciplines'.
In 1972 the Istituto Superiore di Scienze Sociali became the Libera Università degli Studi di Trento (a private University). The University now had three Faculties: a Faculty of Sociology, a Faculty of Mathematical, Physical and Natural Sciences, and a Faculty of Economics.
The academic year of 1982-1983 saw inception of the Università Statale degli Studi di Trento (State University). In the following academic year the Faculty of Law and the Faculty of Arts and Philosophy were opened. The Faculty of Engineering was created in the academic year of 1985-86. In the year of 2004 the seventh Faculty-Cognitive Sciences-was founded.