The university traces its origins to Rangoon University‘s Department of Engineering established in 1924 during the British colonial period. In the beginning, the department was located in the extended compound of Rangoon General Hospital in downtown Yangon and consisted of two lecturers and 17 students. In 1927, it became a separate entity, BOC College of Engineering and Mining, named after Burmah Oil Company, and was moved four miles north. Civil Engineering was the only program offered until 1938 when a combined Mechanical and Electrical Engineering program was added.
After World War II, in 1946, the college became the Faculty of Engineering of Rangoon University. After Burma’s independence in 1948, the college added Mining, Chemical, Metallurgy and Architecture programs in 1954 and a Textile Engineering program in 1955.
In 1961, the college became Burma Institute of Technology (BIT) of Rangoon University and was moved to the current building complex in Gyogone built by the Soviet Union. In 1964, BIT was renamed Rangoon Institute of Technology (RIT) and, more importantly, made an independent university under the Ministry of Education. RIT began conferring Bachelor of Engineering and Master of Engineering degrees instead of Bachelor of Science (Engineering) and Master Science (Engineering) degrees, hitherto offered at Rangoon University. The university expanded its bachelor’s and master’s degree offerings to the current 11 disciplines over the years. The PhD programs were added only in 1997.
The university was renamed Yangon Institute of Technology (YIT) in 1990 and was placed under the Ministry of Science and Technology in 1997. In 1998, the name of the university was changed to Yangon Technological University (YTU). In 1999, a new campus located six miles west of Gyogone in Hlaingtharya was opened. Until 1991, when Mandalay Institute of Technology was founded, the university was the only senior engineering university in the country, along with several Government Technical Institutes (GTIs), which offered two-year engineering diplomas.
YTU remains one of the most selective universities in the country.