The Karnatak University () established initially at Mumbai in 1949, the location was shifted to Dharwad in October, 1949 and Karnatak University had its official inauguration in March 1950. The campus spans 750 acres (3 km²). Dr. D. C. Pavate was the vice-chancellor of the university from 1954 to 1967. The rapid development of the institution is credited to him.
The university was also recognized with the "Potential for Excellence" by UGC (University Grants Commission of India). The university is the second oldest, after University of Mysore, in the state of Karnataka.
Dr. H.B. Walikar is the current Vice-Chancellor of the University.