In Minas Gerais, the first institution of higher level - the School of Pharmacy, Ouro Preto - dates from 1839. In 1875 the School of Mines was created and, in 1892, already in the republican period, the old capital of the State also gains the Law School.
In 1898, with the change of the capital, the Faculty of Right is transferred to Belo Horizonte. Then, in 1907, the Free School of Dentistry was created and, four years later, the Faculty of Medicine and the School of Engineering. And in 1911, the course of Pharmacy appears, attached to the Free School of Dentistry.
The creation of a university in the state was already part of the political project of the Inconfidentes. The idea, however, only came to fruition in 1927, with the founding of the University of Minas Gerais (UMG), a private institution, subsidized by the state, which emerged from the union of the four higher-level schools then existing in Belo Horizonte. The UMG remained in the state sphere until 1949, when it was federalized. Also in the 1940s, an extensive area was incorporated into the territorial patrimony of the University, in the Pampulha region, for the construction of the University City. The first buildings erected where the Pampulha campus is today were the Instituto de Mecânica (current Technical College) and the Rectory. The campus only began to be effectively occupied by the university community in the 1960s, with the beginning of construction of the buildings that now house most of the academic units.
The current name - Federal University of Minas Gerais (UFMG) - was only adopted in 1965.
At the time of federalization, the School of Architecture and the Faculties of Philosophy and Economic Sciences were already integrated into UFMG. Then, as part of its expansion and diversification, the University incorporated and created new units and courses. The School of Nursing (1950), the Veterinary School (1961), the Minas Gerais Conservatory of Music (1962) and the Biblioteconomy (1962), Fine Arts (1963) and Physical Education (1969) schools emerged successively. .
In 1968, the University Reform imposed a profound alteration to the organic structure of UFMG. This reform resulted in the unfolding of the former Faculty of Philosophy in several colleges and institutes. Thus, the current Faculty of Philosophy and Human Sciences, the Institute of Biological Sciences, the Institute of Exact Sciences and their respective basic cycles, the Institute of Geosciences and the Faculties of Literature and Education, emerged.
Today, firmly established as a reference institution for the rest of the country, UFMG continues to expand. Five courses were created in the last four years: Agronomy (in Montes Claros), Performing Arts, Control Engineering and Automation, Computational Mathematics, Speech Therapy and, more recently, Nutrition. Opportunities for entry grow steadily. In addition to Belo Horizonte, the vestibular exam is now carried out in twelve cities in the interior of the State - Conselheiro Lafaiete, Contagem, Coronel Fabriciano, Divinópolis, Governador Valadares, Juiz de Fora, Lavras, Montes Claros, Pouso Alegre, Sete Lagoas, Uberlândia and Viçosa .