Orta Doğu Teknik Üniversitesi started education on November 15, 1956 as the of "Orta Doğu Yüksek Teknoloji Enstitüsü" (Middle East High Technology Institute) in order to contribute to the development of Turkey and countries in the Middle East, and especially to train people so as to create a skilled workforce in the fields of natural and social sciences. On January 29, 1957, Law Number 6887 on the foundation of our university and the relevant procedures came into force. On May 27th, 1959, however, “Foundation Law Number 7307”, which specified the special status of ODTÜ and rendered it a juridical entity, was enacted.

ODTÜ, which introduced numerous innovations to the Turkish higher education system and became a pioneer in modern education, spent its initial years in a small building owned by the Social Security Institution on Müdafaa Street in Kızılay and the barracks behind the Turkish Grand National Assembly (TBMM), until it moved in 1963 to its present location, the first university campus of our country.  Initially, the Department of Architecture started education in 1956, followed by Mechanical Engineering in 1957. At the beginning of the 1957-58 academic year, the Faculties of Architecture, Engineering, and Administrative Sciences were established, and in 1959, the establishment of the Faculty of Arts and Sciences was completed. The Faculty of Education started education in 1982. Today, ODTÜ embodies 5 faculties, running a total of 43 programs on its Ankara, Erdemli, and Northern Cyprus Campuses.

The Graduate Schools of Natural and Applied Sciences, Social Sciences, Informatics, Applied Mathematics, and Marine Sciences run 107 Master programs and 69 Doctoral programs.   Of these graduate schools, Marine Sciences conducts its programs in İçel Erdemli.

The medium of instruction at ODTÜ is English.  English language education for preparatory class students is provided by the School of Foreign Languages.

With its weight in science, culture and philosophy since it was established, and with its qualified alumni, our university has become one of the prestigious and reputable institutions in our country. Today, ODTÜ is proud to employ approximately 791 academicians (Prof., Assoc. Prof., Asst. Prof.), 225 lecturers1.273 research assistants, and more than 28.000 students. The total number of its alumni is over 120.000.