Jai Narain Vyas University is the second university in the State of Rajasthan. The university was established in 1962 by the Jodhpur University Act (Act XVII), enacted by the State Legislature for the Unitary Teaching University. Dr. Sarvepalli Radhakrishnan opened the university on 24 August 1962.

The university began operations in June 1962 when it took over the four colleges of Jodhpur run by the state government. These colleges were:

  • Jaswant College (campus of the Faculty of Commerce)
  • Shri Maharaj Kumar College (campus of the Faculty of Law, Institute of Evening Studies, and undergraduate studies of the Faculty of Arts)
  • Mugneeram Bangur Memorial Engineering College (campus of the Faculty of Engineering)
  • Kamla Nehru Girls College (the university's multi-faculty constituent college)

The first two colleges were converted into the Faculties of Arts, Commerce, Law, Science and Social Sciences; the other two colleges retained their identity and function and have been designated as the MBM Engineering College and Kamla Nehru College for Women.

Shah G.L. Kabra Teacher's Training College was a private college at the time of the university's founding. It is now one of the affiliated colleges of the university.

On 12 February 1992, the name of the institution was changed from Jodhpur University to Jai Narain Vyas University. It is a residential university and the colleges within the municipal limits of Jodhpur are affiliated to it. It received University Grants Commission recognition as a university on 14 July 1962.

At some point[when?] a modern campus was built, known as New Campus.