The Universidade Federal de Mato Grosso do Sul (Federal University of Mato Grosso do Sul) (UFMS) had its origin in 1962, with the creation of the Faculdade de Farmácia e Odontologia de Campo Grande (Faculty of Pharmacy and Dentistry of Campo Grande), in the city of Campo Grande, which would be the birth of public higher education in the southern part of what at that time was the state of Mato Grosso.

On July 26th, 1966, by the Federal Law no. 2,620, these courses were absorbed with the creation of the Instituto de Ciências Biológicas de Campo Grande (Biological Sciences Institute of Campo Grande) (ICBCG), which reshaped the previous structure, established departments and created the medical school.

The State Government of Mato Grosso, in 1967, created the Instituto Superior de Pedagogia (Higher Institute of Pedagogy) in Corumbá and the Instituto de Ciências Humanas e Letras (Institute of Human Sciences and Arts) in Três Lagoas, expanding the public higher education in the state.

Integrating the Institutes of Campo Grande, Corumbá and Três Lagoas, the State Law no. 2,947 of September 16th, 1969, created the Universidade Estadual de Mato Grosso (State University of Mato Grosso) (UEMT).

In 1970, the Pedagogical Center of Aquidauana and Dourados were created and incorporated into UEMT.

With the break-up of the State of Mato Grosso, the federalization of the institution was realized and it was now called Fundação Universidade Federal de Mato Grosso do Sul (Federal University of Mato Grosso do Sul Foundation), by the Federal Law no. 6,674, of July 5th, 1979. The then Pedagogical Center of Rondonópolis, based in Rondonópolis/MT, was now integrated into the Universidade Federal de Mato Grosso (Federal University of Mato Grosso) (UFMT).

In addition to the headquarters in Campo Grande, where the units Centro de Ciências Biológicas e da Saúde (Biological and Health Sciences Center) (CCBS), Centro de Ciências Humanas e Sociais (Human and Social Sciences Center) (CCHS), Faculdade de Computação (Faculty of Computing) (Facom), Faculdade de Direito (Faculty of Law) (Fadir), Faculdade de Medicina (Faculty of Medicine) (Famed), Faculdade de Medicina Veterinária e Zootecnia (Faculty of Veterinary Medicine and Animal Sciences) (Famez), Faculdade de Odontologia (Faculty of Dentistry) (Faodo) e Faculdade de Engenharias, Arquitetura e Urbanismo e Geografia (Faculty of Engineering, Architecture and Urbanism and Geography) (Faeng); Instituto de Matemática (Mathematics Intitute) (INMA), Instituto de Química (Chemistry Institute) (INQUI) and Instituto de Física (Physics Institute) (INFI) operate, UFMS has campuses in Aquidauana, Bonito, Chapadão do Sul, Corumbá, Coxim, Naviraí, Nova Andradina, Paranaíba, Ponta Porã and Três Lagoas, decentralizing the education to fulfill the main developing centers in the State.

UFMS has undergraduate and graduate courses, both by attendance and at a distance. The graduate courses emcompass the specialization couses and the master’s and doctorate programs.

Aiming to reach the essential objectives of improvement of the education and incentive toward the research and extension activities, UFMS has been actively participating in the preservation of the natural resources of Mato Grosso do Sul, especially the fauna and flora of Pantanal, region where it is located.

The Dourados Campus (CPDO) was transformed into the Universidade Federal da Grande Dourados (Federal University of Grande Dourados) (UFGD), with its instalation ocurring on January 1st, 2006, according to the Law no. 11,153, of July 29th, 2005.