The University of Thessaly was founded in 1984 and has elected the first Rectorate Board in 1998. Its administrative and academic centre is in the city of Volos. In order to serve the needs of the region of Thessaly, its first Departments were based on agricultural, educational and technological sciences. In its initial phase of organization and operation there have been eight Departments, seven of them in Volos and one, the School of Medicine, in Larissa. Since 1984 and onwards the University of Thessaly has been gradually growing with new Departments in the four biggest cities of the region of Thessaly, Volos, Larissa, Trikala and Karditsa. Its present academic structure consists of sixteen (16) Departments, four (4) Faculties and they were all founded by the end of 2000-01.
The main mission of the University of Thessaly is the promotion of scientific knowledge through research and the contribution to the cultural and economic development of the local community and wider society. It is known for its excellent research performance and outstanding scientific achievements, in accordance with the international standards. The excellent equipped Laboratories of the different Departments and Research Units have a number of well trained researchers to support them. The members of the academic and research staff participate in European research networks and numerous innovative research projects in the EC.
Emphasis is also given on the bond between the University of Thessaly and the local society. This bond is further supported by the operation of the University Hospital of Larissa which covers the medical needs of the whole region of Thessaly. The University brings also students in contact with the labour market through its Career Office, and it encourages a great deal of social activities and public lectures on various issues held by qualified academic staff. Since May 2009 there has also been a significant cooperation between the University and the National Radio of Volos for the organization of radio broadcasts, which have a main impact in the local and wider society.