Bharath University was founded in 1984 as Bharath Institute of Science and Technology by S. Jagathrakshakan. It is among the first autonomous engineering colleges in Tamil Nadu. It was first affiliated to Madras University followed by Anna University. The institute was awarded deemed university status in 2002 by the University Grants Commission in recognition of its academic excellence. Hence, the name was changed to Bharath Institute of Higher Education and Research. In September 2006, it was renamed as Bharath University as per a decree issued by the University Grants Commission enabling deemed universities to include the word "university" in their names.