In 1962, the Higher Preparatory School for Foreign Students was established.
In 1964, the school admitted its first Chinese undergraduate students majoring in foreign languages.
In 1965, the school was renamed Beijing Language Institute, as was approved by Premier Zhou Enlai.
In 1974, Chairman Mao Zedong superscribed for the institute “Beijing Language Institute” in Chinese characters.
In 1978, the institute became the first in the country to offer international students an officially approved undergraduate degree in Chinese, and was among the first to offer short-term training in Chinese as well.
In 1985, the institute was among the first in China to offer an undergraduate degree in Teaching Chinese as a Foreign Language.
In 1986, the institute admitted its first graduate students in Teaching Chinese as a Foreign Language.
In 1996, the institute was renamed Beijing Language and Culture University.
In 1998, the university was approved to offer doctoral degrees in linguistics and applied linguistics.
In 2006, the university was approved to offer doctoral degrees in Chinese language and literature.
In 2011, the university was approved to offer doctoral degrees in foreign languages and literature