Patna University, the nation's 9th oldest university, was founded as a teaching and affiliating university in 1917. After various changes to its status, it finally became a teaching and residential university in March 1962.
The University is located at Patna and its jurisdiction extends over the area bounded by the river Ganges on the north, the main railway lines on the south, Patna Digha railway lines on the west, and on the east a straight line joining B.N.R Training College and mile-post 337 on main railway line.
The Institute of Correspondence Courses was established in 1974 with a view to providing facilities for instruction through correspondence to all those who, for one reason or another, are unable to join conventional institutions although academically qualified to do so. The main aim of the Institute is to provide educational opportunities to the citizens of India to expand their knowledge and improve their academic qualifications while working for their livelihood.
The following programs are currently offered: Intermediate in Arts, Intermediate in Commerce, Bachelor of Arts (Honors) and Bachelor of Commerce (Honors), Masters in Arts and Masters in Commerce and various degrees equivalent to Masters of Science.
The University has recently added some vocational courses to the curricula such as Bachelor of Library and Information Science, Postgraduate Diplomas in Public Administration and Local Self Government; International Relations; and Journalism.
In 2003, the historical Bihar College of Engineering located at the bank of Gandhi Ghat was changed to the National Institute of Technology (NIT) thus making it eligible for various grants, better teaching facilities and hiring of more teachers.
Admission is open to all Indian citizens. For the Intermediate in Arts and Commerce, applicants should have completed the examinations of the Bihar State Examination Board or its equivalent. For the BA and B.Com., applicants should have successfully completed the Intermediate in Arts or Commerce respectively. Minimum qualification for vocational courses are graduate in any stream.
Printed lessons are sent to the students at regular intervals. Students are required to complete 20 assignments for the Bachelor of Arts and Commerce at general level and 30 assignments at the honors level. Personal contact programs are held at Patna where reading facilities are provided. Students may also borrow books from the library.
The University operates a three term semester: July to early October, mid-November to 3rd week in December, early January to early June.