The University Department of Croatian Studies of the University of Zagreb was founded on the 16 November 1992, as a two-semester university comparative study of Croatian philosophy and society. During the first year of the programme it was transformed into a regular four-year study programme, with three study programmes: the comparative study of Croatian culture (CROATICUM), the study of Philosophy and the Study of Society. After the study programme of Philosophy and Religious Culture of the Faculty of Philosophy of the Society of Jesus was added, these study programmes and curricula proposals were accepted by the Scientific-educational Council of the University of Zagreb on 28 September 1993. From that time on, the institution is officially known as the Centre for Croatian Studies, today University Department for Croatian Studies.
On 24 November 1995, the Senate of the University of Zagreb adopted the Regulations on the structure and activities of the Croatian Studies. In accordance with the Regulations the Croatian Studies was established as a university centre with the legal status of a branch of the University of Zagreb. Having regulated its legal status and initiated the process of adoption of the four-year undergraduate study programmes during the 1996 (Philosophy, Croatian Culture, Journalism, History, Sociology, plus Philosophy and Religious Culture offered by the Jesuit Faculty of Philosophy, and then in 1997 Psychology), the Centre accomplished the second phase of its development and was constituted as a university centre at its present scope. The cooperation with the Faculty of Philosophy of the Society of Jesus was secured through agreement with the Jesuit Faculty of Philosophy, signed on 16 October 1997. By the Decision on the structure and activities of departments of the Croatian Studies (2009), adopted by the Scientific-educational Council of the Croatian Studies, research and teaching activities of the University Department were organized through nine divisions: Division of Philosophy, Division of Croatian Latinity, Division of Communication Studies, Division of Croatology, Division of History, Division of Psychology, Division of Sociology and Division of Educational Sciences and Teacher Education.
According to the Statute of the University of Zagreb from 25 February 2005, the University Department for Croatian Studies has the status of a research and teaching constituent of the University that organizes and conducts research, teaching and professional activities, and coordinates such activities within the University. In 2005, together with the Jesuit Faculty of Philosophy, the University Department for Croatian Studies initiated the process of ratification of 13 undergraduate, 12 graduate and 5 postgraduate doctoral study programmes.
The Croatian Studies are a pivotal higher education and scientific research institution of the University of Zagreb and of the Republic of Croatia, which performs and coordinates scientific, educational and research activities in the areas of humanities and social sciences and in the interdisciplinary field of science, in particular in the research of the Croatian society and in the field of study and affirmation of the Croatian science, education and culture in the Republic of Croatia and worldwide.
The Croatian Studies organize, carry out and coordinate scientific research and scientific,educational projects and programmes in the field of humanities as well as in relevant interdisciplinary fields of science with a special interest in the study of different components of the Croatian society within and outside the Republic of Croatia and for their long-term sustainable and coordinated development. The Croatian Studies carry out and co-ordinate activities that fall within the scope of the University of Zagreb and other higher education institutions in the Republic of Croatia and public research institutes, as well as institutions focused on the research of Croatian society, research and promotion of the Croatian culture, education and science, and is engaged in establishing and connecting related institutions in the Republic of Croatia and abroad.