History of engineering education in Nepal can be traced since 1942, when Technical Training School was established. Engineering section of the school offered only trades and civil sub-overseers programs. In 1959, Nepal Engineering Institute, with the assistance of the government of India, started offering civil overseer courses leading to Diploma in Civil Engineering. The Technical Training Institute established in 1965, with the assistance from the Government of Federal Republic of Germany, offered technician courses in General courses in General Mechanics, Auto Mechanics, Electrical Engineering and Mechanical Drafting. In 1972, the Nepal Engineering Institute ar Pulchowk and the Technical Training Institute at Thapathali were brought together under the umbrella of the Tribhuvan University to constitute the Institute of Engineering and the Nepal Engineering Institute and the Technical Training Institute were renamed as Pulchowk Campus and Thapathali Campus respectively.
Since then, the Institute of Engineering has expanded considerably. The technician programs in Electrical, Electronics, Refrigeration/Air-conditioning Engineering were started in the Pulchowk Campus, with the assistance from UNDP/ILO. The Architecture Technician program was started by the IOE in its own effort. With the assistance of the World Bank and UK, later, the existing technician level courses were strengthened and Bachelor's Degree level course in Civil Engineering was started.Similarly, with the assistance of the World Bank, the Swiss Government, and the Canadian Government, Bachelor Degree level courses in the Electronics, Electrical, Mechanical engineering and Architecture were started in the Pulchowk Campus. From academic year 1998/99 IOE has started Bachelor's Degree program in Computer Engineering. In 1996 Pulchowk Campus, with support from the Norwegian Government, has started M.Sc. Courses in Urban Planning, Structural Enginnering, Environmental Engineering and Water Resources Engineering Pulchowk Campus has also started M.Sc. courses in Renewable energy and Geothermal Engineering, Information and communication and Power systems Engineering effective from December, 2001. The diploma level programs at the Pulchowk Campus have been transferred to other three IOE campuses.
The Thapathali Campus is presently offering three-year Diploma level courses in Mechanical, Automobile, Civil Engineering and Architecture.
The Eastern Region Campus in Dharan, which began operating from 1984, was built with the financial assistance from Asian Development Bank and the technical assistance from the UK. This campus initially offered courses at the trade and technician levels. Now, it is offering Diploma level courses in the Civil, Electrical, Mechanical and Refrigeration/Air-conditioning Engineering. From academic year 2000/2001 Bachelor's Degree program in Agricultural Engineering has been started.
The Western Region Campus in Pokhara of IOE became operational from 1987, with the assistance from the World Bank and UNDP/ILO. Initially various trades and technician courses were offered at this campus. At present, it is offering Diploma level courses in the Civil, Electrical, Electronics, Automobile and Mechanical Engineering. From academic year 1999/2000 Bachelor's Degree program in Civil Engineering has been started.