National Defense University (NDU) was established in 1906, and it has a long history that lasts over a century. During this period, NDU has changed its name 9 times and was headed by over 30 superintendents. Up to date, NDU has trained thousands of outstanding officers who vowed to protect the people and served the country. The NDU history is separated into four periods: Army College, Tri-Service Staff University, Tri-Service University and National Defense University, which are elaborated as follows:
|1.||Army College Period|
|Army Officer School was set up in Baodin in Hebei Province in 1906. It was renamed as Army Preparatory School in July 1910. Then, it was relocated to Beiping in October 1911 and was renamed as Army College. Soon after, it was moved to different places due to the war. In May 1949, Army College was ordered to move to Taiwan. It was transferred to Hsinchu City in 1951. The Army College Period ended in 1952 after graduation of the Class 23.|
|2.||Tri-Service Staff University Period|
|In May 1952, the Army College relocated from Hsinchu to Dazhi, Taipei and was renamed as National Defense University. In November of the same year, it was renamed as National Defense School. In September 1959, the School changed its name as Tri-Service Joint Staff University. In September 1968, it was renamed again as Tri-Service Joint University due to the merger of Advanced Course of Army, Navy and Air Force with the Regular Course of Tri-Service Joint Staff University.|
|3.||Tri-Service University Period|
|In December 1969, the Tri-Service Joint University was reconstructed as War College which merged with the Tri-Service Staff College of Army, Navy and Air Force and became Tri-Service University. In June 1997, Tri-Service University was temporarily moved to the “Wuhan Garrison” in Longtan, Taoyuan City as an ongoing new campus construction project started at new location. The Institute of Military Studies was established in this period and later was renamed as Strategic and International Affairs Institute in 1990.|
|4.||National Defense University Period|
In May 1990, the War College and the Command & General Staff College of Army, Navy and Air Force were respectively renamed as Strategic College, Army College, Navy College and Air Force College. All these colleges were subordinate to the Military College. Later, the Military College combined with National Defense Medical College, Chung Cheng Institute of Technology and National Defense Management College became the main colleges of NDU.
In September 2006, in pursuing of modern armed force build-up, along with the need of organizational reformation executed by MND, National Defense Medical College was subordinate to MND, and meanwhile Political Warfare School was renamed as Political Warfare College and subordinate to NDU.
The Military College was disbanded and all its colleges restored their names back to War College, and Command & General Staff College of Army, Navy and Air Force. Chung Cheng Institute of Technology and National Defense Management College were renamed as Institute of Technology and Management College of NDU.
In August 2007, NDU was relocated to Shuai Zhen Campus in Bade District, Taoyuan, where it has continued to function and expanded upon the legacies and traditions from its origins and carried on the mission of cultivating outstanding officers in all facets of the military profession.
On January 1, 2012, the Language Center was subject to NDU. Furthermore, on April 1 the same year, the National Development Course was also subordinate to NDU. Both newly included are categorized as Level 1 units of NDU.