The University of Deusto was established in 1886 in Bilbao. The concerns and cultural interest of the Basque Country in having their own university, as well as the interest of the Jesuits in establishing higher studies in some part of the Spanish State coincided in its conception. Bilbao, a seaport and commercial city which was undergoing considerable industrial growth during that era, was chosen as the ideal location. Bilbao is the centre of a metropolitan area with more than one million inhabitants, a city traditionally open to Europe. It is also an important harbour and a commercial and financial centre of the Basque Country and the north of Spain.
In September of 1997, the city underwent a significant transformation under the emblematic symbol of the Bilbao Guggenheim Museum. The central headquarters of the University of Deusto is located on the opposite side of the estuary, facing the Guggenheim Museum. In 1916, the “Universidad Comercial de Deusto” received a group of students who would be the first graduates in Economic Sciences in Spain, 25 years before this degree was officially recognised.
In 1963, the Institute of University and Technical Studies of Guipuzcoa in San Sebastian was formed by the integration of three already-existing entities. This institute, years later, would form a part of the University of Deusto. Therefore, the University is located on two campuses, in the two coastal capitals of the Basque Country: Bilbao and San Sebastian.
In 1964, the University of Deusto decided to establish the degree in Tourism in both campus. Since then, along more than 50 years, the University of Deusto has trained professionals for the tourism industry. In 2009, the University of Deusto decided to establish a site in Madrid so as to develop Executive Education.