The Universidad de Montevideo was launched in 1986 as the Instituto de Estudios Empresariales de Montevideo (IEEM) in the Uruguayan Stock Exchange building. It was a pioneer in offering Master´s Degree Programs in Business Law, International Trade Law, and Economic Administrative Law in Uruguay. In 1992, the IEEM Business School launched a Master´s Degree Program in Business Administration.

Legally established as a non-profit organization, IEEM was authorized to operate as a private university when the Uruguayan government issued the decree 308/995 which established the requirements for the authorization and career recognition of private universities. Since then, the UM has grown and developed a solid national and international reputation based on its rigorous educational programs, renowned faculty, insightful publications and in-depth research projects.

In 1995, the University expanded its offerings by introducing the first undergraduate degree in Business Administration. Today the Universidad de Montevideo offers undergraduate and postgraduate degrees within five Schools, the IEEM Business School and the Center for Biomedical Science.