The university, being a former university college (founded 1977) was granted university status in 1999 by the Government of Sweden. Originally it was a branch of the University of Gothenburg. There are about 50 training programmes, 20 programme extensions and 800 courses within humanities, social studies, science, technology, teaching, health care and arts. As of today, it has approximately 12,500 students and 1,200 employees. Its university press is named Karlstad University Press.
Service Research Center (Swedish Centrum för tjänsteforskning), or “CTF”, at Karlstad University is one of the world’s leading research centers focusing on service management and value creation through service.
On March 26, 2009 the faculty of Economics, communication and IT formed Karlstad Business School (Swedish Handelshögskolan vid Karlstads universitet) as a brand of their educational programmes in the business related areas.
Karlstad University has two a cappella groups, Sällskapet CMB and Söt Likör. Many students live at the nearby student accommodation facilities called Unionen and Campus Futurum.