Utkal University, Bhubaneswar is the oldest University in Orissa and the seventeenth Oldest University in India. It is a teaching-cum-affiliating University. Utkal University came into being under the Utkal University Act, 1943. The University has all the postgraduate departments and the University Law College in its campus. Madhusudan Law College is located at Burdwan House at Cuttack. The jurisdiction of the University extends to the districts of Cuttack, Puri, Balasore, Mayurbhanja, Keonjhar, and Dhenkanal. It manages 267 affiliated general colleges, 15 Law colleges, 6 Medical & Pharmacy colleges.
At present, the University offers Bachelor of Arts, Bachelor of Commerce and the Bachelor of Education. Applicants for the Bachelor of Arts and the Bachelor of Commerce should have completed the 10+2 or equivalent examination. For the distance education courses, printed lesson units covering the entire syllabus are sent to the students in three to four installments. Contact program is organized at the headquarters and at different places in the state. These programs are organized once a year for a week. Examinations for the Bachelor of Arts and the Bachelor of Commerce are conducted twice every year.
The Library of the Utkal University is named as "Parija Library". There are twenty-four departmental libraries under the different Post-Graduate departments of the University. The Library also caters to the needs of all types of readers by borrowing xerox copies of articles and journals from other national libraries on Inter-Library loan basis. The University, though not a completely residential one, provides residential facilities to the students in the hostels.