The institute was planned by the Iranian educated Mirza Reza Mohandes, and built by the architect Muhammad Taqi Khan Memar-Bashi under the supervision of the Qajari prince Bahram Mirza. Facilities such as an assembly hall, a theater, library, cafeteria, and a publishing house were built for the institute. In 1930, the building was destroyed by Mirza Yahya Khan Qaragozlu (also known as Etemad-od-Dowleh), then Minister of Education, and rebuilt based on a Russian engineering design.
Many parts of the institute were later on absorbed and merged into the newly establishing Tehran University. The Faculty of Medicine for example, was particularly the successor to the Dar ul-Funun Department of Medicine, established in 1851, which had become the School of Medicine (Madreseh-ye tebb) in 1919.