As a unique comprehensive institution, Changsha University was established through the merger of the Xiangjiang Normal University, Changsha Polytechnic Normal Training College, and Changsha University. In 1994 and 1996, Changsha Xiangjiang Normal University and Changsha Polytechnic Normal Training College merged into the Changsha University successively, and formed a new Changsha University (vocational school).The university, located at the Hongshan Ancient Temple, was under the dual leadership of Education Commission of Hunan Province and Changsha Municipal Government, and was primarily led by Changsha Municipal Government. 
In 2004, the Ministry of Education approved the establishment of Changsha University, based on the foundation of Changsha University (vocational school). The university now is jointly constructed and managed by municipal and provincial governments, and is affiliated with Changsha Municipal Government.    
In 2005, the university started to enroll students nationwide. As of April, 2017, the university already has 43 undergraduate majors and 14020 full-time students.