The university was originally established as Mugalpura Engineering College at Lahore (now in Pakistan) on 9 November 1921. The name of the college was later changed to Maclagan Engineering College in March 1924. In the year 1931, the college was affiliated to Punjab University, Lahore. After partition in 1947, the college was relocated to Roorkee in India and was renamed as East Punjab College of Engineering. In the year 1950 the word East was dropped. Towards the end of December 1953, the college shifted to its present campus in Chandigarh to function under the Government of Punjab. In 1966, with the formation of the Union Territory of Chandigarh, the college came under the control of the Government of India through the Chandigarh Administration. In October 2003, the Government of India recognized the college as a Deemed University and thereafter it became known as Punjab Engineering College (Deemed University). In 2009, the Board of Governors renamed the institution as PEC University of Technology.
In 1994 this institution was adjudged the best technical college in India by the National Foundation of Engineers. It occupies an area of 146 acres. Up to 1962, the college consisted of three departments of Civil, Electrical and Mechanical Engineering. Thereafter the college expanded and offers Bachelor of Engineering degrees in various specializations.
Highway Engineering was the first post-graduate course offered by the college, commencing in 1957. Presently there are eleven post-graduate courses leading to a Masters of Engineering degree. Facilities for post-graduate studies exist for regular as well as for part-time students. The college has facilities for research work leading to the award of Ph.D. degree in engineering in certain selected fields of different disciplines. The college also offers consultancy services in different disciplines.