Department of Interdisciplinary Studies started its journey in 2002 when University Grant Commission (UGC) funded the Himachal Pradesh University to set up Institute of Integrated Himalayan Studies (UGC Centre of Excellence) vide notification no. 9-42/2002-HPU (Genl.) dated 1.4.2002 and hence came into existence with effect from 1st April 2002. As per UGC directives, the institute has academic, administrative and financial autonomy for achieving "Excellence Plus".
As an institute, the Institute of Integrated Himalayan Studies popularly known as IIHS achieved many mile stones by way of conducting research studies, organizing international conferences/seminars and same has been commended by the various UGC review committees and many academic visitors. With the passage of time the university academic leadership conceived the idea to launch new courses in the IIHS and upgrade the status of the Institute into department. Consequently the UGC Expert Committee that visited in 2013 to review the performance of the institute also appreciated the same idea and they further suggested running these courses to effectively.
In this way, during the academic session 2013-14 three courses namely, MBA-Rural Development, M.Sc. Environmental Science and MFA-Pahari Miniature Painting (UGC innovative course) were started. The process to establish IIHS as permanent department as ‘Department of Interdisciplinary Studies-Institute of Integrated Himalayan Studies’ and creation of new faculty i.e. ‘Faculty of Environment, Development, Sustainability Studies’ (file not found) was also initiated by the university Executive Council at the same time, which ultimately completed the whole process in 2018 when Hon’ble Chancellor granted his assent to the proposed amendment to the university ordinance vide Notification No. 3-1/76-HPU(Genl.) Vol. VIII dated: 8/3/2018. (file not found) Ph.D. in Environmental Sciences and Rural Development was introduced after the constitution of permanent Board of Studies (BoS) (file not found) and Faculty vide notification No. 1-173/2019-HPU (Genl.) Dated:6/5/2019 and Notification No. 1-173/2019-HPU (Genl.) Dt. 29/05/2019.