The Faculty of Maritime Studies in Rijeka originates from 1866 when the Austro-Hungarian Naval Academy started working in the building of the Rijeka hospital. From 1889 it operated as the Imperial and Royal Naval Academy (Marine Akademie), all until 1914, when, at the beginning of the World War I, the Academy ceased operating in Rijeka and was moved to Vienna. It should be mentioned that the Croatian admiral Maksimilijan Njegovan (1858 – 1930) and one of the most renowned officers of the Austro-Hungarian Navy and the first navy commander of the State of Slovenes, Croats and Serbs, the Croatian admiral Janko pl. Vuković – Podkapelski (1871 – 1918) both graduated from the Naval Academy in Rijeka. The education at the Academy lasted four years and it was enrolled by candidates who graduated usually at a comprehensive high school, from the entire Austro-Hungarian Monarchy. The Academy operated until 1914, when it was closed and turned into a field hospital, until 1918 when it became the main city hospital after the collapse of the Austro-Hungarian Empire. The discontinuation in higher education in the area of Maritime Studies lasted until 1949, when the College of Maritime Studies was founded in Rijeka according to the regulation by the Government of the Federal People's Republic of Yugoslavia on 4 April 1949. It later transformed into the Faculty, which has continuously operated until today. Since its beginnings, the College of Maritime Studies underwent the following stages in its development:
- In 1978 it became the Faculty of Maritime Studies and Transport, which operated until 1998, when two independent educational institutions were established, the College of Maritime Studies in Rijeka and the Maritime Department of the University in Rijeka;
- during 2001, the Croatian Ministry of Science and Technology decided to integrate the Maritime Department of the University in Rijeka and the College of Maritime Studies in Rijeka into a unique institution, the Faculty of Maritime Studies of the University in Rijeka, which has operated until today.
A view of the Faculty then and now: