Located in the city of Phitsanlolok, the birthplace of King Naresuan (King of Siam between 1590-1605), Naresuan University was initially founded as the College of Education in 1967 then becoming the Phitsanulok Campus of Srinakharinwirot University, in 1974, before officially becoming a university in its own right in 1990.
Naresuan University consists of 16 faculties, three schools, one college, and one institute. The faculties operate within three clusters: the health sciences cluster (faculties of allied health sciences; dentistry; medical science; medicine; nursing; pharmaceutical sciences; public health; health systems management); the science and technology cluster (agriculture, nature resources and environment; architecture; engineering; science; renewable energy; logistics and supply chain; fundamental study), and the social sciences cluster (business, economics and communications; education; humanities; social sciences; law).
The university is aiming to become a research university and to rank within Thailand’s top 10 universities overall. Naresuan University has a number of research centres set up to help work towards this aim. These centres of excellence are: Small and Medium Enterprises Management; Academic Excellence in Applied Physics; fungal research; innovation and technology for water treatment; Water Resources Research Center; SET Investment Center; tourism management (CETM) and biomaterial.
Naresuan was ranked as "Very Good" in a study of Thai universities conducted by the Thai Commission on Higher Education in 2006.