The importance of City College as one of the premier educational institutions of India rests as much in its trail-blazing efforts in the realm of education as in its association with the liberal masterminds of the 19th century Indian Renaissance. The present-day City College started as City School, founded on January 6, 1879, by the Sadharan Brahmo Samaj. It was raised to a college in 1881. B.A. classes were introduced in 1884; a Law Department came up in 1885, and M.A. classes were introduced and conducted until the new regulations of Calcutta University terminated them.
Initially the college was housed in an old building, but afterwards it was shifted to another old house at 13, Mirzapur Street (now Surya Sen Street). A new building was erected in its place, the opening ceremony of which was performed in 1884 by Lord Ripon, the then Governor-General of India. In 1905, the college was brought under the control of a society called 'The City College Institution', now known as the 'Brahmo Samaj Education Society' whose chief objective was to promote the cause of education as an all-enveloping process to contribute towards the all-round development and well-being of the human community.
The City College Commerce Department came up in 1939 (18.07.1939.) in response to the large-scale demand among the youth of the time for quality university education in commerce. In 1940, a Commercial Bureau was set up; and in 1945, the Department of Commerce and Business Administration was formally organized. The college got affiliated to the University of Calcutta in 1961, and was also officially recognized by University Grants' Commission in the same year under the U.G.C. Act [Section 2(f)].
Since then the college has produced countless students of the highest calibre in all walks of life. Today City College of Commerce is one of the major institutions imparting education in areas of commerce with the help of teachers drafted from an ever-expanding field of business studies and activities. An evening college, it immensely contributes to post-employment education.
All such efforts have not gone unrewarded, as students from all parts of the country have come to study here to academically prosper and secure gainful employment in several commercial and industrial concerns all over the country. The college has achieved a respectable position among educational institutions of the highest quality. The evaluation made by India Today (according to which the college ranked 3rd in the list of commerce colleges in Calcutta and 37th on an all-India basis in June, 2007), stands in testimony to this fact.