2 December 1809 is considered to be the date of the University foundation. It is the very day when the Department of Waterway Communications and State Agency of Roads were merged into the Agency of Hinterland and Waterway Transportation in accordance with the Manifesto of Alexander I. In the result of this merge, the Corps of Engineers for Hinterland and Waterway Transportation was founded.
The University changed its name for several times throughout its long 200 years history, a number of the merges with various institutions of higher education also took place during that time. The latest merge was in 2012 with the Admiral Makarov State Maritime Academy. The Academy which had taken its roots in the Seafaring classes of the River Yacht Club of Saint-Petersburg that, in its turn, was founded in 1876. The honor of being named after the famed Russian admiral S.O. Makarov was granted on 24 March 1949.