The University of Arts was established on June 10, 1957, as the Academy of Arts, a union of the existing higher art schools (academies). Until then independent, the Academy of Music (founded in 1937), the Academy of Fine Arts (founded in 1937), the Academy of Applied Arts (founded in 1948) and the Academy of Theatrical Arts (founded in 1948) became the Academy of Art, an association of higher art schools in Belgrade.

In 1973, these four academies, being the only higher art schools in Serbia at that time, became faculties: the Faculty of Fine Arts, the Faculty of Music, the Faculty of Applied Arts and Design and the Faculty of Dramatic Arts (theatre, film, radio and television). Being their association, the then Academy of Arts became the University of Arts in Belgrade.