Shortly after independence, a group of visionaries led by Prof. V. K.R.V. Rao and supported by the then Prime Minister Pt. Jawahar Lal Nehru were driven by the ambition to create a center for advanced learning and research in social sciences comparable to the best in the world and worthy of an independent subcontinent. Thus, in 1948 the Delhi School of Economics (DSE) was conceived on the lines of the London School of Economics. Subsequently, when Prof. Rao became the Vice-Chancellor of the University, the process of setting up four new departments, namely, Sociology, Geography, Business & Commerce, was initiated.
Guided by the vision of its founders, the school lays the highest importance on maintaining excellence in teaching, both as an end in itself and as a basis for creativity and for sustaining excellence in research. The pioneering works of personalities like Prof. Amartya Sen, Prof. B.N. Ganguly, Prof. Jagdish Bhagwati, Prof. Sukhamoy Chakraborty, Prof. K.N. Raj, Prof. Manmohan Singh, Prof. P.K. Ghosh, and Prof. L.C. Gupta have contributed to the social and economic development of the country.
The Department of Commerce, formally set up as a separate entity in 1967, has imbibed the DSE tradition of exploring new frontiers of knowledge and innovation in academics. In its history spanning over five decades, it has redefined commerce education in the country. The Department has the legitimate claim and pride of being the premier institution in India for course curriculum development, teaching, and researches in Commerce discipline. The rapid growth of the Department of Commerce is reflected in its expansion as well as novelty in its academic programs. This has led to the commencement of master level professional programmers, in addition to the traditional M. Phil., Ph.D. and their flagship M.Com. Programs. As a response to market imperatives, the Department of Commerce initiated two new post-graduate professional programs in 1995, namely, Master of International Business (MIB) and Master of Human Resource and Organizational Development (MHROD). In the short period of over ten years, these courses have made a mark through teaching and research in all contemporary areas of International Business and Human Resource Management.