While the club was born as one of the many sport branches of the Universidad Católica de Chile, officially founded in 1937, it began, strictly speaking, around 1910, when students of the University would reunite to play football matches, frequently facing historical rival Universidad de Chile. In time, the idea of creating a professional club emerged, and on 21 April 1937, the club officially and legally began existing. It made its professional debut, in the second division, against the Universidad de Chile. Rivalry, both in sports and in academic issues, made these matches between the Universities become more and more important, eventually reaching the national status of "Universities' Derby". The rivalry maintains itself until today, with each match between these teams being considered a must-see for every football fan in the country.
Universidad Católica was the first winner of the trophy "Huemul de Plata" (2010).
The Universidad Católica has attained fame as a favorite of the higher classes, because of many factors, which range from the location of the club's Stadium (in one of the most exclusive neighborhoods of the capital) and Headquarters, although there are "UC" fans all around the country, including popular regions or towns. For this reason, is planned to build a new stadium in a more popular place of Santiago.
The club has reached notoriety, both in a national and South American level, as owner of one of the best infrastructures and training centers in the continent. As such, it is a good source of young talents, which occasionally rise to stardom in the club.
The club has won 10 national tournaments, and one international cup: Inter-American cup. Also, in 1993, Universidad Católica was the runner-up in the most important international tournament in South America: the Copa Libertadores de América, losing in the finals against the powerful Brazilian team, São Paulo.
In recent years, the club has been reemerged in international competition, advancing to the 2005 Copa Sudamericana semifinal before being knocked out by the powerful Boca Juniors from Argentina, who would go on to win the tournament. In 2006 the team made a good presentation in the Copa Libertadores, but was eliminated at the last minute by Tigres de la UANL of Mexico and failed to advance beyond the group stage. Universidad Católica did not qualify for the 2007 Copa Libertadores.
Católica played again Copa Libertadores in 2008 with no luck, being eliminated in group stage by goal difference by River Plate and América. In 2010, their performance was no better, finishing third in group stage behind Universidad de Chile and Flamengo.
On the 2011 edition, Católica finished 1st on the round robin, and then proceeded to advance up to quarterfinals, knocking out Gremio of Brazil on the best 16 round, and falling to Peñarol of Uruguay 2-0 in Montevideo and winning their home match 2-1, which was not enough to advance.
On 2012 the club, under coach and former player Mario Lepe, finished last on the group stage, winning only 1 home game and losing on their away games in Colombia and Bolivia.