Established in 1955, the HCMUSSH was originally known as the Faculty of Letters, which was part of Saigon University. October 1975 marked the beginning of a new era in the university's history when it began its first academic year after the reunification of the country, with various changes in its training objectives, curricula, and programs. Another landmark in the university's history was the merging of the Faculty of Letters and the Faculty of Sciences of Saigon University in April 1977, resulting in Ho Chi Minh City University, the largest training and research center in the South of Vietnam. March 1996 saw the separation of HCMC University into its two original component members, both of which were given independent status and became members of Vietnam National University, Ho Chi Minh City, and the university has been officially known as the USSH ever since.
HCMUSSH has two campuses, one in the city center (district 1) and the other in the area of Vietnam National University HCMC in Thu Duc district. Freshmen and Sophomores will study at the campus in Thu Duc district if they pass the national university exams. Then, Juniors and Seniors will study at the one in District 1.