The university was founded in 1941 as National Guiyang Normal College (Chinese: 国立贵阳师范学院). After the formation of the People's Republic of China in 1949, it was renamed Guiyang Normal College. In 1985, it became Guizhou Normal University. The university was accredited with being a provincial key university in Guizhou in 1996. In 2004, the former Guizhou Vocational Institute of Technology merged into the University.