The School was founded in 1989 by Dr. Dipankar Chakraborti. His research group highlighted the arsenic groundwater problem in West Bengal, Rajnandangaon (Madhya Pradesh) and Bangladesh and the fluorosis problem in Assam. It has also highlighted the arsenic groundwater and the lead pollution problems caused by industries within Kolkata. In order to impart higher education in the field of environmental studies, the University Grants Commission sanctioned post graduate and M. Phil. courses under the special category “Emerging Areas” in several Universities in India. Jadavpur University was the first University in West Bengal to offer M. Phil. in 1985 as “M. Phil. Programme in Environmental Science”. From being a part-time evening course since its inception in 1985, this course was transformed into a full-time course in 2001. This programme was merged with School of Environmental Studies in 2005 and was functioning as a teaching activity of the School under the Faculty of Science.

Prof. Suranjan Das, Vice-Chancellor, Jadavpur University is the Chairman of the School. Currently the School is under the Faculty of Interdisciplinary Studies, Law & Management with Prof. Samita Sen as the Dean of the faculty. Dr. Tarit Roychoudhury  is the Director. The other teachers are Dr. Joydeep Mukherjee(Associate Professor) and Dr. Subarna Bhattacharyya (Assistant Professor). Since July 2011, the School is offering a Master of Technology course in Environmental Biotechnology under the Faculty of Engineering & Technology. The past five batches of students have been offered Ph.D. positions in various IITs, ISM (Dhanbad), IIEST (Shibpur) and jobs in Pollution Control Board, Greenpeace and private industry.

Since 2018 the School is offering a 3-semester advanced diploma in Industrial Safety & Environmental Management in collaboration with Nuvoco Vistas Corp. Ltd. (formerly Lafarge India Pvt. Ltd.)