The idea behind the establishment of the University dates back to 1996 when the precursor of the University, the Thika Institute of Technology was founded as a Computer Outreach Program. At this point in time in Kenyan history, the development of Information Communication Technology (ICT) both Mobile Telephony and Computer Technology had started gaining an upward momentum in rural and urban centres.
In the year 2000, the Institute developed into a commercial college offering management and computer training programmes. Later in the year the Ministry of Education Science and Technology recognized the institute as a full fledged institution of higher learning and granted it a full registration approval.
In order to remain relevant with the training needs of the society, the institute initiated training programmes in the fields of paramedical, Information Technology, and Business and Entrepreneurship education in the year 2002.
In the year 2005 the Institute became the 1st private institution in Kenya to be allowed to train Pharmaceutical Technologists by the Pharmacy and Poisons Board of the Ministry of Health.
In the year 2006 the Commission for Higher Education (CHE) validated and approved the institute's request for collaboration with JKUAT to offer both Diploma and Degree programmes. The Institute continued to work closely with the Commission for Higher Education in line with the stipulated guidelines for establishing a privately funded university.
After fulfilling all the requirements as stipulated in the guidelines of establishing a privately funded university (1989 rules), the Commission for Higher Education issued MKU with the authority to establish a full fledged privately funded university with Thika Institute of Technology as its precursor/forerunner.