Kotebe Metropolitan University (KMU), the former Kotebe College of Teacher Education, was set up within the Haile Selassie I University (HSIU) in 1959 under the name College. In 1969, the College left HSIU and went to the present Addis Ababa technical and Vocational College where it came to be known as Teacher Training College. Later, the name was changed to Addis Ababa College of Teacher Education. It was in 1976 that the College transferred to the present site and got its name, Kotebe College of Teacher Education.

 Upon the approval of the Commission of Higher Education, the college launched degree programme in six areas of study: English Language and Literature, Ethiopian Languages and Literature, Geography, History, Health and Physical Education and Mathematics in 1989.

 In 1997, the Addis Ababa City Administration took over the responsibility of running the college from the Ministry of Education. Following the transfer of the college to Addis Ababa City Administration, degree programs except the Department of Health & Physical Education were discontinued.

After 9 years of relentless effort made by the college management, the college community, former graduates of the college and other stakeholders, the degree program was re-launched in 2007 in affiliation with Bahr Dar University. Degree program students were assigned in 10 departments namely Biology, Chemistry, Civics and Ethical Education, English Language and Literature, Ethiopian Languages and Literature, Sport Science, History, Geography, Mathematics and Physics. It also ran a diploma program in linear and cluster modalities.

 In addition to these, the college ran a one year certificate program in preschool Teacher Education. 

The year 2014 ushered a major landmark in the history of kotebe college of Teacher Education When Addis Ababa City Government granted it the status of a University College by the decree Addis Ababa City Government Regulation Number56/2013.

Another milestone  in the history of the institution occurred on December 15,2016 when Kotebe University College is upgraded to a full-fledged Metropolitan University  by the Addis Ababa City Government .

Following this, KMU is restructured into 8 units. These are: College of Education and Behavioral Studies, College of Natural and Computational Sciences, Faculty of  Languages and Humanities, Faculty of Urban Development Studies, Faculty of  Social Sciences ,Faculty of Business and Economics, Sport Academy and  Science and   Technology innovation Center.

At present, the University  is running certificate, diploma, undergraduate and graduate studies in its regular, evening extension and summer programs. The number of KMU staff accounts about 660 of which 272 represents the academic staff.