The School of Industrial Technology commenced with the establishment of the School of Applied Sciences in 1973. The School offered the Bachelor of Applied Science programmes in Electronic Science and Technology, Food Science and Technology and, Polymer Science and Technology. In 1984, the name of the School was changed to the School of Engineering Sciences and Industrial Technology. Hence, the curricula were amended to Bachelor of Engineering (B. Eng) and Bachelor of Technology (B. Tech) to meet the requirement of engineering and industrial technology courses. The School was later split into the School of Electrical and Electronic Engineering, the School of Materials and Mineral Resources Engineering and the School of Industrial Technology during the 1986/1987 Academic Session.
The former two schools were moved to the USM Campus in Tronoh, Perak while the School of Industrial Technology remained in the main campus, Penang. In Academic Session 1986/1987 the School of Industrial Technology offered Bachelor of Technology programmes in Food Technology, Polymer Science and Technology, Quality Control & Instrumentation, and Wood, Paper and Coatings Technology. The Environmental Technology programme was later introduced in 1999/2000 Academic Session. In the 2001/2002 Academic Session, Polymer Technology and Quality Control & Instrumentation programmes were upgraded into the Polymer Engineering and the Mechatronic Engineering programme respectively, thus were relocated at the USM Engineering Campus in Sri Ampangan, Nibong Tebal. In order to fulfil demands by industries, Wood, Paper and Coatings Technology programme was renamed Bioresource, Paper and Coatings Technology programme in 2002/2003 and the Bioprocess Technology programme was introduced in 2008/2009 Academic Session.