The Academy provides applied higher education and has offered a specialized culture education since 1952. The school was initially founded in Tallinn, the capital of Estonia, but was soon transferred to Viljandi, one of the most beautiful towns in Estonia.
In 1991, the very same year when Estonia regained its independence, the former Viljandi Culture School was reorganised into a college providing applied higher education in different areas of culture. After reconstruction of Estonian higher education system at the beginning of new millennium, the academy joined the University of Tartu in 2005, and became one of its regional colleges. In the course of the last decade the variety of the specialities provided by the academy has been continuously increasing.
Since 2016, when a structural change took place at the University of Tartu, Viljandi Culture Academy belongs to the Faculty of Arts and Humanities. UT VCA is the largest of the seven institutes in the field of the faculty.