Institut Teknologi Kalimantan started the lecture process in 2012. In that year, ITK accepted the first batch of 100 students and distributed them to 5 ITK initial study programs, namely: Electrical Engineering, Mechanical Engineering, Naval Engineering, Chemical Engineering and Civil Engineering. The admissions route for ITK students is through the ITK Entrance Selection (SMITeK) which is the result of a collaboration between Institut Teknologi Sepuluh Nopember (ITS) Surabaya and the Provincial Government of East Kalimantan, through the Kaltim Cemerlang scholarship.

The increasingly dynamic spatial (spatial) problems in addition to the demands for sustainable economic development increase the need for superior scholars in the field of regional and urban planning. Therefore, Institut Teknologi Kalimantan opened the Urban and Regional Planning Study Program (URP) starting in 2013. Through the SMITek pathway by opening a national independent pathway for prospective new students, ITK accepts URP Study Program students along with 4 other recently opened study programs such as Materials Engineering. and Metallurgy, Physics, Mathematics, and Information Systems. This study program focuses on the study of integrated planning, design, utilization, management, and control of urban, regional and coastal spaces. In 2013, URP received 12 students who were natives of East Kalimantan, supported by the Kaltim Cemerlang scholarship.

In 2014, SMITeK was held again through 2 channels, namely the Local Selection with Scholarships from the Brilliant East Kalimantan Provincial Government and the Joint Selection to Enter State Universities (SBMPTN). This year also ITK was inaugurated as a state university by President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono. From 2012 to 2014, ITK had a total of 263 students who carried out academic activities and lectures at the ITS Surabaya campus. In 2015, academic activities and the lecture process were moved to ITK Karang Joang Campus, Balikpapan.