Its campus occupies a vast area in downtown Bangkok, close to the popular teenagers' hangout, Siam Square, and adjacent to the most prestigious and private sports club, The Royal Bangkok Sports Club. The symbol of the University is the Phra Kiao, a royal insignia. Diplomas were traditionally handed out at graduation by the King of Thailand, created and begun by King Prajadhipok (Rama VII). But at present, King Bhumibol Adulyadej (Rama IX) delegates the role to one of his daughters, Princess Maha Chakri Sirindhorn.
During the years 1973-1977 Princess Maha Chakri Sirindhorn was a student at the University, becoming the first member of the Thai Royal Family to graduate from a Thai university. Prior to that, Thai royals had always studied abroad.
 HistoryThe demands of officials specialized in various fields by the government in the late 19th century Siam was an aftermath of King Chulalongkorn’s bureaucratic reforms, which aimed to transform the feudal Thai society into a modernized state. In 1899, the king founded the Civil Service Training School (Thai: โรงเรียนสำหรับฝึกหัดวิชาข้าราชการฝ่ายพลเรือน) near the northern gate of the Royal Palace. Those who graduated from the school would became royal pages. Being royal pages, he must learn how to administrate organization by working closely with the king, which is a traditional way of entrance to Siamese bureaucracy. After being royal pages, he would then served in the Mahattai Ministry or other government ministries.
On April 1, 1902 the king thought the name of the school should be renamed to increase dignity of students and graduates. Hence the name Royal Pages School (Thai: โรงเรียนมหาดเล็ก) was later used. Later, on January 1, 1911, King Vajiravudh renamed the school again to Civil Service College of King Chulalongkorn (Thai: โรงเรียนข้าราชการพลเรือนของพระบาทสมเด็จพระจุลจอมเกล้าเจ้าอยู่หัว) as a memorial to his father and moved the school to Windsor Palace (Thai: วังวินด์เซอร์ หรือวังใหม่) in the Pathumwan district.
The academic demands, however, increased all over the country as a whole as Siam was modernized. King Vajiravudh then took the remaining funds of Chulalongkorn’s Royal Equestrian Statue construction, which was collected from people. Then combined with his own funds to subsidize the construction of a university campus. The king organized various schools around the city proper into the Chulalongkorn's College. The college offered 8 majors taught by 5 schools including;
- School of International Relations in the Royal Palace
- School of Teacher Training at Baan Somdet Chao Phraya
- Royal Medical College at Siriraj Hospital
- School of Legal Studies
- School of Mechanical Sciences at the Windsor Palace
- Faculty of Arts and Sciences
- Faculty of Public Administration
- Faculty of Engineering
- Faculty of Medicine
In 1938, the Chulalongkorn University’s Preparatory School was founded to provide pre-collegiate education for its students. Those who managed to enter the university had to spent two years in the Preparatory School before going on to the Faculty of Arts and Sciences. The Preparatory School, however, ceased to be a university-owned preparatory school in 1947 and became independent Triam Udom Suksa School. Later, the university established Chulalongkorn University Demonstration School (CUD) system as laboratory primary and high schools for Faculty of Education.
During the 1930s to the 1950s Chulalongkorn University expanded to various fields including Pharmacy (1934), Veterinary Science (1935), Architecture (1939), Dentistry (1940), Commerce and Accountancy (1943), and Education (1957). In 1943, however, the regency government under General Phibun separated the Faculty of Medicine, Dentistry, Pharmacy, and Veterinary Science to become the University of Medical Sciences (now Mahidol University).
Chulalongkorn University managed to claim back some of its lost faculties. In 1948, the Faculty of Political Science was re-established. In 1967, the Faculty of Veterinary Science was returned from Kasetsart University and the Faculty of Medicine at Chulalongkorn Hospital was moved from University of Medical Sciences to Chulalongkorn University. In 1972, the Faculty of Dentistry and Faculty of Pharmacy were retrieved.
Other institutions which are associated with the university include:
- Chulalongkorn University Demonstrational Schools (CUD)
- The Petroleum and Petrochemical College
- The College of Public Health Science
- College of Population Studies
- Metallurgy and Materials Science Research Institite
- The Institute of Biotechnology and Genetic Engineering
- Aquatic Resources Research Institute, Environmental Research Institute
- Social Research Institute, Institute of Asian Studies
- Transportation Institute
- Sasin Business School (Sasin Business School was founded by Chulalongkorn University with the support and collaboration of the Kellogg School of Management and the Wharton Business School.)
 RankingsIn 2010 the QS World University Rankings ranked Chulalongkorn University 180th in the world.
 Notable Faculty and Alumni
- HRH Prince Mahidol Adulyadej of Songkhla, father of King Ananda Mahidol and King Bhumibol Adulyadej
- HRH Princess Galyani Vadhana, princess of Narathiwat, Thailand
- HRH Princess Maha Chakri Sirindhorn, princess of Thailand
- Prawes Wasi, a winner of the Ramon Magsaysay Award
- Banjong Pisanthanakun, a Thai film director and screenwriter, notable for his films Shutter and Alone.
- Surakiart Sathirathai, former Deputy Prime Minister of Thailand
- Mallica Vajrathon, a United Nations Senior Staff Member
- Win Lyovarin, a Thai writer, two-time winner of the S.E.A. Write Award
- Binlah Sonkalagiri, a winner of the S.E.A. Write Award
- Khunying Sudarat Keyuraphan, the deputy leader of the Thai Rak Thai party, former Thailand's Minister of Agriculture
- Thanpuying Dhasanawalaya Sornsongkram, daughter of HRH Princess Galyani Vadhana
- HRH Princess Sirivannavari Nariratana, princess of Thailand
- Apinan Poshyananda, Director-General, Office of Contemporary Art, The Ministry of Culture and one of the top curators in the Asian region
- Montien Boonma, one of the most celebrated Asian contemporary artists
- Thongchai Winichakul, a professor in the History Department, University of Wisconsin–Madison, and a specialist in the intellectual and cultural history of Thailand
- Decha Boonkham, Thailand National Artist in the area of applied arts (landscape architecture)
- Krisda Arunvongse, Thailand National Artist in the area of applied arts (contemporary architecture)
- Rawee Pawilai, a renowned expert on astronomy, and Thailand National Artist in the area of literature
- Prayom Songthong, Thailand National Artist in the area of literature
- Supachai Chansuwan, Thailand National Artist in the area of Thai dance
- Khunying Vinita Diteeyont, Thailand National Artist in the area of literature
- Jullatat Kitibud, Thailand National Artist in the area of applied arts (contemporary architecture)
- Nithi Sthapitanonda, one of Thailand's most renowned contemporary architects, and Thailand National Artist in the area of applied arts (contemporary architecture)
- Supa sirising or Botan, Thailand National Artist in the area of literature
- Pinyo Suwankiri, Thailand National Artist in the area of applied arts (Thai architecture)
- Borwornsak Uwanno, a Thai legal expert and a cabinet secretary-general under the Thaksin-government
- Kiatisuk Senamuang, a professional football player
- Sukhumbhand Paripatra, the 15th Governor of Bangkok
- Pasu Decharin, a guru in Blue Ocean Strategy
- Montri Toemsombat, a well-known fashion artist
- Russamee Gulyanamitta or Russy Gulyanamitta, a professional golfer
- Narongrit Dhamabutra, Thai Composer
 Honorary DegreesThe University has given honorary degrees to heads of state and other international dignitaries, including two US Presidents:
 TraditionsChulalongkorn University student traditions include:
- Chula–Thammasat Traditional Football Match: The annual football match between Chulalongkorn University and Thammasat University in January at Suphashalasai Stadium. It first started in 1934.
- Loy Krathong: an annual celebration of the full moon night, which usually falls on the first full moon day in November. Since the festival is open to the public, it attracts many people, especially Chulalongkorn students and faculty and those who live in downtown Bangkok, to come to the university to float their Krathongs on the university's pond.
- Chulalongkorn Academic Exhibition: a triennial academic and research exhibition presented by Chulalongkorn University's students and faculty. It is regarded as one of the most important academic fairs in Thailand.
 Student activities and clubsThe University is host to 40 student clubs, including the Buddhism and Tradition Club, the Religious Studies Club, the Mind Study Club, and the Thai Classical Music Club. Chulalongkorn also has a Morals Network, which actively campaigns to protect student activities from damaging the university's reputation. The University's Cheer Club annually organizes the Chula-Thammasat Traditional Football Match.
 Phra KiaoSince the establishment of the Royal Pages School, the former name of the university, Chulalongkorn authorized the use of his personal emblem as school emblem. The emblem is 'Phra Kiao', or Thai style coronet which is made to fit hair topknot. As the school was transformed into university, the King of Thailand authorized the use of Phra Kiao until nowadays. Today, Phra Kiao is used in formal letters, transcripts, souvenirs made by university and student uniforms.
 Student UniformUndergraduate students are required to wear uniform as they are studying, taking examinations and contacting the university. For graduate students, collared or polo shirt and dark trousers are required for male students while plain blouse with properly long skirt are required for female students.
Originally, the university uniform was adapted from uniform worn by Chulalongkorn's heirs. Later, the uniform was changed into more modernized version but original one is reserved as a formal uniform. Formal uniform is usually worn by student leaders and bachelor graduates.
Today, the normal uniform for male undergraduate students are plain white shirt with long or short sleeves and black (or dark blue) trousers. Dark blue necktie with colored Phra Kiao in its front is required for first year students but optional for higher years. However, black tie with silver Phra Kiao pin is usually used by higher year students in some faculties. For female students, they are required to wear short-sleeved blouse with fold along the spine. The buttons must be made of metal and Phra Kiao emblem must be pinned on right chest. The dark (slightly light) blue or black pleated skirt and any black, white, brown shoes that conceal heels are also required. For female first year students, white leather shoes are required. Chulalongkorn University's uniform has long been template of uniforms used in other universities in Thailand.
 Graduation GownThere are also special graduation gown made of fine white net formed into long sleeved gown. Additional strip made by black, red or pink-colored cloth and decorated with gold-colored ribbon is added to the outer rim of the gown. For bachelor and master graduates, black strip is used. While for doctor graduates and faculty, red and pink are used respectively. Yellow rim is used specially for royals of Chakri Dynasty.
In addition, the colored thread or ribbon is added to the center of the strip longitudinally, according to graduated discipline. The gown was authorized for use by Vajiravudh.
 Rain TreeRain tree is very common on the university campus. It was deeply associated to the university since the past. Fresh green leaves in the beginning of the semester represent freshmen's enjoyment. As the tree produces slimy pods and sheds leaves, the below ground becomes dirty and slippery. As a simile, it is described as a warning to students to be ready for examination. When they walk carefully, they do not slip (able to pass examination). Whereas if they walk carelessly, they would slip and get injured (unable to pass examination).
Around 1937-1957, many of rain trees were to be cut down to allocate the area for new buildings and enhance cleanliness. The King Bhumibol Adulyadej recognized the dramatic decrease of rain tree. Hence on January 15, 1962 the king planted his five trees that he brought from Hua Hin in front of the university auditorium and said "Hence I give these five trees as eternal memorial" (จึงขอฝากต้นไม้ไว้ห้าต้นให้เป็นเครื่องเตือนใจตลอดกาล).