At first the University had only one philosophical faculty with two departments: historico-philological and physico-mathematical. In 1835 the faculty of law was opened, and in 1841 – the medical faculty. After the foundation, the University was some time accommodated at the privately owned houses in Pechersk area of Kyiv.
Meanwhile, the contest for the University main building design was held in St.Petersburg. The winner of the contest was V.Beretti, Professor of Architecture, who in 1837 started the construction works. However, in 1842 he passed away and the construction was completed by his son, Alexander. The main (“Red”) building of the University has typical features of the late Russian classicism. In plan it looks like a rectangle with a large inner court. The walls and columns are painted red while the cast-iron bases and capitals of the columns are black, which corresponds to the colours of the Order of St. Volodymyr’s ribbon.
In 1939 the University was named after Taras Shevchenko (1814-1861) and opposite the Red Building a monument to this great Ukrainian poet was unveiled in the centre of Shevchenko Park. At present the University is an up-to-date educational establishment with rich history. It unites 14 faculties and 5 Institutes where over 20,000 students learn 73 specialities and 157 specializations.