The history of HBEU can be traced back to Third Provincial Teacher-Training School, ,which was founded in 1943 in County Sui (present Suizhou City) Hubei Province. It changed its name to Hubei Provincial Anlu Teacher-Training School in February 1948, and did so again in the spring of 1950, calling itself Xiaogan Teacher-Training School before merging into Xiaogan Teacher-Training College in the autumn of 1958 with the establishment of four specialties (Industry, Agriculture, Medicine and Teacher Education).

In the end of the year 1970, the School changed its name into Teacher-Training School in Xiaogan Area and later in 1975 it set up the higher teacher training classes. In the spring of 1978, it was renamed as Xiaogan Branch of Wuhan Normal College with the establishment of five specialties (Chinese, English, Mathematics, Physics and Chemistry).

In January 1983, upon the approval of the Ministry of Education, Xiaogan Junior Teachers' College was established on the basis of Xiaogan Branch of Wuhan Normal College. In 1986,Hubei Vocational-Technical Normal College merged into Xiaogan Junior Teachers' College. In June 1993, the College was renamed as Xiaogan Normal College. In August 1999, Xiaogan City Construction Engineering School (Southern Urban-Rural Construction School of Ministry of Construction) joined in as a whole.

Then, in March 2000, approved by the Ministry of Education, Xiaogan Normal College changed its name to Xiaogan University with 16 departments offering undergraduate programs, covering 7 disciplines: economics, law, education, literature, science, engineering and agriculture.

In December 2011, it was renamed Hubei Engineering University with 15 academic schools including School of Economics and Management, School of Political Science and Law, School of Education and Psychology, School of Physical Education, School of Literature and Journalism, School of Foreign Languages, School of Music, School of Fine Arts and Design, School of Mathematics and Statistics, School of Physics and Electronic Information Engineering, School of Chemistry and Materials Science, School of Life Science and Technology (Agriculture), School of Computer and Information Science, School of Urban Construction and School of International Education, which offer 48 undergraduate programs covering 9 disciplines: engineering, science, literature, economics, law, education, agronomy, management and art theory.