CUGB evolved from the Beijing Institute of Geology, which was formed in 1952 by merging the Departments of Geology of Peking University, Tsinghua University, Tianjin University, the Tangshan Institute of Railways, and others. It was one of the first 33 universities in China to pilot graduate schools, and the first to enter the ranks of "Project 211" and the "985" National Innovative Platform of Dominant Disciplines. It is a national key university of the People’s Republic of China, administered directly by the Ministry of Education, which established the University in partnership with the Ministry of Natural Resources. In 2017, CUGB ranked as a “Top A World-class University”.
Adult Higher Education began in CUGB in 1956 with the introduction of adult night classes. Correspondence courses were introduced in 1958. It was one of the earliest institutions of higher learning in China to develop adult education. In 2001, it was approved by the Ministry of Education to carry out pilot work for modern distance education. School of Continuing Education was established in 2009 by merging the original School of Adult Education, the School of Network Education, and the Center of Continuing Education. The school functions within CUGB as a centralized management department and second-level teaching unit for various types of continuing education work such as adult higher education, modern distance education, and training programs without academic degree.
School of Continuing Education embraces and implements the Communist Party of China’s education policy and adheres to a socialist orientation in the running of the school. The school focuses closely on the fundamental task of "cultivating people with morality". It has inherited the philosophy of "characteristics and high-quality", and rigorously follows the guiding ideology of "connotative development, quality improvement, and extended service". The school is running in the spirit of "scientific development, high management standards, quality assurance, and efficiency improvement". Recognizing the demands of economic, social, and industrial development, the school gives full play to CUGB’s advantages in Geology, Resources, Environment, Engineering Technology, Safety Engineering, Land Science, and other disciplines with the goal of creating an influential continuing education brand and ensuring the quality of continuing education. It actively integrates high-quality educational resources inside and outside CUGB and solidly promotes research for the development of online education and discipline building in continuing education. Responding to rapid changes in information technology and creative innovation in educational ideas, the school will adapt to the complex and changing education environment. The development direction of continuing education under the new situation will be actively explored to continuously improve the quality of teaching and management and cultivate high-quality professionals for the benefit of society.