TSMU was founded on 12 April 1957 as a Ternopil Medical Institute. On July 1, 1992, the institute was named after Ivan Horbachevsky. On December 30, 1997, it received the status of State Medical Academy, and on 17 November 2004, after reorganization, the institution became Ivan Horbachevsky Ternopil State Medical University. The first rector of the medical institute was Petro Ohio, and the vice-rector Arsen Martyniuk. The regional administration transferred ownership of two buildings to the institute for the use of academic and laboratory facilities, and two dormitories. University clinic facilities were located in the municipal hospital. At the same time, the Morphology Building, a dormitory, and the Regional Hospital were being built.
The institute had 19 departments, and employed 66 instructors, among them Kostiantyn Kovanov, Rostyslav-Yurii Komarovskyi, Anatolii Lokai, Ivan Sytnyk, Mykola Skakun, and Yevhen Honcharuk. The first class consisted of 210 students.
The institute steadily developed programs and facilities, but the biggest change took place after Ukraine has gained its independence in 1991 when the school started moving towards the European system of education. In 1994, the Institute received an IV level of institutional accreditation. In 1995 TSMU added the specialty of Nursing, and in 2000 Pharmacy.
As of 2016, the university offers Bachelor’s level programs in Physical rehabilitation and Nursing; Master’s level programs in Medicine, Pharmacy, Dentistry and Nursing; and Ph.D. level programs in specialties Medicine, Pharmacy, Dentistry, and Biology.