The school was formerly known as the Department of Management Science and Engineering, founded in April 2000. It was renamed the Department of Economics and Management in October 2001. The School of Economics and Management (SEM) was established in April 2005. SEM now has four departments, which are Economics and Finance, International Trade and Business, Business Administration, and Management Science and Engineering.

SEM has 3100 full-time undergraduate students and around 300 full-time international students. By the end of December 2022, the school has more than 120 faculty members, of whom more than 110 are academic teachers, including 17 professors, 30 associate professors, and about 30 teachers who got their doctoral or master's degrees in the US, UK, Germany, Japan, Australia, etc.

Guided by the motto of ZUST “Virtue and Truth, Practicality and Creativity”, SEM insists on the concept of education, “Enhance Business, Enhance the State; Create Business, Create Idea,” and is devoted to cultivating high-level and application-oriented economic and management talents with international backgrounds who can understand the economy, doing business, and being good at management to serve the local economy.