Ancestors of Milankovic fled the Turkish Empire and settled in Dalj, near Osijek, on the Danube River in eighteen century.
The members of this venerable Serb family received university degree education as early as of the third generation, many of its members being respected lawyers, engineers, priests and professors.
Milutin was the oldest of six children of landowner and merchant Milan and Jelena, born Muavcevic. His father died at his early age and his mother took care of the family and the estate with the help of her brother Vasilije Muavcevic, who was considered stepfather by Milutin.
Milutin finished first four grades of elementary school by attending private lessons at his family estate as he was of weak health. He attended secondary school in Osijek, closely monitored by his professor of mathematics Vladimir Varicak.
Being an outstanding mathematician he decided to study technical sciences at High Technical School in Vienna, where he graduated and received a Ph.D., being the first Serb to achieve doctorate in technical sciences.
His thesis was entitled ''Theory of Pressure Curves'' and its implementation allows for assessment of pressure curves shape and properties when continuous pressure is applied, which is very useful in bridge, cupola and abutment building. He presented previous knowledge on this and suggested his own solution. Ph.D. thesis examination committee members were Johan Brick, Joseph Finger, Emanuel Czuber and L. Tetmayer, who was Rector of Vienna University at the time, and the thesis was successfully defended on December 12th 1903. Thesis was published in the scientific journal ''Zeitschrift fűr Mathematik und Physik'' in 1907.
He used libraries in Vienna very often and read much, not only technical literature but also fiction. Often he had a copy of Goethe’s ''Faust'' in his packet. He regularly attended plays and opera and also had a rich social life.