Approximately 4000 diseases are associated with malfunctioning genes in a particular cell type. Gene-based therapy provides a platform to modify the disease-causing genes expression at the cellular level to treat pathological conditions. However, gene delivery is challenging as these therapeutic genes need to overcome several physiological and intracellular barriers in order, to reach the target cells. Over the years, efforts have been dedicated to develop efficient gene delivery vectors to overcome these systemic barriers. Chitosan, a versatile polysaccharide, is an attractive non-viral vector material for gene delivery mainly due to its cationic nature, biodegradability and biocompatibility. The present review discusses the design factors that are critical for efficient gene delivery/transfection and highlights the recent progress of gene therapy using chitosan-based carriers.