Teaching of Economics began right from the inception of the University in 1919 at Intermediate level through Urdu medium.
A full-fledged Department of Economics was established in 1935 with the introduction of Economics at BA. with Prof. Ilyas Burney as the first Head. The M.A. Course in Economics was started in 1937 with the efforts of Prof.Habibur Rehman and Dr.Anwar Iqbal Qureshi.
The Department gained stature during the tenure of Prof.Gautam Mathur when he took over as the Head in 1965. Under his stewardship, the Department scaled new heights and grew into a strong Centre for Development Economics and Economic Planning. The UGC sanctioned Special Assistance Programme (SAP) to the Department under his headship in 1972. Subsequently, the Department was selected for the University Leadership Programme (ULP) to prepare text material for the undergraduate courses.
The Department had reputed economists on its rolls. Some of them include Dr.Raja J.Chellaiah, Former Member, Planning Commission, Prof.N.S.Iyengar, renowned Econometrician, Dr.Ali Mohammed Khusro, Chairman, XI Finance Commission, Dr.CH.Hanumantha Rao, former Member, Planning Commission, and Dr.Balwanth Reddy, former Principal, Administrative Staff College of India.
The Department has a very active research programme with Economics of Development and Planning as its thrust area. It has a team of 09 internal and 25 retired and external research supervisors. The Department has awarded 15 Ph.D degrees during 2016-17.
The faculty members have entered into academic contact with CESS, World Bank, Woolongong (Australia), IOWA, Boston (USA), and Indian Ocean Rim, Association for Regional Cooperation, Mauritius. The thrust area of the Department is Development, Inclusive Growth in Agriculture.
The Department was also identified as one of the consultant groups for preparing the State Development Report of Andhra Pradesh by Planning Commission in the year 2009-11.