A small school was started in 1893 at Kanpur to provide training to revenue officers. It gradually grew to the status of a Government Agricultural College (1906), the U.P. Institute of Agricultural Sciences (1969) and a full-fledged university in 1975. U.P. College of Veterinary Science & Animal Husbandry, Mathura was merged with the university at that time.
Students are admitted to the under graduate programme through SEE-UPTECH (State Entrance Examination) conducted by UPTECH, Lucknow, Govt. of Uttar Pradesh. Seats are allotted according to the merit of the students in SEE-UPTECH and their choice at the time of counselling 2008-09 onward students are taken through UPCATET
The university has developed and released more than 150 early maturing, high yielding and disease/insect resistant crop varieties/hybrids of cereals, pulses, oilseeds, vegetables, cotton, 29 of these in the last three years. It has also contributed to the evolution of agro-techniques suited to various situations.
The university provides training to farmers and officials in agricultural technologies. An Agricultural Technology Information Centre at the main gate of the university provides information to the farmers in the region.