MAO College (or Muhammedan Anglo-Oriental College) was founded by Sir Syed Ahmed Khan, the leader of Muslim renaissance in Indian subcontinent, in 1877 at Aligarh. This later became Aligarh Muslim University in 1920.
The M.A.O. College was originally affiliated with Calcutta University, and was transferred to the Allahabad University in 1885. It was also around this time that a movement began to have it develop into a university to stand on its own. In 1920, the Act of Indian Legislative Council elevated the Mohammedan Anglo Oriental College to the status of a Central University and it became the principal Muslim Institution in India. Section 2(1) of the AMU Act says the university means "the educational institution of their choice established by the Muslims of India".
It became Aligarh Muslim University in 1920 by the act of Parliament of India.