First attempts at teaching agriculture as a university subject were made in Poland by the end of the 18th century. In 1776 Rev. Hugo Kołłątaj suggested forming the Chair of Agronomy as a part of projected reform of the Main Royal School (Szkoła Głowna Koronna). The Chair of Farming established in 1806 existed only for three years. Subsequent numerous endeavours aimed at reviving agricultural studies within the Krakow Academy proved futile. Only in 1890 the 3-year Agronomy Studies were formed at the Faculty of Philosophy of the Jagiellonian University in Krakow in 1923 changed into the Faculty of Agriculture at the Jagiellonian University in Krakow.
The Second World War inhibited a successful development of the Faculty. During the Nazi occupation agricultural studies were conducted in conspiracy, supervised by Dean Anatol Listowski. After the war the Faculty resumed its activities, modified its structure and finally in 1946 was changed to the Faculty of Agriculture and Forestry. Three years later in 1949 a separate Faculty of Forestry was established at the University but unfortunately the enrolment of students to this Faculty was stopped in 1953.
The Faculty of Agriculture provided the basis for the Agricultural College in Krakow founded in 1953 and played a crucial role in educating students and researchers who greatly contributed to the University development and creating the other faculties within its structure.
The following Faculties were established in the subsequent years:
1953 - Faculty of Animal Husbandry (present: Faculty of Animal Sciences)
1955 – Faculty of Land Reclamation (present: Faculty of Environmental Engineering and Land Surveying)
1963 – Faculty of Forestry (reopened)
1968 – Faculty of Horticulture
1973 - Branch Faculty of Economics and Agricultural Turnover in Rzeszów (became a part of the University of Rzeszów in 2001)
1977 – Faculty of Technology and Power Engineering in Agriculture (later: Faculty of Agricultural Engineering, at present Faculty of Production and Power Engineering)
1994 – Faculty of Food Technology
2003 – Interfaculty Study of Biotechnology, at present: Biotechnology – Interfaculty Studies
2008 – Landscape Architecture – Interfaculty Programme
In 1972 the College of Agriculture changed its status to the Agricultural University and by the decree of the Council of Ministers dated 12.09.1978 it was named after Hugo Kołłątaj – the precursor of agricultural sciences in Poland.
On 11th April 2008 Agricultural University (Akademia Rolnicza) changed into University of Agriculture in Krakow (Uniwersytet Rolniczy) and is the only University of Agriculture in Poland.
Current educational offer comprises 45 main fields with 45 specializations, there are about 13 thousand students enrolled at all types of studies. The University offers also 32 postgraduate programmes for Master Diploma holders