Andhra University offers a wide range of academic programs, constituting a balanced blend of the conventional courses and career oriented options, although in recent years the bias is towards introduction of more career-oriented options. The University has always been a pioneer in formulating new courses having societal relevance and national manpower needs in mind. The course in Nuclear Physics, which was started when the country was thinking of utilizing nuclear energy for national growth and the course in Geophysics when the country was expanding its exploration activity in search of oil & natural gas, stand testimony to this. Establishment of the Social of Marine Sciences with half-a-dozen courses dealing with ocean floor dynamics and marine resources is the result of realization of the importance of oceans not only in dictating plate motions, but also in being the potential source of living and non-living resources for the future. The rapid growth of industry in and around Visakhapatnam and the presence of Naval Base encouraged the University to start courses like Instrumentation Engineering, Marine Engineering and Naval Architecture. Courses in Tourism Management, Journalism, Human Resource Management, International Business etc are all of contemporary relevance. The University's serious concern to protect and promote the traditional Indian culture resulted in patronizing courses in Music, Fine arts, Acting and play direction.
With dwindling opportunities for employment in government and public sector organizations, the University has been quick in contemplating courses that provide self-employment to its graduates. Courses like Bio-chemistry, Prawn & Crab Farming Management, Coastal Aquaculture & Marine Bio-technology, and Geo-engineering are specific examples of this. With increasing expenditure and reduced State Government assistance, the University has to offer programmes in popular options such as Computer Science, Biotechnology, Commerce and Electronics under self-financing stream. The M.Tech. Programs in the Engineering College include such diversified fields as Radar and Micro wave Engineering, Technology Forecasting, Coastal Harbour Engineering and Pharmaceutical Biotechnology.
The majority students for the under graduate programmes, most of which are in the Engineering College, come from the Intermediate stream, run by the Government of Andhra Pradesh. The intake into the PG Courses in Colleges of Arts & Commerce, and Science and Technology is mostly from the graduate students who studied under the Common Core Syllabus prescribed by the Andhra Pradesh State Council of Higher Education. The content of courses in the University needs a suitable revision, whenever there is a change in the syllabus at Intermediate and Degree levels. The syllabi of the courses in the University are reviewed more frequently, however, and generally once in three years, keeping in view the advances that took place in the subjects of the programme. Changes in the curriculum are effected after thorough discussions among the members of Faculty, and later in the meetings of Board of Studies, which draws the services of at least two experts drawn from outside the University, and from National Laboratories and Institutions.