Andhra University is the second institute in the country to start pharmacy courses at University level in 1937. The pharmacy courses were initially offered in the B.Sc. Honours degree of chemical technology and as a specialization at M.Sc. Chemical Technology level. The importance of pharmaceutical sciences led to the formation of a separate department in 1951, with the commencement of B.Pharm. course with late Prof. S. Rangaswamy as founder Head of the Department. The M.Pharm. course was started in 1954. A separate Faculty of Pharmaceutical Sciences was formed in 1975.The department has been elevated as a constituent college of Andhra University in August 2006.
At present, the department offers B.Pharm, Pharm-D, Pharm-D (PB) and M.Pharm and Ph.D. programmes in eight specializations namely Pharmaceutical Technology, Pharmaceutical Biotechnology, Pharmaceutical Chemistry, Pharmaceutical and Food Analysis, Pharmacology, Pharmacognosy and Phytochemistry, Pharmacy Practice and Pharmaceutical Management & Drug Regulatory affairs. The department has the distinction of being the first in the country to start pharmaceutical biotechnology division. Prof. S. Rangaswamy and founder faculty members Prof. V. Subba Rao, Prof. N. Viswanadham, Prof. K. Sambamurty and Prof. E. Venkata Rao laid solid foundations and moulded the department into one of the best in the country.
Eminent teachers and researchers who served as "Heads of the Department" in the past and contributed richly to its development include late Prof. S. Rangaswamy (1951-1963), late Prof. V. Subba Rao (1963-1979), Prof. N. Viswanadham (1979-1982), late Prof. K. Sambamurty (1982-1985), Prof. E. Venkata Rao (1985-1988), Prof. D. Visweswaram (1988-1991), Prof. R.V. Krishna Rao (1991-1992), Prof. M. Vimala Devi (1993-1995), Prof. D. Venkata Rao (1996-1998), and Prof. P. Ellaiah (1999-2001).
The alumni of the department are holding high positions in prestigious national and international bodies, drug industry, drugs control administration and in Universities in India and abroad. A good rapport is being maintained between the department and its alumni. The alumni has formed an association named Andhra University Pharmacy Alumni Charitable Trust (AUPACT) and has established an industrial pharmacy unit in the department in 1998. The faculty of the department has shown their commitment and dynamism by conducting a number of workshops, national and international seminars and conferences and also the prestigious Indian Pharmaceutical Congress twice, in 1977 and in 1995.