Initially it functioned under the University of Calcuttaand later, on 23 September 1887, the University of Allahabad was established, making it the fifth university established in colonial India after Calcutta university, Bombay university, Madras university and Lahore's Punjab university.
It began as an affiliating and examining body for graduate and postgraduate degrees with a classical orientation and the responsibility for secondary education as well. By 1904 the university established its own teaching departments and instituted doctoral research programs. The University Senate hall was opened by the Lieutenant-Governor, Sir John Hewett, in 1912. In 1921, with the promulgation of the 'Allahabad University Act of 1921', the Muir Central College merged with the university, which was reorganized as a unitary teaching and residential university. Over the next few years its affiliated colleges were transferred to Agra University and the task of conducting secondary-level examinations was relocated