Postgraduate Education in Agriculture was started in 1933-34 when the University of Madras recognized the Agricultural College, Coimbatore as a centre for M.Sc and Ph.D degrees. When the Government of India set up a team of Indian and American experts to offer recommendations for strengthening agricultural research and education in India, this Institute was an obvious choice as one of the five 'Regional' Centres for recognition as first- rate post-graduate centre. The Government of Madras readily agreed to establish in 1958 a Regional Post-graduate Training Centre at the Agricultural College and Research Institute, Coimbatore. This centre, started initially with four branches of specialization, grew steadily offering Post graduate programmes in eight subjects viz., Agronomy, Soil Science, Plant Breeding and Genetics, Horticulture, Entomology, Plant Pathology, Agricultural Economics and Agricultural Extension. On 26 Apr 1971 the Tamil Nadu Agricultural University (TNAU) was established and  it lead to the strengthening  of research by establising reasearch centers and increasing the diversity of postgraduate disciplines.

The School of Postgraduate Studies offers Masters programs, M.Sc.(Ag.) / M.Tech.(Ag.) in 33 disciplines, Doctoral programs in 27 disciplines, Part time Doctoral programs in 28 disciplines.

Students from all over India and overseas seek admission. International Students from Nigeria, Rwanda, Sudan and Vietnam are enrolled students at this university.

A new revolutionary Direct Doctoral Program is introduced from 2013 onwards wherein the undergraduates are directly enrolled into this program giving more time for doing research. This new direct doctoral program is introduced in Agronomy, Agricultural Microbiology, Agricultural Entomology and Plant Breeding and Genetics.