The University of Gorakhpur is a teaching and residential-cum-affiliating University. Although the idea of residential University at Gorakhpur was first mooted by Dr. C.J. Chako, the then Principal of St. Andrews College, then under Agra University, who initiated post-graduate and undergraduate science teaching in his college, the idea got crystallized and took concrete shape by the untiring efforts of Late Pt. S.N.M. Tripathi. The proposal was accepted in principle by the first Chief Minister of U.P., Late Pt. Govind Ballabh Pant, but it was only in 1965 that the University came into existence by an act passed by the U.P. Legislature. It actually started functioning since September 1, 1957, when the faculties of Arts, Commerce, Law and Education were started. In the following year, 1958, the faculty of science came into being. Late Mahant Digvijay Nath also made valuable contribution in the formation of the University.
At one stage the federal jurisdiction of the University was spread over colleges in Gorakhpur and the adjoining erstwhile twelve districts with about 125 affiliated colleges. At present, with the establishment of new colleges and the creation of new districts, there are 123 colleges located in five districts of Gorakhpur Division.
In the beginning the University had its own teething troubles. But due to the zeal, untiring efforts and foresight of its founding fathers and the then faculty members, it has come of age having completed more than forty years of a most meaningful existence. It now has neat and attractive campus spread over an area of about 300 acres with well-planned teaching and residential campuses. In the beginning the University was housed in two buildings the Pant Block (inaugurated by late Pt. Pant) and the Majithia Block (named after Sir Surendra Singh Majithia, who made a significant donation to the building through his family trust). Several other buildings came up during the following decades : they include the Central Library, the Arts Block, the Administrative Block, the Law Faculty, a Student's Union building, a Gymnasium hall, a Health Centre, a Computer Centre and Research Buildings for Chemistry, Zoology, and Botany. Besides, there are separated Buildings for Commerce and Education Faculties and also for Home, Science, Geography, Psychology, Sociology, Hindi, Ancient History, Fine Arts and Music, Political Science and Adult Education. A huge building comprising several big rooms besides and imposing auditorium, referred to as Deeksha Bhavan, presently houses the separate girls' wing for the undergraduate classes along with its use as an examination centre. Two separate building housing a branch of Allahabad Bank and a sub-Post Office are also part of the University. Samajiki Manviki Bhawan - was built about seven years ago. Besides the general maintenance and repair work, and the general beautification of the campus on a large scale, some hectic construction activities are also currently going on in the University. Buildings of Department of Business Management and of Biotechnology have been constructed. Additional lecture halls have been added in the Arts Faculty Building.